Edina Curriculum Change: Mediocrity not Excellence

mediocrity_excellence.jpgThe Edina Public Schools have a goal to become a world class institution. Monday, July 16, 2018 the school board voted on curriculum for the PreAP 10 Language Arts class. They decided on mediocrity instead of excellence.

The curriculum of PreAP 10 Language Arts class has been under criticism for more than a year. Over the past school year, the school administration has listened to teachers, students, and parents with a goal of revising the curriculum. The result was an improvement. More writing assignments were added and two of the core books were replaced. An in-depth article about the curriculum change was published in the Sun Current before the vote. 

Parents felt this did not go far enough. The Lexile scores averaged 880, significantly below the state standard for 10th grade of 1080-1330. The administration said that other Minnesota schools used these same texts and those schools also had Lexile scores below the state standard. They felt their curriculum was good enough.

Parents proposed changing 3 books in the curriculum to improve the Lexile scores to the state standard. The administration rejected those suggestions.

Board members were given a choice of keeping the discredited curriculum or voting for the revised curriculum. Ellen Jones, Amir Gharbi, Erica Allenburg, and Leny Wallen-Friedman deferred their judgement to the expertise of the teachers and approved the curriculum. Matthew Fox was unable to attend. Owen Michaelson and Sarah Patzloff opposed the curriculum because they felt there were better options available.

In my opinion the School board is supposed to set goals and standards and not just accept what the school administration tells them is possible. In this instance, most of the school board fell short of their duties.

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