Answering questions about the Feb 25th Special Board Meeting

Over the weekend, I posted a series of questions about the Feb 25th BOE meeting (tonight). Dr. Wiegand was kind enough to respond (and with comprehensive answers at that) and has given me permission to post her reply. The following has only been formatted so it looks better on this blog (a la “the following movie has been formatted to fit your screen”).

q For Paul Fallon: 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? Similar question for question 20A and 20B.
a (from Paul Fallon) Judy, I will have to get that data file from my office, so I will try to send it to you tomorrow or Wednesday. Thanks, Paul
q How long as the Teacher Evaluation Committee been in place?
a The Committee was established at the end of last school year to address the need for a teacher evaluation system that would meet the requirements of PERA (Performance Evaluation Reform Act).  The committee began working this school year during first semester to collaboratively develop an evaluation document and process.  In previous years this was not done in a collaborative manner.  The Administration would develop a document and then present to the CFT for feedback. This is the first time a process was used that had both Administration and Teachers at the same starting point.
q Where are the meeting minutes?
a The work done during each session was documented by Pam Rosa from CEC.  Committee members were then charged with sharing this with the groups they represent to obtain feedback.  Since this work was ongoing and part of an internal committee, minutes were not posted publicly.
q Does the board agree with premises put forth by the Consortium for Educational Change? Read the rest of this entry »

Slightly OT: Models for Building Local Broadband

There will be a panel at the Urbana City Council Chambers hosted by Brandon Bowersox-Johnson (a proponent of GigaBit Squared – I think) and featuring speakers sponsored by the Urbana IMC (mostly in favor of local ownership):


Models for Building Local Broadband: Public, Private, Coop, Nonprofit

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Rose & Taylor Community Forum: Economics, Feb 26th

I had the pleasure of visiting Rose & Taylor this afternoon; Tino Hines gave me a much needed haircut, and did quite well at it. I must admit to feeling slightly awkward being the only white guy there, but they were an affable and congenial group. I remarked on how well the first Community Forum went, and Tino said they had received a lot of positive feedback. I also found out from Chris (Williams?) that the next community forum is slated for February 26th and will be on Economics. It sounds like they are changing the format just a little to give more folks a chance to speak a little, but also a panel to pick the brains the of the lucky few sitting up front.


We talked a little about Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday Houlihans Jan 11th recap

This past week, we had Nathaniel Banks, Chuck Jackson and myself. I learned a bit and I hope I get most of it here.

One of the issues we discussed is the top-down management style prevalent in Unit 4 Administration. An example at Stratton was used whereby a majority of parent’s wanted to retain the longer school day, but the teachers (allegedly represented by the teachers union, the Champaign Federation of Teachers) did not. It sounds like the CFT approached Administration and eliminated the longer days. From what I hear, the parent’s were not involved in the decision making process at all. In another example, Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday Open Forums

We still do not have an official name for whatever it is called when we gather together on Wednesdays over lunch at Houlihans. So for this hour, I am referring to it as “Wednesday Open Forums.” If it sticks, well… it is what it is.

Yesterday (two days ago for most of you reading this) we were honored to have a bona fide Unit 4 teacher with us. And I personally think this was one of our better discussions yet. The new perspective of a teacher, even just one, brought a new dimension to the table.

Prior to the Teacher’s arrival, we started off talking techy stuff; Grinnip is waiting on deliver of “carts” to get laptops to Jefferson and Stratton, but otherwise they are ready to go; Grinnip has already partitioned the BTW WAN (VLans), but has stated they simply do not have the resources to monitor and maintain such a setup for every single school building; and we didn’t really talk much more about what would be nice to put on a “teacher” website until The Teacher showed up.

With The Teacher there, our topics ranged a bit but I’ll highlight what I remember here: Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Malito: Unit 4 "Top 5"

I had a really good meeting with Dr. “Bob” Malito this morning. He is full of awesome. 🙂 As much as I would like to, this isn’t a “We are not worthy” Excellent-Adventure-esque blog.

My first question for Dr. Malito was “What are the top issues facing Unit 4 and the BOE right now?” I quickly added “And my second question is, ‘Why doesn’t the community in general know what these issues are?'” He agreed that the community is not really cognizant of these issues, which in turn is one of the issues. But he gave me a list of five things (using five fingers): Read the rest of this entry »