Leftovers from the Retreat

Board members discussed a possible plan to increase SAT scores at this past weekend’s Board retreat. Scores dropped statewide this year, including Guilford County.

Today’s News & Record reports the district will undertake the following:

*Paying selected teachers a $500 stipend to organize SAT preparation in their schools and a $1,000 bonus if schools meet targeted average scores and participation rates.

*Developing a marketing plan to increase parents’ awareness of the importance of the SAT for college-bound students.

*Requiring schools to develop an SAT improvement plan by Oct. 15.

*Providing online tutorials from the College Board to students for free.

And they will spend $144,800 of your money to do it.

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Board members are also second-guessing arts and music education cuts, which occurred this year to make room for new spanish language classes at several elementary schools, and added time to core classes at the middle schools.

They’ve received a flurry of opposition and complaints at the loss of the electives, and rightfully so.

This, from today’s High Point Enterprise:

Some schools had to reduce the number of school personnel hired to teach classes such as art, chorus and band in exchange for paying for the Spanish programs. Under the expan­sion, Spanish teachers were hired to teach in elementary schools that feed into middle and high schools with In­ternational Baccalaureate programs, which focus on foreign language.
Members of the Guilford County Board of Education say limiting time in elective courses such as art and music is unfair to students.
“We used to thrive on our chorus and bands … I don’t think to cut art and music is good for us or the com­munity,” board member Dot Kearns said at the weekend retreat.

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Quotes of the day go to Nancy Routh…who’s uncomfortable with GCS’ focus on always competing with Wake and Charlotte-Mecklenburg:

News & Record:

School board member Nancy Routh said she is uncomfortable with the district’s focus on competing with other school systems.

“I have a little bit of a problem that our biggest goal is to close the gap between Guilford County Schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Wake,” Routh said . “That’s not my goal. My goal is to educate the child.”

But Routh and other board members, concerned about inconsistent practices among district high schools, showed overall support during a Saturday retreat for Grier’s plan.

High Point Enterprise:

School officials say the changes are needed to improve student per­formance in the district’s 20 middle schools, and at the elementary level, the district sought a better way to al­locate art and music specialists more equitably while at the same time of­fering classroom teachers more plan­ning time.
It won’t be changed this year be­cause of funding constraints, Grier said. Board member Nancy Routh questioned the effectiveness of the additional planning time. “I’m not sure what that means for teachers. We need to look at what it is you want to accomplish during that planning time,” she said.

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We need to look at what it is you want to accomplish during that planning time. Has it been that long since you’ve been in the classroom, Nancy?

E.C. 🙂

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