Rossford reading program criticized
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Thursday, 20 March 2014 09:33
ROSSFORD - A Rossford resident took the school administration to task for a newly approved reading program.
The Board of Education adopted Success For All, a pre-K through grade 5 reading program, at a special meeting about a month ago on a 4-1 vote with Jackie Brown the dissenter. The action came at the advice of the district English Language Arts Committee. The program will be implemented next fall.
The district is committed to spending $137,534 in the first year, $46,026 and $37,080 in each successive year.
At Monday's meeting, district resident Charlie McKnight blasted the decision.
McKnight said that the program was designed to be used in low-performing inner city schools, and it hasn't worked there.
"SFA has not been proven by independent studies to improve students' scores on standardized reading tests."
He also claimed that the program "treats teachers like factory workers," removing creativity for teachers and does not serve the needs of average and above readers.
McKnight, whose wife Terry McKnight currently teaches at Indian Hills Elementary, said that the teachers feel intimidated by the push to get behind the program.
He claimed a teacher (whom he identified on Tuesday as his wife) was "yelled" at by a district administrator when she questioned SFA during a training session being held via Skype.
"You have an intimidation problem and you will never get the truth from the teachers or their best effort until you fix it," he said.
He urged the board to "monitor this program very carefully and independently," and not let it become a long-term mistake.
But Superintendent Daniel Creps said that he is considering a three-to-five year time frame to properly assess whether the program works.
The committee that recommended it, he said, chose it in part because of the program's flexibility.
"I'm confident this is the right choice at this time," Creps said. "It's an excellent program."
He noted that of the 13 teachers and administrators on the committee, 10 had Success For All as their top choice and the other three ranked it second.
In her comments during the meeting, Brown said that the board needs to listen when concerns are brought up about issues facing the board.
Beverly Koch, who seconded the motion to approve the reading program, said that the board hires administrators to make those decisions and that she trusted the committee did its job in reviewing programs.
"My child's one of the kids in the school system," she noted.
Koch expressed confidence that adjustments will be made to the SFA program as needed. If it's not working then the district can terminate the program. "It's not forever."
On the other hand, she said, "I hope it's given a full opportunity to play out."
The board also heard a report from Treasurer Jamie Rossler on the grade realignment for fall. "We're making great strides."
He said the conversion of industrial arts space into an art room was proceeding.
An initial layout of rooms in Glenwood and Eagle Point have been done, but no teachers names have been assigned to classrooms because those determinations have yet to be made.
One concern is that teachers were promised five days after the last day of classes to move to their new classrooms. That last day of school has now been pushed to June 5 because of the number of calamity days caused by winter weather.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 10:46