Remove the Summit Personalized Learning Program from the Fairview Park City School District! Bring Education Back!
The beginning of the 2016-17 school year brought a major change to the way the Fairview Park City School District educated students. August 9, 2016, “District Selected to Participate in Elite National Personalized Learning Program”.
“Fairview Park City Schools has a new tool to deliver The Fairview Advantage.” These words graced the cover of a flyer and the district’s web page. The new school year would start in under two weeks. This was the first major reveal of the new program to the community, parents, and students.
What was Summit Personalized Learning Program? A question that instantly ran through many parents minds. With under two weeks until school started, many parents overlooked this flyer or the post on the district’s webpage. Others had concern regarding this program, however, the district did a fantastic job selling the program in the short description they provided. Many parents felt as though they perhaps overreacted to the new program. The consensus seemed : “The district would not make a change that big without disclosing it to the community, parents, and students just over a week before school would start.”
The Fairview Park City School District described the Summit PLP as follows:
“The backbone of Summit’s approach is the online Personalized Learning Program(PLP). Developed by teachers from Summit Public Schools in the San Francisco Bay area with technical assistance from Facebook engineers, the Summit PLP helps students set both short and long-term goals (while tracking progress towards these goals), prioritize their work, learn content at their own pace, complete deeper learning projects that apply real-world situations, and reflect on their learning. Teachers are able to better customize instruction to meet individual students’ needs and interests, including utilizing a variety of tools, many hands-on. This approach is supported by technology that allows both students and teachers to create and carry out individual learning plans and track progress towards goals.” Information obtained from the Fairview Park City School Districts Website, http://www.fairviewparkschools.org/district-select...
The description of the Summit Personalized Learning Program provided by the FPCSD, is deceptive. Within two months of the new year; parents, students, and teachers found themselves questioning this new so called “Elite Nationally Recognized Program”. This platform was to be a “tool” in the classroom. The sad reality was that the Summit Personalized Learning Program WAS the classroom. We the Parents of the Fairview Park City School District DEMAND the removal of the Summit Personalized Learning Program.
Parents and students have continuously voiced concern regarding this new program. Community members, parents and students of the Fairview Park City School District have come together in regards to the districts recent decisions involving the way students learn. As the individuals who SHOULD BE the most valued stakeholders in the district. The district does not listen and the parents are taking back their rights in regards to the public education in our community. We DEMAND THE REMOVAL OF THE SUMMIT PERSONALIZED LEARNING PROGRAM- IMMEDIATELY! We have agreed on issues that we feel need addressed in regards to the Summit PLP and other ed tech software used in the district at present and in the future.
1. Computers as teachers (despite claims made by FPSCD, students have disclosed that the computer is the teacher in many cases) Some teachers have manipulated the platform to merely “do as little as possible” in regards to the Summit PLP and continue teaching the way they know works best. Others have given up on the idea of trying to teach. 30 plus students in a math class, 1 teacher and each student working at their own pace equals impossible. We the parents of the FPCSD demand that our students spend no more than 8 hours of time on computers each week. That the computer be a tool in education, not education itself. We request that the computer hours used in class; logged and available for parent viewing.
2. Large classrooms of students with one teacher. Can one teacher teach 20 - 30 or more students all working at their own pace? Do students ensure they receive the one on one instruction needed in this educational setting? Studies have shown that class size does matter. We the parents of the FPCSD demand that no class size be larger than 25 students without first obtaining approval from the board.
3. The FPCSD speaks of the mentoring program that the Summit PLP has introduced into our schools. The district claims each student receives at least ten minutes of mentoring once a week. Not all students met with their mentor during the school year or only met them one time. We the parents of the FPCSD demand each student an equal opportunity working with a mentor each week for ten minutes; to be documented and followed up with an email to the parent. This will allow for accountability and communication among the mentor and parent.
4. Students do not prioritize work. Students can complete their work at ANYTIME during the school year with no
penalty. Work from the first quarter completed in the fourth quarter or in the summer. Does this teach a child to set goals or prioritize? Is this teaching our children “real world” situations? We the parents of the FPCSD demand our children’s receive a valued education which teaches them real world skills and does not set them up for failure.
5. Students have made claims that teachers behave differently when tours observe the new platform at work in our schools. Claims that teachers start teaching again, show enthusiasm towards education and engage the students. However, when the observers leave, so do the teachers. The teachers are doing what the district says, what the district wants them to do. THIS IS NOT AN ATTACK ON OUR VALUED TEACHERS! THEY SHOULD NOT BE IN THIS POSITION AND WITHOUT A VOICE! OUR TEACHERS ARE NOT TO BLAME! We the parents of the FPCSD demand that our teachers have the freedom to create lessons based on their expertise and experience, make educational changes for our children’s benefit, use various methods of delivering educational material as they see appropriate and voice concerns without fear of consequence. We demand that teachers have a right to think outside the box, incorporate new innovative ideas, and function as individuals.
6. Most Students in the “red” receive greater attention than students in the “green”. Students in the green feel that nobody cares as they are already producing the scores the district desires. This means the district is focusing on those students that bring the district’s scores down. By providing these students extra attention the district raises their scores claiming the success of the Summit PLP when the success is doing what the district should have been doing through tutoring. Instead, those students in the “green”, are robbed of receiving a personalized learning approach with their teacher. The parents of the FPCSD demand that each student the right to an equal education and educational material regardless of class standings. Our children shall not receive an education based on test scores or grades.
7. The cost incurred by the FPCSD in direct relation to Summit PLP: Edmentum - 3,551.03 for a 60-month contract. NWEA MAP - ,460, Please note that using NWEA MAP is a condition of participating in Summit. The cost of 8 Fairview Educators training in Silicon Valley was not covered by the Summit PLP. The FPCSD used monies from the county/city fund to pay for their flight and lodging. Summit covered food and ground transportation. These are a few examples of charges incurred by the district. The district failed in being transparent in claiming the Summit PLP was “free of cost”. Parents of the FPCSD demand transparency in financial accounting. We demand to know how monies are utilized in our district and what programs are cut or lose funding to cover the cost of technology and software. We want a choice in what programs the district defunds or removes to supplement monies for technology and software purchases.
8. DECEPTION - The FPCSD announced the Summit Personalized Learning Program to what should be its most valuable STAKEHOLDERS under two weeks before the start of a new school year. This action regarding the announcement of the platform was anything but “transparent”. The district claims they are “trusted stewards” education, yet chose to hide a major change from the community, parents, and students. A bullet point from the districts Strategic Plan 2015-16 states, “We believe that we have an obligation to be trusted stewards. Therefore, we must be transparent, be responsible in managing the resources provided to us, and communicate well”. The district has again failed at being transparent and trusted stewards of our students. We the parents of the FPCSD demand transparency regarding the educational curriculum and platform and demand a system for accountability: IMMEDIATELY.
9. Despite the overwhelming concern expressed by the parents and students to the district regarding the Summit PLP and the lack of education it provides; the district continues to deliver deceptive and manipulative answers and statements when asked questions or presented concerns. The district has failed to address the concerns of these valuable STAKEHOLDERS and remains anything but transparent. The parents of the Fairview Park City School District demand the removal of the Summit Personalized Learning Program and prohibit the district from implementing any new educational platforms without prior knowledge and consent from citizens of Fairview Park.
10. Student privacy concerns - The Summit PLP and many other ed-tech software contracts made with the FPCSD infringe upon our student’s privacy. Although theses fall within the federal guidelines, we the parents of the FPCSD demand knowledge of who and what software companies are capable of collecting data from students, and a reasonable option to opt-out of software or programs. We demand a means for our students to complete work when such software violates our beliefs and values. We the parents of the FPCSD demand the right to protect the privacy of our students.
11. The FPCSD also states in its 2015-16 Strategic Plan, " We believe families and students are a critical part of all facets of student development. Therefore, we must encourage them to work closely with the schools and the educators". However, the FPCSD has failed at every turn to recognize the concerns of the families and students which it serves. The district chose to begin a new educational platform without the input of these families and students and has continued to fail at hearing their voices regarding this change. We demand the right to be a "critical part of all facets as well as work closely in making decisions which affect our student's education". The parents of Fairview Park, Ohio, from this point forward, demand the right to be an active member in the decision-making process of any and all decisions which affect our student's well-being safety and education.