I promised to get back to you yesterday but hit a snag. Dist #150 doesn’t have a curriculum director right now; another apparent screw up of the recently ousted administration. Art Ellis from the Champaign area is slated to take over 8/1/05.
Mary Spangler, my major contact on the school board, says that the state is involved in the selection of many of the books used by 150. Administration is reshaping the curriculum department and its procedures department and has many plans to improve the entire system, the method of reviewing books in use and how the new books are to be ordered when funds are available. She likes some of my suggestions. Give Mary and this new board and administration the time it takes to get their house in order.
I like many of things shaping up in Peoria Public School District #150. It is a shame on the elite leadership of this community that they let this school system evolve into the sorry situation faced by relatively new board members and administration.
The lack of at least one school board member with a strong midsize business background is apparent and has been apparent for a long time. Mayor Ardis has asked for names of business leaders who might agree to run for a position on the school board. The success of our public schools is most important to the City and County of Peoria. Past mayors had some successes but the system as a whole has slid downhill. With a budget of over $135 million, business experience on the board is an absolute necessity.
I will look forward to the day where anyone interested can visit one location and see every book being used as a teaching tool. We all should be concerned about what is being published and accepted as learning tools in this community. I wish Mr. Ellis the best success in our community and hope someone sends him a copy of these blogs with additional input from the sender.
Mary Spangler is a dedicated member of the board and is always looking for citizens input. She looks forward to the success of all the strategic planning that has been going on for sometime now and the successful implementation of all this effort.
I believe the community is paying more attention to what is going on in our public schools. The involvement of new leadership in this community is way past due. I believe the recent mayor and city council elections portend well for our future and encouragement for an emerging group of common sense leaders in Peoria. I believe new leadership will realize that less than half the kids who start first grade will ever graduate from high school and make the NCLB more than a slogan.