This week's board meeting saw another attempt by our district to spend money they don't have. The board considered expanding the new "Fast ForWord" reading program for struggling readers they approved last month for Anna Hause. The proposal was to offer the program through the adult education program.
Last month we were told the program could benefit GATE students but the license is limited to only 50 students and there is no evidence that above average readers would benefit from this program. This week we were told they could eventually market the program to our older community members as a tool to improve memory retention. This claim is also not backed up by any research.
This would have been another $39,000 and double their commitment to this new program. I told the board I was giving up on arguing that the money might be better spent reinstating the GATE program since this argument didn't work last month. Then I told them I give up on convincing them not to spend money they don't have, this always seems to be a losing argument.
This time I tried to present the facts of the research I linked to in my earlier posts. This didn't appear to sway the board members in attendance that approved the new program last time, Greenwood and Sanchez. Fortunately Mr. Orozco was absent and therefore the vote was a tie and the proposal went down to defeat. Not to worry, within a minute of the vote, Mr. Greenwood suggested the cabinet bring back the issue when all five board members are present.
On a positive note, the first estimated results of last year's state testing were presented and very impressive. You can find a link to the pdf version of the report on the district's Accountability Reports Page here http://beaumont-ca.schoolloop.com/Accountability-Reports . As Dr. Vaccarello commented, "Truly amazing things are happening in this district." I just wonder how the test scores would look without the scores of the districts talented and gifted GATE students.