Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mama always said: "Haste makes waste"

The election for BOE is April 5th - what's the rush?
I would be curious to know what the people currently running for school board think of the vast changes that may be coming down the pike (I bet CJ is working on that).

By the time they make it to the board, what input will they be able to have on the direction of our school district? It seems to me, that the March 28th date to say yea or nea on the changes recommended yesterday, seems a tad bit hasty.

If I am not mistaken, 99% of the BOE all have day jobs. Can they really be expected to make a completely informed decision of this magnitude by March 28th? Do they even know what Compass Learning, the 95 Percent Group or APEX Learning is? Do they understand why they should vote to go along with Compass Learning over APEX Learning, even though there is inconclusive data as to Compass Learning's effectiveness? Do they know exactly what and who it would take to implement the Edison program without the Edison Company? Do they really understand why parents in the audience cheered, when it was recommended to do away with Open Court Reading?

I believe that most taxpayers would agree, the BOE making an informed decision goes beyond just voting on the information fed to them by the Administration. We expect them to do their due diligence - get out into the schools, talk to parents, actually see the programs they have been asked to cut in action (or inaction as it were). In other words, we are going to need them to take a leave of absence from their day jobs and do a little home work... set a good example for the students.

21 comments:

walk of shame said...

I agree with you 100%!

Sharon Crews said...

Me, too. Since I didn't go to the meeting and have picked up info from two friends and two blogs and the PJS, I guess I missed that important part.

No, of course the board can't do justice to all these decisions in two weeks. I thought having all the proposals unveiled at one time was a relatively good idea, but I understand that the presentation last night was at break neck speed. Everyone's head was spinning.

There are too many pros and cons on several issues--the board needs thinking time. I had hoped they were past making decisions in a rush.

Laura Petelle said...

We have been receiving background research for some months. While the plan as a whole was given to us for the first time in our Friday packets ahead of the Monday presentation, we had a reasonable idea of what it would look like. We've been having literally hundreds of pages of background reading; the curricular audit alone is pretty substantially sized and took me quite a while to read.

Moreover, these programs were originally voted on by the Board, and while not everyone on the Board was there for initial votes, or someone may not remember a particular program (there are so many), we've certainly had plenty of information on the 95% Group, for example, before now. It's not just falling on us from a clear blue sky.

Anonymous said...

By the time April rolls around Wolfie's reign of terror will be irreparable. She would have presided over all the school closings, all the teacher cuts, all the flight out of Peoria, all without feeling the need to meet or talk with constituents.

Emerge Peoria said...

Thanks for your comment Laura. I believe anybody who reads this blog, or knows you, know that you do your due diligence.

I personally know that you do make efforts to talk to parents and look beyond just what is in Administration packets. The fact that you spend time in schools is special too.

I appreciate your efforts to be transparent in what you do.

Sharon Crews said...

Yes, Laura, I second Emerge's comments. I especially appreciate your willingness to keep in touch through the blogs.

Frustrated said...

Nice post Emerge.

I appreciate that the Board may have been forewarned of all that is coming their way, however, this is an overwhelming amount of information to absorb and act on, at one time. I agree with you that it would be prudent to allow those decisions that are not absolutely pressing to be decided by the new board,since they will have to live with the consequences of the decision.

Dennis in Peoria said...

Ok, I need an education here myself. What is difference between Compass Learning, 95% Group, and Apex Learning? Also, what is "Open Court Reading".

I never heard any of these terms until last 2 days or so.

Emerge Peoria said...

Dennis:

Follow the links I provided.

Anonymous said...

I have tutored 95% as an interventionist and seen much success with it when working with many different levels of learning. The training is excellent and the people who conduct the training are accessible and knowledgable. It is my understanding the district is headed this direction, and I for one, applaud this decision. Truly phonics based material.

Sharon Crews said...

Well, I was wrong about what 95% is--still don't but I know it isn't professional development.

Anonymous said...

95% is great, but there was no information regarding the other components of a language arts curriculum. I'm happy to see Open Court go, but what are the spelling, writing, and grammar components for 95%? Also I heard Dr. Lathan suggest that information regarding benchmarks would come after the board votes on the plan? If it's valuable, then don't you think an alternative should be suggested before the baby is thrown out with the bathwater? This was a great deal to absorb, however more detailed information is needed.

Emerge Peoria said...

Hopefully the educators who look at this blog will take the time to log in and question the aspects of the presentation that are not clear to them.

The average parent/taxpayer has never heard of these programs before. Your questions and comments will help BOE members and other readers be more informed.

Anonymous said...

Peoria County will reclaim their students served by the Academy at ICC. This will recapture the TAEOP and ALOP state grants and keep that money in district. Those programs will become part of Greeley (which houses the Regional Safe School Program of Peoria County). Currently that money flows through the Peoria County ROE into ICC. ICC is going to divest itself of those programs. Restructuring the RSSP, TAEOP and ALOP programs within D150 won't cost much as there is currently a TON of money that has been going to ICC in rent, administrative costs and other overhead to manage those grants.

Beth said...

Anon--

Thanks for letting everybody know that Academy at ICC is being released from the ICC payroll. The problem still remains that once students are expelled from their home high schools, they will still not have a place to receive their education. D150 will not allow them into any facility. Another thing to think about is this...what about the students from Tazewell County that will no longer have a place to go? DId you know that NO schools pay for their students to attend Academy? We are COMPLETELY state funded.

Anonymous said...

Students expelled from local districts *can* be referred to their respective ROE Safe School programs...this is the sole function of RSSPs.

Emerge Peoria said...

Safe Schools Program

The Regional Safe Schools Program is an alternative school program for disruptive youth. Goals of the program are:

To help students acquire the education and skills necessary to secure good jobs and become productive members of society.
To prepare students for successful transition back to the regular school environment.
Students who are in grades six through twelve who are expelled or have been suspended may be eligible to participate in the program.

Beth said...

Greeley has a waiting list and they are Peoria County Safe Schools.

Anonymous said...

So naive- Laura should ask how Roberts came to be the auditor. Curriculum audits are usually done by non profits i.e. PDK, etc. Not by an individual referred by a company that stands to profit from radical changes.

Anonymous said...

And, where is the data that supports radical principal moves? Lots of supers do this in large systems for one purpose only- to create loyalty for "saving" their jobs. Who does a radical change of leadership serve? The children or one single person?

Sharon Crews said...

Buying loyalty is and has always been important to those at the top.