Two Words Spark Board Discussion

Board debates whether to include the word will or may
Gilroy – Yes, two little words caused a stir.

The Gilroy Unified School District board spent a considerable chunk of time at Thursday’s meeting discussing whether a sentence included in the board policy should contain the word “will” or “may.”

The mellow debate began when GUSD Trustees Rhoda Bress and Pat Midtgaard opened the floor to discuss board policy on discrimination in district programs and activities, parental notification and test integrity/test preparation. The three documents were presented to the board for a first reading only, not for approval.

After reading through the policies board member Tom Bundros said he had an issue with a sentence in the test integrity/test preparation.

Bundros said he thought the may in the selection “staff may prepare students for assessments by providing instruction in the content specified in state and district academic standards and teaching general test-taking skills that are applicable to any test or test format,” should be replaced with a “will.”

Bundros said all teachers should be teaching test-taking strategies and if the board didn’t insert “will,” thereby making it obligatory, educators would have a choice.

But Trustee David McRae said he was more comfortable with using “may” because for some students, such as those in Advanced Placement classes, reviewing how to take assessments would not be a good use of their time.

Bress, who co-wrote and researched the policies along with Midtgaard, nodded her head as McRae spoke. The board member said that was exactly the point she was going to make. The documents are only board policies, not curriculum, she said.

Midtgaard said the board welcomes comments and suggestions about the board policy so she and Bress can tweak it before placing it on the agenda for board approval and that they would look into Bundros’ concern.

After listening to their comments Bundros smiled and said he no longer had a problem with “may.”

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