SBCSC Deputy Superintendent answers questions from community
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- On Wednesday, the superintendent-elect of the South Bend Community School Corporation met with local education activist group about future practices of the school corporation.
Dr. Todd Cummings, current deputy Superintendent of SBCSC, was a part a question and answer event hosted by Community Action For Education (CAFÉ). Cummings said when he takes office in June his priorities will be improving literacy rates, installing a ‘lean, central’ administration, and using data to the corporation’s benefit.
“These are just the beginning of the community meetings that we want to have,” Dr. Cummings said. “We’re going to look at the ugly data that we have, we’re going to keep track of who’s reading, who’s in AP, who’s in IB in these communities.”
Dr. Cummins said the conversations raised at the Civil Rights Heritage Center on Wednesday night were the ones the community has had for years. Trina Robinson, with CAFÉ, said it was important for him to be able to hold his feet to the fire as to what his plans are for the corporation.
Right now, Navarre Middle School seeing signs of a state takeover after a receiving a consecutive failing state accountability grade. The corporation met on Wednesday the deadline to send the Indiana Department of Education a transformation plan, which grants an outside group to reshape the curriculum and staff at Navarre.
He said the department is set to send a response by March 6. However, Robinson said the entire situation is disheartening.
“It’s very disheartening that we as a corporation would have allowed a school to go six years and be forced to come up with a plan,” she said.
SBCSC Board of Trustees members were at the meeting and said Navarre along with other failing schools will most likely take priority when Dr. Cummings takes office. But Stuart Greene, at-large Board member, said they will also pay attention to schools in a ‘systemic way.”
On Monday, Greene became a member of the Academic Achievement Expulsion and Suspension Committee. He said the committee will provide support for Dr. Cummings to address disproportionality in South Bend schools.
Many people on Wednesday night said disproportionality is worsening the school to prison pipeline for minority students. Dr. Cummings told the crowd that literacy will be the start of changing this trend in SBCSC.
“Because what happens when you can’t read,” he said. “You get left out of everything society has to offer.”