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  1. I did some research and District 67 spends nearly $13,000 per student. District 115 spends over $17,600 per student. This is out of control. There must be a way to deliver a quality education without breaking the taxpayers. Cut administration expenses first and then cut back on classroom teachers.

  2. I see that censorship is alive and well here at Gazebo News. What is the relationship with King Harry and why do the postings keep disappearing?

  3. Dr. Griffith,
    I think we all owe CK true appreciation for raising the bar of this discussion to the respectful level it deserves. CK’s positive and thoughtful words are most inspiring and I look forward to hearing much more from whoever he/she is.
    That being said, Dr. Griffith, there is an issue that needs your utmost and swift attention. You seem to have gotten a lot of parents angry over the years; that sentiment is clearly reflected in these posts. Your public reaction will certainly be tempered and likely suggest that negative comments are always expected whenever bad news is delivered. However, D65 delivered the same bad news and, while opinions were expressed, not one single comment suggested the Super in Lake Bluff be fired.
    I have been listening a lot lately and, sadly, many people feel very strongly about you, and were quite angry well before your announcement was made. I don’t think anyone opposes the staff cuts per se. The anger from so many different parents speaks to a much bigger issue of transparency and straight talk, or, more specifically, the lack thereof. You seem to have developed a widespread reputation as a deft deflector and smooth talking politician–which characterizes much of your rhetoric toward D67 parents. You must not use those same tactics with the Board of Ed members as you still have a job. So we know you have the capability to enamor us all—we just wish you would do it!
    You have attempted to orally communicate random pieces of your vision and strategy through Board presentations and nifty videos. We don’t need or want Show and Tell, Dr. Griffith. You constantly tout the test scores as the definitive reflection of “world class” when we all know that measure falls way short of demonstrating same; certainly with your education and background you know better than that too. You also must know this is wholly inadequate and not acceptable when there is so much at stake here. Members of this community desperately want and frankly deserve thoughtful and substantial answers and the assurance that those at the helm have our children’s best interests at heart and are carefully spending our hard earned money.
    The bottom line, Dr. Griffith, is this community is looking for good, keen leadership willing to face our weaknesses and strengths head-on and carry our schools into the future. Leadership that has a clear and focused vision and that is complemented by a coherent action plan informing all its decisions. The ball is in your court to prove you are willing and able to do what’s right by our community and our children. In return, once our confidence is restored, we parents will provide overwhelming support to your team and work tirelessly to get the resources to fulfill the vision and plan for our schools.
    We all eagerly look forward to hearing your comprehensive plan for greatness to back up your “world class” claims and hope you are able to launch our schools in that direction as soon as possible. And remember above all else, transparency breeds trust!

  4. I think it is too general to state that “younger” teachers are by nature better teachers than the older ones. I believe that there are some excellent teachers in our schools who are not “young”. Some of these teachers are tenured and some are not.
    The point is that with the current tenure system, many teachers become complacent. When your job is that secure, you do not have to strive for excellence. Some teachers, by nature, continue to do so, but there aren’t any consequences for the teachers who do little more than show up for work. I say thank you to the excellent teachers, tenured and non tenured. You know who you are. You ask our children to reach higher and to think broadly. You approach lessons from multiple directions and ask the students to do the same. You find ways to hook the children into the learning process. You demand excellence and recognize that excellence looks different on every child. You recognize that learning doesn’t only happen sitting down, with pencil and paper. You come to school prepared to teach, prepared to listen and prepared to learn. You embrace technology and all of the opportunities it presents. You are flexible and take advantage of unexpected learning opportunities. You are dedicated to turning the light on these students minds. You are developing thinkers and problem solvers.
    Just think of how great it would be if all of our teachers were compelled to strive for excellence.

  5. I would love to know more specifics about the cost per student in this district vs. other districts in the area.

  6. This district is the most irresponsibly run district in the area. The cost per student when you add in fees, extra charges, books, buses ect is not only the highest in the state, but one of the highest in the country.

  7. Brenda, gotta be more realistic than that! Harry’s hands are tied by the union contract. What everyone knows and noone talks about is the fact that noone can touch tenured teachers–anywhere across the country. It takes several years through a painful and tedious process for admins to try and get rid of a tenured teacher–so painful and long especially for the parents of the students in their classes that the admins don’t pursue it unless the teachers actions are truly egregious. All they can do is “mentor” and offer advice. This is a longstanding problem with the whole teacher union situation–look at what’s happening in Rhode Island this week–they can’t even fire the worst teachers in the worst failing schools in the state. Harry’s already burned the bridge to our union. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to actually sit down and have a heart to heart with the LF union reps to figure out how to fix this?? It would take an honest person.
    What other job in the country offers zero oversight and feedback, no consequences? There is no motivation for the employee to change or get with the new program in this scenario and you see the result of that. Thank god for those terrifically talented teachers who get it and do such amazing things for our children! Shame on the others!

  8. Where do you all get your info from? Kids? An upset parent who says something and then everyone jumps on the bandwagon? Really? Sad. BTW – your children are getting an incredible education from new and veteran teachers alike.

  9. I agree with CK. Harry doesn’t want you to know the fiber optic cables did not fix the huge internet connection problems—teachers can’t waste class time letting the kids do online research bec connection is so very slow. Last year, he said the connection would be “blazing fast” for 2009-10 school year. Last week he said the connection will be “blazing fast” sometime in 2011. So when is it going to be? He already spent the referendum money.

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