Ramona district outlines plans for new way of teaching

By Maureen Robertson

Trustees want more details before they approve how Ramona Unified School District will spend the nearly $1.2 million the state will provide to implement Common Core State Standards in language arts and math next school year.

Students in a Mt. Woodson Elementary classroom review work. Sentinel file photo

The district has two years to spend the money, and it can only be used for professional development, instructional materials and technology, Theresa Grace, senior director of education services, told the trustees last Thursday. It amounts to about $200 per student, based on 2012-13 enrollment.

In her report on common core standards and funding, Grace said a steering committee with representatives of each school is developing a plan that “provides a clear road map” to execute the new academic standards. The committee held its first meeting in the district board room Monday afternoon.

The state requires districts to present plans at a public meeting of the school board and adopt the plan at a later meeting. Detailed spending information is due to the California Department of Education on or before July 1, 2015.

“The plan needs to come before the money approval,” said Trustee Rodger Dohm. “…I can’t in good conscience approve something without a plan. It just doesn’t make sense…I want to make sure we’re doing it right.”

Dohm, a supporter of the more rigorous and indepth learning associated with common core standards, said the district has time and does not need to rush.

“We’ve been asking for a long time to get to this spot,” and the district needs to reorganize and restructure how it teaches students, he said.

This approach to education started in the late 1990s and “nothing happened,” Dohm said, adding he doesn’t want to see that happen again.

“How do we hold staff — that’s teachers and administrators — accountable at the site so it’s really happening?” he asked.

The pendulum in education “just goes back and forth,” he said, with a history of “OK, we’re going to give up now, we’re going to do something else.”

A teacher, Dohm said he doesn’t want to see the district’s efforts wasted.

“We want to know all the little details, because we’re accountable to the public,” he said.

Superintendent Robert Graeff calls common core “one of the most important curricular initiatives in the past 15 years in public education.”

“The new standards adopted by California provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them,” he said in his board meeting highlights available online at ramonausd.net. “The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.”

The National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers designed the internationally benchmarked standards that 45 states have adopted, Grace said.

“We need to produce students who are competitive in an international market for college and careers,” she said. “These standards provide a quality of education in the United States that is parallel to other nations.”

Her proposed budget to implement the standards in Ramona is:

•55 percent, or $595,000, for Staff Development—training in the areas of reading, writing, math, science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

•15 percent, or $225,000, for Technology — increased bandwidth, baseline wireless at all sites and installation costs.

•13 percent, or $150,000, for Instructional Materials to support core content areas.

•11 percent, or $130,000, for Site Specific Technology — hardware upgrades and mobile devices.

•6 percent, or $73,000, for indirect costs.

A copy of Grace’s report is available on the district’s website.

Related posts:

  1. State allocates $1.17 million to Ramona school district to implement Common Core
  2. Ramona trustees tackle realities of changing economy
  3. School starts Monday: Principals share plans and possibilities for school year
  4. District celebrates students’ scores
  5. School district plans to destroy some special education records

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Sep 26 2013. Filed under Featured Story, News, Ramona, Schools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

11 Comments for “Ramona district outlines plans for new way of teaching”

  1. George Howard

    I would strongly suggest that everybody, especially parents of Ramona school children – PLEASE research the program.
    One red flag should be obvious: Why, now, is the government offering all that "free" money to our schools? It's not free…and not just my opinion but many smarter than me will say "common core" be avoided – at any cost. Don't take my word. Please research this.

  2. CA Smith

    George, thanks for that very good statement about "common core". This is another case of a Trojan Horse. There's more to it than is obvious at first glance. Please research this with it's critics, not just those who are pushing it.

    • George Howard

      You're welcome, CA.
      This is a – well, it is whatever they say it is, right? Probably should not blindly trust the hand that feeds us, in this case. I simply ask for people to check it out. There's always two sides to a story. The track record of the recent past we can clearly see – spying on all citizens, persecution of those not falling in line with their idea of the "proper" way to think… taking more and more control over our lives.

  3. M Garcia

    It is not a Trojan Horse. It is the real deal. All the top school districs in San Diego County have implement this. San Marcos, Carlsbad, San Dieguito,……etc. Sadly, Ramona is three years behind.

    • Michael Weeks

      San Marcos, Carlsbad, and San Dieguito are the top districts in the county? What is your source? My experience in the level of education provided in this state suggests that even the top schools (if these truly are) are producing lower quality students each year. The educational establishment, as a whole, is corrupt, incompetent, and self-promoting. I know a lot of school administrators and PhEd's and I can honestly say that the vast majority of them wouldn't last a week in the real world – that's the world where you don't get 3 months off each year and where you work more than an 8-2 job. How can we trust these clowns to get it right?

  4. George Howard

    Sorry to disagree with you but it IS. Why would anybody simply trust the feds with all that's happened the past dozen or so years, and what we know at this point in time?
    Where is this money coming from? There's NO money, it's all being printed as needed and is not real. Why is it coming when schools are desperate or it? Deliberate crashing of the economy to then replace the system with a socialist "utopia" is the plan, making themselves out to be the saviours; this is part of an evil plan, and it is NOT a theory. You don't need to be a crazy person to se it.

  5. m garcia

    Typical Tea Party drum beat.

    • Guest

      Typical response from the misguided and ill-informed. Why is it every time a liberal cannot validate their position with facts they resort to labeling and/or name calling? I have an idea; how about thinking for yourself, research somewhere other than the leftist dribble you get from MSNBC and the network news, and write back with well thought out arguments to support your position rather than simply tear down those of us who disagree with the government invading every aspect of our lives.

  6. George Howard

    "Typical Tea Party drum beat."
    Nice. I could have predicted that response.
    You clearly know everything. My bad. I was foolish to think I could assert my right to speak, simply requesting concerned people to "Do your research". without being shut down by a know-it-all progessive, telling us all,
    "Don't bother researching. I, and the government – KNOW what's best for you. Sit down, and SHUT UP".
    Thanks for setting me straight.

    What, do you think I am making this up?
    Folks, this is nothing compared to how you will be treated once this farce is totally implemented. Free speech of concerned parents or citizens will not be tolerated at school meetings. There's an example in the news recently where a guy was arrested at such a meeting for daring to question the wisdom of common core. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhlvfZK0emA

    If you really think that 2+2 can = 5, then by all means, close your eyes tightly, grab the hand of the nearest government "official" and let them walk you into a nice re-education camp, provided and fully funded by the folks who really love you, your federal governent.
    God Help America.

  7. George Howard

    Let me play your game, m garcia. A question for you, why do you hate America? Why are you so disgusted by the Constitution? Do you want your kids and grand kids raised in a country where people are punished for their thoughts and words?
    I am not a Tea-Party drummer, as you say ignorantly, though I don't disagree with many of their ideas. I am not an R or a D. I am an American who supports the founding documents and their ammendments that made this country the most free, most wealthy, most charitable in history. Where everybody wanted to come to live. The one country the world could count on to help in an emergency or most any other scenario. We'd even help you rebuild your country after we kicked your butt for attacking us.
    I served in the US military for 5 years, potentially the best years of my life, from 17- 22 yers old. I did not die for my country but I signed a paper and swore an oath that I was willing to do so. To support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Now, the world is so backwards that our own governemt calls our veterans, Christians, and anybody who doesn't love their programs -which have failed time and time again throughout history – names like "terrorist". The president lovingly uses the term "teabagger".
    No hate speech there, is there? They preach tolerance and acceptance, but only when you accept what they say without question.
    Maybe you are more an expert than I am, but when things smell bad, there's a reason. They admittedly spy on us. They give taxpayer money away by the trillion and will not say where it went. They have IRS persecute folks who just disagree. They are not accountable for anything they do. There's no evidence – absolutely no reason to believe this govt has the peoples best interest in mind, as they systematically dismantle and burn the Constitution. Looking the other way does not mean you're safe. Joining them doesn't make you safe. Not conspircy theory. Just facts.

    • Guest

      George, I couldn't agree with you more! The government has been invading our lives more and more each year, and THIS government is the worst in history at eroding our personal liberties. Gone are the days were we were FREE to determine for our own path. We no longer can criticize our government for fear of retribution. M Garcia, if you don't believe me, why don't you apply for tax exempt status with the IRS and include "Tea Party" or "Liberty" in the name of your application? Let's see then if THIS administration follows the constitution and provides you with equal protection under the law. Anybody who believes that an administration that uses the IRS to punish it's adversaries will not do the same through education is a fool! This is nothing more than a big-government power grab and further eroding of our independence at the local level.

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