The proposed budget came out for Wake County Schools. I had some questions, so I popped off a letter, which I have included below. It’s worth noting I also ask about the NC Large District Superintendent Consortium, of which I have an active FOIA request currently in process. I also ask about the ambitious raise of 3.5% Merrill highlights. I’m pleased to see that, however how is it structured exactly? It would be more frustration and a shame to see the rug get pulled out from under teachers again, so that is one question I ask. I didn’t ask how much this video cost us:
Did you get that? It’s all the rigor. In case you missed it, it’s the rigor. You know, we have to skew the scores again because… rigor. They doth protest too much in this video, which is why I decided to ask about the EOC’s as well in my letter. Wake Parents, you should be asking questions too. Contact the Superintendent. I’ll happily publish your questions and any replies you get, just contact me at TheLL1885@gmail.com
My letter; sent this morning:
I saw the announcement for the new (proposed) budget announcement:
I also read Superintendent Merrill’s statement:
I have a question or two about the first claim of that statement which reads:
“85 Percent Of Wake County’s Schools met or exceeded expected growth on the new Common Core Standards during the 2012-2013 academic year.”
1. What is meant by or comprises “expected growth”?
2. Where can I find the supporting documents for this claim?
On the budget
Page 59 - “Revenues” the line item for Common Core essential standards was blank.
1. Is that due to the RTTP funds expiring Fall of this year?
2. The budget was large with many charts, can you direct me to the portion that shows where this funding is replaced?
Page 27 of the budget has grants from multiple groups.
1. How many of those are supporting or supplementing Common Core activities?
2. Where can I get a breakout of their specific expenditures?
It was nice to see initiative in increasing the teacher salary for Wake teachers by 3.5% included. From what I read, this assumes local funding to the tune of $29.1 million?
1. Will that increase be coming in the form of increase to the supplement?
2. Can a more detailed explanation of how this is going to happen be given beyond the linked documents linked and/or located here?: http://www.wcpss.net/blog/2014/03/superintendent-outlines-investments-in-literacy-graduation-and-employee-salaries-in-proposed-2014-15-budget-2/
EOC test scores
I understand these were altered in the past and have been altered again to allow for more children to pass them because of “rigor”.
1. What purpose does this altering serve beyond softening the blow of bad results coming back again this year?
2. How are you getting real results of what this “rigor” of new standards is by widening the passing rate?
3. Where can a citizen find the raw scores before they are tampered with by adjusting them to this new scale?
Also, the link below on the WCPSS page does not take you where the link says it should – if it does, please indicate where this item is supposed to be located in the page it does take you to as it is not readily apparent:
On a related matter, I and many other parents asked several questions at the Superintendent Direct Line forum and have not seen any answers or response to them yet. Will there be an addressing of our concerns, in particular the pointed question about the NC Large Schools Superintendent Consortium and the Data collection? In case one needs to review what was asked, I captured it all here for you:
I will be posting this letter online. I will also post your response when I received it or make note of the lack thereof.
Thank you in advance,
A. P. Dillon