Sunday, November 9, 2014

Joyful Learning? Are You Kidding? -- Part 2: D181 Parents, Don't Let Yourselves be "Whitewashed."

Buried at the end of Dr. White's five page report to the BOE for Monday's (11/10/14) meeting, we are concerned about references to four upcoming Community and District Events featuring Dr. Paula Kluth.  Right before Thanksgiving break, she will be presenting on "Joyful Learning" (11/17,18), after which there will be two "Joyful Learning Follow-Up Discussions" (11/20, 21).   These presentations obviously relate to Dr. Kluth's book "Joyful Learning: Active and Collaborative Learning in Inclusive Classrooms" which is described on her website as:

"Offering all students opportunities for successful learning experiences, this is ideal for K–12 inclusive classrooms and learners with a wide range of abilities, including cultural or linguistic differences. The authors present techniques for using differentiation, active learning, and personalized instruction that enable teachers to use sound teaching practices and engage students in discussion, debate, creative thinking, questioning, teamwork, and collaborative learning." (Source:
Dr. Kluth has presented across the country on the ideas of inclusion, including at "The 2012 Inclusion Institute."  The power point she presented at that institute described her as: 
"a renowned autism and inclusion expert.  Her keynote interactive session will re-ignite that joy in learning that brought us all to this profession.(Source:
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,, 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:

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. Schneider presented: at which the topic discussed was "Leading Proactive High Achieving Schools for All Students" and at the Full Day 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:

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 Post9/19/13 Post11/3/13 Post7/30/14 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 ( and will be in  attendance. (  

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." 


Anonymous said...

This is what happens when parents bury their heads in the sand. In the past parents may have been able to trust the BOE, but I don’t think the majority of the BOE members truly understand the magnitude of the situation. They don’t get it. Parents have put them in charge and many of the BOE members have been completely disengaged or simply don’t understand what is happening. Turek sets the agenda for the BOE meetings. That there is nothing of substance on it for tomorrow night is unbelievable. There are 2 pilots in operation right now. The math committee should be giving a report on how Big Ideas and Math In Focus are stacking up to the current curriculum. There has still been no reference to the MAP data and there will be nothing on the ISATs. Whatever happened to Science? I used to think that Turek was thumbing his nose at parents, but I’ve come to realize that he really doesn’t understand the issues. He doesn’t get it. He can’t see the consequences of his lack of leadership. Part of being a good leader is being able to look down the road in 2 years. And the way I see it, it’s not looking so great. And who was it that commented at the meeting “let the teachers teach?” Well let’s see how the teachers feel when their merit based pay kicks in and student achievement/scores are tanking faster than they can ever imagine b/c of Schneider’s self serving inclusive put every kid of every ability in the same class with one teacher agenda. Wake-up community. Brush the sand out of your hair. Don’t wait until your ox is gored before you speak up. It might be too late.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely disturbing. Dr. Schneider only talks about the teachers thinking about the kids who have a special need as they come into the classroom. It's one person piggy backing on the other. Are we going to have two teachers in a classroom now? I don't get it. Based on district report card 12% of our students have disabilities and 2% are English language learners. Is co-teaching economical. Is this model really what the staff believe in? Has common sense completely flown out of the window?

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me what the "Litigation" means under the Executive Session section of the agenda means? Is the district getting sued? Is the district suing someone?

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, it appears that D181 taxpayer money has been repeatedly funneled to Schneider's pals and he has created paid work opportunities for them with our tax dollars. He is a public employee and in my opinion, this may be an ethics violation. This has now gone past self servingly referring to his friends as experts. This is now awarding government contracts to friends. This seems to have happened also with Dr. Freidman - always deliberately keeping the amount under 25k so as not to need BOE approval. This is why we have a BOE - to step in and prevent illegal/unethical dealings. They will not be upholding their fiduciary duties as board members if they do not put a stop to this self dealing behavior.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, well, check out Dr. Kluth's 11/5/14 Facebook post in which she writes: "? OF THE WEEK: Have any of you ever worked at a school/district that didn't practice/support inclusion? Did you stay? Did you go? Did you try to created change from within? Someone wrote to me recently looking for some advice on this. What are your thoughts?"

Could she be referring to our district? Could "someone" in D181 be writing to seek advice on whether "he" should leave our fine district? One can only pray this to be true.

Newsflash for anyone who wants to criticize our district: Don't jump to any conclusions. D181 parents support inclusion for SPED student into regular classrooms, just not the inclusive practices going on in our district right now that are hurting many regular, lower performing and highest achieving students.

Anonymous said...

Correction to last post -- the facebook post was from 11/2, not 11/5.

Anonymous said...

The litigation listed for the executive session usually refers to a lawsuit related to special education services. Since Schneider is in charge of spec Ed and curriculum, he probably does little oversight of services for children who need them. Must be costing taxpayers thousands. Another reason he needs to be shown the door.

Anonymous said...

Only in education would someone without any credentials or experience be allowed to lead and tell those who are more experienced and educated what they need to do and who they need to listen to. Dr. Schneider has two years of teaching experience with high school special education students and no training or experience in elementary curriculum. Why is our new leader allowing this and supporting it? Could it be because he has less knowledge and understanding than Dr. Schneider? In any case, they both have proven themselves unworthy of this district.

In my field, we hire the best educated with the most experience and hold them to high standards. That is why our company is so successful. It is not a surprise that 181 is dropping in its performance, even with all the private tutoring being done. The surprise is the parents don't seem to care or want to get involved. You saw what this did to the high school. Don't sit back and wait until 181 becomes a reflection of the 86 chaos. It may already be too late. Thank God my child is in 8th grade and almost out of this craziness.

Jill Quinones said...

Below is the best comment in response to the inquiry about Districts that don't support inclusion on Paula Kluth's Facebook Page. Policy and implementation need to reflect kids' actual needs, NOT just one philosophy. Of course, you don't know kids' needs if you don't analyze the data....

The other commentators and Ms. Kuth herself seem to have drunk the purple kook-aid so to speak without bothering to think about individual student needs and parent desires for their kids. State and Federal law provide for educational services to be offered along a continuum of models for a very good reason. One size never fits all.

Here is the comment:

"I worked for a school that was at the other extreme. There were no resource rooms for students and they were all mainstreamed. It was a nightmare. Inclusion should not be forced or an overnight change. Sometimes the LRE is a small group in the resource room. The admin was convinced that if we pushed all kids into regular ELA and math classes, test scores would rise. Instead, we had an increase in behavior issues and absenteeism. I left the district after that year and am now teaching reged again, but working closely with the speced teachers for the iep students in my room. If there's no balance, the kids lose out! Changes need to happen depending on kids' needs. If there's a 'policy' that is just done without looking at the kids it's serving, then you need to either speak up or get out. I couldn't compromise what I knew kids needed all because one admin didn't see the value in individualized education in a small group setting."

jay_wick said...

In terms of "inclusion" the thought that ANYONE in our district is other than supportive of appropriately getting the majority of students into the kinds of classrooms that suit the objectives of not just the older "least restrictive environment" but more modern responses to IEPs would indicate that the leadership of the district that has been in-place for three years has been severely derelict.

I would even go so far as to say that if there are any teachers or support staff that do not know what is required to comply with these laws then someone clearly needs to be shown the door. The laws that govern these decisions have been in place for a long time Comparing Requirements of 1973 Sec 504 and 1975 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act


Anyone that is unaware of these requirements is simply not worthy of employment in any capacity by any decent school district.

While the application of these laws has changed over time and fair-minded teachers / support staff might need clarification about subtle evolution of how best to help students needing such services, the simple fact is these areas of concerns are NOTHING like the rather drastic shifts that have rapidly been thrust upon schools, teachers and students by the our state's adoption of Common Core and PARCC. Clearly SOME districts have demonstrated much better alignment to the new ISATs that included PARCC-style questions. Without addressing the shortcoming of our district in dealing with these items it is all but a certainty that our district will continue to drop in the ratings based on such tests.

If our district staff continues to claim that professional development time cannot be devoted to the new demands of Common Core and must instead be spent exclusively on issues that were likely made law before much of the staff was born, one must dismiss these charlatans and replace them with professionals having less myopic views!

Let me be doubly clear -- some staff training to keep everyone up-to-speed on the leading thoughts guiding special education is certainly warranted but to devote so much time to this area that teachers do not have any in-service development in the much more pressing needs of Common Core / PARCC (to say nothing of increasing depth of knowledge /pedagogical innovation in STEM or foreign language or gifted education or arts education...) is simply something that cannot be tolerated. The community responded LOUD AND CLEAR that it was unacceptable to increase the amount of time that students were spenting were substitutes OR decrease the time spent in regular full school days to get teachers needed depth of content instruction. Announcements from the BOE and District certainly gave the impression that new labor agreement had provisions for dealing with such needs. If that was not the case the BOE members that lead those negotiations need to be held accountable!

Anonymous said...

Well said. But doubtful anyone in the administration will heed your advice. In fact, I wonder if they will even understand it? They will scratch their heads in disbelief and wonder why parents don't "trust" them, "the professionals." They are about as trustworthy and professional as snakeoil salesmen. We all need to show up to the BOE meeting tomorrow and run then out of town.

Anonymous said...

At a party, I overheard a lawyer say he was hired to allege awful bullying at one of our elementary schools. Some may discredit the case, but not sure why a parent would spend that much money on a lawyer for "no reason". The lawyer couldn't believe the apathy of the adminsitration. Maybe this was the litigation? When people at the party pointed out the bullying tactics of that school's principal and our district's administration, it was so clear why bullying is getting worse here. SELAS in d181 is all about the principals and administrators jamming their will down our throats. Or deceiving them to think that all is stellar in our district. Admin could care less about what parents and teachers tell them to their faces, send them in letters or say at BOE meetings. So ironic that they keep asking parents and students to take SELAS seriously when none of them do! Seriously, look at how they treat any parent who disagrees with them? They ostracise them. D181 won't allow them to be on their "committees". Instead of modeling compromise and cooperation, our leaders ignore or attack the dissenters. It's ok for THEM to be non-negotiable, but not okay for us to be. Time to stop wasting time and money on SELAS. Our kids are smart enough to see how the powerful get that way in our district. It isn't from kindness and compromise. It is such a shame. When people have to hire lawyers to stand up for their kids, it is a sure sign that something rotten is going on in the leadership.

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow! You bloggers are thorough. Thank you for all of your hard work in unearthing all information you have provided the community. (Got to love the internet!) I love the Ren and Stimpy video. You are right, it not only sets the mood, it tells it like it is. The lunacy portrayed in the video and the hammer bashing describe perfectly the craziness going on in D181 right now. No way am I going to join the crazies doing the Happy Happy Joy dance. I'm moving. For Sale Sign going up!

Anonymous said...

Ok, now i'm mad! Does it really take bloggers to present proof that we need a new person to run our curriculum department who is not in it for personal advancement for himself and his cronies? Wake up BOE! It's time to clean house!

Anonymous said...

Have started following Paula Kluth on facebook to check our her Joyful Learning advice. Her November 5 post provides a link to another blog she writes called The 11/7 post on that blog states: "As a former special education teacher, I tend to blog mostly about students who need more support, but differentiating instruction is about meeting the needs of all learners including those needing enrichment. The post I am highlighting today covers this exact topic-enhancing instruction for those needing more challenge. Click on over to to read all about it from a master teacher who has “been there, done that”."

So I went to that link to see the words of advice....The topic was on how to challenge 10th grade gifted students in history. That blogger concluded: "Challenge your gifted students by engaging them in tasks that require them to analyze, interpret, and produce. Ask them to go more deeply into a subject or do further research into a topic."

Gee thanks for pointing out the obvious. But here's a newsflash: D181 students feed into D86. Gifted and high achieving students get to take History Honors and AP History classes taught at a pace and skill level that will meet their needs. They are not taught in a regular ed history class.

Tiers work. They serve a purpose. If you don't teach kids at their level, they become board and unhappy. NOT JOYFUL!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous comment 10:30am. I would like to take it one step further.

Our feeder schools are not practicing full inclusion/going deeper for advanced students - these schools are not keeping everyone at the same pace and in the same class. Advanced learners at our feeder schools have access to faster pace classes and higher level classes. They will therefor be significantly ahead of D181 students once they hit D86. Not to sound alarmist, but that means our students will no longer have equal access to the elite colleges that our feeder school students will have access to. Doesn't sound very socially just.

Anonymous said...

I am 10:30.I miss spelled "bored" in the last sentence of my post.

Anonymous said...

I like to think I've been keeping up with all the changes in the district etc-but this new information basically is the administrative staff "giving us the bird" (thank you Jay Wick)

I'd like to know how much $ are we spending on The Family Education series. When I see that Dr. Paula Kluth is having 2 sessions on "Joyful Learning" and 2 FOLLOW UP sessions , I can't help but question the sanity in this. Can we have 2 discussion on MAP results and 2 follow up sessions? Seriously, if we want to save this district something needs to be done. All the other schools feeding into D86 aren't wiping out tiers etc. -

We are being PLAYED! Perhaps we all can brainstorm a bit on how we can do a better job of informing D181 parents and forcing change. Many of us can't run for BOE but we can affect change in different ways. Just something to think about, because these people from the Badger state are experts at this.

Anonymous said...

Great point! Multiple presentations on inclusion yet not on grouping, math, isats, science scores, map ect. Something is so wrong.

The whole country is focused on common core. We are so off base.

Anonymous said...

Please take the time to go to Board Doc's -check out the SuperIndendent's Report.


As we know, 1,000 or more D181 parents voted down the late start proposal. Now, it's resurfacing. I would like our Dept. of Learning to please explain the questions they want to indoctrinate our teachers with (on our dime, of course) -

Please explain-

What is the educational shift in the philophy of teaching? (Seriously?) What DATA SUPPORTS this?

What exactly are the ELA instructional shifts (by the way-are our MAP, ISAT scores supporting this shift?)

Partnering with the Regional Office of Education and a University-What UNIVERSITY? Details please!! More of Kurt's buddies?

Come on BOE-ASK SOME ?'s

Anonymous said...

We all know that special ed students' needs are protected by law. They should be! But just because regular education and gifted student's needs are NOT protected by law, doesn't mean that their needs should be ignored. Why can't our BOE and administration realize that that was WHY our district did so well in the past?! The lower scoring schools copied us and are moving up in rankings. Meanwhile, WE are adopting their failed techniques? More and more schools are using flexible, homogenous groups to boost learning, but our districts is getting rid of it? Hold the special ed department accountable for including special needs students in our schools, but not at the expense of regular and gifted ed kids. Use PE, after school, recess, lunch, and less academic times for including special ed children.

While Paula Kluth may do well consulting for a living, WE don't need her! We already have her right hand man on our payroll! Dr. Schneider should be focusing on making the PPS personnel we have more effective and educated. NOT on turning the rest of the kids into free child labor during instructional time. All kids deserve to learn up to their capabilities. Just because administrators think our kids are "good enough" in math or reading, doesn't mean that they shouldn't be challenged to learn more, Or, that they should not re-learn what they need help on. If 85% of children need regular education and gifted education, then hire more of those consultants to help them. Hire more autism, Wilson and dyslexia specialists. DON'T spend the money on consultants and subs so that teachers can get paid$50/hr to discuss how unreasonable parents are for not trusting them! Absurd! If anything, teacher trainers to go into the classrooms to show teachers exactly where they NEED to improve. Teach them how to analyze test results so they can accurately put kids in flexible groups.

Anonymous said...

Help teachers during school hours, in their classrooms, not during late start. Parents are tired of teacher professional development meetings when the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of administrators. We are tired of paying subs to cover for teachers who leave their classrooms. Pinpoint the teachers and schools that need help and provide it for them with in class trainers. Encourage teachers to come forward with questions and HELP THEM succeed.

Where would money come from for specialists and trainers, you might ask? Easy - eliminate the superfluous, floundering administrators! That's over $250,000 right there. What about all of the after hours, superfluous pay that teachers get for sticking around to do committee work? This is exactly what Teachers on facilities, Math, @D181, SELAS, and SALC committee get paid! What do they have to show for their work? Moldy buildings, failed math pilots and no reports. Madison and HMS parents, was the $50/hr your paid for all the math committee teachers last year worth the materials your kids got these last 2 months? Was it worth the $50-100,000?

If you read the editorial in the Hinsdalean last week, you would know that that supplemental income money gets counted towards teacher and administrator salary, and then, to their pensions for the rest of their lives. MOST parents don't know that teacher committee members get paid to attend meetings after school. They thought that teachers just attended these after school committees out of the goodness of their hearts. No! Our administrators want them there so they can pass the blame onto them when their plans don't pan out.

What is the point of wasting their time and our money if unqualified administrators are going to do exactly what they want anyway? Wake up, BOE, and STOP paying teachers to sit for hours on end and not DO anything worthwhile. It was bad enough we PAID for their so called "work" last year, but now we all get to pay for it again when these committee members retire! I and many other parents would do the happy dance to privately pay these teachers $50/hr for working with our CHILDREN in clubs after school. But the math, SELAS, and Superintendents Advisory Learning Committee are HUGE wastes of money that allow our administrators to continue to pass the blame ONTO THOSE teachers when pilots and plans don't go as well as they should have. We all know that the committees only do exactly what the administrators want anyway, so why pay for them? Wasting our money once is enough, thank you. BOE, your negligence and apathy is ruining our school district. Make administrators accountable when things go wrong and parents are unhappy. It THEIR responsibility! We want our teachers to teach, not go to meetings and take the blame from Dr. White when his plans blow up.

Our money should be spent on our kids and their facilities - not on irresponsible administrators, wasteful committees, and redundant consultants.

Anonymous said...

Someone way smarter than me once said, "follow the money."

I'm wondering if anyone has linked Schneider to the half-wit from Virginia who was paid an enormous sum of our money to foist the LFA Plan upon us.

As for analyzing the data, I don't think it's needed at this point. We have all the data we need. Three years of utter nonsense coinciding with three years of declining scores. Take your pick. MAP, ISAT, State Rankings. They are all trending negatively.

These people have to go. Today. And we should all tell the BOE exactly that, tonight.

Anonymous said...

Board questions are posted. One question was what is the current path to Algebra 1. Administration response: it was spelled out at the Oct. 27 boe meeting. Um, no it was not. The whole district didn't miss that.

Also, old paths to Algebra 1 that you listed are no longer valid because we are no longer compacting. Oh, but maybe we are compacting. But, no I think you said we are not. No one really knows - because you keep flip flopping and evading the question. Yes, that clears things up.

Anonymous said...

All scores are declining, at this point we don't need analysis that we aren't going to get. That's a nice chunk of change saved.

Anonymous said...

The administration's answers to BOE questions are seriously pathetic. NO details what so ever. You can just tell they are annoyed that they have to craft some politically correct answer.

Once again, Garg and Henegan are the only members asking questions. Nice job BOE.

Why don't you ask the community for help! We will have no problem submitting some probing questions.

Anonymous said...

4:39: I completely agree with you -- the math question was not answered on 10/27 or 5/27. But I would go one step further. For White and his administrators to suggest to Mrs. Garg -- who asked the Algebra 1 question -- that it was already answered is not only disingenuous, but an act of insubordination. The only board members to ever ask curriculum based questions are Mrs. Garg and Mr. Heneghan. They only ask questions seeking information that hasn't been provided by the administration. They rarely repeat a question, but if they do, it is because the administration didn't answer it the first time it was asked. White's response suggests -- probably intentionally -- that Mrs. Garg wasn't listening at the 10/27 or 5/27 board meetings is outrageous and disrespectful to her. I wonder if White even wrote the answer to this question, since he wasn't employed by the District on 5/27 or during the spring 4th grade math parent meeting. Perhaps one of his underlings prepared the answer to this question -- Schneider, Benaitis, Walsh? Did White rely on their misinfomation? If someone else wrote the answer, did he even bother to read it before he published it on Board Docs? Is White really trying to call out Mrs. Garg instead of demanding answers and accountability from his administrators? How dare he? He should be fired along with Schneider and Benaitis.

Anonymous said...

Just finished listening to the BOE meeting podcast.

So many students don't have workbooks etc-yet Mr. Eccarius and Mr. Russell didn't have to pay the tens of thousands back to the district when they left before their contract expired. Nice job.

and nevermind the bloated Learning Dept. whose first reponsiblity is to their own personal goals not the children's education.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the above comment! It was not only disrespectful to Mrs. Garg, but disrespectful to parents who have brought this topic to the superintendent! If White has to nerve to behave like this to his NEW employers, the BOE, how do you think he treats HIS employees and OUR defenseless children? This should scare EVERY parent to their core.

jay_wick said...

I was at HMS for the "Joyful Learning" presentation.

It is hard to be too critical of Paula Kluth, she is nice enough person with a cheery dispostion and seems earnest. Sort of like the guests that one is used to seeing on Oprah or a similar "happy talk" day time TV show, she is less "expert" and more "living brainstormer".

Her wide range of books also remind one more than little of people that have built a successful commercial enterprise of "self help" based on a catch phrase like "Men are from Mars"...

As someone that has suffered through much drier presentations of supposed "educational experts" I have to say I have seen worse, but as someone that also knows the majority of our teachers are already way more concerned with helping ALL STUDENTS than relegating anyone to educational decisions that will limit their opportunity for success I have to wonder why bother having such a "lightweight"?

I know there is a value in having a little "pep talk" now and then to help parents and teachers get re-energized but the fact is our district has been harshly criticized by the EXPERT THEY HIRED for not having enough teachers demonstrate the DEPTH OF CONTENT KNOWLEDGE or the RANGE OF PEDAGOGY to effectively serve the students we have.

Inviting a "talk show host" type speaker won't change that!

We need to demand the district do more to help all our teachers become deeply skilled practitioners AND have opportunity to become more fully confident in the subject matter they teach.

Interestingly, Paula Kluth cited the work of those who work primarily not with children on the autistic spectrum but instead with those identified as academically talented -- the same depth of knowledge and fostering passion that happens in the most challenging classrooms is also beneficial to kids with autistic spectrum characteristics.

This should not be a surprise. Heck, in profiles of tech leaders as far back as Bill Gates journalists noted he bounces his legs and fidgets like the most hard to control student in even high level meeting with developers or competitors.

Predictably, when Paula Kluth tried to show what other districts are doing it raised questions about how decisions are made here. Citing the value of physical education before challenging courses that Naperville Central has found great success with, a district parent asked why our district cannot make accommodations for children to at least use the gym when it is too cold to go outside. Through our Asst Superintendent was present he was unable to offer any response...

Clearly Paula Kluth is not an intellectual giant, but when even her commonsense style suggestions cannot be followed because of rigid policies and excuses one must wonder how any improvement is possible...