Uncategorized


Bill Lloyd recaps the May 10 District 211 school board meeting.

A Fremd mother writes that Fremd High School doesn’t enforce bullying policy.

The Daily Herald: Disabled woman loses District 211 case.

The Fremd class of 1992: 14-year-old crime finally goes to trial.

Conant connection: Going public with private struggles.

Advertisements

The big post I’m working on probably won’t be ready until Tuesday.  Sorry.  It’s about the gas part of the contract between District 211 and the Illinois Energy Consortium.

For readers who want to learn more about “edu-blogging”…see the wonderful range of reading at The Carnival of Education.

This all-volunteer Carnival brings together the best edu-blog posts from around the internet into one place each week. Be inspired!

Here’s another weekly collection of the best-of-the-citizen internet.

Readers have been asking for more information about me, about school corruption and about what they can do to help other voters become more aware of concerns about the management attitudes and habits of District 211 administrators and board members.

I’ve written a blog (not on politics) since 2002. It has been a very rewarding experience. I’ve learned a lot, made many friends, and been a small part of the citizen journalism revolution.

For awhile now, I’ve been thinking I should use some of what I have learned about blogging and citizen journalism to create an online space where the stakeholders of District 211–the parents, teachers, taxpayers, businesses and students could come to get a more highly textured and detailed picture of District 211. I expect to keep this up for a long time.

The online blogging revolution has had such a powerful impact because many people feel that they don’t get the quality and quantity of straight information they’d like to have, either from their newspapers or from their public officials.

That is true in spades in District 211. We have a lawsuit filed against the District because it entered into a no-bid contract for electricity. The Daily Herald hasn’t written a word about that. I’ve heard about it very vaguely in the community. Then one day I open the Chicago Trib, and find Diane Rado’s expose. Her article primarily focused on the possible misdeeds of the Illinois Association of School Boards and the other sponsoring organizations of the Illinois Energy Consortium–not so much on District 211.

This is what convinced me that I should get going on the idea I’d had in the back of my mind to start a blog about our district. The blog has been very focused on that since that’s the area where I’m getting the most information and it also seems highly important. What I really hope is to build an online community where people can come to talk about curriculum, their favorite teacher, ask questions, share their insight and perspective. As I know from my other blog, it takes awhile to build that sense of community.

I’ve gotten a couple of emails in the last few days basically saying, “Who are you?”

One of them was from Charles Fritz, a member of our District 211 school board. School board member Bill Lloyd has adopted the idea–for which I enthusiastically applaud him–of transparently sharing his ideas and concerns about District 211 in an online blog. The questions I asked of all the board members earlier this week in an email, reproduced here, Mr. Lloyd is transparently and regularly talking about on his blog.

This is how Charles Fritz responded (none of the other school board members have responded at all):

Before I respond to your questions, could you please identify your name, phone number and possible address?

Mr. Fritz, you don’t need any of those pieces of information about me to answer these questions. If you answer the questions, your answers will be posted, without editing, here on this website.

This blog is getting to the point where it has hundreds of readers every day. Some of my friends and I will be out this weekend and next week passing out and posting flyers about this blog.

When readers come to this blog, Mr. Fritz, you won’t know their names, their phone numbers or their “possible addresses”, anymore than you know those things about the readers of Diane Rado’s article in the Chicago Tribune or about the hundreds of folks who have read Bill Lloyd’s blog.

What you can know about them, and about me, is that we care passionately about District 211. We’d like to be treated with respect by the administration and the school board. We’d like members of the school board (other than just Bill Lloyd) to display a willingness to be open, transparent, respectful, and forthcoming.

How hard can it be to share with me and the readers of this blog whether or not you support HB 261, the terrible legislation now moving through the Illinois House of Representatives that would “liberate” school districts from having to consider competitive bids for electricity and natural gas?

Who am I? Who are the readers of this blog?

We are teachers. We are parents. We are concerned citizens. We are business owners. We are students. We are people who care passionately about education. We are people who are sometimes successfully and sometimes not-so-successfully meeting the challenges of raising kids, building businesses, serving our customers, living out our faiths and being positive forces in our neighborhoods.

We’ve all made mistakes, dusted ourselves off, tried again. We try to behave with honesty and kindness in our dealings with others, and we don’t always succeed.

If District 211 administrators and school board members have made mistakes, we’re a forgiving sort. We’ve all made mistakes.

We’d like you to live up to your promises to build a better flow of information. It doesn’t feel right when you won’t answer questions about how much the District is paying for electricity, whether you support HB 261, and all the other questions that the residents of this district are wondering about.

It doesn’t matter to me whether you answer those questions on my blog or in an email to me. But it does matter to me that you do go ahead and answer them, whether on the District’s website or in some other public forum. I invite you all to open up and start sharing.

I’d also like to encourage any of my readers to start their own blog–share your insights and your corner of the world about 211, or District 15, or knitting, or your church, or how you’re making the world a better place, or where to buy the best organic vegetables. The world needs your voice.

Check out this new book:

How People Blogging Are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them.

Thank you to It Is My Mind for adding me to their blogroll!

The Fremd High School music department received wonderful news this week.

Grammy award is music to Fremd’s ears.

For the second time in three years, the Palatine school was one of 21 nationwide to be honored by the Grammy Foundation as a Grammy Signature School for excellence in music.

“I am yelling ‘woo-hoo’ all over the place,” said David Lang, Fremd’s music department chair. “I am that ecstatic about it.”

The annual award recognizes public high schools for outstanding commitment to music education. The school will get a $1,000 grant toward its music program.

Congratulations! Make sure to look at the Fremd website while it is still decorated for St. Patrick’s Day.

Dan L, a blogger at CapitolFax wrote about the broader implications of the lawsuit that has been filed against District 211. He argues that this lawsuit shows that “there is a broader bureaucratic onion to be peeled.”