Your Kids & Schools Being Used as Sales Tools

Today I found out that our middle school and high schools will be hosting an “Open House” for out-of-district educational professionals who want to learn about Achieve 3000. You may recall that Achieve 3000 is the on-line literacy program forced down the throat of the school board by two high pressure salesmen in September.

What you may not know is that Superintendent Metzler’s wife was and is an consultant for Achieve 3000, a fact that was not disclosed to the board at the time of the purchase. I discovered this quite by lucky accident.

This Achieve 3000 “Open House” is scheduled for Feb 15 from 8:30 am to 2 pm which is during regular school hours.

Here is an email I sent to the school board chairman today:

On Feb 15 Timberlane will be hosting an Open House for visiting educational professionals interested in learning about Achieve 3000. It will be held in both MS and HS from 8:30-2:30. Here are some questions, the answers to which I do not know:
Will these educational professionals be visiting classrooms?
Will we be sharing data about our students with them that the school board itself has not seen?
Will Mrs. Metzler be benefiting from this sales event using our schools during school hours?
Will I be turned away when I attend?
Dr. Metzler did not seek the approval of the school board for this initiative. Why not?
Thank you for answering these questions in the most timely manner. I’m sure the Timberlane Boards of Selectmen will also like to know the answers to these questions.

Here was my first response from SAU henchman and 9-year board member, Rob Collins :

I certainly hope Mrs. Green will be turned away.  My children are in those buildings and I don’t want her anywhere near them.

This doesn’t concern School Board members in any way.

Less than 10 minutes later came this reply from our superintendent:

Good afternoon – This is not a parent event or open to the public. Parents are encouraged to contact their building principal if they have questions about their children or the program in general. This is not a “sales event” as conveniently misidentified in the email that has been forwarded.  This is an example of colleagues exchanging ideas to improve teaching and learning. We should be doing more of these types of events. Together Everybody Achieves More!  

Respectfully, Earl

You will note that my substantive questions were not answered. I suspect visiting professionals will be popping into classrooms to observe the online tool in action. I also suspect our own staff will be showing them around, sharing our student achievement data with them and generally singing the virtues of a program we have been using for a mere few months.

Suddenly our schools, our staff, our students and their data are being used as a sales platform without permission of the board.

The School Board has received no report on the implementation of Achieve 3000, much less any academic results.  But evidently it is not too early to proclaim it a success worthy of being shared with the Superintendent’s professional community.

“Together Everybody Achieves More!” Especially when we can use your children, the staff we pay to educate them and our public buildings to sell a product.


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