Tag Archives: KSD

category-board-meeting-notes

Kennewick School Board Report for May 23

Kennewick School Board Meeting

May 23, 2012    Called to Order at 5:30 PM     Adjourned at 7:08 PM

School Board members present:  Dawn Adams, Heather Kintzley, Ben Messinger, Brian Brooks, Ron Mabry (arrived at 5:55 PM) and Maricarmen Garcia (student).

KSD Administrators present: Dave Bond (Superintendent), Ron Williamson, Greg Fancher, Beverly Johnson-Torelli, Doug Carl, Vic Roberts, Chuck Lybeck, Jack Anderson, Diana Burns and Lorraine Cooper.

Business:

  • Nancy Smith, Horse Heaven Hills U.S. History, Government and Civics teacher introduced students who participated in Project Citizen.  This year’s subject is middle school Standards Based Grading.  Six students spoke in opposition to continuing SBG while one spoke in favor of retaining SBG with some modifications.
  • Dawn Adams invited the public to the June 13 school board meeting where the issue of SBG will be considered. Continue reading
category-opinion

Standards Based Grading in KSD Middle Schools – Update on Implementation

SBG is still controversial

This article was planned as a progress report on implementation of SBG in Kennewick middle schools.  Building administrators have declined requests for information about the status of SBG in their buildings.  While my first interview was with a teacher who favors SBG and generally speaks well of its adoption most staff members I contacted are critical of SBG.

Consequently, I make no claim to be representing a comprehensive view of SBG in Kennewick.  My efforts to obtain information from building administrators will continue and will be reported later.

 

Middle school teachers from Highlands, Horse Heaven Hills and Park met with Kennewick Education Association (KEA) and Washington Education Association (WEA) representatives recently to register concerns about the implementation of SBG.  As a consequence, KEA filed grievances with Kennewick School District on behalf of the Union.

Desert Hills Middle School has some teachers utilizing SBG while still using the traditional grading system.

Among the concerns: Continue reading

category-opinion

KSD School Board Triumvirate Responds

At Wednesday’s school board meeting I spoke to the board when president Dawn Adams asked for communication from the community.  I stated that some Kennewick residents are disappointed and puzzled by the appointment of a school board candidate to fill the vacated board position.  The complaint is that this appointment appears to be based on politics and not on merit.  My request was to meet with school board members to help me understand their decision so I could report facts, not speculation to people who read this blog. 

Adams responded immediately saying she has heard no complaints about their appointment.  She explained that the board had made no requirement limiting applicants to non-school board candidates.  So the board went into executive session and made their decision.

This answer did not bring clarity to the selection criteria or speak to the issues of impartiality or fairness.  Other observers have questioned the merit of this appointment in light of the qualifications of the other applicants.  I believe the board had to know people in this community would question their motivation to appoint a school board candidate.  People I spoke with after the board meeting expressed their belief that Adams, Lynn Fielding and Heather Kintzley made this appointment “because they can”.

While this is true, there must be more to this decision.  Brian Brooks can’t simply be a man off the street who, through serendipity, fell into a position of advantage.  The facts of this appointment need to be made available to the community.

There is speculation of a special relationship as neighbors, friends or church associates which might be sufficient to bias board decision making.  What is known is Brooks loves the reading goal, favors the 5% reserve fund, is comfortable with data and is willing to learn.  His platform mirrors that of the board majority.

In school board matters, fairness or impartiality are not required.  Kennewick voters have given Adams, Fielding and Kintzley the authority to make decisions; therefore they do.  Sometimes, it appears, because they can influence the outcome of an election.