Monday, August 28, 2017

D181 is Riddled with Trouble. Can it be Saved?

Today we received the following comment which we have decided to publish as a free-standing post. When we read it we realized that D181 is in deep trouble and it will be up to the Board of Education to take action soon to right the once again sinking ship.  Our plan at the beginning of the summer was to re-open the blog for comments and then possibly shut it down again if there wasn't enough interest to keep it going.  We have determined that we had enough comments over the summer, and now this new one addressing serious concerns impacting all students, to justify keeping the blog open.

Please sound off and let us know if you agree or disagree with the following:

Anonymous said...
"Not sure anyone else has seen the Board Docs agenda for Mondays meeting.

First--Terri Hanrahan has resigned. Whether you liked her, knew her or had no clue who she was-the bottom line is this is YET ANOTHER employed professional of the district department of learning to quit. Anyone think this is odd now? We've lost Kelley Gallt after 1 year; Terri Hanrahan after 1 year; we've lost principals after 1 to 2 years; we've lost Teachers on Special Assignments hired and then resigning right away; departmental secretaries; the list goes on.

What we haven't lost is Don White.

Two-This is a critical year for the District. We have new curriculum in all the subject content areas. Teachers and staff are without leadership that has experience, tenure, professionalism, training, and support to lead the charge and grow the charge implementing it with fidelity and continuity among all of our feeder schools.

Three--the math trajectory is a joke. We are accelerating and advancing kids on all sorts of criteria that changes yearly. We have combined groupings and 2/3 of our grade level classes advanced in math in many schools. We have kids skipping one to two to three years of content with continued acceleration because for years the criteria has changed. We have grandfathered cohort groups of kids who have low scores, no scores, or no data and some who do or have too much data. There are kids with low MAP scores and no MAP Scores but teacher buy in. Doing the bridge advanced a bunch of kids who needed only 70 percent to advance. Kids who needed to qualify for advanced needed 80th. And then still, there are kids who need 99th supposedly for acceleration BUT GUESS WHAT--we take kids lower than that and some who are grandfathered are hovering at 85th. And still some are below that. Then do we look at the numbers of kids who continue long term? Rumor on the street is that kids entering middle school are taking steps back. It is too much pressure. Where is due diligence here?

Four-we have no follow through on the advanced and accelerated programs for kids in math. And now there is possible talk of tiering for science in Year 2 of roll out. Like seriously? We can't even clean up our math and we roll out advancement possibilities in science in the future?

Five-District school websites are all over the place. Some schools do them some schools don't but they all tell you at curriculum night to go to the website. AHEM. Your website has photos of kids from 3 years ago.

Six-We get bulletin after bulletin about HMS. When are we going to have an action group called VOTE YES FOR CURRICULUM CHANGE AND CONTINUITY. I said it first. You heard it here.

Seven-what is wrong with a District that can't keep qualified people on deck? We're a lighthouse district they say. Really-I don't see anyone looking for our beam in the darkness. Instead, I see them all running.

I don't envy the BOE. But I do charge them with dealing with this nonsense.

Skyward was rolled out. But do you know the email feature was turned off? In other districts, they load F and P on skyward, they load grades not just for middle school but elementary too. They have weekly check ins by teachers; comments; the list goes on. In D 181, we don't do that. We do however give a grading day for teachers so they can have one whole day to grade. Unheard of in any district 50 miles in either direction around here.

The bottom line. D 181 is great because the parents are great. They pay, they supplement, they tutor, they donate, they fundraise, they volunteer. There are good teachers. Absolutely. But there are many more who are toting the line. And who blames them? They can't have consistency. They don't have the same criteria year to year. And they don't even know what resource is being used because it changed overnight."
August 27, 2017 at 9:15 AM