Parents Voices Need To REALLY Be Heard
I was unable to attend Monday’s meeting, but it has come to my attention they are reopening the survey they sent in April of last year to middle school parents. As I previously stated, I do not recall seeing the survey and I have a daughter in middle school. You can view the survey here.
As I look at this survey, I find it impossible to tell how they could extrapolate the answers they may have received into the plans they have implemented and the curriculum changes they have decided upon. Yes, I know they say nothing is decided, but clearly that is not what was told to the teachers or the impression I got from my meeting with Superintendent White. It is also inaccurate as they have already removed the “wheel” for next year and changed required classes. That is irrefutable.
Most survey question are extremely vague. There is only 1 question regarding music, 2 question regarding world language and just two questions regarding exploratory classes, one of which asks how much you agree with the statement “There are elective/exploratory courses currently not offered that would be highly engaging and challenging to middle school students”. It’s the kind of question you can’t really say no to, which is my point.
There is nothing about requiring music. Nothing about the importance of the arts. Nothing about specific programs they are considering. Nothing about cutting art classes. Nothing about cutting exploratory class time in half. Nothing about significantly increasing the core time. Nothing about Project Based Learning. Nothing about removing the wheel. And many questions that any parent would support in general, like #4 about benefiting from increased challenges.
Why is this important? Because this is the ONLY input parents have had in this process. A handful of somewhat loaded and vague question. Those who happened to see it and respond to an email or whatever way they communicated this to parents last year. That was it. And there has been no communication since. And according to the PowerPoint presentation given to teachers, there would have been NO parent input, only “informational” meetings in November of 2017.
I don’t actually know the reason for reopening this survey, but I do believe that if they truly were looking for parental, teacher and community input they would have asked different questions, held meetings and created some focus groups to get actual feedback on the changes they are making. These are enormous changes with significant future ramifications in budget expenditures and impact on our children. And we should be involved in the process.
BVSD Meetings Information
Channel 4 News Story
Kansas City Star Story – one correction is she misstates the amount of time for electives. Based on the PowerPoint presentation all electives would be 1/6 of the day, not 1/2 that she stated (70 out of 420 minutes)