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Date Posted: 11:04:10 01/12/09 Mon
Author: Donald F. Valtman
Subject: Re: Damn IE2 blindside
In reply to: jim 's message, "Damn IE2 blindside" on 10:59:35 01/08/09 Thu

Don't be too hard on yourself. Larry and you pretty well sniffed out the underlying purposes behind Wilbank's/BoE's IE2 proposal -- now approved by the GaDoE and the Georgia Board of Education.

Every plan has its unintended consequencies. Look at some of the now-approved IE2's planned/unplanned(?) consequencies:

> GCPSS has to show improvement in student academic achievement. Not likely to happen in the minority/non-English speaking student subgroups -- which most likely will constitute the majority of GCPSS future (5 year) student enrollments. So Wilbanks/BoE will have to develop some 'innovative' ways to partition these students into exempt schools and focus on showing academic improvement in the high-achieving student subgroup. Sort of like segregating students into the way-back-when 'vocational' and 'college prep' categories.

> But got to sell the parents of the 'vocational' students that they're getting something in the process. So 'pitch' them more new, neighborhood schools, smaller classes, less bussing, etc. But Wilbanks says smaller classes makes no difference in academic achievement! Well, as has been previously noted, most [Gwinnett] voters "can't find their a----- with a AAA road map," so the odds are they'll buy this trade-off regardless of any conflicts.

> Where's the money to come from to build these new, neighborhood schools? From current and future local SPLOSTs! GCPSS's student enrollments are declining so -- instead of building big systemwide schools to serve clusters -- build small exempt neighborhood schools! And, local SPLOSTs coupled with President-Elect Obama's plan to spend megabucks on infrastructure, will make tons of tax money available for new exempt neighborhood school construction.

> So what benefits will academically high-achieving students get from GCPSS's IE2 proposal? They'll probably end up being bussed to existing centralized schools where they will attend larger classes taught by teacher aides. But they really don't need any personalized attention because they're self-motivated and their parents already are actively involved in their education. The overarching benefit will be that this student subgroup substantiates IE2's goals -- they will show the necessary improvement in academic achievement over GCPSS's watered-down goals (which they already exceed)!

> What about GCPSS school administrators, teachers and support staff? There will be lots of potential unrest between individuals and the organizations that represent them. Particularly between organizations that represent both administrators and teachers, those that only represent teachers and those that only represent support staff. The issues will primarily focus on emerging differentials in wages and working conditions between administrators and administrators and staff at schools serving differing categories of students. And if and how these issues affect students has yet to be determined.

> Finally, what if IE2 flops as have other professionally designed academic improvement gimmicks? Well, 5 years hence, Wilbanks will have retired and be laughing all the way to the bank; and most Gwinnett BoE members will have moved on to Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful to design trash collection/recycling programs.

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