Within days of the launch of this site, the Board of Education for BVSD suddenly announced three meetings next week saying “There is misinformation circulating about our middle school programming. No decisions have been made. We have made the commitment to look at middle school programming in our quest to graduate future-ready students.”
I am all for studying ways to improve education. I’m also for having intelligent exchanges with parents when shaping ideas that will have significant impact on our children.
I have heard the “no decisions have been made” comment from several sources. I hope it is true that they are currently evaluating different paths of changes to see what make sense in anticipation of conducting meetings to bring parents into the process. However, I question the veracity of statement for the following reasons:
1) The PowerPoint presentation created for the BoE’s meeting on April 10th. Specifically take a look at page 14 that says nothing about parents until a Parent Information Meetings in November or 2017.
2) The Agenda point from the B0E meeting that stated “All 9 middle school principals will share the results of the MS study and plan for 2018-2019“.
3) The meetings with the teachers that, from what I have heard from the many teachers who I’ve talked with, were all under the impression that these decisions were made and this program was being implemented. These weren’t presented as a concept to garner feedback, but rather as a fait accompli in terms of time reduction for the explo classes and shifts to a Project Based curriculum.
4) That the B0E has been doing studies for some time and in communications with the teachers yet there has been no parental notification or feedback requested.
5) The 6th grade “wheel” that required incoming middle school children to experience all the explorative classes was changed without any notice or public input that I am aware of. It seems like a precursor to this action and the lack of notice in hindsight raises a warning flag.
I do admit that I have not gotten specific information from the board and that this may all be a pleasant misunderstanding. As I said, I have a meeting with Dr. White on Monday where I hope get some answers to the why the above points have already taken place if no decisions have been made. I’m sure Dr. White and the Board have our children’s well being in mind and I know it can be a thankless job. However, it can also lead to thinking in an echo chamber where you don’t get conflicting opinions to help shore up the critical thinking required when undertaking such a task. That’s what outside input if for. To challenge our choices and potential choices, provide us with opposing views and help us engage critical thinking which leads to well thought out, well rounded decisions.
I believe there is ample reason to bring this into the public spotlight at this time. My goal is to ensure that the arts continue to have their proper place and balance in our children’s education. And judging from the hundreds of responses and support we have received so far, I believe that sentiment is echoed by a large number of parents and students. We all stand in support of the Arts in our Schools and not a diminished curriculum that shifts a significant portion of current time to Core studies.
See their post on their Facebook page. I would encourage everyone to attend and ask their own questions.