Monday, July 7, 2014

Some Questions about New Maps

The administration will be presenting various proposals to the ICCSD Board of Directors. The maps can be found near the end of this document. Here are some questions I had about the maps.

Overall:

Does the administration believe that keeping the cluster model is best for reducing the achievement gap? What was the reason for keeping the cluster idea?

Which aspects of the map and proposals are modular?

Is the FRL rate at Twain (in the non-magnet option), Wood, Hills, and the new South Elementary significantly better than their current, extremely high, FRL rate?

In 2019, will the North Elementary School and Lemme have extremely low FRL rates? If so, is this a concern? It isn't prohibited, but if you get too many schools like that it will result in some schools being well north of 50% FRL in our district.

Which parts of the proposal are revenue neutral, and which are not? For those that are not, what are preliminary estimates of how much will be gained/lost?

Paired Schools:

Can we keep the option to pair Wickham and Kirkwood after 2019? Why or why not?

Were options to use paired schools considered for Cluster 2? If not, why not?

Can some redistricting occur along with paired schools?

How were upper campuses versus lower campuses selected? I wonder whether having Kirkwood as the lower campus would decrease participation in after school activities for the students living near Kirkwood, and I know that most after-school activities take place in upper grade level. 

Magnets:

Why were Lincoln and Twain chosen as possible magnets? 

What alternatives are there beyond those two particular schools?

What happens to a school if one or both magnets fail?

Have we ruled out school-within-a-school magnet options? If so, why? (basic question stolen from EDJ)


Islands:

If islands are acceptable for FRL reasons, then why was the Lemme island which constitutes the bulk of its FRL percentage eliminated?

Questions that Directors should consider:

What modifications to the maps would get you to support the maps that ultimately result?




*I will update as I think of more questions, or if good ones are provided in comments.




1 comment:

  1. One question that the directors need to take up and talk about is what kind of magnets they are considering. Murley has talked about, and I think was initially proposing a school-within-a-school model, which he says he's seen implemented successfully elsewhere. The Twain teachers, who would be designing the curriculum if there is a magnet at Twain, roundly objected, pointing out that this would create a kind of two-track model that separated the neighborhood kids from the kids who came to the school for the magnet curriculum, effectively replicating the same socioeconomic divide we now have across the district within the school. Brian Kirschling has also objected to this model, based on his sister's experience teaching in such a school.

    Linked to this is the question of what the attendance area would be or if there would be one at all. The maps seem to suggest that there would be one, but would it be a first-crack-at attending-the-magnet-for-locals attendance area, or would it be as strictly designated as any other? And if the latter, what would the options be for local families who didn't want the magnet curriculum if it is a whole-school magnet?

    To some degree these questions broadly apply to a possible Lincoln magnet as well, although the very different socio-economic bases of the surrounding neighborhoods mean that on the ground they play out very differently.

    For Twain at least, I am very, very wary of a school-within-a-school magnet. And I'm also worried about a base attendance area with such a concentration of poverty that it would undercut attendance to the magnet. I think that significant progress towards balancing that school, with no magnet, would be much better than a magnet that fails or a magnet that segregates internally.

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