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Proviso Probe

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

BLOG, new blog in town

I received an email from KT who has started the blog Deductive or Inductive? to discuss education issues.

What are the questions you think KT should address on Deductive or Inductive?


  • Ms. Coffe says: Look at what your new blogger posted as an example of "deductive". I think she messed up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:59 PM, July 05, 2006  

  • Ms. Coffe (or is it Coffee???)

    According to Educational Research, one of my first books I bought when working on my graduate degree, deductive reasoning is:

    "the process of drawing a specific conclusion from a set of premises."

    An example taken directly from the book states:

    All schoolteachers are mortal.
    John is a schoolteacher.
    Therefore, John is mortal.

    The next time you want to state that I messed up, make sure YOU know what the definition is.

    Also, why couldn't you go on my blog and pose the question?

    By Blogger KT, at 11:10 PM, July 05, 2006  

  • kt,

    Ms Coffee is correct.
    Re-read your post.
    If you don't see it, re-read it again more carefully, or have somebody else read it aloud to you.

    By Anonymous cynic, at 11:41 PM, July 05, 2006  

  • cynic (and coffe):

    Thanks for the correction:)

    Do you have anything you want to post concerning education???

    I welcome your input.

    By Blogger KT, at 12:05 AM, July 06, 2006  

  • Proofread! Is KT Angela McDaniel?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 PM, July 06, 2006  

  • These messages are what I was hoping to avoid...

    No, I am not Angela McDaniel. I have been teaching for 13 years over half of those at one school. I created the blog after I grew tired of reading negative messages and hearing nothing constructive.

    Am I asking for too much? Apparently I am, because now I am getting the same stuff about me on my own blog. Please, I'm not trying to be high and mighty. I'm not going to preach about the things in education that are WRONG, and how my thoughts are THE RIGHT WAY. All I want is to present a forum for discussion on issues that affect the lives of parents, children, and teachers.

    What I do NOT want is the negativity concerning...fill in the blank...you know what's been said in the past.

    By Blogger KT, at 11:38 PM, July 06, 2006  

  • I'm sure you mean well, like all the well meaning folks in education mean well. What I don't think is grasped in discussing education is that it is a wholly personal experience.
    There is no recipe. There are only interactions. Rather than trying to perfect ONE recipe, the focus should be on providing the widest possible range of interactions.
    In lieu of that ideal, kids who don't conform to the various wills being imposed, (i.e. parents, teachers, administrators, pundits, legislators) are being labeled as defective.

    Everybody's staring at the kids. Watching them perform and judging their performance. For some kids, the attention is a necessary part of their learning process, for other kids; not so much.
    Some are what we would call "morning people", others are wired to be night owls. Some seem to absorb knowledge, others seem to be Scotchgarded against it. Education is an ongoing experiment
    and the kids are the lab rats. The "failure" of education is the damage done in trying to crank out cookie cutter geniuses, it hurts all the kids, the book smart ones as well as the street smart ones.

    Through your studies you have learned that learning takes many forms. No matter how much we would like to quantify the results, education does not lend itself to easy measurement.
    It would be nice to have all the right answers. The questions you pose on your blog have been asked before, answered before, in thousands of scholarly works, articles, essays, and bathroom grafitti.
    It's been 35 years since I first read "The Naked Children" by Daniel Fader; I doubt it is still considered or even remembered. I pose that moments after the first school was built, diverse groups and committees were formed, some in support, some in opposition. Since then, it's been a battle; up, down, back and forth in which the kids have learned that the only thing sillier than schoolyard nonsense is School Board yard nonsense.

    You want to free up money for classrooms? Eliminate 99.9% of the "thinkers, planners and researchers" suckling on the education teat.

    I wish you luck with your blog. In it's present form I doubt I'll post there.

    By Anonymous rehctaw, at 8:57 AM, July 07, 2006  

  • rehctaw:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. If I would have had one more personal criticism, I probably would have thrown in the towel.

    You described my reason for creating the blog when you said the blog should be about providing the widest range of interactions.

    Having taught a variety of abilities and personalities in my classroom, I believe you must provide a variety of strategies, assessments, and behavior plans in order to have a smooth running, productive classroom. That is what I wanted to provide in creating the blog...

    Again, thank you so much. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

    By Blogger KT, at 12:46 PM, July 07, 2006  

  • To K T

    i can see that you are a teacher who cares

    this is not as common in public schools
    i wish all of 209 & 89 teacher had your mind set

    please keep up the good work , never stop being a teacher who cares
    God Bless You !

    by a maywood tax payer for 45 years

    By Anonymous maywood tax payer, at 1:27 AM, July 08, 2006  

  • It's a silly pursuit. Some people live in the desert, some in rainy areas. Two distinct and different sets of problems for which there is no universal solution.

    It would be silly for a desert person to provide solutions to the rainy areas just because they worked for him.

    By Anonymous rehctaw, at 11:51 AM, July 08, 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Steven, at 12:17 PM, July 10, 2006  

  • To rechtaw:

    Your apparent contention that there can be no recipe or recipes for learning is simply hogwash. You state, "It would be silly for a desert person to provide solutions to the rainy areas just because they (the solutions) worked for him." apparently using this climatic analogy to bolster your case. Perhaps, you have never heard of problem-solving strategems, just as one example which negates your contention, that can be applied across a broad range of people, places, and time. And, guess what, problem-solving strategies can be taught. So, although specific solutions passed on from the desert person to the rainy areas may or may not fall short, the use of problem-solving strategies might very well lead to solutions in the rainy areas. What is common to disparate groups is their ability to learn as well as to adapt their learning strategies, if need be, to the demands of their environment. Don't believe it? Maybe you want to take a look at Darwin's theory for starters. I don't question the failures of the educational system, but I don't overlook the successes either. Say what you might, but the U.S. continues to be the strongest and most advanced (in many ways) country on earth. This is due, in large part, to our educational "approaches" ("approaches" defined as broad philosophies/methodologies for approaching the education of our children). There is something in this "broadness" that is very worthwhile, wouldn't you agree?

    By Blogger Steven, at 12:22 PM, July 10, 2006  

  • Steven:

    Thank you very much for your insight. I agree with you 100% and would never want to have "the" solution (or at least claim to).

    It doesn't matter if you have an honors class of well behaved, motivated students, or a class of various abilities complete with various behavioral issues. One solution would NOT work across the board. What a proposed solution may do (what I hope it would do) is be applied in a slightly different way by teachers across various subject areas.

    Let's say, for example, I report on ways of encouraging students to practice organizational skills. For some, that may involve using an assignment notebook, for others, it may be checking in at the end of the day, and for others, it will involve calling an assignment hotline a teacher sets up, or looking at the teacher's website. Again, I'm not advocating one way, but rather promoting the use of these methods to address a common complaint - homework not being completed.

    If viewers to the blog will keep in mind that it is not a "how to" site, but rather a board to post ideas, comment on strengths and weaknesses, and ways to tweak others' ideas, then it will serve its purpose. When parents log on and tell us how it works or doesn't, then that only helps us more.

    By Blogger KT, at 9:23 PM, July 10, 2006  

  • Steven,

    Perhaps an over-simplification, but hardly non-apparent and certainly not hogwash.
    Discussing education in total I do agree with you. Acutely, specifically as it pertains to Proviso Twp,
    is where things get dicey. How many approaches have been taken to improve the schools here?
    How many have addressed the core problems? What are the core problems as you see them?
    Are they the same problems that other districts have or are they unique to District 209?

    That education, overall, is a success does not help the situation. In fact, it gets in the way.
    I am convinced that the only way that Proviso schools can improve is by dismantling the monolithic
    failure that is 209 and rebuilding using a truly community based platform.

    Where does such a discussion fit in the general education debate? In short it doesn't, because it's seen as a threat
    to all districts. It is seen as a slippery slope. If parents and taxpayers can unite and get rid of instititutions like 209,
    what would prevent the same thing happening in "good" districts? There's no shortage of discussion about education and it's successes and failures.
    Most seek to apply a one-size-fits-all ideology to a stucture that comprises thousands of districts with no central controls. NCLB has exposed the problems
    of trying to homogenize them into something resembling a national system.

    By Anonymous rehctaw, at 6:02 PM, July 11, 2006  

  • I continued this discussion on my blog. I'm sure it will inspire some negativity, but you gotta take the bad with the good :)

    By Blogger KT, at 7:49 PM, July 11, 2006  

  • rehctaw:

    We are definitely in agreement in regard to the miserable state of District 209. Any honest individual with even a cursory knowledge of this school district would have to agree the system is in shambles. In a thread started on this blog by James Smith which seems to have now been removed, I did delineate, what I perceived to be, a broad recipe of ills in District 209 that continue to result in its incredibly poor effectiveness and poor student performance. There were several societal, community, familial, and peer group factors that I mentioned, but the one ingredient which sticks in my craw the most is the blatant power strivings and incompetencies of the people empowered to run the district. In this group, I would include certain members of the school board, school administrators, and certain teachers.

    When you have empowered individuals whose apparent primary agendas are to advance their political standings, accrue increased power, engage in nepotism and cronyism, do the minimum and receive the maximum, and/or misuse and misspend monies, well of course, the core and most important agenda of effectively educating our students is on the back-burner, if on the stove at all, and will suffer.

    By Blogger Steven, at 1:32 PM, July 12, 2006  

  • Just wondering...

    Do you think teachers at 209 are fools for sticking around? If they were to bail, wouldn't you be critical of them? I know some teachers are there because they have been at one district too long, and if they were to leave they would take a huge cut in pay. But there are some people who are there because they believe they can and are making a difference, even with a handful of students. Are they wasting their time? Do you believe they are foolish for their choice to remain at 209?

    I agree to some part that 209 is a train wreck, but if you want change, don't you want some people who know the know the district to be around (I DO NOT MEAN TO PEOPLE WHO LIE, CHEAT, AND STEAL WHO ARE ALREADY IN PLACE AS ADMINISTRATORS).

    I'm interested in hearing those invested in the community. Do you want a whole new crew, from the school board to the teachers? Will wiping the entire slate clean bring about a positive change?

    By Blogger thisisahoot, at 10:48 PM, July 12, 2006  

  • thisisahoot:

    I know for a fact that there are good teachers and administrators in District 209, and I don't regard their continued commitment to providing their students the best education possible as foolish. Quite the contrary ... I admire them and I would not want to see them leave. But, I imagine, it must be quite frustrating for them to try and maintain their commitment and direction against a torrent of negativity, disorganization, incompetents and unqualifieds calling the shots, and the politics of the power-hungry, greedy, and self-serving.
    It is those individuals who need to be booted out on their fat asses --- swiftly, strongly, and with no looking back. Our community should be "rising up angry", attending board meetings, asking tough questions, demanding accountability and seeing proof, and keeping the pressure on board members and administrators toward the primary goal of effectively educating our children. There is no damn room for hidden and not-so-hidden agendas of self-enhancement, enhancement of relatives, friends, and neighbors, or any other endeavor that does not directly equate to better education for our students. Let's make these narcissistic and counter-productive board members and administrators hit the road.

    By Blogger Steven, at 9:00 AM, July 13, 2006  

  • Steven:

    I look forward seeing you at the school board meeting on Monday night.

    By Blogger thisisahoot, at 9:34 AM, July 13, 2006  

  • pamela says: To thisisahoot and steven. Even if you don't go to board meetings (which you should), the agenda is public knowledge. It is posted at West, East and PMSA. In the last agenda they moved 6 million dollars to the educational fund. Where was that 6 mil hiding? It seems as taxpayers, you should ask that question. Also speaking of teachers leaving, about half the math dept. at West bailed. Are they maybe tired of being pressured to pass kids who can't add and subtract? I agree with you both. There are too many incompetants in key places. I'm sure there are imcompetants in every school system, but Proviso seems to put them in the top positions.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:35 PM, July 13, 2006  

  • Steven, Hoot, KT, Pamela, Ms. Coffee et al.

    Shambles doesn't begin to adequately describe 209. That is why the loftier discussions about education are wasted blather. To be fair -which is more than 209 has been with the taxpayers it fleeces- the teachers and students who value education have soldiered bravely, tirelessly and unappreciated for decades, and will continue to do so, regardless of administrative FUBARing of policies.
    What seems like eons ago, I started looking at the situation because I could see no logic to the abandonment of Proviso High schools except fear on purely racial grounds. The record is compelling that
    white abandonment of East (beginning w/ the Fred Hampton era) removed community support for the schools. The law might mandate that we have public high schools, but it can't force us to send our kids or be involved in the public high school community. This vacuum set up a bad situation in which sub-par schools were acceptable since private schools were an affordable option. It wasn't a conspiracy on the part of the public, but the board and administration of 209's failure to address the issue can be seen as nothing less.

    Then came the desegragation debacle of 1976 wherein the school board responded to a federal judge saying, "We'll move the boundary, send Bellwood to West and White flight will take care of the numbers". Compounding the failure and cementing the district's reputation as going down the tubes, but acceptable because it allowed those parents with students at West enough time to get their kids through or make other arrangements.

    This illuminates a severe problem in trying to address issues surrounding 209. The affected subset of citizens is small, changes each year and has spent previous years watching the situation continue its decline.
    Each new "five year plan" assures that the affected portion of the population will turn over before the plan's success or failure is subject to review. Given the disconnection of 209 from the communities it disserves, any attempt to fight the power is sure to fizzle out before it can attain support or standing in all of the 10 communities.

    To me, the only approach that offers hope is the dissolution of district 209. It is the ONLY way to adequately address the disconnect and bring community level involvement back to public education in the communites. This is the only way to bring the caring teachers and citizens back into the decision making process. Far from a threat to teachers, it would empower them. They're stakeholders too and just as the citizens have been distanced from the discussions, so have teachers. Like us, they have stuff coming at them AFTER decisions have already been made. They too are blamed for failures over which they have no control. It seems beneficial that these two parties communicate in meaningful ways without the chasm of District 209 standing between limiting, driving and controlling discussions.

    Crunch the numbers. They're shockers.

    By Anonymous rehctaw, at 5:42 PM, July 14, 2006  

  • rehctaw:

    I would be impressed with the community if SOMETHING were done.

    Maybe dissolution is a good idea. I will admit I haven't given it much thought. I truly wish that something radical would be done. The administration doesn't care that teachers are bolting. There is no reason for them to be afraid anything bad is going to happen.

    I hate to sound cynical, but I'm tired of hearing "we're not gonna take it" from the community, or the teacher's union, or whatever administrator is the new person "who is sympathetic to the teachers."

    With all of the strong-minded people that have voiced their opinions here, I should think it wouldn't be too difficult to get something going

    By Blogger thisisahoot, at 10:42 PM, July 14, 2006  

  • Deductive or Inductive...I mean really...who cares?

    I could give less than a damn about who poses the best and most intelligent postings and comments. It is getting us absolutely no where...and fast!

    We can talk and blog until our face turns blue and our finger tips bleed.

    Until we remove the District 209 Board President we will always be in a state of mismanagement and corruption. The Superintendent search and interviews are a prime example.

    If you only knew what went on in these closed sessions...

    These blogs and postings are useless if they are not accompanied with actions to change the status quo.

    So keep on debating "deductive or inductive", apples or oranges, rain or sun or any trivial pursuits our easily distracted hearts desire...while the school board president makes a mockery of our district at the expense of our students.

    By Anonymous Trivial Pursuits, at 12:11 PM, July 18, 2006  

  • The district was a mockery long before Chris Welch. It could be argued that Chris Welch is the natural result of the policies that have ruled 209 since the 1950's.

    So taking a page from KT.

    Successful High Schools are supported by the community.

    Proviso is NOT supported by the community.

    Therefore: Proviso is not a successful high school.

    By Anonymous rehctaw, at 6:14 PM, July 22, 2006  

  • The district was a mockery long before Chris Welch. It could be argued that Chris Welch is the natural result of the policies that have ruled 209 since the 1950's.

    So taking a page from KT.

    Successful High Schools are supported by the community.

    Proviso is NOT supported by the community.

    Therefore: Proviso is not a successful high school.

    By Anonymous rehctaw, at 6:32 PM, July 22, 2006  

  • From KT:


    You make me smile.

    I couldn't agree with you more. The last school board meeting lasted all of 19 minutes and the highlight was the fading out of the program for teenage moms. It was a joke. Their were maybe 10 people in the audience, including the reporter from Forest Park. Wow. It is so frustrating to see how little the community and employees care about what is going on. Maybe their minds and attitudes are on summer break.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:55 PM, July 24, 2006  

  • If you asked Chris Welch he'd say there are only 19 people attending because everybody is happy with how he's running the show at 209.

    How many would need to show up before the board would get the message? For their part, they have three schools to staff and run. That is rightfully their main concern.

    Way down on their list is worrying about dissatisfaction of the consumers and taxpayers. They are well insulated against attack from outside.

    They're about to reap the profits of the most recent re-assessment of the district's tax base which might mean they'll have enough money to keep PMSA afloat for another year.

    I don't expect to hear much preaching from within unless/until they need to utter the dreaded R word.

    By Anonymous rehctaw, at 6:26 PM, July 24, 2006  

  • I guess blogging about reasoning defies reason.

    nice try.

    By Anonymous cynic, at 6:23 PM, August 25, 2006  

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