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Vol. 82, No. 1

Refocusing college goals to consider more options


2013. The article by Lawrence Hardy

ly business and her $61,000-a-year

looks at how Sandoval CUSD 501

salary as an elected state official, pay-

increased college-going aspirations

ing $1,500 a month toward their loans

for students by helping them set real-

and postponing the purchase of a

istic attainable goals along a path that

home until their debts are paid.

hopefully will not mire them in stu-

Judging from the figure stated

s we begin a new year, let’s look

dent debt, which is another growing

earlier on outstanding student loan

to the future — more specifi-

problem in the United States. Of the

debt, Hagan and her husband are


cally your students’ futures. Many

$165 million in outstanding private

hardly alone. In fact, their portion is

district mission statements include

student loans reported in July 2012,

just a drop in the bucket. Is this the

verbiage about preparation to ensure

(a staggering number by itself) about

future or “happily ever after” they

continued success in college or careers,

half were in default, according to Ann

envisioned? Probably not. Their vision

or maybe to develop lifelong learn-

Carrns writing for the New York Times

was focused on their pursuit of four-

ers. This issue of The Journal may

on Oct. 16, 2013.

year college degrees.

help you focus on those aspirations

How does that happen? Consid-

In Carrns’ article on student loan

differently, or at least more realisti-

er the story of state Rep. Christina

debt, she noted other stumbling blocks

cally, after you read the cover story

Hagan of Ohio, who amassed $80,000

that eager college freshmen don’t

about whether students leaving your

in college debt while a student at a

envision — problems involving more

district are prepared for what they

private Christian college in her home

than just difficulty making the month-

will encounter or whether everyone

state. When she married a year out

ly payment. Improperly applied stu-

should speak with students more

of college, her new husband had stu-

dent loan payments are the most

directly and honestly about their edu-

dent loan debt of $40,000 and had

common complaints found in the

cational dreams and college/career

yet to graduate. Hagan was profiled

Consumer Financial Protection

readiness. And by everyone, we include

by Tribune News Service this past

Bureau’s second report on the topic.

teachers, counselors, parents, and

October. Her father had warned her

Savvy loan payers realize they can

college admissions and loan offi-

about the cost of her private college

get out of debt quicker by including

cers as well as board members who

aspirations, but she was “determined

extra money to be applied directly to

approve the curriculum sequence

to pursue an education that reflect-

the principal. The best advice for that

and graduation requirements.

ed her deepest beliefs, the story quot-

is attention to detail. The best advice

As the cover story suggests, stu-

ed her as saying. Hagan was the first

for high school students is to think

dents seem to get the message that a

in her family to go to college, and her

long and hard about career goals and

high school diploma is not enough to

family’s heating and plumbing busi-

ask lots of questions before high school

ensure future financial prosperity.

ness brought in too much money to

graduation as well as before, during

Unfortunately, some students don’t

allow her to qualify for grants that

and after the college application

see potential problems from not being

would not need to be repaid. While

process. This issue offers great top-

as well-prepared as they think they

she now regrets not being more fru-

ics for conversation around the board

are to pursue a four-year college degree.

gal, as the first in her family to go to

table about how best to encourage

Even top students can get stressed

college, how could she have known

students and prepare them for their

when thrown into a classroom where

about some of the unexpected costs

future. Forewarned is forearmed. And

everyone else earned top high school

and how fast loan money can get

as they always used to say at the end

grades as well. Even well-prepared

spent? She, like many of your stu-

of TV’s “Hill Street Blues” squad meet-

students get homesick. Another arti-

dents, was determined and focused

ing, “Let’s be careful out there.”

cle in this issue — one that ran in

on attaining a bachelor’s degree at all

Maybe that should be the mes-

American School Board Journal —

costs. So now she waits tables at an

sage as the board president or super-

quotes IASB’s Associate Executive

Italian restaurant to supplement her

intendent hand out diplomas this

Director Angie Peifer, who retired in

earnings from working in the fami-



COVER STORY 10 | Refocusing college goals to consider more options Students should be encouraged to consider more ideas than obtaining a bachelor’s degree when they plan for their future. Robert Klingborg and Dean Halverson

FEATURE STORIES 4 | Four ingredients help build important district partnership The board president/superintendent relationship is crucial for board/admin team success Keven Forney

J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y

2 0 1 4

Vol. 82, No. 1

8 | Why proven change processes fail Change occurs all the time, but what works one place may not succeed elsewhere. Tom Somodi

20 | Committed to transformation Sandoval CUSD 501 wanted to change the district’s culture regarding expectations for graduates and has made great progress with the help of a school improvement grant Lawrence Hardy

25 | U.S. education shows how false beliefs become accepted Ideas that are wrong or manipulated can be repeated so often, people accept them as true. Alfie Kohn

29 | Publicity tips still valid 57 years later In1957, IASB’s executive director shared 10 ideas from the Southern Illinois University Information Service in the Association’s Newsbulletin to help school districts get good news coverage, Media may have diversified, but the advice is still relevant.

Robert M. Cole

REGULAR FEATURES Boiler Room. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Practical PR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Milestones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Ask the staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside back cover

ILLINOIS SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL (ISSN-0019-221X) is published every other month by the Illinois Association of School Boards, 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929, telephone 217/528-9688. The IASB regional office is located at One Imperial Place, 1 East 22nd Street, Lombard, Illinois 601486120, telephone 630/629-3776. The JOURNAL is supported by the dues of school boards holding active membership in the Illinois Association of School Boards. Copies are mailed to all school board members and the superintendent in each IASB member school district. Non-member subscription rate: Domestic $18.00 per year. Foreign (including Canada and Mexico) $21.00 per year. PUBLICATION POLICY IASB believes that the domestic process functions best through frank and open discussion. Material published in the JOURNAL, therefore, often presents divergent and controversial points of view which do not necessarily represent the views or policies of IASB. James Russell, Associate Executive Director Linda Dawson, Editor Gary Adkins, Contributing Editor Dana Heckrodt, Advertising Manager


Poverty at school Weighing healthier options revisited

Cover by Corbin Design, Petersburg


Who needs college when home furnishings rule? by “Gus”

ately I’ve been readin’ lotsa stuff

dent in high school. She lacks the

about the feeling in our coun-

study skills necessary and seldom

an at Eastside


Grammar, is the

try that everybody outghta have a

creation of

college education … you know, work

“You know, Gus,

Richard W.

hard in high school to get the best

college may not be

Smelter, a retired

grades you can and get into some

the answer for

school principal,

respected university so you can get

now a Chicago-

a high-payin’ job, buy a big house,

based college

drive a luxury car, and wear really

instructor and

expensive duds.

Gus, the custodi-


I asked Mr. Keck about this. “You know, Gus, college may not

lege thing didn’t work out all that well for her.” “So is she unemployed?” Hardly, you see, in spite of her lack of academic skills, she has a high

have widely varied

IQ and an ingenious mind. She went

skill levels when

into business for herself. Last year

it comes to

be the answer for everybody. People


have widely varied skill levels when

— Mr. Keck

she pulled in more than $55,000.” “Doin’ what?” “Being the Queen of garage sales.” She rents a truck every spring, hires

it comes to academics. Some sail

some strong high school boys to help

through a four-year college experi-

her and then hits all of the garage

ence with ease, but others struggle

sales in her small town. She gets to

to maintain a “C” average. Many even

each sale early, and buys only the

drop out.”


everybody. People

opens a book. So the community col-

of sheer desperation.”

best stuff … good quality used furni-

“Then what?”


ture, lamps that actually work old

“Well, they have to find some

“Sure. My cousin’s daughter had

oriental carpets that she can get

blue-collar job in which the other

planned on training to be a hair styl-

cleaned, pictures, you name it, She

skills they may possess will enable

ist and going to work in a salon owned

stays away from clothes and books.”

them to make a living and feed their

by her best friend’s mom, but the

“Yeah … figures that she would-

families. Many young people have

place went under. So she enrolled in

n’t touch the books. You said books

very pronounced skills outside of aca-

the local community college, but did-

aren’t her thing. What does she do

demics that they never bother to think

n’t bother to get adequate counsel-

with all the stuff she buys?”

about, because they’re caught up in

ing. She just took any course that

“She rents a public storage facil-

the notion that a person needs a ‘sheep-

interested her, without thinking about

ity and stores all of the furnishings

skin’ in order to be a success. This

any career other than the one she’d

for a year. During that time, she fix-

isn’t helped much by the current

had her heart set on.”

es any minor flaws on her goods,

recession, which makes good jobs

“What happened?”

repaints some items and polishes

hard to find. Some attend college out

“She had never been a great stu-

everything until it looks brand new.

T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

Then at the beginning of the next

“Yes indeed, Gus, American inge-

spring, she has her own garage sale.

nuity at work. The kind of ingenuity

She advertises in the local papers,

that made our nation successful in

and on the Internet, under ‘Susie’s

the first place, before we outsourced

Cheap Home Furnishings.’ All of the

everything. She’s proof positive that

stuff she’s stored is marked at twice

you don’t need a college education

what she paid for it and she gener-

to be a success in life. We’ve got our

ally gets her price. The first year she

high school grads thinking that they

did this she borrowed $4,000 from

have to be CEO of some large cor-

her parents to get her initial stock.

poration, a brain surgeon or a big-

Even that relatively small amount

deal attorney or life isn’t worth living.

went far at the local garage sales,

If they all went to college to pre-

and she managed to fill three pub-

pare for those careers, many would

lic storage units. After she sold the

wind up being unemployable. There

furnishings, she made more than a

aren’t that many corporations to man-

100 percent profit. She found a good

age, brains to operate on or clients

deal of humor in some of her trans-

to defend to warrant such a huge pool

actions ... sold some of the stuff back

of job applicants.”

to the same folks she’d bought it from! The furnishings had been reju-

“Susie’s home town must be proud of her.”

venated or repainted to the extent

“They are, Gus. Even the local

that they didn’t recognize their old

school board took special notice of


her success and decided to expand

“And now she pulls down more than 50 grand a year?”

their vocational offerings at the high school level. One board member even

“Yeah! When her folks saw how

came up with a list of career choices

hard working and task oriented she

high school students could explore

was, they loaned her $10,000 to finance

that don’t require a college educa-

the second year of operation. That

tion. but some were a bit ‘off the wall,’

translated into $26,000 when the final

so to speak.”

sales were tabulated. Paid her par-


ents back with interest, Last year she

“Blacksmith … card shark … for-

moved out of her parents’ home and

tune-teller … pool hustler … basket

bought a small ‘fixer-upper’ ranch

weaver … professional friend.”

house. She’s done wonders restoring

“Professional friend?”

that, too.”

“Yeah … hire yourself out as a

“Wow! I bet she has no trouble finding backers now.”

‘friend’ to unpopular people who don’t have any friends. They’d pay you to

“No she doesn’t. Last year a local

go to the movies with them, dine out,

bank president and a contracting firm

listen to their stories, pretend you’re

bankrolled her. I hear she plans to

interested in their hobbies, the whole

open her own resale shop … the kind

nine yards.”

of place where married folks who are

“Sounds sorta pathetic.”

just starting out in life can find inex-

“Yes it does. I’ll stick with Susie.”

pensive things to feather their nest.”

“Yeah cheap home furnishings

“That’s one clever young lady, Mr. Keck.”

President Karen Fisher

Treasurer Dale Hansen

Vice President Phil Pritzker

Immediate Past President Carolyne Brooks

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Abe Lincoln Lisa Weitzel

Lake County Joanne Osmond

Blackhawk Jackie Mickley

Northwest Ben Andersen

Central Illinois Valley Thomas Neeley

Shawnee Roger Pfister

Cook North Vacant

Southwestern Rob Luttrell

Cook South Val Densmore

Starved Rock Simon Kampwerth Jr.

Cook West Frank Mott

Three Rivers Dale Hansen

Corn Belt Mark Harms

Two Rivers David Barton

DuPage Rosemary Swanson Egyptian John Metzger Illini Michelle Skinlo Kaskaskia Linda Eades

Wabash Valley Tim Blair Western Sue McCance Chicago Board Jesse Ruiz Service Associates Michael Vallosio

Kishwaukee Mary Stith

IASB is a voluntary association of local boards of education and is not affiliated with any branch of government.

rule.” “Definitely, Gus, definitely.”

J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L



Four ingredients help build important district partnership By Keven Forney

Keven Forney retired as superintendent from Oakwood CUSD 76 in 2012 , and is now an adjunct instructor at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais and an educational consultant.

he relationship between the

ductive and focused on that which is

superintendent may face from indi-

board president and the super-

truly “board work.” Steve Bainbridge,

vidual board members, and any infor-

intendent is as important as the rela-

board president in Jamaica CUSD 12

mation the superintendent can give

tionship the superintendent has with

says, “It is very important for run-

on the current state of the district,

the entire board of education when

ning the district. If we understand

among other things.


it comes to the successful governance

each other it enables me to get the

District superintendents value

of a school district. In fact, the board

rest of the board working properly

having the opportunity to commu-

president-superintendent relation-

and efficiently. How would a board

nicate on those and other topics direct-

ship needs to be a little deeper, one

meeting look if I didn’t have a good

ly to the board president. Super-

in which both parties work together

relationship with my superinten-

intendents also want to hear what

and mutually support each other.

dent?” So, what do good superintendent-

ticular recommendation, the board

Journal in fall 2008, Doug Eadie

board president relationships look

president’s perspectives on district

termed this relationship “an indis-

like in Illinois school districts? What

issues, any relationship matters with

pensible partnership.”

elements are associated with “good

individual board members that the

partnerships” in systems that claim

superintendent may want to improve,

relationship with their board presi-

them? To answer those questions,

and informal indications of how their

dent provides them with the support

several board presidents and super-

performance is being judged.

For superintendents, a positive

they feel they need to work with the

intendents in east-central Illinois

The preferred tone of the com-

board as a whole. “I feel supported

were asked to identify what they felt

munication in the board president-

in my decisions,” says Rantoul High

made their relationships “good part-

superintendent partnership is generally

School District Superintendent Scott

nerships.” Here are four areas those

described as casual or informal, but

Amerio, “I do not have to worry about

individuals find important:

a more formal model is used by some.

what recommendations I am making to the board; I am allowed to make those recommendations based on what I feel is right.”

The prevailing mode of communicaCommunication Communication, often charac-

tion is verbal, usually in face-to-face meetings or by telephone.

terized as honest and open, was iden-

There is some use of electronic

Board presidents benefit by hav-

tified most frequently by super-

communication, but board presidents

ing more insight into the decisions

intendents and board presidents as

and superintendents who use it lim-

made and recommendations placed

the most important aspect. Board

it the information exchanged that

before the board, and are much more

presidents want to be informed about

way out of concern for requests for

able to lead the board in the discharge

any developing issues or ideas the

disclosure under the Freedom of Infor-

of their duties by operating from a

superintendent may be considering

mation Act (FOIA). John Dimit Jr.,

proactive stance.

well before he or she reaches the rec-

board president in Urbana School

ommendation stage, challenges the

District 116, talked about commu-

The board work is more pro4

the board’s reaction might be to a par-

Writing in the American School Board

T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

nication this way: “Communication

indicate that they start their rela-

ship is related to communication in

is really the key. I talk with my super-

tionship by giving their trust to the

that communication between the two

intendent once or twice a week. I

other person.

partners is a building block of trust.

always let him know how I plan to

The board president enters into

Good communication deepens the

vote so he knows why, if I don’t vote

the relationship with the superin-

trust the board president and super-

his way. Likewise, I expect him to let

tendent trusting that person to per-

me know what he is bringing up.”

form his or her duties in a competent

Talking with board presidents

manner and work to improve the dis-

and superintendents, it is clear that

trict. Dimit describes this trust, by

both sides of this crucial partnership

saying: “I expect our superintendent

want to feel free to communicate with-

to be the best manager in town.” There

out fear of offending the other per-

is trust that the superintendent will

son. Each side must feel free to disagree

provide all the information that the

without fear of damaging their rela-

board president and the entire board

tionship. Danville School District 118

need to make decisions.

Board President Bill Dobbles said,

There is trust that the superin-

“We almost always agree, but when

tendent will be a reliable partner for

we have disagreements we almost

the board president and provide active

always talk it out. Usually, the super-

support for his or her leadership. The

intendent is the one to put out the

superintendent begins the relation-

olive branch.”

ship trusting the board president to

There is trust that the superintendent will be a reliable partner for the board president and provide active support for his or her leadership. The superintendent begins the relationship trusting the board president to be someone who will be his or her advocate with the rest of the board. There is trust that the board president will work to be an effective leader of the school board.

This is echoed by his superin-

be someone who will be his or her

tendent, Mark Denman, who said,

advocate with the rest of the board.

“We want a relationship in which you

There is trust that the board presi-

intendent have for each other. Poor

can disagree and still have a good

dent will work to be an effective leader

communication can destroy it.

working relationship.” This openness

of the school board. Danville’s Dob-

leads to another important quality

bles sums up that trust as: “The super-

for communication, in which both

intendent trusts that the board

For some board presidents and

sides are perceived as being totally

president will develop a team with

superintendents, clearly defining the

truthful, or honest, in their commu-

the board members.”

Defined roles, shared duties

role each plays in not only the part-

nication, regardless of the expected

Superintendents also enter into

nership but also in the district is an

impact that information may have.

this relationship trusting the board

important element of their partner-

president will have a focus on the best

ship. Superintendents in positive rela-

interests of the school district and

tionships with their board presidents

Trust is essential Trust is a different attribute than

a clear understanding of the role each

tend to describe their counterparts

communication. Communication is

has. As Dobbles says, “our superin-

as “not a micromanager.” Board pres-

something a person does. Trust is a

tendent should be able to trust that

idents claiming a good partnership

quality bestowed on one person by

the board president knows the roles

with their superintendents echo this,

another. It usually results from the

of the superintendent and the board,

expressing it as, “I am not a micro-

actions and beliefs that one exhibits,

and trust that I will always try to sup-

manager; my superintendent man-

but it is generally a quality that must

port him. He’s the educational expert.”

ages the district and I lead the board.”

be developed over time and can very

Clearly, both the board president and

A person can find numerous itera-

easily be lost.

superintendent enjoy a level of trust

tions of that same thought in articles

Many superintendents and board

at the start of a relationship; this trust

in the journals of both the National

presidents point to trust as a key ele-

can either be strengthened or lost.

School Board Association and Illinois

ment for a good partnership, second

The element of trust in the board

Association of School Boards. Danville

only to communication. Most also

president-superintendent partner-

Superintendent Mark Denman is rep-

J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L


resentative of the view of most super-

the feeling of board presidents are

the board president is the executive

intendents, as he describes his board

the words of Les Hoveln, former board

officer of the school board and the

president, Dobbles, saying: “Bill knows

president of St. Joseph-Ogden High

superintendent is the executive offi-

his role. He knows the board mem-

School District 305, “I don’t believe

cer of the school district. Recogni-

bers, is visible, and has integrity and

in micromanagement. We hire admin-

tion of the distinct roles each plays

an open mind. He has taken advan-

istrators to do their jobs; I try to step

is an important foundational piece

tage of training from IASB to come

aside and let them do their job.” Good

for an effective partnership between

to understand his role.” Indicative of

partnerships hold to the view that

the board president and the superintendent. Along with establishment of defined roles is the sharing of leadership tasks. Maybe sharing is not often as correct a word as delegation. In many districts the board president

STAFF OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Roger L. Eddy, Executive Director Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Meetings Management Patricia Culler, Assistant to the Executive Director Carla S. Bolt, Director Sandy Boston, Assistant Director Office of General Counsel Melinda Selbee, General Counsel Kimberly Small, Assistant General Counsel Executive Searches Donna Johnson, Director Doug Blair, Consultant Thomas Leahy, Consultant Dave Love, Consultant ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Jennifer Feld, Associate Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer ADVOCACY/ GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Deanna L. Sullivan, Director Susan Hilton, Director Zach Messersmith, Assistant Director Advocacy Cynthia Woods, Director IASB OFFICES 2921 Baker Drive Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929 217/528-9688 Fax 217/528-2831 6

BOARD DEVELOPMENT/TAG Dean Langdon, Associate Executive Director

Board Development Sandra Kwasa, Director Nesa Brauer, Consultant Angie Peifer, Consultant Targeting Achievement through Governance Steve Clark, Consultant COMMUNICATIONS/ PRODUCTION SERVICES James Russell, Associate Executive Director Gary W. Adkins, Director/Editorial Linda Dawson, Director/Editorial Jennifer Nelson, Director, Information Services Heath Hendren, Assistant Director/ Communications Kara Kienzler, Assistant Director/ Production Services Gerald R. Glaub, Consultant Diane M. Cape, Production Services Consultant FIELD SERVICES/POLICY SERVICES Cathy A. Talbert, Associate Executive Director Field Services Larry Dirks, Director Reatha Owen, Director Patrick Rice, Director Jeff Cohn, Director Barbara B. Toney, Director Laurel DiPrima, Director Policy Services Anna Lovern, Director Nancy Bohl, Consultant Brian Zumpf, Consultant

and superintendent work together to develop the agenda and also meet to jointly review both the agenda and information packet in preparation for the board meeting. But, in some cases, there is a definite delegation of tasks between the board president and superintendent. When Jean Neal was in her first year as superintendent of Georgetown-Ridge Farm USD 4 she worked with a board president who was adept and experienced at dealing with the media and the public. “I kept her as the point of contact for any statements or information about the district. She handled this type of thing with her job and she was very good at it.” St. Joseph-Ogden High School Superintendent Jim Acklin relied on his former board president, Les Hoveln, to head up some “little projects.” such as construction of the school’s baseball press box and dealing with vendors and contractors on materials and colors in some major renovations occurring at the school. “He enjoys making things better for the students and these small jobs are ways he can make a direct contribution,” Acklin said.

One Imperial Place 1 East 22nd Street, Suite 20 Lombard, Illinois 60148-6120 630/629-3776 Fax 630/629-3940

Jim Owens, superintendent at Westville CUSD 2, uses his board president as the final authority on what

T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

he will recommend. Owens said, “I

in east-Central Illinois may not be

each other. We spent a lot of time

meet with him and go over the items.

what is needed elsewhere in the state,

together — it didn’t happen overnight.

I lay them out and tell him what I plan

but it might be a source of reflection

You need a strong board president

to recommend and why. I respect the

and, perhaps, suggest something that

to assure that the board functions

fact that he is in tune with the board

is currently missing in an existing

properly.” There is also value to the

and the community. If he agrees, that

relationship. The superintendent

board president in that it is a rela-

is what I recommend. If he doesn’t,

should take the lead in establishing

tionship that strengthens and sup-

I do not recommend that particular

and solidifying the partnership he

ports his or her leadership with the

course of action.” Owens feels that

or she has with the board president,


this greatly increases the sense of

since it can directly determine the

The end objective is a board that

ownership felt by his board president,

success of his or her superinten-

focuses on board work and functions

which might be its real value to all

dency. Dr. Preston Williams, former

efficiently to carry out its purpose.

board president-superintendent part-

superintendent in Urbana, sums up

As districts face severe challenges


the value of a good partnership with

during fiscal constraints and demands

the board president, saying: “It is

for improvement, the board presi-

important that we can challenge

dent-superintendent partnership

“ I would tell any new board pres-

thoughts both ways in a manner that

can only grow more important in its

ident that one of the first things you

is professional and respectful. We


need to do is to have an unofficial

don’t always agree, but we listen to

Clear expectations

meeting with your superintendent about expectations, for both of you,” said Jamaica’s board president Steve Bainbridge. Any partnership can only succeed if both members know what the other expects from them. The same is true with the board president and superintendent. Expecta-

Division Meetings

tions can address a number of matters, including the best way to communicate and how frequently, who addresses the public on board-related matters, whether or not the rela-

Did you benefit from the Joint Annual Conference? Or were you unable to attend?

tionship should include a social dimension between the board president and superintendent, and more. There is great value when both members of the partnership know the expectations each holds of the other, and living up to those expectations can deepen the trust and professional bond between the board

Learning is not just a once-a-year opportunity. Attend IASB Division Dinner Meetings and Division Governing Board Meetings. Continue learning closer to home. Division meetings allow you to network, develop professionally, recognize peers, participate in association governance and learn about IASB resources.

president and superintendent. A true partnership between the board president and school district superintendent is essential for effective board work. What makes that

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partnership successful in districts J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L



Why proven change processes fail By Tom Somodi

Tom Somodi speaks and writes about change, applying his extensive domestic and international business experience. He is the author of The Science of Change: Basics Behind Why Change Succeeds and Fails. For more information, visit www.changescienceinstitute. com.


t’s astonishing how businesses

and individuals are continually

influenced by solution providers and

In other words, a proven

consultants of change processes.

process that has worked

These providers and consultants

well and provided

somehow have the ability to convince an organization and/or individual that

successful change in

In other words, a proven process that has worked well and provided successful change in other environ-

if they want to obtain a desired change,

other environments

ments does not guarantee that such

then all they have to do is “execute

does not guarantee that

a process will work in your envi-

this,” “do that” or “buy into this methodology.” Of course, as described above,

such a process will work in your environment.

ronment. A successful change in your environment will not occur unless all the conditions support all the requirements of that process.

the potential to have issues associ-

Environmental override is one

ated with such a simplistic summa-

of the main reasons that a specific

ry are obvious. Nevertheless, in the heat of the moment of trying to deter-

tinuously. From all the change at the

process can produce a desired change

mine a solution to obtain a specific

subatomic level to the movement

for one company but is unable to pro-

change, falling prey to such argu-

of the galaxies in the universe, change

duce the same change for another

ments can be easy and very under-

constantly occurs around us.

company. It can also go a long way in

Therefore, while all change

explaining why a specific diet works

My purpose is not to bash solu-

requires the execution of some process,

for Sam but does not work for Bill, or

tion providers and change consul-

in reality, change is not an art but

why a reform strategy works in one

tants. Much knowledge and potential

instead a science. All change follows

classroom but not the entire school,

benefit can be derived from their

a set of rules and principles just like

or at one school and not another in

products and services. Instead, I would

any other science. More important-

the same district.

like to help you understand why such

ly, by understanding these rules and


claims may not be accurate in every

principles and how they work, we can

Not all environments


use them to our advantage when

are created equal

attempting to change something. you experience First recognize that change is not just something to be obtained. Change is something we all experience con-

Over the years, countless service providers and consultants of

Change is something


environment do not support the processes associated with a desired change, that change will not take place in that environment.

Environmental override One of the most powerful of these principles is: If the conditions in a given

change processes have said how the way businesses operate, in general, are not all that unique from one another. Therefore, the solutions they pro-

T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

posed were made on a universal basis

who has a particular health condi-

agement) agrees with the opera-

and will work in most situations where

tion (note that in this case the body

tional, financial and cultural ram-

there is adequate commitment on

is considered a unique environment).

ifications associated with adjusting the conditions in the environment

the part of management or the individual. In addition, these solution

Leveraging environmental override

to support the proposed solution. If this solution is for you indi-

providers had an answer if there was

Many a management group has

vidually, make certain all the ram-

a unique aspect to take into account.

been frustrated when a proven process

ifications associated with adjusting

They would argue that it was either in the best interest for that organization or individual to eliminate the uniqueness (for example, follow best practices) or they would say, “don’t

Therefore, the conditions in that environment might never support a

worry; our solution is easy to cus-

given change. Also, even if the environment is modified to support the

tomize and configure.�

requirements of the change, it might represent a complete revision of

Once again, on a global level such arguments make sense and in some

the organization with both positive and negative ramifications.

cases might even be an accurate assessment (for example, every manager or individual wants to be known for following best practices). However,

fails to work in their organization and

the conditions in the environment

everyone needs to recognize that this

many individuals have been equally

are realistically acceptable.

is not always the case. The envi-

frustrated when a proven process that

The effort involved in this exer-

ronment in which a change must take

has worked for others, fails to work

cise will vary depending on the sig-

place is generally very complex and

for them.

nificance and complexity of the change

The key take away is that by

you are trying to obtain. However,

understanding the change science

just having an awareness of the change

Therefore, the conditions in that

principle of environmental override,

science principle of environmental

environment might never support a

you are now in a position to address

override can go a long way in help-

given change. Also, even if the envi-

it head-on at the beginning of your

ing you avoid the pitfalls associated

ronment is modified to support the

change solution selection process.

with making the assumption that if

requirements of the change, it might

Here’s how:

a process/methodology works for

represent a complete revision of the

1. Make sure you clearly understand

someone else, it should also work for

organization with both positive and

all of the requirements associat-

negative ramifications.

ed with the solution.

has developed over time in an integrated relationship.

For example, a particular busi-

2. Look at the conditions that exist

ness system used to obtain a specif-

in the environment in which this

ic change in an organization might

solution will be executed and com-

require individuals who have a spe-

pare them to the above require-

cific skill set. By using that same busi-


ness system in an environment where

3. Realistically assess whether the

individuals with that skill set are few

conditions in the environment

or nonexistent can make such a sys-

can be adjusted to support the

tem either inoperable or unaccept-

requirements of the proposed

able from a cost perspective. Likewise,


a diet that works for a healthy per-

4. Make sure everyone in the orga-

son might not work for an individual

nization (including upper man-

J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L

you. %PD U PS B U F  PG  & EVD B U J PO J O 1   $PNNVOJ U Z  F B EF S T IJ Q 1S PHS B N







Refocusing college goals to consider more options By Robert Klingborg and Dean Halverson

Robert Klingborg is director of Capital Area Career Center, providing career and technical education to 21 high schools in the Springfield area. Dean Halverson is a professor of educational leader-


tudents and parents often get

students be focused on bachelor’s

in recent years, yet increasing num-

the message that obtaining a

degrees? The hope among students

bers of students seek a four-year

four-year degree is a good path to

entering college to acquire a bache-

degree. That “payoff” has to include

success. Most focus on a four-year

lor’s degree accentuates a four-year

starting salary, as well as accumu-

college to help fulfill President Oba-

college as the only key to a “good

lated debt. In a 2012 article in the

ma’s goal that the U.S will once again

career,” according to James Rosen-

New York Times, Andrew Martin and

have the highest proportion of col-

baum, a sociology professor at North-

Andrew Lehren said:

lege graduates by 2020. That chal-

western University.

“Extraordinary growth in student

lenge means eight million more young

The truth is, many professions

adults will need to earn associate’s

that require technical training or an

or bachelor’s degrees by the end of

associate’s degree have higher start-

Chart A

this decade, according to the Depart-

ing salaries than those requiring bach-

High-paying associates degrees*

ment of Education. That’s an

elor’s degrees [see chart A]. Also, the

admirable goal, but should all these

bachelor’s degree “payoff” has declined

Radiation therapist . . . . .$74,200

ship at Western

Dental hygienist . . . . . . .$67,400

Illinois University

Fashion designer . . . . . .$65,000

in Macomb.

Registered nurse . . . . . . .$63,800 Medical sonographer . .$63,000 Funeral director . . . . . . .$54,500 Electrical drafters . . . . . .$52,100 *Bureau of Labor Statistics (2009)

Low-paying bachelor’s degrees+ Accounting . . . . . . . . . . .$46,000 Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . .$42,600 Education . . . . . . . . . . . .$34,900 Criminal justice . . . . . . . .$35,000 Journalism . . . . . . . . . . . .$36,600 +Wall Street Journal (2013)


T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

loans has caught many by surprise.

ter occupational fit.

But its roots are in fact deep, and the

When coupled with easy college

cast of contributing characters include

access, that narrow focus leads many

college marketing officers, state law-

high school students to imagine them-

makers wielding a budget ax and wide-

selves going to college, but they don’t

eyed students and families.

think about possible academic chal-

All are enabled by a basic economic dynamic: an insatiable demand

Chart B Student college plans* No college plans 1% Attend College 99%

4-year degree 89%

lenges. So what are the four biggest misconceptions?

for a (four-year) college education, at almost any price, and plenty of

Misconception #1: bachelor’s

easy-to-secure loans, primarily from

degrees guarantee high earnings

the federal government. The growth

“Bachelor’s degrees have a mil-

in student loans has led to the growth

lion-dollar payoff in lifetime earn-

of student debt among four-year-col-

ings.” This often-repeated message

lege graduates. In 2008, 66 percent

is simple and powerful — and stu-

of students surveyed had borrowed

dents have gotten it, according to

money from the government or pri-

Northwestern education researcher

vate lenders, a 20 percent increase

James Rosenbaum. In fact, the pro-

from 20 years ago. College is an impor-

portion of high school students plan-

tant investment, but that doesn’t

ning to get a bachelor’s degree has

mean a less costly degree can’t cement

increased steadily, resulting in 89

a desirable salary.

percent of high school graduates in

degrees [chart C]. They also fall below

The Georgetown University’s

2004 saying they intend to earn bach-

the earnings of the top 25 percent of

*Rosenbaum” How students make college plans

Center on Education and the Work-

elor’s degrees, while less than 1 per-

people who did not go beyond high

force predicts that more than 60 per-

cent said they had no plans to attend

school. Not all jobs requiring bache-

cent of job openings in 2018 will

college. In other words, 99 percent

lor’s degrees pay more than jobs requir-

involve training and education, beyond

of all high school graduates planned

ing an associate’s degree or a high

a high school diploma. When stu-

to attend college, and 89 percent

school diploma.

dents, parents, counselors and sec-

planned to get four-year degrees [Chart

Student performance also plays

ondary educators consider this

B]. In interviews for Rosenbaum’s

a significant role in future earnings.

projection they wrongly assume that

2010 policy paper, “How students

Research shows that the bottom 25

to be successful a person must earn

make Plans and Ways Schools and

percent of bachelor’s degree gradu-

a bachelor’s degree. The job projec-

Colleges could help,” many students

ates have lower earnings than stu-

tions are correct, but a bachelor’s

said they wanted bachelor’s degrees

dents with average achievement. And

degree is not the only way.”

because of the earnings payoffs.

30 years after high school, the average annual payoff for low-achieving

The “bachelor’s-degrees-for-

The “bachelor’s-degrees-for-every-

everyone” mindset focuses on an

one” mindset provides a positive goal,

bachelor’s degree graduates is less

oversimplified, idealized goal that

but conveys a narrow focus for the

than $3,000 more than those with

everyone should strive for a four-year

path to success.

a high school diploma or an associ-

degree. In our opinion, this mindset

People with bachelor’s degrees

ate’s degree [see chart C]. Some low-

is harmful, because it ignores oth-

may have higher median earnings,

achieving students may believe a

er options and is based on four mis-

but according to figures from Edu-

bachelor’s degree will guarantee a

conceptions that may keep students

cation Pays 2010, by Sandy Baum,

million-dollar career even if they only

and parents from seeing viable alter-

Jennifer Ma, and Kathleen Payea, 25

do the minimum necessary to grad-


percent of people with bachelor’s

uate. A student’s major also factors

The bachelor’s degree focus also

degrees have earnings below the medi-

into the equation. Those with degrees

ignores options that might be a bet-

an earnings of those with associate’s

in science, technology, engineering,

J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L


or mathematics (STEM) have a medi-

But that isn’t necessarily true. In a

National Center for Education Sta-

an annual income of $12,500 (or

national survey of the high school

tistics. But by 2013 enrollment at

37 percent) higher than for those with

class of 1992, conducted in 2000, 10

four-year schools was 10.9 million,

degrees in the humanities.

percent of high school graduates had

NCES reported, with an additional l.6

Earnings also are not the only

earned associate’s degrees. Of those

million students at two-year colleges.

measure of a good career. Students

graduates, 78 percent also got fur-

Many counselors today can and

should understand that high wages

ther education and 34 percent earned

do encourage all students to look for-

do not necessarily equate to quality

a bachelor’s degree. A survey that

ward to college. But they often pre-

working conditions. High pay may

focused on associate’s degree recip-

sent an oversimplified view of

be offered to offset poor working con-

ients in occupational (i.e. business,

admissions, telling students they can


health and technical) fields revealed

enter college even with poor high

In a study of colleges offering

54 percent continued their educa-

school grades. Unfortunately, they

associate’s degrees, job-placement

tion, 35 percent earned a bachelor’s

may not warn low-achieving students

staff reported they urge associate’s

degree or higher degree and 6 per-

that poor grades will keep them out

degree graduates to avoid the high-

cent earned master’s degrees (often

of some classes or programs, accord-

est-paying jobs because of the five

a Master of Business Administration

ing to Basmat Parsad, author of High

Ds: They tend to be dirty, demand-

degree). Associate’s degrees do not

School Guidance Counseling in 2013.

ing, dangerous, dead-end (meaning

mean that students must or will stop

Avoiding these facts helps keep stu-

they don’t lead to long-term payoffs),


dents optimistic and encourages them

or deceptive (promising high commissions that rarely occur).

to make college plans, but it doesMisconception #3: college

n’t prepare them for what actually

access equals success

awaits them on campus.

Misconception #2: alternative

In the 1960s and ’70s, many high

While an open admissions poli-

degrees prevent bachelor’s degrees

school guidance counselors acted as

cy has provided many second chances,

An emphasis on bachelor’s degrees

gatekeepers by discouraging low-

educators often focus on its benefits

implies that associate’s degrees are

achieving students from attending

while ignoring facts. Rosenbaum’s

substandard. Counselors can dis-


2010 study shows that of students

courage associate’s degrees as set-

In the 1960s, enrollment at four-

with a “C” average in high school,

tling for an “inferior” degree that

year colleges averaged 1.1 million

“only 19 percent earned any cre-

diverts students from higher degrees.

students each year, according to the

dential (certificate, A.A. or B.A.) in the six years after high school.” Other studies have produced similar results. Unfortunately, the truth is,

Chart C Median earnings of workers at age 26 by field of concentration*

Science, Technology, and mathematics (STEM)

if a young adult doesn’t perform well in high school, that student is not

Workers with a BA degree

Workers with credential certificate or AA degree



In counselors’ defense, caseloads

likely to receive a higher degree very quickly, if at all.




can be tremendous. Data from 2001




showed the ratio of counselors to stu-




Social Science






dents as 1:248. In some high schools, the workload for counselors exceeds

*Jacobson andMokher:“Pathways to boosting the earnings of low-income students”

1:700. And some counselors actually spend less than 20 percent of their time on college guidance. Besides counselor/student ratios, another problem is access to data about for-


T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

mer students. How are counselors

communities where adults have not

by bachelor’s degree programs. In

supposed to gauge where and what

completed college and public schools

fact, the percentage of students in

type of students succeed, if they don’t

are often under-resourced, students

remedial college courses through

know how previous graduates have

have no one to turn to for informa-

colleges in urban areas is more than

done? The “bachelor’s-degree-for-everyone” mindset also keeps counselors from providing sincere information. Counselors may even receive complaints from parents and principals

When counselors encourage low-achieving high school students to

when they inform students that they

attend college, students assume their low achievement doesn’t mat-

are not ready for college. When counselors do not follow the “college for all” narrative, they can be repri-

ter. Those who graduated with minimal effort will expect the same in college.

manded. Open admissions at community colleges let students into school, where they are placed in remedial classes that don’t apply toward college level credit. Such students take classes for a semester or more and drop out, with no college credit

tion or support.

90 percent. But remedial classes do

More information, along with ear-

not give credit toward a college

to show for their time, but the debt

ly testing, could give students a health-

degree. Research doesn’t show if

of having been enrolled.

ier shot at being prepared.

these courses help students. And

When counselors encourage low-

The Dayton Early College Acad-

those with deficiencies in several

achieving high school students to

emy, a 426-student high school at the

subjects can fail to complete the

attend college, students assume their

University of Dayton (Ohio), opened

remedial sequence and drop out of

low achievement doesn’t matter. Those

in 2003 by the Bill and Melinda Gates

college without earning a single col-

who graduated with minimal effort

Foundation, gives college placement

lege credit. Bailey’s 2009 study found

will expect the same in college. High

tests to ninth-grade students to iden-

that just 29 percent of students who

school seniors may plan to seek a

tify skill needs early. If more students

took the lowest level of reading reme-

bachelor’s degree; but many don’t

took college placement tests earlier

diation and only 17 percent of those

take demanding courses that would

in their educational journey, they

in the lowest levels of math, suc-

better prepare them for college-lev-

would still have time to take college-

cessfully completed a remedial course

el work, according to the National

prep courses. An early testing mod-


Commission on the High School Senior

el would be one way to give students

Placement tests are required for

Year, 2001. In reality, even top-per-

more time to work on knowledge or

all students entering community col-

forming high school students can

skills that they would then realize

lege with degree goals, but most are

have trouble transitioning to college.

they lack.

unaware of the importance of the test.

Critics observe these patterns

When Bailey asked students if

and blame students for refusing to

Misconception #4:

they had taken any classes on a reme-

prepare for college. But this criticism

stigma-free remediation

dial list, 74 percent were either wrong

assumes students understand they

Thomas Bailey, a Columbia Uni-

or unsure whether these courses

are not prepared; and know how to

versity researcher, found more than

counted toward their degree. Among

prepare, and then just fail to do what

two-thirds of community college

students taking three or more reme-

is needed. Regrettably, many high

students are guided into remedial

dial courses, the confusion was 80

school students do not have access

courses to bring their academic


to good information. In low-income

achievement up to the level required

J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L

Colleges consciously combat the 13

stigma of remediation, but often are

college catalogs don’t show “devel-

“two-year associate’s degree” will take

not clear in regard to procedures and

opmental” courses as not giving col-

two years, but it actually averages 3.5

accumulation of college credits. Many

lege credit. Students believe a

years in community colleges, even for full-time students, according to James Rosenbaum, Regina Deil Amen and Ann E. Person in After Admis-


sion, written in 2006. What the future holds




Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce states in its Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018 that: By 2018, the economy will create 46.8 million openings, 13.8 million brand-new jobs and 33 million replacement jobs, positions vacated by workers who have retired or permanently left their occupations. Nearly two-thirds of the 46.8 million jobs, some 63 percent, will require workers with at least some college education. About 33 percent will require a bachelor’s degree or better, while 30 percent will require some college or a two-year associate’s degree. Only 36 percent will

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WhyChooseIASB? • IASB is a not-for-profit association focused on its members’ long-term success. This allows us to provide the highest quality search for far less than many search firms. • IASB consultants are members of the National Affiliation of Superintendent Searchers (NASS). This partnership allows for direct connections to a national pool of candidates and ensures access to national best practices. • Because search clients are our members, IASB has a vested interest in providing the best customer service and respecting each district’s unique needs and cultures. • As part of our search process, IASB offers complimentary follow-up training for the new leadership team to help lay the foundation for new success. • IASB casts a wide net and relies on trusted partner organizations, associations and agencies to support and enhance our process.

Iffindingtherightmatchisapriorityforyourdistrict,relyonIASB! For information contact: 2921 Baker Drive 1 East 22nd Street, Suite 20 Springfield, IL 62703 Lombard, IL 60148 217/528-9688, ext. 1217 630/629-3776, ext. 1217 14 executive

require workers with just a high school diploma or less. The job market does look hopeful, but not if every student earns a bachelor’s degree. If high school counselors and teachers were given accurate information and authorized to do so, they could advise students who are unlikely to earn a bachelor’s degree as to the risky path ahead. Furthermore, they would be able to provide information about certificates and associate’s degrees that lead to desirable jobs, and could also lead to bachelor’s degrees. There are many desirable options that present fewer obstacles, fewer debts and offer respectable paths to further advancement. School boards could help these changes occur by clarifying what is expected from all

T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

parties involved as well as what the community’s expectations are for

IASB Policy Services

graduates. For an example of how this is being done, see “Committed to transformation,” page 20. References Sandy Baum, Ma, Jennifer Ma, & Kathleen Payea, “Education Pays 2010: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society,” New York College Board, 2010 Thomas Bailey, “Addressing the Needs of Underprepared Students,” CCRC Currents, April 2009 Paul E. Barton & Richard J. Coley, “Windows on Achievement and Inequality.” Princeton Educational Testing Service, 2008 Anthony P. Carnevale, Nicole Smith & Jeff Strohl, “Projections of Jobs and Education, 2010 requirements through 2018.” Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce: w/pdfs/FullReport.pdf. Andrew Martin & Andrew Lehren, “A Generation Hobbled by College Debt,” New York Times, May 12, 2012 James E. Rosenbaum, Regina DeilAmen and Ann E. Person, “After Admission” Russell Sage Foundation, 2006 For an expanded reference list, see the online version at

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J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L



aid attendance at the 2013

Joint Annual Conference,

held Nov. 22-24 in Chicago, was 2.5 percent higher than the previous year, even though 19 fewer school districts were represented. Eighty-three percent, or 718 of the state’s 859 public school

IASB - IASA - IASBO 81ST Joint Annual Conference

districts were represented. This was the 81st meeting of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Business Officials. Total attendance was 10,425, compared to the

November 22-24, 2013 Chicago

10,494 who attended in 2012. Those registered included 4,171 guests, 3,304 board members, 1,454 administrators, 1,181 exhibitors, as well as board secretaries, school attorneys, regional and state education officials, and other organizations. The bump in attendance was attributed to several factors, including stable district finances, board members seeking to fulfill mandatory state training requirements, and events held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of IASB. Professional development was the primary purpose of the conference, offered through 267 exhibit booths, 116 panel sessions, 33 “carousel” panels, seven pre-conference workshops, five school tours, three general sessions, as well as the IASB Delegate Assembly, bookstore, and other learning and networking opportunities. Legislation, school safety, student discipline, classroom technology, school finance, negotiations, and teacher evaluations were among the most popular panels. This year, for the first time, the conference offered board members the opportunity to fulfill their state requirement for PDLT and PERA training by attending three of 11 specified panel sessions. Teachers attending as guests or as board members were also able to get CPDU credits.

MORE ONLINE! Chicago Water Tower 1869


Highlights from the 2013 Joint Annual Conference – including general sessions, centennial celebration highlights, awards, delegate assembly, and other highlights are available online at

T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4


Above: Preconference workshops on Friday attracted more than 800 attendees for topics such as the Basics of Governance, shown here.

Top right: Aisha El-Amin, a board member from CCSD168 in Sauk Village, makes her point during discussion of resolutions at the 2013 Delegate Assembly.

Below left: The redesigned Hyatt Regency Hotel provided attendees with a fresh look and new amenities.

At right: Many panel sessions were standing-room-only and attendees took whatever space they could find, including squatting on the floor. Below right: The exhibit hall continued to be a big draw, especially for those interested in the latest in school design.

J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L


Conference Celebrates Centennial Numerous events have been held throughout the year to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Illinois Association of School Boards. The celebration culminated Nov. 22-24 at the 2013 Joint Annual Conference. This year’s conference, which was held a century after the Association was formed in 1913, invited members to participate in a variety of special activities. On Friday, the longest-serving board members by division were honored at the First General Session. Their service ranged from 22 to 54 years. On Friday and Saturday, all board members and district staff were invited to visit the Centennial Photo Booth in the Exhibit Hall. Even the IASB Information Room (Comiskey Room) was decorated to reflect the anniversary atmosphere. A pictorial mural highlighted milestones from each decade in the Association’s 100-year history. Visitors also had an opportunity to view the 61 video greetings that local districts submitted to congratulate their Association. In addition, members and guests were invited to sign the oversized anniversary cards and register for a chance to win a package of centennial commemorative gifts that were available for sale in the conference bookstore.

Left: Tony Wagner, gestures as he speaks at Saturday’s Second General Session about how school leaders can spur innovation.

Right: IASB Director of Meetings Management, Pat Culler, who will retire in June, 2014, after 50 years with the Association, is congratulated by her brother Mal Hildebrand, during a reception held in her honor.


T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4


Above: An IASB photo booth in the exhibit hall was an addition this year for the Centennial. The booth allowed attendees to pose for a free photo to commemorate their attendance at conference during the Association’s centennial year. Below: A timeline that wound around the Comiskey room, helped visitors put IASB events into historical perspective with events of the decade in which they occurred. Below right: Gloria Johnson, board vice president in Harvey SD152, takes time to watch video greetings on a monitor in the Comiskey room More than 60 districts took the time to record and submit their greetings, which can still be viewed on the Association’s website.

J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L

Above: A giant anniversary card in the Comiskey room left plenty of room for visitors to leave their congratulations. The cards are now displaying at IASB offices.



Committed to transformation By Lawrence Hardy

Lawrence Hardy is senior editor of American School Board Journal. His article is reprinted with permission from American School Board Journal, October 2013. Copyright 2013 National School Boards Association.


emember seventh grade and

how the reputation you earned

or were stuck with —that year tended to stay with you in eighth grade and ninth grade and beyond? The same thing can happen with school districts. They get a reputation deserved or not and that reputation sticks with them—that is until something big happens to change it. Several years ago, Stephen Morris ran for school board in Sandoval CUSD 501 in large part to change the

Believing committing — and achieving. The SIG (School Improvement Grant) Team for Sandoval CUSD 501 is pictured in front of the junior-senior high school.

reputation of this small rural district in Illinois. Sandoval, says Morris, the

the 21st century.

current board president, was where

None of this could have happened

“troublemakers” tended to land when

without a dedicated district staff and

they couldn’t make it in other sys-

a determined school board that has

tems. It was where poverty was high

coalesced around a simple goal.

11th graders in reading, math and science. In 2010 it rated among the lowest 5 percent of Illinois districts in

and expectations for and among stu-

“There are certainly some diverse

terms of student achievement, and

dents low; where the idea of a good

opinions around the table, and diverse

was thus eligible to apply for a School

future after high school was getting

backgrounds around the table,” says

Improvement Grant under the No

a job in the zinc smelter or the coal

Angie Peifer, who recently retired as

Child Left Behind Act, That year,

mines — even though the smelter

an associate executive director of

under new Superintendent Jennifer

shut down years ago and the mines

(IASB) and has worked extensively

Garrison, the district applied for the

had been closed for decades.

with Sandoval. “But one of the things

grant but was turned down, the dis-

Today, Sandoval is still small (530

that unites them is [the belief that]

trict applied the next year and was

students, rural, and high-poverty,

we’ve got to do more for these kids.”

accepted. Now it is starting the third

Big challenge, big change

if temporary — boost to an annual

year of a $44 million grant, a big —

with more than 80 percent of its elementary school students qualifying for free- or reduced-price lunch. What’s


Examination (PSAE), which tests

Theirs is a big challenge. For the

operating budget of about $5 million.

changed — and changed in a big way

past eight years, Sandoval High School

Getting the grant was one thing.

— is its commitment to providing all

has not made adequate yearly progress

Putting it to good use and setting in

of its students with an education for

on Illinois’ Prairie State Achievement

motion the kind of practices that can

T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

sustain themselves after that grant

Such changes do not happen

retired, her job description was

runs out is another. This is especial-

without a lot of effort, especially in a

changed to concentrate less on tasks

ly critical given Illinois’ fiscal situa-

small district where everyone tends

like scheduling and more on small

tion, which has cost the district

to “wear many hats,” as Garrison puts

group work with students, helping

$300,000 a year in state aid. Along

it. Among the key players were the

them to develop individual education plans for college or careers.

the way, Peifer says, Sandoval has

new high school principal, the grant

begun the all-encompassing process

administrator, the new grant admin-

We feel that senior year is almost

of transforming the district’s culture

istration team, and the school board.

too late so we want to intervene ear-

to one in which high achievement

Peifer, who now does consulting

lier in their high school career,” Gar-

and college preparation is the norm.

work for IASB, said she was awed by

rison says.” Our long-term goal is

On the first day of school in 2011,

the resolve and dedication of the

to eventually go all the way down to

the district held a ribbon-cutting cer-

board, which voted 7-0 to pursue the

seventh grade.”

emony at the high school to send a

transformation plan. Members backed

The teachers union was a part-

message that Sandoval was commit-

up that commitment by adding hours

ner in the plan from the beginning as

ted to changing its attitudes and expec-

of planning time to their already busy

was the community as a whole. But



change is always difficult, and it took

The message was: “Yes, it’s the

“They added about six meetings

time for all teachers to see the need

same buildings,” Morris says. “But

a year to their meeting agenda, focus-

to adjust some teaching methods as

everything that goes on in these build-

ing on student learning and achieve-

they were encouraged to do by instruc-

ings for the next three years will not

ment and their role in supporting

tional coaches provided through the

be the same, and will never be the

that,” Peifer says.


Achievement through governance

reluctant.” Morris says,” It’s a little

view of that new attitude over the

The first year of the grant was

like me coming in and telling you how

summer. They were required to attend

largely about changing the district

the district’s first Freshman Acade-

culture to one in which postsecondary

“At first the teaching staff was

same again.” Rising ninth graders got a pre-

to do your job.” Students embrace the changes

my, where they learned everything

education or training was expect-

from note-taking strategies to how

ed. “Then we really looked at research-

Eventually everyone got on board

they were expected to move from

based statistics in reading and math,”

— including the students. The high

class to class.

Garrison says.

school started a program called Zeros

The district picked the “trans-

After attending a workshop on

not Permitted that requires all stu-

formation model” for school improve-

Data First, a joint program with NSBA’s

dents to turn in homework for cred-

ment, one of four models authorized

Center for Public Education and state

it. Juniors were offered a voluntary

by the U. S. Department of Educa-

school board associations, Sandoval

eight-week Saturday program to help

tion and one that required the dis-

board members decided they need-

them prepare for the ACT and PSAT.

trict to change the leadership at the

ed more intensive training on the key

And study hall was abolished. “Kids

150-student high school.

data surrounding student achieve-

were not using these study halls for

Such a move could be disruptive

ment. IASB provided that training

what study hall was designed for,”

for some districts, however Sandoval’s

through its Targeting Achievement

Morris says. In its place is a targeted

principal was retiring in a year. With

through Governance program.

15-minute period when students can

a little juggling — the high school

“We have always been a data-

principal went to the elementary

rich district, but information poor,”

school, and the elementary school

Morris says.

seek out specific teachers for extra help. The college-going culture is being

principal moved to another admin-

District staff worked to better

nurtured through a close partnership

istrative position — the district was

align the curriculum with the state

with Kaskaskia College, a two-year

able to maintain a sense of continu-

tests and the Common Core State

institution about 12 miles away. With

ity amid the changes.

Standards. When a school counselor

the help of the grant, the district sent

J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L


more than 20 students to the college

Travis Michael, who graduated

ies at a four-year school and is con-

last year for free dual-enrollment

last year, was one of those students,

sidering a career in engineering. He

classes. It’s a number that, while

He’s now at Kaskaskia, pursuing an

is the first member of his family to

sounding small, is almost the size

associate degree in applied sciences.

attend college.

of the entire senior class.

He is planning to continue his stud-

“It’s different, he says, “because everyone else graduated high school and got a job,” About his peers who graduated last year, Michael says, “As far as I

IASB Centennial Merchandise Get ‘em For Sale while they last!


Includes one $5 keychain, license plate holder and drink koozie

Sport Package

$12 Includes one visor, drink koozie and pedometer

lege, too.” For those high school students who do want to go directly into careers, the district offers courses in the health care field through Kaskaskia as well as a certificate in welding which can lead to trade certification—with additional college work. Already, Morris says Sandoval graduates are getting welding jobs in the area because of the program.

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know, everyone … plans to go to col-

And what about the academic results? It’s still early—just two years into the grant—but the results so far have been encouraging, to put it mildly. The state average for juniors taking PSAE test for math, science and reading has hovered around 50 percent meeting or exceeding expecta-

Beverage $24 Package

tion over the past two years. Sandoval’s scores climbed from 25 percent in

Includes one mug, coaster set and drink koozie

2011-12 to 40 percent in 2012-13.Over the same period, district science scores climbed from 44 percent to

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52 percent meeting or exceeding expectations, and reading scores from 35 percent to 64 percent. Sandoval may be tiny, but the model it is creating— close cooperation among key players and a lot of hard work — offers lessons for school systems of any size. “They go above and beyond,”


Peifer says of Sandoval’s school board

members and administrators. “It’s just been a privilege to work with them.”


T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4


Reach out to help students see their future By Jean Hockensmith

efferson Middle School students

for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade

ter choice for what they want to do,”

in School District 45, DuPage

students. Each spring the principal

said Gaston, who gave the example

County, are just as familiar with Ohio

hosts an orientation for students from

that in addition to knowing that the

State’s Brutus the Buckeye and Illi-

the two elementary schools that feed

ISU mascot is Reggie the Redbird,


nois State’s Reggie Redbird as they

into the middle school. It is an evening

Jefferson students would know that

are with their own Wildcat mas-

session that students attend with their

ISU is also recognized as one of the


parents. During the orientation, Prin-

top 10 largest producers of teach-

The 400+ student middle school,

cipal Raul Gaston outlines a college

ers in the United States, according

located in Villa Park, straddles the

awareness program that is run in Jef-

to the American Association of Col-

towns of Villa Park and Lombard while

ferson’s 32 homerooms, a modified,

leges of Teacher Education.

also taking in a bit of Oakbrook Ter-

low-to-no cost version of the “No

The program begins each fall with

race and neighboring Elmhurst. It is

Excuses University” model that a Jef-

every homeroom selecting a univer-

one of two middle schools in the eight-

ferson counselor learned about at a

sity or college, Gaston said. Home-

school elementary district which


room teachers often choose their

serves 3,400 students. The Jefferson

“The program gives an overview

alma mater, he added. A walk down

low-income level is 58 percent and

of what college is about. The students

Jefferson hallways reveals quickly

includes 46 percent Hispanic stu-

learn the mascot, the history and the

which colleges and universities were

dents. A principal and assistant prin-

traditions at the school. They also

chosen. One can find Elmhurst Col-

cipal run the day-to-day operations

research which school might be a bet-

lege, Ball State, KU, or the Universi-

Jean Hockensmith is community relations coordinator for School District 45, DuPage County and vice president/ communications for the Illinois chapter of the National School Public Relations Association.

ty of Kansas, University of Iowa, Butler, DePaul, Concordia, Marquette, Mizzou, University of Florida, Duke, IndiPhoto courtesy School District 45, Du Page County

ana University and the University of Michigan to name a few. Each doorway boasts signs, decals and photos, and inside the classrooms you will find everything from posters to blankets. Once football season starts, a large green poster with the markings

Students at Jefferson Middle School display the items they received after telling University of Michigan officials about their interest in the school. J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L

Columns are submitted by members of


of a football field is put on the wall in

schools’ websites and are encouraged

the cafeteria. Students chart their

to contact the colleges or universi-

Negron was assisted by Steven

university or college’s progress on

ties with questions. When one home-

Rodriguez, a former Jefferson stu-

the football field poster. The confer-

room class contacted the University

dent. Rodriguez shared how he was

of Michigan, they received Wolver-

once one of them sitting in class each

“You all have a purpose,” Rodriguez told the classroom of middle school

for your future.”

ine posters, pencils, stickers and

day without much thought to the

decals for their efforts. The Univer-

future. Now, he studies law enforce-

sity of Michigan also asked for a pho-

ment at a local community college

to of the students with their trinkets

and is well on his way to becoming a

to include in an alumni magazine.

policeman. The students leaned for-

The Jefferson students were very

ward, listening to what this former

students. “The key is finding your pur-

excited to make this connection to

student had to share about how to

pose. Decide what you want to do and

their chosen school.

start realistically planning now for

keep looking forward — never look back.”

Depending on need and oppor-

the future.

tunity, the Jefferson staff also arranges

“You all have a purpose,”

local community-based connections

Rodriguez told the classroom of mid-

for students in addition to the No

dle school students. “The key is find-

Excuses model. Recently a local moti-

ing your purpose. Decide what you

vational speaker, Ricardo Negron,

want to do and keep looking forward

visited a Jefferson bilingual Span-

— never look back.”

ish class encouraging students to

The teacher in the classroom

playing field is level on the poster.

“take school seriously” by asking,

that day asked the students to write

When spring comes, college basket-

“What can I learn today?”

thank you notes to Negron and

ence a team is in doesn’t matter; the

ball season dominates the cafeteria poster. The Jefferson students visit the

“Your attitude determines every-

Rodriguez. The teacher felt the mes-

thing,” said Negron. “This is impor-

sage the speakers delivered resonated

tant at Jefferson, in high school and

in the notes that were written. One student thanked Rodriquez for giving them ideas about their own futures. She also appreciated his honesty in admitting that he didn’t always pay attention or appreciate what was going on in class, but this middle school student was very impressed that despite all that, Steven Rodriguez is now a college student and will one day be a police officer. Whether it is a fight song, a decal or a motivational speaker, Jefferson Principal Raul Gaston wants the students to know “the potential of going to college is something to think about.” By engaging universities as well as the community in the conversation, students can imagine possibilities they might not have thought of on

“Judging by your son’s drawing, Mr. Anderson, it might be wise to hold off with the camcorder.” 24

their own.

T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4


U.S. education shows how false beliefs become accepted By Alfie Kohn

eliefs that are debatable or even

a documentary arguing for more 2013/ 04/22/publics-

patently false may be repeat-

thoughtful math instruction, and in


ed so often that at some point they

an article by the progressive jour-

ogy/ a plurality of Americans — and

come to be accepted as fact. We seem

nalist Barbara Ehrenreich.

a majority of college graduates! —


to have crossed that threshold with

Unsurprisingly, this misconcep-

believe that American 15-year-olds

the claim that U.S. schools are sig-

tion has filtered out to the general

are at the bottom when their scores

nificantly worse than those in most

public. According to a brand-new

on tests of science knowledge are

other countries. Sometimes the per-

Pew Research poll, available at

compared to students in other devel-

son who parrots this line will even


oped countries.

insert a number — “We’re only ____th

A dedicated group of education-

in the world, you know!” — although,

al experts has been challenging this

not surprisingly, the number changes

canard over the years, but their writ-

with each retelling.

ings rarely appear in popular publi-

The assertion that our students

cations and each typically focuses on

compare unfavorably to those in oth-

just one of the many problems with

whose goal is to justify various “get tough” reforms: high-stakes testing, a nationalized curriculum (see under: Common Core “State” Standards), more homework, a longer school day or year, and so on. But by now the premise is apt to be casually repeated by just about everyone — including educators, I’m sorry to say— and in the service of a wide range of prescriptions and agendas. Just recently I’ve seen it on a petition to promote teaching the “whole child” (which I

author of 12 books on education and human behavior, including The Schools Our Children Deserve and Feel-Bad Education. This article originally appeared on the Alfie Kohn website. “Copyright 2013 by Alfie

er countries has long been heard from politicians and corporate executives

Alfie Kohn is the

Are we comparing apples to oranges? Students being tested in different countries aren’t always comparable.

Kohn, Reprinted with the author’s permission, for more, visit www.”

declined to sign for that reason), in J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L


the claim. Here, then, is a concise

in the worst possible light.)

National Center for Education Sta-

overview of the multiple responses

But even with older students,

you might offer the next time you

there may be less to the claim than


hear someone declare that American

meets the eye. As an article in

-mrs.asp, which include math and

kids come up short. (First, though,

Scientific American noted a few

science scores for grade four, grade

I’d suggest politely inquiring as to the

years back, most countries’ sci-

eight, and age 15, as well as read-

evidence for his or her statement.

ence scores were actually pretty

ing scores for grade four and age

The wholly unsatisfactory reply you’re

similar. That’s worth keeping in

15. Of the eight results, the U.S.

likely to receive may constitute a

mind whenever a new batch of

scored above average in five, aver-

rebuttal in its own right.)

numbers is released. If there’s lit-

age in two, and below average in

1. Even when taking the numbers at

tle (or even no) statistically sig-

one. Not exactly the dire picture

face value, the U.S. fares reason-

nificant difference among, say,

that’s typically painted.

ably well. Results will vary depend-

the nations placing third through

tistics available at

2. What do we really learn from stan-

ing on subject matter, age, which

ninth, it would be irresponsible

dardized tests? While there are

test is being used, and which year’s

to cite those rankings as if they

differences in quality between the

results are being reported. It’s pos-

were meaningful.

most commonly used tests (e.g.,

sible to cherry-pick scores to make

Overall, when a pair of

PISA, TIMSS), the fact is that any

just about any country look espe-

researchers carefully reviewed

one-shot, pencil-and-paper stan-

cially good or bad. The U.S. looks

half a dozen different international

dardized test — particularly one

considerably better when we focus

achievement surveys conducted

whose questions are multiple-

on younger students, for example

from 1991 to 2001, they found

choice — offers a deeply flawed

— so, not surprisingly, it’s the high

that “U.S. students have general-

indicator of learning as compared

school numbers that tend to be

ly performed above average in

with authentic classroom-based

cited most often. (When someone

comparisons with students in oth-

assessments. One of them taps

reduces all student performance

er industrialized nations.” And

students’ skill at taking standard-

to a single number, you can bet

that still seems to be the case with

ized tests, which is a skill unto

it’s the one that casts our schools

the most recent data, from the

itself; the other taps what students have learned and what sense they make of, and what they can do with, what they’ve learned. One is a summary statistic labeled “stu-

Milestones continued from page 32 176 board. Robert “Bob” Rompf, 89, died November 23, 2013. He served on the

dent achievement;” the other is 23, 2013. Wiles was a past member of the Stillman Valley School Board.

Somonauk CUSD 432 board for 20 years. Bruce E. Steinke, 96, died October 9, 2013. He served on the former Woodstock District 72 board for 13 years. James Russell Stewart, 97, died October 14, 2013. He served on the Mount Vernon SD 80 board for nine years, including two years as president. Harry Irvin Wiles, 89, died October 26

The Illinois School Board Journal welcomes news about or from Illinois school leaders. News may include but need not be limited to accomplishments, changes in position or duties, retirement, death and other milestones related to board/district duties. For more information about submitting news items, phone the Communications Department at 217/528-9688, ext. 1138, or e-mail gadkins@iasb. com.

an account of students’ achievements. Anyone who cites the results of a test is obliged to defend the construction of the test itself, to show that the results are not only statistically valid but meaningful. Needless to say, very few people who say something like “the U.S. is below average in math” have any idea how math proficiency has been measured. 3. Are we comparing apples to watermelons? Even if the tests were good measures of important intellectual proficiencies, the students

T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

being tested in different countries

has been framed in terms of who’s

nations, there’s little correla-

aren’t always comparable. As schol-

beating whom. There are three

tion between average test

ars Iris Rotberg and the late Ger-

aspects to this question:

scores and economic vigor,

ald Bracey have pointed out for

a) Education does not equal econ-

even if you try to connect

years, some countries test groups of students who are unrepresentative with respect to age, family income, or number of years spent studying science and math. The older, richer, and more academi-

Test scores are largely a function of socioeconomic status. Our

cally selective a cohort of students

wealthier students perform very well when compared to other

in a given country, the better that

countries; our poorer students do not. And we have a lot more

country is going to look in international comparisons.

poor children than do other industrialized nations.

4. Rich American kids do fine; poor American kids don’t. It’s ridiculous to offer a summary statistic for all children at a given grade level in light of the enormous variation in scores within this coun-

omy. If our reason for empha-

scores during one period with

try. To do so is roughly analogous

sizing students’ relative standing

the economy some years lat-

to proposing an average pollution

(rather than their absolute

er (when that cohort of stu-

statistic for the United States that

achievement) has to do with

dents has grown up. Moreover,

tells us the cleanliness of “Amer-

“competitiveness in the 21st-

Yong Zhao has shown that

ican air.” Test scores are largely

century global economy” — a

“PISA scores in reading, math,

a function of socioeconomic sta-

phrase that issues from politi-

tus. Our wealthier students per-

cians, businesspeople, and jour-

form very well when compared to


other countries; our poorer stu-

thoughtfulness of a sneeze—

dents do not. And we have a lot

then we would do well to ask

more poor children than do oth-

two questions. The first, based

er industrialized nations. One

on values, is whether we regard

example, supplied by Linda Dar-

educating children as some-

ling-Hammond: “In 2009, U.S.

thing that’s primarily justified




schools with fewer than 10 per-

in terms of corporate profits.

cent of students in poverty ranked

The second question,

first among all nations on PISA

based on facts, is whether the

tests in reading, while those serv-

state of a nation’s economy is

ing more than 75 percent of stu-

meaningfully affected by the

dents in poverty scored alongside

test scores of students in that

nations like Serbia, ranking about

nation. Various strands of evi-


dence have converged to sug-

5. Why treat learning as if were a

gest that the answer is no. For

competitive sport? All of these

individual students, school

results emphasize rankings more

achievement is only weakly

than ratings, which means the

related to subsequent work-

question of educational success

place performance. And for

J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L

IASB SERVICE ASSOCIATES The best of everything for schools

IASB Service Associates provide quality products and services for schools. Membership is by invitation only. A list of Service Associate firms is on the IASB website and in this Journal. 27

and sciences are negatively

the myth that test scores dri-

formance? After all, to say that

correlated with entrepre-

ve economic success, what

our students are first or tenth

neurship indicators in almost

reason would we have to fret

on a list doesn’t tell us whether

every category at statistical-

about our country’s standing

they’re doing well or poorly;

ly significant levels.”



it gives us no useful informa-

b) Why is the relative rele-

scores? What sense does it

tion about how much they

vant? Once we’ve debunked

make to focus on relative per-

know or how good our schools



are. If all the countries did reasonably well in absolute terms, there would be no shame in being at the bottom. (Nor would “average” be synony-

A system of evAluAtion starts at the

top with the

mous with “mediocre.”) If all the countries did poorly, there would be no glory in being at the top. Exclamatory head-

School Board! How do you score?

lines about how “our” schools are doing compared to “theirs” suggest that we’re less concerned with the quality of education than with whether we can chant, “We’re Number One!” c) Hoping foreign kids won’t learn? To treat schooling as if it were a competitive sport is not only irrational but morally offensive. If our goal is for American kids to triumph over those who live elsewhere — to

Contact your IASB field services director today!

have a better ranking — then

Annual board self-evaluation


Clear mission, vision and goals


children who live in other coun-

Solid community connection


tries to fail, at least in relative

Productive meetings


Strong board-superintendent relationship


Does your score add up?

100% ____

the implication is that we want

terms. We want them not to learn successfully just because they’re not Americans. That’s built into the notion of “competitiveness” (as opposed to excellence or success), which by definition means that one

Springfield 217/528-9688 Lombard 630/629-3776

individual or group can succeed only if others don’t. This is a troubling way to look at any endeavor, but where chilcontinued on page 31


T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4


Publicity tips still valid 57 years later ditor’s note: In January 1957,

petitive field. Don’t expect oth-

everyone to see. Even if the news-

the Educational Council of 100

er papers to use your story after

paper’s error seems world shak-

Inc., Southern Illinois University and

ing at the time, keep calm.

Ray Rowland of SIU Information Ser-

it has appeared elsewhere. 3. Stick to the facts. If the editor

vice provided the following “good

wants to praise your school or

a correction. Editors don’t like

advice,” according to Robert M. Cole,

organization, he’ll do so in his


Chances are the editor will run

IASB’s first executive director, to help

personal column or in an edi-

school board members and admin-

torial. Good news stories do not

mistakes any more than you do. 7. Impress your teachers or publicity chairmen on the impor-

istrators understand how to secure

include flattery and opinions. 4. Keep it brief. “Here’s something

busy. Don’t expect him or her to

to help you fill up your paper” is

know everything that’s going on

better news coverage for their districts.

the January 17, 1957, issue of School Board Newsbulletin.

tance of publicity. The editor is

Even in the technology-driven

a statement editors strongly dis-

in your school or organization.

world of the 21st century, these 10

like, and for good reason. Usu-

Put him on your mailing list. Keep

tips remain valid. While they are heav-

ally, they have so much material

ily weighted for newspaper coverage,

that more goes into the waste-

him informed. 8. Watch for picture possibilities.

they can be adapted for any type of

basket than they can squeeze

If your newspaper uses local pic-

media outlet. The only big change to

into the paper. Because news-

tures, keep on the lookout for

note, with reference to using “he”

paper space is valuable, your sto-

picture possibilities in your school

and “him,” is that many of today’s

ry will have a much better chance

or organization. If you get an idea, tell the editor. 9. Don’t overdo it. Submerge the

editors, as well as radio and televi-

of seeing print if it gets right to

sion producers and reporters are

the point — that point being the

female. 1. Don’t be late. Let your newspa-

final period. 5. Always ask, never demand. The

editor in a flood of insignificant

pers and radio stations know

editor isn’t obligated to print

your school or organization and

about forthcoming educational

every news story you submit.

he will start avoiding you. When

events well in advance. A fran-

What’s more, you have no right

you have an important story, he

tic telephone call to the editor

to insist that he print each sto-

may be so immune to your pub-

or producer while the program

ry “word for word.” The title “edi-

licity he won’t recognize its true

is in progress is poor press rela-

tor” means he or she is the person

tions. Also, few editors will print

who edits the material for clear-

merits. 10. Do something for the editor. When

a news story turned in two weeks

ness, brevity and according to

your stories are printed, thank

after the event. 2. Don’t play favorites. Give the

the editor or reporter, in person

same “tips” to every newspaper

his newspaper’s style. 6. Remember that everyone makes mistakes. When the doctor makes

and radio station in your com-

a mistake, he buries it. But when

organization or speak to your

munity. News coverage is a com-

the editor errs, it’s in print for

school journalism class.

J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L

Reprinted from

“tips” and news stories about

if possible. Also, occasionally invite the editor to address your


A Directory of your

IASB Service Associates IASB Service Associates are businesses which offer school-related products and services and which have earned favorable reputations for quality and integrity. Only after screening by the Service Associates Executive Committee is a business firm invited by the IASB Board of Directors to become a Service Associate.

Appraisal Services INDUSTRIAL APPRAISAL COMPANY — Insurance appraisals, property control reports. Oakwood Terrace - 630/827-0280

Architects/Engineers ALLIED DESIGN CONSULTANTS, INC. — Architectural programming, site planning & design, architectural and interior design, and construction administration. Springfield - 217/522-3355 ARCON ASSOCIATES, INC. — Full service firm specializing in educational facilities with services that include architecture, construction management, roof and masonry consulting, landscape architecture and environmental consulting. Lombard - 630/495-1900; website:; e-mail: BERG ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS, LTD. — Consulting engineers. Schaumburg - 847/352-4500; website: BLDD ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architectural and engineering services for schools. Decatur - 217/4295105; Champaign - 217/356-9606; Bloomington 309/828-5025; Chicago - 312/829-1987 BRADLEY & BRADLEY — Architects, engineers and asbestos consultants. Rockford - 815/968-9631; website: CM ENGINEERING, INC. — Specializing in ultra efficient geo-exchange HVAC engineering solutions for schools, universities and commercial facilities. Columbia, MO - 573/874-9455; website: www. CORDOGAN CLARK & ASSOCIATES — Architects and engineers; Aurora - 630/896-4678; website:; e-mail: rmont@cordogan

ERIKSSON ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Consulting civil engineers and planners. Grayslake 847/223-4804 FANNING/HOWEY ASSOCIATES, INC. — School planning and design with a focus on K-12 schools. Park Ridge - 847/292-1039 FGM ARCHITECTS ENGINEERS, INC. — Architects. Oak Brook - 630/574-8300; Peoria - 309/669-0012; Mt. Vernon - 618/242-5620; O’Fallon - 618/624-3364; website: GREENASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture/construction services. Deerfield - 847/317-0852, Pewaukee, WI - 262/746-1254; website: www.greenassociates. com; e-mail: HEALY, BENDER & ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architects/Planners. Naperville, 630/904-4300; website:; e-mail: dhealy@healybender. com HYA EXECUTIVE SEARCH, A DIVISION OF ECRA GROUP, INC. - Superintendent searches, board and superintendent workshops. Rosemont - 847/3180072 IMAGE ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architects. Carbondale - 618/457-2128 JH2B ARCHITECTS — Architects. Kankakee - 815/ 933-5529 KLUBER ARCHITECTS + ENGINEERS — Building design professionals specializing in architecture, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and fire protection engineers. Batavia - 630/406-1213 LEGAT ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architects. Chicago 312/258-1555; Oak Brook - 630/990-3535; Waukegan - 847/263-3535; Crystal Lake - 815/477-4545 LARSON & DARBY GROUP — Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design & Technology. Rockford 815/484-0739, St. Charles - 630/444-2112; website:; e-mail: snelson@larsondarby. com MELOTTE-MORSE-LEONATTI, LTD — Architectural, industrial, hygiene and environmental service. Springfield - 217/789-9515 PCM+D — Provide a full range of architectural services including facility and feasibility studies, architectural design construction, consulting and related services. East Peoria - 309/694-5012 PERKINS+WILL — Architects; Chicago - 312/7550770; website:; e-mail: mark. RICHARD L. JOHNSON ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture, educational planning. Rockford 815/398-1231 RUCKPATE ARCHITECTURE — Architects, engineers, interior design. Barrington - 847/381-2946; website:; e-mail: info@ruck

DESIGN ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architecture, engineering, planning and interior design. Hillsboro 217/532-5600; East St. Louis - 618/398-0890; Marion - 618/998-0075; Springfield - 217/787-1199; e-mail:

SARTI ARCHITECTURAL GROUP, INC. — Architecture, engineering, life safety consulting, interior design and asbestos consultants. Springfield 217/585-9111; e-mail:

DEWBERRY ARCHITECTS INC. — Architects, planners, landscape architecture and engineers. Peoria 309/282-8000; Chicago - 312/660-8800; Elgin 847/695-5480; website:

WIGHT & COMPANY — An integrated services firm with solutions for the built environment. Darien 630/696-7000; website:; e-mail:

DLA ARCHITECTS, LTD. — Architects specializing in preK-12 educational design, including a full range of architectural services; assessments, planning, feasibility studies, new construction, additions, remodeling, O&M and owner's rep services. Itasca - 847/7424063; website:; e-mail:

WM. B. ITTNER, INC. — Full service architectural firm serving the educational community since 1899. Fairview Heights - 618/624-2080


WRIGHT & ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture and construction management. Metamora - 309/367-2924

Building Construction CORE CONSTRUCTION — Professional construction management, design-build and general contracting services. Morton - 309/266-9768; website: www. FREDERICK QUINN CORPORATION — Construction management and general contracting. Addison 630/628-8500; webite: HOLLAND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC. — Full service Construction Management and General Contracting firm specializing in education facilities. Swansea - 618/277-8870 MANGIERI COMPANIES, INC. — Construction management and general contractor capabilities. Peoria 309/688-6845 POETTKER CONSTRUCTION — Construction management, design/build and general contracting services. Hillsboro - 217/532-2507 S.M. WILSON & CO. — Provides construction management and general construction services to education, healthcare, commercial, retail and industrial clients. St. Louis, MO - 314/645-9595 THE GEORGE SOLLITT CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Full-service construction management general contractor with a primary focus on educational facilities. Wood Dale - 630/860-7333; website:; e-mail:

Computer Software SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY, INC. — Administrative Software. Tremont - 888/776-3897; website: http://; e-mail:

Environmental Services ALPHA CONTROLS & SERVICES, LLC — Facility Management Systems, Automatic Temperature Controls, Access Control Systems, Energy Saving Solutions; Sales, Engineering, Installation, Commissioning and Service. Rockford, Springfield, Champaign: toll-free 866-ALPHA-01 (866-252-4201); website:; e-mail: info@alphaacs. com CTS-CONTROL TECHNOLOGY & SOLUTIONS — Performance contracting, facility improvements and energy conservation projects. St. Louis, MO 636/230-0843; Chicago - 773/633-0691; website:; e-mail: rbennett@thectsgroup. com ENERGY SYSTEMS GROUP — A comprehensive energy services and performance contracting company providing energy, facility and financial solutions. Itasca - 630/773-7203 GRP MECHANICAL CO. INC. — Performance contracting, basic and comprehensive building renovations with a focus on energy and mechanical maintenance services. Bethalto - 618/779-0050 HONEYWELL, INC. — Controls, maintenance, energy management, performance contracting and security. St. Louis, Mo - 314-548-4136; Arlington Heights 847/391-3133; e-mail: IDEAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, INC. — Asbestos and environmental services. Bloomington 309/828-4259 OCCUPATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SOLUTIONS, INC. (OEHS) — Industrial hygiene consulting specializing in indoor air quality, asbestos, lead paint, radon, microbiological evaluations and ergonomics. Chatham - 217/483-9296

T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4

U.S. education continued from page 28 dren are concerned, it’s inde-

“theirs,” that becomes a lit-

fensible. And it’s worth point-

tle less likely to happen.

ing out these implications to anyone who uncritically cites


the results of an international

W. Wayt Gibbs and Douglas Fox, “The False Crisis in Science Education,” Scientific American, October 1999: 87-92. Erling E. Boe and Sujie Shin, “Is the United States Really Losing the International Horse Race in Academic Achievement?” Phi Delta Kappan, May 2005: 688-695. Alfie Kohn, The Case Against Standardized Testing (Heinemann, 2000); or Phillip Harris et al., The Myths of Standardized Tests (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011). Iris C. Rotberg, “Interpretation of International Test Score Comparisons,” Science, May 15, 1998. Linda Darling-Hammond, “Redlining Our Schools,” The Nation, January 30, 2012. Also see Mel Riddile, “PISA:

ranking. Moreover, rather than defending policies designed to help our graduates “compete,” I’d argue that we should make decisions on the basis of what will help them to develop the skills and disposition to collaborate effectively. Educators, too, ought to think in terms of working with — and learning from — their counterparts in other countries so that children everywhere will become more proficient and enthusiastic learners. But every time we rank “our” kids against

RADON DETECTION SPECIALISTS — Commercial radon surveys. Burr Ridge - 800/244-4242; website:; e-mail: kirstenschmidt@ SECURITY ALARM SYSTEMS — Burglar and fire alarms, video camera systems, door access systems, door locking systems, and alarm monitoring. Salem 618/548-5768

Financial Services BERNARDI SECURITIES, INC. — Public finance consulting, bond issue services and referendum support. Fairview Heights - 618/206-4180; Chicago - 312/2812014 BMO CAPITAL MARKETS/GKST, Inc. — Full service broker/dealer specializing in debt securities, including municipal bonds, U.S. Treasury debt, agencies, and mortgage-backed securities. Chicago - 312/4412601; website:; e-mail: EHLERS & ASSOCIATES — School bond issues; referendum help; financial and enrollment studies. Lisle - 630/271-3330; website:; e-mail: FIRST MIDSTATE, INC. — Bond issue consultants. Bloomington - 309/829-3311; e-mail: paul@first

It’s Poverty Not Stupid,” The Principal Difference [NASSP blog], December 15, 2010; and Martin Carnoy and Richard Rothstein, “What Do International Tests Really Show about U.S. Student Performance?” Economic Policy Institute report, January 28, 2013. Keith Baker, “High Test Scores: The Wrong Road to National Economic Success,” Kappa Delta Pi Record, Spring 2011: 116-20; Zalman Usiskin, “Do We Need National Standards with Teeth?” Educational Leadership, November 2007; and Gerald W. Bracey, “Test Scores and Economic Growth,” Phi Delta Kappan, March 2007. (“International Test Scores, Irrelevant Policies,” Education Week, September 14, 2001: ). Yong Zhao, “Flunking Innovation and Creativity,” Phi Delta Kappan, September 2012: 58.

GORENZ AND ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Auditing and financial consulting. Peoria - 309/685-7621; website:; e-mail: tcustis@gorenz HUTCHINSON, SHOCKEY, ERLEY & COMPANY — Debt issuance, referendum planning, financial assistance. Chicago - 312/443-1566; website:; e-mail:; rcoyne KINGS FINANCIAL CONSULTING, INC. — Municipal bond financial advisory service including all types of school bonds; school referenda, county school sales tax; tax revenue forecasts/projections. Monitcello 217/762-4578 ROBERT W. BAIRD & CO., INC. — Financial consulting; debt issuance; referendum assistance. St. Charles - 630/584-4994; Web Site: http://www.; Email:; SPEER FINANCIAL, INC. — Financial planning and bond issue services. Chicago - 312/346-3700; website:; e-mail: STIFEL, NICOLAUS & COMPANY, INC. — Full service securities firm providing investment banking and advisory services including strategic financial planning; bond underwriting; and referendum and legislative assistance - Edwardsville - 800/230-5151; e-mail:

J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L

WILLIAM BLAIR & COMPANY — Bond issuance, financial advisory services. Chicago - 312/3648955; e-mail: WINTRUST FINANCIAL — Financial services holding company engaging in community banking, wealth management, commercial insurance premium financing, and mortgage origination. Willowbrook - 630/560-2120

Human Resource Consulting BUSHUE HUMAN RESOURCES, INC. — Human resource, safety and risk management, insurance consulting. Effingham - 217/342-3042; website:; e-mail: steve@bushuehr. com

Insurance THE SANDNER GROUP CLAIMS MANAGEMENT, INC. — Third party administrator for worker's comp and insurance claims. Chicago - 800/654-9504

Superintendent Searches HAZARD, YOUNG, ATTEA & ASSOCIATES, LTD — Superintendent searches, board and superintendent workshops. Glenview - 847/724-8465



Milestones Achievements Beverly Par-

Streator, was recently honored by

also received a school crest and a

sons, a former

the Streator THSD 40 foundation,

Bulldog paw print. Parsons was instru-

school board

which presented books in her honor

mental in establishing the Founda-

member for both

to the STHS Media Center to thank

tion in 2008, serving on that board

the elementary

her for her many years of service as

until 2012. She had taught English

and high school

a parent, educator, school board mem-

at STHS for 20 years.


ber, and foundation president. She


In memoriam William L. Anderson, 87, died October 13, 2013. He served on the

ber 25, 2013. He was a former

Ohio CHSD 505 board for 25 years.

member of the Shiloh school board.

Lynn Marie Bentley, 51, died Octo-

Raymond H. Heinold, 91, died Octo-

ber 27, 2013. Bentley had served

ber 5, 2013. He had served on the

on the Pawnee school board.

Eureka CUSD 140 school board

Louis F. Bodee, 86, died November

for nine years.

16, 2013. He was a former presi-

Carl Honnold, 85, died October 9,

dent of the Homewood-Flossmoor

2013. He had previously served as

28, 2013. He had served on the Mt. Zion CUSD 3 board. Harry P. Laub, 92, died October 23, 2013. He served for many years on the Galva school board. William Dale McNeely, 78, died October 17, 2013. He had served on the Taylorville CUSD 3 board. Calvin Metzger, 89, died October 2,

Casey school board president.

2013. He was a former Mulberry

Francis Terry Busch, 79, died Novem-

Harold J. “Jack” Hoskins, 87, died

Grove board member, serving for

ber 3, 2013. He had served on the

November 20, 2013. He was a for-

Lexington school board.

mer member of the Chatham-Glen-

John E. Nolte, 89, died October 11,

wood school board, and had served

2013. He served on the Brussels

CHSD 233 board.

Frank F. Densmore, 87, died November 22, 2013. He was a former

as president in the 1970s.

several terms.

school board for 33 years.

member of the Dixon SD 170 board.

George E. Johnson, 80, died October

Andrew Thomas Novotny, 89, died

Glen Bruce Drury, 60, died Novem-

12, 2013. He had served on the

October 10, 2013. He was presi-

ber 27, 2013. He had been a mem-

Rock Island SD 41 school board,

dent of the Bartonville SD 6 board

ber of the O’Fallon THSD 203 board.

including a term as president.

in the 1970s.

Clarence Albert “Ray” Eccher, 82,

Margaret “Peg” Johnston, 97, died

John T. Piccatto Sr., 72, died Octo-

died October 21, 2013. He served

November 1, 2013. She served

ber 14, 2013. He was a member of

on the Mt. Olive CUSD 5 school

three terms on the Piper City school

the Ladd CCSD board for 36 years,

board for 12 years.

board before consolidation.

and currently was president.

Michael Lee Favre, 62, died Novem-

Henry G. Junge, 87, died November

John Edward Rednour Sr., 80, died

ber 29, 2013. He was a former

29, 2013. He was a former board

December 1, 2013. He was a for-

member in Red Bud CUSD 132.

mer member of the Trico CUSD

board member in the Mount Olive district. 32

Vernon A. Glauert, 87, died Novem-

Paul E. Jurgens, 85, died November

continued on page 26

T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4


Fellowship status rewards continued learning By Sandra Kwasa

uestion: What does it mean to

they retire or leave their boards are

be a LeaderShop Academy Fel-

awarded Member Emeritus status.

Q low?

Answer: IASB promotes and recognizes board member efforts toward

Once admitted into the Academy,

continuous learning and profession-

members may

al development with two programs

attain the status of

— The IASB School Board LeaderShop Academy (which leads to becoming an Academy Fellow) and Master Board Member. School Board LeaderShop is a series of workshops for learning and

Academy Fellow by

IASB is proud to recognize 1,199 Academy members representing all 21 IASB divisions. Of these, 41 are Academy Fellows. Upon admission, Academy members receive a LeaderShop Academy pen. Academy Fellows receive a plaque

completing a total of

recognizing their achievement and

seven core and five

are invited to serve in advisory and/or

elective workshops.

mentoring positions. The names of Members Emeritus are displayed on

networking. The workshops provide

a permanent honor roll displayed at

the knowledge, skills and resources

the IASB office in Springfield and receive a lifelong subscription to IASB

that both new and veteran board members need to lead their districts.

the role of boards in democracy, detect-

School board members are admit-

ing a compelling vision, monitoring

ted into the School Board Leader-

district performance, among others.

bers are invited to a special biennial

Shop Academy by completing a

Elective workshops focus on addi-

symposium, designed especially for

minimum of three workshops:

tional skills that promote effective

them. The next symposium will be

• The Basics of Governance

district leadership. Elective topics

June 21, 2014, at the Westin Chica-

• One additional “core” workshop

include issue-related workshops (e.g.,

go Northwest in Itasca. The keynote

publications. Additionally, all Academy mem-

collective bargaining, parliamentary

speaker will be John Draper, for-

procedures) and interpersonal/skill

mer teacher and school adminis-

development programs (e.g., diver-

trator, and consultant to the National

ship requires completing at least one

sity and inclusion awareness, Myers-

School Public Relations Association.

additional core or elective workshop

Briggs Personality Inventory).

He will facilitate an interactive dis-

• Either a third core workshop or an “elective” workshop Maintaining Academy member-

every two years.

Once admitted into the Acade-

cussion on “Crucial Conversations

Core workshops are directly relat-

my, members may attain the status

ed to the six IASB Foundational Prin-

of Academy Fellow by completing a

To learn more about IASB’s School

ciples of Effective Governance. Core

total of seven core and five elective

Board LeaderShop Academy, visit

topics include such topics as basics

workshops. Board members who main-

the IASB website at: http://www.

of governance, school law and finance,

tain their Fellowship designation until

about America’s Schools.”

The question for this issue is answered by Sandra Kwasa, IASB director of board development.


2921 Baker Drive Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929 Address Service Requested

“The purpose of elementary and secondary education is to develop the minds of young children and adolescents and help them grow up to become healthy knowledgeable and competent citizens.” Diane Ravitch, research professor of education, New York University, Reign of Error, 2013

“We are only beginning to benefit from a third advantage of digital learning: the ability to analyze and gain information from the vast data we are generating about how people actually learn best,” Rafael Reif, MIT president

“Online learning will make college cheaper. It will also make it better.” Time Magazine, October 7, 2013

“Bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865

“School board races often tend to generate little attention or momentum. However, the decisions made

by school boards often affect virtually every important aspect of local schools from school boundaries to bus schedules, curriculum to clubs and even funding field trips. … While individual board members have no authority outside of the boardroom, the school board as a whole serves as the governing body.” Jeannie “Sis” Henry, Executive director, Georgia School Boards Association, Atlanta Journal Constitution, October 20, 2013

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off into the wind, not with it.”

“It’s time for Americans from all walks of life to restore their belief in themselves and one another that we can get things done together.” Rich Harwood, founder of The Harwood Institute, blog posted October 23, 2013, at http://workofhope.

“Differentiation continues to be necessary for gifted learners under the Common Core.” Jane Clarenbach, director of public education for the National Association for Gifted Children, “Common Core needs tailoring for gifted learners, Education Week, October 28, 2013

Henry Ford, American industrialist, 1863-1947

“While we laud the college-forall ideal, we believe that unless students are better informed the movement will be self-defeating.” James E.Rosenbaum, Jennifer L. Stephan and Janet E. Rosenbaum, “Beyond One-Size-Fits All College Dreams,” American Educator, Fall 2010

“Educating other people’s children makes good sense and good social policy. But without personal connections to an institution, people are more likely to question its worth.” Elijah Hawkins, “The Public Ownership Gap,” Education Week, October 22, 2013

“Do you want your child enrolled in the rocket scientist track, brain surgeon track or Bill Gates computer geek track?”

Jan feb issu