Open letters to IASD parents
IASD PARENT CONCERNS ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEARNING PROGRAM
- The Summit Platform curriculum seems to be a poor educational product which lacks context and cohesion (see Dr. Mihaela Nowak's open letter and "What Is a 'Quality' Curriculum?" Nancy Flanagan. Education Week. 9 February 2018).
- Due to the large number of students assigned to each teacher, as well as the haste with which the platform was implemented, teachers do not have time to check for questionable content that is not always age-appropriate and often peppered with offensive or crude content (see Dr. Powers's open letter).
- Teachers are reduced to facilitators (see "The Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher: When kids can get their lessons from the Internet, what's left for classroom instructors to do?" and "Not Students and Teachers But Learners and Facilitators."
- The haste in which the platform was adopted and is still being implemented, and the continuing poor communication between teachers and administration and the parents (see Indiana [PA] Area School District Survey Results: Parents/Guardians).
- The poor implementation of the program, as described by parents at several IASD School Board meetings, including problems such as a lack of consistent mentoring; the ability for children to move (or even zoom) through assessments with no actual learning; and the false promise that children may work at their own pace, when clearly falling behind brings major consequences, particularly at the end of each quarter.
- The ways in which the Summit Platform strays from effective and quality online teaching methodology and best practice, as laid out at IASD Academic Committee Meetings by Dr. Powers and Dr. Julin (see "The Case(s) Against Personalized Learning" and Open Letter: Good Idea, Not Implemented Correctly).
- The question of whether self-directed learning is appropriate for this age group (see Dina Baunoch's open letter).
- An increase of headaches, eye strain, and migraines for our children due to excessive screen time.
- Possible threats to our children's privacy, including identity information and intellectual property (see "Lack of Protections in #PersonalizedLearning Software Programs Puts Privacy of Students and Families at Risk." and "The astonishing amount of data being collected about your children.").
- Reports of students being alienated from school and learning by their experience with the Summit Learning Platform (see "Pros and Cons" and "My Brain is Tired").