Best teachers, better counseling top school-survey goals
Original post made on Apr 13, 2008
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 11, 2008, 12:00 AM
on Apr 13, 2008 at 12:14 pm
Wait a second, let me get this straight. First, parents are asked to choose between foreign language instruction at elementary schools and other all-encompassing no-brainer priorities such as "hiring good teachers". Second, parents of middle and high school kids are asked to think of how important elementary school foreign language instruction is for THEIR child. Finally, to further minimize the risk that foreign language instruction will be chosen as a priority, if parents have children in elementary schools and in middle or high school, they are asked to pretend that their youngest child does not exist for purpose of filling out the survey. Then, amazingly, and in spite of all this, 46%!!! of parents chose foreign language elementary school education as a priority for their child, and that is a BITTER PILL for those supporting foreign language education? Get real!
True, between 1. oxygen and 2. preventing the release of predatory animals on school grounds, and 3. foreign language education, foreign language education is only a third priority, but there is a clear groundswell of parent opinion in favor of foreign language education as a key curriculum priority for elementary school. The PAUSD has the world's most amazing and committed teachers---let's not allow administrators to stop us from bringing the curriculum into the 21st century! What's shocking is not only that the PAUSD administration is so oblivious to parents' stated priorities, but also that they are apparently not capable of finding a less obvious way of manipulating the survey results.
on Apr 13, 2008 at 1:16 pm
Seems like the district is doing a decent job of controlling the process and driving to a result they want. That's a far cry better than the process that gave us MI and the former Super's melt-down.
FLES is way expensive (see TF report); way disruptive (according to the principals); and way less important than doing a good job delivering the fundamentals for a good price. Parents who think it is a top priority for them can easily sign-up for after-school/weekend programs or private schools.
To let it become a cause celebre ("MI got theirs; we want ours") would just create another sideshow on a second tier isse. So good for Skelly et al for keeping the process under control.
on Apr 13, 2008 at 5:47 pm
From my recollection, we were asked to choose 5 priorities and put them in order. The fact that someone may have put languages 3rd, 4th or 5th does not mean that they are low priorities. The low priorities are the ones that have not been picked at all. It is very hard to choose the order of top five, in my opinion choosing five means that they are all important, not just the top 1.