First the links:
- NewsTalk 1400 http://www.wdws.com/audio/2012-01-19/dr-judy-wiegand-1-19-12.html-0
- News Gazette http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2012-01-19/prairie-fields-favorite-name-new-savoy-school.html
NG focuses on the potential, possible, maybe new name of the new Carrie Busey building. The NewsTalk feed only covers it for about…. 45 seconds or so. But NG also has a 25 second sound bite from Savoy Village Manager Dick Helton (who has been very involved in the district for quite some time).
Highlights from the NewsTalk show:
- A little bit of background on why Dr. Wiegand submitted her application for Superintendent late. She mentions that there was a lot going on, she was taking on more responsibilities and how Dr. Bob Malito was a huge influence.
- Talk of how she, representing the Administration, will be going back to the BOE with high school options they have been talking about. A bit of the interview is devoted to this topic, discussing how Adminstration has been reviewing all the survey responses we the public have been giving and what they are learning about the sites. I also have knowledge that a Master Student at the University is currently studying these options and it will be interesting to see what kind of research comes out of that work.
- As previously mentioned, only a small amount of time was given to the possible (inevitable?) new name of Carrie Busey. Given that they will keep the Carrie Busey name with the current building on Kirby, there is talk of what to name the new building. And perhaps, as the NG boldly states, they may call it “Prairie Fields”. Wiegand also mentioned how the current building will be used, first by West View then others, as schools are upgraded.
So here is an issue for me. In Helton’s sound bite, he mentioned that the Village Board heard from “members of the Prairie Fields Home Owners’ Association”. While this is technically true, I believe that more specifically, they heard from the Board of Directors, and even more specifically, one or two people in particular. On the other hand, I am hearing from parent’s that they do not feel represented at all, as nobody asked them what their opinion was, and here we have elected officials out stating an opinion for the entire neighborhood. They are a tad upset about that.
What should have been done? How should these one-off conversations have proceeded in such a way not to alienate groups? I think, even if the Boards involved would have put out an email or something in a newsletter that said something to effect of “hey, Carrie Busey will probably get a new name, tell us what you think” would have been a good start. And now we are going to have parent’s reading this in the news and on TV/radio and be like “Hey, that is not what I think!!” Regardless of whether they might eventually be on the same page or not, this is not a good first step, IMO.
Update: I started a discussion board for this back in November:
[note to self: Ughn, going to have to change the name of the website….]
Putting that aside, there are whole chunks of conversations that are happening (and probably more that need to happen) surrounding the high school options. I sure hope we have more public forums to discuss those. And I was excited to hear about a researcher out of Urban Planning that is looking at the options. Woot! Good news.
I must say, in closing, that I glad that Dr. Judy Wiegand is getting the news out to the public. That is great! Even if it disturbs the bees’ nest. In fact, I might go so far as to say that opening a can of worms is a good thing, in that it gets people talking and thinking, hopefully down the path of thinking critically.