Equal access & response


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Equal access & response

  1. 1. EQUAL ACCESS<br />Community Forum<br />August 29, 2011<br />
  2. 2. District Presentation and Parent response <br />This slide show was originally presented by Heidi Pace, Superintendent of Summit District Schools at a community forum to discuss Equal Access. Commentary is provided by Jessica Wald to provide a different perspective on the issues facing the district.<br />
  3. 3. What Is Equal Access<br />An educational approach that provides all students rigorous curriculum..<br />
  4. 4. Commentary on “What is Equal Access”<br />Commentary: We all want our schools to provide all students rigorous curriculum. The School District is using the term “Equal Access” to refer to THEIR VERSION of an educational model that HAS THE GOAL of providing all students a rigorous curriculum. In the District model, all students are given the same curriculum in a classroom that includes all ability levels. In this model, there are no remedial, standard or honors level classes. All students are enrolled in an “honors level” curriculum, with the assumption that all students can achieve at or near the highest level. It is unknown whether the District’s model will be challenging to high ability students or too difficult for struggling students. It is undetermined whether there will be significant differentiation by learning ability in these classrooms. So it is not a foregone conclusion that continued implementation of the District’s Equal Access model will be successful in providing all students rigorous curriculum.<br />
  5. 5. The Goals of Equal Access<br /><ul><li>To raise achievement levels of all students
  6. 6. To prepare more students for post-secondary education
  7. 7. To increase enrollment in DP, AP and CMC classes in the high school
  8. 8. To ensure equity and access for all of our students so that all students are assured a high-quality education regardless of differences (SSD Strategic Plan Goal)</li></li></ul><li>Commentary: Goals of Equal Access<br />Commentary: The problem with this slide is that it implies that if you are opposed to the District’s version of Equal Access, you are opposed to these goals. This slide might be better titled “District Objectives”. It is certainly possible to support, and even applaud, these goals and yet oppose the model that the district has selected to achieve them. The District should be exploring other models that could be more powerful and raise achievement levels for all students including the highest ability students.<br />
  9. 9. Why Equal Access<br />Only 25% of students were accessing higher level curriculum<br />Single digit representation of English Language Learners and low SES students in high level courses<br />ELL graduation rate is 52% (overall graduation rate 90%)<br />83% of our students are college bound and therefore need the higher level curriculum<br />Significant achievement gaps exist between our subgroups<br />
  10. 10. Commentary: Why Equal Access I<br />Commentary: These are universal concernsthat need to be addressed. Whether or not the District’s Equal Access model will solve these issues is unclear. For example, what did it mean that only 25% of students were accessing higher level curriculum? What was that curriculum? If it was a true honors class targeted to the highest ability students, maybe 25% is good. However, if the standard curriculum was not rigorous for most students than that was a problem for those classes. Maybe the issue also was that the honors level classes were not truly high level, and not as rigorous as they should have been. So does putting all students in “Honors” and saying now they all have rigor, reflect reality? Maybe our previous honors classes were appropriate for all students but less than rigorous for our high ability students. Did the district consider increasing the rigor in BOTH standard and honors classes rather than eliminating honors?<br />
  11. 11. Why Equal Access<br />CADI Report (CDE Audit) – Offer high level curriculum to all students<br />BOE Charge for Summit High School Reform<br />District ELL plan calls for ensuring access to advanced curriculum (59% gap in literacy)<br />
  12. 12. Commentary: Why Equal Access II<br />Commentary: Equal Access is only a model to respond to these issues. By implementing “Honors for All” classrooms, is the district really offering high level curriculum to ALL students, including the highest ability students? Are struggling students able to keep up? The District ELL Plan calls for ensuring access to advanced curriculum. However, that access did exist prior to Equal Access. There were no tests, teacher recommendations, or standardized test requirements to take an honors class. All a student had to do was sign up. That stated, support for high ability ELL students was lacking in the honors classrooms. Language, cultural, peer group and other barriers have no doubt prevented many of these students from taking honors classes. These issues could be addressed without elimination of honors classes.<br />
  13. 13. How is It Currently Implemented?<br />All 6-10th grade students are enrolled in IB MYP<br />All 9th and 10th grade students are enrolled in Honors Civics and Economics; Honors World History; Honors Earth and Physical Science; Honors General Biology<br />Curriculum extensions are provided through the SMS and SHS schedule<br />Ongoing Professional Development and coaching for staff<br />Teachers teaching these classes differentiate instruction for various levels of learners and use other strategies (best first instruction, cluster grouping, etc.) to meet students’ needs<br />
  14. 14. Commentary: Implementation <br />Commentary: What is not stated is that Honors Level classes in 6th, 7th and 8thgrades have been eliminated, and that there are no separate honors level classrooms in 9th and 10th grade Civics and Economics, World History, Earth and Physical Sciences or General Biology.The SMS schedule provides extensions in Math and Reading in 3 week blocks (3 weeks math, followed by 3 weeks reading). The SMS schedule does not provide extensions for Language Arts, Science or Humanities. The SHS schedule has 8th hour classes that provide additional classes but no specific honors level extensions. <br />