Schools

BHS science compromise slipping away?

Superintendent Huyett and Principal Slemp

Parents attending the open house at Berkeley High School last night were handed a leaflet from “concerned parents and staff” about the science/equity controversy at the school. According to the leaflet, BHS principal Jim Slemp is opposed to the compromise plan suggested by Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Bill Huyett:

Superintendent Huyett has publically [sic] stated his support for extra time for college preparatory science and for AP science courses. However, Principal slemp wants to eliminate this instructional time…

Those of us who are fighting to preserve this extra time for science instruction believe that students can and should make this extra commitment to their education because we believe that more learning is better than less. We believe that African-American and Latino students can master difficult and challenging content. It might post some challenges to get to school early or to stay a bit later, but this extra effort will result in greater readiness for college.

Right now, the funding for the extra instructional time is being considered. But even though the Superintendent wants to find funds to support the extra time, Principal Slemp is refusing to give students the option to sign up for the extra period.


Today, superintendent Huyett has an opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle about the debate. Nothing specific about the plan is mentioned, but he does write:

Rescheduling the high school science labs to be part of the regular school day is just one small example of curricular change intended to maintain educational excellence and improve education for all students, while balancing our budget (which will suffer, at minimum, cuts of some $2.7 million next year).

Berkeleyside is trying to find out whether Huyett’s compromise plan — which provided extra science labs for “any student who requests it” — is still a viable option.

Catch up on the story so far with Berkeleyside’s coverage or just click the BHS science labs tag:

Endangered science at Berkeley High School [12.11.09]
Science at BHS: An open letter [12.14.09]
Science and equity: BHS parents weigh in [12.16.09]
BHS Board meeting dominated by science issue [12.17.09]
The BHS science flap — the ripples are spreading [12.30.09]
BHS science/equity debate: The latest [1.06.10]
Next on the BHS agenda: Meeting with superintendent [1.11.10]
Listen live now to BHS science flap on KQED [1.13.10]
When Huyett met the BHS PTSA [1.20.10]
L.A. Times reports on BHS science lab issue [1.25.10]
D-Day for BHS science labs? [2.2.10]
Lots of talk, but no action on BHS science classes [2.4.10]
BHS science lab controversy: a parent’s view [2.4.10]
BHS science labs not just for “privileged” [2.11.10]