Part II of the Evaluation piece has been delayed by technical difficulties, so in the mean time, I'd like to share some informational links and comments.
Regarding LGBT issues and the Saline schools:
There's a contested election for the Saline school board. The two candidates on the ballot are against the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, but there is a write-in candidate (Marian Faupel) who is in favor of their addition. You can watch the video of a school board debate here. (The candidates are all a mixed bag though, if you read their opinions about privatization and unions, among other items.)
Here is an article about a Saline resident who wants the school board to reconsider its vote, and is starting a PFLAG chapter (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).
Child-psych.org is blogging about why a gay-blind approach to bullying won't work.
Ypsilanti schools: unions, homecoming, voting and more
There's a contested election for the Ypsilanti school board too. WEMU has coverage of this here and here.
WEMU also has coverage of the teachers' union contract: concessions, concessions, concessions.
I felt bad for the students that Ypsilanti's Homecoming Dance was cancelled. According to a friend of mine in the district, it was the right call because there was a fight Friday night (the night of the Homecoming football game), with non-students fighting, and one of them (the one who hadn't been captured) reportedly had a gun. First of all, students do spend money and make plans around Homecoming, so I feel bad for them. I also couldn't find any reports regarding whether the bozo in question was captured. Combining the Homecoming and Halloween dances is just not the same--and I say that as someone who never went to Homecoming or Prom.
I'm very curious to hear more about how New Tech High School is working out. (Anyone with direct experience who would like to send me a note, I will post it.) I did know that the New Tech model is a national model, but I didn't really realize that the New Tech High School model involves lots of project-based learning.
Willow Run: Is there news?
News from Willow Run has been mighty silent. But I did pick up that Joseph Yomtoob (former Superintendent, many years ago) is now serving as the middle school principal.
I also noticed that new teachers who start in Willow Run are starting at just over $33,300 (if you have a BA), and around $3,000 more if you have an MA. I'm pretty sure that is lower than most of the surrounding districts.
At the end of their last approved board meeting, they went into closed session to discuss negotiation strategies. Didn't they just reach agreement with the teacher's union?
Still not a peep about Count Day. Anyone know how their numbers have turned out?