SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 161
November 6, 1998
|FROM:||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Superintendent's Study Group Superintendent's Study Group|
The Superintendent's Study Group meets regularly. It is composed of the chairmen of the eight regional study groups, plus the VASS officers. We will distribute the minutes of each meeting by means of a Superintendent's Memorandum. The minutes of the meeting of October 9, 1998, are attached. If you have questions regarding this information, please contact Richard Layman at (804) 225-2024. Thank you. PDS/pg Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attachment will be sent to the superintendent's office. --------------------------------------------------------- Meeting of the Superintendent's Study Group Friday, October 9, 1998 Superintendent of Public Instruction Paul D. Stapleton opened the meeting by pointing out that a decision had been made to limit attendance at the Superintendent's Study Group to the executive director of VASS and the Regional Study Group chairmen. It will be a superintendents' study group, he said, "where we can talk about public school children." He noted that a large group of superintendents and individuals representing educational organizations will probably meet three times a year to discuss issues related to public education. The state superintendent said "We have a lot of really tough issues to deal with right now," and he asked the members of the Study Group not to hesitate to call him if they have problems. He said he is trying to get as many staff people as possible to attend the regional study group meetings and he emphasized the importance of the cooperation of local superintendents in efforts to improve public education. Mr. Stapleton introduced the president of the state Board of Education, Kirk Schroder, who said he is making a point of visiting around the state, and obtaining comments and suggestions that will help him and the Board of Education. He asked the council members to give their recommendations on vocational seals on students' diplomas. In commenting on the new school Report Card, Mr. Schroder said that a special letter will be sent with the Report Card to explain its contents to parents. He said he would probably appear before House and Senate committees to explain the Report Card, and he noted that the Board of Education has given him the authority to approve the final product. Andy Stamp, assistant executive director of VASS, asked about any preliminary work that might be done with the news media before the Report Card is released. Mr. Schroder indicated that the SOL Advisory Committee will be informed of the final version of the Report Card before it comes out. He said there would be no surprises. The committee's feedback and reaction will be sought in advance. Dr. Mark Edwards expressed his pleasure at the approach being used by the Board and the committee, and he expressed hope that the teamwork approach will be maintained. Dr. Deanna Gordon asked how superintendents can respond to questions from the media and individuals who might feel that the scores are not set high enough. Mr. Schroder responded by stating that he did not think there would be much consensus for bringing the scores below 50 percent. He said he would develop a formula and a message for dealing with public concerns about the scores. He stated that he has visited the editorial page editors of newspapers through the state and discussed the test scores and other issues of importance with them. Following further discussion of the test scores, Dr. Edwards said, "You and Paul have been the best support we have had and there is the sense that you are listening to us." Mr. Schroder said that in his opinion the world of education and public opinion are two separate but parallel worlds. Setting a score that educators understand is not enough, he added; such a decision has to have public support and public understanding to be successful. Following discussion of other topics of concern, the meeting was adjourned.