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November 23, 2006

On, Off and On Again 11/27/2006 Madison School Board High School Redesign Discussion

Susan Troller wrote this on Tuesday, 11/21/2006:

A presentation on the redesign of Madison's high school curriculum scheduled for next week's School Board meeting has been scrapped for the immediate future, School Board President Johnny Winston Jr. confirmed late this morning.

"We'll hold off on changes until we get a better feel for how the process will work," Winston said.

Winston, other School Board members and members of the administration met this morning to discuss high school curriculum proposals, including changes in accelerated classes for freshmen and sophomores at East High.

Andy Hall wrote this on 11/22/2006:
Madison School Board President Johnny Winston Jr. said community outcry and confusion over East's plans to restructure its classes likely will dominate the board's discussion of reforming operations in the district's high schools. The meeting is set for 8 p.m. Monday in the auditorium at the Doyle Administration Building, 545 W. Dayton St.

"I'm sure we're going to hear a lot from the community," Winston said. "Board members want to hear it. They want it now."

Winston said he expects people riled about potential or recent changes at La Follette and West high schools also will attend.

The board, Winston said, needs to set direction for the district's schools and needs to be kept informed. He's opposed to eliminating classes for talented and gifted students. "We need to be enhancing them," he said.

It's essential, Winston said, for parents, students, teachers and the community to have a voice in any talks about changing the way schools are run.

"I really hope we can get this thing, whatever it is, in order," Winston said.

Indeed, a look at the School Board's calendar for Monday, 11.27.2006 reveals that the High School Redesign discussion is scheduled for 8:00p.m. that evening.

The Board has been criticized over the years for simply not discussing some of the tough issues such as health care, the District's rejection of $2M in federal Reading First funds (the politics and implementation of Reading First have been controversial. However $2m is $2m and it at least deserved a public conversation) and West High's full speed ahead on a one size fits all curriculum (See also "the Fate of the Schools".

I'm glad to see the Board take this up Monday. A recent discussion of the District's quiet policy change regarding credit for non-madison school district courses appeared, disappeared and now is on a 12/11/2006 Performance and Achievement committee agenda.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at November 23, 2006 6:42 AM
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