Pleasantdale Board, superintendent, send out apology letter

<p>Mark Fredisdorf, superintendent of Pleasantdale Elementary District 107, writes results from the first reporting precinct in 2006 as board member Bob Wallach looks on. | Sun-Times Media file photo</p>

Mark Fredisdorf, superintendent of Pleasantdale Elementary District 107, writes results from the first reporting precinct in 2006 as board member Bob Wallach looks on. | Sun-Times Media file photo

The Pleasantdale Elementary District 107 Board is sharing responsibility with Superintendent Mark Fredisdorf for misleading the community about the district’s math curriculum being aligned with Common Core State Standards.

A letter dated March 21 and sent to parents and guardians of District 107 students stated, “Earlier correspondence to parents was misleading about our progress in aligning our curriculum outcomes to Common Core State Standards; for that we humbly apologize.”

Concerned that Fredisdorf’s claims of being aligned were not accurate, the board decided in December to hire independent consultant Jennie Winters to review the district’s math curriculum and audit it to see if it does implement Common Core State Standards.

Winters’ audit, presented at a March 11 meeting, claimed the math curriculum is not aligned to Common Core State Standards.

Fredisdorf said March 12 that another consultant, Fern Tribbey, hired in January to work with teachers on the math curriculum, disagreed with Winters’ assessment. He called the difference in opinions “healthy.”

However, the board decided it needed to send a communication to parents after hearing Winters’ report, board member Kim Barker said. And despite earlier saying that the board and parents had been “grossly misled by the superintendent,” the board shared responsibility by jointly signing, along with Fredisdorf, the March 21 letter.

“The board has one employee, the superintendent,” Barker said. “Given that, the board is accepting responsibility for this. The superintendent is responsible for our curriculum, but he reports to the board.”

Barker said it’s most important now to fix the problem, which is why Winters has been hired to facilitate the development of Common Core alignment and implementation in conjunction with teachers and administration.

The board also plans to soon hire a consultant to assist with an audit of the district’s language arts program as part of the process of aligning it to the Common Core State Standards.

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