Thursday, November 15, 2012

Update

Went to the BOE meeting this week and heard the Assistant Superintendent speak. You can hear the presentation here. (I was looking for the powerpoint to share here but couldn't find it at this time).

I learned three key items:

  • 7th graders do poor on the Language Arts section of the NJ Ask and other testing. Some feel this is because of the unique age. Others talked about the test perhaps being more challenging. No one mentioned poor instruction. My daughter had a FABULOUS 7th grade LAL teacher - but I don't know about the others.
  • That the new way that test scores are being considered may water down results, making it seem as though issues that were being noticed by the old way of number crunching will be hidden in the new way to look at results.
  • Returning the lost days to the calendar isn't going to make anyone happy. The Superintendent had something like 5 suggestions... to which the board and the community suggested various tweaks. 
 I was sad to see that Cindy Cullen will be leaving the board of ed. She was referred to as "an outlying member"  (or something like that - listen to the audio if you want a direct quote or anything other than my opinion). That critical element is vital to our community in which we have boards that too often are full of consensus - or like-minded party members. (Changes in election dates seems to have resulted in party-alliances helping members get on the BOE. But it will take several years to see if the trend continues. (The election resulted in an incumbent (elected originally before we started voting in November for the BOE), another unaffiliated candidate but  a third who is immediate family with a Town Council Representative in a town with sole-Republican representation. Does the school board really have to be turned into a political party too???

One thing I liked is hearing for myself what is going on. What the BOE as a body is thinking and discussing. And I enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere of a post-negotiation (i.e. the teacher contract) BOE meeting where things weren't undertoned with hostility.

Christmas is coming. I spent yesterday decorating the store where I work. It inspired me to get my house more in order. The key to keeping me from becoming crazy: an early start. Gifts are already waiting to be wrapped, being ordered or being planned.

Last minute doesn't work well.... but it still is my modus operandi. When will I learn?


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