Sunday, May 31, 2009

Newport Education Foundation

On Saturday Jim attended the Newport Education Foundation meeting at Richards School. Some of you may have seen the sign for the meeting near the roundabout in town. The sign congratulated Newport Schools on making AYP. At first glance it looked there would be a large crowd. Jim estimated there were only 20 people present; all but three were associated with the school or SAU.

A handout was given to those in attendance. When looking at the flyer mailed out prior to the meeting it appeared they would discuss AYP. This did not happen. Classic Delphi Techniques were used to try to persuade the crowd towards Newport Education Foundation's line of thinking. Since most attendees were part of the educrat crowd little damage was done. Delphi meetings typically employ a "fisherman". This is a person who tries to fish out those who do not agree with the "groupthink" and tries to limit the outsiders impact on the rest of the group.

What's clear from the handout is that this group is an extension of the teachers and/or the unions of Newport School; their goal appears to be getting more money to the school. The group will likely focus a great deal of effort on passing tax increase warrants for the Newport Schools. It does not look like an education reform group where they would focus on having the dollar follow the child instead of the institution or focus on legislation such as getting rid of unfunded mandates, getting rid of tenure or trying to get school choice here in New Hampshire. The group appears to have no intention of scrutinizing the school budget for waste or reducing bureaucratic overhead so that more money is in the classroom where it has the greatest impact on the education of Newport students.

During the meeting numerous suggestions were made as to how to improve academic performance and the response from NEF was we cannot tell the school what to do. But when you read their mission statement they are "dedicated to the improvement and enhancement of the educational opportunities for all Newport students through working in cooperation with the Newport School District to facilitate positive change." When I read the mission statement improving educational opportunities would mean to try to achieve school choice. I don't think that is what the meant but if they do hats off to the NEF. The statement also suggests they intend to try to improve academic performance by telling the school what to do, so which one is it NEF?

Another one of the goals of the NEF is to improve public relations with the community. Improve the educational results and there will be no need to improve public relations with the community it will happen automatically.

I will post more on the NEF later this week.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

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