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David Holdzkom reassigned from assistant superintendent to classroom teacher

David Holdzkom is now Wake County's highest paid classroom teacher.

As noted in today's article, Superintendent Tony Tata involuntarily removed  Holdzkom last Friday from his position of assistant superintendent of evaluation and research. With no other senior position in store, Holdzkom said he asked to be sent back to the classroom.

Holdzkom was reassigned Wednesday to Millbrook High SChool to be an English  teacher, which he is licensed to do. He said he'll be teaching English IV and Shakespeare.

Determining if a Wake County school is "healthy"

How has the Wake County school system determined if a school is "healthy?"

David Holdzkom, assistant superintendent for evaluation and research, gave the school board's economically disadvantaged student performance task force a rundown on Thursday as he presented Wake's 2009-10 Healthy Schools Report.

The repot looks at academic performance, school populations, facilities, technology, climate, resources, staffing and programs at individual schools. The report is a carryover from the old days of the socioeconomic diversity policy.


For those who are having problems viewing the PDF links I put up, the ED task force has now posted them on its website. Click here to view the Healthy School Report. Click here to view the report with the staffing data.

Implementing the middle school math placement guidelines in 2011-12

The placement guidelines are staying the same but the training and explanation of the role of teacher judgment is changing for advanced middle school math classes in Wake County in the 2011-12 school year.

Ken Branch, senior director of middle school programs, explained today to the school board's economically disadvantaged student performance task force that they don't have the data yet to make changes to the placement guidelines. But they are putting more details into the placement guidelines to make it clearer to teachers, parents and students.

But Branch also said that they're making it clear to teachers that professional judgment will only be used to place students into the courses who might not be considered ready by EVAAS. That could address concerns that some teachers have used their judgment even under the new guidelines to keep kids out who are considered by EVAAS to be ready.


Click here to view the 2011-12 placement guidelines. You'll see how much more detailed they are than the 2010-11 guidelines.

Accusing The Washington Post of bias in article on Wake County schools

A conservative website has given a pretty harsh review of Wednesday's Washington Post article on the Wake County school diversity fight.

In a a blog post Wednesday, Newsbusters managing editor Ken Shepherd argues that the Post article unfairly paints Tea Party conservatives in North Carolina as being opposed to racial integration and diversity in Wake. Newsbusters is a project of the Media Research Center, which describes its mission as exposing liberal bias in the news media.

"In truth the Wake County, North Carolina, school board is simply moving to reverse decades of busing that shuttled some students to schools farther away from their homes in an effort to artificially engineer the socioeconomic and racial diversity of the county's individual schools," Shepherd writes.

Majority of qualified minority students now in pre-algebra and Algebra I

Minority participation is up in pre-algebra and Algebra I this school year in Wake County middle schools but a lot of the talk today was that it's still not enough.

School officials said 61.6 percent of black middle school students who were identified as being ready to take pre-algebra or Algebra I were placed in those courses this year. The rate was 61.6 percent for Hispanic students and 58.6 percent for economically disadvantaged students using the new EVAAS selection criteria.

Previously, the SAS report indicated a majority of qualified black and Hispanic students weren’t being placed into Algebra I in middle school.


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