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Curriculum controversy boils over in Palm Beach schools



26323389 There's got to be a lesson somewhere in the chaos that's been under way for the past several weeks in the Palm Beach school district.

As the news reports go, superintendent Art Johnson brought in a new chief academic officer by the name of Jeffrey Hernandez. The two hatched a plan to make the system's curriculum more standardized and accountable through the use of things like lesson calendars and frequent testing.

Thing is, they apparently didn't vet the idea with the people who would have to live through the changes — you know, teachers, parents and even School Board members. They just did it.

Weeks into the new program, opposition is mounting rapidly. 

The Sun-Sentinel reports today that more than 1,000 parents and teachers showed up last night for a board meeting to rally against the changes

"One-size-fits-all does not work," one exasperated mom told the board. "Is this really best for all children?"

After more than five hours of testimony, the board had its say. Members were less than pleased and proposed halting the superintendent's plan, the Palm Beach Post reports.

"We definitely have a role model here in how not to implement change," board member Sandra Richmond said.

They postponed action, asking Johnson to come back at a workshop with more information. Johnson offered a window into his perspective, though, as he offered this to the crowd: "The board does not give direction to the superintendent."

Hmmm. Let's see. Angry parents. Angry teachers. Conflicted elected board members. Determined appointed superintendent. Any thoughts how this one might turn out?

(Photo from the Palm Beach Post)

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:39am]


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