Thursday, November 12, 2009

Missed commitments: APP curriculum and APP review response

Over on the Seattle Public Schools Community Blog, Charlie Mas writes, "What's Due and What's Overdue", a long list of "how horribly slack the Board has been about holding the superintendent accountable for all of the things that are due or overdue."

Two of the items are:
  • An aligned, written, taught and tested curriculum for APP
  • A response to the APP review
Let's do a thread on these here. Anyone have any thoughts on these? Explanations on why they not yet done? Opinions on how they should be done? Ideas on how to push the administration and get the board's help in pushing the administration to get them done?

Update: In the comments, Charlie Mas adds:
The whole legitimacy of the APP split was predicated on having a written, aligned, taught and tested curriculum for APP. The APP Review specifically warns the District NOT to split the program without implementing a curriculum first. The curriculum was promised to be in place for the start of school this year, but not only have we no curriculum, we don't even have an acknowledgement of the promise - let alone a revised timetable.

It is, once again, the District staff shafting the community and nothing that the community can do about it. The Board doesn't care. They always take the side of the staff against the community. Always. Every time. They will not help us.

The APP review was done two years ago and yet the District has no response. This is supposed to be a project in the Strategic Plan, "Excellence for All", and every strategic plan project is supposed to have a timetable, a scope of work, and action items, but this one has none. It is a non-event. Again, the Board doesn't care. Our elected representatives, the people charged with holding the superintendent accountable, absolutely refuse to do represent our interests or hold her accountable.

9 comments :

just-a-mom said...

Oh lawd... I'm sure we all have our APP horror stories. I, as a largely ignorant parent on good pedagogy, can tell that there are gaping holes in APP rigor, particularly at the middle school level.

I'll try not to gripe about specific examples here, as I'll just end up being uncivil.

No idea on how to get administration to work on this, and to be honest, I'm not sure it should be the District's first priority. Not everything can be done at once.

I'd much rather have a realistic timeline than promises to deliver everything so quickly. I get that there are other priorities, just let me know when you plan to get around to this.

Anonymous said...

I don't want an aligned curriculum by the District's definition. Just look to math to see how limiting it can be.

What I would like to see is a defined list of what is to covered every year - with some flexibility on the teacher's part on how to best deliver that content.

Robert said...

Anon I do believe that aligned curriculum allows wiggle room within an outline just as you desired.

Charlie Mas said...

The whole legitimacy of the APP split was predicated on having a written, aligned, taught and tested curriculum for APP. The APP Review specifically warns the District NOT to split the program without implementing a curriculum first. The curriculum was promised to be in place for the start of school this year, but not only have we no curriculum, we don't even have an acknowledgement of the promise - let alone a revised timetable.

It is, once again, the District staff shafting the community and nothing that the community can do about it. The Board doesn't care. They always take the side of the staff against the community. Always. Every time. They will not help us.

The APP review was done two years ago and yet the District has no response. This is supposed to be a project in the Strategic Plan, "Excellence for All", and every strategic plan project is supposed to have a timetable, a scope of work, and action items, but this one has none. It is a non-event. Again, the Board doesn't care. Our elected representatives, the people charged with holding the superintendent accountable, absolutely refuse to do represent our interests or hold her accountable.

Ben said...

Yeah, well, the APP review also cautioned against cohousing APP with a gen ed program in a school with a very different socioeconomic population, too.

ArchStanton said...

I emailed my rep to ask that the status of the APP curriculum be addressed at the last APP-AC meeting. The legitimate concerns of T. Marshall parents (noted in previous threads) took most of the meeting to address, so other issues that were submitted for the agenda were not addressed. So; I emailed my APP-AC rep to ask that Dr. Vaughan or the APP-AC respond to questions that had been submitted and include them in the APP-AC minutes. It's often 2-3 weeks before the minutes are posted, so no surprise we haven't seen them yet - don't know if they'll try to answer questions or ignore them and hope they go away...

Anonymous said...

Charlie Mas wrote, "The Board doesn't care. Our elected representatives, the people charged with holding the superintendent accountable, absolutely refuse to do represent our interests or hold her accountable."

We do throw the board out every few years. Despite the high turnover, Charlie is right, the school board still fails to get the message, do their job, and hold the superintendent accountable.

I noticed the mayor-elect, Mike McGinn, says this is his position on education in Seattle: "The mayor needs to be held accountable for the success of the school system ... Urban schools fail when no one is held accountable ... I pledge that our city's schools will improve, and our children will receive a better education. And no one will be left wondering whose responsibility it is."

Perhaps we could engage the new mayor's office? Could working with the mayor's office get the school board to represent our interests and hold the superintendent accountable?

ArchStanton said...

The APP-AC emailed a link to the November 3rd Elementary meeting minutes, but at this time, it links to the earlier Middle School minutes.

Here's a link to the 11/3 minutes:
http://groups.google.com/group/app-ac-seattle/attach/f36bce96397cbcec/APP+AC+Meeting+Mintues+11.03.2009_Final.pdf?part=4&view=1

Oh, and no response to emailed questions...

ArchStanton said...

Correction: the email has the 11/3 minutes in an attachment, but but links to the 10/6 minutes - so they are there if you look.

I'll leave the link for anyone interested...