by Lynda Rubin
The Committee conducted its first meeting of the new school year continuing some unfortunate practices from last year: failing to provide all necessary materials for those in attendance prior to the meeting, specifically the full content of the Action Items on the agenda and the staff presentations. Although the agenda and some very brief descriptions were posted before Thursday, it was not until just a few hours before the meeting that the titles of Action Items 39 through 47, renewals of 9 charter schools (to be reported on below), were added to the Agenda.
Parents, teachers, students and community members need to know what will be discussed before the meeting if they are to make informed comments and questions. Each time APPS raises that issue about any Board meetings we are told that the public can submit written testimony online. True, but submitted written testimony after the fact is NOT ever communicated to the public and is a very different experience than being able to face the Board members themselves and communicate concerns to those in the audience and any reporters who may be present. We hope the Board of Education moves into its second year by taking seriously the right of the public to be given timely notification of items and be able to observe, attend and comment on any School District issue. (Access the updated agenda and materials here and clicking on the icons to the right of 9/5/19 – School Student Achievement and Support Committee. The power-point presentations for the following presentations were added for public view to the link above after the meeting.)
Present at the first Student Achievement and Support Committee of the 2019-2020 school year were Co-Chairs Chris McGinley and Angela McGiver, Committee members Julia Danzy and Mallory Fix Lopez. Maria McColgan was absent. Board President Joyce Wilkerson stopped in briefly to observe. Click here to view the full report.