Earlier this week the DCPS school board voted to limit community input into the radical changing of seventeen schools. The district was scheduled to vote on the changes in January but most of the school board members asked for more time to involve their stakeholders. Unfortunately board members Scot Shine and Jason Fischer, despite the fact none of the schools are in their districts were able to limit input.
Some of you might be saying, January, geeze how much time does the community need, that’s three months away. Well let’s think about it. A few weeks to notify the community and establish working groups, a few more weeks of meetings, then a few weeks to notify all the stakeholders about what they decided. And there we have a nice slide into January.
Except, we have holidays coming up which will put wrenches in many people’s plans. Some of you might be saying but if it’s important enough it can get done and fair enough though I don’t think we should be in any rush to radically change our schools.
There is however one more thing you should consider and that is the district hasn’t formed all the working groups yet nor has any met, this means the board has voted to limit debate before it has even started.
From WJCT: The proposed changes are for the 2016-17 school year. Board member Becki Couch says she wants working groups to know pushing back boundary changes to the 2017-18 school year is an option if working groups recommend an extra year for planning Working group meeting dates have not yet been set.
Working group meeting dates have not been set yet. Wow!
Here is another concern people should have and that’s the district has a well-deserved reputation of ignoring parents and their concerns and that all of these working groups and community input are just window dressing.
I like some of the super’s ideas and if changes have to be made then changes have to be made but cutting off community engagement and rushing headlong into things is not how we should be doing things.