SAISD to Host Community Meetings on Five-year Plan

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SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) Superintendent Pedro Martinez has hit the ground running since starting his new position in June. Martinez has charged SAISD’s board of trustees and the community with an ambitious, five-year plan to elevate the performance of every district school.

Explore the details of his plan in a story published on the Rivard Report in July when it was presented to the board: “‘The First 100 Days’: SAISD Raises the Bar High.”

The district’s 54,000 students are 92% minority, most from low-income households. The challenges run deep in San Antonio’s largest inner city school district and are outlined by the plan’s 10 goals (see chart below). SAISD will host seven community meetings to lay out these goals and gather community input.

All meetings start at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 9:  Jefferson High School, 723 Donaldson Ave., 78201
  • Thursday, Sept. 10:  Highlands High School, 3118 Elgin Ave., 78210
  • Thursday, Sept. 17:  Sam Houston High School, 4635 E. Houston St., 78220
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29:  Brackenridge High School, 400 Eagleland Dr., 78210
  • Wednesday, Sept. 30: Lanier High School, 1514 W. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., 78207
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6:  Edison High School, 701 Santa Monica Dr., 78212
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14:  Burbank High School, 1002 Edwards St., 78204

Pedro Martinez' goals_SAISD board presentation

The list of dates and locations can also be found on the Districts website at www.saisd.net.

 

*Featured/top image: SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez.  Photo by Iris Dimmick. 

Related Stories:

‘The First 100 Days’: SAISD Raises the Bar High

After a Challenge, Radle Elected SAISD President

Howard, Hernandez Victorious in SAISD Elections

SAISD Gives Teachers, Employees a Pay Raise

New Leadership for San Antonio’s Biggest Inner City District

2 thoughts on “SAISD to Host Community Meetings on Five-year Plan

  1. Goal setting is not new to SAISD. In the last 30 years Rodriguez, Lam, Splitek, Olivares, Duron, Perez and now Martinez have set goals. What was different was the approach, strategies, used by each superintendent. It is those strategies and activities that will determine whether the district will meet its goals. SAISD is in the business of education, so it becomes incumbent on the leadership of the district to “teach” the strategies they feel will work and help the teachers reach the district’s goals. It serves no purpose and sets up everybody for failure to merely state the goals and ask everybody to reach them. At a certain level that could be considered insulting, because it presupposes everyone knows how to do an excellent job and deliberately sabotages their own progress. It would behoove the leadership to do a needs assessment of pedagogical, school leadership, and curriculum leadership skills held by the present personnel and THEN train them to meet the goals set.
    Will that happen? It remains to be seen…. If this does not happen, this administration, like all the previous ones, will see Mr. Martinez surround himself by a cadre of imported education decision makers, that will never ask – Why is it done this way? Have you tried this? Did it work? Why not? If they don’t do this, rather act like saviors with all the answers (as all the others have) their time will also be limited. They will discover as so many have, not knowing your history, sets you up to repeat it.

  2. When I was a young, idealistic public school teacher in the mid-1980s, the principal assigned me classes filled with students that the system had given up on: special needs, disciplinary cases, low achievers. Welcome Back, Kotter. When I asked about textbooks, the department Chair pointed to a closet and said, “See if you can find something in there to use.” The experienced teachers, as a reward for their many years of service, taught the college-bound as well as the Gifted and Talented students.

    At the end of each week, all the teachers had to fill out endless forms showing how our lessons matched a spread sheet of essential skills. The paperwork was dizzying. There was little mentoring, and I felt like a factory worker with the additional task of taking home 150 papers to grade during my down time.

    Flash forward 30 years and things may have gotten even worse: The same upside down reward system for teachers, even more bureaucratic overlay, teacher burnout, and a Henry Ford model of education based on “dumping” information instead of encouraging critical thinking.

    What has changed is the recognition that the current results are dismal. Five percent of SAISD college graduates are college ready? How could that be? The stakes for our future as a democracy are on the line.

    I agree 100% with you, Candace, that the approach must be different this time.

    Do not bring in expensive “national” experts and force beleaguered faculty to attend irrelevant workshops. Do not rely on canned material from textbook publishers who contribute money to state lawmakers to peddle their wares. Do not hire yet more administrators that create top-down, mini-fiefdoms.

    Instead, let’s try this: Hire the best teachers and insist on active collaboration, not just among teachers at the school, but among K-12 teachers and college instructors. Reward administrators who devise methods of reducing, rather than increasing, needless, spirit-crushing paperwork.

    Insist that the superintendent observe a different class each week.

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