Thoughts on lower RB ratings — 10/31/2009

The board needs to discuss this straight-up with the district. It needs to state where we are failing and why, its district improvement plan and key steps to reflect in measurable results the resources we as a community put at its disposal.

Since 1992 we in Illinois have increased public spending on education by 32 percent in real (inflation adjusted) terms. Our results are about the same but graduation rates are worse. For every 100 first graders in Chicago this fall, if current trends continue, fewer than six will graduate from college by age 25.

Riverside should be at or very close to the top in elementary, middle and secondary education in these lists for all of our support for and identification with our schools. We aren’t, in my opinion, because both school boards manage “out,” meaning they both accept the status quo of their respective institutions and tell us we are wrong to demand more. They are wrong to settle for less, especially when we count the cost.

The note above about the D96 building committee’s failure at basic maintenance is very telling. Please bear in mind that earlier this year the Building Committee could not be bothered to allow a committee of extraordinarily well qualified volunteer citizens (and an average chairman) help by refining concepts for Hauser’s landscape improvements. We made this offer because their plan for Hauser had been denied by the Village and — we thought — they had more important (educational) work to do. Instead, it appears, the Building Committee preferred both to dawdle on shrub selection while ignoring water seeping through Blythe’s roof.

By the same token, we should reflect on RB’s longtime welcoming of activist parents. RB, to its credit, including that of Jack Baldermann and Larry Herbst, at least shows up on the “Top 100” list. RB invites activists to participate. D96 spends countless hours strategizing how to exclude, divide and marginalize parents. D96 languishes. I do not think one completely explains the other completely, but both are part of a pattern of accountability and involvement — or opacity and withdrawal — in which I believe D96 is woefully trailing D208.

There are at least two D96 board members who have not had the Kool Aid. They understand the district is here for us and not the other way ’round. They need reinforcements.

POSTED SATURDAY OCT 31, 2009 19:32 #
Explore posts in the same categories: Riverside Brokfield High School -- Referendum

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