What does Unit 4 really need?

This is an open question. And I really do expect to get some responses, even if only privately.

[EDIT: Added a POLL at bottom]

I had the opportunity to catch a little bit of a Dr. Malito presentation at a PTA Council meeting last night (unfortunately I was a bit late). It was interesting to hear his take on the lack of “competitiveness” in our school district. Not so much athletic competition, but rather, spitting out products worthy of notice in the global market.

After having discussions with others and trying to set up community forums and such, I had the occasion to sit back and hear from someone who is not a “townie”. Dr. Malito was very clear that he brings a 3rd perspective, and he expects there to be some flak. He comes from the business world and brings experience from big cities. I appreciated this perspective. It forces me to think, “Do I really have any clue what Big Picture issues Unit 4 has?” I have this sinking feeling that I have a corner on a niche market.

So now I am asking. Really, seriously.

An attendee of last night’s meeting brought up a very salient point that easily touches nerves and can fork into tangents. What about “neighborhood schools”? If you buy a nice house next to a nice school, there is absolutely no guarantee you will go to that school. For people coming into the system fresh, this might be a bit of a surprise, in a bad way. Laura Bleill of Chambanamoms has summarized this and other related issues as an “image problem”. However, that draws me back to the original question, namely, is the perception of Unit 4 one of the Big Problems? Maybe it is – I am still asking. 🙂

Granted, there is a bit of “chicken and egg” going on. The perception of the school district must inevitably be based, at least partially, on truth, facts and raw data – I personally find it impossible to believe that an entire community’s negative perception can come solely from hearsay, rumors and gossiping. But if the school district responds to baseless complaints, it is driven away from that which is Really Important. Thus, have we even identified those things yet?

I am confident this question has been asked a thousand times in a thousand different ways. So I will look for those answers. Have any you would like to share?


3 Responses to “What does Unit 4 really need?”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    As of 11-Sep (early AM), the top 10 are:
    1. Communication & Transparency (14.63%)
    2. Leadership (14.63%)
    3. Image and Perception (12.2%)
    4. Kindergarten Lottery (12.2%)
    5. Other (9.76%)
    6. Lack of Community Collaboration (9.76%)
    7. Dealing with Discipline (7.32%)
    8. Lack of Cultural respect (4.88%)
    9. Budget (4.88%)
    10. all others (2.44% each)

    Wish I could see “Other”; you would think that as a Poll creator, I could see that…..

    – Lottery for older kids who move to district after kindergarten
    – also 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade. system is a joke
    – Lack of Neighborhood Schools
    – how it treats it’s staff

    [edit: wow, wordpress really sucks at ordered lists]
    [edit2: *shakes head* I have to view the “Other” through the Poll Admin interface – no ways for “regular” users to see this?]

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    As of 23-Jan-2013, the results are (remember this is from before Wiegand):
    42 total votes

    1. Communication and Transparency (6 votes)
    1. Leadership (6 votes)
    2. Kindergarten Lottery (5 votes)
    2. Image and Perception (5 votes)
    2. Other (5 votes)
    3. Lack of Community Collaboration (4 votes)
    4. Dealing with Discipline (3 votes)
    5. Lack of cultural/racial respect and appreciation (2 votes)
    5. Budget (2 votes)
    all others had one vote

    The “other” category was:
    – Lottery for older kids who move to district after kindergarten
    – also 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade. system is a joke
    – Lack of Neighborhood Schools
    – how it treats it’s staff
    – unions

  3. Taking another pulse « A citizen’s blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] little over a year ago, I started a poll asking in general what issues readers thought were most pressing in Unit 4. At the time, the top 5 […]

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