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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

ED, Proviso Township High Schools March meeting [D209]

REMEMBER: This is the fund raising drive for your community blog.

Monday (yesterday) the Proviso Township High Schools board of education held its regular meeting. See pths209.org for agenda. The meeting featured conflict, including a threat to have security remove me from the meeting. This was the last board meeting before the April elections.

However, the most significant policy adopted was a recommendation by superintendent Stan Fields to reduce the number of credits required to graduate while increasing the rigor of core courses.

One aspect of the proposal is to require students pass grade level classes to be promoted to the next grade level. Students would no longer get credit for remedial courses. To be promoted with their peers students would be responsible for doing remedial work before the beginning of the school year (summer) and then they would have to pass their grade level courses in the required subjects.

Another aspect of the proposal is to all but eliminate electives. Students would be required to take only one elective to graduate. Electives would be replaced by extracurricular activities and community service. As part of the push to encourage extracurricular participation Proviso Township High Schools would reduce academic eligibility requirements to the minimum allowed by state law. IIRC (If I recall correctly) Proviso’s current standards are a 2.0 GPA; Illinois allows extracurricular participation with a 1.0 GPA.

(Fields was a collegiate football player and was teammates with Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith.)

One criticism of Fields change to the graduation requirements is that it reduces the number of classes taught by reducing the credits required to graduate and lengthening class periods. This would allow Proviso High Schools to service the same number of students with fewer teachers. One criticism I have aired of Fields’ changes is that it is a cost-cutting measure disguised as an education policy.

Fields responded to this criticism by saying with the additional remedial classes--classes that wouldn’t count toward graduation--the plan would increase the total number of teachers required.

If people buy into the plan it should work to produce graduates who score better on standardized tests. I wouldn’t want to go to school in a district that eliminated electives. I wouldn’t want members of my family to go to a high school that eliminated electives. And I doubt Fields will send his children to an elective-less high school. But if students and teachers buy into Fields’ plan test scores should come up.

Here are some concerns:

1. Fields made significant changes to the educational program without engaging the community about what he was doing and why. He made the proposal at last month’s board meeting and he implemented it this month. It was passed in a 4-3 vote. I am not aware of any attempt by Fields to engage any stakeholders who weren’t guaranteed to agree with his proposals.
2. I doubt Fields has studied the ability of community organizations to supervise large numbers of students doing community service. I also doubt he analyzed how the schools will offer extracurricular programs to significantly more students. If he did examine these issues he didn’t brief the board of education.

More later....

Discuss and add your perspective in comments.

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  • I heard Lil man Stan's dad, Bitchy Chrissy tried to get you thrown out.

    Dude...you know that these 2 cowards suck! They couldn't whip cream!

    I also heard that they made two of Bitchy Chrissy's neices, who are security guards, full time with benefits. Again...just another form of his nepotisim.

    Looks like Bitchy Chrissy is afraid of April 17th, so he's trying to get as many deals for him and his people through as possible. That's why he had Danny Adams table the contract for EMM (Eugene Moore) and Daniel Ashley.

    By Anonymous Lil man Stan and Bitchy Chrissy are whimpy!, at 11:07 AM, March 20, 2007  

  • Is the vaunted District 209 website down this morning?

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 11:42 AM, March 20, 2007  

  • They never followed the 2.0 for athletics anyway so they may as well not even have a minimum requirement! Aaron Peppers and Birdin allowed 13 football players who where no where close to meeting the requirements play. Everyone knew and nobody did anything about it. Peppers is a cheat and only got the job because of who he knows. Everyone knows he is not qualified. He is a joke among the rest of the football coaches in the conference and Birdin is spineless and is only worried about protecting his job. Those 2 need to go!!!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger aaron, at 5:49 AM, March 21, 2007  

  • "There have been no priorities for spending, other than the self-serving needs of those in control," Fields said of Dist. 209's recent past.

    Finally! An honest statement by Lil man Stan!

    Now ask Lil man Stan...who are, "those in control"?

    By Anonymous lil man stan fingers his dad, at 2:20 PM, March 21, 2007  

  • "'There have been no priorities for spending, other than the self-serving needs of those in control', Fields said of Dist. 209's recent past".

    Of course, this statement from Fields sounds like, finally, he's hitting the mark, but a number of Fields' previous actions have belied ostensibly sincere statements that he has made. Take his statement, shortly after he arrived here, about unifying the board. Of course, we know, in retrospect, that this statement was pure, unadulterated bullshit. Take his statement, contained within the Proviso Rising philosophy, that patronage hiring would be curtailed. Tell me Fields, who is this Sloane guy that recently procured a janitor's job?

    Tell us, Fields, why do we continue to piss money away on "Dr." Libka until June of this year when the sum total of the man's contributions to the district are microscopic? Why do we continue to piss money away on the ghost payroller, Kyle Hastings, who has been exposed as a premier political leech that needs to be immediately and summarily booted out on his ass?

    Tell us, Fields, why did you fail to appear on the radio show last Saturday?

    The answer to all of these questions is that Fields is, in my opinion, a charlatan, manipulator, deceiver, and coward. He cannot be trusted. It's only a matter of time until he cuts and runs.

    By Anonymous Both Sides of Mouth, at 6:36 PM, March 21, 2007  

  • Peppers is much better than Wallace's GOLDEN BOY, Famous Hulbert. Peppers is a much better coach and person than Famous. Peppers is personable and pleasant. Famous is an ASSHOLE with a chip on his shoulder. Famous Hulbert is not assisting with getting his players in college. When did he have his players sign to a college. He is to busy bragging about how much money he lost coming to Proviso and his new truck. He should not tell the students that he got a pay cut every time they lost a game and at the awards banquet he belittled the players. He sure is making up for it with doing Wallace's dirty work. It will take a group of parents to set him straight. He has done nothing to get these boys scholarships. The players and parents don't like him and the teachers don't like him. He needs to go back to LT. He seems likes he can relate to white kids better than his own.

    Famous did not follow the GPA requirement either. What do you expect when the supt is lower the graduation requirements. He lied to the newspapers, but those boys were still out there playing and they are still failing. The Golden Boy has received over $15,000 in stipends from Wallace. When I vote in April I will be voting out Wallace and her clan of leeches!

    By Blogger send-the-leeches-packing, at 9:15 PM, March 21, 2007  

  • Ms. Coffee says: Isn't it interesting that the PSAE scores fell, but the ACT score went up a bit? My take is that the kids don't care about these standardized tests.
    They do care about the ACT because that could get them into college. I think if the school emphasizes to the kids how important the PSAE is, they will see better test scores. It's not that 209's kids are stupid, they just don't care about the test!mvzzsu

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:35 AM, March 23, 2007  

  • Sun Times hEADLINES COMING SOON! said...
    Ex-209 Board President Welch indicted by feds
    Welch traded jobs at 209 for political work, favors: feds

    June 23, 2007
    BYStaff Reporters
    Winning a janatorial job at 209 or promotion isn't supposed to depend on your politics.

    But federal officials said Thursday that Chris Welch, a top and key leader in Gene Moore's,Ben Mazzullo's,Frank Pasqaule's and Ron Serpico's Democratic Organization, made sure those spoils went to political foot soldiers.

    \If they hadn't worked on a campaign, they were asked to ante up to political piggy banks. Others got jobs, funded by taxpayers, as a reward for taking care of Welch's lawn, shoveling his snow or working on his house, prosecutors alleged.
    This happened while Welch was 209 Board President from 2001 until 2007. He allegedly schemed with others, including Superintendent Stan Fields,Ben Mazzullo,Gene Moore,Frank Pasquale and Ron Serpico--who also were indicted Thursday -- to hand out promotions, jobs, raises or transfers in exchange for political work.

    Charged with falsifying forms
    During Welch's tenure as 209 Board President,Fields approved hiring hundreds of Gene Moore's democratic organization members who got jobs there and in other departments. The new charges allege that Welch,Fields and others falsified rating forms to benefit preferred campaign workers and that he fraudulently signed certifications indicating that jobs were granted on merit -- not political consideration.

    By Anonymous Welch and Fields soon to be Indicted, at 7:12 PM, March 23, 2007  

  • I am watching the events at Proviso D209 with a sense of deja vu. Hasn't anyone checked out Stan Fields' history? He tried every single tactic that he is now implementing at Proviso at Mundelein. The district is still trying to recover. Someone should pull up all the articles and letters to the editor that were printed in the Mundelein Daily Herald. You will see that you aren't the first ones to face this maniac.

    At Mundelein, our formerly small quite school board meetings were turned into hundreds of angry people just trying to be heard. If you did not agree with Stan Fields, you were branded a "goofball" - his term, not mine. All his cuts in elective did was allow him to eliminate teachers that didn't go along with his program. He did set the bar higher as far as graduation requirements are concerned. The only problem is he did not implement any programs or actions to help the students and teachers achieve these results. We ended up with a disgruntled unhappy teaching staff and students with fewer educational options.

    I hope Proviso wakes up before it is too late.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:58 AM, March 27, 2007  

  • You know these decisions are made and then discussed with parents and students. I think district 209 is making a mistake - in order to cover their own rears...and the children will pay...much like the "audit program" that was introduced during my time at Proviso. I am now a parent of a freshman and I don't believe in this "change".
    In reality if you fail one course - you should have to take that course over...not be held back. To say it's to prepare students for college is a little odd because I've been to college and if you fail a class you take that class over in college also. I graduated from HS on time with my peers...but I have definitely failed a course or two and would have been devastated if one course changed my graduation year. Experiment with some other kids...not ours. My daughter luckily is successful in school...but I was and knew children who struggled through it. (Sitting in boring class after class with uninspired teachers, doing mediocre work.) If you want to make change....CHANGE THE ACTUAL CURRICULUM! STOP TEACHING THE SAME BOOKS FROM 50 YEARS AGO...I can't tell my daughter this...but most of what we learned was worthless after high school...except taking good notes, learning how to participate in class and learning how to write.

    I recently watched the golden apple awards and throughout my time at Proviso can say I had maybe 2 teachers that were as engaging as the teachers awarded on this show. Teachers who love their jobs and children. Not people who teach so you can pass the test…not so that your mind is enlightened and you learn how to learn. What a shame. Education in

    Personally I will be voting for the other person...when it comes to board of educations elections. As parents that all we can do...change the people on top...how long has it been since they were in high school and how disconnected they are from the reality of those they lead...shows when they make decisions like these that would use a failed class not as a learning experience…but as an opportunity to show you and the world that you are a failure.

    The irony of this being put into play because of no child left behind is ironic…because that is exactly what will happen. Children will be left behind and eventually drop out.

    By Blogger Queen, at 9:11 AM, November 18, 2010  

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