Alton Central School (ACS) Board Votes 3 – 2 AGAINST ‘Common Core’ — Whatever The Vote Was Supposed To Mean!
.by Anura Guruge
>> How come no ACS teachers attended … — Aug. 10, 2013.
>> ACS Board Aug. 8 Workshop … — Aug. 9, 2013.
>> ACS Workshop … should be hilarious — July 31, 2013.
>> ACS board not 100% behind Common Core? — June 11, 2013.
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The ACS School Board vote at the September 16, 2013, meeting, however pathetic it might have been, duly confirmed my contention following the June Board Meeting that the ACS Administration and staff did NOT have the Board backing when it comes to Common Core.
This is why I have agitated, as the minutes from the Board meeting clearly show, to get a straight up-down vote from the Board on this.
It happened and it came out as I had expected — with the Board showing its contempt for ‘CC’.
I knew how Steve Miller was going to vote. He had already stated his support for CC for the record.
I was glad and impressed that Sandy Wyatt voted for CC. It is now official: Deanna and I think she is GOOD, VERY GOOD.
I had planned to get up at the first public input session and ask the Principal why teachers from ACS had not attended the Board meetings to present their side of the story.
Though I did bring it up, I did not have to. There were about 7 or 8 (maybe more) ACS teachers present, led by 6th grade teacher Mr. Richard Kirby, who I think represents the ACS teachers in some capacity. He stood up and spoke maybe four times. He did a good job of refuting the crazy claims about CC and also clearly stating the case of the teachers as to why they are in favor of CC. Thank you Mr. Kirby. Mr. Kirby, however, is not a lawyer nor a politician and as such was not as forceful as he should have been with the rebuttals. I see that a lot with teachers. They kind of get out of practice arguing with adults.
I was delighted to see Carol Locke, the Principal of Gilmanton School, at the meeting to defend and promote CC and also to unequivocally refute some crazy statements related to teachers resigning from Gilmanton because of CC that had been made at the August Workshop. That is the first time I had seen her, let alone met her. When she got up and stated her address (which she didn’t have to do) I realized that we were neighbors and that I even walk past her house on occasion. In addition to speaking as the Principal she also spoke as an Alton resident and grandparent. She has my thanks. She was impressive.
Mr. William Lander, the Superintendent, made a VERY GOOD forceful statement on behalf of the administration and staff as to their belief and commitment in CC.
But that was all in vain.
Politics prevailed. They were not voting on CC. They were voting on ideological political beliefs and their profound fear of anything that is other than their cherished ‘local control’.
But, here is the irony and I knew that this would be the case ever since I asked for the vote.
The vote meant nothing.
It changed nothing, it changes nothing!
Yes, to be fair some of the members did point this out before the vote — viz. that they were not sure what they were voting for or against.
But, they voted against their support of ‘CC’.
However, ACS is already committed and on track with a CC-based curriculum, books and testing for the 2013 – 2014 school year. That die is cast. Rotate has been reached and exceeded.
To change course they will have to take some other votes.
Mrs. Locke (first) and I (second) BOTH stood up in the second public input and asked for clarification as to what the voted meant, its ramification.
Mr. Lander, to his credit again, pointed out that the vote didn’t change anything. He was on the ball today. I was impressed.
I chased after Mr. Kirby, who left (no doubt in disgust) after the vote and asked him if he understood what the vote meant. He didn’t.
What a Board.
Of, there was healthy applause from the public gallery, but not the teachers, when the vote failed. Sad.