Review of May 15th Open Forum

As stated previously about the May 15th Open Forum we held, the attendance was a bit sparse but the discussion was good. Chuck Jackson and I were joined by Andrew Wilk, Summer Curry, Chris Hamb, Karen Roese and Shandra Summerville.

After giving a brief intro and what we are doing and why, we gave Sir Ken Robinson the floor via a 12-minutes RSA video: With a bit of humor, Robinson tells the story of how the current educational model is good for some, not for others; how it can be really boring and has the tendency to squash any creative tendancies in a budding child. He associates “divergent thinking” as a measure of creativity, and asserts that the factory-model, assembly line style is counter-productive in this sense. “We need to wake them up!”

We started our dialog about the limitations placed upon reading. For instance, the timestamp method (as a kindergartner, one is stamped with an implicit date of “delivery” or graduation, ‘Class of ….’) makes it rather difficult for exception readers to advanced beyond their grade level. There is a perception (which I have heard from others as well) that parents of such students opt to patronize schools outside the public school district for this reason.

Likewise, Read the rest of this entry »

Open Forum is tomorrow (7:pm, Urbana Free Library, Lewis Auditorium)

Chambanamoms just put up a note about our forum:

I have committments from several community members including Chris Hamb (of Chrisp Media) and Carolyn Savage (wife of the late Reverend Lundy Savage). I also heard that an announcement was made at Canaan Baptist Church encouraging folks to attend.

I will have lots of pens and notepads so attendees can quickly jot down thoughts, questions and comments that we can sticky to the wall or dry-erase board. The idea being that we will organize these ideas along several themes, and then mesh them in with the ideas from the previous open forum. If attendees express a desire that we take certain topics to the School Board (either Unit 4 or Unit 116), we will do so. In either case, all ideas and topics will be posted here so folks can see how their voice was heard. And they are invited to continue giving us feedback. 🙂

Please join us, and come prepared to share your ideas.

May 15th Open Forum on Education – 7:pm Urbana Free Library

We are moving forward with our second Open Forum on Education. I am imploring all readers to tell their friends so we can reach a wider audience. 🙂 We will also be printing flyers and passing them out to representatives from local churches. We kinda goofed with the scheduling as it overlaps the last PTA meeting of the year – my apologies.


Here is the flyer (black and white):


If you have other ideas, please let me know.

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. 🙂

Tonight's Open Forum

For our debut Open Forum, we had two Board Members (one for each hour :)) 4 parents and 2 media folks. And a whole heck of a lot of discussion. I cannot possibly do justice to all that we covered, especially since I am tired. But I am going to convey the notes I took. In addition, I am hoping Meg Dickinson will write up an article, and we have a video (not sure about the quality). I am also hoping that those who were there (looking at you, readers!!) will fill in the blanks and continue this conversation.

[in no particular order at all]


  • Achievement expectations are low
  • Behavior expectations are low
  • Does not support a lot of learning
  • Teachers should dig into the backgrounds of their students
  • Don’t compare students to each other
  • Turn org chart upside down
  • It is time to truly focus on kids, not adults (and not merely give lip service)
  • More diversity
  • High Mobility correlates to low Performance; schools of choice correlates with high mobility at some schools


Reminder: Open Forum tonight, 7-9pm, Champaign Library Room 222

Just a last minute reminder, come out of if you want to join us for an open forum on Education (both Champaign and Urbana are welcome). We will be setting up in room 222 of the Champaign Public Library. I believe the room is reserved for “Education Reform Forum”. It is going to be interactive and maybe even fun! 🙂

NG article about Tuesday's Open Forum

Meg Dickinson has published a great article about our forum on Tuesday:


Also, I have been busy making personal invitations to folks – the irony is if everyone that I have invited actually arrives, we will not have enough room. 🙂 But I think that is a good think. Keep inviting folks. We can always adapt if we have too many people. And I can guarantee there will be some measure of fun. 🙂


I am stoked!