The previous posting on this list showed a clip of the BOE discussing whether parents should be involved, and whether parent involvement means all, some, or only well behaved parents.
Whew. I must be among the privileged, or at least a member of the well behaved category, because I've been invited to participate on two SIP programs at my kids elementary schools, and one Accreditation for Growth Committee at the high school. Lucky me, I got to use vacation time from my paid job to sit in a room of school personnel and talk about the schools mission plan and overall strategic growth for the school community.
But the discussion of who is in and who is out, who can be invited to the table because they are good team players, and who must stay home because they don't know how to play well with the principal, made me curious - remember, I play well with others according to Ms. O'Neill and Mr. Barclay's rubric for who gets invited. My kids have encountered 10 principals plus one principal trainee during their MCPS careers (and we're not done yet), so that's a lot of principals to please.
Here is my question - what does this discussion about strategic planning, and limiting parent involvement mean for the well regarded Baldrige plan in MCPS? According to the MCPS website,
The Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence is an exciting system-wide initiative. It has added rigor to school and office improvement planning focused on continuous improvement to achieve results for all students.Another part of the web states that:
All stakeholders – students, parents, staff, and community members – are invited to participate in all phases of this school improvement process.
Parents Can Help Their School By...
- joining the principal’s school improvement team
- providing feedback about what they believe is important
- learning as much as they can about the school’s plan and the responsibilities of staff, students, parents, and others in helping to improve student performance
Have we thrown the highly regarded Baldrige out the window with our boutiques and our foreign language classes too? Perhaps its relevant that although the website says this is a "work in progress," the website hasn't been updated since February 2006. Actions speak for themselves, so it looks as if Baldrige is no more, along with its fancy slogans, quality tools, and acronyms that never really caught on with parents - oops, I mean the taxpayers footing the bill.
Who knew? This just demonstrates the continuous learning process in MCPS - even for a well behaved parents "in the know."
But, what I'd like to know - if we've dropped Baldrige as a systemwide tool for continuous improvement for all children, does this mean that MCPS isn't interested in all children?
Finally, how much did we spend on Baldrige before it was dropped, and how much is our replacement system going to cost?
And one more note - for Dr. Weast and Ms. Navarro - perhaps you should have been at the table during this discussion where the BOE decided to gut the Baldrige plan. After all, can you really complain if you are invited but don't show up?