kitchen table math, the sequel: Worse than you think, non-Common Core edition

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Worse than you think, non-Common Core edition

After a 3-year hiatus, I have returned to my district's school board meetings. I am, once again, a regular.

It's been somewhat fun.

It's also been interesting in that I discovered, on my first night 'back,' that I had missed the board. Missed as in missed members of the board as people for whom I feel a great deal of affection. I was happy to see them again, after so long away.


I've spent years attempting to reform my district, and being frustrated by the administration and by whoever was currently serving on the board who wasn't someone I helped elect.

And Chris's middle school years were harrowing.

But Chris's middle school years are well behind us now, and come to find out, my essential emotion today, where board members are concerned, is: affection. I am fond of our school our school board members, collectively and individually.

I seem to feel the same way about our administrators. (That's really weird.)

Ed says I have become the loyal opposition.

Anyway, it's somewhat fun to be back.

The somewhat comes from the content of board meetings, which is never what I want. Or, rather, it's (sometimes) in the vicinity of what I want, but it's not what I actually want.

Plus, there are surprises.

Last Tuesday night's surprise was the revelation that the district does not have an early reading curriculum.

At all.

I had been assuming we had a bad one. Last I checked we have something like 18% of kids going into 'Tier 2' intervention, and I'm pretty sure that number would be 10% with a good reading curriculum. (I hope palisadesk is around to weigh in.)

So I had just naturally been assuming that we have a really bad early reading curriculum the same way we had a really bad math curriculum in K-5 and a really bad reading curriculum in the middle school.

But no.

We don't have any early reading curriculum at all.

The funny (ha-ha) thing about this is that back when Ed and I first moved to town we became dimly aware of what seemed to be chronic conflicts at the board level re: not enough textbooks to go around. Various classes didn't have enough textbooks, and somehow enough textbooks were never bought or budgeted for or who knows what, and teachers were getting in trouble for spilling the beans to parents about the not-enough-textbooks situation, until finally the then-board president took matters in his own hands and decreed that enough textbooks be ordered at once and distributed to students. That's the story I heard, at any rate.

So it's path dependency.

We have always been a district with a not-enough-textbooks problem, and we are evolving into a district with no textbooks at all.

I'm sure regular attendance at board meetings will reverse that trend.

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