By Laurie H. Rogers
On Nov. 5, 2008, I went to a Spokane Public Schools board meeting and asked for five things – three having to do with accountability and communication, and two having to do with mathematics.
I left written copies of my requests with board members and the secretary who keeps the minutes. Knowing that board meetings are considered to be “business meetings,” I suspected that board members wouldn’t discuss my requests with me that night. I was right. Board President Rocco Treppiedi told me the board would respond to my requests in writing.
Later, Treppiedi asked an area principal for his reaction to my comments about reform mathematics curriculum Investigations in Number, Data, and Space. The principal said he was confident that things would improve once teachers had a chance to delve more deeply into the curriculum.
When the minutes from that Nov. 5 meeting were approved and posted on the school board Web site at http://www.spokaneschools.org/Board/minutes/11-05-08.pdf, my entire presentation was winnowed down to exactly this:
But why would I assume any of that? At the board meeting, no board member or administrator offered me any vocal understanding, encouragement or support, and no one asked to see my research. In the meeting minutes, my presentation was edited down until it meant nothing and said nothing. The board’s written response to my presentation is careful and oblique. It acknowledges little and commits to just one small item. Most of it can be interpreted to mean anything at all. It’s the kind of response I expect from politicians and lawyers.
I plan to go to another meeting and ask that my specific requests be put in the public record. I’ll add the sixth request to the list since it makes sense. I’ll let you know what happens. No doubt you’ll be able to read in the minutes that I was there, but I can’t guarantee that the minutes will tell you what I said or what the board members said in reply.
Please note: The information in this post is copyrighted. The proper citation is:
Rogers, L. (December, 2008). "Board meeting yields few answers." Retrieved (date) from the Betrayed Web site: http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com/