State of the District

Last night at the PTA Council meeting, Dr. Wiegand gave a “State of the District” presentation to those assembled – here is the PDF slidedeck of the presentation:

http://www.champaignschools.org/sites/default/files/news/files/StateoftheDistrict2015.pdf

 

I am told there were some additional things shared by folks like Marc Changnon on the awesome progress with trades, and others on the topic of computational thinking.

 

At 50 slides, it doesn’t take too long to flip through them all. I would direct your attention to the slides on the “Great Campus” idea (what Imani Bazzell has re-christened as the “At Promise … of Success” initiative); obviously there is more behind the scenes then what you can read on those slides. Pattsi is going to ask “what more is behind the scenes?”, so I will reference an earlier blog post:

https://thecitizen4blog.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/sept-8th-board-meeting-has-a-number-of-interesting-topics/

 

I believe Dr. Wiegand and Imani (and others) have been meeting on this topic a bit.

 

There are also a fair amount of slides on the U4Innovate initiative.

For me, I was disappointed about the lack of meat in the slides regarding Goal 2 (“community-involved planning process”). Also, the last goal (Goal 6) is about capital planning, and I would like to take some to chew on the HLS numbers a bit. I still very much want to see participatory budgeting come to Unit 4, especially in light of how the saga of the referendum is unfolding. My goal is to build consensus and ownership among the stakeholders so we are not constantly splitting votes down the middle and having these 11th hour pseudo-public debates about how to spend tax dollars.

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6 Responses to “State of the District”

  1. rochf Says:

    Charles, I went through these briefly and while all of the goals are laudable, what is presented here is nothing more than talking points for Unit 4. One of the things that I noticed was that in the section on community outreach, there is heavy reliance on twitter and other social media, as well as other internet-based methods of communication. I think, in order to establish working relationships with the community, Unit 4 has to have more face-to-face meetings with people, and not be so hostile to questions from the community. The current process has devolved into a we v. us situation which is most unfortunate as we all have the same goals in mind.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Rochelle, I think I would absolutely agree. Of course the powerpoint slides are essentially talking points, isn’t that the nature of slides? 🙂 Based on what I have heard from two others, the actual conversations at the PTA Council meeting were much more in-depth. Unfortunately, nobody who was there was reported about it, yet, so I cannot point you to anything.

      Yes, the method of community engagement is a bit lacking. I have mentioned this to Unit 4 (admin and BOE) in the past, and in fact many board candidates have made this a major platform issue for their candidacy. In my talks with Dr. Wiegand and Stephanie Stuart specifically, the question always comes up “what exactly is community engagement?” That is a tricky one to nail down, and by nature, tricky to measure. I admit I am no expert in that field. However, when I talk to these two ladies I am always encouraged because I get the impression they are working towards a deeper style of engagement. Just slowly. And I am impatient. *grin*

      Maybe we should have a discourse on defining “community engagement”, and the metrics thereof. Or maybe we should ask Unit 4 to more clearly define their goals and objectives in this area. Or both. For me, it has to come down to building relationships and building trust. There are many within the administration and the BOE that I have built relationships with, and thus I have built trust. But I am one person. Too bad these things (relationships) are inefficient and hard. 🙂

  2. rochf Says:

    I would love to see something that is more than Unit 4 posting things and then ducking questions or shooting the messenger. Building consensus takes time, and both parties have to demonstrate that they respect the other side’s point of view. I think that lack of respect in this process is just one glaring problem with the whole thing.

  3. pattsi Says:

    I attended the press conference today. Several interesting take aways–the LWV’s had invited Unit 4 and the KCC reps to a panel discussion about the referendum. Based on the comment by Barbara Wysocki, Unit 4 never responded. John B. attended the press conference. His contention is that Unit 4 did respond. Actually, there is probably a confusion in that the Unit 4 candidates responded to the LWV debate. To clear all of this up, one ought to contact Barb W. for a clarification.

    • John Bambenek Says:

      Pattsi-

      There is no confusion on our part. Laurie Bonnett and Unit 4 *DID* respond to Barb Wysocki and when I showed those emails to Tod Satterthwaite who couldn’t help but heckle when I was being interviewed by WDWS he then began to change the subject. Those emails were requested and given ti media.

      The truth is simple. Barb Wysocki lied and so did Tod Satterthwaite in his zeal to have a press conference.

      We had a conflict and asked for another date and we never heard back.

  4. cherylnnekacamacho Says:

    I’d love to see the highlights in the “State of the District” presentation disaggregated by race and income. That would give a clear picture to me of progress (or lack of progress) and the state of the district.


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