Friday, June 3, 2011

Quote of the day: Are site-based councils an acceptable substitute?

“We certainly feel that we have an alternative that is meeting many of the same things, particularly in the areas of autonomy and being able to make decisions at the school level, in managing a budget, in hiring staff, in choosing instructional materials and so on.” --former Education Cabinet Secretary Helen Mountjoy, who told a radio reporter that site-based councils represent an acceptable substitute for charter schools.

Read more in "Charter schools needed, would thrive in Kentucky," a Bluegrass Institute perspective by former intern Tabitha Waggoner.


Anonymous said...

Yes, that is a true statement when the objective is for all Kentucky power-play adults to get along.

If you want to close learning gaps and improve the education for all kids, then you need accountable, professional, experienced administrators MAKING and IMPLEMENTING the key management decisions at a school.

Site-based councils are an academia and legislative pipe dream that have no relevance in any environment that must deliver results. They are a hit in Kentucky because the people keeping them alive have no accountable part in education results.

To make any changes in the site-based council approach, education leaders and legislators would have to get past the teacher's union passionate objections because they, the teacher's union, control site-based councils.

So IF the focus ever turns to put education RESULTS first, then site-based councils are no substitute. Until then, getting along is the only game in play.

Richard Innes said...

Recent audits show site-based, or School Based Decision Making (SBDM) Councils have failed in many of the Persistently Low-Achieving Schools in the state and are being recommended for replacement.

Meanwhile, other schools with scantly better performance are all SBDM managed. They clearly are not meeting the academic needs of students, either.

SBDM is no guarantee of good educational programs. In fact, as the concept has destroyed a logical chain of authority and accountability in our school districts, it is time for a major review of this very unique, Kentucky-only school management system that rips control away from parents and local taxpayers and their locally elected school boards and places it solidly in the hands of teachers -- ONLY.

Logan said...

A question that no one ever seems to ask is: how do we know that the parent and teacher representatives on the SBDM council are qualified to run a school?

The answer is that we don't know. Some maybe, some are definitely not.