"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Turnout for my forum was a little more than expected!

I had more people attend my forum than family members who attended, so I think that can go into the plus column as campaigns go in this town. The topic was one that seems to inspire a lot of drama (open enrollment) and apparently not a small concern for retribution and other foolish rebound on those simply choosing to do what they think is best for their kids. I sarcastically suggested on my facebook page that I take the data from the six children represented by the citizens who attended and extrapolate to the 85 who enrolled out. Of course I would not do that in the effort to understand the full extent of the problem. But it would be fun to go to the board with this ridiculous data chart and make my conclusions.

Last year, that's what the district did when they surveyed outgoing families and used the data from 17 families representing an unknown percentage of the students. Presuming a one to one ratio, that is a 20% response rate. It's true that that is how all public policy data is collected, but this very complicated issue seems to have associated with it a big component of fear and desire for complete anonymity, limiting the participation of the ones who have bad things to say about your programs. I have begged, pleaded and otherwise groveled with my friends going out of the district to succinctly tell the board president AND the administrator the straight poop on why they are leaving. Because, you see, the stories I hear are from frustrated and angry people who often feel they wasted years of their kid's achievement gains trying to work within the system. That is never highlighted in a board meeting, never mentioned, never given creedance to. Disillusioned parents are not dealt with in a constructive manner, according to the stories of those who would share their pain with me. I have asked on facebook and will ask here as well: If you or any of your friends have enrolled in or out of the district, please email me with the reasons why! I promise complete confidentiality and representation only as a piece in a pie chart and a contribution in a "why I left" summary or "why we came here." Comments can be made to this blog or you can email me directly at mhammann@charter.net. I really do want data for this. I have never heard somebody come to me and say: We enroll our kid out because it's easier and closer to where we live, or it's near our parents, or it's where I went. I'm sure there are those that fall into that category and my goal is to try to establish the pie chart to begin the conversation about how to reverse the trends. I'd love a signal boost if to those folks if you know more who could help! Thanks blog folk!

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