Updated 10:30 p.m. August 20 — I really do need to get a good night’s sleep tonight, but I’m trying to answer all the questions I’m getting and sort out for myself what issues really need addressing by the staff and which are just issues that are bound to arise because some people feel they “won” while others feel they “lost” when they saw the attendance area maps and feeder patterns. Here’s my working list of questions I am filing away to ask the staff at my next opportunity:
- Language programs and pathways – lots of questions here about why some pathways are separated and others are merged — why wouldn’t it make sense, for example, to have both of the Japanese language/culture pathways (one at Clarendon and one at Rosa Parks) go together to the same middle school? Why did we feed the two very small Mandarin pathways (Starr King and Jose Ortega) into two separate middle schools rather than bringing them together?
- Child development programs – the explanatory materials for parents need more explanation of our Child Development Programs, how to apply and a map of where they are located.
- Middle school capacities vs. likely enrollment year one: the McKinley parents have complained that it looks like too few schools are feeding into Everett Middle School, but that seems to be the case for most of the middle schools. See this comment thread for more info.
- Should we tweak the west side feeder patterns? I love that Cobb is feeding into Presidio and the 1-California and 38-Geary bus lines are a straight shot from Lower Pac Hts to the outer Richmond. But I wonder if perhaps Peabody or McCoppin should also feed into Roosevelt to boost the school’s neighborhood draw and keep the school socioeconomically diverse. Both schools are much closer to Roosevelt than they are to Presidio.
- “Placeholder” pathways for Flynn and John Muir into ISA — IB programs are sequential and are not fully built at the elementary schools. Until they are, students feeding into ISA will not be getting IB in any form — why make them travel so far until the program options are in place?
- (Added Aug. 20) GATE – some middle schools have honors programs; others take a differentiated approach with high-achieving students. This is an enormous hot-button issue, as some people think the answer is to eliminate the remedial track altogether and instead educate everyone to a higher (i.e., college-ready) standard. Others think that the equity issue is that there aren’t honors tracks at all schools. Historically, the “honors” track was really the “college-prep” track, but now everyone is supposed to be on the college-ready track. Most people will probably agree that there isn’t much place for a remedial track at middle and high schools, but some will insist that a high-achieving track should still exist. My question is — how many students are truly gifted and how many are happily yet appropriately on-track for college? This distinction has gotten blurry over the decades and there are big fireworks to come on this issue.