Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fight over more challenging curriculum continues in Frankfort

School board wants higher standards

Teachers don’t

More evidence of problems with school councils in Kentucky

The latest squabble between a locally elected board of education and that district’s teachers, who control the School Based Decision Making Councils (SBDM) in the district’s schools, is playing out in the Frankfort Independent School District.

Thanks to Kentucky’s incredibly ill-advised SBDM laws, the teachers are winning the fight, and kids are losing.

The crux of the argument is that the board wants to adopt an educational program from the College Board called “Springboard.” It is aligned to the new Common Core State Standards, which are now mandated statewide. Those new standards focus on getting kids ready for college and careers.

Teachers in the district fuss that Springboard is too demanding and will leave some kids behind. Frankfort’s teachers apparently have no sense of urgency about dealing with the fact that recent readiness testing shows dismally low numbers of the district’s students are on track for success.

So, the real question might be: Are teachers controlling the SBDMs worried about kids, or are they mostly just upset about having to make some significant changes in the way they teach in order to reach higher, badly needed standards?


Anonymous said...

Higher standards are fine as long as they are achieveable. Some children will be left behind no matter what the standards due to lack of help or initiative to succeed. With higher standards those same children will continue to fall farther behind and others who are struggling will most likely fall along with them.

Richard Innes said...

RE: Anonymous on May 18, 2011 3:18 PM

We hear this excuse a lot.

There are a few children, for example: those with Downs Syndrome, etc., who do fall into a special category.

But, we are losing a ton of kids who can do better if they are properly challenged and supported.

Charter school evidence for kids who spend enough time in them to benefit offer some examples. Many of those kids would have become dropouts in the traditional system. Instead, many are going on to college.

The simple facts of life are more of our kids need higher levels of education to survive in the world's emerging economy.

There isn't a choice here. We must do better. And, I think most kids will rise to the challenge.