Saturday, August 16, 2014

Educating our Board Members on Curriculum

Recently posted the link to Dr. Sutherland's comments on the new testing that will occur every three weeks for students.  The link will be posted here as well for you to see where she is getting her facts and how for some reason our board and administration do not seem to understand that they are repeating exactly what the audit says not to do.  Remember that they paid people to come to every school and interview principals, teachers, etc.  As educators we told them that the curriculum did not align to testing and the frameworks was a bunch of information that was not specific or just too much.

So board members we are posting the link to the curriculum audit so you can view once again and study it.  We know you to be educated individuals who can read and not solely depend on Sorum and Company to explain to you.  Oh and I forgot Ms. Timmons whom you approved her contract again this year to work on the audit.  So we need to know if her job is truly to fix things or to allow everyone to do what they have always wanted with no accountability.  Don't forget that your job is to oversee the district, not be hands off.  One thing is to micromanage and the other is to hold people accountable.  Tell me how someone who has been on the job for 6 or more years with low performance can remain on the job.  We as educators would be written up, put on growth plans or fired at the end because of bad performance and yet no one at the top seems to be let go.  We truly have a big disconnect.

So the curriculum is based on our State Standards the TEKS.  If a district did not adopt anything more specific, then the TEKS are the curriculum and teachers teach.  But with book adoptions, companies break them down with activities and other items that help teachers teach concepts to students and of course mastery of the standards.  Then curriculum folks use the standards to create aligned assessments that truly measure student mastery.  The biggest thing with curriculum is that you have to allow time for teachers to teach and assess.  They need time to evaluate the information and make changes as needed.  For example, if teachers could teach 5 weeks then test the sixth week or perhaps teach 7 weeks, test the 8th week and have time to analyze information the 9th week so that interventions can take place with a full plan in place.  This does not mean that teachers cannot do formative assessments in class to gauge student learning, it's common practice but it's because they know their students.  Year after year the district decides on something new that has no connection to student learning but it's always decided in closed doors and no connection back to the campuses.  When you don't have buy in then you have already lost.

Let us ask you board members, how many of you have actually talked to teachers and asked what they think about anything related to their job?  How many of you actually are in the schools to fully assess what impact district changes will have on them?  What about our dual language teachers who teach both languages, which language are you going to test?  We hope it's in the language of instruction and it if happens to be Spanish will they be tailored to their specific standards and not just a translation of the English version?

One thing is to show up and take a picture and the other is to listen to understand rather than be understood.  If you truly are about FWISD, then learn FWISD.  When you are at meetings and we listen to you, some don't talk, others who talk have no idea what they are saying and it's because you do not inform yourself or ask questions.  In the classroom board members it's called accountable talk.. ask Sorum about it I am sure he can teach you a few more strategies to stay fully engaged!!

We look forward to the plan!

Curriculum Audit

If you have trouble seeing it, download it.. it's a big file.  Give us your take on what you see there and what has improved or still needs improvement.  Remember they have a person hired to fix it all.

1 comment :

  1. God help us. We SO need to get these ignorant dinosaurs off the Board. The Teacher Associations need to play a role in organizing employees and parents to vote Needham, Moss, and Jackson out in the Spring. Backroom meetings and making major decisions outside public scrutiny have got to go.
    Nothing changes on University.