Archive for April, 2012

Mixed News on the Achievement Gap

April 23, 2012

Well, the achievement gap is in the news again from a presentation on April 16 on high school students. Here is the link if you want to read it all;

High School 2012 Winter Map

The data sums up this way;

GRAD Pass Rate Predictions

› Writing Hold steady or decrease slightly
› Reading May improve slightly compared to 2011
› Math May improve slightly compared to 2011
› GAP May improve slightly for all 3 subjects

Growth Rate Fall 2011 to Winter 2012

Reading and Math is Similar to national average
› For low scoring students Above national average

Reading growth

Improved overall and for 3 of 5 subgroups

Math growth:

Improved overall and for 5 of 5 subgroups

So the news doesn’t sound great but it isn’t terrible either.

Bus Service Issue Still in the News

April 20, 2012

Here’s a letter from the Sun Post about the recent decision to contract out the district’s bus service;

Even before March 5, when five of the seven Robbinsdale School Board members voted to outsource bus transportation jobs, the district administration was telling drivers that they will be fine, they can go work for First Student. Parents were assured that there would be no change in service and that they very likely could end up with the same trusted driver.

Well, that remains to be seen. First Student has held meetings with drivers, offering the opportunity to meet First Student administration and apply for jobs. I went to one of those meetings out of curiosity. First Student could not tell us what the wages would be. We were told there will be no sick time, no retirement plan and no bereavement leave. Family health care is completely unaffordable.

So how many of our current trusted drivers will be able to afford to work for First Student?

Something else that I found interesting was what was said about the routes. Our union leadership has long said that the routes are not efficient and that The Center for Efficient School Operations made our routes that way from the beginning (a few years ago when the district hired them to put our routes together).

Part of the conversation we have been having through all of this is exactly the need to make the routes better in order to save money. Center officials were at the First Student meeting and now says that they will not be changing the routes after all. Really?

All along we have been trying to tell the board members that this is not going to be what you think it is. July 1 isn’t even here yet and we already are finding that to be true.

Jean Woznak