Thank you for your email. I have been following the discussion on the proposed changes to English 10 at West. I know that there have been various conversations between West High staff and parents and downtown administrators. I believe that a number of the concerns raised by parents are being given serious consideration. I really think you need to allow some time here.
I do see a broader policy issue of the question of heterogeneous grouping. Since this is really in the area of the Performance and Achievement Committee, I will talk with Shwaw Vang about having a meeting on this topic. Given the current schedule of Board meetings it looks as if January is the earliest we can have a meeting on this.
It is important to remember that the Board’s role is to set policy not to get involved in curriculum decisions. Just to remind you of some of the pitfalls of having politicians make curriculum decisions: there is the national controversy over the teaching of evolution and the example of the Dover PA board; there is also the current push to require the use of abstinence only programs; and lastly various attempts to censor what books are used in classrooms.
P.S. If you decide to forward or post this, please use the entire response.
At 08:32 AM 12/2/2005 -0600, you wrote:
I am writing to request that you put a discussion of the plans for English 10 at West HS (and the question of whether or not West’s English 9 course has been appropriately evaluated, and whether or not the results of any evaluation support the implementation of English 10) on the agenda of a BOE meeting as soon as possible.
I believe it is time for the BOE to step in and take seriously its responsibility to students by insisting that the West administration make a sound, empirically-based decision.