Monday, April 7, 2014
Arranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic
My belief is that falling below the 95% subjects us to penalties, yet the people making the rules at the State Education Department feel nothing. It is for this reason that I asked parents to really consider all of the variables before excluding their child(ren) from the state assessment.
Low and behold, enough parents must have refused to have their child take the assessment because late Friday it was announced that we would now be allowed to take a complicated average of last year's participation percentage and this year's participation. To me this is just pushing the problem out another year. I am sure that to NYSED they feel that if they can drop some schools off of the "below 95%" list, that the negative voices will subside and things will just move along.
I am here to tell them that things will not "move along" until they admit what they have messed up, and allow people who actually know what they are doing to create a plan to mop up this current mess and fix things moving forward. I expect us to be above the 95% participation rate, but my voice concerning this is going to get louder and louder with the Commissioner until changes are made.
College and Career Ready: As college and career opportunities have changed over the past couple of years, we are preparing a three year high school plan. One additional emphasis will be on increasing our high school completion rate (which is currently at 93% and working our way to 100%). Another is to create alternate pathways to graduation (using project based learning, coops, and internships to name a few ideas), and continue to build an environment where every student challenges themselves to take at least one college level course before they graduate. This will be exciting work.
Enjoy the week!