No red wine committee. This was an incredibly sad development and makes me question whether or not the people in WASC were actually involved in Education. Wine is as necessary as CLAD.
The three days of WASC seemed a lot less invasive than in the past, even though I was involved in two groups. The people seemed friendly and less looking for problems than trying to get people to be more reflective about their teaching and of the institution as a whole.
My first meeting was dominated by others in a sales pitchy kind of way. Sometimes I felt like we were trying way to hard to justify that we were when in reality we really weren’t. It was kind of a turn off. I mean, if the purpose is to have an honest evaluation of who you are as an institution then you don’t give off a false personality for the sake of expediency. Then you never really solve problems. It was fairly minor in the scope of everything else but it was tedious.
My second meeting was with my department and was much more pleasant. It seemed like everyone was relaxed and almost having a good old fashioned brainstorming session with the occasional question by committee members mixed in. It also made me thrilled (yet again) that I work in a department that is solid. The people and personalities might have changed but the end result is that we have a tremendous amount of respect for each other and a killer work ethic.
Most of the question we got in both meetings revolved around very particular subjects:
-How are you making adjustments to Common Core?
-How are you engaged in the process of collaboration amongst students within your classroom?
-How are you engaged in the process of collaboration with your colleagues?
-How do you create common assessments that are geared towards Common Core?
-What are your intervention strategies for socio-economically disadvantaged Learners and English Language Learners?
-Did you ever dance with the Common Core in the pale moonlight?
-Do you hear the Common Core screaming?
-Is Common Core your father?
And then whoosh, they were gone.
What was the result? Who knows. Our end assembly thingy seemed to last about twenty minutes and never gave us a definitive answer. There were some good things and some things we could improve on. But in the end the message still seemed that everyone had to prep for Common Core.