I hope any replacement board will not make sweeping changes until they really understand what is happening. For example, a vertical curriculum is not a quick fix. No fix is a quick fix when so many students are years behind grade level. The temptation to replace principals and others can be strong once scores have fallen so low. But I am convinced that part of the reason for this district’s low scores is precisely those personnel changes. Historically, when someone did well working in a school here, they were often moved to another school with more problems. Turnover has been far too high and has created its own problems. Improvements require teamwork and teams take time to build.
There’s an article in the a metropolitan paper saying the state is planning to eliminate an Illinois district’s School Board. The article cites low test scores. I don’t know that eliminating the Board will change those scores, at least not in the near future.
Here’s a link: http://newssun.suntimes.com/news/12029587-418/state-wants-to-ax-entire-north-chicago-school-board.html
What will help scores? The changes that can improve a district’s test scores are more nuts and bolts than anything else. Efforts to create an overarching, vertically-aligned curriculum may improve scores. One of my favorite lines from this last year’s professional development: “You can’t just teach about dinosaurs because you like dinosaurs.”
I believe my district may have done a lot of farm, dino and egg units in elementary schools for just that reason — because a teacher happened to really like teaching about farms, dinos and eggs. Kids love to watch chicks emerge from eggs. This will not necessarily provide them any benefit when they go on to the next grade, though, especially if this is the third set of eggs they’ve watched hatch. A hatchling is a hatchling is a hatchling.