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FPS Superintendent Candidates

Only (1) candidate from outside of Michigam???

Only (4) candidates that our Trustees are going to interview?

And (1) of those (4) is an internal candidate?

FPS is in trouble deep and declining. This "effort" is at risk of being insufficient to meet the needs of the district.

At the March Board meeting, Instructional Services Administrators presented the results of the 2013 Statre assessment of FPS. At every grade level the summary statement include the report of further decline with multiple incidences of student performance falling below County and State averages. 2013 caps a decade of declining student performance. It is actually worse. The January Board packet included a County report that included the statement that County and State level educators all recognize that the MEAP performance cutoff scores have fallen below the National Standards of the NAEP and the need to reset them higher. FPS is spiraling downward to a worse extent on a national level.

That same County report also discredited the use of student course grades as a measure or standard of performance. Yet, both December and January Board meetings included Instructional Services department presentations doing just that. FPS substituted a C- Course Grade in place of the State Assessment Standard of Proficient provided at each grade level from 3rd to 9th Grade for multple subjects, the 4th, 8th, and 12th grade NAEP Standard of Proficient, and the ACT and MME Proficient Standard of performance at the high school level. What was accomplished by the substitution of the Standards of Proficiency with a C- Course Grade? The standards of proficiency report the need of 70% of all students need intervention and support programs to become proficient. The curriculum is being ineffectively delivered in their classrooms. The use of the C- Grade for "proficiency" allows FPS to claim only 30% of the students are not proficient and are mostly Black or Economically Disadvantaged. This supports their program of intervention and support programs only for those students leaving the rest of the students behind.

The January Board meeting included an Instructional Services Department presentation that again used a C- Grade as a "standard" of "proficiency". This allowed them to increase the reported number of Black and Economically Disadvantaged students who are proficient but are not enrolling in AP Classes or the IB Program. Coupled with a chart showing under-representation of Black and Economically Disadvantaged Students currently enrolled in AP Classes and the IB Program based on their respective percentages of the total student population, they created a class warfare problem using the flawed and fraudulent use of the C- course Grade to justify additional support and intervention to increase AP Class and IB Program enrollment by Black and Economically Disadvantaged students. Selective noneducationally based programming that continues the district practice of ignoring the educational issues that the State Assessments report annually and consistently at all grade levels for all subjects tested and avoiding any accountability for what is and is not occurring in the classrooms of the district.

I have heard from building administrators, teachers, and parents alike of a lack of adequate discipline in our schools and classrooms. At a recent Board meeting, the Instructional Services Department presented a review of district discipline in which they advocated putting an end to progressive suspensions. Their argument was that the most common cause for progressive suspensions is classroom tardiness and that the wrong students are most often "victims" of this practice. The FPS curriculum focuses on the skills, practices, and habits of successful learners in 4th Grade. Getting to class on time is a 4th Grade skill. Why does the district think that demonstrating a 4th Grade skill is too onerous and an unfair expectation of a high school student? And tardiness is a overt demonstration of a total lack of respect for both the teacher and all of the tardy student’s classmates. This district proposal implies a district claim that that is an acceptable behavior. And we have a highly compensated, highly skilled teacher ready to deliver the curriculum, a classroom of some 25 students who arrived on time, are prepared, and ready to learn that are all disrupted, put on hold and redirected to mollify, accommodate, and to reach out and understand the habitual offender? This proposal, like the other district practices and policies discussed above are upside down and backward.

But Farmington is not alone. FPS is a participant in coalitions of County and State schools that are advocating and practicing these activities in place of education. Nationally they have their advocates and practitioners as well. I wrote to both the Board and School Exec Connect urging that the Board engage SEC to perform a 3rd party assessment of FPS from a national perspective and then to proactively identify and solicit national superintendent candidates with a proven record of addressing the findings of the assessment. The current Board timeframe is artificially and unnecessarily short. After throwing $75K away on a biased special election, there is no excuse not to invest in a national assessment and search. There is still time.

Write questions to the Board that you want them to ask on your behalf. Send a copy to the Observer as a public record. Attend or watch the candidate interviews to determine if you think any of the candidates will turn this District atround. Then let your decision be heard. (0) Finalists from these (4) candidates may be the correct decision.

Max Brown April 23, 2014 at 06:36 PM
Mr. York, there is an old adage that says “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS.” You are truly a master at this, and your rants are nothing more than that. You are so quick to judge any action by the Board and FPS administration. I asked myself why I never saw your name in the hat to be considered as an applicant to the seat vacated by Ms. Brouillete since you "seem" to have all the answers. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of the solution? And then I remembered! You were on the Board years ago and as many of us recall, it was such an abysmal failure you chose not to run again when your term was over. Then I asked why you wouldn’t go to Dr. Kahn, and ask him the questions as to the selection of these four candidates presented by the search firm. And then I remembered! Dr. Kahn was yet again absent from that very important meeting. This crucial step in the process of selecting the next Superintendent of FPS and Dr. Kahn was the only Board member not present. Not surprising. If this was any other Board member, his illustrious ever suspicious wife would be questioning these constant absences, and probably filing complaints as well. Hypocrisy once again. Truly, nothing new. Murray Kahn seems to miss more than he is present and cannot possibly make informed intelligent decisions as we so often witness. Had he been there maybe he could fill you in on the due diligence that was done in selecting what appears to be four very qualified candidates. I watched the meeting and the search firm was very clear during their presentation as to their interview and selection process before presenting the final four candidates. Would you have preferred they presented more than four just to have more to interview regardless of their qualifications? Absurd. Your constant negativity and rambling criticisms only prove how all your words are simply noise and do nothing to move FPS forward. Please, Mr. York, we are sick of your “baffling with BS.”
Dave York April 27, 2014 at 08:53 AM
When students learn, test scores show it. The data is there makig the messsage clear to anyone who wishes to open their eyes and accept that their opinion might just be wrong. When the National Standards provide test results that show Michigan is 37th in Reading and 42nd in Math, why wouldn't everyone want better results? Go to www.edtrust.org/midwest and read their 2014 report on public education in Michigan. Go to www.edtrust.org and read a little. When looking for a new leader, why wouldn't you go look where it is being done the best? The contrast is stark. A better alternative is shouting "over here" waiting for those with eyes, ears, and minds open instead of closed with smug self-importance.
art April 27, 2014 at 10:54 AM
Mr. Brown, You and your ilk have become part of the problem. A closed mind is a terrible things to waste.
Michael Ritenour April 28, 2014 at 02:30 PM
Mr. Brown is correct when he points out that it appears the FPS board can do nothing right in the opinion of Mr. York, Art, and others of "their ilk" (to borrow Art's term), even when it strives to make the process more transparent, more amenable to public comment, and more likely to find a good candidate. Mr. York, I am always impressed by the level of research and thought that you bring to your comments, even when I don't agree with them. Why do you not run for the Board rather than simply rail and carp from the sidelines? More broadly, gentlemen, you seem to think the FPS Board is on a deliberate mission to seek less qualified applicants and, ultimately, to destroy the district. These people are unpaid volunteers, with literally nothing to be gained by such actions. Constructive criticism is healthy and productive, but I don't see what is your end game. Mass resignation? Capitulation to your narrow point of view? At what point will you be satisfied?

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