Data Dazzle with New Glossary, or Equity?

by Robin Lowry

Tonight’s presentation seems to be a new direction. I hope we experience your new focus in classrooms and it is not just a data dazzle with a new glossary.

But start with the vision -put equity up front: We will provide an equitable education that allows all students to thrive . . . Set the bar high.

What about class size, only addressed in the PFT Contract? Can it be embraced as critical to achievement goals? Class size matters especially for off-track learners.

Yes Teacher movement is a factor. New teachers leave when they feel unsupported and overwhelmed, removing resources makes teachers’ jobs impossible and stressful. Administrators make staffing decisions based on personal & non-professional reasons, start and end programs on whims. “Hard to staff” used to describe schools with high teacher turn-over When teachers feel respected and are able to teach, we stay. When Teachers have a voice in their school and autonomy in their classrooms they stay.

Attendance swiping in at the main door does not mean students attend class. Achievement cannot occur without addressing attendance and it is not the failure of teachers when students do not attend, but we are blamed.

“Equity” is now declared but schools are not equitably clean & safe nor have equitable safe play spaces. Athletic Equity is denied at this very moment as some schools are back to practice, but others have gyms that haven’t passed ventilation tests.

School gymnasiums are empty during the school day Health and PE requirements have been steadily reduced with no “seat time” requirements at lower grades. Health & PE could be on every students’ schedule every day. Co-curricular and athletic activities are critical and awesome. Not all students can stay after school but all students can have Health and Phys Ed. everyday – what a motivator! Maybe behaviors would be better if students had more play and fitness throughout the day. Vote no on $300,000 for PBIS – More Physical Education!

Ask teachers How can we help you teach? What do your students need to feel comfortable in and love school? What do you need to meet the needs of your students? This board’s commitment to students and equity starts with your commitments to their teachers, not money for software!