How Clueless Can You Be?

December 24, 2015 at 10:04 am 1 comment


By Andrew Richter

Folks, we haven’t posted much about District 281 here. Personally, I consider public education a lost cause. That said, I’m at a loss for words after reading this Sun Post article;

A group of parents, school district administrators, and educators gathered Dec. 3, as part of Robbinsdale Area Schools’ reviews its middle school programming and facilities.

Suggested changes for the district’s two – soon to be three – middle schools included avoiding a “cookie cutter” approach to teaching, making middle schools a “hub” for the community at large, and intentionally recruiting more teachers of color.

With all do respect, if you don’t want a “cookie-cutter” approach then get rid of the public school system! Only the free market that can react to changes can possibly avoid a one size fits all approach. And what is this “recruiting teachers of color intentionally crap?” As bad as the district has become, the parents are getting even loonier;

“We still have white middle class women teaching students who aren’t,” said Mandy Tiegland, a parent of a student at Crystal’s Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Resource School.

What a racist! What if this person said they “only want whites teaching her white children?” A good teacher can teach and a good student can learn regardless of how many chocolate chips we put in this vanilla shake.

Other concerns included building “authentic” relationships between teachers and students, promoting the social, a communal aspect of schooling, and making sure every child is recognized for an achievement.

What? Authentic relationship? Social and communal aspects? Huh?

Attendees at the Dec. 3 meeting of the school district were asked to discuss a series of questions related to middle school programming in the district.

“Every kid should be able to come home and say ‘guess what?’ to their parents,” said Alicia Oldenhof, a Zachary Lane parent. “No matter how big or how small, if every child gets chosen and feels worth something … I think it’s important to make every kid feel that, and not just the ones who are chosen for everything.”

Come on! Are you serious? You picked your nose and didn’t wipe it on anyone, here’s a sticker! School is about learning not “feeling good!”

Meeting attendees were asked to contemplate seven questions:

 

 

• How do we define excellence in our middle schools?

Honestly if you don’t know the answer to that, then why are kids in school at all? Just think we have a school district that can’t define the purpose of middle school!

• How can our middle schools be more connected to the community?

• What do we want all our middle schools students to experience?

Ah, maybe learn something.

• How do we ensure an equitable educational experience for every middle school student?

Impossible; some kids learn better and faster then others. That was the case 100 years ago and it will be the case 100 years from now.

• How do we know students are doing well?

Um, check out their grades and test scores.

• What is going well that we need to continue and why?

• What do we need to stop doing and why?

You don’t know the answers to this?

The Dec. 3 meeting was the task force’s first public gathering since it began its work several weeks ago.

A Sun Post data request for agendas and materials supplied or otherwise used at the series of internal meetings resulted in a handful of documents, one of which is already available on the district’s public-facing website. The documents make several allusions to a Google Drive folder with additional materials, but those were not supplied as part of the request.

The task force itself is part of the district’s effort to slow down its long-range facilities plan, the first phase of which was approved by the school board last summer.

The second phase of the three-phase plan drew criticism from parents and community members, who questioned the wisdom of putting alternative learning and community education programs in a mothballed elementary school building in Plymouth. Community members also questioned the plan’s taxation and funding implications and more.

The school board approved phase two in early autumn, but deliberately left specific decisions about programming and building usage out of the approved resolution – hence the creation of the task force and advisory group.

The task force is charged with providing middle school program recommendations to the district superintendent for Robbinsdale Middle School, Plymouth Middle School, the recently-conveyed FAIR Crystal school and its Sandburg Learning Center, which is set to open as a middle school for the 2017-18 year.

As a District 281 graduate, I’m appalled at how clueless this district has become. Lord, give us vouchers now!

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Entry filed under: Agenda 21, Community, Education, School Board, Taxation. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Henry King  |  March 19, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    They are purposely lowering education to the lowest common denominator. In Edina and other successful districts, the parents are the real reason for success. Here it looks like they are the reason for the failure.

    Reply

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