I am also writing my comments here in the hopes that the Board Members see my thoughts here too.
I urge our voted and trusted BOE members-both newly elected and seasoned-to review, assess, question and challenge evaluation criteria for advancement and acceleration in our district. I call upon them to ask the second and third level questions--how will children be measured? how will objective data vs subjective data be weighted? How will you account for differences in flexible ability based grouping? If cut off scores and 2 standard deviations above a district mean are to be used in MAP scores, then ask and challenge how those "means" are calculated. Ask what is a representative sample of students-don't assume.
I want to know how flexible grouping is going to look under Math in Focus. If children are grouped for ability IN the classroom what will be done to meet the needs of those kids who are not accelerated but who are head and shoulders above their peers? How will you meet their needs? How will you validate their strengths while not demoralizing the rest of the students? how will you meet their unique learning styles while still validating their abilities?
There are too many variables that cannot be solved with a blanket three bulleted guideline like what is proposed on BOARD DOCS for subject acceleration.
RIght and left, injustice is happening. Our children talk to each other. They hear who is doing well and who is given opportunities that they themselves do not receive. Children know and understand flexible ability based grouping.
I am disappointed today. I am disappointed with yesterday too. I am worried that I will be disappointed with the future of my children in D 181. As a graduate of this community's elementary and secondary schools I can attest to the competition and responsibility that is present in our schools. We need to be responsible. We need to take action. And our BOE needs to DEMAND guidelines and challenge teachers and staff to identify step by step uniform standards among our schools. Children should be blindly evaluated and there shouldn't be an over emphasis on teacher input at the risk of ignoring factual data either. It should be a partnership. It is time for children's needs to be met. It is time for my child's needs to be met.