Board member David Haubert called Tuesday night for a discussion about how new high school courses are created. A diagram was displayed that showed how input can come from a variety of sources, including parents, school employees and district officials.
Haubert used the discussion as a jumping-off point to state his dissatisfaction with the types of courses offered.
"I would not say we're not meeting (students') needs," Haubert said. "I do think there's room for improvement in rigor at Dublin High."
Haubert, whose opinions on rigorous classes have been aired before by parents and others, said neighboring districts offer more advanced courses than Dublin does.
After Tuesday's meeting, he said he was happy to see the process of designing courses explained -- a process he believes the average parent doesn't know about. Haubert, who has children in Dublin schools, said he has sat on school committees in the past and did not know parents were allowed to suggest courses.
Dave Marken, assistant superintendent of educational services, said the district can't accommodate everyone's ideas, but he believes the district already offers rigorous courses. Two years ago, the district increased the graduation requirements starting with the class of 2012, which has led to more challenging classwork, he said. For example, all ninth-graders are taking algebra. He also said schools in neighboring districts may have more advanced courses but are also bigger and have an easier time filling those classes. He said, for its size, the Dublin district, which has one comprehensive high school, has provided many advanced opportunities.
Haubert, whose district faces a deficit due to a looming state budget crisis, said he would not want to raise costs to offer more classes. He understands there is an optimal student-to-teacher ratio and would not advocate having a class with a small number of students. But he also said that substituting a class, such as biology, with an advanced biology class would be an easy change to make.
Haubert said he will continue advocating more rigorous classes.
Eric Louie covers education. Reach him at 925-847-2123 or email@example.com.