I attended the hyped visit by Lou Tice of The Pacific Institute at the Civic Center Thursday. Mr. Tice addressed approximately 3000 community leaders, the vast majority of them from District #150. I'm not sure what I was expecting but Dr. Fischer, Associate Superintendent of Peoria Public School District #150, summed it up in a handout at the event titled, "I'magine: Setting the Foundation for Excellence". Dr. Fischer wrote "Lou Tice was compelled by the courage and the passion of Peoria educators and the community, to share with us a tool; that will give us an opportunity to look at how we can change. It's a tremendous responsibility for each of us, to hold ourselves accountable for what we say, how we say it, and the impact our words have on our children, spouses, parents, and our peers. Are you willing to accept this change?"
Wow; what an exciting and NEW MESSAGE! I THOUGHT THAT ANYONE WHO ENTERED THE PROFESSION OF TEACHING OTHERS WAS TO BE A POSITIVE PERSON, WHO ALWAYS TRIES TO GET KIDS TO BE THE "BEST THAT THEY CAN BE", SETTING HIGH EXPECTATIONS, PATTING KIDS ON THEIR BACKS (LITERALLY) like as in "self esteem" AND TO HOLD EVERYONE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS; COMMUNITY, TEACHERS, PARENTS, KIDS AND ADMINISTRATION.
While we all should know by now "there is no free lunch", we don't, this was no freebie as touted. Lou Tice, a personality, spell-binder, story teller and actor was not here out of the goodness of his heart but to "sell" the services to teachers and administrators of K-12 kids.
Dr. Fischer continues, "Our Administration has applications available for each school interested in participating in Pacific Institute. Schools will be selected based on commitment and available funding. See your building principal for more information."
Money for the district should be no problem. After all, they own expensive property around town such as on Prospect, they are getting ready to spend as much as $123 million over the next few years for new schools, etc. They have a yearly budget of over $163 million and growing rapidly.
Joe Markum, Caterpillar Manager and Pacific Institute Facilitator, said the the "training has allowed his family to dream bigger, make bigger vacation plans, set and reach higher goals". He says, "Every night before bed, I sit down with my kids and ask what the best thing that happened to you today. What are you looking forward to tomorrow, as opposed to talking about a bad grade they got or something else. I try to get them going to bed thinking about something positive for the next day".
Probably pretty typical of most kids today especially after they reach the age of fourteen. Wouldn't you say?
If I ever come back in another life, I hope to be a consultant especially in the public sector. That's where the big bucks are; you get to travel, smooch with all kinds of "important" people, live in an "ivory tower", eat high off the hog and get a lot of publicity. And afford a staff to do all the work.
With all the high paid administration; one retiring soon just bought a $450,000 house, with all the retired talent in Peoria who mostly work for nothing, why do we continually bring in highly paid consultants and "experts" charging us to tell us what we already know including thinking "outside the box" which is so old it has long been a cliche.
District #150 current Vision Statement says "We take pride in educating and graduating each student prepared and inspired to contribute to the world".
And try as hard as they might, Caterpillar elite do not understand an archaic public school system with 7 unpaid board members and a bevy of Superintendent's managing an $163 million budget.