|(Image copied from Wikipedia.)|
Monday's board meeting was a complete disgrace. It made us think that we were living in an episode of the Twilight Zone. We begin this post by publishing a comment we received yesterday from a community member who listened to the meeting. It accurately describes the discussion surrounding when the administration will provide the board with the "Seminal Document" on the Learning for All Plan.
I encourage all stakeholders - including the administration and BOE - to read this powerful and important article that was recently published in education week.
It is especially important to read this article after the fiasco of last night's board meeting. At the previous BOE meeting we made real progress. The BOE directed the administration to create a seminal document stating what L4A is, what it means at each grade level, and get down to specifics at the micro level. Mr. Nelson eloquently said "shame on us" for not getting past the macro level in 3 years time. There was agreement to make the L4A exercise 2 steps - not 3 - because we did not need another macro level presentation on learning for all.
Well, it seems like that meeting never happened. Suddenly, there is no need to create a seminal document. According to Mr. Clarin and Dr. Schneider, it already exists. Also, the L4A review will be 3 steps with the first one being a macro overview. Mr. Turek thinks that is important because the public needs to be "socialized" to the plan. We do not need to be "socialized" Mr. Turek! We have lived this plan for 3 years and it is a failure. Show us quantitative proof that it is working! And for that matter - what is it? It used to be grade compacting and acceleration. Now is it "going deeper"? Inclusion? Push ins only? Differentiation via technology? Everything under the sky you want to justify?
I was so disappointed last night. Dr. White and Dr. Schneider, along with the BOE majority, have once again failed this community. April cannot come fast enough. Time to spring clean this house.
January 13, 2015 at 8:46 AM"
We also listened to the board meeting on Monday, and then again yesterday via podcast, because we were quite shocked to hear the discussion on the "Seminal Document" and wanted to make sure we hadn't misheard anything. As we pointed out in our last post, in Monday's board questions, Mr. Heneghan asked the administration when the "Seminal Document" would be ready and reminded the administration that the board's December directive did not align with the 3 months of meetings Dr. White's report was suggesting take place. Dr. White's response did not provide Mr. Heneghan with a date certain when the document would be ready, however, nowhere in his answer, did he suggest that a document already exists. In fact, as Dr. White's (or more likely, Dr. Schneider's) written answer stated: "The administration is in the process of crafting a document....." (See Board Member Questions.)
So what exactly were Mr. Clarin and Dr. Schneider referring to during the meeting, when suddenly Mr. Clarin insisted that a document exists and he has seen it during a meeting he had at some point in time with Dr. Schneider? Mr. Clarin was quite insistent that the "Seminal Document" already exists, unless -- as he suggested -- he has been "buffaloed."
Well, Mr. Clarin, may we suggest that is exactly what has happened. In our opinion, you and every single board member, community member, teacher, student and taxpayer have been -- and continue to be -- buffaloed and bamboozled by Dr. Schneider's Learning for All Plan.
There is NO SINGLE "SEMINAL DOCUMENT" that sets out what LFA means. There never was, and all of the individual power points, charts, "action plans" etc that the administration has churned out in the last three years do not constitute a "SEMINAL DOCUMENT." All of those individual documents are moot now anyway, since over the last 3 years, the LFA has not only morphed repeatedly in name, but also in content. It doesn't even remotely look like the original "vision" Dr. Schneider and company sold to the board several years ago. There is no more compacting of math. There is no real differentiation in the classrooms so that each child learns at his/her level. There is no more math acceleration for all. And that is just the math program. There is no road map -- as Mr. Nelson has pointed out at meetings last year -- meetings that he managed to attend on rare occasion.
Instead, the LFA Plan has turned out to be nothing but a house of cards. Over the last three year, one card after another has been pulled out of the house, leaving at best a faltering framework for inclusive classrooms. Time and again, Mr. Heneghan and Ms. Garg have asked for clarification, information and quantitative data on the state of the LFA plan. Time and again, they have been ignored or essentially accused of being trouble makers. Finally last month, they did not stand alone. They were supported in their demands for information by Mr. Clarin, Ms. Vorobiev and Mr. Nelson.
SO WHAT HAPPENED between last month and the January 12 meeting?
We noticed a lack of response from Ms. Vorobiev on the issue of the "Seminal Document." Why?
Mr. Nelson was absent, again. We won't even ask why.
And Mr. Clarin babbled on about seeing THE DOCUMENT.
Dr. Schneider who sat mute at the December meeting, found his voice and agreed with Mr. Clarin .
SO WE ASK -- what document are they talking about? And if there is a "Seminal Document" then why did Dr. White say one is being "crafted." Why hasn't it been turned over to Mr. Heneghan? Why hasn't it been spotlighted on the District website as the "Seminal Document?"
Why? Because it doesn't exist and it doesn't matter how many times Dr. Schneider and Mr. Clarin suggest that it does. It is imaginary! Just like the Emperor's New Clothes!
Dr. White is the district's New Emperor. Has he really bought into this drivel? Does he really think the clothes exist? Well, we are not falling for this bull-pocky. We are fed up with all of the bull-pocky that the administration has been slinging at our children for the last three years.
We will say it again and again and again: April 7th can't come soon enough. Time for the community to vote out those who are not engaged the way they should be and elect a new board majority that will demand answers and accountability.