SBG – Trouble is Brewing at Horse Heaven Hills
This title paraphrases the words of a staff member who was describing recent events related to teacher concerns about Standards Based Grading.
Two issues are central to the controversy at the middle school:
- A significant number of teachers want to revisit the decision to implement Standards Based Grading
- The building site council is unwilling or unable to take action on behalf of those staff Continue reading
2011 was our first full year of reporting and we are proud of our results. This site has established a place for local citizens to publish their ideas about education to a wider audience and enables anyone to comment on featured articles.
Now for 2011’s top 12 -
12. In January the Tri-City Herald reported the existence of KSD Citizens.
11. The Tri-City Herald as “The Voice of the Mid-Columbia” did not accept our invitation to investigate the development of the Children’s Reading Foundation and the improper fiscal relationship between the foundation and the Kennewick School District. This is a story which has yet to be completed.
We believe Kennewick families and taxpayers deserve to know the details of this story and expect the Herald to fulfill its mission in that regard. Meanwhile, we will continue to collect information and report what we learn.
10. Kennewick School Board Member and a Conflict of Interest? Our report about this issue revealed that several former school board members and a former district superintendent likely used the school district as an incubator to create a for-profit business behind the non-profit Children’s Reading Foundation.
Link: http://ksdcitizens.org/2011/10/04/kennewick-school-board-member-and-a-conflict-of-interest/ Continue reading
We are happy to welcome former KSD Board member, Kathy White, as a regular correspondent on KSD Citizens. She will be reporting on Board meetings and will provide features from time to time. As a former Board member, Kathy brings insight into the inner workings of the Board and has become an expert, through training provided by the Washington School Directors, on the proper role of Board members.
With the school board election done the truth about the appointment of Brian Brooks to the Kennewick School Board can be told.
Community members have written letters to the Tri-City Herald expressing their belief that Brooks was the most qualified for the position so the board selected him on merit.
Reality is quite different. Continue reading
In my opinion the editors of the Herald have been slow to criticize the failed institution known as the Kennewick School Board and have yet to fulfill their mission as Voice of the Mid-Columbia by accepting our invitation to investigate the Kennewick School Board Member and a Conflict of Interest?, but they did recommend Uby Creek and have taken a stand in today’s editorial.
The editorial states:
…we have concerns about the new Kennewick School District Board of Directors.
To read the Tri-City Herald editorial click on this link:
What is Going on Here?
For years, rumors about the reading goal and the program it spawned have been circulating throughout Kennewick schools. Many concerns were directed at how the reading program had been created; who was driving the initiative; use of tests and testing irregularities; pressures on administrators, staff and students to achieve performance goals; costs for instruction and testing; the claimed student growth and the books published about those claims and profit making by those involved.
Other criticisms include the reduction or elimination of exploratory and elective classes and general narrowing of the curriculum resulting from doubles classes. This list is not exhaustive.
Recently, I asked a trusted colleague who has studied these issues to help me understand by writing a connect-the-dots narrative of the development of Kennewick’s reading program and implications for the future.
This article does not answer all my questions but provides a start for those of us wanting to know more.
This presents an opportunity for the Tri-City Herald with its resources and distribution to construct a complete story for Kennewick citizens.
Honoring requests from family the author will remain anonymous.
- There is the appearance, if not fact, that school board member Lynn Fielding is profiting by his position and influence on the school board.
- The non-profit Children’s Reading Foundation is promoting the sale of books authored by Fielding, Nancy Kerr and Paul Rosier published by their for-profit New Foundation Press.
- There is an ethical, if not legal, issue when a school board member uses a position of trust to manage the school district for his benefit.
- There is also the appearance, if not fact, that Fielding’s influence is at work to place new members on Kennewick’s School Board who will maintain policies sustaining profits to the New Foundation Press.
With an important school board election fast approaching this fall for the citizens of Kennewick, it is important voters be fully apprised of some facts. So please allow for some tedious details in order to get the whole picture. Continue reading
Brian Brooks, interim school board member and candidate for position 5 on the Kennewick School Board has been electioneering on Kennewick School District property by placing his campaign literature on vehicles parked in school parking lots during open house events.
Chip Beatty of the Public Disclosure Commission affirmed that electioneering on school grounds by school board members is specifically prohibited by state law (see Guidelines for School Districts in Election Campaigns, p.8).
Beatty noted that electioneering on school property by any candidate would violate PDC guidelines and would advise school districts to stop the practice.
It is certain elected school board members are aware of the state guidelines and should inform candidates to discontinue this abuse of district facilities.
When will this happen?
For details see this link:
Dear Mrs. Kintzley,
Thank you for your comments on KSD Citizens. I invite you to write about any education related issues for publication here. I envision a regular feature from your perspective as a school board member. I would appreciate understanding more about you and your experiences on the board as you grapple with education issues in Kennewick and I believe many others in our community would benefit as well.
While I am not a journalist, I strive to be fair and responsible in representing the issues and persons I write about. My biases are well documented to the readers of this blog. My purpose was not to castigate you but to understand the reasons for your decision to appoint a school board candidate to the interim school board position when exemplary non-candidates were available and willing to do that job. I went directly to the board for additional information. Continue reading