On Wednesday, August 21, 2013, a group of teachers and parents who “have been meeting for the past four months attempting to educate the parents and teachers about Common Core” will meet again in an effort to understand these new standards.
On Wednesday, August 29, 2013, New York State Education Commissioner John B. King will be speaking before Rochester City School District principals at the School of the Arts.
The invitation from Superintendent Vargas states, “We have invited the Commissioner to address District administrators about our plans to improve student achievement, working together to achieve our goals, and implementing the best strategies possible for success.” Administrators will be able to ask questions about the Regents’ Reform Agenda.
The Regent’s Reform Agenda calls for “Transformational Leadership”.
The “Challenge” of the reform agenda, “Graduating all students college and career ready.”
How will they do this:
* Implementing Common Core standards and developing curriculum and assessments
* Building instructional data systems
* Recruiting, developing, retaining, and rewarding effective teachers and principals
* Turning around the lowest-achieving schools
Attending this talk is by invitation only, and the current sitting Board of Commissioners, teachers, and parents were not invited, we are told, due to Commissioner King’s time constraints.
It would seem a better use of Commissioner King’s time to address all interested stakeholders, especially parents, teachers, and Board members, in an open forum in order to bring clarity to those individuals most directly affected by the Reform Agenda.
By addressing only a small group of individuals, principals, who were invited but do not have to attend, the information provided by Commissioner King can be easily misconstrued when being disseminated among larger groups.
As well, part of the Reform Agenda calls for “Utilizing Limited Resources” by asking districts to “Communicate with your Schools and Community.”
Commissioner King could have been given the opportunity to address the concerns of all individuals directly affected by the Regents’ Agenda.
Superintendent Vargas could have opened the district’s doors to every interested stakeholder.
Transparency means that everyone can see clearly, not just a select few.
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