Barb Schrank started a discussion below about questions people would like to ask the board and superintendent during the MMSD’s budget deliberations. Here post actually hasn’t generated much discussion, so I’m re-posting the questions that I’d like to ask:
I’d like the Board and Superintendent to tell the community more about why the Superintendent choose not to use the Reading First funds ($2 million approximately) to expand Read 180 which is currently used and supported by the district.
Here’s what was reported in the newspaper about Read 180: “Read 180 has expanded from a pilot program at Wright Middle School in the 2001-02 school year to 15 schools serving 1,100 students, said Sharyn Stumpf, secondary language arts resource teacher. The district wants to add 150 more students and upgrade materials, which would cost about $154,400.” You can read the full story here.
Read 180 is a highly scripted program, but the district said it didn’t want the Reading First funds because they would have to be used for a highly scripted reading program. Read 180 is so highly scripted that the students work on a computer. What could be more scripted?
The district rejected the money because the scripted Reading First programs would take the teacher out of the learning process, so the Superintendent said. Yet, Read 180 takes the teacher completely out of the teaching process when the student works at a computer.
The Superintendent said the district didn’t want the Reading First funds because the federal government has no place in directing the education of Madison children. If that’s true, will the Superintendent and school board return ALL federal money that requires the district to meet certain standards or provide certain programs?
There have to be other reasons for why the Superintendent decided not to pursue $2 million in federal funds. What were the REAL reasons? There’s more behind the decision than anyone has been told. I’d like parents, students, teachers, and taxpayers to press for answers.
See the Web site for Read 180 here.