Friday, May 29, 2009

Eye on the Air

Friday May 29, at 1 PM tune into WESU -FM (88.1 FM or and click on the Listen Live button) to hear the debut of Eye On the Air, a one-hour radio show to complement this news blog.

I've traded in my music show to host a show which will feature some of the stories you read in the Middletown Eye, with guests who can address some of the issues you'll find at this site.

Friday the show will feature guest appearances by NEAT executive director, Izzi Greenberg, and Middletown's Assistant Superintendent for Administration, Barbara Senges. We'll discuss the issue of leveling in grades 6-8 and the issues and challenges of education for residents of Middletown's North End. We'll likely wander onto other topics of interest as well.

Tune in.


Topher Polack said...

I know you are just getting started but is there any possibility that your show will be published as a podcast?

Pearse said...

I'm listening right now! This is all very exciting, hearing the Eye on the air!

Stephen Gaarder said...

Assistant Superintendent Senges explanation of "leveling" was exceptionally clear and even convincing. Had such an explanation been offered at Tuesday night's Board of Ed meeting, it may have helped allay parents' fear and anxiety over the proposed policy. I was at the Tuesday meeting and was frankly more informed by what audience members on both sides of the issue said then by anything offered by district administration -- in particular Superintendent Hennelly's monotone reading of the research literature.
I do take exception to Assistant Superintendent Senges assertion that parents only attend meetings when issues directly effect them and are therefore not well informed about the district's plans and initiatives. I have attended numerous school board meetings over the past 8-10 years and have not always left feeling better informed.
Good show. I look forward to many more.

Richard said...

Sounded pretty good to me. An important subject handled very well by guests and host. By the way, it actually is the "Reminisce Jazz Group."

Kevin Smith said...

I listened to the show this afternoon and would like to make a few comments about some of the statements made by Assistant Superintendant Senges.I was some distance from Middletown and the reception was not always clear so if I mischaracterize something that was said I am sure someone will correct me.
I agree with Stephen Gaarder that it is unfair to complain that parents are not well informed about what is going on in the district. The only way that we can be informed is if the information is available. Board of Education members who are on the curriculum committee were unaware that advanced classes were being eliminated at Keigwin. If Board members were unaware that this was happening how was the general public supposed to know. You can go to Board meetings, watch them on TV, be active in the PTA, read the newspaper and the Middletowneye but if the information isn't available you can't be informed. This change in policy was announced at the open house for Keigwin and if my wife had not attended we still would know nothing about this.

I agreed with everything Mrs. Senges said about the rich diversity in Middletown. This is one of the great attributes of public education and many communities don't have it. I question, however, whether this is a primary reason for Middletown students being accepted at Ivy League and other excellent schools. My guess is most of those students took advanced courses at Keigwin, at Wilson and at the high school and were prepared for the rigors of higher education. I think coming from a diverse community helps us all grow as people but I don't know how important that is to admissions officers without the advanced classes that they look for.

I also question the statistical "proof" that students in advanced classes are not harmed by the elimination of those classes. Whenever statistics are cited to "prove" something I get very nervous. You can usually find other statistics to disprove what has been proved. At the Board meeting Dr. Henley said we can't know if students are harmed by the elimination of advanced classes. They are only evaluated up to a level 5 so once they reach 5 we don't know if they are improving or declining unless they are evaluated at less than 5. The statistics that prove that students are not harmed can only "prove" that the students remain at level 5 . They do not establish how well the students are doing within the level.

This is not a simple issue and change is never easy when we are concerned about the potential impact on our childrn of something new. I hope the Board and school officials understand that the community is here to support them because we all have the same goal. Someone commented during the show that it would have been nice if someone from the other side could have been on the show but there is no other side. We all want the best education possible for all of our children and although we may occasionally disagree about things we should be able to figure things out together.