A number of years ago Spokane Schools adopted the model of academic coaching. In theory, our best, brightest, most innovative and experienced teachers examine curriculum and instructional practices. They share these ideas with classroom teachers to enhance learning.
That sounds great, as we are all about helping kids learn. But before this model was adopted I remember studies that showed smaller class size also benefits learning. And what about the social and emotional needs of students, or the need for access to library materials and the positive aspects of participating in extracurricular activities?
According to the Spokane Schools Web site, listed under “budget development” are ideas like “reduce middle school counselors, librarians, increasing class size, eliminating or changing to intramural sports,” as well as other cuts at elementary and high schools.
In this time of unprecedented budgetary woes, wouldn’t it make sense to utilize this cadre of over 100 coaches to teach additional classes rather than reduce programs and services that provide direct service and opportunities to students?
Unless the school district hears from its patrons in overwhelming numbers, I fear the worst.