La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

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Update by an edhat reader

A meeting was held Friday morning with over 50 parents and the Principal backed down an apologized from his decision to end CK program. But the district is receiving unprecedented transfer requests, the deadline is 5pm today. Another meeting is at 11:30am and parents are meeting at Goleta Library on Saturday.


By an edhat reader

In an unexpected and hasty move, the new Principal of La Cumbre Junior High Bradley Brock informed perspective 7th-grade parents Wednesday evening that the popular Core Knowledge Program is being discontinued and will not be accepting incoming 7th-grade students for the 2020/2021 school year.

With just two days before intradistrict transfer applications are due, it is causing many parents to scramble and rethink their enrollment decision.  Being within the attendance area of La Cumbre we had heard wonderful things about and were excited for our son to enter the Core Knowledge Program. La Cumbre is the smallest junior high school and this decision will likely make it even smaller.

Unfortunately, Jo Ann Caines is not with us to defend this program and advocate for Westside families. I'd like to hear from former students and parents about your experiences at La Cumbre and the Core Knowledge Program. Possible solutions for this quick decision that caught us off guard: • Extend the deadline for transfers? • Continue the Core Knowledge program for one year and give proper advance notice to next years 7th grade parents?

 

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sbfunlover Jan 29, 2020 09:33 AM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

The district pulled back on the decision to end the Core Knowledge Program. Our community organized and sent a clear message. Thanks to all who wrote emails and who came out in force to the district meeting. Thanks to all of the wonderful speeches from prospective students, aluminums, aluminums parents, and the community at large.

a-1590630480 Jan 23, 2020 07:27 AM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

There is a SBUSD board meeting on January 28th at 6:30pm at 720 Santa Barbara Street. We are organizing to stop this ill-conceived plan. There is power in numbers, if this affects you in any way, past, present or future, I urge you coming to the board meeting and showing your support.

delicacy Jan 22, 2020 09:07 PM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

I've only ever heard good things about the Core Knowledge program at La Cumbre. As I understand it, it's open to any student willing to do the extra work. It has a reputation for preparing its students especially well for high school and beyond, which attracts academically-oriented families to the school from across the district. What an extraordinary decision from a first-time principal... poorly conceived, poorly researched, poorly planned, poorly delivered, poorly justified... this doesn't speak well for the district's judgment in hiring him..

bki Jan 20, 2020 01:02 PM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

Junior high schools should create bridges from elementary to high school. The Core Knowledge program does this very well, as do other programs such as AVID. The Core Knowledge program is open to ALL students who wish to work a bit harder. Our daughter's successful transition into high school was facilitated by Core Knowledge and she is now a thriving high school sophomore. Core Knowledge and other programs that help diverse students meet their needs are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

CelesteBarber Jan 18, 2020 12:43 PM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

I hadn't known about Core Knowledge prior to this posting in EdHat. I did a little research this morning, and what I discovered I liked. Especially the fact that E.D. Hirsch, the noted educator, founded CK. I urge the La Cumbre Junior High School parents to fight the decision to terminate CK and to do so strongly. You hold more power than you realize. Consider that school boards and administrators live and die by the ADA. Attend school board meetings in large numbers and speak during Public Comment. ORGANIZE. I urge you to contact "Fair Education," a local group of parents that is well-organized. Look them up online. They are a good resource for how to pursue this decision and fight it. I taught English at SBCC for 20 years. About 14 of those years, I introduced and ran the Great Books Curriculum, a nationally recognized program begun at Wilbur Wright CC in Chicago and notable. I had minimal support from City College administration, including some hostile. The last four years, the GBC received a wonderful private grant, enabling us to work with Middle College and Santa Barbara High School students. I am familiar with your particular battleground. Feel free to contact me through my SBCC email (even though I am retired): [email protected] Don't be cowed. Good luck to you.

Winner Jan 18, 2020 08:57 AM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

I’ve been a parent of SBUSD for 9 years with one more year to go. My family has experienced ups and downs with programs and services, which seems to be the nature of public education. At this point, I can say that students are successful because of parent engagement and providing real guidance for their children. Not every kid will attend university but parents should expect their child to learn a basic education Common Core or not.

13marina Jan 18, 2020 08:38 AM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

Wow, that is a shame. My son thrived in the Core Knowledge Program, it is a rigorous program in the school. He learned so much in this program than what I learned in High School. They also took great field trips such as the Museum of Tolerance, Huntington Library and the Ghetty Center. They have a big buddy little buddy program. At first I didn't want him to go to La Cumbre Jr. High, because I didn't hear good things about it. I was proven wrong and Principal Caines was awesome.

BullseyeB Jan 23, 2020 07:53 AM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

Test scores will be interesting. What I really want to see is the disaggregated scores by departments and programs that show exactly how Core Knowledge students are performing on the state tests. I am confident that if Principal Brock were to look at these detailed pieces of information over the time period of the program’s existence at LCJH, he would see that the students who have been in the program have historically increased their scores over the years. However, more importantly, I think speaking to high school teachers about how prepared the CK students are as they enter high school is the bigger issue here. Principal Brock should be addressing this issue. I believe he will find that the CK kids are better prepared for high school and subsequently college than anyone realizes.

CoastWatch Jan 17, 2020 03:23 PM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

I guess just teaching basic math-geometry, science, english skills and geography is too simple a task... I can't believe some of the YouTube "person on the street" videos where they ask BASIC knowledge questions... 90% can't get any of them right- and they ask on COLLEGE CAMPUSES...! It's really frightening how STUPID we, as a country have become. It's not teachers, it's the crazy curriculum they are forced to teach by the State and Administrators.

ZeroHawk Jan 17, 2020 02:56 PM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

all of my kids go there and we are NOT fans of either of the Core learning...at all. Brock is a good guy, and FAR better than Jo Ann Caines. She was the root of almost every problem that school had. I will say, that 2 of 3 of my kids have done poorly at LCJS and we may be transferring them to SB. There are issues at every school....

mast8 Jan 17, 2020 07:00 PM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

Zerohawk - you're dunking on a dead woman who was beloved by many and died tragically less than 2 years ago. You have a right to your own opinion... but have the decency to know when to keep it to yourself

a-1590630480 Jan 17, 2020 02:41 PM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

Here is a short summary of the letter: Core Knowledge will close in 2021. The state’s adoption of Common Core made Core Knowledge redundant. We discussed the program with various people over a two month period. All the staff at La Cumbre are in agreement with the plan. Incidentally the word “core” appears 14 times in the letter.

Icre84U Jan 17, 2020 03:08 PM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

Twisted but sensible to me. I never was a fan of Common Core but Districts are forced to adhere. To me, the bigger issue is Labor Unions representing both management and employees; "teaching to the test" pressure placed upon teachers, and additional legacy "no child left behind" pressure also placed on teachers. We have some really great teachers here and personally I'd like to see the reins pulled off of them and just let them teach they way they know how to. They are actually pretty good at this, please don't limit their ability to continue teaching!

a-1590630480 Jan 17, 2020 01:44 PM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

Although Principal Brock has since walk-back his decision, he still intends to phase it out after 1 more year. Meaning: our entering 7th graders would continue with CK through their 8th grade year, but without their little buddies. If parents could not attend either of these morning sessions, the Principal is now working with the SBUDS to fashion a public statement for this afternoon. A group of concerned parents have organized a meeting to take place on Saturday, Jan 18 at 3pm at Goleta Valley Library Multipurpose Room to discuss options.

mm1970 Jan 17, 2020 01:05 PM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

I was one of the 50 parents at the morning meeting. As far as I can tell from what the principal told us - this was his own choice, not based on any district goal. He came into the school this year to head it up, he is in the process of evaluating each area of the curriculum. I believe this is his first time as a principal, though he has experience in setting curricula. He looked at data (mainly enrollment, I expect, though it wasn't clear), interviewed some students, and decided to cancel the program. It came as a complete shock to current students, incoming students, parents, AND CK faculty. So...that was not prudent..................... It seems that perhaps due diligence was not completed before he made this decision. On the contrary, COASTWATCH, this action would be the opposite of "dumbing down" to receive higher test scores. The core knowledge program is incredibly rigorous and in depth. It would be true loss to the school and the district. I am glad that he agreed to extend it a year, but if it is not replaced with something as good, then a majority of families who would enter the program would likely choose to transfer. One of his arguments is that it is a "stand alone" program with no elementary or high school equivalent. Um...so?

letmego Jan 20, 2020 11:57 AM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

ZEROHAWK the whole point of common core math is to teach children the WHY of math and how it actually works, vs rote memorization. Rest assured, the "old math" (multiplication tables) is still taught in 3rd grade, after common core methods are introduced in 2nd grade. On the contrary to your assertion that it is stupid, after spending a couple of weeks with my second grader a few years ago (it took me awhile to "get it") I was able to do FAR more math in my head than ever before. As an engineer, I ALSO do a lot of math "for a living". I have to say my children both have a really strong handle on math and numbers - ahead of where I was at the same age, and I was good at math. I'm always interested when people suggest that a different method is dumb because "we never did it that way". I'm pretty confident that most of my coworkers (many of whom grew up in other countries) learned math differently than I did, and they have a pretty solid foundation, moreso than most Americans.

ZeroHawk Jan 17, 2020 02:57 PM
La Cumbre Jr High to Discontinue Core Knowledge Program

coastwatch, the entire common core learning is the dumbing down portion. it's ridiculous. i do math as most of my job, if someone came in doing math this way, they would be escorted off the property...

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