Dear ACPS Teachers, Specialists & Interventionists:
If you had the chance to read our recent news release and latest report to the school board on our division’s Standards of Learning (SOL) pass rates, you know that these rates, for a significant number of our students, did not meet the state standard. Math and reading scores for our Black and Hispanic students, those from economically disadvantaged homes, English Learners, and students with disabilities were significantly below passing.
I want to reiterate what I stated during the last school board meeting:
As superintendent and as a long-time staff member of this division, I own these results. They are unacceptable and do not in any way reflect the efforts or abilities of our students, families and educators. They do reflect the inability of our current systems to produce the results we are seeking and clearly demonstrate the need for these systems to immediately change.
The first immediate step forward is the issuance later this month of a request for proposal (RFP) to bring in outside, independent experts to audit our reading and math instructional programs, classroom practices, intervention/support models, and staffing.
The RFP will be reviewed by a task force of teachers, specialists, school administrators, central office staff, and community partners. The task force will research the best practices of divisions that are experiencing success, offer counsel in developing the scope of the RFP, and, later, review the results of the audit and provide recommendations for short- and long-term improvements.
This is where your support is needed: I’m hoping you will consider serving on the task force as a teacher representative. We estimate the time commitment to be about 12 hours, and this commitment will include a $30 per hour stipend.
If you are interested in serving on the task force and being an important part of a process that will uplift all of our students, please let your principal or department head know by next Friday, October 14.
You make a positive difference each and every day in the lives of ACPS students! My focus is on ensuring that personnel, tools and systems are in place to aid educators in their daily work, supporting students to meet high standards for their academic and personal success.
Dr. Matthew Haas
Superintendent of Schools