Atkinson Town Hall

Atkinson Town Hall
The Norman Rockwellian picture of Atkinson

There is a NEW POLL at Right--------------------->

Don't forget to VOTE!
Make your voice heard!

Welcome Message and Mission Statement

Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituents criticism.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Timberlane parents unhappy with strategic plan Parents react to draft plan

From the Eagle Tribune;

Timberlane parents unhappy with strategic plan Parents react to draft plan
By Margo Sullivan

PLAISTOW, N.H. — The principal of Timberlane Regional High is quashing rumors his school will stop teaching Advanced Placement and accelerated classes.

Principal Donald Woodward responded yesterday to questions raised by some parents, who are worried their children will only be offered basic courses.

One of the parents, Peter Bealo of Plaistow, is drawing attention to the word "non-leveled" in a new draft of the school district's strategic plan. The draft, which is not final and has not been adopted, is available through a link on the district's Web site.

"It says by 2012 all classes will be non-leveled," Bealo said.

Bealo said non-leveled means all the classes will be taught at the same level. The goal is for the whole district from kindergarten through 12th grade, he said, but it means the high school will drop college preparatory classes and AP courses.

But that's not the case, Woodward said yesterday. Accelerated and AP classes will still be offered. In fact, Timberlane may add three new AP classes.

But the district also wants to include special education students in regular classrooms and give all the youngsters the opportunity to succeed.

Also, educators want to review the way accelerated classes are offered, he said. In some cases, the course work is no more challenging than the college preparatory class assignments, he said.

Students should not be earning extra credit for those classes merely because the best students are in the class.

Parents have until today to make comments on the draft. Bealo was upset the deadline for comments was so brief. Many parents had not heard about the strategic plan, which the School Board has not yet discussed. Also, looking at next year's course catalog, it appears the high school has already started teaching "non-leveled" classes by requiring all freshmen to take physical sciences.

Woodward said one helpful comment might be to ask for a clear definition of the word "non-leveled."

School Board Chairman William Baldwin agreed.

"I don't think it means what some parents are thinking," he said.

But Baldwin said he has asked for clarification about mixing students of different abilities in the same classes.

Baldwin said he doesn't think that's a good idea. He wants the schools to improve instruction, so students can compete with other districts and win admission to top colleges.

"We don't want to halt anyone's academic career," he said.

Baldwin said a committee drew up the strategic plan draft. The School Board will discuss the plan at an upcoming meeting.


Anonymous said...

ok, neither the principal, nor the school board chairman, knows what this plan entails. Hell, they dont even understand the definitions of the words in the plan.

Do we see a problem here?

Anonymous said...

No wonder students are doing so poorly. Stop experimenting. What a waste of money.

Fishgutz said...

"Non-Leveled" means dumbing down all classes to the lowest common denominator.
It is the height of insanity to expect a single classroom to meet the needs of the very bright and special ed students at the same time. Inevitably, the advanced students get used as teaching assistants.
"Leveled" classes are better able to meet the needs of the most students because teachers do not have to teach multiple curricula in a single class.
It is long past time to end all inclusion. It harms all students when kids with down syndrome and severe learning disabilities are put in regular classrooms. It makes liberals feel good but that is all.
And yes, advanced students should get more credit for advanced courses. Someone with a 4.0 in all basic classes is not the same as someone with a 4.0 is all advanced and AP classes.
This coming from someone who graduate in the bottom third of my class. It took me a bit longer to realize I had a brain. Now degree in engineering and a masters degree in management. Took me 3 years to pass US history.

Anonymous said...

If they would give tax breaks for removing kids from the public system and allow brighter students to test out of HS classes then this would work, otherwise this is a huge mistake, though an easy out for those who hate to take any responsibility for kids failing (you know who you are).