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Hite's 'Action Plan v1.0' released

By thenotebook on Jan 6, 2013 08:32 PM

While sharing Superintendent William Hite's new 33-page blueprint with School District staff via an email on Saturday, the District has posted the plan on its website.

The plan is described in its opening section as "a 'living document' subject to change" and that is reinforced by its name: "Action Plan v1.0."

Check the Notebook website for more on the superintendent's plan - coming soon.

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Comments (3)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 6, 2013 9:12 pm
Dr. Hite ends his email to School District employees with: Thank you in advance for your support and consideration. Best regards, Bill Does he think being familiar will lead us not to notice the poison he is trying to force us to take?
Submitted by Education Grad Student (not verified) on January 6, 2013 10:48 pm
Here are my thoughts after skimming through the report. 1. Finances - In terms of finances, why doesn't the District sue the Commonwealth and say that the Commonwealth is not adequately funding education? Rich, this might be something you could comment on, but is there a requirement in PA that the legislature fully fund K-12 education? The State of Washington mandates this. The Washington Supreme Court ruled last year in McCleary, et al. v. State of Washington that the legislature must fully fund K-12 education. See an article, "Supreme Court: Wash. hasn't met duty for education," at http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2017170589_apwaschooldollars5thld.... The Court is also monitoring progress regarding how the legislature is funding education ("Court: WA Legislature failing at education funding," http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019948058_apwaeducationdollars3r...). - Dr. Hite should be pushing more for the city to collect delinquent taxes and pass AVI. - No increases in charter school enrollment. Tell the state that the District doesn't have the money. 2. p. 11: Utilize data to assess student needs. Thoroughly understand student needs through ongoing data analysis and segmentation in order to explicitly avoid a “one size fits all” approach.... - Building on Dr. Hite's statements from the recent Inquirer article, How is the benchmark score of 1550 on the SAT avoiding a one size fits all approach? 3. Prioritize early literacy. - What about children whose parents don't read to them at home? What about parents who are illiterate? 4. Review outside educational institutions - Sounds like a great idea. 5. Improve school safety and climate. - Restorative practices are a good first step. - For students who do not respond to restorative practices and who continue to disrupt learning for others, e.g., persistently are involved in fights, inappropriate touching of other students, there should be a way to REMOVE these students more easily so they don't make high schools into toxic environments! - Make implementation of a comprehensive positive behavior support system part of the evaluation for principals in high schools and all schools. 6. p. 18: Countless studies prove that “the most effective form of professional development is that which is based in schools and is related to the daily activities of teachers and learners”. - The use of the word PROVE here is inappropriate. Studies do not PROVE. Studies only provide evidence. The better wording would have been, "Countless studies provide overwhelming evidence that...." Science can disprove, but it does not prove. To have proof means that something is beyond questioning. 7. We will listen to and respect parents and families as our partners and our “customers.” - I am leary of the word customers (although I like that customers is in quotation marks). - A small number of parents are completely unreasonable. I've seen it with my own eyes. There are some parents who, when they come to the school, people at the school have to call the school police officers. So if parents are customers, there needs to be a protocol for how parents are to act when on school grounds, e.g. don't cuss out the principal. - What is in place for kids who do not have involved parents? A few more thoughts.... - What is the District's plan to cut down on special education litigation and legal cases. - Best practice involves using PEER REVIEWED articles and books based on peer reviewed research. The report does not use enough peer-reviewed articles. How many articles are from the most rigorous journals, which have the lowest acceptance rates? I don't see any articles from journals published by the American Educational Research Association. For example, endnote 16, the Gates Foundation study. Is there a peer-reviewed article on the same topic. Some of the Gates Foundation's research is sketchy. See research reviews of Gates Foundation publications here: http://nepc.colorado.edu/think-tank-reviews, http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-gathering-feedback (Review of Gathering Feedback for Teaching: Combining High-Quality Observation with Student Surveys and Achievement Gains), http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-asking-students (Review of Asking Students About Teaching), http://www.greatlakescenter.org/docs/Think_Twice/TT_Rothstein_MET.htm (Gates Foundation report on teacher evaluations seriously flawed, leading economist finds) Not all of the links in the endnotes section work. The link for #15, http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~duckwort/images/publications/DuckworthGrantLoe.... Is there a link to the article that at least gives the abstract? - Here are 2: 1. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&... 2. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01443410.2010.506003 Here's a link for the whole article: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~duckwort/images/Self-regulation%20strategies%2... EGS
Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on January 7, 2013 4:19 am
"6. Pg. 18 - Countless studies prove that “the most effective form of professional development is that which is based in schools and is related to the daily activities of teachers and learners”. Ed Grad Student (who I guess will soon be "New Teacher"): I'm not going to get hung up on the word "prove" - let the lawyers parse it out. What is far more important is Hite's acknowledgement that PD should be school based and, I'd add, determined by the teachers in collaboration with all staff and community partners. I'm also more interested in page 19. Hite only mentioned one school (that I noticed) in the plan - Science Leadership Academy. The teachers at SLA have weekly common planning time because students are dismissed at noon one day per week. (They do something at the Franklin Institute). They also have a 65 minute lunch. (I'm not sure how that time is used since we are only suppose to have a 30 minute lunch.) Hopefully, Hite is serious about giving teachers time for "collaboration and leadership." Hopefully, autonomy is not limited to magnet schools and all schools are allowed to have a flexible schedule like SLA. If I'm asked, and I'm not holding my breath, I'd ask for clarification: Will all schools have a flexible schedule and the level of staffing to make this possible? Will we be able to develop a longer term School Improvement Plan and given the resources to carry it out? (Currently, School Improvement Plans are for one year). Who sets the parameters of the plan? Are the academic outcomes on pg. 6 of the plan the only outcomes that will be "measured?" Will the pg. 6 goals be set by each school or are Hite's numbers in stone? Will there be money for teachers to attend non-school district professional development? Will there be opportunities for teachers/staff from a group of schools to co-collaborate? I have a lot more questions but for now I'll take "school based professional development."

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