Monday, May 28, 2007

MCPS & Community Involvement - Letter from MCCPTA

May 28, 2007

Martin Creel, Director, AEI
Montgomery County Public Schools
850 Hungerford Drive
Rockville, MD 20850


Dear Mr. Creel:

I am writing with regard to the Accelerated and Enriched Instruction
Advisory Committee. As you recall, when you first contacted MCCPTA to
ask for two representatives to sit on this advisory committee, you were
advised that the proposed meeting dates of the fourth Tuesday of the
month were extremely problematic for our organization. The fourth
Tuesday of the months of September, October, November, January,
February, March, and April are our Delegates Assemblies.

I informed you at that time that MCCPTA desired to place two
representatives on the advisory committee who were active within MCCPTA
and who would be able to report to our delegates at the assemblies as
well as take parent input back to the advisory committee. You were also
informed that any MCCPTA representative who was active within MCCPTA
would have schedule conflicts and would also not be able to report to
our delegates at the assemblies as they would be attending an advisory
committee meeting on the very same evening.

You expressed an understanding of these conflicts and agreed to revisit
the dates of the meetings. It is my understanding that the committee
did vote to continue with the fourth Tuesday of the month. It is
disappointing that the group was not apprised that this meeting date
severely compromises MCCPTA’s ability to fully participate in the work
of the advisory committee.

As we move forward, I will likely have to replace one of our representatives, if not both on this advisory committee due to the scheduling conflict. I also want to be very clear regarding the
consequences of meeting on the fourth Tuesday of the month. If the
occasion arises that the advisory committee wants comments or input from
MCCPTA, there will be at the very least a two month turn around time.
If information is released for comment at an advisory committee meeting,
MCCPTA will be unable to discuss this information until the next month’s
delegate assembly and then, even if we ask our delegates to act on any
recommendations or endorse any comments without having had the chance to
take the information back to their local PTAs for discussion, our input
will not get back to the AEI Advisory Committee until the next month’s
meeting. If issues arise that delegates want to be able to discuss with
their local PTAs, this turn around time will be increased to at least
three months.

I am belaboring this point because I want it to be well understood that
when the time comes to offer comments on the final policy on accelerated
and enriched instruction and MCCPTA includes in their comments that
their ability to solicit feedback and give input into the policy was
knowingly limited by the choice of meeting dates, that the advisory
committee was advised of this conflict and the problems it posed before
the committee began its work.

MCCPTA is still hopeful that another day of the month could be selected
for these meetings so that our 52,000 members can be fully represented
on this advisory group.

Sincerely,

Jane de Winter

Cc Dr. Frieda Lacey
Ms Nancy Navarro
Ms Sharon Cox
Mr. Steve Bedford
Ms Kay Romero