Tuesday, August 5, 2008

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From a comment:

I was curious that during the discussion on the failing reading and writing AYP scores, no one asked, how specifically the district plans to fix the issues.

Good question. The charitable answer is that there is a plan, and that the board already knows what that plan is, and so felt no particular urge to ask again simply for the benefit of the public.

However, I don't think "charitable" and "probable" are particularly close on this one. It does suggest something about the board that they didn't ask, doesn't it?


Lebanon Truth said...

The data has just been reported. While we would hope that the district administration and building administrators would be considering what to do, we would think that part of the efforts to regroup and construct plans to address the results would be based on teacher input. Trying to implement changes without getting the teachers to buy into the plan is a complete waste of time. In other industries, you can fire someone who is refusing to implement your plan. You can't do that in schools. Ergo, you must persuade teachers of the value of doing what you ask.

Also, we think that teachers are the people on the ground dealing directly with the students. Thus, they are probably in the best position to come up with effective ways to address our students' problems.

Certainly, we have had problems with our teenage test scores all along. It is not a new problem. But we wonder whether teachers at the high school and Seven Oak have been willing to accept responsibility for a solution. We don't think that teachers have to accept responsibility for the problem -- students come to school with quite a few issues that interfere with their ability to learn. Nevertheless, it is possible to accept the challenge of workin towards higher scores without admitting you are the reason our students are unsuccessful.

We would like also to introduce the idea that perhaps it is time for the community to accept responsibility for finding solutions as well. Again, you dn't have to accept responsibility for the problem, just the solution.

Students who spend their school time figuring out where they are going to spend the night because they have been kicked out the house, for example, don't devote much energy towards their math assignment.

Tourist said...

Alright, perhaps I am missing the point of the original post, or perhaps you are. In being the one that made the comment I feel like clarifying my original comment. The data it specifically indicates a number of areas of concern. The information presented at the meeting essentially focused on the areas of Reading and Writing. Jan quickly mentioned a specific program, and did not elaborate on what it is, how it works and how the district might like to employ it. I am pretty sure that perhaps only ten people in the room have been properly trained on it and its uses. I make this point because, there were no board questions regarding the program. I also did not hear any board members ask specific questions about the reading scores. Someone might have asked asked, "What area of reading are the majority of the students having difficulty with?" A board member might have asked about specific scores in the areas of comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, just to name the basics. A board member might have also asked," how are we changing the scaffolding of the students in the primary grades in order to better support them for this test and to be more successful in high school?". Winteer was good and pointed out that the scores have not improved in quite sometime, this I felt was the open door to ask, how the district plans on fixing these issues. My post was not about the district, it was about a lack of follow up questions that should have been asked. Jan and Laurie did their show and asked if anyone had any further questions, they did their part. If questions are not asked, complaints should certainly not be made later. As for your post, It is a complete given that any program needs teacher buy in, this certainly does not preclude having a variety of plans to meet the areas of concern that the scores clearly suggest. In reading your post, I am seriously looking for a point to your five paragraphs. As stated, of course teacher buy in is necessary, of course parent support is needed, these are known facts. The time is now to form a sequential , specific and varied plan to meet the specific needs of the students.

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