Friday, October 14, 2011

Public forum on school district “operations”

Julie Van Dyke asked me to let everyone know about this:
Iowa City Community School District Seeks Public Input On Operations Audit

The Iowa City Community School District will host a public forum Monday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. at City High Opstad Auditorium to gather input on what community members see as areas needing improvement in the School District Operations. The District has retained an outside firm to engage in a process audit to help look at how the school district does business. The audit will include interviews of District personnel and community members in individual, small group, and open forum settings. It is vital for community members to provide open and honest feedback in the areas of human resources, technology, business, custodial and food services.
I’m not sure exactly what types of issues fall under the category of “Operations,” which, on its face, would seem to describe everything the school district does. Is it safe to assume that this event is not directed toward such things as curricular concerns or redistricting issues? If anyone has more information, please chime in in the comments.

UPDATE: And a reminder from Julie's earlier comment: There will be a "Town Hall" meeting with representatives of the Governor's office this Sunday at 1 p.m. at West High about the proposed Education Blueprint.


Julie VanDyke said...

A new event: University of Iowa News Release
Oct. 18, 2011
Media advisory: Jason Glass to participate in UI College of Education panel discussion Oct. 21
What: The University of Iowa College of Education Speaker Series and Panel Discussion titled “Iowa’s Future: Navigating the Waters of K-16+ Education.”

Who: Jason Glass, director of the Iowa Department of Education, will be the keynote speaker, followed by a panel discussion with these UI College of Education participants: Nick Colangelo, director of the UI College of Education’s Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development; Ronald Felder, clinical professor in the UI Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies; Margaret Crocco, dean of the UI College of Education, who will speak in her capacity as a faculty member in the UI Department of Teaching and Learning; and Cathy Welch, of Iowa Testing Programs and also a professor in the UI Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations.

When: From 1 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21.

Where: Jones Commons, third floor of the UI Lindquist Center.

Why: The College of Education Speakers Series Committee, a group comprised of graduate students in the College of Education, organizes this series designed for UI College of Education students, faculty, and staff to discuss and explore relevant topics in education.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Tiffany Stoner-Harris, doctoral candidate, Counselor Education and Supervision Graduate Assistant, Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education, 302-269-0256,; David Bills, Associate, Dean, College of Education, 319-335-5383,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,

Julie VanDyke said...

I'm waiting to decide on this particular consultant... After allowing CAO Administrative, budget, and Physical Plant Processes, district morale, and building conditions to deteriorate out of control, former superintendent Lane Plugge just abandoned the ship smiling, waving from the only lifeboat. Murley hasn't been in place long enough to gather power to make widespread process change happen, particularly since he had an adversarial board for his first year. In an apparent effort to undermine him, at least one board member leaked emails etc. regarding his personnel matters to the Press Citizen well before the PC received them under open records. If the new board supports his attempt to clean house, he may be able to accomplish that much more thoroughly, effectively, and quickly with the detailed report from Synesi’s process audit.
I went to last night's meeting and was heartened by the format, quality of the participation, and lead consultant Phil Hansen. He was level-headed, experienced, wise, impartial, and engaged. He handled meeting communication perfectly ensuring everyone had a chance to speak. He carefully listened, took notes, and treated everyone with respect. The meeting could've turned into a mess with people leaving angry and hopeless - that didn't happen. I think the participants were cautiously impressed – they felt comfortable enough to say what they needed. I never felt that about RSP consultants, their work, understanding of our communities, or leadership, and thus had 0 confidence the product they spewed for the +/-$106,000 we paid them. I honestly think there's a chance our $60,000 Synesi consultant fees could pay for themselves from resulting improvements IF their work reflects the level of quality I saw at the meeting AND IF the district focuses on cleaning its own administrative house without hijacking the the process to justify subcontracting out custodial services etc.

Chris said...

Thanks for the updates, Julie.

dagboi said...

Great analysis, Julie. Thanks for being the ICCSD watchdog we so fundamentally need!