1. school buildingIn a recent Lewis Diuguid col­umn in the Kansas City Star, it was not­ed that Dr. Covington may need to elim­i­nate up to 1,500 employ­ees. We sup­port this swift action to “right-size” the District’s admin­is­tra­tion. What assur­ances can the admin­is­tra­tion give par­ents that the ter­mi­na­tions will be based upon the per­for­mance and effec­tive­ness of those employ­ees and not sole­ly relat­ed to their tenure?
  2. In an effort to stream­line the District’s oper­a­tions, Dr. Covington has not­ed that it may be nec­es­sary to close as many as 20 schools. What pro­ce­dures are cur­rent­ly in place to insure that no new cap­i­tal improve­ments are pro­posed, approved or con­duct­ed on build­ings which may be closed in the com­ing year?
  3. In addi­tion to clos­ing schools cur­rent­ly in use, the District owns many vacant schools that have been des­ig­nat­ed as “sur­plus”. These build­ings are closed and may be cur­rent­ly for sale. Please pro­vide the num­ber of build­ings owned by the District that are list­ed as “sur­plus” as well as all vacant build­ings not cur­rent­ly for sale and how much it costs the tax­pay­ers to main­tain these facil­i­ties on an annu­al basis. 
  4. Dr. Covington not­ed in a recent inter­view with Steve Kraske that each teacher in the dis­trict will be pro­vid­ed an annu­al eval­u­a­tion of their per­for­mance based upon class­room obser­va­tions.  We applaud this effort and to that extent, wish to know in what ways these teach­ers will also be held account­able for the aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance of their stu­dents? 
  5. Additionally, Dr. Covington stat­ed that good teach­ers have the sin­gle biggest impact on stu­dent achieve­ment.  We agree that our stu­dents deserve ful­ly cer­ti­fied and qual­i­fied teach­ers.  With the excep­tion of the Teach For America teach­ers, how many teach­ers will the dis­trict retain this year who hold only sub­sti­tute or tem­po­rary cer­ti­fi­ca­tions?   
  6. Dissatisfied with the per­for­mance of the Success For All read­ing pro­gram, the school board charged the admin­is­tra­tion with the task of research­ing alter­na­tive pro­grams.  Our dis­trict promised it would spend the 2008–2009 year research­ing read­ing pro­grams.  It was not clear to the audi­ence who attend­ed pre­vi­ous board meet­ings what read­ing pro­gram was even­tu­al­ly approved by the Board.  Please pro­vide us with the details of what read­ing pro­grams have been adopt­ed by the dis­trict for the 2009–2010 school year and in what ways the staff have been trained to instruct them. 
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