Educational Philosophy

I wonder what would happen if school board policies were mandatory reading for taxpayers? My first hope is that a massive revolt would force an entire rewrite to get rid of the crap and transcribe it to something we can all easily understand. My second hope would be that we stop arguing over the small stuff and focus, as a larger community, on the bigger stuff. Until that day happens….

 

Just highlighting a little gem I think we all often forget. Be careful to note the details to which the policy attempts to embrace the students, the staff, the teachers, the parents and the community; note the need for collaboration at many different levels, both within and without the schools; note that which you think is totally awesome and that which you think we are failing at:

http://policy.microscribepub.com/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=1388632&depth=2&infobase=champaign.nfo&record={29}&softpage=PL_frame

120 EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY

The Board of Education of Champaign Community Unit School District No. 4, as legal officials of the state of Illinois and duly elected by the people of the District, feel obligated to the students of the District to see that their educational needs are met in the best possible manner. The Board, the administration, and the staff of the District will exhibit leadership in all endeavors toward the improvement of our educational program and facilities.
The Board of Education believes that the educational program should provide each student with the opportunity to develop to his/her fullest capacity in the areas of academic, physical, and emotional needs, regardless of race, sex, handicapping condition, socioeconomic status, or academic aptitude.
The Board of Education endorses the following goal statements for the District:

1. To develop an educational program that provides as solid a foundation of both academic and career knowledge and skills as the abilities of each individual will permit, which aims toward the development of each student’s potential with respect to college admission or vocational competence, and unmistakably reflects sincere concern for the human qualities of the individual;

2. To establish a physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually healthy environment for teaching and learning;

3. To effectively communicate and have a mutual understanding among staff, students, parents, and community so that all may work in concert to achieve an outstanding educational program;

4. To make appropriate recognition of and efficient use of community resources;

5. To continue efforts to recruit and retain a highly skilled and committed staff and to promote the professional growth of this staff;

6. To provide a sound, long-range plan designed to meet future needs;

7. To make the best use of the District’s physical plant;

8. To advise and inform the public of district activities and seek their advice;

9. To provide the highest moral and professional leadership; and

10. To maintain priorities consistent with the educational goals and philosophy of the District.
Approved July 11, 1988

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8 Responses to “Educational Philosophy”

  1. pattsi Says:

    Am I reading the date correctly-1988? Hasn’t previous boards revisited a document than now is a quarter of a century old, even for the reason of a revisit and not a rewrite?

  2. Robert Knilands Says:

    I’d say points 2, 3, 4, and 6 are in critical condition at this time.

  3. charlesdschultz Says:

    @Robert, any thoughts on how to go about addressing those concerns? I would also throw in point 8. As a follow-up to my post about the board retreat last night, I have asked Dr. Wiegand if they can find things they can share out to the public (which starts to address some of those concerns), since a vast majority of the meeting was held in closed session (“self-evaluation”). Dr. Wiegand mentioned they will try.

    @Pattsi, a quick sampling of policies shows me that 1988 is the oldest date, and it appears on a lot of policies. A number have 1995, 2002, some for 2005 and 2007. The Policy on Choice was updated just last year. 🙂 But as to your point – do you really think board members sit around reading 10 pounds of dead tree? Tommy once showed me the entire thing printed out and it was impressive to look at, downright scary to contemplate.

  4. pattsi Says:

    As a taxpayer is that when an individual(s) choose to run for elected office that there is a realization of obligation to the voters. This means not just rubber stamping, but also “drilling down” to get the historical perspective, learn the present situation so a “best practice” is voted for. This is a long way of stating, I have expectations that one has a lot of reading and learning to do when in an elective office. In particular, since most elective bodies make policy then my assumptions heighten.
    Since you have not posted the OMA guidelines for exceptions, I will. Here is the information for those who would like to better understand exemptions:

    You can find the list at this web site.
    http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/pdf/FAQ_OMA_Government.pdf

    “How can a public body “close” a public meeting?
    If a public body wants to hold a closed session, the public body must
    first meet in a properly noticed open meeting, then vote to close the
    meeting by a majority vote of a quorum present. The public body must
    cite the specific exemption in the Open Meetings Act that applies and
    allows the closure of the meeting.”us

    • Robert Knilands Says:

      2 — I think the district has to find a way to address issues it hasn’t handled well for some time. WCIA had a chart with violence numbers. Unit 4 had very high numbers.
      3 and 4 — The district can’t just continue to let factions guide it. I get it — first we had to “make up” for past transgressions, some of which were legit and some not. At some point, though, you have to get back to guiding a district to its best methods for educating students.
      6 — This is their worst area. We are STILL waiting for a specific plan to relocate Central, resite Edison, and expand Centennial. The third of those might be slightly farther along. What in the world is taking so long? (I suspect the concerns from 3 and 4 are in play here.) Bear down. Pick a site. Abandon absurd folly like planning to “update” Central to serve as Edison. GET GOING!!!!! How many years are we going to wring hands on this? They’ll go through two more school boards before this is done, or even started.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      No doubt, having the expectation that folks who wish to run for the board should be willing to sit down and familiarize themselves with the policies they are supposed to be setting and presiding over is very sound and reasonable. My question, do you really think they do? 🙂 Maybe a rare few do or did. Rather, what I see happening is that the IASB sends out updates once in a while to align to some change in law or cultural adaption. Or local administrators want to tweak a program (Choice is just one example). Everything else seems to fall under “out of sight, out of mind”.

      My personal turmoil is that if I were a board member, I would be simultaneously pulling out my hair at the absurdity of such an ungainly document set and laboriously reading one page at a time trying to force my feeble brain to comprehend it all. It is no trivial task.

  5. Robert Knilands Says:

    Sorry — that was meant to be a separate post. I should have scrolled down to a different “reply” button.

    “But as to your point – do you really think board members sit around reading 10 pounds of dead tree?” Valid concern. But I think if someone is going to be on the school board, there is an obligation to know what happened and why.

  6. charlesdschultz Says:

    @Robert – Want me to move your comment? It’s ok to leave it “as is” if you like.


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