Last Thursday, the HCSD Board of Education conducted a "facilitated conversation" to talk about ways to "raise the bar, close the gap, and align curriculum and instruction to more rigorous standards." The Register-Star reported on that meeting today: "Officials hope that roundtable discussions lead to real solutions." According to the report: "A few of the more popular solutions were: school uniforms, parental portals that remind of upcoming assignments, community schools, enrichment programs from John L. Edwards and professional development and expanding the power of peace throughout the district."
The press release that announced last Thursday's meeting and the article in today's Register-Star make it sound like this is a brand-new undertaking, but not that long ago, in 2009 and 2010, some earnest and serious-minded people--from the Board of Education, the HCSD facility, and the community--formed what was called the Task Force on Student Academic Performance. Over the course of nine months, this task force conducted sixteen formal meetings; discussed dozens of education topics; reviewed scores of professional articles; interviewed national, state, and local education experts; visited a high-performing school district with a demographic similar to HCSD's; conducted a districtwide survey on communication; and met with HCSD's department heads. In the end, they delivered a report to the Board of Education, which not only analyzed the problems but made specific recommendations to effect improvement. That report, which was presented to the BOE on February 22, 2010, can still be found on the HCSD website. The document is identified as a "Draft Report" because the process that produced it was meant to be ongoing. The last three recommendations in the report--there were fifty in all--were:
- Continue the work of the Task Force.
- Prioritize the Task Force's recommendations and determine which ones shall be implemented and when.
- Provide for a means to review progress on implementation of the Task Force recommendations.
One wonders if anything was done with this report beyond putting it on the website, and if nothing was, why not?
COPYRIGHT 2015 CAROLE OSTERINK