Email threads concerning the future of Central

This evening an individual forwarded a couple email threads that involved the Unit 4 Board and various other members of the community and school district whom you might recognize. I feel that these email threads add to the ongoing broader discussion of how our local school district will plan, prepare and implement capital improvements in light of several facts including 1) our high schools are already over capacity, 2) it is projected that by 2022 we will be 120% over current capacity.

 

I have removed all email address, home/business addresses and phone numbers. I elected to keep names because I feel it is important to attach the thoughts shared by a person with a real identity. However, I do wish to point out that it is not my intent to go on any kind of witch hunt or cast judgement on individuals; rather, my perspective is that these are, more or less, a documentary of how people think and a small slice of persuasive factors that influence big decisions. This is the kind of community-wide discussion we should all be privy to, so that we can all participate (in my opinion). This is necessary for us, as a voting, tax-paying public, to take ownership of how our tax dollars are spent. It is also my understanding that emails sent to and from the board of education are automatically part of the public record and thus subject to the laws of FOIA.

 

(Note there are some personal jabs of one kind or another buried within – again, I was tempted to remove those, but I want to keep the emails intact as much as possible).

 

july_6th_boe_emails_re_central_site_thread_1

july_19th_boe_emails_re_central_site_thread_1

 

I wish to also state that I hear a lot of folks demonizing other individuals or other groups. I will state publicly that the people/groups I personally know and speak with are trying their best to do their job. This includes members of the Unit 4 Administration, the Unit 4 Board and the staff at the News-Gazette. I am quite certain I could not do their job any better. However, that does not mean I agree with all their decisions, either. My opinion is that it is perfectly healthy and natural for any group of people to have disagreements and different ways of looking at things. This is the essense of life-long learning; which is why this topic is totally appropriate for a blog focused on local, public education. 🙂

 

UPDATE: I should also mention that News-Gazette’s Julie Wurth has been writing a lot about Unit 4, and the Central site selection in particular. On Saturday she published an article that mentions some of the players related to this email thread, including a follow-up article from Dr. Wiegand to the Park District Board:

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2014-07-19/school-district-wants-dodds-land-central.html

http://www.news-gazette.com/sites/all/files/pdf/2014/07/18/7-1-14_Letter_to_Joe_DeLuce.pdf

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32 Responses to “Email threads concerning the future of Central”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    UPDATE: I should also mention that News-Gazette’s Julie Wurth has been writing a lot about Unit 4, and the Central site selection in particular. On Saturday she published an article that mentions some of the players related to this email thread, including a follow-up article from Dr. Wiegand to the Park District Board:

    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2014-07-19/school-district-wants-dodds-land-central.html

    http://www.news-gazette.com/sites/all/files/pdf/2014/07/18/7-1-14_Letter_to_Joe_DeLuce.pdf

  2. Karen Says:

    IMO, Marci Dodds nails it when she states something about why SHOULD this even be a secret (private)? If ‘in good faith’ means what you (really) think should stay hidden, why should we trust you? It would be great if these sorts of email discussions were somehow open, as weaknesses in knowledge, planning, etc. can come to light through the knowledge of myriad people in the community who are NEVER a part of the ‘conversation’ (how I hate that word, in addition to ‘informational.’) . How could board members not intimately know the details of the real estate contracts? It is knowable information. It can be dummied down even to my level for understanding. Did board members vote on the $3.2 million land purchase having a sort of meh understaning of what they were signing on for with tax-payer money? They requested review by a real estate atty, right? vs. in-house apparent jack-of-all trades $100K atty?
    Yes, Unit 4 ‘consults’ with select ‘stakeholders.’ But, the same old cast of characters isn’t really doing the trick, is it. You could probably get some really good people on board to help steer the ship, given the professional-and- otherwise expertise to be found in this community, IF PEOPLE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON. If they could learn what board members think beyond canned responses. They could pitch in with guidance when board members reveal a collective inexperience with parts of the process. You know, a management overhaul (by an entity OTHER THAN ONE IN THE DISCIPLINE OF EDUCATION!!) in the way things are done could turn around this district and get people in the community back on board with it (those who send their kids to private schools are not considered stakeholders and IMO that’s a big mistake). The way ‘education’ does business would never fly outside the world of education.

    It sounds like Kerris Lee was ok with open discussion, so, question to Kerris Lee: Why do you title yourself on LinkedIn as an ‘Executive MBA’ when you have not attained an MBA degree yet (expected 2015)? Does the so-referenced title automatically mean (candidate/student), given that it’s a course of study at UIUC? I also don’t recall(*) you being a founder of anything Unit 4 pays services for (nonprofit is a business model), when you were running for the School Board. (* I could be wrong on this, for sure. I just remember there being issues of conflict of interest with etoys being a vendor to Unit 4, but, there being reassuarnce that you worked with etoys strictly through UIUC and/or some entity other than yourself.) Maybe this was strictly volunteer for you vs. etoys (who got paid by Unit 4). I just don’t remember** (**could be wrong) reading this when you were running for the School Board:

    ‘Founder CTRL Shift (Creative.Technology.Research.Lab.) Shifting Edu
    August 2011 – Present (3 years) Champaign, IL
    An organization that solves community problems through an entrepreneurial lens.

    We have brought together UIUC MSTE and Unit#4 schools to employ a project called Etoys that teaches kids from K-12 how to computer program. We successfully employed this project in schools despite standardize testing not having a computer programming curriculum at these young ages. We have formed partnerships with Profs. at UIUC, Educators from Unit#4, and Community leaders to implement the curriculum.

    Also, we have partnered with Banana Republic to provide uniforms for students who need it most.

    We are partnering with UIUC GISLIS to provide a program that teaches Adults and Kids how to take apart and rebuild computers. Students and adults were given the computers after they reassembled them. This fantastic program is taught by Prof. Martin Wolske UIUC’
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kerris-lee/1a/1ab/4aa

    How do these ‘dual role’ (board member, community entrepreneur) things work, in terms of potential conflict of interest issues? And are there such potential issues when it comes to the school siting decision?

    How dare I ask these things, right? I ask these things because board members are in positions of trust and they are going to make some $eriou$ decisions about the future of the school district. I think it a misrepresentation to title oneself ‘MBA’ vs. ‘MBA candidate.’ Why does one have to read the fine-print to learn that the title has not yet been earned/the education not yet completed. What else is not a big deal to somebody who doesn’t see this as a problem? Shrug. I don’t know. Maybe nothing. Say it like it is vs. imply something that’s not accurate (but, self-servingly favorable). What’s the motivation for doing otherwise? That’s what raises questions of trust and integrity for me, personally. Then again, among other things,*** I have been told I expect too much from humanity.

    FYI, you can catch ‘We will not conform’ this evening at Savoy 16. http://www.moviechick.com/theater/2358/Goodrich_Savoy_16_IMAX_Theater.html
    I honestly don’t know where I ‘sit’ with Glen Beck, but, I have found alignment with Michelle Malkin on many issues (***and people have told me many things about myself when I say this!, so have at it. It ultimately makes for good discussion.)

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Karen,

      In several cases you allow that you might be wrong – it sounds like you may be incorrect on several points. However, first and foremost I strongly encourage you to contact Kerris Lee yourself:
      kerrislee28@gmail.com

      I will also email you privately and send his cell number. In my own experience, Kerris has never been afraid to tackle questions or issues, and holds many “office hours” at local coffee shops for the sole purpose of meeting with people.

      I don’t mind you asking the questions – it is good and healthy that citizens are critical of elected officials and those who decide how many is spent. However, in the future you may wish to do a little more digging to ascertain the facts. Do you have a specific conflict of interest in mind?

      • Karen Says:

        Open discussion and all that. That is why I ask in a public forum. If I am incorrect on ‘several’ points, it would be good to have those publicly clarified, no? I looked at Mr. Lee’s Linked-In Page (a public page) when he was a school board candidate. And I looked at it again after you posted the emails (above). When he was running as a candidate and also associated with the ‘etoys’ vendor^ (^Unit 4 had some contract with ‘etoys’ at Kenwood that involved the exchange of money), I wondered about conflict of interest issues and couldn’t figure out in what capacity he was involved with it . But, it was suggested that Mr. Lee did not receive any money from the ‘etoys’ gig. Would it be cool if let’s say literacy curriculum materials I were a consultant on were marketed in the schools and then I ran for school board and was in the position of having to vote on a curriculum I had a direct tie to? I (peronally) would consider that a conflict of interest (whether I was a paid or volunteer consultant) and recuse myself from voting on that curriculum decision. The board *does* vote on curriculum. This is the conflict of interest issue I have WRT to Mr. Lee and etoys. I notice Mr. Lee, in one of his emails, talking about all he has done at Kenwood through his now-listed CTRLShift Foundation. So, is there direct financial benefit to Mr. Lee with the continued use of etoys in Unit 4? Or, is he 100% volunteer and receives nothing from this curriculum product being bought and used in Unit 4? I see no reason such a question cannot be asked in a public forum. He seems to lead an impressive number of projects, foundations, etc. And, while many of them are potentially in a volunteer capacity, somewhere in the mix he must be drawing an income? (unless he is still pulling an income in from his first entrepreneurial endeavor). Should Bill Gates recuse himself from voting on Common Core (Pearson) curriculum products if he were serving on a School Board? 🙂 If he doesn’t want to answer to the issue, publicly, so be it. If there is more behind-the-scenes offense over how/where such a question is posed vs. concern over the potential issue, then this is falling on deaf ears, anyway.

      • charlesdschultz Says:

        Karen,

        For me personally, I could care less about what a LinkedIn page says – I don’t really care what letters a person puts after their name on that website. But that’s just me. Also, by way of observation I see the following on that public page:
        “Executive MBA, Business Administration and Management, General
        2013 – 2015 (expected)”

        I don’t know what is proper. Should those who are still students say “candidate” instead? I have no idea. Regardless, Kerris has either launched or help launched several businesses already, and in my eyes, those are some really cool opportunities.

        So let us shift our focus to a potential conflict of interest. Asking in a public forum is a great way for a wider audience to learn 1) what questions are being asked and 2) how those questions are answered. So far so good.

        eToys is not something you buy or pay for – you can download it for free (I have done this many times). The University offers it’s own website of publicly available (free for everyone in the world) projects written specifically to aid in developing/augmenting/supplmenting classroom lessons. Likewise, the training materials surrounding eToys is publicly available for anyone who wants it (I had my hands on the binder at one point just to look through it).

        As a non-profit, CTRL/Shift operates largely from grant money, I believe. As such, when they offered training for teachers, they actually paid teachers – neither the teachers nor Unit 4 paid a single cent to CTRL/Shift (aka “Illini for Kids”):
        http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-12-26/kenwood-programming-students-succeed.html

        And yes, I agree, the board does vote on curriculum. If memory serves, the board has been voting on bits and pieces of the curriculum as David Hohman comes to the board with Educational Technology; all the cases I can think of were before Kerris became a board member. So let us do our due diligence – let us look for facts.

        Homework assignments (I expect Karen and myself to do this work – anyone else going to join us?):

        1. When did the board sign off on pursuing eToys/computational thinking as part of the curriculum?
        2. Was Kerris a member during any of the votes that pertained to this curriculum?
        3. If he was, does that case (or cases) present a specific conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest? Why or why not?

        For my own little bit of disclosure, let me state that I really appreciate Kerris’s drive and passion for new pedagogy that brings in computational thinking. As mentioned previously, I really like some of the core concepts that comes with the package. Again, it isn’t perfect – I get that. But I like it a lot. I am also amazed that Kerris is so young and yet so involved in many things – I don’t know how he doesn’t burn out. I would hate to discourage that kind of fire when it strives to make our school district better.

        Having said that, I do agree that we as a community have a responsibility to keep a close eye on things and make sure they are proper. Can we do that constructively? Can we look for problems and offer alternatives that work to keep the synergy going? Or is that “having your cake and eating it too”?

        I don’t want us to point fingers at people. Let us hunt for facts and discuss how best to help ALL our learners to succeed at life.

        PS – I searched all the check registers (via my nifty handy dandy mysql database) and there is no record of money going out to Kerris, “Illini for Kids”, “CTRL/Shift” or MTSE. I am scouring for anything else that might be related, but so far I have not found anything.

    • Kerris Says:

      Hi Karen,

      I am going to go through line by line. Please look for the “Kerris” for my response.

      It sounds like Kerris Lee was ok with open discussion, so, question to Kerris Lee: Why do you title yourself on LinkedIn as an ‘Executive MBA’ when you have not attained an MBA degree yet (expected 2015)?

      Kerris:
      1) You must not have an MBA. It’s common for people to list on their LinkedIn as MBA once they are in the program. If I was trying to mislead anyone or didn’t have integrity, I would have not posted my expected date. I could have kept that off if I was trying to be disingenuous, but I am not and have it there. Again, it’s on there so what are you trying to say?

      2) If it were problematic that I put the MBA on there, then UIUC would state that. Not you.

      3) I’m happy to say that I have accomplished things in my life. I don’t rely on an MBA for that acceptance. So, again, no benefit in trying to be disingenuous. I am just as accomplished without an MBA as I am with one. Again, what are you trying to say?

      4) How about this…when you start paying my tuition then you can state how I should label my profile.
      Does the so-referenced title automatically mean (candidate/student), given that it’s a course of study at UIUC? I also don’t recall (*) you being a founder of anything Unit 4 pays services for (nonprofit is a business model), when you were running for the School Board. (* I could be wrong on this, for sure. I just remember there being issues of conflict of interest with etoys being a vendor to Unit 4, but, there being reassuarnce that you worked with etoys strictly through UIUC and/or some entity other than yourself.) Maybe this was strictly volunteer for you vs. etoys (who got paid by Unit 4). I just don’t remember** (**could be wrong) reading this when you were running for the School Board:

      Kerris: Correct. I am founder of organizations that Unit#4 has NOT paid me to do. You are wrong! There are NO conflicts of interest since all I do DOES NOT get paid by Unit#4 at all! I don’t work through anything. I am the founder of Illini for Kids/CTRL Shift. Again, what are you trying to say? ETOYS is NOT a vendor. ETOYS is an open source (free) platform for kids to program on. You can go to the MSTE website and download it right now for free. Why would we ask the district to pay for it????

      Kerris:

      Here is what I have done:

      Founder of Illini for Kids, now CTRL Shift. I had an idea to bring leaders and experts out of their silos and to start collaborating. That’s it. From then, I aim on augmenting schools in our community. I looked at STEM initiatives and saw that the computational learning aspect could be developed more. I then found through the UIUC portal a division called MSTE/Math, Science, Technology, and Education. There, I discussed with them their Etoys project and how it was going through challenges and how it wanted to be part of the schools to teach kids how to code. We agree that students should have this education in computational thinking and that we should help support and develop in our schools. Long story short, we organized a meeting at M2 with Judy and all of here superintendents to give a presentation on the importance and how we were ready to build a partnership with school district to bring computational thinking into the schools.
      $ZERO $0 dollars have been paid from the district to me ever and $Zero $0 dollars from the partnerships MSTE, etc…
      No money has ever been exchanged to Illini for Kids/CTRL Shift, UIUC MSTE, or other partnerships. What we have done is actually pay stipends through previous Google grant awards to teachers for learning how to code in our district. The crazy thing is that my profil has all of this stuff that you can simply pull up.: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-12-26/kenwood-programming-students-succeed.html
      After the success of the program, others were introduced to our group: Dr. Martin Wolske, Dr. Jana Disner, Dr. William Trent, Dr, Maya Israel, Dr. Lenny Pitt and the list goes on. These relationships allowed us to form partnerships and provide their expertise in our schools rather than in silos. I continue to work side by side with them and I am an advisory board member to the UIUC Public Engagement Portal at MSTE. I have worked closely with Dr. Wiegand, Zola, Taylor and so much more before I was a school board member. The people in CTRL Shift, admin, and educators are some of the most amazing people I have ever encountered in my entire life. So, I am not a cheerleader. I am a part of the fabric of this initiative and it couldn’t have happen without innovators from all partnerships. We did all of this with no money by showing that community is important. That has been reason enough for it to continue to this day. As a result, we gained a family culture in our schools and we collectively are looking to scale that further in our schools. That’s what it should be about, right? That is why I am willing to sit down with others to see how we can collaborate. I decided for CTRL Shift not to become a nonprofit because I didn’t want to take away from the pie of other nonprofits. I actually just wanted to help nonprofits and other organizations get plugged into our schools because our schools need those resources for our kids.
      I needed them when I was in school and our kids definitely need them now. All of the people I have worked with have risen to the occasion to make that happen.
      In the few years we have been doing this I have met with the principles, attended workshops, worked on grants with my colleagues that would benefit our schools and the whole nine yards.
      Students have built their own robots that have been allocated from the district with raspberry pi’s that Dr. Reese and I gave a presentation on. Kids in elementary are programming not because PARCC or Common Core, but because it is important to develop technical skill sets for our future leaders. Lifelong learners are what we believe in and want to help foster.
      http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kerris-lee/1a/1ab/4aa
      How do these ‘dual role’ (board member, community entrepreneur) things work, in terms of potential conflict of interest issues? And are there such potential issues when it comes to the school siting decision?

      Kerris: Why do you think there are issues? What would be the issue?
      Maybe you should ask the person who is doing them instead of posting negativity in a blog. My email has always been here: http://www.champaignschools.org/board-member/4317 and I have asked Charles to send you my email and number, which he did so that we can discuss over the phone or in person which I have not received a response from you yet.
      Why haven’t you come out on who you are? How is providing misinformation and not accepting accountability by being upfront who you are integrity? Where were you when I initiated coffee meetings with the public to discuss issues in the district and collaborations? I think a three-minute time window may not be enough to speak at the podium at our board meetings so I make myself available to the public to meet at Cafe Kopi. Charles will even tell you that I will always make time to meet the public on challenges that, we as a district, face.
      How dare I ask these things, right?

      Kerris: No, its fine to ask questions, Karen. The question is why haven’t you the decency to ask me directly? You clearly do not know what you’re talking about and just made assertions upon assertions and then question my integrity??? Your approach to providing misinformation without properly vetting leads me to think that in fact you are self-serving.
      Your failure to recognize someone that has genuinely wanted to help our schools and put resources to do it means that you actually may not ask to much from humanity, you might just expect to little of it.
      It’s not my intention to use up valuable key strokes to address nonsense. So, you are free to harangue with no interference or response back from me after this. I rather talk to you about new ways for us to augment our education system. I have a lot of ideas that we could collaborate and share.
      If you would like to have a constructive dialogue and exchange ideas about how we can change our schools and communities, I am all ears. Also, if you have any unanswered questions, please feel free to email me directly. I will gladly meet with you and discuss. Then, form your opinion about me afterwards. That would be the right thing to do.

      I will be working on getting ready for this new school year.

      • Kerris Says:

        Please forgive typos etc..

      • Karen Says:

        Wow. Okay. Hubris vs. humility. Good to know this is how you ‘serve’ and talk (down) to a community member you represent in your position on the School Board. Thanks for responding. No. I don’t have an MBA. I just know MBA students who don’t title themselves with MBA before they have earned their degree. That you are qualified to hold the degree given the things you have done is impressive, but, irrelevant. I guess I have little to discuss with you, or, now, any desire to approach as a board member with any issues given that you consider key strokes burdensome when it comes to addressing the questions of a tax paying community member who generally has a hard time doing anything other than the basics of daily living due to health issues (you would have no way of knowing, so no scolding back at you for ‘assumptions’ of being too lazy or whatever to chat at Kopi). People tell me it’s a waste of time to put energy into caring about public education in this community, given limited energy. But, I work with Unit 4 kids on a daily basis and do care. There does lie a ‘community’-driven responsiblilty (IMO) in people who have kids in schools other than public ones to still care and try and make things better for those who have had no other choice. And, frankly, the apathy or indifference to that end (except for Vavrik 🙂 ), in this community is frustrating, yet, at the same time understandable. I am not some ‘enemy’ you seem to be assuming with your harsh tone and words. I DON’T know the terminology and what is what with etoys, etc. That was why I was asking! Please DO assume ‘idiot’ status of me, as, yes, some people DO need it explained down to the most basic level and I am fine with being the ‘idiot’ asking the questions so others who might want to know don’t have to go through feeling stupid for asking (the sort of reaction you deliver is what people fear when asking the proverbial ‘dumb’ question). The distinctions and intricacies of what is what is really not clear to me when I try and look this stuff up. I am betting that I am not THE only person out there who can’t delineate if you do/do not draw a salary from the various entities you list as founding, partnering in, etc. and how that relates to any potential business with Unit 4. I have every right (if not a responsibility as a community member) to wonder about potential conflicts of interest even if you find it all so painfully obvious from where you sit. Of course it’s obvious to you. Anyway. Good luck with your myriad endeavors and with your work on the School Board. Caring about kids is something we do have in common.

        Sincerely,

        Karen Roese (it’s never been a secret who I am)

  3. charlesdschultz Says:

    Karen, I know some of the answers to some of those questions, but I have asked Kerris for his own response and will circle back here if and when I hear anything more. Based on my own experience and knowledge, Kerris was once involved in “Lost Points Inc.” and then later “Storyboard”, neither of which provided services to Unit 4 that I am aware of. Much of Kerris’s work with eToys and MTSE was purely as a coordinator and communicator – as you pointed out, Martin Wolske already had the outreach program going on, and folks at the UIUC were already exploring computation thinking/programming and how that fits in with primary schools.

    I myself have been involved with eToys, and have talked to many of the players in that space both at the UIUC and Unit 4. While I remain amazed (and continue to learn new things), there are some small issues that I find problematic. For one, as you point out, it is not yet officially part of Common Core. Kenwood is blessed in that they have such charismatic, “try anything”, passionate staff that really want to deliver a powerful and rich educational experience for their kids. (NOTE: I am not saying that other schools do not have passionate staff – my statement is in the context of eToys and programming) If anything, Kerris is more of a cheerleader, not a provider of services.

    But let us see what the man says for himself. 🙂

  4. kshannon617 Says:

    Thanks for publishing these emails. I think it’s clear that everyone in the email chain, as well as almost everyone I’ve ever talked to about Unit 4 schools, cares deeply about education and about this city. I’m personally strongly in favor of a centrally located Central, and I hope we can find a way to make that work.

  5. pattsi Says:

    For what this is worth–I learned the following when I attended the Leadership Academy, sponsored by the UIUC Institute of Government and Public Policy about conflict of interest. By statute, it is a conflict of interest if one has a direct economic interest in whatever is being voted on. Further counsel during the academy had to do with the perception of conflict. We were counseled if such existed, one recuses oneself. To add to all of this, one announces that one is going to recuse, why, and then leaves the room during any discussion and vote on such. When the vote is completed, someone from the decision making body invites one back to the meeting. The reason given for leaving the room is that discussion and body english are rather telling and influential.

  6. Karen Says:

    What is the lead titel on Mr. Lee’s LinkedIn page? ‘Executive MBA Founder of…’ In many professions it is considered misleading and often not legal to attach credentials to oneself that have not been earned. You don’t care. I do. I think the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation does as well. I have known a few eternal ABD (all but dissertation)-ers over the years who have conflated their credentials to ‘degreed’ status. Among them, there seemed to be an inverse correlation between doing so and integrity. That is why I question it when I see it. A Doctoral (PhD) candidate in XXXXX cannot represent themselves as a PhD without being misleading and those who do are often seen as pariahs. Linked-In is seemingly a place where one represents oneself, professionally. That is how I ‘read’ it. Perhaps some people are more casual about it and how they represent themselves professionally in the public domain. What you posted: “Executive MBA, Business Administration and Management, General 2013 – 2015 (expected)” is what I referred to as the ‘fine print.’ It would have been completely foreign to me to lead off any professional representation of myself with ‘Master of Science’ before I had fulfilled all of the requirements of that degree. FOR ME, it would have felt fraudulent and had I represented myself as an ‘-ist’ before having the degree conferred, it would likely have not been legal. Then again, I come from a different time and place and maybe the sorts of ethics courses that schooled me in such issues are no longer formally taught in various professions.

    ‘Contact us for RATES and other information about inservice and preservice professional development, workshops, presentations, and technical support.’ http://etoysillinois.org/
    ‘Rates’ = money to me. Hence, the question about money being exchanged for said services (which it sounded like Kenwood received). To me, ‘rates’ does not automatically = ‘duh, of course it was free to Unit 4.’ I will admit that these days I am not quick on the draw. Does that mean I should remain silent, though? I don’t know. I have a tough time with what to do about that. There should be room for all voices and a willingness to clarify when one doesn’t understand or has it wrong (secondary to issues beyond their control). I try to use qualifiers, but, maybe that’s not enough. I have tried viewing the Unit 4 check registers. As I am able to view them, they don’t seem to allow me to do a search and I can’t even get them to a print size I can read very well. They also seem kind of non-descriptive, in general (WRT what it was for beyond the name of the person or entity).

    Nobody is trying to discourage Mr. Lee’s drive and involvement with Unit 4. It’s just an ethical slippery slope concern (IMO) if we potentially give people a pass/bend the rules because they do things considered good. Hopefully they would do good things because that’s what they ‘do’ independent of x.y,z. It seems that there is room to have dual roles, so long as the ‘rules,’ such as those posted by Pattsi, are adhered to. It doesn’t have to be either/or. But, if we start down the road of bending this way or that based upon a ‘do-good’ or other such factor, ethical safe-guards go out the window. If an elected official is offended by having to play by such rules and would rather vacate their position than do so, that’s on them (and IMO wouldn’t reflect well on them and on their potential motivations for their involvement in the first place). Scrutiny comes with the job signed on for and if personal integrity is high, said person would not be ‘chased off’ by scrutiny, but, rather welcome it (in my experience). Given the history of Unit 4 trust issues, opportunities to showcase an above board manner of functioning might want to be seized upon.

    As for making the school district better, generally, I think there are valuable things people have to offer, but, that they often collide with current pedagogy and are not welcomed (at best, disparaged at worst). I think this stands in the way of success for some students.

  7. Vav Says:

    Sad that I can get a hat tip for publicly showing an investment in public education. Regardless, thanks Karen.

    I’m enjoying this thread. Frank open and honest conversation, in love (with a concern for the good of others), is healthy. Sometimes it is difficult to keep all if these characteristics.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      lol – your reputation truly precedes you! 🙂 Looking forward to seeing House Vavrik line up for Board candidates in April 2015.

  8. charlesdschultz Says:

    I have one big caution for both Karen and Kerris. Keep in mind this is a text-only forum. I know, that is totally obvious, but think about what it means. No body language, no intonation, no other non-verbal communication at all. Kerris doesn’t know Karen and Karen doesn’t know Kerris – I know both of you. Be careful how you read what you see on a screen/device.

    If someone (like Karen) has an experience on this blog whereby they are able to interact with a board member (like Kerris) and come away from that interaction as believing that personal, face-to-face interaction is a total waste of time, I would be truly sad. That is the exact oppostite effect I wish to build here. And what bites me even worse is that I know you both could find a lot of common ground. You have differences of opinion, and that is ok. *grin* Heck, even I differ with both of you on various points. That’s cool. That’s healthy. Don’t let that be spilt milk.

    This whole thread has become interesting because originally we have the written words of board members in a previously undisclosed medium. And then Kerris dropped by to add even more words. I love it that Karen is asking questions. Maybe we need to find a short-hand way of saying “hey, I am an idiot and am truly asking out of complete ignorance, please don’t get offended.”

    Don’t throw in the towel. At least, not yet. 🙂

  9. Kerris Says:

    Hi Charles and Karen,

    I have no doubt that we have a lot in common. However, why my response was pointed was only in this area:

    What Karen said:
    I think it a misrepresentation to title oneself ‘MBA’ vs. ‘MBA candidate.’ Why does one have to read the fine-print to learn that the title has not yet been earned/the education not yet completed. What else is not a big deal to somebody who doesn’t see this as a problem? Shrug. I don’t know. Maybe nothing. Say it like it is vs. imply something that’s not accurate (but, self-servingly (favorable). What’s the motivation for doing otherwise? That’s what raises questions of trust and integrity for me, personally.
    ****************
    Its fine to ask questions, but this above is disrespectful and I was pointing that out. I did explain everything with Etoys and what I have done. There was no conflict of interest at all even when I went out for the school board and now. I am happy to cc you both to ask the admin if I have been paid in any fashion by Unit#4 ( just let me know). Again, for the record I have never been paid by any entity. I have my own business that provides enough for me already. I am content with that.

    Also, I have offered to meet and speak with Karen to which I still have not had a response. It is not fair to make assertions about someone integrity and degree when they do not know. Especially after Karen mentioned these things my first response was to reach out which I did. Only I have not received that back from Karen

    Again in my previous email if you like to have an open dialogue that is not disrespectful then I am happy to engage in that conversation. Also, answer any questions about what I do. I just wrote you a 2 page paper on how CTRL Shift started. I haven’t even gotten to the great things that are happening from that and what I have done in my first year of a board member.

    Best,

    Kerris

  10. Karen Says:

    ‘That’s what raises questions of trust and integrity for me, personally.’ It just does, for me, personally, no matter who you are. It raises *questions* of…’ *Questions*–that sometimes have reassuring answers. To come back at me with things like: ‘How about this…when you start paying my tuition then you can state how I should label my profile.’ is…unexpected. UIUC refers to you as an EMBA candidate. I can pull up other LinkedIn pages where MBA candidates list themselves, as such. I won’t ‘involve’ personal connections with the issue, but, again, the distinction is made. You don’t appear to think it is of any relevance and feel entitled to do it. [You wrote: ‘If it were problematic that I put the MBA on there, then UIUC would state that. Not you.’] Cool, then. So be it! I am not telling you what to do (nor would paying your tuition??? afford me any right to do so). But, how I perceive you to regard the issue (no big deal? given your reaction) results in me making certain judgments about you. People make judgments based upon a variety of factors. You have a set of heuristics for doing so. I have a set of heuristics for doing so. Same deal with the conflict of interest stuff. You seemed quite offended that I asked. The reaction to the question, *regardless* of what the answer is, tells me (personally) something about you, based upon my judgment heuristics.
    ‘There are NO conflicts of interest since all I do DOES NOT get paid by Unit#4 at all! I don’t work through anything. I am the founder of Illini for Kids/CTRL Shift.’ Ok. Great. Thanks for answering. You have clarified that.
    ‘You clearly do not know what you’re talking about and just made assertions upon assertions’ [I posed questions upon questions wondering about…]. and then question my integrity [yes]??? Your approach to providing misinformation [asking questions] without properly vetting [I need to vet the questions I want to ask? I tried looking up stuff. I didn’t find documents concerning your non-profit/s. I tried the Unit 4 check register, but, it was not very useful. This is a blog about Champaign Unit 4. Not just ‘a blog.’ Why not wonder aloud about it here?] leads me to think that in fact you are self-serving [How so, beyond my interest as a property tax-payer wanting to know how the School Board conducts itself when it comes to issues related to ethics?]. Your failure to recognize someone that has genuinely wanted to help our schools and put resources to do it means that you actually may not ask to much from humanity, you might just expect to little of it. [Disagree. Unfortunately I think the reason for wondering stems from my perception of Unit 4 when it comes to issues of trust and transparency. You come to expect what is consistent with history after a while. Also, as a Board Member, you are a public figure and open to the scrutiny of the community you serve.]
    WRT to my alleged assertions and ‘providing misinformation,’ while you seem to think otherwise, I don’t generally think: a question = an accusation; that a talking out loud question/using words to contemplate is it X or Y with ? qualifiers = misinformation; that a personal recollection or failure to recollect *qualified* as such: ‘I don’t recall you being…’ is the same thing as asserting: ‘You never were…’
    FYI-For some reason Charles’ emails went to my Spam folder (which I don’t consistently check). [Charles–I swear I didn’t set it up that way, as I don’t even know how to do that (very not a tech person).] I also didn’t realize you seemingly dictated some deadline (24? 36? hours) for me to ask my questions of you directly before haranguing? why I didn’t contact you directly. The thing is, I don’t see why public discourse about Unit 4, on a blog about Unit 4 is so objectionable. If you can answer me via email, you can answer me here, too?
    You wrote: ‘It’s not my intention to use up ***valuable*** key strokes to address ***nonsense***. So, you are free to ***harangue*** with no interference or response back from me after this.’ You spoke quite differently during your interview for the School Board. Yet, this is how you speak, in your capacity as a Unit 4 Board member, to a member of the community. No big deal to you/you feel justified? (your heuristics?). So be it. You’re expressing yourself honestly (which I do appreciate). My heuristics? I am reminded of that phrase: ‘You can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she treats the waiter.’ Has the discourse here given the whole picture of either of us? I don’t think so.
    Thanks for explaining the etoys and CTRL Shift stuff.
    Karen

  11. Kerris Says:

    Karen,

    The point here is that you are making assertions about someone again who you never met at all. I have people in my class that have listed MBA and that is fine too. I am no longer a candidate once I am in the program which I am. It would be perfectly fine if you mentioned I have other people that label differently, but saying that I am self-serving….challenging my integrity because of my title etc…is a bit far. I am not sure how you make that jump without some preconceived bias. Those are strong words to make about someone that you have not met. It’s find to think what you think, but its not fair to post misinformation about someone.

    What Karen wrote:
    One you said this Karen: I just remember there being issues of conflict of interest with etoys being a vendor to Unit 4. There hasn’t been any conflict of interest.

    Kerris: As stated there has not been nor is there a conflict of interest at all. Please let me know were you have found a conflict of interest and please post it here.

    So, as I stated in all me write ups I am happy to answer questions, but all your points have been trying to question my integrity that has been based on your opinion of my title. Not my merit or what I have done, but my MBA title. All, I can say is that perhaps a phone call would work for us to chat? I gave you my number. That is something to consider too for integrity. Judging someone who you never met does not seem right.

    Also, Karen I am a taxpayer too. Yes serving opens you up to scrutiny when warranted is the thing. However, just because people serve in the office doesn’t mean they are pinata’s that you can come by and hit as you please. We are human beings and deserve to be treated with respect.

    If you have questions or would like to talk about innovation in the schools. Let me know, but I am retiring from this discussion because it does not appear to be productive.

    Sincerely,

    Kerris

  12. Kerris Says:

    Hi Charles,

    I want to thank you for keeping things transparent and channels of communication open with the people we serve.

    Sincerely,

    Kerris Lee

  13. Kerris Says:

    Sorry I was going back to see if Karen had any questions that I can answer. These are the only ones I see. I guess for me I answered all the questions about the school items and Etoys. I just wondered what we are really talking about now?

    Just seems like my MBA title which is not productive vs the needs of our kids.

    Also, it was my pleasure to answer the Ctrl Shift & Etoys items. I am happy to answer any question you may on that subject and beyond..

    What Karen said:
    If you can answer me via email, you can answer me here, too?

    Kerris:
    I have answered you here. I have already answered everything about Etoys and your questions in my first reply back to your comments. I just addressed the misinformation that was also injected in your first message. Charles pointed that there was misinformation above as well. Also, the contact me directly was about the personal attacks about integrity and self-serving. I did not think that I warranted that type of comment since we never talked or met.

    What Karen said:
    ‘You can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she treats the waiter.’

    Kerris: What if I am the waiter in this Karen? Couldn’t that be a possibility?

    Any case I am sure that your a good person and mean well, but I had to address the misinformation if we both can respect that.

    Take care.

    Best,
    Kerris

  14. Karen Says:

    I can’t find your Foundation on Guide Star. What am I doing wrong? Can you see where there might be *concern* (different from stating that there is) WRT conflict of interest given your close relationship with Unit 4 through your work? Do you draw a salary from your foundation? Do you benefit personally or professionally from continued collaboration of your Foundation with Unit 4? Do you have a vested interest in the continuation of the collaboration? I am sure you would find other community problems to solve to keep grant money? coming in to the Foundation. But, do you see how it might look like there is a ***potential*** conflict of interest if you, as a board member, are voting on curriculum issues related to your Foundation’s collaboration (and continuation/extension of it). From your reaction, it seems not and/or seems that you don’t care about what potential appearances (EVEN IF ULTIMATELY THEY ARE ) are.

    Yes, as you stated above, I did say this: ‘…I just remember there being issues of conflict of interest with etoys being a vendor to Unit 4….’ *However,* if you include the parts of my discourse that you selectively ommitted! you know that what I said was this: ‘(* I could be wrong on this, for sure. I just remember there being issues of conflict of interest with etoys being a vendor to Unit 4, but, there being reassuarnce that you worked with etoys strictly through UIUC and/or some entity other than yourself.)’ I also later? linked up what I was referring to WRT ‘remembering’–as the issue had come up here on this blog before: https://thecitizen4blog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/kerris-lee-chosen-as-the-newest-board-member/

    According to you, once you are in an EMBA program, you are no longer an EMBA Candidate? Have I got that right? given your statement: ‘I am no longer a candidate once I am in the program which I am.’?

    I wrote: ‘I think it a misrepresentation to title oneself ‘MBA’ vs. ‘MBA candidate.’ Why does one have to read the fine-print to learn that the title has not yet been earned/the education not yet completed. What else is not a big deal to somebody who doesn’t see this as a problem? Shrug. I don’t know. Maybe nothing. Say it like it is vs. imply something that’s not accurate (but, self-servingly favorable). What’s the motivation for doing otherwise? That’s what raises questions of trust and integrity for me, personally.’ You responded: ‘saying that I am self-serving….challenging my integrity because of my title etc…is a bit far.’ ‘It’s find to think what you think, but its not fair to post misinformation about someone.’ It’s my *opinion,* and as such is subjective information not misinformation. As per above, it raises questions for me, personally, and the broader issue I raised was is if x. y. z are scoffed at (this was before knowing that you were going to scoff–that is why it’s imbedded in my heuristics), what else is scoffed at? This is Important information for me to know of people, personally, and, particularly, of an elected public figure. After the scoffing at the EMBA title issue, you scoffed at the issue of potential conflict of interest. ‘I would never want there to be an appearance of impropriety, so let me direct you to A & B to clarify this. Here is my Foundation, what we do. These are the funding/grant sources. Here is how the money is spent, etc.’ would be a response I would hope for (one I would find consistent with integrity and transparency) as opposed to response similar to: ‘Of course there’s no conflict of interest, idiot! It’s so self-evident to myself. I’m not going to waste any more of my precious time responding to such nonsense. And, besides, you addressed me in a public forum, which is not the same as direct contact.’ You know, IMO it’s not an either/or thing. You can be a good person doing great things, but, that does’t mean a conflict of interest still can’t exist even when those things are true. Is it so ghastly to have to consider potential conflicts of interest and potential vote recusal when doing would reflect well on a school board with a history of trust and transparency issues??? How, where the question is asked is less important than what the actual question is, I would think, if there is some common agreement on the importance of the issue being raised.

    ‘The appearance of impropriety is a phrase referring to a situation which to a layperson without knowledge of the specific circumstances might seem to raise ethics questions. For instance, although a person might regularly and reliably collect money for her employer in her personal wallet and later give it to her employer, her putting it in her personal wallet may appear improper and give rise to suspicion, etc. It is common business practice to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.’ Your expectation seems to be that I should research the answer to the question before I ask the question, otherwise my question is out of line/you find it insulting and/or disrespectful??? Important to emphasize: ‘a situation to which a LAYPERSON WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE of the specific circumstances might seem to raise ethics questions.’

    IMO, nobody is hitting you like a pinata. You are a public figure, open to scrutiny (warranted or not–although ‘unwarranted’ is a big tricky as isn’t it usually the case that ‘unwarranted’ becomes obvious to the person asking the question only AFTER said person has learned the answer to the question?) without much control over how and when that scrutiny might come your way. You don’t have to answer questions from the public that you don’t like or that you felt were not posed of you in a manner you found palatable, or whatever the case may be. No problem. But, people can sure as heck ask, including here (a public forum that happens to be about Unit 4).

    Human beings, indeed. Humility and all that.

    I am fully aware that you have left the conversation. I am done, too. I just wanted to end my out-loud thoughts where I started them, on this public blog. I know Charles and I are polar opposites on many things 🙂 but, IMO he really is a stand up kind of person who truly gives ‘room’ in his forum for all voices. Thank you, Charles. It’s an important thing in this day and age (not to start a political debate or anything…).

    Karen

  15. Karen Says:

    No. I don’t see you as the waiter. You are an Executive MBA professional responding as a school board member to a layperson community member. You seemingly communicated an assumed lack of knowlege on my end, which is correct (hence my asking questions), but, using terms such as: ‘nonsense’ and wasting ‘valuable’ keystrokes, as well as communicated a seeming disdain that I don’t see things as obvious as you do and/or from where you sit. Elite to non-elite is how the the dynamic appears to me. One can be an elite, but, not talk down to those ‘below’ (for lack of a better term) them. I (try not to but, do) say things out of anger sometimes, so perhaps you spoke as you did out of anger.

  16. Karen Says:

    IMO a school board member is in a position of power whereas a waiter generally isn’t.

  17. Kerris Says:

    Just answering questions and talking out loud

    From Karen:
    I can’t find your Foundation on Guide Star. What am I doing wrong? Foundation star says its for non-profits.

    Kerris: I already answered this in a previous write up. Again, my organization is NOT a non-profit as I didn’t want to take away funds from other non-profits. That is why you can’t find it. Again, the grants that have been won helped pay teachers stipends in Unit#4 for professional development in coding. That was in the news-article link above.

    From Karen:
    Can you see where there might be *concern* (different from stating that there is) WRT conflict of interest given your close relationship with Unit 4 through your work?

    Kerris: Yes, I can see where a concern Karen, but you did not say concern. Thank you for clarifying your question now. You are just now saying that. That is why I addressed the your wording that there is a conflict of interest. I know that you said maybe I am wrong, but then you made the statement as if it were fact. You didn’t say I remember that maybe there was a conflict of interest or nothing. To which I replied $Zero $0 are paid to me and there has never been a conflict of interest with me. Karen that it is misinformation sorry, but it is. Can’t you see how you saying; What you said Karen: “I could be wrong on this, for sure. I just remember there being issues of conflict of interest with etoys being a vendor to Unit 4, but, there being reassuarnce that you worked with etoys strictly through UIUC and/or some entity other than yourself.) Maybe this was strictly volunteer for you vs. etoys (who got paid by Unit 4).”

    Can’t you see that it could be taken out of context? Honestly? I know its not your reputation and you don’t care, but its mine. If you meant to say a concern on this blog that is one thing, but you didn’t until now. So thank you for clearing that up. All you could have said is that I miss spoke. (Even in that blog post nothing was founded and that is why it is important to vet what you say) Again, not the only one who told you that in this thread.

    Questions answered:

    Do you draw a salary from your foundation?
    K: No.

    Do you benefit personally or professionally from continued collaboration of your Foundation with Unit 4?
    K: No.

    From Karen:
    Is it so ghastly to have to consider potential conflicts of interest and potential vote recusal when doing would reflect well on a school board with a history of trust and transparency issues???

    K: I don’t know I do not generally have a bias against the district and I try not to live in the past Karen. I work on things that I can control which is in the now. Maybe, that is to a fault but that is why I came out to the board to help our kids and district.

    From Karen:
    It is common business practice to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.’ Your expectation seems to be that I should research the answer to the question before I ask the question, otherwise my question is out of line/you find it insulting and/or disrespectful???

    Kerris: Karen this is not a business transaction. Please do not make this any more silly. Your statements about me on self-serving and integrity are not questions Karen. The questions you actually asked were about my organization. I answered those questions my first reply back and again there after. That is why at the top I said I will go line by line and I gave you the history on Ctrl Shift. There are 2 components here. Your actual questions about organization in which I answered and your incorrect assertions about my MBA title in which I addressed. Those assertions because that is what they are…you decided to link it to my character which I am sorry, but really do not understand how you can infer not even meeting me at all and how that remotely makes any sense at all. Its bizarre and because it was outlandish, absurd, and everything in between. I addressed it to show how wrong it is to do that to anyone. I mean can’t you see how silly that is to do? To someone you don’t know? That someone should just take that just because? Honestly? The reality is that I addressed your misinformation that you will not admit to I addressed that. Furthermore, the person that created the site Charles clearly mentioned that to you as well: (That is because they are assertions Karen. I don’t know how else to tell you. In addition, Charles even tells you to do some research and that you are wrong on several points. That is because they are not questions Karen they are assertions. So, you literally have 2 people telling you the same thing.

    charlesdschultz Says:
    23 July 2014 at 10:46 am
    Karen,

    In several cases you allow that you might be wrong – it sounds like you may be incorrect on several points. However, first and foremost I strongly encourage you to contact Kerris Lee yourself:
    kerrislee28@gmail.com

    I will also email you privately and send his cell number. In my own experience, Kerris has never been afraid to tackle questions or issues, and holds many “office hours” at local coffee shops for the sole purpose of meeting with people.

    I don’t mind you asking the questions – it is good and healthy that citizens are critical of elected officials and those who decide how many is spent. However, in the future you may wish to do a little more digging to ascertain the facts. Do you have a specific conflict of interest in mind?

    Kerris:
    Karen you made unjustifiable remarks about my integrity and character. You are wrong to try to scrutinize just for the sake of scrutinizing. I can see when it warrants, but just for the sake of it seems out of good taste and mean spirited Karen. Most decent people with integrity would challenge those statements in which I did. Do you blame me? That is what makes this not even an argument. Its the assertions that you are just now finding out that you are wrong on all points that is making this drawn out.

    Sincerely,

    Kerris

  18. Karen Says:

    ‘GuideStar Posts Private Foundations’ IRS Returns
    March 2000 Thanks to Philanthropic Research, Inc. (PRI) and the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), anyone with access to the Internet can review program and financial information for 61,000 private foundations.’

    http://www.guidestar.org/rxa/news/articles/2001-older/guidestar-posts-private-foundations-irs-returns.aspx

    ‘The Foundation Center defines a private foundation as a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization having a principal fund managed by its own trustees or directors. Private foundations maintain or aid charitable, educational, religious, or other activities serving the public good, primarily through the making of grants to other nonprofit organizations. Every U.S. and foreign charity that qualifies under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code as tax-exempt is a “private foundation” unless it demonstrates to the IRS that it falls into another category. Broadly speaking, organizations that are not private foundations are public charities as described in the Internal Revenue Service Code.’

    http://grantspace.org/Tools/Knowledge-Base/Funding-Resources/Foundations/private-foundations-vs-public-charities

    I am sure there is a simple explanation. But, how am I supposed to know that without asking? Do you consider this ‘scrutiny for the sake of scrutiny’ and ‘mean-spirited’ to ask this??
    I think Charles possibly posted about wrong ‘assertions’ because of you and him having an email exchange in which you said I provided an ‘abundance of misinformation’ (referring to my questions)??? Again, I am aware that I can contact you privately. Again, however, this is a public blog about Unit 4. That it should be regarded as so wildly out there to think there might be the possibility of a public discussion in a public forum with a public figure in a thread started by a post of ‘private,’ yet, public (because board email) emails (made public), with some reference to the need for more open public discussion WRT Unit 4 is…sort of wildly out there itself.

    You stated: ‘Its the assertions that you are just now finding out that you are wrong on all points that is making this drawn out.’ No. What I see from you are distortions of what I said (not quoting fully, etc.—— yes, go ahead and keep omitting the link WRT COI issues that were raised in a previous discussion just after you were appointed to the board…. There is nothing more I can do to try and help you understand.) and have been addressing them. I don’t think it unreasonable to raise such issues (at points you agree and then flip back to references of my being mean-spirited, not decent, or silly for asking). The Board and it’s members would presumably be cognizant of such things per Board policy and it’s an inherent and ongoing issue to be mindful of given a small community with involved community members sitting on the board. You can characterize my paying attention to what goes on in Unit 4 as mean-spirited, if you choose. But, I don’t post here or attend board meetings as some kind of ‘mean-person’ hobby. I care and I have the right to exercise my rights as a citizen of this community. You become ‘THAT person, :eyeroll:’ if you do, though, which is just plain sad for a community like this. Par for the course, though (your characterization), even though you reportedly regard yourself as forward-thinking. You don’t seem to see that your attitude (here in this discourse) is more of the same of what some have experienced with Unit 4–more of what has turned them off when it comes to Unit 4. Asking questions (unless softball ones) makes one an enemy (ya, I am anti-children, anti-board members, anti-education, anti-humanity, anti-kittens, and all the rest. Heard it all before. If that’s the ‘reputation’ I have with certain people, so be it. They’re in the minority.). As a decent person (you said a couple of times now that I am not), with the right to do so, I can scrutinize when I choose to. And, it’s not just for the sake of scrutinizing. If you want to see mean-spirited, check out people’s reactions to John Bambenek’s choice as a board member (it might have been at Big Debbie’s House).

    ‘…more silly…’ Your regard of the discourse. Cool. You keep on protecting your reputation and expressed concern for it with your very own words (‘It’s not my intention to use up valuable key strokes to address nonsense….’ ‘…you are free to harangue.’) . You are the one ‘representing’ in professional capacity in this discourse and in charge of you own words/reaction. Some people (really truly) welcome scrutiny as an opportunity to show who they are as professionals (and, usually people, as such people in my experience tend to live what they believe and there is no ‘on’ mode to be in when the cameras are on, so to speak). Borrowing your parlance, ‘most decent people with integrity would…’ answer the questions or speak to the issues without scolding and haranguing that they were asked or raised in the first place [without the stuff of ‘bad taste,’ if you will–although I think you phrased it: ‘out(side) of good taste.’]

    Something I have been wondering about computational thinking…is there proof that it generalizes to other ‘critical thinking’ contexts? Also, how is comuptational thinking different from the scientific method? Are there good reads concerning those issues that you can direct/link me to? Thanks.

    Karen

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      @Karen:

      Your very last paragraph has a really good question, but I fear most readers might miss it because it might seem buried under a lot of other thoughts you made. 🙂

      Yes, computational thinking is different than the scientific method. Are there good reads? I’ll look around and circle back. You can google “what is computational thinking” on your own, but I will warn you that the real-life implementation goes beyond just computer science. For myself, I focus on the problem-solving aspect of computational thinking. It is the “how do I get out of this maze” kind of method. There is certainly some overlap in that trial and error is involved, but in my mind I see “computational thinking” as a way to apply algorithms to arrive at a certainly solution, whereas I see the scientific method as a construct for defining the bounds of the problem. For instance, computational thinking will help me solve a Rubik’s cube, the scientific method will tell me how many possible moves there are and the path to the fastest solution. That is a gross analogy, but I think it works.

  19. Karen Says:

    I
    Missed your words WRT the MBA thing:
    ‘ts bizarre and because it was outlandish, absurd, and everything in between’.
    It’s not 🙂 , but, keep going with that as you represent yourself, professionally.

  20. charlesdschultz Says:

    This was an interesting read. I’m not going to tell anyone what they should or should not write on here (and nor will I delete anything*), but I do have a couple observations:

    1) Talking to both Kerris and Karen in person is a totally different experience than reading the words written here.
    2) If you have an opportunity to talk to an elected (or even appointed) official, I very much encourage you to talk to that person outside an electronic medium if you can. *grin* Just to get to know the person a little better.
    3) I learned something about MBA Candidates; an MBA Candiate is one who has not yet been accepted into the MBA program. Thus a student currently going through the MBA program is no longer a candidate, they have moved on to the next step.
    4) The point of this post was to learn about what decision makers put down in black and white but not expressly for public viewing. This entire post, including the many comments, have danced the topic of learning how decision makers think. We must realize that this is not an entire picture, just a window.

    * for the sake of disclosure, I have deleted one comment last year when asked to do so by the person that made the comment.

  21. Karen Says:

    ‘ I learned something about MBA Candidates; an MBA Candiate is one who has not yet been accepted into the MBA program. Thus a student currently going through the MBA program is no longer a candidate, they have moved on to the next step.’

    This is false according to a couple of (non-random) top 10 B(usiness)-School professors I re-verified my understanding with. To Kerris’s statement: ‘I am no longer a candidate once I am in the program which I am.’ I asked them to reply true or false.

    Yes, I can google (and have!) computational thinking, but, you know how someone who knows the lit well can direct you right to some of the better-explained/more comprehensive stuff right away(?) I will keep reading on my own and watch for anything else you might post.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      I had to chuckle about this – I found my information about the MBA program online via google. So who is right? Is it possible that there is more than one correct answer here? Is it a matter of convention and tradition? This tags to our conversation about “experts” and “learning”.

      Just for satire, I think I might start putting “MBA Candidate” after my name. Or is that too much? 🙂


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