Last night's D181 Board of Education meeting was a perfect example of OBFUSCATION. The following is a comment/summary we just received from a parent who listened to the live-feed of the meeting. As the writer points out, looks like the emperor still has no clothes!
Please sound off if you have concerns. We would expect that you would. Write to White and push for answers to the questions posed below. We have highlighted some of the more provocative ones in RED.
I attempted to listen to the BOE meeting last night from home, but it was difficult due to the live feed being extremely faint and hard to hear. But these are my thoughts:
1. I heard a lot of big ideas and theories last night, but almost no analysis of data (funny since there was 328 pages of it). I almost thought it was Schuster, not White, running the meeting. The theme of the night was you cannot put too much importance on one data point. Then why do we take all these tests? And we now have 3 years of data since learning for all - and none of it is good. We need to stop discounting the data and start accepting the true state of affairs of this district.
2. Our administrators - including White - seem deeply invested in Inclusion. They seem more interested in this style of learning than the best interests of our children. Why is that? The data shows scores are declining, and it is expensive from a labor/teacher perspective. White admitted they don't have enough subs to pull it off. We also have a Senate bill looming that will blow our budget. At a certain point one must ask - why are we doing it??? White - do you remember that you had tiers in your prior district?
3. Our director of curriculum - Schneider - only contributed to the conversation by talking about SELAS. What value is he adding to our district as the Assistant Superintendent in charge of all curriculum matters?
4. Despite the revelation at the last BOE meeting that we are not math compacting our third and fourth graders due to "a new era", the department of learning now says we are compacting. Funny, because my fourth grader started the year on 4.1 in the everyday math text book. And why isn't anyone talking about the fact that the Lane has an advanced fourth grade class that is compacting, and then a grade level class - but the other schools are all staying at the same pace? As Heneghan pointed out, no one has any idea what is really going on with math.
5. White said "studies show 85% of kids can have their needs met in the general ed classroom." Look at our data White - not "studies show" - Oak's fifth grade growth indicates otherwise. So does the epic failure with this year's fifth grade class. "Studies show" isn't good enough. One parent at the end challenged White to do better.
6. Last year the department of learning said repeatedly that they were pulling best practices from Oak and other schools that did well and applying them to other schools. Remember all that collaboration talk? Well it never happened. That was revealed last night. And evidently no one will hold Schneider or Benaitis accountable for that.
7. Marty patted admin on the back and proclaimed "everyone grew." Did you look at the data Marty?????
8. No one but a parent at the end brought up the actual dismal scores. It reminded me of the great Emperor has no clothes blog post from last year.
9. White did let it slip that 25% of our advanced learners didn't grow as much as they should have under Learning for All. So White - what are you going to do about it? Ball is in your court.
10. When they were talking about the school improvement plans, they admitted that they never went back and looked to see if the goals from last year were met in these plans. When asked why that was, Benaitis answered that the plans were drafted mostly to go through the exercise itself. Why did no one on the BOE push her for an explanation of this ludicrous admission?
The future of our district under "White's Watch" is starting to look gloomy. Time for him to wake up and hire some new "tailors."