A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Carrie Cox: Some parents don’t like the new ‘Summit Personalized Learning Platform,’ want to opt out

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The Summit Personalized Learning Platform at first glance sounds like an incredible opportunity for students to learn at their own pace. Teachers can use the data collected to personalize student goals. They can know on a daily basis how a student is performing.

Camp Ernst Middle School Principal Stephanie Hagerty explains it in her blog, “Personalizing your child’s education simply means that we will provide a platform in which your children will learn the content in a rigorous, meaning-full way through projects, one-to-one mentoring, and a learning plan that is personalized for every student.”

However, more than 30 parents showed up to a usually empty Site Based Decision Making (SBDM) meeting at Camp Ernst Middle School (CEMS) to express their concerns on Thursday, October 13. This was an impressive turn out given that the meeting was held at 3:30 p.m., a time when many parents are still at work.

From Summit Learning web site

From Summit Learning web site

The parents said they didn’t know how their children were chosen for this experimental teaching tool. They were told they couldn’t opt out. One parent said she asked Principal Stephanie Hagerty to remove her child from the program, but was told no. Hagerty allegedly told the parent, if she didn’t like it she could send her child to another school. More than one parent attending the meeting said they want back their parental choice, that changing schools or homeschooling isn’t an option.

Superintendent, Randy Poe, said “For the most part, students requested to be a part of the program. Some were assigned to classes just as schools would normally do. Parents were given the opportunity to opt-out.” He added, “Parents may request a change in teachers from the principal. Principals have authority over individual placement of students.”

Wanting to opt out

Some parents, present at the meeting, said they had tried to reach Principal Hagerty, but she didn’t return their phone calls. They claimed that when they showed up in the office she refused to see them.

Some parents started wanting to opt-out when they saw a controversial section on Islam that was only visible using their child’s log-in information. They say, they couldn’t see what their child was learning from the parent portal. The syllabus provided to parents didn’t match what was being taught to their children.

Many parents indicated concern over the amount of screen time contradicting the recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics. They recommend no more than two hours of screen time and said the following, “Studies have shown that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. In addition, the Internet and cell phones can provide platforms for illicit and risky behaviors.

From Summit website

From Summit website

By limiting screen time and offering educational media and non-electronic formats such as books, newspapers and board games, and watching television with their children, parents can help guide their children’s media experience. Putting questionable content into context …”

Others said their children were finishing too quickly stating some children had completed the curriculum in eight weeks. Some parents said their children were just skipping to the assessments without reading the material. They only had to get eight out of the ten multiple choice questions correct to pass.

Data collection intrusive?

According to Superintendent Poe, the assessments, as well as KPREP, MAPS, and STAR assessments on each student, will be shared with Summit Learning and SCALE in order to evaluate the programs impact. The written agreement with Summit Public Schools Personalized Learning Services indicates sharing with other third party providers including Facebook and Google. The agreement gives Summit Learning permission to collect data from any devices used to access the program, which means parents accessing the program from home or work devices may be susceptible to data collection too. Some parents are upset with their students’ data, and potential their own data, being shared outside of the district.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-8-59-06-pm

Camp Ernst Middle School posted the following on their FB page, “Summit Parents- Just wanted to let you know that some of our kids have moved very quickly through the modules on the dashboard. We are aware of this and are looking at different ways to enrich their educational experience. Talk to your child about something they’re passionate about and think about how they can incorporate their passions into their education. Not all kids will want to work on passion projects, so if they are ready to begin working on some content at the next grade level before the year is over we would love to discuss how that would look.”

Despite being asked not to talk about the program, some teachers have described it as a “disaster” saying that it is impossible to have so many students at various stages of progress. Teachers are required to provide 10 minutes of mentoring each week per student. However, many teachers have been unable to meet this goal. Some students are going several weeks before teachers are able to talk with them about their progress. One report indicated that during a summer training some teachers walked out in frustration.

The curriculum was designed by Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE). The curriculum is aligned to the California standards, not Kentucky. Kentucky hasn’t adopted new social studies standards. Yet parents were told by Principal Brewer at Conner Middle School that the curriculum was being implemented to comply with Common Core Standards. If that is the case, then they don’t comply with the standards currently in place in Kentucky. Some have argued the California standards are below what Kentucky has required in the past. Parents are upset by the choice of a curriculum that lowers standards for struggling schools.

UK Next Generation Academy

Boone County School District (BCSD) said their teachers first heard about this learning platform at the University of Kentucky Next Generation Leadership Academy. According to Superintendent, Randy Poe, eighty-two teachers, from BCSD, applied and were accepted to attend Summit Base Camp where they learned to transition from being teachers to being “facilitators”. According to Superintendent Poe, “there was no cost for their travel or training” at Facebook Headquarters in California, but CEMS SBDM minutes referenced the use of professional development funds and Principal Brewer referenced grant funding.

From Summit Learning web site

From Summit Learning web site

Parents reported, despite this extensive training, Principal Brewer, at Connor Middle School, and Principal Hagerty, at Camp Ernst Middle School, both said they were unaware of what was in the curriculum, because they hadn’t had time to review it before implementation. Kentucky has strict guidelines that require Site Based Councils, of which the principals are members, to review curriculum before choosing to implement it. Several parents have filed OEA complaints with the state. Both Hagerty and Brewer have expressed a desire to see this platform used at all grade levels throughout the district.

An attorney from the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), Carly Gammill, who is representing some of the parents, says the curriculum is unconstitutional, because it crosses the line between information and indoctrination. She has given the district until Tuesday, October 18 to remedy the curriculum and their social media policy.

The attorney wrote in a letter to the district, “The imam in the videos does not merely present factual information about the beliefs of Muslims. He actually opens the lesson on the life of Muhammed with a prayer, as he stands before other Muslims in a mosque. In this religious setting, the imam makes the following statements: ‘Surely all praises and thanks belong to Allah, the Exalted, who created, sustains and controls the universe…Islam is a way of life that’s based on knowledge of God and the world he created. It is not based on ignorance or superstitions.’ Students are left to view these materials on their own with no explanation from teachers that these are merely Muslim beliefs and not proven facts or truths. In other words, 7th grade CEMS students, in order to complete this chapter, are effectively compelled to sit through a Muslim religious service presided over by an Islamic imam.”

She goes on to explain, “Allowing a religious cleric to teach religious tenets to students, and to begin in such instruction with a religious prayer, constitutes nothing short of impermissible ‘government sponsored indoctrination into the beliefs of a particular religious faith.’ There is effectively no difference between the videos CEMS students are compelled to watch during the “Islam in the Middle Ages” curriculum and CEMS personnel physically taking the students to a mosque to attend a religious service. Supreme Court precedent is unequivocal in its rejection of a public school’s authority to subject students to this type of religious indoctrination.”

Review the curriculum

She contrasts the coverage of Islam, which spans several slides and two videos, against the discussion of Christianity which was only covered in three slides. There were no discussions of “the teachings of Jesus Christ, the miraculous events of his life as taught in the Bible, or the beliefs of Christians as set forth in the Bible,” despite the extensive coverage of the teachings of the Quran and the life of Mohammed, including a visitation from the Angel Gabriel.

You can review the curriculum for yourself using the following link and clicking the box seventh grade history:

The issues were further compounded when parents began speaking out on the CEMS Facebook page. The school chose to delete their comments, which is a violation of their First Amendment Rights, as the attorney explains in her letter to the district.

From Summit Learning's web site

From Summit Learning’s web site

“While CEMS was not required to open this forum, having done so, it must comply with the strictures of the First Amendment…CEMS’s decision to delete those comments was entirely contrary to the clear purpose of the Facebook page…it is clear that CEMS deleted these comments because of CEM’s disagreement with the viewpoints expressed therein…Because the comments expressed disagreement with the curriculum, however, they were promptly removed. CEMS’s removal of these statements occurred in direct violation of these individuals’ First Amendment rights.

“According to the Supreme Court, ‘if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society [or a government agent] finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.’ (Texas v. Johnson 1989)

Put bluntly, the Constitution does not permit government to decide which types of otherwise protected speech are sufficiently offensive to require protection for the unwilling listener or viewer. Rather…the burden normally falls upon the viewer to ‘avoid further bombardment of [his] sensibilities simply by averting [his] eyes’” (Erznoznik v. Jacksonville 1975)

The ACLJ is an organization dedicated to the defense of Constitutional liberties. Their attorneys have argued a number of significant cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. For more information, visit their website ACLJ.org or call them at 1-800-342-2255.

4x5-CarrieCox

Carrie D. Cox is host of The Military Mamas Radio Show, a talk radio program for veterans, active duty military and their families. She also works as the co-host of TWT-TV a veteran-owned small business. She grew up in Covington and graduated from Holmes High School. She moved away as a military spouse but returned several years ago and began writing and teaching. She holds degrees in public relations, psychology, conflict management, neurolinguistics programming and forensic psychological profiling. Email: carriedcox@yahoo.com

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47 Comments

  1. Stacie says:

    Appreciate the info., I am glad I am not alone in my dislike of this curriculum. Hoping this article will help make changes to this program or remove it completely.

  2. Ross McFadyen says:

    Excellent and very informative artlicle. I still find it disturbing that people in a position of power fail to fully investigate and review things that have the potential to radically change society before implementation. Very reminiscent of John Conures speech during the Obama care debacle in which the leftist democrat communists passed the bill without anyone reading it. In addition, what happened to “separation of church and state?’ Teaching about the principles religion is based on is one thing. Teaching a sermon and praying should not be taught at all in public school, right? Or does that only apply to Christianity? Super article, thank you Ms. Cox for the information.

  3. J. Storms says:

    Clearly there is a great deal of frustration on many fronts with this new “system of learning”. We have a 7th grade daughter at CEMS and wish to opt her out of this as so far she and her classmates are just guinea pigs in the implementation of Summit. They are the ones that will pay the price for the district not truly thoroughly going over this program and having many more solutions to these many issues. I am aware nothing is perfect for every child. However, the answer, “we must continue to tweak it” can only go so far. I commend the author for trying to get as much info in one article as possible on so many areas of frustration. Well done. I hope it causes more parents to question how and who is influencing their child’s learning and development.

  4. Denise Doan says:

    This is upsetting as it appears that the concern of many parents in regards to the education of their children is being met with such irreverence by the Camp Ernst Middle School and the Superintendent. For students to be done with an entire year of curriculum in eight weeks is absurd. To educate solely on one religion without educating about all religions begets foolishness and ignorance. And to facilitate young impressionable minds to look at a screen all day as opposed to engaging and educating them is preposterous. The children, our children, that are tomorrows future deserve better!!

  5. Steven Thomas says:

    Author Carrie Cox provides important information that all parents should study. Many of us believe that the public schools have morphed into indoctrination centers and this article sure does prove it.
    The arrogant Principal Stephanie Hagerty should be fired immediately and Superintendent Randy Poe should stop being an enabler for this rotten propaganda and he should resign if he is “powerless” to do anything about this matter.

    • Summit Teacher says:

      Steven,
      You should be careful when using the word “prove” in a statement. The only thing this article proves is that Ms. Cox can write a biased and slanted article. Other than that, this article proves nothing. I find it sad and disheartening that people without a degree in education, or a masters in the field of education think that they know better than those that do and who currently work within the system. If you and the other parents who find this platform to be so negative, have a Masters in Education, then please by all means, state your opinion. If you don’t, then take the time to educate yourself about it before you lash out and demand that people are fired.

      • A Summit Student At CEMS says:

        Summit Teacher,
        You write that this article is biased, but that is just your opinion. This article was merely written by someone who was gathering as much information as possible. Ms. Cox was just writing based off of all of the information she knew. This comment of yours is clearly biased. You question the rights of people. I don’t agree with everything in this article, but some of them are true. Ms. Cox is absolutely correct about the Islamic beliefs in the curriculum, and about parents wanting to opt-out, but she had some of her facts incorrect, such as what she has said about the syllabuses.

  6. Penny says:

    Thank you so much for this article. We have been struggling with this all year. My son has a non verbal learning disorder and needs a teacher to teach him, not a Chromebook! I have to learn all the material then teach him so he can go to school and take an assessment.

  7. Concernedparents says:

    Great article. I have talked with teachers privately also who have admitted their frustration with the program and concern for students. Teachers aren’t providing instruction now, rather they can spend a few moments asking “how’s it going” and this is considered a mentoring session in some cases ( actual quote from a teacher). My child’s teachers have not had time to spend with each student, as proposed in the program layout, leaving the majority of students learning in solitude…..chrome book, earbuds, and summit work. To the teachers credit, many are working very hard coming in early or staying after school to offer help.
    Many parents and students sing praises about Summit, while others find it disastrous for their child. I’m not surprised as different teaching methods appeal differently to each person. This is why learning assessment tools are implemented, I’m curious as to why some educators are so insistent each student be forced to learn in an environment which may not be viable for their learning needs, snd choose to forgo assessing whether instructional learning or individual (summit) is most beneficial to the individual. Although summit varies based with individual teachers, our experience had been homeschooling at school, and again at home…..meaning more hours in front of the computer.
    At a summit mtg, we were told the school “expects students to struggle through December”. Ultimately, our child is doing fine with the program but isn’t a fan. I think a modified version (instruction and discussion mixed with self directed) would be more appealing and engaging (some schools/teachers already do this).
    If summit works well and appeals to some students, great! However, if other students excel in a traditional learning environment, they should have that option. To insist Summit is the only way students will learn and master know,edge of the subject matter is simply unreasonable and false. I hope this totalitarian paradigm is short lived….a one size fits all mantra is not only unbalanced but unhealthy.

  8. Jessica Banish says:

    While I understand the frustration with such a large change, this article is hardly informative. It is incredibly one-sided and provides none of the benefits of the program. I have studied the program in depth and my son, along with many in his family group at CEMS, are actually excelling in this new program. It is a shame that the article is just a long list of complaints and ignores a simple and accurate overview of the program itself.

  9. Aubrey Johnson says:

    Just another way for Carrie Cox to try and be a bully! So sad! The 30+ parents who showed up were more than overwhelmingly supportive. Get informed people. Don’t drink the Carrie Juice.

    • Stacie says:

      Bully? I can tell you about a bully! We have been told if you don’t like the program to find a different school, we have been ignored, phone calls not returned, emails not returned, and told we can’t opt out of this program. The ACLJ has found them to be unconstitutional – that is not made up or meant to bully, but to protect the rights of everyone. You clearly are biased, parents who pay taxes for that school to be open all have the right to express their concerns.

    • Stacie says:

      I was at that meeting, you are a liar. It was recorded, would you like to back up your statement?? Try again, and you seem like the bully.

  10. Stacie says:

    Aubry Johnson- I was at that meeting, there was 1 parent that said she liked it, and 1 “email from a parent not present” that supported Summit. There were at least 9 or more parents expressing concerns, real concerns. The article clearly reads SOME parents, not all or most. Those parents that have had issues with the program, have tried to have their concerns addressed and it has yet to be handled appropriately. I appreciate Carrie putting out an article that allows those voices to be heard- after all, our children go to that school, and our tax dollars also pay for that school.

  11. Summit Teacher says:

    As Socrates once stated, “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” So too does Summit. The Summit platform is just that, a platform. It is a platform with content, resources, projects, and assessments, just like any textbook you would find in any classroom across the country. The difference is that students have the ability to analyze, discover, and move forward within a particular content area at a pace that works for them. Instead of being told what to do, when to do it, and how to learn it; students have the chance to discover a way that works for them, at a pace that works for them.
    As a teacher who is currently utilizing and teaching within the Summit platform, I still teach. I am still a teacher. I have the ability to analyze student work, see who is struggling, and who needs additional help.I still hold classroom lessons, mini workshops, and model the think-aloud strategy when necessary. I have the ability to add content, delete content, add resources, and make paper copies of worksheets or practice quizzes. I can and still do all of this for my students. This platform allows students to opportunity to move into the 21st Century of education. My questions for you are these: Why can’t we have students who self direct their learning, who know how to research content on the internet, who understand bias and validity when they see and read it? What is wrong with teaching students to be self motivated to grow, learn, and understand the importance of setting goals not only for their learning, but for their life? I encourage you to talk to your children, go through the content and resources. Look over the Common Core Standards, and make this an educated discussion. Meet with your students teachers, we are always willing to meet with our parents. Support and respect the professional decisions made by the district and the teachers who facilitate your students learning.
    I may not know everything there is to know about teaching, or about the Summit platform, but I do know how to locate the information I need, what is biased information and what is valid. I know not to believe everything I read or hear, and I know, and can see, that teaching my students these skills are necessary in this technology based world we live in. Summit is a platform that is teaching students to think, to be self motivated, and self directed. In my opinion, as a parent with high school and college age children, these are the skills necessary for success.

  12. CEMS Dad says:

    I’m a very wealthy parent of a student st CEMS, and I was infuriated that Stephanie Hagerty would not answer my phone calls when I tried to find out what my child was learning in school.

    • Nina says:

      What in the WORLD does your wealth have to do with this? Are you freaking serious??

    • BCS Parent says:

      @CEMS Dad, so because you are a “wealthy parent,” Principal Hagerty must answer your phone call? How sad that you feel so entitled. I am confident that despite your wealth, you’re not a professional educator, nor are you more entitled than non-wealthy parents.

  13. Nick Beil says:

    One can only hope that parents attend the next Boone County School Board meeting and voice their opposition. And that Hagerty person needs to go immediately. What arrogance she displays.

  14. CMS Parent says:

    This article seems biased and misinformed. Though my children attend CMS, not CEMS, I know much of this information to be inaccurate as a result of my involvement in my child’s education, including attending informational meetings and conferences with the teachers.

    As far as “the teachers walking out in frustration,” my child’s teacher told me that the training was intense. She said that the teachers were very overwhelmed initially, but worked on the program the entire summer; my child’s teacher told me during our parent teacher conference that she has seen more growth our of her students this year, than any other year and attributed that success to this program. Personally, my child is doing better than he has ever done and loves Summit.

    As far as the curriculum, all of my child’s teachers have edited the Summit base curriculum to make sure that it meets the Kentucky standards. For example, they took the Summit curriculum and edited it by adding and deleting content to make it specific to Kentucky’s standards. Simply looking at the link provided in this article, does not help one determine whether the standards are being met. If you’re really interested, examine the curriculum your child is actually working through. You will notice that the courses provided in the link are not the courses your child is actually working through. Teachers were given fully autonomy to make edits to the curriculum, just like they would a textbook.

    As far as finishing the curriculum early, I can’t imagine being upset by this. This program allows every child to work at their own pace, including acceleration or remediation. My child is advanced in Language Arts and, for the first time, is having this need met. He is working faster than his peers and is going to be given access to more Language Arts materials so he can continue to accelerate. This is an option my child has never had before.

    I’m not saying that the program is perfect yet, because nothing is perfect, but give it some time and make sure that you’re truly investigating the information in this article before drawing conclusions. I have met with my child’s teacher multiples time and have been very impressed with everything I’ve seen, thus far.

    • Another CMS Parent says:

      I am also a CMS parent. Do you believe that the Summit platform should work for EVERY child? Everyone learns in a different way. Some kids that struggle with school, for all different reasons, may not be able to learn using Summit. There should be another option for those students. Currently, I have been printing the entire playlist (anywhere from 30-100 pages) and trying to teach my son this material at home so he can go to school and take a content assessment of 10 questions. This takes a tremendous amount of time for a full time working mother. I might as well be home schooling. I think Summit is great for children that excel in school already, and are self learners, but what about the rest of them? And I don’t agree with some of the attachments in the playlist. For example, Wikipedia is geared for adults, not an 11 year old in 6th grade. I have to re-read some of the attachments a few times before I understand them. How can I expect my 11 year old to understand and comprehend them? It’s very hard to help your child complete a study guide when you have to look through 20+ attachments to find the information you’re looking for. And sometimes the answer is not even in the attachments. At least in a text book, you’re looking through a chapter. I would like to know how many parents have pulled their children out of school to homeschool because of Summit.

      • CMS Parent says:

        I don’t believe that any one program works for every child, but I feel that CMS has set up many options to circumnavigate many of the issues you’re listing. Every student learns in a different way, so students may watch videos, play an educational game/activity, take traditional notes, complete traditional worksheets, do an activity, complete a project, etc. One of the things that has impressed me the most is the options students have to learn the content in different ways, based on their learning style. They can make a decision to learn content in a way that works for them. This is a great, yet challenging, lesson for these students to learn now so that can be more independent, successful learners going forward.

        Students have been in a “traditional” school setting for many years, so it is certainly going to take time to make this transition. I can relate that it is frustrating to watch your child struggle, but sometimes they have to have a productive struggle in order to learn from it. My child came home mad the other day that he “failed” an assessment with a score of a 7/10. He wanted to immediately retake the assessment but his teacher wouldn’t let him. He was made and proceeded to not use the rest of h

        Many of the colleges, and even high schools, are doing online learning. I have taken college classes where I have never met my professors. Summit is NOT to this extreme, as students are provided ample face time with their teachers. (In fact, this article states concerns over students being on technology for too long, yet students are on the computers for AT MOST less than an hour and a half a day, and this is split up. Students can choose to complete worksheets or activities that are not on the computer if they would like less computer time. Again, student choices.) According to my child, the teachers are some whole class instruction, some mini-lessons, and pulling certain students for more focused instruction when they are struggling/excelling.

        My child struggles in science, so he has received more assistance in this subject but doesn’t need as much in Language Arts. My son is happy to not be sitting through a “traditional” language arts class that he doesn’t need, but seeks the opportunities his science teacher has for extra instruction. Ultimately, the students and teachers seem to be working together to make these decisions. Additionally, the school is offering lots of “office hours” for tutoring and extra assistance.

        I don’t disagree with you that Wikipedia isn’t geared for children, and that there aren’t many other resources that would be more age appropriate for a 6th grader but, just like a textbook, it isn’t perfect. Students were given math textbooks to use as resources, and I’m sure the teachers would be happy to loan you another textbook for the year if you think it would help.

        Ultimately, I am thankful that my child is learning to become a self-directed learned; he is not there yet, but he has definitely made major progress. I feel confident that he is gaining skills that will benefit him in both high school, college, and the real-world. His teacher and I will not always be there to teach him or make decisions for him, and right now I am able to guide him to making these decisions and learning how he learns, but he needs to be able to do this on his own in just a few short years.

        • Another CMS Parent says:

          I’m glad it works for your child, and I’m sure it works for most children. My child, however, has a learning disability. He learns by someone actually talking about the material, this is how I teach him, since this is not being done at school. It sounds really good, that they can learn different ways (videos, games, etc.), but his last playlist was all material that had to be read and was not 6th grade level reading material. Therefore I had to read, decipher, and teach him. He did pass the content assessment, but I should not be the teacher. It would be easier for me to teach him from a textbook that is made for 6th grade level.

          I don’t blame the teachers, they are doing the best they can with what they have been given. Most of his teachers are very caring and trying to help the best they can. I hate that no one communicates anymore, except using technology. Kids don’t know how to talk to each other, they only know how to text and use social media. Now it seems to be happening in the schools. I don’t see what is wrong with a teacher teaching their students by standing in front of the class and teaching.

          I believe Summit should be a choice, not forced upon every child, because I don’t believe it will ever work for my child. His learning disability is not going away. At this point, we are considering moving out of Boone County.

      • Summit Student says:

        I am a summit student and honestly i hear tons of kids talking about dropping out, i look around on other students computers and a lot of them are falling behind and the ones who are actually on pace get rewarded. Also it is so stressful once you start to fall behind you dig yourself in a hole and its hard to get out of it. At the beginning of the school year i was falling behind and when i started to catch up on those areas i began to fall behind in other ones. It has been really hard for me to stay focused and staring at these computer screens all day really takes a tole on your eyes. Everyone is on a different pace, class rooms are quiet and not engaged like they used to be. Everyone sucks at something but summit is pushing us past our limits and forcing us to get 100% or else we completely fail that class if everything isn’t done to their standards and completely finished then we basically wasted our time. I have been complaining about summit since the first week of school yet no one listens to me and my counselor basically tells me that is my fault for failing and I have to get used to summit because it will always be there. I have been trying to be home-schooled since October but i cant because i need my high school diploma to get into a college but i am so far behind now i have to go to summer school to catch up. I have stress, anxiety and depression and this year i have had 5 anxiety attacks over summit, i do not want to come to school anymore i hate it and i am failing which has ever happened to me before i have always been a student to get good grades. Lastly teachers are not realizing that most student open up another tab while they’re taking assessments and cheat. I see it being done by a lot of people. If i cheated on my tests then id be passing right now. They only give us time in school to do our power focus areas and projects yet we still have to have additional and challenge areas done. I am dropping out next year. I can’t deal with another year of summit.

  15. I , first of all, have to laugh at the hubris of the CEMS “wealthy dad”. As a retired Boone County teacher, I’m sure much is not being said to you because of the professionalism of the teachers at CEMS, and every other school! I am guessing you may be one of the parents that think because you were a student, you could surely teach. How often have you been to school to observe what happens? I have been retired for 3 years, yet I still sub in the school I worked for 22 years. I have been in education since 1975. I am NOT wealthy because I have been a teacher, shaping young minds for the future. I will however, be working 2 days this week at CMS and volunteering on Wednesday, to help make carmel apples for students in our Practical Living class. I have also been working in all three grade levels, in Summit. My experience is that change is difficult. It is also my experience to have personally worked with many competent teachers in this county. You are quite lucky to have the caring, hard working, dedication it takes, to educate your children. It is far easier to stay with the status quo, I can assure you. And although I don’t believe in throwing out the baby with the bath water, the teachers have worked hard to incorporate that which may best suit your children for college and beyond. I am quite sure that eventhough some of you are wealthy, you do not want to support adult children. I was impressed by what I have witnessed. Obviously 8th graders do a far smooother transition. But, I have seen the 6th graders do well also. I am surprised people think we no longer want to teach and bond with our students. We love that! But I dare say, you should meet some of our amazing teachers. They all will have a minimum of 6 years of college, and many have far exceeded that! Do you understand the committment required to have a family, work full time, continue your education, have professional developments, inservice hours, plan curriculum, answer emails, grade student work, and have a relationship with people in the building? It is not for the faint of heart! So, work with these teachers instead of just attacking. I understand parent concerns. We all have had to adjust to new ways, many times in education. If you teach your children to work against us, when we are your allies, it will be to your detriment down the road, when they won’t try something else. I am confident there is much to still learn.I also have known Randy Poe for 25 years. How lucky we are to have him run these school! But the man with the wealth, although I would suggest you engage some of these intelligent teachers with real conversation, the likes of your post doesn’t make that seem promising. Work together! These schools need your support, not constant criticising. Many have sat in classes before, to come away with a deep appreciation for what we are trying to do.

  16. Momof3Boys says:

    I just want to thank the teachers who work tirelessly to educate my children for minimal pay. Even as a stay-at-home Mom, I know that I am not equipped with the tools or patience to even consider home-schooling. Nor am I considering the option because, even as their mother, I am nowhere near informed enough to make daily decisions regarding the curriculum my child needs and how they receice it. Despite my masters degree in business, I am not an educator and, therefore, am not informed enough to make educational decisions about how material is taught. I try to be as involved as possible by attending open houses, curriculum night, conferences, and staying in coordespondance with my child’s teachers, but I am still not a teacher so I won’t critique your decisions. I will support you and my child and just be thankful that you aren’t critiquing our parent skills, the way that many are openly critiquing your teaching skills and decisions.

    You, Boone County teachers, are the educated and trained professionals and I am thankful that my child is being educated by the best. Thank you for making decisions that you believe are in the best interest of my child. You have made a major change this year by moving from a traditional classroom, and while a difficult adjustment for some students (and obviously many parents, as evidenced by this post), I can imagine that it has also been a big adjustment for you also. Thank you for not being content, but instead working tirelessly and thanklessly to be innovative and provide new and better opportunities for my children, even though it requires more work on your part. I will continue to support my child in any way possible, and the Boone County teachers. As evidenced by their recent test scores, they seem to know what they are doing! Thanks!

    • Educated parent says:

      No one bashed teachers, the program calls them facilitators and their training was teaching them how to be a facilitator. The teachers did not decide to do Summit, as a matter of fact a lot of them don’t like it because they want to teach, and it’s difficult because kids are everywhere in the curriculum – said by a great teacher. The program is the issue, not the teachers. I think the teachers would be relieved if this program was done away with. Teachers walked out of one of those schools during training, because they think it is such a disservice to the kids and to their abilities.

      • Momof3Boys says:

        At Conner, the teachers volunteered to do the program. My child’s teacher told me that the principal asked who wanted to and more teachers volunteered than they had teacher slots. In all of my conversations with the teachers, they have been very forthcoming about thinking the program is a step in the right direction for the needs of every child.

      • Me says:

        Teachers DID decide to do Summit at both schools. No one was forced to do it. Parents ARE bashing teachers, even saying teachers should hand over their pay checks to parents so they can quit their jobs and homeschool their children since the teachers obviously aren’t. I am a parent of a child using Summit and I cannot say enough about how well I can keep an eye on what my child is doing. So when he whines he doesn’t know how to do something, I can easily use my parent login, glance at what needs to be done and make him sit down and do it. He’s not diagnosed ADD but I’m sure he has it. He’s smart but he’s lazy and doesn’t want to do the work and Summit has allowed me to work with him on that. He is SO proud when he passes an assessment and enjoys doing his projects. Is any 1 program a one size fits all? No! But many of the parents that spoke at the meeting ‘know’ what their child wants to be and who they are and how they learn best. No, you don’t. The kids themselves don’t know that and you cannot know either. Give your child a chance to see if they can excel. You putting down teachers teaches your child to NOT respect the teachers or their efforts to the point, nothing will help them.

        As a parent sitting in that meeting, it was VERY biased. My son was getting aggravated at some of the ‘concerns’ people were bringing up. And some of the 30 ‘parents’ weren’t even CEMS parents. They only came bc it was posted on their HOA Facebook page to come support those that are upset. Not learn about Summit, but to be an additional voice against it when they have NO knowledge aside from 1 crazy angry person who was making snide and snarky remarks and yelling after the meeting was over, even after she got her THREE NOT TWO MINUTES in.

        And shame on the author for trying to rally the troups on her Facebook page, trying everything she could do get people on her side for the sake of concerned Muslim parents. You know, bc people understanding other religions breeds hate. Not ignorance which is whatthe author and her troups have clearly shown.

  17. Boone Parent says:

    Beyond any personal feelings about the schools, our educators, the author, or the matter at hand, one must realize that this is first and foremost a failure of leadership.

    With substantial effort, a new educational system was implemented.

    It was not effectively communicated which students would be receiving instruction on this system.

    It is being demonstrated that the curriculum within the system was not thoroughly reviewed, and no syllabus of the curriculum was offered to students or parents/guardians.

    Parents seeking opportunity to return to traditional instruction have been reportedly ignored, or told to relocate their student to another school.

    Our valuable public resources, and the reputations of the many talented people in their employment, depend on effective leadership, executing effective process, and placing paramount, that while they are in the employment of the school district, they are accountable to the parent, and to the taxpayer.

    How many much-needed dollars are going to be lost to dealing with a lawsuit, when they should be funding our children’s educational needs?

    This is a failure of leadership, and of process. If the leadership is not held accountable, and informed that this is not an acceptable way to operate our educational facilities, then each of us have no one to blame for the shortcomings of our schools, but ourselves.

    Leadership needs to make this right, or step aside for more capable leadership who haven’t lost focus of purpose.

  18. Robert says:

    This is a very interesting and informative article by Ms. Cox. It is amazing and very sad that our schools have been allowed to degenerate into propaganda centers. Teachers are having way too much experimental garbage foisted on them when all they really want to do is provide a good education for their students. In my business I find that many high school graduates can not write or read cursive and many cannot make correct change. We need to get back to the basics and teach children phonics, diagramming and cursive writing. And at least make sure students have a grasp of business math before they graduate. This is not too much to ask for in return for the billions of dollars spent on education.

  19. Another CEMS parent says:

    Once again, Ms.Cox has found an audience to listen to her biased attacks on Boone County Schools. Before jumping on board to whatever she says, know her for what she represents. It is heartbreaking how quickly she pounces and manipulates concerned parents and condemns the leadership of Principal Hagerty who has always presented herself as a caring, forward-thinking professional. Well before the Summit program began, she conducted several meetings in the spring and met with parents privately. I was one of them. She sent numerous communications out to parents – it is the responsibility of the parent to read them. Do not attack her because of others’ laziness or ignorance. She has wholeheartedly welcomed parents to tour CEMS which is something that takes time out of her day. I was in one of those tours and appreciate how thorough Ms. Hagerty explained the program and how supportive she was of teachers and students. She proved her sincerity and passion for education. I hope that other parents read ALL the comments posted here and stay open-minded and trust the leadership of our schools. As parents, we need to show our support, and if you have a concern, address it. Listen openly. Ask good questions. Be involved. This article portrays something that simply does not exist. If there are teachers who are not happy with the program, ask why. How are they implementing it? It’s a program that provides flexibility and from what I observed, students were engaged and teachers were actively participating in their learning. CEMS and Boone County Schools should be commended for giving our children the opportunity to learn in this new and exciting way!

  20. Mom4boys says:

    The article leveraged many aspects of this program that I had not put together. I question why there is such a push on this particular program? We are originally from NY, there are several programs there that have been proven successful. Why do a crash test? I keep hearing that some middle schools are going to this Summit and not offering anything else. That would be tragic!!!

  21. 8th grade student, CEMS says:

    Carrie Cox is no journalist who has little to no knowledge as to what the hell she’s talking about and is an insult to those who actually do their research. Never has she stepped a foot inside CEMS but yet she has the nerve to write an opinion based article. Expect for me to make a follow up with FACTS so that you all know the truth. Also, for you parents that live in a small bubble, I have 2 things for you. 1: ALONG WITH CHRISTIANITY AND A JUDAISM, ISLAM HAS ALWAYS BEEN TAUGHT AT CEMS. And it’s only the basic, common beliefs that are taught. 2: GROW UP! Seriously, if anything that doesn’t perfectly align with your beliefs “offends” you, and therefor you don’t want it to be taught at a PUBLIC SCHOOL, (oops, truth bomb) you’re ACTING JUST LIKE THOSE YOU DESPISE. Ya know, the countries in the middle east that are authoritarian dictatorships that limit the press and other media to prevent outside ideology from getting to their people. Yeah, you’re acting like them. And for you parents that are afraid to give the summit program a chance just because it’s new, THE WORLD IS CHANGING and you need to stop being closed minded and accept the fact.

    • Adult says:

      Seeing that you are an eighth grade student, you should properly research before making inappropriate comments. Have you looked through the entire 7 th grade history section? I think not. Exposure is one thing, the truth is not in this history and it slams others religions. As a parent, I can speak to the truth of this article. If you have a different opinion, it is just that. An opinion, not fact. This article is factual, displaying many aspects that parents have dealt with. The title clearly states SOME parents. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, that does not mean that this article is false because you personally disagree. Please research FACT, and OPINIONS. This should clarify things for you, because the world is changing, your words matter and most importantly TRUTH matters!

      • Summit Student At CEMS says:

        Adult,
        You are discriminating based on age. Learn the real, proper facts before writing. You are COMPLETELY incorrect.

  22. Realist says:

    ACLJ was founded by Pat Robertson. Islam and exp[osure to other cultures is not what Pat Robertson and his organizations support. If you would like your child to never have any exposure to anything but a very small microcosm, I suggest you get rid of media entirely and homeschool, and hope your child never meets anyone who looks, sounds, or thinks differrently than they do, because that would be the worst possible outcome. All sarcasm aside, this program is a good program when implemented the way it was intended. There are opportunities for improvement, as with any program. It sounds as if communication and implementation didn’t go smoothly, and the added element of bigotry is a huge road block to growth and education. This is a prime example.

  23. mike says:

    The issues were further compounded when parents began speaking out on the CEMS Facebook page. The school chose to delete their comments, which is a violation of their First Amendment Rights, as the attorney explains in her letter to the district.
    “While CEMS was not required to open this forum, having done so, it must comply with the strictures of the First Amendment…CEMS’s decision to delete those comments was entirely contrary to the clear purpose of the Facebook page…it is clear that CEMS deleted these comments because of CEM’s disagreement with the viewpoints expressed therein…Because the comments expressed disagreement with the curriculum, however, they were promptly removed. CEMS’s removal of these statements occurred in direct violation of these individuals’ First Amendment rights.

    me: WTF?? and im a student going there! how stupid is CEMS!!!

  24. Summit Student says:

    Im a summit student, and this article is true

  25. CONCERNED CMS PARENT says:

    Horrible program of indoctrination and separation of child from family faith and moral teachings. If the teachers don’t understand that this is also a test to eliminate them from the classroom and to allow complete control over education then their advanced degrees in education means nothing. As a businessman money and political ideology are the driver, this program will justify cost cutting and the teachers will be the asset cut. Any principle who dodges parents concerns should be removed from that position, parents still know what’s best for their children. Parents set the moral and religious ideology in their homes not the school system. As far as what is being fed to our children’s minds this is a clear indoctrination and another attempt to remove Christianity rrom the schools while allowing expanded teaching on Islam. When the community is shut out of the education system as it is clearly being done here then it’s time for the parents to consider alternatives for our children’s education.

  26. Cems Student says:

    I can say that summit it not a good thing for some students. I have had all a’s every year since 2010, this year I only have one a, and I have an f. Summit isn’t all bad, but the curriculum is bad, and it’s too easy to get distracted using chromebooks. I don’t know what people are thinking, this is causing serious issues with my learning pace, it’s slowing it rather than speeding it up.

  27. CMS Parents says:

    My student can’t stand the Summit program. I like seeing what my teen is studying and the results of assessments, but the project portion is confusing! It doesn’t list references or examples to study. And this is 70% of the grade! In theory summit could have worked. I thought the Summit program would provide a great learning experience. I’m extremely disappointed with the result.

    This *could* be an excellent program for advanced students – not the average student. Our children should enjoy the learning experience. We want to create life-long learners…

  28. Furiousparent says:

    My daughter goes to Conner Middle School an we just moved to boone county in november. She was a straight A student an also tested for being gifted an talented by the state of kentucky in creativity. Since starting with this summit program she has no A’s an is incredibly frustrated with this learning. She came from woodland middle school an loved her learning experience. What I personally have learned is that students are not being taught they are told to read, watch a video an take a quiz. As an educator an nurse a child’s learning experience is not one size fits all. This is unacceptable an my daughter is not learning anything this way. Everyone learns differently whether by reading, listening, or hands on. I have my youngest daughter starting next year in middle school an believe we WILL NOT be placing her anywhere near a school where they are not taught by a teacher. This just makes me sick to think anyone thought this is acceptable.

  29. CEMSman8 says:

    I’m a viry eddukated groun man and eye hate sumit

  30. caden says:

    i´m a student: hate summit im starting to fall behind and last year i was a straight A student. but last year it wasn´t summit. the reason why is because when i´m on summit the objectives don;t give me enough information to complete the assessment. however when teachers tough things, i could understand it fully and be able to ace the test.

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