BoE POLICY COMMENTS

The Montgomery County Board of Education (BoE) has a large number of Policies which, in the aggregate, define the vision and goals of its educational programs. Each policy has a three-letter code name (e.g. XXX) and most are associated with a 'regulatory piece' (coded as XXX-RA) that describes how the policy is to be implemented. Policies are revised from time to time and the revision process includes a point at which a draft of the revised policy is made available for public comment prior to the Board's final action to approve the revised version. Included below (reverse chronological order) are pdf files for comments I submitted (as Chair of the MCCF Education Committee unless otherwise noted). While much of this material makes for rather dull reading, I have posted it here because each piece includes at least some sections reflecting my/our philosophy on public education. All BoE policies may found on their website here.

Policy JFA - in January, 2007 we provided a lengthy critique of the draft revision of Policy JFA (on Student Rights and Responsibilities). This was the last such document submitted by the MCCF Education Committee under my chairmanship and it expands upon a number of points that we had been attempting to make regarding the importance of public education to the functioning of a democratic society. In particular, we were highly critical of the notion that some students should be held to a "higher standard".

Policy IEB - in December, 2006 we offered comments on Policy IEB, on Middle School Education. Despite the fact that this document was widely advertised as the basis of 'middle school reform', we found it much too long and diffuse, with many critical elements either missing or obscured by excess verbiage.

Policy FFA - in December, 2006 we offered comments on Policy FFA, on Naming School Facilities. We focussed on the apparent desire of the BoE to assert, yet again, its authority to ignore community input.

Policy IEB - in December, 2006 we offered comments on Policy IEB, on Middle School Education. Despite the fact that this document was widely advertised as the basis of 'middle school reform', we found it much too long and diffuse, with many critical elements either missing or obscured by excess verbiage.

Policy ABA - in May, 2006 we offered comments on Policy ABA, on Community Involvement. We pointed out the need to re-establish trust lost because of recent disputes between BoE and elements of the community and urged the policy be more explicit in defining the need for a formal mechanism by which community feedback is tabulated and the public can access a record of how the BoE and MCPS responded to such input.

Position Paper on FAA-RA - this document was distributed in January, 2006, at the end of a long and contentious battle over Policy FAA (Long-Range Educational Facilities Planning). Although the RA pieces do not usually involve citizen participation, the BoE convened a working group to help with the 'vetting' of the new FAA-RA. We posted this document so the Board and the wider community would know how we perceived the process (and the result).

Policy BNB - in April, 2006 we offered comments on Policy BNB, which defines the functions of the BoE staff. One important issue is the extent to which the Board has a staff that is independent of MCPS administrative staff and thus can help the BoE in its role in supervising the Superintendent.

Policy IQD - in December, 2005 we offered comments on Policy IQD, which defines Academic Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities. We urged the BoE to take a less restrictive position in this area and presented our view of public education as having a much broader purpose than simply academic achievement.

Policy BFA - in May, 2005 we offered comments on Policy BFA, which defines the process of setting policies. This one is rather dry...


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Last modified: Thursday, April 23, 2009