Stories indexed with the term ‘tech bond’

AAPS Focus: Achievement, Labor Contracts

Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education regular meeting (Oct. 10, 2012): Student achievement and labor contracts were the main topics of discussion for the AAPS board of trustees.

MEAP scores, Ann Arbor Public Schools

Ann Arbor Public Schools Grade 5 Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) scores for reading (left) and math (right). The green trend lines indicated African American student achievement under the old cut scores. Brown trend lines indicate achievement of caucasians.  The gap between the achievement has been amplified by new cut scores, which are indicated by blue and purple trend lines for African American and caucasian students, respectively.

Deputy superintendent of instructional services Alesia Flye and director of student accounting and research services Jane Landefeld, presented a comprehensive report on student achievement. While the trustees were pleased and excited to have such a detailed report, and there were several positive points in the data, they also expressed significant frustration at the disparity between the achievement of various subgroups. African American students in the district showed significantly lower achievement on standardized tests than students in other ethnic groups. Trustee Simone Lightfoot described herself as “fire mad” about some of the results in the report.

The conversation ranged from results and highlights to the challenges the district faces. Flye and her team indicated that the district would continued to work with this data and to implement the district’s established plans to address the achievement gap. But the presentation was a point of information only. [.pdf of AAPS achievement slide presentation with graphs and tables]

Also at the meeting, a proposal for a technology upgrade to the network infrastructure prompted a conversation about labor contracts. The network upgrade was a first briefing item on which the board did not vote. But conversation about labor contracts continued as trustees heard a second briefing about outsourcing the noon hour supervisor positions. In a 4-3 decision, the board did not approve the a contract with PCMI, which had bid to provide noon hour supervisors at a 24.83% administrative cost. [Full Story]

AAPS OKs Technology Upgrades

Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education meeting (Sept. 5, 2012): Trustees were briefed on two proposals for technology improvements – a purchase of 30 laptops with the new Macintosh Mountain Lion operating system and a contract for network infrastructure equipment and installation. Both proposals were approved by the board.

Randy Trent

Randy Trent, AAPS executive director of physical properties. (Photos by the writer.)

The Ann Arbor Public Schools technology bond professional team asked that the board of trustees appropriate $54,540 to purchase 30 MacBook Pro laptop computers, in order to train and test on the new Mac operating system, Mountain Lion. The point of the testing is to check compatibility with the district’s current software applications as the district moves to replace all of its computers.

A $76,463 contract with Sentinel Technologies, Inc. for purchase and installation of computer network equipment was presented to the trustees. The new network equipment is supposed to make the district’s network and firewall more secure and reliable. The upgrade is also supposed to provide more internal and external bandwidth, and allow for increases in the future. The network equipment would be funded from the district’s technology bond.

Before hearing the briefings, the trustees were asked to consider them as special briefings, which meant they would be voted on at that same meeting. The change was driven by a decision the board made to alter its September meeting schedule.

The board also heard extensive public commentary at the start of the meeting on the issue of class sizes as the school year opened. Parents of Haisley Elementary School students asked the board for help in rectifying a situation they described as not viable – 32 students per class in 3rd and 4th grade classrooms. [Full Story]

AAPS Budget Planning Continues

Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education meeting (Nov. 16, 2011): The AAPS board of education heard updates on the district’s budget planning efforts, and received a favorable annual review from its financial auditor.

Randy Trent AAPS

Randy Trent, AAPS executive director of physical properties, gave the board an update on the technology bond millage and gave bid recommendations to the board. (Photos by the writer.)

Trustees approved moving the technology bond millage vote from February to May 2012, and passed a set of resolutions opposing pending state legislation.

A packed consent agenda passed unanimously.

Among other items on the consent agenda, one made official the board’s shift from maintaining two standing committees to meeting monthly as a committee of the whole.

Notable in light of the board’s organizational change was the increase in use of the agenda planning section of the Nov. 16 meeting.

The board’s meeting agenda is now set by the whole board – instead of by an executive committee consisting of the board chair and the committee chairs. [Full Story]