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Code of ethics for school board

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The school board has a new ethics policy.

The board approved the new code of ethics last week. The code is being recommended for adoption statewide by the N.C. School Boards Association.

The code says that board members shall "remember always that a board member's first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of the students attending the public schools.

Among the 12 points, board members shall "render all decisions based on the available facts and independent judgment and refuse to surrender that judgment to individuals or special interest groups."

There's no penalty for violating any part of the policy.

Interestingly during last week's committee of the whole discussion, Beverley Clark said that board members have engaged in actions that would violate the new code. When asked afterward, she declined to elaborate on her statement.

Click here to view the new code of ethics.

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OT alert

School assemblies segregated students, civil rights group says

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/4704180/

Is diversity/busing ethical?

The diversity/busing advocates are using the excuse that it is driven by "growth".  The data I recall indicated that only about 40% of busing is necessary to fill empty desks.  That leaves the other 60% bused because of the social engineering imposed on the students for the reason that socio-economically disadvantaged students aren't inspired to learn unless seated next to a student from an affluent family. Since the real truth is that students from non-affluent families HAVE PROVEN they CAN learn given the same encouragement, facilities, teachers, etc., those on the BOE pushing busing are in violation of the new "ethics" policy.   Question: Are high performing black students from affuent households in Apex or Cary being bused to SE Raleigh?  If not, then busing is being done to achieve racial diversity, not socio-economic diversity.  Does this stand up to the new ethics policy?

Yes, students who live in

Yes, students who live in Cary and Apex who are Black are faced with "growth" issues when nodes are reassigned. I think it would benefit those on both sides of this issue Diversity or Proximity to understand that"affluent" Black families do live inside those "golden gates" in Cary! Just my humble opinion ...

 

NO! Really?

And brown and red and yellow, purple, green. I've also seen some mixed hues with spots - stripes too! I even saw some at the CCCAAC meeting who were on the WSCA distribution list. Imagine that, this very human story doesn't boil down to a mathematical engineering formula? Wow. Who would have imagined that.

The school board claims that

The school board claims that a small portion of the most redistricting plan is based on F&R balancing.  The "Redistricting" number doesn't count all those kids who are already being bused.

Even worse

The sinister attempt to move low academic performing nodes out of Title I schools to make those schools look better on paper and avoid penalties.

Meanwhile those children are denied benefits of the NCLB Act. You see it has nothing to do with children, that's why they don't wish to study the benefits.

Code of Ethics

As it relates to #12, "remember always that a board member's first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of the students attending public schools", does that mean that the kids and the parents actually come first? Actions speak louder than words.

Clearly, the BoE'S

Clearly, the BoE'S compliance with # 3 has circumvented their need to comply with #s 4, 5 and 6. If only they did not have to refuse to surrender their judgement to the largest special interest group ie, parents, individual parents and parent groups, then they could seek systematic communications, establish effective policies and communicate expressions of public reaction to board policies and school programs...

Thank you Louise and all of you who have dedicated so much time and resources and challenged the system to truly be great and not just create the appearance of greatness! 

What about the "secret" 13th point?

The missing point from public view:

13) The needs of the few will always outweigh the needs of the many.

For administrators?

I wonder if there's a code of ethics for administrators that includes, for example, avoiding empire-building, putting your own reputation ahead of the needs of students, dealing openly and honestly with the public and the board, etc....

Wiki-reporting State-by-state list of

State-by-state list of districts that rejected school calendar change -----Compiled by Billee Bussard. Last updated Jan. 4, 2007 http://www.summermatters.com/rejects.htm

old business

Thanks Angela - interestingly enough, the "Substance" write-up was shared on my blog (and with our education leaders) THREE YEARS ago - and the other article in 2005! For those of you who are new to the anti-MYR scene, it might be worth your while to go back to some of my older postings.

http://soswake.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_archive.html

thanks Louise! for those

thanks Louise!

for those "uninitiated" this is a great way for them to realize just how long the "good fight" has been going on!

Wiki-Angela found another http://www.substancenews.com/

http://www.substancenews.com/Mambo/content/view/294/83/ Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. A country without memory is a country of madmen. [Editor’s Note: At the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year, Chicago has 13 year-round elementary schools. Almost all of them were located in the overcrowded areas of the southwest side of the city. The number of year-round schools in Chicago had decreased since 1999, and nationwide the number has also levelled off. Recent news reports indicate that powerful politicians and their corporate backers are promoting expansion of year-round schools in Chicago. The following article, written for Substance, is from one of the nation’s leading critics of year-round schools. ]

Right, Lisa

Lisa, you're absolutely right - so many FACTS have been ignored by our school board for so many years that it is mind-boggling. I'm still trying to get the truth out to the public concerning the rise in utility rates and transportation costs while enrollment is dropping.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Virginia Beach school board "voted unanimously to end year-round programs at four elementary schools, saving the district $792,000.00."

 A principal at one of the schools remarked, "You move on and do what's right for kids".  Wow...

don't forget this other

don't forget this other recent drop Thursday, February 19, 2009

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090219/NEWS0102/902190412/-1/today

Dayton schools drop year-round schedule

Interim Superintendent Kurt Stanic said that it hasn't served students as well as the district had expected. Earlier, officials had complained that the full-year school schedule interfered with state testing of students and didn't give employees enough preparation time or down time.

Stanic says Tuesday's vote will put Dayton's calendar in line with all other Ohio school districts.

Yes ladies, but....

Ladies, (Angela and Louise),

Thanks for the heads up on these other school districts.  There's only one problem.  These school districts' boards seem to actually care about educating the kids!  Also, I don't think either of those districts do the economic bussing.

OT, but question *ALERT* to all

How many of you have received a letter of "intent" from your school? A letter wanting to see if you plan to stay or leave?

How many have now received a letter to give you an "opportunity" to change tracks?

With wording that states, "if tracks & grades can be rearranged to meet the requests of our families, then FEWER FORCED TRACK CHANGES will be necessary."

I assume this has come about because 145 kids at our school are being reassigned and those seats are NOT being re-filled.
We're going from 755 to 610, not including ones who might "opt out" after those letters are sent out who knows when.
Our school is going to be WELL UNDER CAPACITY, tracks are being collapsed, kids moved out and no new ones moved in, so who wants to tell me how justifying a MYR schedule with the additional operational costs is good for the tax payers with this imploding economy???
I can add more as to what is happening at our school, but will have to get more details first.

Hey g88: I would suggest

Hey g88:

I would suggest putting all of your facts together ASAP.  NO emotion...just facts!  :)

This appears to be a CLEAR CASE of another school that should NOT continue to operate as a MYR school.

With the system having 1500 contracts coming up for renewal at the end of June, the money saved by operating your school traditional instead of YR could probably save some jobs too....

The raw emotion is my best trait though! ;c )

There is NO justification to operate this school, or ANY school, under capacity on a year round schedule when teachers are not being re-hired or worse.  There is NO justification to pay 20+% more to operate these schools when they have empty seats and rooms.

NO JUSTIFICATION!

We've all said this until we are black and blue, but now that I have some facts to work with I plan to do so!

I will get more of them together and try to make sure I cover all the bases I can, but I'm interested to see if this is happening elsewhere or if our school is on "clueless cul-de-sac" alone!  And I know better!

Anyone else getting these letters of "intent" or "track changes" please let us know.

there was a phone message

there was a phone message (I think) about these letters being in our front office, as two of mine are tracked out I guess I wont' receive it until too late, unless I just run in as I sit outside the school and WAIT FOR THE TRADITIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOLER to get out at 3.

 also know that because so many people lied about reason for changes to Track 4 that the ability to change tracks going forward will be extremely suspect in our school at this time.

MYR Facts Have Been Ignored From Day 1

(Lisa B here with my usual "anti-MYR rant")

I think we'll have to check with Louise Lee (or Wiki-Angela) to clarify the exact number, but after 300 (?) school districts tried MYR and realized what a horrible decision it was, WCPSS was given those facts and still chose to move forward. Ignoring the facts was wrong, but now that they have their policy in writing I hope they stick to it.

The County Commissioners even saw through the farce that MYR was and chose to withold funding for the 22 conversions. I am still BEWILDERED that they chose to force MYR on our schools, but THAT WAS THEN and THIS IS NOW. Time for REAL change.

Now that the new "Code of Ethics" is out, if they decide to continue with MYR at the Leesville schools they will definitely be in violation of #3. If the other 21 MYR schools have facts showing how wrong MYR is at your school, I hope you're sharing them.

I do have faith in some of our current school board members and I believe they want to do the right thing. I also think that the majority of the school board members are willing to listen and MAKE NECESSARY CHANGES now.

With the combination of the downturn in the economy, adjusted growth and enrollment projections, and BUDGET CUTS, continuing with MYR at LES and LRMS would truly be stealing from the taxpayers. I honestly can't imagine they'll go through with it, but I have been wrong before....

Wiki here! :) reporting even more schools!

With all the discussion about converting all schools to YR, let us not forget that it has been tried and rejected at HUNDREDS of districts across the nation. Mandatory year round DOES NOT WORK. A small sample of those that abandoned YR:

JEFFRESON COUNTY - Schools in Jefferson County, Colorado abandoned the year-round calendar in 1989 after 13 years of year-round operation in approximately 50 district schools. Despite community protests, half of the district's schools went year-round beginning in 1974 to relieve overcrowding. The district reports no educational improvement or increased test scores. In fact, the decline in test scores in one high school led to decision to return to the traditional calendar. The community passed a $93 million school construction bond six years ago to get rid of year-round school. When the year-round issue threatened again in 1992, the community soundly defeated it, based on past experience. (Jefferson County School District information, 1991)

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY - After operating year-round schools for nine years, Prince William County, Virginia returned to a traditional calendar, basing their decision on little academic improvement, few cost benefits and parent reaction. According to Dr. Mary Weybright, supervisor of programs and planning, "There were not enough advantages to outweigh the disadvantages. "

HOUSTON - Houston abandoned its first experiment with year-round schools after eight years, concluding the program was extremely expensive, it failed to relieve overcrowding and student achievement did not increase. School officials planned to save $6.9 million by eliminating funding necessary for the program.

ROMEOVILLE - In 1972, Romeoville, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, implemented a multi-track program in 16 schools to relieve overcrowding. According to John Lukancic, assistant superintendent of Valley View schools, they abandoned the schedule after eight years because of high operational costs of air conditioning and maintenance, difficulty in filling year-round administrative positions, and scheduling problems at the high school level.

ESCAMBIA - A district wide YRS proposal made in April 1999 for 70 schools was shelved a year later because of  high costs incurred at  the 10 YR experimental schools. It cost about $38,000 more per school to operate and the district will save $380,000 a year by switching back to a traditional calendar. School Board Chairman John DeWitt, a strong supporter of  the year-round calendar, conceded the savings was too great to continue on a year-round schedule.

 

VALLEY VIEW - Began YR in 1970 but all 15 schools dropped it by 1980.This was the first community to try YR district wide. Higher utility costs were among the factors cited. School administrators found no academic advantage to the calendar, said Emmie Dunn, administrative assistant to the superintendent.  "As one of our administrators said when the schedule ended, "After 10 years of year-round school, you're just plain tired,'" Dunn said

AVON - Avon School Board cited the high costs of switching to a multi-track, 12-month school year in rejecting the idea as an answer to overcrowding. Increased costs cited included utilities, equipment repair and replacement, Janitorial care, bus maintenance and transportation. A representative of Indiana State University Services presented figures showing a 33 percent increase in operating expenses, based on data from year-round school districts in Texas and California. He also cited the YRS detriments to families, to education climate and extracurricular activities. The findings were based on two studies, one mandated by the Legislature in July 1995

NYE COUNTY - The Nye County School District voted unanimously to end a three-year year-round calendar experiment  after finding the no academic advantage to the schedule and added costs of $740,000 per year. All the data is in, and it's not educationally beneficial, School Board member Peggy Smith said

ALBUQUERQUE - The number of YR calendar schools   dwindled from 26 to 8 since the school board voted in 1994 to rescind mandated year-round schools. Individual schools can vote  to remain on the YR calendar. Among those that voted to return to a traditional school year was Emerson Elementary, one of the model year-round school  "success" stories featured in a government study, "Prisoners of Time," that served as a catalyst for school calendar experiments. A school board member said YRS "costs us fortunes" to operate and "academically, these schools were stalemating. "

ROWAN-SALISBURY COUNTY - The school board began YR in two school in 1992, eventually dropping it in all schools. It dropped it at the middle school after two years, citing the doubled administrative workload, extra costs in transportation, cafeteria and energy, failure to make a difference in test scores, and  the "us-and-them" morale problems created by offering dual calendars in the middle school

RUTHERFORD COUNTY -  A proposal for district wide year-round school was defeated in March 2001 after loud objections from parents. Dual calendars were approved for just two schools.A middle school in Murfreesboro and an elementary in Smyrna also pulled the plug on its year-round pilot schools in the 2002-03 school year, higher costs and parent oppositoin cited as the reasons

SALEM-KEIZER - Began YR in 1993, dropped one school, then at the end of the 2000-01 school year dropped YR in four of the remaining seven schools for the new school year and made plans to eliminate YR in the remaining three schools in 2002. No definitive studies were made on the academic impact, though the district's special projects coordinator said the results have been mixed. Among the YRS-related reasons for abandoning the eight-year experiment: day care problems created for parents, attendance declines, scheduling difficulties for in-service training for teachers and learning distractions created by hot weather

FORT WORTH INDEPENDENT  - Tried YR in the 1970s then dropped it. Revived YR in 1992, then dropped 22 schools, including 8 middle schools. By 2000, 11 YR schools remained, then another seven were dropped by the 2001 school year, leaving 4 remaining YR schools. School officials reported no academic gains and declines in attendance at middle schools and high schools on a traditional calendar as a result of older siblings being taken out of school to baby-sit younger siblings during the  year-round calendar frequent breaks

What made WCPSS think they

What made WCPSS think they could do it better than all of the others who experimented and then switched back?  Was this research given to the BoE before the MYR experimentation started?

Wouldn't special interest

Wouldn't special interest groups include a wide range of groups such as WEP, CCCAAP, PTA's, NAACP, local chambers of commerce, national and local education associations, Wake Dem. Delegation, I could go on for a looooong time. The recently held meeting and televised comments from Sen. Vernon Malone would be recent examples of individuals attempting to influence policy decisions to coincide with their personal views. I do hope Beverly Clark clarifies her statement. Her remark could encompass anything from the board members decisions on student transfers, MYR school conversions, reassignment decisions or demagnitization to name just a few.

No choice

Parents will be left with no option but to sue.

I agree, we need to see the

I agree, we need to see the old policy to compare and decide if any members have been in violation in the past.

Old policy

Do we know that there was an "old" policy? In looking under the BoE policy section on their web site, I did not see a policy 1035, unless it was there before and they have pulled it, but not replaced with the new one yet.

It was interesting to read through policies 1000, 1020 and 1030. They mention responsibilities to/for the benefit of the district or system, but nothing about students.

...must be reminded to do their jobs ethically?

"The code says that board members shall 'remember always that a board member's first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of the students attending the public schools.'" Wow! It is remarkable that this would have to part of a "new" policy for a school board.

One would expect that to be intrinsic to all board activities. But, as anyone who ever had to deal with the Wake County School Board knows, it has not often been the case.

Of course, there is this caveat: "There's no penalty for violating any part of the policy." This is not so remarkable, it is simply what one would expect from the current school board who defy the interests of students and families on a routine basis.

This October elect family-friendly candidates who support community-based neighborhood schools.

Educational Welfare = Healthy Schools

Sounds to me like they will have new justification for the "Healthy School" mantra.

They know they are in deep

They know they are in deep trouble, and are circling the wagons.

Admission

I guess they're admitting they've been unethical and have a hard time controlling themselves. Bully for them. Maybe they need a 12 step program instead?

The goal is to have new candidates who won't have to refer to the rule book to understand ethics or honesty or integrity or empathy or .......

Ergo - ignore parents and taxpayers

"Among the 12 points, board members shall "render all decisions based on the available facts and independent judgment and refuse to surrender that judgment to individuals or special interest groups." "

Which can be interpreted as saying "we know what is best for your children", justification for continued ignoring of parental and taxpayer wishes.

Vote with your feet and reject government schools. That is the only way to deal with a tyrant.

violation

like Patti Head and Chuck Dulaney ignoring these FACTS to force MYR??

2009-10 Projections:

LRMS

Base students to attend LRMS=1095

TRADITIONAL capacity of LRMS=1222

LRMS will operate at 80.6% Capacity on a TRADITIONAL calendar

(*No additional base nodes will be moving into LRMS during the 2nd and 3rd years of the 3-year plan)

LES

Base students to attend LES=693

TRADITIONAL capacity of LES=860

LES will operate at 89.6% Capacity on a TRADITIONAL calendar

(*No additional base nodes will be moving into LES during the 2nd and 3rd years of the 3-year plan)

Very interesting, indeed.

Very interesting, indeed. Can we please see the old code as well? Glad to hear Bev wants to keep her counterparts honest. Look forward to hearing her elaboration.

There wasn't an officially

There wasn't an officially defined code of ethics before. But the new code includes parts of what have been in policies 1020 and 1030 and some new things.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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