Sunday March 9, 2014
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I believe this is a good move on the part of Mr. Hitchcock. I have one caveat. It will only be effective and worth the money long term if the Board and Superintendent take the information and determine a set number of "longitudinal trackable" data points. These data points must then be memorialized as baseline data. The data points should then be monitored and the independent study repeated in two to three years to ascertain whether progress has been made. Yes, this costs more money but this model really focuses people on improvement long term.
I say this because districts are famous for implementing a big (and expensive) enterprise such as this but neglecting the long term followup. The institutional memory is short. Superintendents turn over, Boards turnover, principals turnover and teachers turnover. Consequently, the study is never even remembered let alone used for improvement.
Case in point. The paper said this is the first time the district had done this. Actually the district brought in an independent company and did the same thing in the late 90's. The information was initially acted on, however, the second step described above was not implemented.
I commend Mr. Hitchcock for this bold move and would encourage the Board and new board members to follow his lead on this but insist on taking the next long term step.
Roy; Your points are accurate and important. So many things in education end up being fads that die a quick but quiet death. I hope that Mr Hitchcock will note your remarks and take them to heart. I have the impression that he knows what short- , medium-, and long-term iprovement is about and I look forward to noting improvements in the District.
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