Madison School District Administration Presentation on High School Redesign

The Madison School viewed a presentation from the Administration Monday evening on their proposed High School redesign. Listen via this mp3 audio file (or watch the MMSDTV Video Archive).
Susan Troller:

“Sometimes institutional history can be a weight around your neck,” Rainwater noted. “This can be an opportunity to bring in new ideas, and new blood,” he added.
Rainwater has said change is necessary because high schools today look and feel much like they have for generations but that students will live and work in a world that has changed dramatically, and which demands new skills and abilities.
He acknowledged that the path was likely to be bumpy, and noted that the plan — which has been developed thus far without public input — recognizes that there are major concerns in the community regarding changes to Madison’s school system.
Some of those concerns include worries about trying to balance resources among students of widely varying abilities, about “dumbing down” the curriculum with inclusive classrooms, the potential for the high schools to lose their unique personalities and concerns that addressing the broad ranges of culture in the district will not serve students well.

Background:

2 thoughts on “Madison School District Administration Presentation on High School Redesign”

  1. I’ve added a few more links to this post, including a letter from Madison West Math teachers to Isthmus regarding changes in the District’s Math curriculum.
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    “Moreover, parents of future West High students should take notice: As you read this, our department is under pressure from the administration and the math coordinator’s office to phase out our “accelerated” course offerings beginning next year. Rather than addressing the problems of equity and closing the gap by identifying minority math talent earlier, and fostering minority participation in the accelerated programs, our administration wants to take the cheaper way out by forcing all kids into a one-size-fits-all curriculum.”
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    I’ve also included a link to the current composition (as far as we know) of the High School Redesign Committee.
    Finally, I’ve included a link to the proposed East High redesign, which was halted one year ago, after extensive community and board pressure. A friend mentioned at the time that the real issue, alluded to by the West Math teachers, is a lack of elementary and middle school preparation. It seems we should be turning our attention there first.

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