Thursday, November 15, 2018

Questions for the new Superintendent

This is on my mind recently:  In theory, if you were meeting with Denise Juneau what would you most like to politely talk with her about?


JLardizabal said...

Well, since the District Scorecard just came out:
- The district's failure to meet most of its targets in the strategic plan
- The district's failure, over five years, to close opportunity and proportionality gaps
- The abysmal family responses to the district satisfaction survey

Megan Hazen said...

I would like her to go to the upcoming talk at Thornton Creek, entitled 'What parents & educators need to know about smart kids', by Austina De Bonte.

Megan Hazen said...

And I'd like her to know its telling that there is only one constituency in SPS that has not had their own listening tour.

Anonymous said...

I'd ask her "What is the definition of "equity"? SPS is doing everything in the name of "equity", but there isn't a common definition of what it is, how it's measured and what the goal is.

Fed Up

Anonymous said...

I'd ask her to recognize the lack of community trust in the district and lead.

This means creating expectations districtwide--from central office to school buildings--of the following:

1. Transparency. When the district staff make decisions, present the community with the evidence and facts upon which they base those decisions. Be up front about the tradeoffs implicit in those decisions: We give up X to gain Y.

2. An end to fake parent-community engagement. Don't engage parents and waste their time on myriad task forces, adoption committees and the like if you are going to continue the SPS practice of ignoring that input and making the decision you intended to make all along. Parents are not stupid. Parents ARE burnt out.

3. Accountability. Set measurable objectives and goals. Report on progress toward those goals. Utilize carrots and sticks. Enforce real ramifications for lack of progress.

4. An end to shuffling ineffective teachers and principals. If a teacher is a poor teacher, do not send that teacher to another building. Give them professional support, a timeline for improvement and if sufficient improvement is not made, terminate them. Ditto with principals.

5. An end to pitting parent groups against one another. HCC versus gen ed versus special ed. You want HCC to not be as white and high SES as it is currently? Test everyone. Period. Do not make testing an opt-in but rather an opt-out. Own the cost of testing everyone. This is the only defensible starting point.

6. A clear end game on "equity." What does equity in SPS look like? How will you know when we achieve equity? Is it equity of opportunity? Equity of outcomes?

7. Clear chain of command with clear job responsibilities and clearly defined desirable outcomes. Why are EDs valuable? What exactly do they do to support schools?

8. Put needs of kids in the system over the needs of adults in the system. Period.

--My Two Cents for Juneau

Anonymous said...

Since this is the HCC blog, I'll focus on related issues.

I'd like her to clarify what the curriculum is for HCC, and how it is different than that for GE and Spectrum at the various levels.

I'd like her to clarify the relationships between HCC, Spectrum, Advanced Learning Dept, Advanced Learning as a concept, and the old Advanced Learning Opportunities (ALO). Are HCC and HC services under the Advanced Learning Dept, as would be suggested by the new AL Task Force and the recent AL survey? If Advanced Learning is also the new name for Spectrum (as per the district website), is HCC somehow a subset of AL/Spectrum even though the eligibility criteria are different and HC services are mandated whereas AL services are not? If AL/Spectrum still has eligibility criteria (per district website), why does the district seem to use AL interchangeably to refer to the idea of providing advanced classes to all students?

What are the various MTSS interventions, by tier, for HC students? Have these been implemented anywhere, and are the results available?

How do Garfield's "Honors for All" LA and SS classes compare to the old LA/SS GE and Honors versions? Where is the promised evaluation of this pilot program (that now seems to be the new normal)?

What does the following, from the SPS website, mean to her, specifically re: HC students who may test 3 or more standard deviations above average? "We believe it is our responsibility to do whatever it takes to ensure that every child, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, language proficiency, learning style or disability, achieves to their highest level"?

Does she believe that every school has the resources to offer significantly advanced instruction and classes for students working several years above grade level, even if this means schools may need to offer sections of classes with small numbers of advanced students?

Does she believe the students who are intellectual outliers face significant social-emotional challenged when they do not have access to similarly gifted peers?

What does she think is at the root of inequities in SPS? Does she think HCC is a key cause, even when HC hotspot data suggest that eliminating HCC would return students to schools that essentially match the HCC demographics and would have no impact on reducing racial disparities in our schools?

Why did she meet with so many other groups during her listening tour, but not HCC?

Anonymous said...

1. What can a parent/student expect in the way of HC services if they remain at their assignment school?

2. How can she ensure that HC services (via HCC or not) are provided equitably across the district?

3. Does she support the cohort approach?
* If yes, would she support a "talent development" type program to help promising students qualify for HCC or develop the background knowledge and skills they need to qualify for HCC?
*If not, how does she believe students who are academic (and potentially social-emotional) outliers can be supported in a typical classroom?

4. Does she have any concerns about the way SPS currently serves 2e students, and if so, what changes would she suggest?

Anonymous said...

Course schedule for Lincoln posted yesterday. Descriptions posted on 12/1.

Anonymous said...

why the hell is the principal at wms still have a job?

why the hell does the ed for wms and ghs still have a job?

do you really think you need ed's if so why?

if a staff member misleads the board as much as kari hanson has, should she be demoted or fired.

can't you reduce hc class sizes to parity with gen ed?

Anonymous said...

Download free paid and moded apks

Anonymous said...

can't you reduce hc class sizes to parity with gen ed?

I have to disagree with this last question. Maybe you were just trying to make a point, to show that HCC classes are not the small classes many seem to think they are (and in fact, they are often some of the most overcrowded).

However, I don't think "parity" is the goal when it comes to service delivery. That's like saying everything provided has to be equal--that all kids get the same thing. Instead, when it comes to how we provide services, the goal is equity. Smaller class sizes for struggling students, for example, may be more equitable because they can give students the additional attention they need to overcome the unequal challenges they may face. Students who doing less well may need to receive more in the way of SPS resources in order to make things more equal in the end.

I could be wrong, but I think most HC parents would be fine with HC classes being a little larger than those of underperforming students, PROVIDED that class sizes are not too large to function well. That's the caveat. Every students needs the opportunity to learn.