Comments on: AAPS Weighs Future Cuts, $2.5M Gap Now it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Karen U. Karen U. Fri, 15 Mar 2013 15:42:16 +0000 Excellent. Thanks so much, Monet!!

By: Monet Tiedemann Monet Tiedemann Fri, 15 Mar 2013 15:07:07 +0000 Hi Karen,

The SISS review will be included in the Chronicle’s coverage of Wednesday’s meeting. Until then, the PowerPoint is available: [link]

By: Karen U. Karen U. Fri, 15 Mar 2013 13:03:18 +0000 I’d like to mention an issue that is getting little or no attention from anyone–the district-wide special education program review that was completed at the beginning of this year that was supposed to be presented to the board at Wednesday night’s BOE meeting.

Thus far, there has been a deafening silence from SISS as to the specifics of proposed changes district-wide. There are no minutes posted to date for the meeting, and no other documentation of a presentation from SISS than the agenda line item, although there are documents available regarding the football brawl resolution and proposed budget cuts for next year.

Ann has posted articles on the brawl resolution, Schools of Choice openings and an exhaustive piece on a 5-minute speech by Mike Madison of Quad-A. When I asked about special ed, I got a “sorry-busy news day” comment from the K-12 reporter. I was referred to you by another local journalist…and learned that the district is buying new copiers.

I understand that all of this takes time, and it certainly isn’t the Chronicle’s fault that SISS is dragging its heels, so please know I am not trying to take my frustration out on you…I just want to know what the heck is going on. And my next correspondence will be to Dr. Brown of SISS. But meanwhile, I and many other special ed. parents would love to know what facilities are being proposed for our kids next year–so if the Chronicle knows anything, it’d be great if you would post it. Thanks for reading.

By: John John Wed, 13 Mar 2013 22:58:52 +0000 Next time, ask for a writing sample first.

By: Ruth Kraut Ruth Kraut Tue, 12 Mar 2013 16:01:27 +0000 Sulura Jackson, Skyline Principal, has announced her resignation with this letter to the Skyline community: [link]

By: Britt Britt Mon, 11 Mar 2013 17:46:45 +0000 Thanks for the detailed article! Appreciate the good information.

By: A2person A2person Mon, 11 Mar 2013 13:44:22 +0000 Amen on the NWEA comment, Ruth Kraut. Honestly, it makes me feel sick to my stomach that all that money and all those resources are being allocated for this controversial, mis-managed, ill-chosen testing battery that will be replaced in a year by changing state mandates. This test is NOT valid for teacher assessment, and has NEVER been shown to make one iota of difference in the achievement gap.

It’s really, really difficult to accept cuts to programs, classrooms, staff, enrichment, etc, when we could cut this non-mandated test and save a bundle of money AND time for actual learning. Ugh. Priorities.

By: Mark Koroi Mark Koroi Mon, 11 Mar 2013 05:20:36 +0000 The board has absolutely no business to express support for students or anyone else charged with felonies.

These matters are entrusted to the County Prosecutor, respective defense counsel, and the District and Circuit Court systems. Decisions on guilt or innocence are based upon evidence and the rule of law.

By: Ruth Kraut Ruth Kraut Mon, 11 Mar 2013 03:55:02 +0000 3 a.m. ending time? Really? That can’t possibly be a good idea. I’d really encourage the board to look at either starting their meetings earlier, or shortening the presentations at the beginning of every meeting.

Re: high school scheduling, and budgets

1. “Four members of the committee wrote to the board to ask to have their names removed from the report.”–really? I’d like to know more about their reasons.

2. Just to clarify–nobody gets into any of the Skyline magnet programs as a freshman, and whether you are in-district or applying through the in-district transfer program, you have no guarantee of getting into the magnet of your choice as a tenth-grader.

3. Re: budgets and budget forums: “Thomas clarified that the budget forums would take place the last two weeks of March in order to accommodate the board’s desire to have these conversations before budget recommendations are made.”

Originally the board said they would like this public process to happen earlier in the year. It hasn’t, and I’m not sure why, but I am pretty sure that: a) the dates for the forums have not yet been announced and in fact this report says they will be discussing the format at the March 13th meeting and b) the last week of March includes both Passover and Good Friday/Easter. Those two sets of holidays (all three-star holidays) take up most of the last week of March, and since the dates have not yet been announced that doesn’t give much time to promote forums that would then take place the third week of March. All of that is rather disappointing, in that it implies that the public will not have much time or notice to weigh in.

4. “The trustees took issue with the way the charts broke down the additional costs associated with Skyline. Thomas said he had assumed that the higher cost of Skyline could be attributed to the trimester system, but based on the information presented, nothing showed that it was more expensive to run trimesters than semesters with a seventh hour. The increased cost of Skyline came from its lower enrollment number and its student-to-teacher ratio.”

I really appreciate this commentary, and it is probably related as well to the reasons that supposedly Community moving away from block scheduling would “save” money. Would it really? [I personally think block scheduling at Community is a really good thing, but I'm more interested in making sure we are comparing apples to apples.]

Speaking of apples. . . computers, that is. . . I really hope we’ll be using those brand new shiny computers for a lot better things than the NWEA test.

By: A2person A2person Sun, 10 Mar 2013 22:07:19 +0000 Thank you so much for sitting through these long BOE meetings and reporting so thoroughly. This is a great service to our community, and one of the main reasons I subscribe to the Chronicle. Now to go read!!