Saturday, May 24, 2008

What's my motivation?

Given that I don't work for Dr. Alonso why would I defend these changes to the funding structure to BCPSS as I have been over at Inside Ed ?

Well for one reason because when things are totally messed up it seems like big changes are in order. I also think that Dr. Alonso is refreshingly honest and open. That's not to say I don't have any issues with the funding formula. Like, what's the concept with giving schools $2200 extra per advanced kid with no strings attached to that money as far as gifted and talented education? I've been told specifically that this money will go towards general staffing. There might be a small increase in G&T funding, but basically the extra funds will just make the funding less tight at their school. So what happens to schools that have a majority of kids who are neither advanced or basic? Those schools are pretty well screwed. And schools that advise their brightest kids to go into G&T magnet schools are now going to stop doing that. So is the concept to stop having magnet programs? I think that's a bad idea - I think that G&T programs need to draw from a bigger population than a neighborhood school.

On the plus side leveling funding between schools has got to be a good idea. Schools which have been underfunded in the past deserve better and schools who have been over-funder (relative to other city schools) need to figure out how to cut waste. I think the waste has had more to do with sloppy management rather than providing the students with an excellent situation. That's just a guess, but when a list of over and under funded schools is published it might be a little clearer.

Regardless, I think that it's time to try a new approach. Fine tuning can come later.

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