The Herald-Leader has been covering a serious disagreement in Lincoln County Schools over the use of a digital learning program called Summit Learning.
In the latest post, “‘Disgust and disappointment.’ Parents upset that web-based program remains at school.” the paper discusses how parents are upset that their local school board has largely just stepped aside and said that the decision on Summit is under control of the School-Based Decision-Making (SBDM) Council in each impacted school and the board really has no say.
That is indeed the result of Kentucky’s problematic SBDM law, and we encounter parents all the time who cannot believe how little power their locally elected school board has because of this accountability-destroying legislation. Instead of elected officials being in charge, it turns out the teachers (not parents) in each school have final control over some really important decisions, those involving curriculum matters like digital learning programs definitely included.
If all of this sounds like a replay of the Summit Learning situation in Boone County Schools a couple of years ago, it certainly seems that way. You can look at the following blogs for some déjà vu on this:
By the way, before the dust settled a bit (controversy still continues) in Boone County, the superintendent and two principals got sanctioned by the Kentucky Office of Education Accountability because of improper adoption of Summit Learning. The folks in Lincoln County’s schools better pay attention to that, because the Herald-Leader article mentions the adoption in Lincoln wasn’t proper, either.
Here at BIPPS, we will add folks in Lincoln County to those in Boone County who are starting to get it – SBDM destroys real local control by elected school officials and their superintendent and means parents really have no control, either, despite the propaganda from SBDM supporters otherwise.
We’ve already seen attempts to fix the SBDM problem in Frankfort, and a camel’s nose got under the tent for Jefferson County Schools in this area during the 2019 legislative session, but the other 171 school districts are still left out in the cold along with their locally elected officials. Maybe we can get a fix for all of Kentucky in 2020.