This Tuesday night (1/29) the RVSD board will vote on their consent agenda to approve $38,000 (confusedly presented, sort of, as $28,000 in board docs 2 weeks ago with some tortured language that in retrospect made the actual $38,000 cost in the attachments make sense) to Hanover Research group to – essentially – incite the community and continue the unnecessary battle against the charter and its students and families.
This is particularly odd on the eve of a possible breakthrough to get the charter off campus property – a goal that virtually all stakeholders share – and the first glimpse of community peace in years.
The language is very confusing. At first glance, it appears that proposed “research is to identify, analyze and prioritize potential budget adjustments…and identify best practices for recruitment and retention.” This in and of itself is interesting. Apparently we are flush enough to hire an outside research group?
But on closer scrutiny, it is very clear that what the research is intended to do is far from a balanced, full study of teacher retention strategies, best educational practices, or even intelligent budgeting prioritization approaches.
What this is – clearly – and you should go read the attachment for yourself – is a research project myopically and obsessively pre-occupied with the charter…that fails the first order expectation that research is unbiased and, specifically, fails to explore a full range of possibilities for why teachers leave and how the community feels about the programs RVSD offers.
Is this what our community needs the district to spend another $40k of classroom funds on?
Recently ordered by a Sonoma court to work out their differences with the charter, it’s time for RVSD to stop obsessing about the charter and focus on educating the children who attend their schools. We’d like to see more research done to help RVSD understand why a significant minority of the community believes that it is not adequately meeting the needs of their children and to support RVSD teachers in innovating and experimenting to better meet those needs; and learn from communities which have successfully cohabitated with charters and alternative programs of choice.
We think the community is tired of the war and we need leaders who stop militarizing and funding this fight.
Please consider contacting your school board trustees to ask them to take this item off the consent agenda and ask Hanover Research group to present a research proposal that looks forward in a positive way to building the most responsive education possible, to supporting the best staff, and leading the community somewhere different in the future than where its been mired for the past 3 years.