After all the connections between Dr. Schneider and other social justice and inclusive classroom advocates we identified in our 11/1/14 post "Bubblemania," we bloggers thought we would do a little investigating into Dr. Kluth's association with D181 and her previous professional contacts.
Sure enough, she is a colleague of Kurt Schneider's and has worked in D181 in the past couple of years doing professional development for teachers while embarking on Schneider's crusade for full inclusion within all of our classrooms. Both Schneider and Dr. Kluth have been presenters at the same social justice institutes and inclusion conferences. The links we provide throughout this post establish Dr. Kluth's connections to Schneider, and clearly show that he has a professional relationship with her that began before he was hired by D181 and extends beyond our district.
In fact, we believe we have found a smoking gun link that, in our opinion, establishes unequivocally that it was Schneider who introduced D181 to the social justice and inclusion ideologies that underlie the Learning for All Plan. In our opinion, any suggestion by Dr. White or Schneider, that the Advanced Learning Plan/aka Learning for All Plan/aka Joyful Learning was Dr. Schuster's brainchild and that Dr. Schneider was simply following her orders, does not withstand scrutiny.
If you click on the following link, you will see the following Facebook post dated April 5, 2012:
We draw your attention not just to the blog link Dr. Kluth posted on her Facebook page, www.paulakluth.com, which is her blog dedicated to "promoting inclusive schooling," but more importantly to the last comment (4/6/12) on the Facebook post, which Dr. Kluth wrote:
"We all need to share this video clip with our school boards to help them to see what is possible in a school leader. The clip for today also has Kurt Schneider on it and he is another strong administrator with BIG VISION."
We located the 4/6/12 clip she mentioned, along with a YouTube video featuring Schneider presenting on the concept of inclusive classrooms:
What is important to note is that these posts are dated April 5 and 6, 2012, before Schneider was hired by D181 As we previously discussed in our 8/21/13 Blog Post on Schneider, he was hired by Dr. Schuster to start work on July 1, 2012 -- 3 months after Dr. Kluth's posts on inclusive classrooms, in which he is described as "another strong administrator with BIG VISION" and in which the video clip she shares feature Schneider discussing inclusive classrooms. Before Schneider ever stepped foot in D181, he was being cited by his colleagues as having a BIG VISION in the area of inclusive classrooms.
In fact, Dr. Kluth's more recent blog post references Schneider's participation in a movie she made on "inclusive schools" in 2012 called "You’re Going to Love This Kid: Teaching Students in the Inclusive Classroom." (Source: http://www.paulakluth.com/2014/02/21/flashback-friday-examine-your-transportation-needs/)
Less than one year after Schneider began working in D181, Dr. Kluth was also hired as a consultant, billing the district $2500 on July 29, 2013. (Source: 8/12/13 Board Docs link to detail check listing showing payment to Dr. Kluth.)
Not only did Dr. Kluth work with Schneider before he was hired by D181, and then get hired to consult in our district after he started work here, both Schneider and Dr. Kluth have presented at some of the same Social Justice and Inclusive education institutes and conferences (just like other colleagues of Schneider we identified in our post, Bubblemania:
December 2013 TASH Conference:
Dr. Kluth presented: http://conference.tash.org/speakers/paula-kluth/ at which the topic she discussed was: "
Dr. Schneider presented: http://conference.tash.org/sessions/leading-proactive-high-achieving-schools-for-all-students/ at which the topic discussed was "Leading Proactive High Achieving Schools for All Students" and at the Full Day Inclusive Education Workshop. http://conference.tash.org/sessions/inclusive-education-workshop/
July 2014 National Leadership for Social Justice Institute, University of Wisconsin:
Now Dr. Kluth is returning to D181 to present on "Joyful Learning." Not only is she using this as an opportunity to present her ideas of inclusive learning to the D181 community, she is using this as an opportunity to also present to another local school district.
As this flyer from Riverside District 96 states, Dr. Kluth is presenting "[i]n partnership with Hinsdale District 181." (Source: http://www.district96.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Joyful-Learning-with-Paula-Kluth.pdf)
All of these "connections" leave us scratching our heads and asking the following questions:
1. Can Dr. White or anyone on the BOE actually believe that from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014 (Dr. Schuster's last day in D181), Dr. Schneider was simply following her directive to make inclusive classrooms a cornerstone of the Learning for All Plan?
2. Can anyone possibly believe that Dr. Schneider is not the administrator responsible for introducing the idea of inclusive classrooms for all learners to D181?
Beyond these 2 questions, do you, our readers, believe that what has rained down on D181 in the form of the Advanced Learning Plan aka Learning for All Plan since July 2012 is "Joyful Learning?"
We certainly do not.
So we ask, will you let yourselves be "Whitewashed" into believing that what is happening in D181 right now is "Joyful Learning?"
When is this nightmare going to end? Apparently not any time soon. We have posted in the past about the lecture circuit Schneider has been on since the Learning for All Plan landed in D181: 8/26/13 Post, 9/19/13 Post, 11/3/13 Post, 7/30/14 Post.
Now, in addition to supporting Dr. Kluth's coming to D181 to present on her "Joyful Learning" concepts, it appears that Superintendent White has bought into Kurt Schneider's mantras and ideology and is apparently allowing him to go on yet another TASH junket in Washington DC this December 2-5, smack dab in the middle of a work week. Not only is Schneider on the TASH board of directors, he is also the TASH Conference Committee Co-Chair (http://tash.org/about/board-directors/) and will be in attendance. (http://conference.tash.org/sessions/tash-board-of-directors-meeting-4/).
Yet one more social justice, inclusive classroom for all show-on-the-road.
Will Schneider be taking vacation days to attend this conference, or will he be given paid days off from his job as the assistant superintendent of all things curriculum -- regular and special ed? With all the curriculum issues that have been identified by Dr. White and his administrators in the last few months, and Dr. White's suggestion that teachers need more professional development to implement the inclusion model, how is it that Dr. Schneider can afford to leave the district for even one day to attend an off-site conference?
In the meantime, our children sit in classrooms with inconsistent differentiation and dozens of pre-tests and assessments to create constantly changing groups on a daily or weekly basis, since ability grouping with identification is no longer allowed. Even more concerning is the apparent impending assault on the educational tiers in our middle schools; rumor has it they are about to be dismantled by White and Schneider. Yes, one size fits all also applies to students who are about the embark on their education careers at Hinsdale Central.
We have yet to see any conclusive data analysis to support these efforts from the "one data point" like MAP (administration has had Spring and Fall scores for months) and ISAT (administration has had scores since June) or the implications of the Illinois Report Card State rankings that were released on 10/31/14.
And parents, if you are concerned about Dr. Kluth's inclusive classroom rhetoric being foisted upon parents, Schneider's continued travels, and the proposed dismantling of the middle school structure, you must speak up. As one parent commented, we must show up in mass at BOE meetings and also write to the board voicing our concerns.
If we don't, we will be "Whitewashed" by eduspeak and the continued babble of how Learning For All is best for our district.
Monday's (11/10/14) board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Madison School following the Ambassadors of Excellence awards ceremony at 6:45 p.m. Perhaps all the parents who come to see their children receive the awards can stick around to listen to or make public comments demanding an explanation from Dr. White on the multiple issues we have raised in the last two weeks.
Show up and be heard or face the wrath and consequences of "Joyful Learning."