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

Feb 25th Board Meeting

First, an announcement. Unit 4 is urging parents to take a survey from the ISBE that basically asks parents how welcome they feel at the school. I am curious if paper copies are being circulated. It’s a relatively painless and short survey:

https://illinois.5-essentials.org/2012/

And then the Board Meeting this coming Monday. It’s a Special Board meeting, which means there are more opportunities for comments. I am unable to go, but I encourage you to attend and ask some questions. Because questions need to be asked.

“Opinion Research”

First up is Paul Fallon (Fallon Research) in association with DeJong-Richter. In the BoardDocs agenda, the blurb only states that Mr. Fallon will be talking about the two 90-minute focus groups. However, I cannot see how he can completely skip the 400-person phone survey they did as well, which was the whole point of the focus group. I still very much dislike how the raw data is being held until it can be provided in all the glory of the “historical context”. I didn’t like how that went down the High School Siting options presented at the Community Discussions. The really major bad part of it is that folks will not have time to digest the data and formulate questions while the expert is standing right there. Yes, we can look at the summary reports we have now, and we can ask questions based on that, but the questions most pressing on my mind are answered by the raw data that I cannot see. For example:

how many of the 216 people who responded favorably to 19A make up the 170 people who said they were less likely to vote for it in question 19B?

We cannot correlate 19A to 19B at all. We have to wait for the “big reveal”, and by that time I fear it will be too late to ask further questions. Hopefully Mr. Fallon will answer this question (and the related one for question 20) and any others the community has been asking. Lastly, I am still very concerned that the “research” really only touched some 430 people – that is less than 1% of the voting population. Not a good sample size, imo.

“Community Collaborations”

Marc Changnon has the pleasant task Read the rest of this entry »