The plan for Houlihans today

Aside from planning our future open forums, we are going to start looking at talking points we can consistently put in front of the Board at board meetings and make a part of the public record. I am going to fold in things we have gathered from our first open forum (ie, Discipline, Expectations, money/budget, etc) and subsequent forums.


I started to look at the budget and quickly got overwhelmed. Just looking through the check register raises a lot of eyebrows, but even more questions. I simply do not have the context to evaluate all this information. I am thinking a dedicated, money-wise and well-versed group of folks would be better suited. Ideas? What can the average joe hope to accomplish by looking over the budget and the many financial reports generated by Mr. Logas and his assistants? Perhaps that is the issue right there. 🙂


If you have a bee in your bonnet or a burning question, please bring them to Houlihans today. If you are a shadow reader of this blog and have always wanted to come to a Houlihans Wednesday, maybe today is the lucky day. 🙂

5 Responses to “The plan for Houlihans today”

  1. Karen Says:

    March 23/2012–check register–Brain Hurricane……………$13K

    Touted as ‘proven effective.’ But, look at the ‘research’ from which that claim is derived:

    ‘The results, while positive, should be treated with caution; however, as THERE WAS NO CONTROL GROUP available for comparison.’

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    Living in a vacuum sure is handy.

    So what alternative are you suggesting, Karen?

  3. Sena Cooper Says:

    I couldn’t make it to lunch today but I just wanted to mention that I am appalled by some of the comments from parents on the chambana.moms Facebook post about Kindergarten assignments. I hope someone from the district is keeping an ear to the ground because I would be embarrassed by some of what has been said by district people to incoming Kindergartener parents, if the comments are indeed accurate.

    Yes, the percentage of students assigned to their first choice is the highest it’s been in the past four years (at 89%) and 95% of students have been assigned a school – but that still leaves 35 children who do not have an assignment.

    It is clear that the explanation of “unassigned” shared by the district in the NG article (“That means the student has a seat in the school district but not at one of the parents’ top five school selections.”) has not been made clear to the parents in that situation, as there was some discussion on the FB post about what “unassigned” actually means.

    “I was told that the spots have all been filled and my son didn’t get one. He is #1 on the list for Barkstall and the school board is considering other “options” for the unassigned- whatever that means. They also suggested that I hold him back another year (he turns 6 in September, so that’s not an option) or that we “go private.” Never have I heard of a school district just not having spots for kids. If you are out of spots than you MAKE MORE SPOTS!!! It’s the public school system for crying out loud!” Not sure who “they” is but shame on “they”.

    “We got “unassigned” too. We live less than half a block from the new Busey elementary that is being built in Savoy and have watched the construction daily from our window. Now we are told there is no place for our girl. We are just devastated. It’s an absolute scandal that the public school system is advising people to go private. What are we paying taxes for!”

    “We received the dreaded call as well today that our son is unassigned. It is frustrating, I visited most of the schools, did our research and you got to tell me out of the 5 schools we chose, he can’t get into one of them. We don’t have a proximity A school. He is now #3 on the waiting list for Robeson. I really don’t know what that tells me, is it likely or unlikely to get in?”

    “We had proximity to Carrie Busey but requested Barkstall- the lady on the phone told me that because of that I threw off their “system”- whatever that means.”

  4. Karen Says:

    An alternative, as I have noted previously, would be to base teaching on sound research vs. theory. Ed schools would never embrace that though. They are wedded to constructivist pedagogy, and no amount of science will apparently change that.

    ‘A significant body of research, including numerous controlled empirical studies, has thoroughly discredited that constructivist belief. According to KSC (2007):

    “There is no theoretical reason to suppose or empirical evidence to support the notion that constructivist teaching procedures based on the manner in which humans acquire biologically primary information will be effective in acquiring the biologically secondary information required by the citizens of an intellectually advanced society. That information requires direct, explicit instruction.”
    “… we have not evolved to effortlessly acquire the biologically secondary knowledge such as the operation of a base 10 number system or scientific theories that are characteristically taught in educational institutions. That information passes through working memory and so requires conscious effort. It must be explicitly taught; indeed we invented educational institutions in order to teach such knowledge, and the manner in which it is taught needs to take into account the characteristics of working memory, long-term memory and the relations between them.”

    In other words, constructivists rely on a misconception of how differing instructional and pedagogical methods interact with our current knowledge of the “human cognitive architecture”, especially in the case of young students. ‘

    I’m a little scared to watch the video at the Brain Hurricane site. Is Math going to involve performance art?

  5. charlesdschultz Says:

    @sena: Unit 4 usually does not pay attention to blogs, even those with a huge audience like chambanamoms or the News-Gazette. Perhaps the biggest travesty is that the FIC totally looses face by the way they handle complaints or upset parents. It is obvious that the administration (of the school district) still has a ways to go before they effectively and clearly communicate this whole School Assignment thingy. Thanks for informing me that chambanamoms now has a facebook page – my wife didn’t even know that. 🙂

    @karen: *headache* Trying to wrap my head around “constructivism”, making me think too hard. I have been reading too many research papers lately. *sigh* But from what I have read so far, I am not seeing how “Direct Instruction” is “sound research” vs the “theory” of “constructivism”. I see both having the same weight, and I consider both “theory” until I see some actual science (you know, doing experiments, collecting and analyzing data, forming hypothesis, rinse and repeat) in our own backyard. Show me sound research at Barkstall and Garden Hills and BTW. We have decades of baselines and control groups.

    In talking with Petrece Klein (fellow Prairie Fields resident and principal at St. Matthews), I have learned that they use totally different standards to measure progress (not the Illinois State standards test). However, they will start using Common Core, just like Unit 4. This tells me that somebody else in the private sector thinks Common Core is a good thing. From where I sit, this will be a good experiment to see if changing those particular variables is good overall or not.

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