20 October 2005

Shaking My Head

I went to the meeting today---the one that I was worried about on Tuesday. The good news is that there was little to no pooping on the junior highs. The bad news? Oh, where to begin.

First of all, what is so difficult about reading e-mail? I understand that some messages/senders have a higher priority than others. I know that not everything is fun to read. After all the communications about Scope and Sequence last year, how could no one at the other high school admit to having seen them? (Although I know that one read some information in May...that was sent in March.) How could it be that after sending several pieces of e-mail this year which referred to the information on the staff intranet that this same staff was ignorant? And gee, getting Curriculum Subs for some release time? I pointed out that I sent their (the high school's) department chair a list of dates just yesterday. Oh, and at least twice in the last month, I asked him if he would like to coordinate Common Planning Time schedules with other schools. All the other schools responded with a "yes" and sent their information. This school? No answer...but the feeder schools wonder why. All of these issues could have been resolved via e-mail weeks and months ago.

There is an interest in a post-test at 9th grade. I'm not completely against this idea, I just think it's putting the cart before the horse. We haven't implemented the plans we've made yet. Why not see what a difference that makes---along with making passing the state test mandatory for graduation---before we lump in yet another assessment? Meanwhile, there wasn't a clear picture about how this information would be used.

Remediation came up. This is a good topic worth exploring. But again, we haven't put the plans in place to address the problems in general. Why talk about remediating when kids haven't even had an opportunity to work with the curriculum once?

I provided some data that I hope at least some people will look at and think about. When there are no African-American students in any advanced science classes---and almost none of them are passing the science WASL---there's a major issue. And that's just one example. Maybe we need to focus on which kids aren't getting an opportunity, rather than those we assume "can't."

Anyway, I am still a bit aggravated over the whole deal...from start to finish. But I will have to let it all go for now and focus my energies elsewhere. I can't make people read their e-mail. I can't make them consider the handouts. I can't make them look at data critically. Instead, I have to concentrate on what I can guide and provide input.

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