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After heated debate, Sequoia district trustees to meet about honors courses on Nov. 15

Original post made on Nov 7, 2023

The Sequoia Union High School District Board of Trustees debated heatedly over the timing of a discussion about contentious curricula changes for the next academic year after the topic failed to show up on the agenda for over a month.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 6, 2023, 2:46 PM

Comments (5)

Posted by David B
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2023 at 12:13 pm

David B is a registered user.

This simply comes down to: "will this approach help or hurt my kid's chance of getting in to Stanford?"

Posted by MPCSD resident
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 10, 2023 at 5:25 pm

MPCSD resident is a registered user.

It's dismaying to read that a couple of our SUHSD board members were desiring to forfeit their responsibility to weigh-in on such an important topic.

From the California School Board Association:

The role of the school board is to ensure that school districts are responsive to the values, beliefs and priorities of their communities. Boards fulfill this role by performing five major responsibilities:
Setting direction
Establishing an effective & efficient structure
Providing support
Ensuring accountability
Providing community leadership as advocates for children, the school district & public schools

If you look at articles that were written about the school board candidate forums, clearly this topic of honors courses, particularly 9th grade English, was of significant interest to the community.

It's vital for the school board to evaluate whether the evidence provided in the study was sufficiently robust to justify making this important change permanent & district wide & if the reports' author objectively chose reasonable data to analyze & did indeed analyze it objectively or, if instead they had a pre-determined conclusion they were attempting to support.

Likewise, for the English teacher that spoke up, if the report was well-crafted and conclusive then she shouldn't fear the board weighing in. She should want an approach that is best for the majority of students. And, if some students benefit from this approach & others are harmed there should be honesty in discussing the trade-offs, they shouldn't be swept under the rug.

Additionally, I'm curious about that 10% of parents statistic the teacher stated as being opposed to merged classes. Where did that number come from? Were parents surveyed? Were students surveyed? Does it even matter what parents and students think?

The goal should be to simultaneously lift all students & decrease achievement gaps. This should not be accomplished by lowering the roof but rather by raising the floor

Posted by Kathleen Daly
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Nov 11, 2023 at 4:41 pm

Kathleen Daly is a registered user.

How about listening to what the students think - this is a must read: Link to full article below - this is her closing statement:

To all of you nervous overachievers and parents of nervous overachievers, I understand where you are coming from. I genuinely, truly do. But, as someone whom many call a ‘high-achiever,’ on the other end of things, detracking did not hurt my education. Looking back, I wish I had spent less of my freshman year complaining and more time utilizing M-A’s resources to explore my own passions.

It is for this reason that I urge you to take a step back and let teachers do their jobs. Detracking is necessary to help half of the population of M-A, and it will not hurt your child.


A student who never thought she would end up writing this piece

Web Link

Posted by Tawake
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 11, 2023 at 8:28 pm

Tawake is a registered user.

The issue is not at the High School level. It is at the Elementary and Middle School level. Most of our incoming 9th graders should not have been in High School. The education system allows them to be pushed forward in order to show they are ready for 9th grade. I hope all the High Schools test all incoming 9th graders at their elementary/middle schools in regards to their level because their report card mentions they are at the level but they are not.
Now it is left to the High Schools to accommodate the students that are at the lower level and that affects the high achievers. If the High Schools would like high achievers to work with lower level students then have them help as their service hours to assist the lower level.
Majority of our low income families are struggling to make it on a daily basis. Covid, inflation and other factors have affected the level of education for most of our students academic progress.
I know the schools feel by reducing the credits for students to graduate will help. Some of students are not good with classroom setting but excel when taught with technical education( auto mechanics, plumbing, welding or carpentry). We are all focused on green energy and technology but those students who are not making the level are left wondering about their High School experience.

Posted by local teacher
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Nov 15, 2023 at 12:40 pm

local teacher is a registered user.


Let that student choose to be in an on-level class. Please let others make their own choices.

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