The article on the June 19 school board meeting omitted a key fact about the new strategic plan for PUSD -- it is an unfinished draft. Still to come is the most important part, a scorecard with measurable indicators of progress toward strategic goals.
Standardized tests cannot be the only indicators that students are learning what they will need to make the world a better place. None exist to measure students' abilities to frame a problem creatively and solve it effectively, nor to assess how teachers and staff are cultivating students' passions and commitments to self-directed learning. District leaders should push themselves to focus on measuring what matters, and not just on what is easy to test.
What are the indicators of fiscal health? School-based and district-level budgets should be easy for taxpayers to access and understand. School site councils should have more input into ways that principals propose spending site-specific funds, and should review the impact of previous expenditures on campus safety, student opportunities and teaching quality. The board should develop a policy to replenish depleted financial reserves so that local budget decisions can be made with more lead time and less stress.
Now is the time for taxpayers to weigh in on the scorecard being developed. What indicators do you want district leaders and board members to monitor? Should average class sizes be a part of the scorecard, or is it more important that students be offered high-quality online learning opportunities? Now is the time to speak up.
Let everyone bat
As one of those Little League father-coaches, I joined with all the coaches in our age group, and we, together, changed the rules re batting order, because of the Little League's official, really strict rules about substitutions and batting. We said everyone on the team bats in order, whether on the field out not, yet, so that everyone has an equal chance of batting.
We did it, and no one stopped us.
W. Ron Sutton,
Ladies say thanks
I want to give a Shout Out to the Alameda County Fair for its great support of Ladies' Day at the Races. We have been coming to the Grandstand since 1992, in growing numbers, allowing well over 500 women to have a fun day at the races.
Over the past 21 years, the Fair has done many things to make the ladies feel special -- displaying a welcome to us on the sign board, showing a video about our Ladies' Day, and giving each of us special Fair trinkets to take home. In the last few years the Palm Pavilion has let us reserve tables in their area so we can continue to have fun, food and refreshments after our day at the races.
Thank you Alameda County Fair for your recognition and support of our Ladies' Day. We truly appreciate it.