One size fits all approach by some in D86 serves no one

Strategic Planning in 2018 and passage of the referendum in 2019 were signs of great progress in District 86. However, since then this community has seen a change of focus at D86. A high-performing district, D86 has seen a dilution of its rigorous science curriculum and seems to be driven by an equity statement formulated by the CELT committee during the pandemic. The equity statement, unlike the strategic plan did not include the whole community and was not board approved.

Formed in 2020, CELT conducted a survey asking for personal stories to assist in establishing a more welcoming and inclusive school environment. Since January 2021, the equity statement seems to be used to justify all academic recommendations instead of being fully vetted with the staff and community. Alignment between schools should have entailed documenting course content, assessments, grading practices and student data analysis. Instead the administration has pushed changes through without addressing student learning gaps from last year.

It was extremely surprising to see last week’s editorial make light of thoughtful comments by board members James, Levinthal and Waters. There is a need to add an academic board committee to address valid board member questions just like the finance and HR committees. D86 needs a superintendent who has the qualifications and experience to address the diverse needs of our students. Students need more choices and opportunities. The current district plans are headed towards a one-size-fits-all philosophy, which is all too familiar. — Mridu Garg, Hinsdale