Parents who share these concerns need to attend tonight's Learning Committee Meeting that begins at 6 pm at the D181 Administration Center.
Comment of the Day:
Parents, we are and have been asleep at the wheel for years regarding the state of our school district. Tutoring is not a solution and will not solve the problems with the quality and rigor of the education our children are receiving. Take a look at just one of the documents that will be reviewed during the learning committee meeting on Wed:
We are paying high taxes for grade level math instruction until 4th grade? Who knows how the needs of our high ability kids will be addressed? And as the previous comment states, this is latest flimsy fad from our "administration."
Several parents in my book club are reading "Failing our Brightest Kids: The Global Challenge of Educating High-Ability Students" by Finn and Wright. It has been a real eye opener. Here are a couple of excerpts that should sound the alarm bells for every one of us in this district:
"Effective differentiation is tough to pull off in a truly heterogeneous class that contains girls and boys with diverse needs and varied learning speeds. It's akin to presenting a physician with two dozen patients who manifest different symptoms, differing degrees of illness, and, upon examination, many different ailments. It's unlikely that any one doctor can do a great job with all of them, especially when strapped for time and resources. He's apt to engage in a form of triage, focusing mainly on those he can readily help and giving less attention to the mildly ill. The sickest may be sent to the hospital and others referred to appropriate specialists."
"Differentiation specialist Holly Hertberg-Davis wrote in 2009: "It does not seem that we are yet at a place where differentiation within the regular classroom is a particularly effective method of challenging our most able learners." More recently, gifted education specialist James R. Delisle wrote in Education Week that "although fine in theory, differentiation in practice is harder to implement in a heterogeneous classroom than it is to juggle with one arm tied behind your back. . . . Differentiation," he declares, "is a cheap way for school districts to pay lip service to those who demand that each child be educated to his or her fullest potential."
This is what our district is offering to our kids. This started with Schuster and Schneider is now continuing full speed under Don White. My kids have been sitting in classrooms for the past three years daydreaming while teachers are trying their hardest to do the impossible. Meanwhile, we are supposed to get our checkbooks ready to cover a possible higher tax bill for a new HMS? Unless we speak up about these issues, we will continue to get what we deserve."