In the next few days, we will be writing in greater detail about tonight's (8/26/13) Board Meeting, but after listening via live-stream, we felt the community deserved to hear immediately from us a list of the meeting "low lights:"
1. Three days into the new school year, at the first "business" meeting of the Board of Education, we were shocked that there was NO "new business" on the agenda. The lack of new business speaks volumes. Guess Dr. Schuster has very tight reins over what the Board is asked to discuss.
2. New meeting, NO NELSON! Not really shocking, since we've come to expect his empty seat. Last meeting, he was not physically present, but at least he called in. Tonight, he didn't even bother to do that. Out of 18 meetings this year, he has only attended 7. He's missed 9 entirely (50%) and only been present by phone at 2. His seat has been "empty" for 11 meetings. Disgraceful. Please resign Mr. Nelson. You have shown no commitment and should give up your seat on the Board.
3. A new low was reached tonight, when Dr. Schuster and the Board (other than Board Members Heneghan and Garg) refused to allow Community Member Matt Bousquette -- an appointed member on the "Smart Goals" Subcommittee created at the last meeting -- to participate in the presentation and discussion on the proposed Smart Goals. Dr. Schuster and the Board should be embarrassed by the hypocrisy shown -- not to mention the disrespect -- in refusing his participation. More later on that fiasco.
4. There was confirmation that seven administrators (not six as previously reported) attended Kurt Schneider's "on the side" symposium and that access to the materials they received while attending the conference has been denied to Board Member Heneghan. More later on that waste of taxpayer money.
I think it would be very enlightening to hear from the adminstration how this "Social Justice" conference is relevent and worth District 181 tax payers money. The main question should be-How is this relevant to our community? We should NOT being paying for this. They are public employees-it's different if your company picks up the bill for a conference etc!!
Also- Our administration etc. enjoys the high salaries D181 pays- we would appreciate it and should demand that they engage in issues necessary to make this district the best-something that sadly isn't happening.
I think this blog is excellent-and want to thank The Parents for all the information it provides. If there are ways to increase readership (that you approve of) please let us know. More D181 taxpayers need to know what is really happening.
In response to your question about how to increase readership, we would suggest sending the web link to your friends, colleagues, neighbors, teachers and any other community members you think might be interested. Today we will hit over 7000 views. Thanks for your support.
Teachers should be very concerned about this. Because our district is wasting money on sending 7 administrators to a conference that in NO WAY benefits our children OR our teachers, they are limiting the amount of money that will be available for TEACHER pay raises and benefits.
Do administrators think our tax dollars come from a bottomless well, or some sort of money tree?
As a teacher that has been in the district for quite a few years I can say I am not surprised to hear what happened to the education sub-committee work last night. Teachers are always asked to be a part of committees and we provide feedback but the administration just ends up doing what they want. Why are our administrators attending a conference hosted by the National Leadership for Social Justice? If students needs aren't being met, it's because of a lack of direction at the administrative level. As teachers our evaluations are going to include achieving higher levels of student performance. Why shouldn't the administration be held to the same standard.
The lack of accountability can be traced back to the apathetic attitudes of most of the board members. When members Garg and Heneghan requested some sort of "accountability" from Superintendent Schuster and the rest of the administration, Marty Turek's response was something to the effect of "Of course we won't hold Schuster accountable! Nothing will happen if she doesn't meet her goals!" What?!?!
As I listened from home on the podcast, I just about fell off my chair! WHERE can my husband and I find jobs where we can be clearly incompetent, lie consistently, yet get salary increases every year.
I think it is a disgrace that this district has class sizes of 27. This is an issue I have been fighting for years, but the response from the administration has always been a limited budget. Yet I find it interesting that there are enough funds in the budget to send 7 administrators to a conference that is not relevant to this district, and that we had enough funds to buy textbooks for 3rd graders last year that were never used. It is time to revamp the budget, cut the pork, and reduce class size limits to 24.
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