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February 16, 2006

Performace and Achievement Meeting of 19-Dec-2005

The December 19, 2005 Performance and Achievement Committee meeting is the second PA meeting regarding the Middle School Design Team.

QT Video
The video of the meeting is approximately 45 minutes long. Click on the image at left to watch the video. The video contains chapter headings which allow quick navigation to each speakers presentations. Please allow time for download to your computer.

During the Public comments, Jeff Henriques requested analysis of the West 9th grade English curriculum before embarking on similar changes to the 10th grade English curriculum. Larry Winkler suggested that only standard curriculum across schools and common assessments would ensure rigor in the curriculum in the middle schools.

Pam Nash, then, updated the Board regarding the progress of the Middle School Design Team, emphasizing the role of focus groups in the evaluation process. The focus groups included parents, two teachers from each middle school, and students. Parents, teachers, and community in general emphasized one must not lose the understanding that the middle-school years are a critical developmental time for students. The report from the Team will include specific recommendations in the areas of fine arts, life skills and technology. Mathematics offerings will be clarified, as well as amount of class time. Same for languages. Support services - bullying concerns were mentioned
frequently by focus groups.

Ruth Robarts asks Pam Nash to clarify the members of the focus groups and participation as the report received by the Board did not cover that information.

Next, the concept of consistency and rigor was discussed. What does consistency mean, how does the District define rigor?

There was discussion of when the Board would be allowed to see the report, if the Board would be allowed to see drafts, and the pro and con arguments that make up the rationale for the decisions. Arguments were made that the Board's role is minimal, and such decisions are a matter for internal experts.

Posted by Larry Winkler at February 16, 2006 8:44 PM