Monday, January 3, 2011

Failure to Deliver Advanced Placement Courses at HHS for 2010-2011 School Year Despite Assurances and Promises Otherwise

The political group which currently controls the Hoboken Board of Education, Kids First, have not only procrastinated on hiring a permanent superintendent of schools (560+ days and counting) but they have failed to plan for this academic school year by not offering Advanced Placement courses at Hoboken High School...despite their promises and assurances in April 2010 and again in September 2010 that the high school would have Advanced Placement courses in place for this current school year.

To fully explain, one should start at the April 2010 Board meeting and work forward:

1) Eight months ago, in April of 2010 the Kids First Board of Education adopted the Advanced Placement (AP) program for high school students. In an article on the topic published in the Hoboken Reporter, Kids First Board trustee Ruth McAllister said, "the district decided to make a switch from IB to Advanced Placement (AP) courses for next year (2010-2011), and that the move was not related to state cuts. McAllister continued that "juniors will be offered AP classes that can be used to accumulate college credits while still in high school."

2) in a September 12, 2010 letter to the Hoboken Reporter, another Kids First trustee clearly stated that during the 2010-2011 school year "The High School will be offering Advancement Placement (AP) courses."

3) Finally, at the December 7, 2010 Hoboken Board of Education Meeting there was submitted and approved (see attachment below) a request to "begin investigating training options and course planning" for Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Hoboken High School to "begin in the 2011-2012 School Year." Why has it taken 9 months to think that "investigating options" might be a good idea? Why didn't investigating options begin the day after the April 2010 Board of Education meeting which abandoned IB in place of AP? Or, as soon as the September 2010 letter to the Hoboken Reporter was released? Or, why wasn't the motion to move forward and investigate presented at ANY of the 7 previous Board of Education Meetings since the April announcement? Most importantly, what happened to the promise of Advanced Placement courses for the students in Hoboken High School for this current academic school year?

Of the dozen or so consultants and interims who Kids First have hired over the past 2 years-- SOMEONE should/could have been given the task of looking into the Advancement Placement Program and begin offering training, course preparation, and transitions so courses could have been offered during the 2010-2011 school year. Instead, the Board seems to have procrastinated and now appears to have simply written this entire school year off for any hope of effectively offering Advanced Placement courses as promised.

Here is a list of actions that should have already taken place by this date- a list any effective administration of AP requires and information any effective administrator would be able to obtain in a few minutes of inquiry:

1) The formation of vertical teams (teachers in one subject in grades 6-12) to plan curriculum.
2) Assuring that the curriculum allows students to learn early how to tackle challenging courses.
3) Teachers are encouraged to coordinate their classes and assure that they are preparing students.
4) Training for teachers and administrators specifically on AP that is offered throughout the school year
5) Training for teachers and administrators needs to be both on the regional and state level as AP is a national program.

Want to find more about Advanced Placement? Start by clicking HERE.
Previous posts on Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Hoboken : Post 1, Post 2, Post 3.
Questions and Answers for Parents Concerning Advanced Placement Courses: Click Here.

Dec 2010

No comments: