Wednesday at Houlihans: Feb 8th

Tomorrow (Feb 8th) we will be at Houlihans again (11:30). Suggested topic: What do teachers really think about Unit 4? I know 11:30 is THE WORST TIME for teachers…. but it’s too late to change it now. If I do something at… say, 4:pm, would I get some teachers to join us?

 

Next week (Feb 15th) will either be a week off or I will be heading out to a different location to go to where other people are at. Have not fully decided how that is going to look, yet – still working on it.

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7 Responses to “Wednesday at Houlihans: Feb 8th”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    Tom Lockman (Unit 4 Board Member) joined us and we had several conversations; about the School Assignment process, perceptions, issues and a tiny bit of history; about the recent “retreat” (as they call it) where Dr. Wiegand interacts with the Board about their various priorities and goals; about reaching out to people, giving them a chance to see how the Board and the Administration are changing for the better, to let the public know that they can talk to Unit 4 knowing that they will listen.

    Early last summer (late spring?) when Sue Grey was on her “we need to shut up and listen” kick, I had a chat with her and mentioned “reverse feedback”, which I described as the Board telling us (the public) what they hear us saying and what they are doing about it. She gave me the impression she thought that was a really good idea. I mentioned this again in September during the School Exec Connect sessions, and again in a December 28th email. But I am still not seeing it. Perhaps this is not what other people want? Is it simply not a high priority?

    Mr. Lockman mentioned the “retreat” they had a couple weeks ago. Looking at the BoardDocs, I am thinking this was the Jan 30th Special Board Meeting (the agenda has but one little sentence describing this event; “Board/Superintendent Goal-Setting” – that’s it!). Dr. Malito did a very similar retreat back on August 15th, and I was so excited when I talked to him about that retreat because he produce some excellent documentation. Some of which even squeaked out to the public. When the Board meets with the Superintendent and does these goal-setting mashups, it seems to me that stakeholders should have some kind of role to play. I am not exactly sure what that role is, but at the very least we should know what the goals are. I am trying to see things from the Board’s point of view, but I cannot help but think, why wouldn’t they want to broadcast the results of these retreats?!? Why wouldn’t they have a note-taker publish the highlights in the News-Gazette, TV, the interwebs, blogs, KCN, etc. I am befuddled. The only thing I can come up with is, if I were in their shoes, I would be utterly exhausted after a 5-hour meeting (with NO PAY!) and my brain would turn to mush. And then after sleeping on it, I would blog it like crazy! 🙂 If it were me.

    What about our current system promotes and encourages a kind of walled garden affect? Is it the policies? Is it the expectations that have been ingrained after so many years of otherwise oppressive leadership? What is it?

    Or I am overly cynical? Naive? Ignorant?

    NOTE: several times Board Members (and ex-Board Members and/or Committee Members) have been kind enough to drop by and chat with us. I wish to make it clear that these folks speak for themselves, not on behalf of the groups to which they may belong. It is my goal that people can come to our gatherings and simply speak their minds without being used or viewed as a microphone for a larger group of people.

  2. pattsipattsi Says:

    Several points–I do not know how the board has a retreat without the public and press being allowed to attend. This is an OMA issue. The county board could never act in this manner.
    Has this group that meets at Houlihans ever explored if Unit 4 keep the promise to lower property taxes after the 1% was passed? And if so, by how much were the taxes lowered. If not, why not? And if lowered, for what period time did the tax rate remain lowered or was it raised the next year and each year since then? Also how does all of this relate to the recent proposal to issue more bonds?
    It might be time to focus on the financial issues not just school assignment and web sites.

  3. charlesdschultz Says:

    Pattsi,

    In terms of finances, I have been made aware of someone who is putting the numbers under a microscope and asking very similar questions. I have not yet been given permission to blog about it yet, so I holding it in the wings.

    Greg Novak pressed Logas about the 1% tax in June 2010 – I have not personally revisited that topic since because it boggles my head. It almost sounds like “it depends on how you define things”. However, I do want to follow-up with Logas about making his information more palatable to us laypeople who have no idea what abatements and levies are or how they come into play.

    In terms of the retreat, I believe they are Open Meetings, but nobody ever goes to them. I would admit, they are not publicized very well (from my perspective). The “Open” label kinda throws me – are they really held in Open Session, or are they officially Closed Session? I am led to believe they are in Open Session, but CGTV has no recording for this meeting, which would indicate that the session was not recorded. So… I am still confused by the whole thing. More information would be quite appreciated.

  4. pattsipattsi Says:

    The board needs to be reminded about the OMA and the posting requirements. The act was revised and this went into effect 1 Jan so everyone has to take a new test and get a new certificate.

  5. pattsipattsi Says:

    P.S. the school finances fall under the OMA. So why is all of this so secretive?

  6. charlesdschultz Says:

    So what did the Board say when you reminded them?

    On a more serious note, who is “everyone” that has to take a new test? I am not familiar with the “test” and the “certificate”.

    In terms of finances and secrecy, I was asked not to blog about it yet because, I think, all the stuff is still very raw and hard to understand. It is my perception that the information is being compiled so it makes sense. And I apologize for being obtuse or circumspect – it is not my intent to “hide” anything at all.


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