Monday, May 21, 2007

Who are they kidding?

Dear Olentangy Taxpayers,

Just a reminder that tomorrow, May 22, is our last Late Start day for this school year. The Board of Education approved six late arrival days for the 2006-07 school year. The late arrival days are designed for the purpose of staff professional development. The late start is similar to a two-hour delay in that bus routes and start times will be pushed back two hours. Students may enter the building at 10:55 a.m. and classes will begin at 11:05 a.m.

The Olentangy School District
Let me get this straight: The Olentangy School District is having a staff development day at the very end of the school year. Who is going to benefit from this waste of money? The students? No, they see the end of the school year on the horizon. The taxpayers? No, they never benefit from any such silly waste of time? The staff? Yes, because they get to ease into the long summer break.

This former board member approved staff development days on condition that they would be utilized in an effective manner and, more importantly, the superintendent would have an open and frank discussion of the Olentangy State Standards Analysis report so that the public could see where millions can be saved on an annual basis (read comments on this report at this link).

Funny, once I left the board, the Standards report disappeared from future board agendas. Staff development days is certainly a vote I wish I could have back.[1]

To borrow a phrase from John Stossel: Give me a break!


[1] Of course my vote would have been symbolic only, as the other four members were supportive of these staff development days. Just as, it appears, the new board is unsupportive of a public review of the Standards report. Remember this at levy time when the board and administration is telling you that the schools are yours, that they are an open book for all to read.


Anonymous said...

Well, it wasn't much of an "ease-in" to summer break. The first half was spent with a retired administrator who spoke about the flexibility of a "true" block schedule. Implying, I suppose, that ours must be pseudo-blocks and therefore inferior? The example he kept coming back to was the benefit from gathering all the kids together in the cafeteria for a presentation and then adjusting our classes afterward....which we've been doing for 20 years.

I hate to shoot this down before trying it, but conversely no one can guarantee that we'll realize marked improvements from using it. The notion is to trade our 9 or 10 forty minute periods/day for 90 minute blocks. Bobby will go to math two days and science two. Immediately most people launched into dreamy visions of being able to finish science labs and do that flashcard learning drill we've always wanted to try....

We're not GAINING any time. We're still not going to be able to do that flashcard game because we still meet 90 minutes per week, and what about Bobby who was absent the day he was in math? Now I have to catch him up on two days worth of math lessons, which move at a break-neck pace anyhow.

The last half hour was spent going over the new teacher evaluation tool.

They're turning us into women. It was celebrated as moving us toward conversation and concensus. What was that country song about a little less talk and a lot more action? Pretty soon we'll be teaching our sons how to take tea and sell Avon.

Jim Fedako said...

Think about it: The taxpayers paid for it, and you had to suffer through it. Wanna bet that the administration buys this latest program, regardless the cost?