14 November 2005

Battling the Hydra

Remember this thing from your lessons in Greek mythology? (Who says that they don't allow the teaching of religion at school?) The beast would grow two heads for every one that was lost?

I'm starting to feel like dealing with the elementary science program in the district is a Herculean task.

One head of the beast is our Educational Service District, which is a group that (supposedly) coordinates common needs among area districts. Last spring, many teachers worked at the ESD in order to look at how well our science kits aligned with the newly released state standards. But earlier this summer, the ESD science representative was fired, er, asked to leave. Much of the work that was done also seems to be missing. The new ESD science person isn't being particularly cooperative. These people are charging my district $140,000 to distribute the kits. (We're not the only district that is served.) And wouldn't you know, the ESD doesn't have any money in order to "finish" the alignment?

Fine. So my district is thinking of leaving the consortium and just taking care of our own kits. But should we when we don't know if they're aligned to the standards?

Does this mean we need to do at least some sort of alignment with the kits? And what if the news isn't good? We don't have time or money this year to adopt new curriculum for next year.

The Boss Lady would like to see some professional development offerings for elementary teachers this spring. But I hate to design something for the kits...when we don't know what's happening. We could just work with teachers on the science concepts...and yet, like most of us, unless the material can be put into practice, the information isn't any good.

Legend has it that in order to slay the Hydra, I must cauterize each "stump" as I go. My problem right now is figuring out which head to attack first.

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