1. Describe the range of critical needs facing Spring Wells High School at this time.
Spring Wells High School has two major needs. They need to improve their proficiency test scores so that they are in-line with state requirements, and train teachers on technology so that they don’t loose funding. Some other issues that stem from these two major needs are the learner characteristics of the teachers and administration. There are lots of varying opinions among the staff that is detrimental to their needs. Lastly, there is also the question of how to spend the $20,000 that was acquired through a grant by the technology coordinator.
2. Identify the available resource and existing constraints that apply in the case.
The biggest constraint that applies to this case is the learner characteristics of the teachers and administration. There are issues with motivation, attitudes, interests, age, beliefs, and problems with cooperation. The principal should be mandating that the technology training needs to be done but seems unsure of the need for it. There are teachers that see the technology as a distraction and are only focused on the test scores; whereas other teachers see it as a vital part to their teaching. Another constraint is time. The school has had 3 years to meet the technology requirements and is still far below where they need to be. Had the technology been taken care of long ago they could focus solely on improving proficiency scores. The resources available are the School Tech Equity funds, the $20,000 grant, and a technology coordinator who is ready and willing to train staff.
3. Describe a plan for meeting the needs identified in question 1.
In order for Spring Wells HS to address their two major needs they first need to address the attitudes of the staff. This can be done by completing the following steps: evaluate the situation, determine valued course of action, choose valued action, and perform action (S&R p. 90). The principal should be taking lead on this and making sure all staff members are committed toward the same goals. It needs to be a team effort and everyone should be on the same page. Furthermore, it can be explained that the technology can be valuable tool for improving the proficiency scores—not a separate entity. The plan should be to provide professional development that is designed to teach how to use the technology toward the goal of improving test scores.
4. Specify the steps required for implementing the plan you developed in question 3, keeping in mind the resources and constraints present in the case.
Steps that need to be taken to implement this plan are: address attitudes following the steps listed above, figure out a time when teachers would be able to attend training (maybe during an in-service of faculty meeting time), create learning goals, get all teachers up-to-date on technology training, find technology that targets material on the proficiency tests and train teachers in that technology, use the technology with students and assess to see if it’s making a difference, and revise lessons as needed while continuing to develop new ways to use technology with the purpose of improving test scores.
5. What are ethical issues related to the use of funding for assessment and curriculum alignment when the grant was originally written for technology professional development?
Using the grant money for anything other than technology professional development would be unethical because the money was only granted to the school for that purpose. The school would be performing a bait-and-switch with the funds. If discovered that the funds weren’t used as intended it could hurt their chances of getting funds in the future. However, I think that the money can still be used for technology by linking the technology used to the proficiency test needs.