Thursday, August 7, 2008

blog purpose? and PPSD PDK report

In the next couple of posts, I am going to think out loud about what the purpose of this blog should be. I am inclined in two different directions: activism and recruitment. 

Activism: Parents Talk about Providence Schools is an online space to engage current public school family members around the challenges and opportunities facing PPSD with the explicit mission of organizing us to play an active part in improving our kids' schools and the district as a whole.

Information-Sharing: Parents Talk about Providence Schools is an online space focused  on providing and exchanging information among family members whose kids are not yet in school. This blog helps them understand and learn more about their options. It also helps family members whose kids may be in school and who seek more information about alternatives or the next phase of schooling.

Is it possible to pursue both of these missions here? I will contemplate that, too. I'd love input from anyone reading (and I know a few of you are - thank you!) about what would be useful to you.

In more current PPSD news, today's Pro-Jo covered the recent Phi Delta Kappa International PPSD curriculum management audit, reviewing the key points of the audit and Superintendent Tom Brady's reactions. "Report details racial inequity in school achievement" is in the Metro section, but it's not online (why not???); I'll link to it when it arrives when the ProJo gets around to putting it on the internets. In the meantime, find the paper edition and read it. And weep. 

Brady describes the report as a call to action; yes, though more like a scream for action. PDK's findings show that significant numbers of African-American, Hispanic, and Asian PPSD students will not demonstrate educational achievement as measured by our state's standardized test (the New England Common Assessment Program, not Placement, as the story quotes PDK's report) that is on part with their white peers unless the district dramatically interrupts its reading and math instruction.

Here's the entire report. I haven't reviewed it yet. And here's a letter from Brady that lists the overall report findings and current actions the district is taking to change practices and improve student performance. Again, I am posting this to share; I will come back with more on the report, letter, and further actions the district is taking.

And readers, if you've gotten this far, please know that when I got this far, I realized that this should be two individual posts but cannot convince by computer to cut and paste a chunk of this text to a new blog entry! Well, we're all learning as we go; I'll figure it out.

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