tv [untitled] June 6, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm PDT
your continued work on this. we could not do this without the help you have given. and of the staff has put a tremendous amount of time and effort into making this a lot more lay for us to understand. >> as a coment, -- comment, i don't know if you of the demographics of the people you have heard from in support of the feeder system. we actually went to more under- represented groups. those people that go out on their own initiative. their parents are saying the same thing, that we are representing that voice. although you are hearing a big onslaught recently, i wanted to make it clear what the recommendations are, representing more of the parents across the board.
i am sorry that you feel like we're getting -- pitting ideas against each other. we want to move forward as well. i love your theory of action that is in your presentation. but this is not an action plan. it does not show what you're doing to move ahead in these theories of action. as i said before, we would like a policy in a system that reflects the board's priorities and acknowledging effort from parents that involves plans for implementing these policies. we don't feel like that information is there. commissioner murase: there are some things that everyone in this room can agree to. one of them is that student
assignment is a symptom of a problem. the problem of uneven quality across the district. i want to really acknowledge the work that they did in their report. there are 22 recommendations. what we are focused on tonight is about two of them. this is a road map for how we can come together and really try to set our minds to improving the middle schools. i encourage everyone to take a look at it. i agree with 20 of the 22 recommendations. u;m"the two recommendations ti have a disagreement with is about how to best achieve more even as across the district, the recommendation not to implement a feeder pattern.
but i do have a couple of questions that have come out as people have given me feedback. one of the questions i pointed out in the report is parents not feeling like they know what are the strength and weaknesses of each middle school. parents don't consider the full array of choices. when you are in elementary school, you're too busy fund- raising to think about what is going on at the middle school ahead of you. parents and families really need that information about the strength and weaknesses of each school. one of my concerns is the identified students having an available honors program verses differentiated instructions. there are not a lot of parents to understand the differences of honors verses differentiated. you think honors has got to be
the way to go, but maybe with some outreach and education about differentiated strategies, it could be a viable option for folks. i think there is generally a lack of information that families need to make decisions or evaluations about middle schools. i know at an earlier meeting, they put together asset inventories and they have been working very hard to gather information along dozens of different criteria. what are the test scores? what% of teachers -- what percent of teachers support it? there is a quality and option that lists foreign language lectives -- electives or gate differentiated instructions. what is the status of gathering
all this information? is there a strategy to put it in a family friendly format so that as people are looking to evaluate peter plan, evaluating the middle school, they can have better information other than that they heard that this is the best known school. i would appreciate an update from staff on the status of that exercise. >> dr. murase, thank you for that question. we are looking at putting that on the web site. we have completed the inventory asset matrix. we have not included the honors program for each of middle school. we have done that as a separate entity, understand that
commissioner norton will bring that next monday. i think you for asking that question, we are in a process of hosting that inventory on the web site. commissioner norton: we will be looking at the beginnings of the honors approaches on monday. the meeting will start at 5:00 p.m.. the pac and pps have agreed to send people as part of their agreement strategy. they learned a lot about what is going on at all of our middle schools. they are going to share with us their impressions of some of the ways that schools are meeting the needs of students. some of the great programs that they sought and some of the missing pieces that they identified. i think it will be a really
interesting discussion. commissioner maufas: i just wanted to comment really quickly, again. if it hasn't been expressed by me where you understood, i do appreciate the work that hthe pac and pps have done. it's monumental. i think with a combination of timing in staff, what is going on, all the different initiatives that we could have mustered the person power to get it done in the appropriate amount of time. i am grateful to you will for doing that. i also want to comment that i realize not just on that an affirmation but my own information because i have been doing this work for a while. conversations from me have never stopped. they are always about the inequity.
i know some of the folks that o their kids are out of school. if they had the opportunities that some of you parents have had the right now, how they would turn back the time clock so their kids could have these experiences where it is really looking at the inequity. it is looking at making middle schools great places for children to learn and it is looking at language expansion. all of the things that we now seem right and true about public education. the restorative just this is part of the educational process and it involves every single person. students, family, a teacher, everybody is involved. sorry. they turn back the clock so their kids can participate. i would, too. my daughter is 24.
to experience it as it is now, that is fantastic. that is why we have so many people coming to us trying to get into this school district. there are things happening along with the assignment system that i think are really telling about what we are about. parents may have had a choice that is not perfect right now. and it doesn't mean you don't go get involved and make it perfect. there are some examples. i was a member of the pac. with the examples of parents becoming involved with schools as partners. and how to figure out the way to make these places the best. the schools were not always the one -- #one school.
community members got together and decided to work on it. i can't express enough. please continue to work on it. if you have a choice that you don't care for but it seems that you are stuck with it, don't be stuck with that choice. make something of the choice. i can't believe you're going to complain and complain and complain. i am not pointing to anyone specifically. i hear the dialogue that this is the school i got because it does not have all the bells and whistles that the other school could have. do you know how many families have missed the boat? they did not have these opportunities and options. you will do. i am grateful i have a granddaughter to be able to begin to experience these choices. i am grateful that she will have these opportunities.
i am going to participate in that, too. i have been waiting, but not widely. participating to make options and making the wonderful courses available to her because my daughter did not have the bells and whistles of the time she was there. i am really appreciative of our staff. listening and early drilling is down. i like the idea of providing a simpler version that can be taken on the road. you all media. i apologize. it is not that the staff was not capable of doing it. we didn't have everything at the right time. we do now. it will continue to improve. it will continue to unproven and will continue to work together. this is not my committee.
i have something to do. but i am committed to being here and participating. those people that are listening are committed to participating. i'm committed to participating however and whenever i can. we listen to the complaints and the cheers, thinking goodness my kid is old enough to be here right now and experience this. they're going to be so far ahead of other kids and the struggle of life. what ever we can provide to help our students in the struggle for life. thank goodness. i am sorry, commissioner wynns. it has been foremost on my mind. i wanted to express that in particular. thank you to staff for this
complex work. the whole breadth of everyone that we have here, ready to answer questions, ready to discuss. i am supportive. the work is happening simultaneously. every facet of the school is here and which are working on all of the areas that we are still struggling with. it may not be perfect to date, but it is as perfect as we can possibly get it and i appreciate that. the areas that you work and are now here together, that all overlaps. >> i wanted to say that there is a lot of conversation going on out there. it seems like not much, but it is very hard for us to hear.
commissioner fewer, did you want to say something? commissioner fewer: i have to say that at first, when we started discussing this, i thought it was rather complex. now we are seeing what the dilemma is for folks. really, it is i think that the feeder pattern is one thing. the state of our middle schools is another. it is a vote of confidence on whether or not we can deliver quality, and how are we going to do it? i think there are a lot of questions, for example. are we going to invest money in doing a lot of changes, or are we interested in the isa,
which is, quite frankly, nt ot a very productive middle school. alongside with this feeder patently are proposing, how to make a very hard commitment to fix our middle schools and bring them to the quality that they should be. and have a really strong sense of accountability. otherwise, we are never going to meet any of our goals. just about our goals, trying to raise student achievement, eliminate or decrease racial isolation, these are very important goals of the board. we have been unable to do it through a full twist system. we are unable to guarantee seats in the language pathways.
we have been unable to, just by looking at this data, provide this racial diversity of the socially economic diversity that we have been seeking for so long. choice and by its very nature is an equitable because there are those that don't have time to make the choice to go out and visit schools. most of the chores are in english and also to fully understand what every school has to offer and how to participate in the full choice system at a level of somebody that is much more privileged. it is not an easy system to navigate. i would say that i think you are right about the theory of
action. because we are facing this in, because this is just a tiebreaker, it won't be phased in for many years. i think there is time to work done this. i think we to ask ourselves some hard questions. i think they bring some very good points. what about the transportation? why not, and a voice of a majority of living and we closed one middle school and we have a charter school and high- school in another. what is the plan for that? there are a lot of questions. it is good to hold us accountable.
it is good to come out and say that the middle schools are not what they should be and that we expect much more. and the the parents need to be assured of your children will be getting much more. i advise you and encourage you to do it. i think for too long we have let things slide and around our middle schools. these are the formative years. we're seeing much more truancy in drop out at the middle school level. on our part, shame on us. i want you to hold us accountable, too. i think that defense of community, and i said that i grew up in san francisco unified. we went from one school to the next. my children also, i have noticed from going to a specific
middle school, it is a really big transition time. not just about the middle school and the sense of responsibility of meeting new students, but your whole body is really changing. they come in and they leave about 5 foot 6. it is a hard thing friend -- to navigate. by 17 they kind of get over it. but it's a big hump. i've seen cohorts of students move with their peers that they have already worked things out. the working out of the little arguments.
there is a sense of support there. there is a sense of support for parents also4ev and for security for students. it is a hard thing to navigate. especially a large middle school of 1200 kids. do i think our middle schools need help? i think they need desperately -- desperate help. i encourage you to help as well. having said that, i think i am in favor of this. it has not led us to where we need to go. i am just going to challenge all of us.
analysis done that shows what would happen if the tiebreakers let you -- that you propose are in place. we can see what is different if we made the suggested change. we make that over the feeder tiebreaker. it appears to me, and i may be wrong, it looks as though if we don't do that, we can't know how many of these people that are in the area would have been fed into that school, but we can look at that. we can know that when we do this analysis. if, in fact it will, in the intervening years before the feeder pattern is implemented take away the tiebreaker and make it irrelevant, i would like
to consider changing the priorities. that is the first thing. with all the respect, when the superintendent said if you continue to do what you have done and expect different results, the rest of that is the definition of insanity. what we have seen so far, i want to emphasize "so far." i expect this to change and i am hoping that it will. we have not seen any evidence that if you change things presuming that you will get significant results because you change them, that is not what we have seen. we have seen significant changes to the system and with results. we may have to define a new subsection of insanity and the like to think about that before we bring in some of these things through this proposal.
we have presumed that therefore, that is the thing to refer to what you said about a planning process different than a user experience. that is what i want to try to analyze a little bit more even though it is not set. i hope to see some significant differences and it will allow us to assess whether or we will see that a different kind of behavior. as far as i can analyze his, i thank the staff of this work and i think it is much more accessible and it explains a lot more things. it also raises more questions, but in italy were presuming -- but we were presuming if we feed them to the school, those
are the kids that will end up in the middle school. but if they are not choosing the elementary school, we have to change our presumptions about what the results might be. i would like to explore in the next few weeks so i can feel assurance about what we think might happen here. i want to raise the question about how -- again, i hope nobody thinks i am being disrespectful. the staff and the district has continued to ask the question if it makes sense to invest in language pathways if we can't afford to expand. how answer is, yes it does. i do not believe that we send kids to immersion schools because of our evidence shows that parents don't do that because they expect them to be learning in the non-english language around the educational career.
i support these programs because i believe that the language acquisition way of learning is important to them. it is the same reason kids good elementary schools in large numbers and request them. the no intention of becoming artists are going to the school of the arts. if we don't believe that language acquisition of a young age is an important way of learning, i want us to have a different discussion about the philosophical basis of this because it is what i believe. it is not the only reason. further, i believe that he will not be able to afford, in the coming few years, to expand these language half with a significantly into middle school. i think we need to honestly say that we are going to ask parents to make the choice between
continuing a true emersion model and having electives. if somebody can explain to me how we're going to have a 7th period for all students -- and i will not support only for an immersion students. there is the horrible financial situation that confronts us. i hope we don't make this an based on presumptions that if we just keep saying we are going to do this with no resources that that means it might happen. and that i do want to say that i am glad about the idea. i know some people in this room are not, but we're talking about postponing the full implementation. no one in an elementary school shows that school with the expectation that it would give them an automatic entry into a
middle school. those are the people that we are talking about changing the game for everybody whether they lie the proposal or they done. i am hoping that in my mind, i hope for other people that it can change some of our feeling that this is a two-sided thing that some people are winners and others are losers. people got in these elementary schools without any idea. they got their presuming that they were going to have to choose little fool. -- middle school. i want us to think about that and i think we do better if this is a longer transition period it will give us much more time to assess how it works and see if
we want to make it less flexible or more flexible. i want to said that as one of the reasons i have been really disappointed in people that say it is a failure of communication. ridley's is a failure of perfect communication that there are people out there that have actually done things and that everybody thought this was a done deal. anybody who read an article in and listen to any community meeting should have known it was not a done deal. the last thing about k-8 schools, the presumptions about the popularity is a bit of a resumption. we went through a time where we we went through a time where we encouraged the most exclusive