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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