Unit 4 has posted their 2014 Annual Report, as well as sending it home via “snail mail”. I would assume all student households received a copy of this full-color, 12-page spread.
There are always two sides to a coin. The Annual Report does a fantastic job highlighting the progress and many successes of Unit 4; it delivers a bevy of facts, accomplishments and progress reports with a flair of enthusiasm and unabashed pride. And with good reason – there are many awesome things happening inside Unit 4! There is a even a nice full-page layout that gives a broad overview of the 2014 budget (tip of the iceberg, I know Pattsi).
What I did not find were answers to many questions I have been asking of late. In Tom’s Mailbag, here on this blog, and in personal email to Stephanie Stuart, I have asked about the 57 “outcome measures” put forth by the Great Schools, Together (GST) initiative. As the Annual Report boldly proclaims, “[o]ur District continues to use the Great Schools, Together strategic plan to guide our annual goals and initiatives.” Yet it is hard for an observer like me to see how the Strategic Plan is accomplishing this “guidance”. Yes, I agree that the GST Strategic Plan lends some buzzwords and gives us a vague notion of goals that we are loosely following, but it hard to get more concrete than at. At least, from my point of view.
Another thing, which I have pointed out before, is the graduation rate. Yes, it is fantastic that we are making progress. However, having said that, we have already missed our goals set forth by the very same GST Strategic Plan we are following. Even as recent as the 2012 update to the board, we missed last year’s goal for African-American graduation rates. While I understand nobody wants to put that on the front page, what are we doing about it?