Monday, February 8, 2010

Directors Step-up your game.

Dear Directors, 2-8-2010

As you know I have been highly critical of many recent actions.

I've spent three years testifying and have continually wondered why my extensive research is almost always disregarded at decision time by a majority of directors. Note rarely does anyone from Central Administration ever contact me. Another broken promise from the Superintendent. Testimony is routinely ignored.

I've been attempting to give educationally disadvantaged learners a decent shake.
As near as I can tell until the intervention of Judge Spector I'd accomplished very little.

At this time I remain very worried about the Student Assignment Plan. I always contended that since this plan was founded on making every school a quality school, someone must have a reasonable plan that would make that occur. So far I have not seen it. Can you please share it with me? If so please do so.

It certainly seems that the Student Assignment Plan is doing the exact opposite.

Directors, in the words of Director Martin-Morris, "needed to do something". The making of Cleveland into an option school had necessitated the need to do something. Unfortunately the deliverables that the Staff was obligated to deliver never were delivered and the STEM NTN option should have been rejected but it was not.

This NTN decision had the opposite effect on all schools of what the student assignment plan was intended to do.

Instead of a move toward quality schools, this decision is taking resources away from schools that need assistance. I think your Superintendent is incapable of producing quality schools. I hope I am wrong but I see separate and unequal as where we are headed.

This need not be the case. Director Patu and I attended an event at the Washington Policy Center on Friday February 5, 2010 and heard the Principal of Manual High School in Denver speak. His school operates in a similar way to the Schools proposed by Scott Oki in his book Outrageous Learning. This is a model that should be seriously investigated. It is almost the exact opposite of your Superintendent's current direction.

The board in the three years that I have been a close observer, has an aversion to considering all the evidence. I have repeatedly said: To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data. Your Superintendent clearly does not share my belief.

I've preached Project Follow Through and Hattie's Visible Learning ... these give great direction based on incredibly extensive research. Unfortunately when It comes to math and a lot of other things your superintendent does the opposite of what is recommended and as a result poor outcomes accompany her misguided direction.

I sure hope someone wakes up before allowing the superintendent to drive the train off the cliff, as we are already a long way off the tracks.

I have attached a letter which contains the relevant data on Hillsdale New Tech High School as well as Hillsdale High School. Both of these schools are rated in the bottom 20% of North Carolina Schools. Both score below the district and state averages. You will note that although New Tech has a Lower-low income population than Hillsdale, in most mathematics the results on EOC reveal New Tech is out scored by the school with a greater percentage of Low-income students.

Your comments are welcome.

Director Maier, I've submitted large amounts of material that it has taken me an extensive amount of time to compile. At the last meeting you made a statement close to: It is STEM it is good for kids that is reason enough to vote for it.

You are an Attorney. I thought attorneys knew that decisions must be based on careful scrutiny of all the evidence. What you thought was a good enough reason to vote for it is NOT in the eyes of the law. I think you owe me an apology as I have clearly wasted my time by submitting anything to you or Director Sundquist.

I am still waiting for either of you to get connected to the evidence.

In the future I think it would be appropriate for each of you to abstain from voting, unless each of you care to carefully examine the evidence.

Director Sundquist please make it a more careful examination than your reading of "Foundations for Success" in which you missed all the major points in the NMAP report. Instead you preferred to read quotations from the HS adoption action plan.

I hope that Judge Spector has inspired certain board members to step up their game as the constant approval of the extremely misguided proposals from the superintendent needs to end.


Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

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