Sutherland for Schools blog
Here is the final draft. It was not included in the revised agenda. The paragraphing is correct but I can't get the headings to copy.
Yes, it's true; we really mangled the process. However, it's not nearly as nefarious as it appears.
This document is on the INFORMATION page of this website. A little introduction is in order:
A number of cafeteria workers are expected to speak at tonight's meeting regarding a contemplated change in our cafeteria services. I am informed there are no plans to change cafeteria arrangements; in fact the review is over the organization of the management. I have checked this with our HCM director and I am certain it is true.
During your various presentations of school performance levels, I have asked several times for correlations to grade level equivalents, particularly when Achieve 3000 was presented and voted on, with the STAAR tests, and again last Tuesday, when a new metric, the "FWISD Universal Screener/Progress Monitoring Tool", was used to establish student outcome goals pursuant to Measure 1.1 of our Gold Star Governance plan. Generally, staff has informed us that a correlation to grade equivalents was not possible.
In fact, the relationships between established measures, including the STAAR tests, and grade equivalents, are readily available online. I attach three examples FYI.
Failure to utilize standard comparisons in reporting scores makes it impossible to adequately assess student performance, a paramount goal of public school systems. I hope that you will employ them in approving presentations to the Board in the future.
I am looking forward to receiving the documentation on the Lone Star Measure 1 goals.
Thanks very much.
These are now posted on our "information" page.
President Jackson, Secretary Luebanos and I met with he bond staff on Wednesday Sept. 6. It was a good discussion, although I still see a couple of loose ends. The following comments will respond to this and other issues about FWISD and the bond.
VAPA/STEM: There is a lot of misunderstanding about
the delay in opening the STEM/VAPA academy. Apparently the board voted to postpone
the opening until 8/18, which is legal.
The reason? IM Terrell is
one of our four IR schools. As
readers probably know, it was closed in June because the students are
being moved to VanZant-Guinn because the
LAPTOPS: Yes, we lost $220,000 worth of laptops and there are clearly insufficient controls to stop it. Teachers notified the FWISD Auditor via the hot line. We found out the culprits. No one was punished.
ACHIEVE 3000 insufficient review etc:
I agree with you 100%. I
call this the Ex-Husband Technique.
This technique is to keep information from anyone who might not like
it so they won’t know whether it is a good or bad idea. And after we give them the money it
doesn’t matter whether there is a plan.
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN AN EVALUATION OF THE PLANS presented to the
board. I am completely disgusted
with our board’s letting staff get away with this. This year they are continuing DII,
despite Dr. Scribner’s telling us it was ending. (Oh, wait. They changed the name from DII to
WHY A $750 MILLION BOND RATHER THAN A $200-$300 MILLION BOND? We need a bond for two new schools (remember, our enrollment is growing at the secondary level) and for some other repairs. I still would prefer a smaller bond over a shorter space of time. Staff pared the amount down to $750 in order to get support from the business community. I voted for it because this is preferable to nothing and because the projects will enhance our program. You might disagree.
THE TANGLEWOOD EXPANSION. Money for the Tanglewood expansion was never spent until last summer, and the amount was $8.6 million rather than the $11 million carried on the powerpoint presented at Paschal last spring. The $8.6 million is now being directed, as was required by the bond language, at the kitchen and library renovations at Tanglewood. .
LIBRARY ACQUISITIONS. I agree with one commenter about the library acquisitions and the trend toward more on-line learning. As you report, studies show this is an inferior way to impart knowledge. (Same with multiple-choice tests inhibiting the ability to reason!)
This in a state with massive pressure toward charter schools. And no discussion of any of these issues.
Employee leave implementation, which was recently amended, is at
450 minutes divided by 10 is an AVERAGE of 45 minutes per day. If you have less one week, you have to get more the next two weeks.
"Each classroom teacher is entitled to at least 450 minutes in each two-week period for instructional preparation including parent-teacher conferences, evaluating students’ work, and planning. A planning and preparation period may not be less than 45 minutes within the instructional day. During that time, a teacher may not be required to participate in any other activity. Education Code 21.404 [See DC(LEGAL) for definition of classroom teacher]
"Planning and preparation time must occur during the time that students at the school where the teacher is located are receiving instruction. Canutillo Educators Ass’n v. Canutillo Indep. Sch. Dist., Tex. Comm’r of Educ. Decision No. 042-R10-203 (April 30, 2010)
Each classroom teacher or full-time librarian is entitled to at least a 30-minute lunch period free from all duties and responsibilities connected with the instruction and supervision of students. The implementation of this requirement may not result in a lengthened school day. Education Code 21.405 [See DC(LEGAL) for definition of classroom teacher and DEA(LEGAL) for definition of librarian]"
Also, btw, "Teachers may not be required to spend their 30-minute duty-free lunch break on school property. Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. JM-481 (1986)"
One of the most important pieces of information staff will ever read was just posted on the CIAFWISD.COM website.
On Monday, the board voted to place a $750 million bond proposition on the ballot. There will be no overall increase in the tax rate.
The end of the school year is always challenging but we had a 25% decrease in the percentage of unfilled teaching slots in May of '17 compared to May of 2016. Part of this reason was the substitute bonus program instituted by HCM chief Cynthia Rincon, and there was a great substitute appreciation party after the end of the school year.
Welcome back! Seems like you are rested, which is good. We have a lot of new principals: in District Six just over half are new. I would like to focus this year on the quality of inservice. Located on the "information" page is a 5-page inservice item which implies that you should be able to provide detailed planning for one of your activities. It will give you a laugh.