Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bob Vaughan leaving

The APP AC (which, for those of you who don't know, is a volunteer group that works with Bob Vaughan) writes:
Advanced Learning Manager Dr. Bob Vaughan ... announced that he will be retiring from SPS next month. He has been a tremendous advocate for all advanced learners over the years, and has spent decades working tirelessly on behalf of our students. His role included managing not only APP, but also Spectrum, ALO, IB and AP (Advanced Placement) courses and exams, and identification and testing for all potentially eligible advanced learning students.

The APP-AC would like to thank Dr. Vaughan for all of his efforts and wish him the very best in his retirement.
Since Bob Vaughan presided over the dismantling of Spectrum and the chaotic splits of APP, I suspect others feel his track record is a little more mixed, but I will leave that for discussion. What do you think of Bob Vaughan leaving and what are your hopes for the future?


suep. said...

We can't leave this comments section blank!

Thank you to Dr. Vaughan for his years of service. It could not have been an easy task.

I applaud his recent efforts to create the IBX option at IHS, but regret his support for the introduction of MAP.

And, unfortunately, the last few years have been very rocky for advanced learning in general and APP and Spectrum in particular. They are not the healthy, stable programs that they should be.

I look forward to inspired new leadership for advanced learning and a demonstrated commitment by the district to the many kids who need AL options.

(Anyone have any suggestions for good choices for new leadership at AL?)

Anonymous said...

Bob also worked to get more offerings of higher level science classes which benefits any kid who wants the challenge.

His support of the MAP test was to take advantage of it as part of an effort to increase diversity in AL that did not cost his understaffed office any additional $. In the past, the only way to gain access was if your parent knew the ropes (and people wonder why APP was so small back then compared to now).

With MAP, flawed tool that it is, Bob could see scores and reach out to families who may not have known about AL programs.


Anonymous said...

I think Bob meant well, but he made some poor decisions.

Using MAP, flawed test that it is, to try and find more minority students who would benefit from advanced learning is a great thing.

I won't forget that Mr Vaughan is the one who decided to use the MAP as the sole criteria for placement in Algebra 1. That was a stupid decision.

He also watched principals dismantle Spectrum while pretending that they were doing something else. ALOs are a joke. APP is being weakened at every level, and I expect more is coming soon.

I have been in APP for six years, and have heard innumerable stories of the greatness of Dr Vaughan. Maybe they were all stories from his earlier stint in SPS.


Anonymous said...

Please don't forget, Dr Vaughan had the time and the support staff who could analyze MAP data and send out invitations individually to students with high MAP score for the Johns Hopkins Talented Program (which has a great K-12 gifted program and high tuition), also.
I would have appreciated more if his office spent more time/energy of the promised aligned APP curriculum.
But even with this little side note I would like to wish Dr Vaughan happy retirement and would like say "thank you" for all his effort for the AL program.

wants to know said...

I won't forget that Mr Vaughan is the one who decided to use the MAP as the sole criteria for placement in Algebra 1. That was a stupid decision.

This topic came up briefly at the last APP-AC meeting, where Bob announced his retirement. At one point Bob said that he did not support using MAP as the sole measure for access to Algebra in 6th grade, and more or less said that others downtown wanted to make sure they used some measure that would be available for every student in the district. If that's a hard requirement, it doesn't really leave any other option.

Bob is a smart guy, he generally knows what does and doesn't make sense with stuff like this. The problem I've had with his tenure is that he doesn't stand up and fight for what's right. At least not publicly, or in a way that anyone outside the JSCEE would have insights into.

This was indeed a terrible decision. Fine, let's assume it will get revisited, thanks to the Assessments Task Force report. But what I want to know is this: who exactly is pulling the strings behind the scenes on decisions like this? Someone (or maybe more than one person) is making bad decisions, forcing them on people who know better.

Anonymous said...

My sincere thanks to Dr. Vaughan for his work. He did it without a lot of support and navigated a tricky and often lonely path. My children benefited from advanced learning. I'm grateful for that opportunity.

SPS mom

Magua said...

my kids benefited from advanced learning.

that's a different issue - ENTIRELY - from saying that they drew benefits from Dr. Vaughan's efforts. My experience is that he both isn't a fighter AND doesn't have political capital. He's been a total zero, and has done nothing to protect advanced learning programs.

So... I guess thanks for the thoughts, but not the results?

Anonymous said...

Bob was a complete lightweight and never stood up for anything. He assisted with the dumbing down and partial dismantling of the APP we are witnessing.

The decision that SCC doesn't even put a replacement in his place is by no accident. Just another step in the marginalization of APP.

J Kim DDS said...

As a kid from White Center, who probably would've been a "statistic" like in Chicago/Chiraq, East St. Louis, Bronx or other shitty school districts, Dr. Vaughan's actions had a tremendous influence on my life. I probably would've never had the opportunity to learn more, read books (you'd be surprised at how many books a SPS high school student ever reads), and all to have a chance to attend Washington University in St. Louis, MO and then later to graduate from UW School of Dentistry.

I know a lot of parents are probably loving he's gone, but let's be real - no matter how many levies, bonds or Bernie Madoff accounting scenarios the SPS could pull, it's never going to catch up to the rising costs & diminishing returns in education in today's era. By the way, before shit-talking, read Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol.

I have cousins who attended SPS in the 70s and 80s who are in prison, working UPS or running my uncle's dry cleaner. They never had a chance. There were no opportunities in place, there was no chance for the boats to all rise. Dr. Vaughan was in place when I began attending elementary school at Lafayette. Without the Horizon--> Spectrum Program, I could still be learning like Ralph Wiggum and how to spell "CAT." That's how bad, (I shit you not) the regular curriculum classes were. The other kids were hella dumb. Why? Cause their parents didn't give a rats ass. I know a lot of parents here do give a rat's ass, but Dr. Vaughan was making decisions for couple hundred kids with the input of couple hundred kids x2 number of overbearing parents (minus my dad, cause he actually didn't give a shit about my grades, unless I got a bad one which meant a beating for me).

So for people to take change here, change there and deem Dr. Vaughan weak-ass, spineless, didn't do shit for my son/daughter, it's a pretty weak argument when you can see the weak funding as years have progressed, oh oh and the 2009 financial crisis and hmmmm, constant demands of not just kids but parents as well, along with rising education costs, poor pay for educators and etc etc etc.

I'm goin to use my google acct and not be an anonymous bitch about this either.