Out of the Loop or I Still Want My Agendas


Since the Madison Metropolitan School District has essentially stopped sending agendas to those who have requested them*, I try to make a habit of checking the “Current Agendas” and “Board of Education Calendar” pages. I usually do this on Friday, because that is when the agendas for the following week are generally posted.

I looked today and was surprised to see that there had been Strategic Planning Curriculum Action Team meeting yesterday (pdf of page as of 11:50 AM, 3-6-09). This meeting was not listed on the Calendar page (pdf of page as of 11:50AM, 3-6-09). Nor is it listed on the Strategic Planning page (pdf of page as of 11:59 AM, 3-6-09).

In fact there is no description of, membership list or other reference to the appointment of a “Strategic Planning Curriculum Action Team” anywhere that I can find on the MMSD site. We don’t know who picked the team or who is on the team.

It sounds as if the work is important, too important to take place outside the attention of the public.

The strategic priority addressed by the Curriculum Action Team is the identification of solutions that will revolutionize the educational model to engage and support all students in a comprehensive participatory educational experience defined by rigorous, culturally-relevant and accelerated learning opportunities where authentic assessment is paired with flexible instruction.

Prior to the November referendum we were told over and over again about how important, inclusive and open the Strategic Planning Process would be, how this was a key part of the “partnership” between the public and the district. It sounded real good.

I was in the loop then. Now, along with the almost everyone else, I’m out of the loop.

* Clarification – Whenever I have made specific requests to MMSD staff for information, they have been great about responding and providing that information (if possible) in a timely fashion.  This isn’t about that, it is about the list advertised at the top of the Current Agenda page “You can get BOE Agendas delivered directly to your e-mail inbox” and more generally about communication and openness.

Thomas J. Mertz

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Filed under Accountability, Best Practices, education, Local News, Uncategorized

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