Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Peoria Public School District #150 Series of Forums?

Last week, a small article appeared in the JS "District 150 to host public forums on education". The first of those meetings will be from 6 - 7:30, Sept. 30 at the Woodruff High School Commons at 1800 N.E. Perry.

Those attending will be asked to break into discussion groups on the following topics: student responsibility, accountability, QUALIFIED parental involvement in the high school, charter schools and another topic to be determined.

Having attended forums including the 3 day Summitt in 2002, I get the feeling this is another #150 "were listening to you, feel good community involvement series of administration dominated forums". In discussing charter schools, expect the union to dominate. Charter schools are competition to the union which they strongly resist unless they can pick union teachers and select the tenured principals, hours, etc.
When, in 2003, the district convened a $60,000, 30 hour, closed door session the JSEB wondered "Didn't the so-called District 150 Summitt do the same thing last summer? Oh, it's nice that District 150 involved people from the community, instead of thinking its employees have all the answers, etc. Setting goals is a good thing, especially if it's something you can get your arms around like drop-outs (I might add like math and sports programs where kids seldom practice but get to play if they just show up for supposedly competitive games and coaches pad their retirement benefits, like tennis at Manual, Woodruff and Central)".

For a refresher on Summits and Forums, I invite you to visit my blog archive dated 5-3/08 and read or re-read "Education Summit - Peoria School District # 150 - June 2002".

If there is one thing that need "change" it's the National public schools system. Don't expect anything more than higher taxes and more union control of schools if "CHANGE Obama is elected in November.

I approach every new school year with optimism only to be disappointed. Some progress has been made. For a system costing $150 million a year, a lot of positive changes should be made. But #150 is still holding forums on such worn out cliches as "responsibility and accountability".

Associate Administrator Herschel Hannah is credited with this classic statement, "Students need to take responsibility for their own school success and administration has to make demands that this responsibility is met".

Let's hold another forum to justify Mr. Hannah's $170,000 plus salary including health, paid vacations, sick days and a 60-70% of his last four year earnings as a lifetime retirement benefit.

Responsibility and accountability as a community forum? Those are "given's" to which kids should have been held for the past 100 years.

Good grief!

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