Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Audit: In The News

And so we begin the process of the audit. Actually, that's not true. We've known about the audit since September, but it took a long time for it to be released to the media. Prior to this, we've been busy little beavers at school preparing. We prepared so early because we were led to believe that the auditors would have been in our building by now. However, things change and it appears they may not be there until as late as January.

We've had to prepare binders. They are not small binders. By the end of the year, my binder may rival my epic KTIP binders. I've had to include my resume, an extensive description of my individual role in my school, student samples, lesson, assessments, assessment samples, evidence of every single contact with parents, agendas and note from every meeting attended and much more. I'll have to add to it in preparation for the auditors' actual arrival, but I passed the first check through my assistant principal. We also had to collect large "crates" worth of evidence to give to the auditors to review in their hotel rooms.

Even with all of this work, the date when the news story was to break continually changed. We knew it was coming, but we didn't get much warning. On Wednesday of last week, we were told that the story would break on Monday. I woke up on Monday and searched the paper to find nothing. This wasn't the first time we were told the story would be in the paper on Monday and woke to find nothing. Then, on Tuesday, I woke to find this story waiting for me:

6 JCPS high schools among Kentucky's 10 lowest-performing in 2010

Oops. That's us. Now it's real. Now it's official. Now everyone is going to post their comments on the article. I do not recommend reading the comments, especially if you are in any part of the education world. They are aggravating. People saying that Manual does well, why doesn't everyone else? Manual can kick students out. Why can't we just kick out the kids who don't want to work? Um, they don't disappear into thin air. Why don't we tie their grades and effort into their welfare!? Because we can't starve children just because they perform poorly on tests. They're children. Children. They don't make the best choices because they are minors and need guidance. You want to punish them by removing their food source? Shame on you, random Courier-Journal commenter. 

So the answer right now may be to restaff up to 60% of my school, remove the principal, remove the site-based decision making committee or put a private organization in charge of the school. None of these are the answer. Money is not the answer. Redistributing the busing isn't the answer. The problem is not with the schools. The problem is not the teachers. The problem is not the students. The problem is that our children are victims of a never ending cycle of poverty. The problem is that our students are held to a standard that is unfair. The problem is that these students have been betrayed by the schools who are held up as the best of education in Louisville. Why? Because they're trouble makers. They fail. They don't care. These are not problems to solve. These are symptoms of a greater epidemic. The problem from society, not my classroom and certainly not my school. 

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