Great Schools Together: Student Achievement and Well-Being (part 1 of 6)

There has been a lot of media coverage and talk about the Central High School relocation project, and the related ensuing referendum in November that probably will be aiming to raise our property tax for the purpose of raising funds “north of $100 million”. As I have contemplated on how we got to where we are today, I have constantly fallen back to 2008 “Great Schools, Together” initiative. That effort has subtley shaped the direction of the Administration and the Board for the past 6 years, and I would wager that most folks had no clue that it was woven into a bulk of the decision-making. Thus I am starting a 6-part series to take a careful look at the “master plan” as released in September of 2008, one part for each of the strategic goals identified by that effort:

  1. Student Achievement and Well-being
  2. Stewardship and Accountability
  3. Faculty and Staff Excellence
  4. Engagement of Parents and the Community
  5. Diversity
  6. Facilities


My intent is to analyze and measure how we are doing on these strategic goals by evaluating each of the sub-goals listed in the Strategic Plan itself. I invite you to read the document for yourself and offer your own observations. I can already tell you that the district is doing really well in some areas and poorly in others. One thing I noticed as I have studied this document and the surrounding literature (mainly more presentations) is that there is a not really a prioritization of goals, thus it is not clear if we are doing well in the “really important” matters or not. Perhaps that is up to use to decide. So my aim here is to simply evaluate things as they stand, for better or worse. I will go after numbers and objective data as much as possible, but I am not going to discount the subjective.


For those that are interested in the “3 paragraph read” and don’t have time for the rest (ie, tl;dr, #tldr), here is my condensed cliff note’s version:

Overall the district is making really good progress with Student Achievement and Well-Being, as stated in the GST Strategic Plan; having said that, I would still like to see specific actions tied to individual “action steps”, better online transparency of the gestalt of where data is and how we measure progress, and why certain goals either were not met or are not being met.

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