Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is it really this complicated?

The embedded video above comes from NBC 29. It first appeared on June 7,2011. The video relates to the move from a seven to eight period academic schedule for students in Albemarle County High Schools.

Woody Guthrie once said, "Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple."

To say our division (at least the students, parents, and teachers) has struggled with the implementation of recent schedules would be an understatement. Misunderstandings abound, evidenced by the rampant misuse of the terms 4x4, block scheduling, and the like. Perhaps input from others might bring some clarity and potentially momentum for improvement...even if it might not matter next year. TU would love to hear thoughts and concerns about scheduling from those affected. (Try to be constructive, leave the complaining to us)


  1. My opinion: the School Board panicked and voted prematurely, against recommendations from staff and without knowledge of parents. Disastrous. New Board leadership needed.

    It was "on the table" because of well-meaning but short-sighted, "follow the latest shiny object" Division leadership that doesn't always understand organizational behavior and infrastructure. ACPS will feel the loss of Dr. Benson acutely next year.

    Mr. Strucko's attempt to return teachers to teaching 5 classes got no traction from fellow board members. Mr. Strucko was the only Board member at the time (now we have two with Mr. Buyaki) to have children in our schools. The School Board and Division leadership are largely removed from understanding the realities of our students' and teachers' experiences in schools today.

    Three School Board seats are open: White Hall, Scottsville and At-large this year. Come on, people with children and people with sense. Run.

    All schedules have pros and cons; none are perfect. Some are more perfect than others, but they cost more. What's it worth?

  2. "Disasterpiece"

    It appears that something terrible was created but the hands that created it value it too much to consider that it might just be a bad idea.

    It is just more of the "more is better" mentality. Another leg in our children's "Race to Nowhere."

    I agree with the first comment; until the SB becomes responsive to its constituents change is unlikely. The people of A.C. elected them and until they see fit to demand accountability through the ballot box we'll continue to have more of the same.

    The leadership and citizens of A.C. need to recognize that unless things were going too well in the past that you can't do more without doing it worse. That goes for students and teachers. Adding an additional class lowers the quality of the classes already taught.

  3. What is most disturbing is how the SB and decision makers dismissed all the concerns that were expressed in favor of all the changes. It is my understanding that while the 4x4 issue has waned to some degree, the additional classes for our kids and for the teachers continues to be ignored. My hope is that at some point the board members will finally recognize that the insight teachers can offer is invaluable. If proposed changes from schools and parents work their way up they will be improvements. If they work their way down they will be mistakes. Two relevant quotes come to mind:

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
    ~George Bernard Shaw

    When complaining becomes a crime, hope becomes despair.
    ~Ben Franklin

  4. I read the article on the school board candidates from the Daily Progress and was sadly disappointed with their comments.

    So it appears no well informed candidates did in fact run. No doubt these individuals are and will do their best to serve us but they have little to no grasp of what things are actually occurring in schools(at least in the ones I am in daily).
    Not everyone has a Smart Board(we are not all idiots either)
    4x4 is destroying the way we operate.

    Strucko it seems to me is the only one with a clue. Others are trying to get one. But not the ones listed here.