Posts Tagged ‘School Board’

School Board Vs. Parents, Teachers and Students – Round Two

The School Board met Tuesday, 17 November 2009, to hear the second round of complaints by teachers, parents, and students concerning the new curriculum framework and embedded assessments instituted by Jeffrey Hernandez earlier this year.  Crowd Protest Nov 2009

This time, comments focused not only on the lack of prior research on the effectiveness of the new approach and the stress it it causing teachers, parents, and students alike, but also on the following issues:

1.  The alleged misappropriation of $28 million dollars by the School Board. 

2.  The attempt to use race as a divisive issue to turn the protesters against each other.

3. The attempt by the School Board to make it appear as if the Board had made a concession by granting principals the authority to decide if they wanted their schools to participate in the FCAT preparatory program.  The reality, protesters pointed out, is that principals are too afraid of the repurcussions should they choose not to comply with the new regulations.

The Board got a chance to respond to the speakers as the meeting ended near midnight, after nearly 6 hours of 3 minute speeches by impassioned objectors to Hernandez’s plan. 

Frank Barbieri, addressing Superintendent Art Johnson,  noted that the problem could be solved by making “one personnel change” – ousting Jeffrey Hernandez. 

To see the Palm Beach Post’s report of the story, click here. 

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Wednesday, October 29, 2009: The School Board Meets to Hear Your Complaints: 1,000 People Can’t Be Wrong

HernandezIt was a sight to behold.  When I pulled up to the district building Wednesday night, 1,000 people – parents, teachers and students alike – crowded the streets and sidewalks wearing orange and waving signs saying “Testing is Not Teaching” and “Please let me teach”. 

The Palm Beach County School Board met on October 21, 2009 to hear your complaints concerning the new curriculum framework and embedded assessments orchestrated by Jeffrey Hernandez. 

 I watched as teachers and parents were reduced to tears begging for the policies to be dropped or amended. 

We all understand that standards and expectations need to be high.  However, teachers simply do not have enough hours in the day or time with the students to both teach their lessons and train their students to pass standardized tests. 

Parents told of children who used to love going to school but now dread it because the students are “overwhelmed or underwhelmed”, depending on the day, by the constant testing and irrelevant material. 

One parent cried that her gifted child, who received perfect scores on FCAT in previous years, was being required to sit through hours of wasted FCAT prep lessons and wasn’t getting the stimulation he needed to stay engaged and to learn. 

Hernandez You TubeClick here to see a video: Jeffrey Hernandez Questioned by Concerned Teachers and Parents

Students, too, spoke out.  By taking the joy out of teaching, Jeffrey Hernandez was also robbing the students of the joy of learning, one Palm Beach County student claimed. 

I couldn’t help noticing that student after student, and parent after parent, expressed that they aren’t getting the same quality of education that they did just one year ago, prior to the new one-size-fits-all policies that have been imposed – policies that treat students as numbers rather than individuals, and that ignore individual learning styles in favor of concern for one number –  the FCAT score – which is much less relevant to your student’s future than grades and SAT scores.

Parents are increasingly turning to private education, including private tutoring, to supplement their students’ education.  Consider Wellington Tutoring for your student’s needs, and feel free to contact us with any questions, concerns, or comments about the ongoing struggle in the Palm Beach County School District.

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