The following are written comments to the Highline School Board regarding the Transcend contract they are voting on tonight, August 30th. BEFORE approving this contract for $448,500, the author asks the board to show data on Transcend’s past academic success and effectiveness from similar programs in other districts. Transcend seeks to “reimagine” Highline’s secondary education. But how?
by Dr. C. Edgar
RE: www.transcendeducation.org Transcend Contract
“At their core, these (Transcend) Leaps seek to reimagine how we educate young people— centering on personal growth and equal opportunity for every child so that all young people will not only maximize their own potential but also tackle society’s greatest challenges.”
To the HSD Board Members/directors and Dr. Duran;
As a taxpayer and resident of the HSD I am opposed to the contract and payment for the use of the Transcends Materials for HSD students until actual research and data are shown that demonstrate significant links between the use of these materials and the improvement in academic learning areas( ELA-English, Language Arts Skills),Math and Science/STEM areas) and Work Readiness Skills. Right now the document(s) presented, which is only supported by opinion statements for why Transcend should be used in the HSD in this agenda packet is wordsmithed jabberish. I see no supporting historical research or data for why to purchase/contract for this project. The adoption of any curriculum- based materials should be supported by research, data, and analysis of the outcomes from the use of the materials research, to include an experimental group(s) and a control group(s) and significant positive change/improvement in all areas of targeted learnings. If it lacks that vigor, then it doesn’t warrant spending on it.
The fiscal impact to this action will be up to $448,500.
In reviewing the document-
“Transcend’s Leaps for Equitable, 21st Century Learning describes the key ways we believe the student experience must change so that schools can prepare all young people to thrive in and transform the world.”
Please note that the developer/vendor of Transcend bases its document on beliefs rather than data or facts or significant academic growth scores, work skills development growth for students, or actual student functioning levels regarding citizenship in a democratic society after leaving high school.
“As the brief history above suggests, American public schools have been expected to fulfill certain public missions that go beyond the purely academic purposes of all schools, public and private.”
These public missions can be characterized by six main themes:
1. To provide universal access to free education
2. To guarantee equal opportunities for all children
3. To unify a diverse population
4. To prepare people for citizenship in a democratic society
5. To prepare people to become economically self-sufficient
6. To improve social conditions” https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED503799.pdf
Currently, HSD H.S. students at the four Comprehensive HSD High schools are grossly deficient in attendance(work skill), ELA, Math and Science skills per assessment data and State Report Card average standards. The HSD is in the lowest 20 percentile for State Public Schools. It needs to spend its resources on data-driven, successful project and curriculum materials. Per the information provided in this meeting agenda packet, Transcend does not meet this standard. For these reasons the HSD Board should not approve any contracts with Transcend for 2023-2024.
The HSD needs a change in direction to improve the quality and content of the academic education it should be providing but Transcend does not meet the content or vigor of the changes it needs to make.
Lastly, the factual online data on Transcend is very limited and shows no research and data on the effectiveness or successes of this program, project, or model.
TRANSCEND IS A NATIONAL NONPROFIT THAT SUPPORTS SCHOOL COMMUNITIES TO CREATE AND SPREAD EXTRAORDINARY, EQUITABLE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS.