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Update on Office of Civil Rights Consent Agreement

Update on Office of Civil Rights Consent Agreement

At the October 16, 2017, meeting of the Board of Education, Assistant Superintendent of Administration Kevin Walston and Director of Planning and Assessment Dr. Kalisha Morgan presented an overview of the District's progress on meeting the provisions of the consent agreement with OCR, and data trends.

After the data was presented, Superintendent Dr. Thomas Ficarra provided an overview of the next steps the District plans to take to address SOMSD’s ongoing achievement gaps, including assessing and restructuring the District’s current leveling system, providing more outreach to students and to parents and guardians to encourage Black students to enroll and persist in higher level courses, and providing supports to help students succeed in higher levels. 

Specifically, Dr. Ficarra said he would look at restructuring some of the following areas:

  • Math placement for 5th graders going into 6th
  • All Level 2 Math courses
  • All levels in Pre-Calculus
  • Levels in 9th grade Biology and World History
  • Review effectiveness of 2017-2018 pilot of eliminating Algebra 1 Level 2 in 9th

During the meeting, the Board requested that Dr. Ficarra and the administrative team prepare a list of recommendations to address the persistent disparities which can be adopted by the Board as defined measurable District goals in the upcoming retreat.  These areas include curricular revisions and realignment as required by the Placement Policy, instructional improvements and supervision, the identification and elimination of barriers to opportunity such as digital access or after school support, and interventions that need to be provided to students to support them in succeeding in higher level course work.

The PowerPoint presentation is available here.

The meeting, including Dr. Ficarra’s explanation of next steps and the Board discussion which followed, can be viewed here.