Sunday, November 24, 2013
D181 Administration Trots Out "Interactive" Dog and Pony Show on Common Core Math
After we bloggers began to receive comments regarding the D181 Common Core Math "Event" that was held at Elm School on November 20, we thought we would verify the format and context of what approximately 55 parents attended. By the administration's own description listed on the D181 website, this event was designed to be "interactive” thus, parents were placed into groups wherein they were assigned a Common Core Standard and then had to review a typical related lesson:
Common Core Math - November 20 Event
Posted October 30, 2013
On Wednesday, November 20, we invite all community members to attend an event in the Learning for All Family Education Series - Common Core: Math. District leaders will present an interactive session that includes an overview of the new Common Core State Standards for mathematics and their impact on teaching and learning. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. and takes place at Elm School. No pre-registration is required. For more information about the series, visit www.d181.org > Academics > Learning for All.
A couple of You Tube videos were played showing children supposedly working on Common Core math lessons. But what is striking to us is that no time was allocated for parents to ask questions about this topic or related topics to the administrators who were present: Kurt Schneider, Kevin Russell, Dawn Benaitis and Christine Igoe. These administrators basically served as facilitators, much in the same way as they envision our teachers as facilitators in the near future. They walked about, listened in on parent communication in small groups, and offered no presentation or structured information for parents. How disappointing for those who attended, as this seems to be the new norm from the administration in our district.
We thought the format of this meeting was suspect, just as in the Community Engagement Meetings the administration sought to control the messaging. Two-way discussion does not exist, nor is it encouraged. Is this typical of school districts, especially with the new demands of the Common Core? Answer: NO
Here is a recent Common Core parent presentation that was conducted by the
Curriculum and Instruction Department at top rated Lincolnshire-PrairieView District 103. Notice the slides are in depth and there is actually a final slide that encourages "Questions."
Even more amazing is that a local Barnes and Noble hosted a Common Core meeting for parents presented by North Palos School District recently that was open to anyone who wished to attend. Here too, question and answer segments followed the presentation, as was described below in the October Calendar of Events for that store location:
Common Core Presentation for Parents and Educators!
Special Event, Educator Event
Have questions about Common Core? Want to learn more? Please join us for a Common Core Presentation!
There will be a discussion followed by a Q&A session with a North Palos Representative.
Thursday October 17, 2013 6:30 PM
Orland Park Place
160 Orland Park Place, Orland Park, IL 60462, 708-226-9092
Limited spots available! Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stop in to sign up today!
Bottom line: How is it that a top school district and a local bookstore can have comprehensive presentations on the Common Core Standards that include an entire segment on parent questions, and our own administration seeks to control discussion by using an "interactive" format? Why have our highly paid administrators never provided an opportunity for community questions with direct answers? Could it be they are afraid because they have no answers? By not providing any opportunities for open questions and answers, this is how it appears to the public.
In the words of one of our recent parents who posted a comment, "Something is very wrong here." Parents must continue to demand answers and accountability from the BOE and this administration. Stay vigilant. Our children are depending on all of us.
One-trick ponies need not waste our time.