Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My District Goals

At the last board meeting I moved to vote on the following three motions. Technically, you need to move for a vote before a discussion can take place. Though I couldn’t even garner a second, I’m hopeful the following motions will be adopted at a future date (though maybe not in their current forms).

Motion to Revise Policy 0134 - Board Self-Evaluation - to include the following:
Each board member, following a 4-month grace period, shall create and maintain a personal list of district goals he wishes to see achieved during his term in office. Such lists shall be deemed public records.

Motion to Adopt the Following Goals for Graduating Seniors

  • Acceptance to a highly competitive institute of higher learning
  • 3.75 or more Carnegie units of English, emphasizing reading comprehension and writing skills
  • 3.75 or more Carnegie units of mathematics, highest mathematics of either calculus, precalculus, or trigonometry
  • 2.5 or more Carnegie units of science or more than 2.0 Carnegie units of core laboratory science (biology, chemistry, and physics)
  • more than 2.0 Carnegie Units of foreign languages
  • more than 2.0 Carnegie Units of history and social studies
  • 1.0 or more Carnegie Units of computer science
  • more than one Advanced Placement course
  • no need for remedial English or remedial mathematics
Motion to Adopt the Following Financial Goals
  • No tax increases during periods of elevated unemployment (excluding secondary referendums)
  • Proposed school budget spending increases shall be less than wage and inflation growth (excluding secondary referendums and programs funded through alternative sources)
  • 2% of budget shall be funded through alternative sources such as grants (public and private), commercial relationships, and private donations
Aside from adopting these motions, I have three other goals for this school year.
  • Ensuring parents have the tools and information necessary to become full partners in their children’s education
  • Open and objective testing standards to measure student achievement in all schools (excluding pre-K)
  • Develop a comprehensive database to enable massive data mining
If you have additional goals you wish to see implemented, I encourage you to be heard. As for me, I trust my supporters and critics alike to hold me accountable. >>> Read more!


Anonymous said...

I get the sentiment but think that your stress on individual board member goals distracts from the need to work together as a team. It is wholly unrealistic to expect any superintendent to take action towards meeting 4 goals per board member. I don't think that is what is intended by your motion -- but that is what you say. I would like to see the board work together as a team with one set of goals with the pet whims of individual board members put aside if they are not accepted collectively by the board as a whole.

As for your arbitrary "no new tax" goal -- that is pure pandering. O'Malley pulled a rabbit out of the hat this year because Quinn gave him lots of waste to slice off the bone. When all that's left is the bone - how do you keep taxes flat and fund school needs.

As for the academic goals -- I'd rather see what O'Malley, as our superintendent, recommends.

Anonymous said...

You presented some interesting goals - at least worthy of DISCUSSION. And no one would even give you a second to discuss?


I guess you do not belong to one of the "wings" you discussed a few months back....

Strathmore Mom said...

I know this is going to sound sarcastic, but it really isn't meant to be.

It has bothered me for quite some time that you are on the Board of Education but yet are refusing to send your own children to the school.

I don't really feel comfortable with a Board of Ed member who feels as though he is qualified to govern my children but yet does not want those rules he is looking to establish to govern his own.

If I were on the Board, I would want to adopt a policy wherein all Board of Ed members were required to send their own children to the school system.

Such a policy would instill a sense of fairness and equality upon the public because we would know the rules you are attempting to formulate would apply equally to your children just as they would apply to ours.

Without that sense of security and mutual assurance, I am sorry, but I just can't trust you as an elected official. Its just too easy to pass rules and regulations upon others when you know those changes won't have any affect upon you or your own children directly.

Unfortunately, although I voted for you the first time around, I will not be voting for you again.

Strathmore Mom

Aberdeener said...

Strathmore Mom,

I appreciate your concerns but please allow me to make a few points.

1) The state, not the board, determines the qualifications to become a board member.
2) A large majority of households in Aberdeen do not have any children in the district and I believe we all agree they're entitled to representation as well.
3) I'm sure we also agree that politics should not play any role in deciding where a parent chooses to educate his child.

Having said that, before running for the board, I believe I earned Aberdeen's trust by fighting to improve our school district, for both the students and the taxpayers.

Being a board member, I have been very proactive to raise expectations, standards, and performance.

It's true I have nothing personal to gain or lose through my actions. Everything I do on the board is for the community.

I hope to earn your trust.

PlumberDave said...

Aberdeener keep up the good work.

Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

1)You have issue with almost any state requirement regarding schools but you're ok with this one because it affects you.
2) the issue is not who you represent but whether you are truly in touch with what is happening in our schools. Your expectations are exactly that, yours. I have concerns on how you respond to the issues affecting our student when your opinions are so strong from the start.

Anonymous said...

It is now two months after those outrageous raises and still no type of evaluation process for the superintendent for next years raise. If performance pay is how this board operates it is then the duty of said board to establish parameters that the public can see and make an intelligent evaluation based on attainment of those parameters. It seems as if tangible, provable, results orientated goals are not the objective of this board, just rhetoric.

Hold the Pickle said...


While I find some of your goals to be acceptable, I was disappointed that you did not make any mention of lowering class sizes in grades K-3.

If you want children at the high school level to be able to take Advanced Placement courses and you want to eliminate remedial English and mathematics, you need to get all students off to an excellent start in grades K-3.

Aberdeener said...

HTP, I've been doing a fair amount of reading on research into class size reductions and hope to publish something this week.

Anonymous said...

I once went to a pediatrician who had no children of his own. Smart man but unsuccessful practice because he was unable to relate to the parents in a way that they could respect. That is how I view a board member who makes a conscious choice not to send his children to the public school. Smart man but ...

Anonymous said...

To Strathmore Mom
You said, "I don't really feel comfortable with a Board of Ed member who feels as though he is qualified to govern my children but yet does not want those rules he is looking to establish to govern his own."

I could say, "if you don't pay taxes you are unqualified to vote."

Someone that does not pay taxes does not have a right to elect officials that chose how to spend those taxes.

Maybe we should audit "Strathmore Mom" before she votes. Just to see if she paid her fair share. And if she did not pay any taxes she should not be able to vote.

Does the Super send his kids to Aberdeen PS(if he has any)? How about all the teachers? They are not all qualified either. Hey, some might not have any children at all in our district, if they are parents.

Anonymous said...

Why so defensive against this "Strathmore Mom?" She voiced her opinion and that is that. I agree with her. Mr. Warren doesn't think our schools are "good enough" for his kids. I don't think he is "good enough" for our schools. End of story. Stop being so defensive to people who don't share your point of view. The examples you gave to counter "Strathmore Mom" are ridiculous, such as you are. However, perhaps you have a point about the teachers having kids in the district. If they did, perhaps they would be more concerned with the learning environment than with the what perks their contracts could snag them. Sad to say, for some, teaching is no longer a valiant position, but a way to bide time until tenure or retirement.

Anonymous said...

I will repeat my question:

You presented some interesting goals - at least worthy of DISCUSSION. And no one would even give you a second to discuss?

Is that what you expected?
Is it fair to you?


I guess you do not belong to one of the "wings" you discussed a few months back....

Aberdeener said...

I expect my goals will be discussed at upcoming meetings. I don't surrender at the first hint of adversity.

Anonymous said...

My priest is not a married man, doesn't drink, smoke cigarettes or do drugs. He doesn't drive a fancy car and lives in a house paid for by the Church. Is he qualified to talk to me about these things?

Anonymous said...

In all honesty, NO he isn't.

Certainly you are free to talk to anyone about anything. However, how can someone who has never been married really understand what goes on in a marriage?

How can someone who has never had kids really understand what goes into raising a child?

The simple truth is, they can't.

It is like trying to explain the color "blue" to a blind person.

You can give them all of the information on the subject and they can definitely have an intelligent conversation on the issues, but unless they know what "blue" looks like, they will never really know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

How are those district goal meetings going? I hear that the superintendent didn't show up. hmmmm.... Who therefore is the educational leader on the committee if not the man getting paid $185,000. I guess this is where your experience in public education will really come in handy. Oh, I forgot you have no public school experience.

Aberdeener said...

Thank you for asking. I'm actually quite optimistic.

I'll be suggesting an alternative to the first goal that I believe will have sufficient support to be enacted.

On the second point, we'll be continuing discussion. Though I don't think it will become a stated goal, I do believe there is sufficient support to use it as a metric.

The mission statement is moving along under Dr. Gambino's direction. The superintendent will be recommending additional cost savings. I also expect the tech committee to recommend a massive data mining project.

In terms of the big stuff, what's left is budget, compensation, and curriculum (writing and American history).

Granted, a lot of these goals will require compromises but that's life. Once done, I'll have satisfied my personal goals for the district.