Resolution to Abandon Working Cash Bonds

From the Monday, April 23rd Board Agenda

Resolution to Abandon Working Cash Bonds: Judy Wiegand

I have heard rumors about how this happened (ie, reversing votes, etc). But nothing appears to be in the light at this moment. I wonder if any light will be shed at the meeting.

11 Responses to “Resolution to Abandon Working Cash Bonds”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    There are several interesting tidbits on the menu for tomorrow’s agenda, depending on what you like.

    Ileana Saveley sworn in – woot! I hope she is not already overwhelmed
    The high school options are going to be talked about, highlighting Holly Nelson’s work. Holly is try to get the word out about her website in an effort to collect more feedback.
    More budget stuff; aside from the Working Cash Bonds, Gene Logas will be presenting information about the building budget for the next year. One very notable item in the PDF was that Kenwood is being reduced from a 4-strand school to a 3-strand school. This is the first I have heard of this change. Also interesting to note that Carrie Busey makes up for a sizable portion of the minor budget increase.
    School Improvement Plans: Granted, I am biased. But I had a hard time looking at the Carrie Busey plan with much optimism. What is strange to me is that we already know the 2012 test scores are bad, and yet the goals are for the 2011-2012 school year; why is that information not in the document? I am wondering which goals we actually made. And I heard that Carrie Busey was one of the most chosen schools this year (ie, overchosen). This is just all kinds of fun.

    I have pinged Jamar Brown again about getting us some “reverse feedback” about his April 3rd Open Meeting.

  2. pattsi Says:

    As far as I ave learned, there is nothing in the pipeline to be studying the results/effects of the new schools and renovated schools on the students attending. What makes me reflect on this aspect is the comment that Carrie Busey is the most requested school. Why is this the case? There are so many disciplines at the university that ought to be clamoing to study these new environments, such as architecture, landscape architecture, NRES, COE, urban planning, environmental design, etc.

  3. charlesdschultz Says:

    Excellent point. And I am glad you mentioned that to Barb Minsker at the Carter workshop. Is this not exactly the same thing as the John Ruffin comment, reiterated by Martel Miller, about the disconnect between the University and the community? Something is very wrong with this picture.

  4. Vav Says:

    News Gazzette has an article up noting that Jamar wants to open the discussion. I don’t read anything that makes me think that the WCB will be stopped.
    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2012-04-22/bond-issue-again-agenda-champaign-board.html

    I need to understand the timing of these improvement plans. From personal conversation, I understand that these have been prepared for several months but until they go to the board they are not public documents. So we have 1 1/2 months remaining in the year and we now just see the plan for what to do this year???

    The Carrie Busey situation is interesting. You have the lowest performing school in the district (and county) that is the highest chosen in ‘controlled choice.’ This is a complete reversal from the old location where it was the lowest chosen (in large part because it shares proximity A with 4 other schools). The low choice in the past led to high mobility, high percentage of low SES, and low test scores. It is already clear that there are 2 groups in that school. Carrie Busey will change, not because of new bricks and mortar, rather because the new bricks and mortar are located where it is the only proximity A. I believe that any study in change of CB performance will have little to nothing to do with the bricks and mortar.

  5. pattsi Says:

    Vav, makes interesting points. This said there are other aspects that well-design research projects might show, that is this is a relationship between school physical environment and changes in students’ performances. This being the case may be worth pursuing related to school choices. See the following web sites. There are more available on the internet.

    http://www.centerforgreenschools.org/studies.aspx

    http://miron-constructionnews.com/news_releases/lake-mills-middle-school-ranks-1st-in-wisconsin-among-leed%C2%AE-certified-schools/

    http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6472363.html

  6. charlesdschultz Says:

    Meg’s article about Holly Nelson (Front Page none the less!): http://www.news-gazette.com/news/education/2012-04-23/central-grad-uses-school-location-masters-project.html

    Jamar’s HalfwayInteresting Post: http://www.halfwayinteresting.com/Pages/CityofChampaign/tabid/90/entryid/914/We-continue-to-push.aspx

    I see John Bambanek has a Guest Editorial Piece in the Sunday NG decrying woeful, out of control government and taxes “gone wild”.

    What a wonderful state we live in. 🙂

  7. Karen Says:

    I think looking to the physical school environment for answers to/reasons for low performance isn’t going to be a high-yield endeavor. Look to the nature/content of the curriculum and look to disciplines other than education (I sometimes can’t believe what passes for ‘research’ in education).

    http://www.asha.org/Publications/leader/2007/070529/070529f.htm

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-08-16-illiteracy_x.htm

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/education/ed0396.htm

  8. pattsi Says:

    Karen makes a good point in that there are many layers of variables that affect the learning environment whether K-12 or higher education. My underlined point is that presently this is not the focus now or ever that of the BOE.

  9. charlesdschultz Says:

    Pattsi, what exactly is the “this” that is not the focus (now or ever)? The layers of variables? The learning environment?

    Karen, all those articles refer back to the work of E. D. Hirsch. Kahmi’s 2007 article talks about Core Curriculum, which in 2012 is now starting to show itself in our schools. Even Sol Stern’s article is from 2009. Is Core Curriculum, as it is being implemented, what these authors had in mind? If not, what are we missing?

    My issue with these articles about Hirsch’s work is that we still cannot assume a one-size-fits-all will be perfect for everyone. But even as I type that out, I wonder if trying to find the “silver bullet” is itself a worthwhile endeavor. Maybe it is not. It does seem, based on what I have read so far, that bolstering the core abilities of literacy is a huge foundation stone upon which we can build the rest of the education scaffolding. So maybe we start there. But how exactly? Wiegand has already trumpeted her desire to see “all kids reading at level by 3rd grade”, and I have mentionedGreat at Eight” (Illinois Voices). We know these things are important, but I am not sure we agree on exactly how to get there.

    I have not yet dug into the comments about the school environment (Vav and Pattsi). I am starting to max out my mental bandwidth as it is. 🙂

  10. Karen Says:

    Well, as I see it (not that anybody cares, lol), a Core Knowledge curriculum is only as good as it’s content, so to speak. I will have to check out the material/reports or whatever at Mellon, but, what I heard said at the April 23rd Board Meeting was that Everyday Math was the ‘best’ they (curriculum people) could find and that it was going to be integrated somehow into the content of Unit 4’s curriculum. So, right away. There, presumably, goes some solid content (basic math facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) in favor of ??? From what I can tell, Everyday Math does not prepare our kids for any kind of math future. Show me data that justify it’s use over other methods/content and I might change my mind.

    The content formulation is happening now (or, maybe it’s already too late to give input/feedback for certain areas/grades). In Illinois the community can have input into that via the school board (something I linked in the past about this). While it may not be a one-size-fits-all approach, at least there could be some input into what content is going to be worthwhile for most.

  11. pattsi Says:

    I am referring to the many different variables that affect learning and how these interact. No variable functions independently, such as curriculum design, who is teaching the curriculum, who designed the curriculum, actvity of parents within a school, condition of the school–HVAC, paint, natural and artificial light, room size, desk and chair size, lunch room and food available, start and finish time of the school day, consistency of faculty and administration, etc.


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