Parents should be able to observe D97 classrooms

One View

Opinion: Columns

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

Noel Kuriakos

The District 97 board recently amended policy 9150, which governs classroom visitations by parents and other adults [Visitation policy does not follow law: District 97 board, News, April 20]. Unfortunately these changes are a step backward from current, less-restrictive trends that are taking place across the country, and they further restrict parents from visiting their school's classrooms.

Last week I asked the district to allow me to sit in for 40 minutes in a fourth-grade teacher's class at Mann Elementary School. My daughter currently is in third grade and I expressed an interest to visit a fourth-grade class as part of my preparation for my daughter's next school year.

District 97 denied this request. I requested them to cite a specific section of 9150, but they failed to. I replied stating that my request was in accordance of the policy, specifically the section that states: "Parents/guardians of current students visit the schools for various reasons, including: Observing an educational placement or program that has or may be proposed for their child." But my request was still denied. There "no" language in the policy that restricts parents from visiting classrooms other than the one that their child is enrolled in.

Furthermore the district insinuated that the purpose of my request was to visit the fourth-grade classes in order to "shop for the best teacher" for my daughter. Then they had the audacity to make vague references that my presence in the classroom may affect the safety of their staff. As a last resort I have filed a complaint with the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Attorney General's Office.

Parents are the first teachers to their children and they spend the other 17 hours of the day with their children, when they are not in class. Recognizing this, many school systems across the country embrace parental visitation to their schools, knowing that an informed parent is a parent who can most influence their children's educational outcomes.

Here's the typical language used by open schools, such as the one in Charles County Maryland (www.ccobe.com):

Parents/guardians are encouraged to come to their child's school during normal operating hours. Parents/guardians may either visit the classroom (including the playground) at the teacher's/school's invitation or request a formal observation of a classroom.

Plain and simple, No ifs or buts!

It seems that the current board is making it harder for 80 percent of the parents to access school classrooms. If you're a parent of a special ed student or a parent of a student in a program funded by Title I funds, then the school bends over backwards to accommodate school visitation.

Increasingly, parents like me, who are passionate about our children's elementary education, are being restricted, and the changes in the visitation policy are a reflection of this. In this day and age when many school districts have a hard time getting their parents involved, District 97 chooses to put more road blocks in the path of interested parents.

It's time that parents send a clear message to this board; what is required is more transparency and less restriction for parents who want to visit a school classroom. District 97's board should embrace parent visitation as part of our children's learning process and emphatically welcome it. It's time to do what is right and change the restrictive visitation language.

Noel Kuriakos is an 11-year Oak Park resident, parent of two kids attending District 97 schools and founder of Students First of Oak Park, a new organization for parents and citizens that "promotes educational reform and excellence for 21st century learners."

Reader Comments

75 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Vanessa from Destin  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 6:00 PM

If you want to prepare for fourth grade then read your states standard course of study goals for fourth graders. Your current classroom teacher will probably be happy to tell you how to find this online. Classroom observations are extremely stressful for teachers. Keep them to a minimum, or teachers will dread having your child in their classroom. Not a recipe for a good year for your child.

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 10:38 AM

I am just so confused about what purpose you think would be served by having parents observe the classrooms of teachers who aren't teaching their kids, because it seems only to be for the purpose of intimidation of those teachers and of the district. Parents do not have hiring or firing authority, nor do most of them have any training in evaluating teacher performance or efficiency. As someone else mentioned below, my kids' classrooms are not your personal goldfish bowl.

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 10:35 AM

Mary Ellen - you do realize that teachers go through a hiring process, right? And that accredited schools have standards that the teachers have to meet, right? And that process is a portion of what our tax money goes to pay for? Everything else you are suggesting is back-seat driving. There are already processes in place for teacher evaluations. If you are not happy with those processes, then get yourself to the school board meetings to discuss where you think they could be improved.

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 9:32 AM

(cont'd) teachers' unions, education bureacrats, and risk-averse school boards are going to fight increased transparency and accountability with all of their considerable resources. That is why even minor battles with these stakeholders take so long and are frequently unsuccessful.

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 9:28 AM

A reasonable solution would be to find out if other schools in the area (or in the country-given our extraordinary property taxes, we should be nationally ranked) allow parents of prospective students to observe teachers in their classrooms. How did it work out for them. In the meantime, perhaps allowing prospective parents to observe a video of teacher presenting a topic would be helpful. You can learn a lot from how a topic is presented. And the kids wouldn't have to be in the video. Alas

Op  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 10:07 PM

Roger, I realize you had a difficult time at Beye, but do you realize that Noel (not Neal) wanted to observe a class that wasn't his kid's? I have a feeling you wouldn't have gone for him observing your kid.

Roger from North Shore  

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 9:26 PM

Neal K You made a fatal mistake. You admitted that you wanted to observe a teacher's performance. No wonder the outrage. You should have said you wanted to throw a class party with a chocolate fountain, or a surprise birthday party or baby shower for a teacher that would squander class time. The doors of the school would be thrown open. The moms at Beye School have learned this. And always be sure to say how warm and wonderful the teachers are to let them know you are drinking the koolaid.

epic lulz  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 1:25 PM

"I would encourage you to come out in defense of civil discourse for everyone, and not just on behalf of those with whom you agree." This is the kind of patronizing BS that causes people not to take anything you say seriously. Look at this thread. There are a dozen examples of people insulting NK. Not a single one insulting the other side. There is no symmetry, and for you to pretend otherwise is just a further insult.

OP mom  

Posted: April 29th, 2011 12:14 PM

I am on the SEA mailing list, so this ia an issue I've given some thought to and asked some questions. As a d97 parent, I really want observers to have a good reason and to be under a confidentiality agreement. I know how gossip spreads and personally, if I knew my child was going to possibly be fodder for some out of town right-wing tax hating group's research, I'd keep him home from school that day. Our kids have the right to privacy and non-disrupted classrooms. I support the policy.

OP to OP  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 4:12 PM

OP love the comment. But I am right. This is about his 15 minutes. Noel is not nearly as combative in person as he is in his post or letters, when you meet him. He is truly enjoying this. Remember why spanking is bad, it can re-enforce bad behavior. Let's stop the the verbal spanking.

Just Say No(el) from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 4:01 PM

Exactly right. This Noel dude is all about creating his own 15 minutes. Hard to decide what's more annoying: his increasingly boring act or the parents expressing outrage about the D97 Tasty Dog fundraiser. Please pass the bourbon!

OP   

Posted: April 28th, 2011 3:10 PM

@OP to OP, oh, sure, you just want me to quit posting so you can be the only OP. :-) Seriously, though, yeah, you are probably right.

OP to OP  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 2:47 PM

OP I totally agree with you. Noel enjoys the spotlight. He is enjoying the attention, good and bad, that he has received during the referendum. Now, if we stopped posting, he would not receive "high" that he's looking for. He loves this. It's sick and twisted but he loves it.

OP  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 1:34 PM

Ms. Eads, with all due respect, I don't see the virulence you are talking about. I don't see a lot of agreement with Mr. Kuriakos, or any love of his spotlight hogging, even from many of the people who voted No. Even now, he is crowing on his FB page about how there are four (4!) articles about him in the paper. Two are about actions he took, one was written by him, and another is an op ed piece. I am surprised he is surprised (and am pretty sure he isn't surprised or unhappy about it.)

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 1:24 PM

Research (anon research, that is). Read the post. I said what if. The US has spent billions in educational research. We must have some idea of the factors which contribute to successful teaching. Ms. Song-I think the attacks on Mr. Kuriakos have been exceptionally virulent, that's why I commented. Again, comment moderation is fairly widespread in media. I think the WJ should consider it with respect to nasty personal attacks.

Violet Aura  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 12:57 PM

Ugh, what a nightmare! I pray not to have parents like you when I get certified. If you are so "passionate" about your precious angel's edumucation, may I suggest homeschooling and not hovering like a helicopter parent? I mean, if you have the time to spare during the day and that burning passion for book learnin', then please do all OP teachers a huge favor and pull your kidlet out and let the teachers teach!

Research from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 12:45 PM

@Ms. Eads, I find it laughable that you would find a test that a high school junior/senior takes could be a predictor of his/her potential classroom teaching abilities. I've listened to you, I've tried to reply with civility, but this is just ridiculous. I agree that knowing teachers' educational history, GPAs, etc., is worthwhile. I know I look for that when I see a doctor. But the ACT? Really?

Carollina Song from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 12:22 PM

@Ms. Eads-As to the need for civil discourse, you and I agree again (see my post dated Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 03:40 PM). I would encourage you to come out in defense of civil discourse for everyone, and not just on behalf of those with whom you agree.

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 12:18 PM

Well, as far as the resources actually available for Ms. Eads and Mr. Kuriakos' proposals of CCTV and/or Skype connections, they can surely follow their own recommendations to "make more out of less." I'm sure that a two tin cans connected by a string should suffice for Ms. Eads and Mr. Kuriakos' needs, right?

Carollina Song from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 12:16 PM

Posting video of lessons online is something that would be a boon educationally; I (& others) have been advocating that, but D97 didn't have the infrastructure needed to make that possible, again due to budget cuts. Now that the referendum has passed, it gives us the means and creates the atmosphere where we can all work collaboratively to improve education (assuming no distraction from costly lawsuits).

Carollina Song  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 12:06 PM

@Ms. Eads-As for closed-circuit TV, putting aside legitimate concerns about privacy, which investments D97 should defer to make that happen? As for using dist laptops to simulate cctv, that may become feasible in the future now that the referendum has passed. Currently though, D97 doesn't have nearly enough computers for educational purposes. As has been noted at board meetings, student/computer ratios should not exceed 3/1. Due to yrs of budget-cutting, ratios in the schools are closer to 6/1.

Carollina Song from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 11:42 AM

the words of an ed researcher (who was talking about college ed) are applicable here: "This seemingly reasonable request is like most high level educational principles: dramatic and simple in general and remarkably complicated and difficult in specific." I think you and I would both love to see, for example, merit-based pay. However, research "suggests that "value added" methods for determining the effectiveness of classroom teachers are built on some shaky assumptions and may be misleading".

Carollina Song from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 11:10 AM

@Ms. Eads-The quality of education in the public schools is a critical concern regardless of whether or not one currently has children in the public schools, so your interest is commendable. I would encourage you to attend school board mtgs and/or look at the school board mtg packets, which are available online. As to some of your specific ideas, such as "value-added scores for each class previously taught", (see next comment)

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 11:01 AM

Research (or perhaps I should say Anon Research), what if research findings suggested that ACT scores were the best predictor of successful teaching performance. Or maybe not being a graduate of a school of education. I'm not saying they are. But if they were, wouldn't you want to know? Or would you still want to rely on the neighbors and/or your first grader in assessing the quality of the education you are paying (lots) for.

Opie  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 10:44 AM

Closed circuit tv in the classroom sounds like the puppycam to me. Except with humans. And creepier.

Research from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:33 AM

@Mary Ellen, your suggestions are frighteningly Orwellian and seem to deny the basic rights to privacy that all Americans are entitled to enjoy. ACT scores of teachers? Skyping on demand for parents interested in "personal research"? Will a teacher be fired if he discreetly picks his nose while the kids take a test? Why would anyone choose to be a teacher with these inhuman expectations?

Michael Nevins from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:17 AM

@OP. I seem to recall that there was one specific day that we could sit in the classroom of our kids - because I remember "threatening" them that I'd do it! But I also recall that you could sit in a class when your child is in 8th grade - and thus review the HS. I'm hopeful that an OPRF person could provide better info - I just know that there is a OPRF policy with allows/encourages parent visits of/in the classroom.

Opie  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:06 AM

Carol sums up my thoughts exactly.

referendum@gmail.com  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 9:02 AM

Mary Ellen, I can only assume you haven't seen Mr. K in action at the information meetings, or received any of his PTO council missives. Or, for that matter read a lot of what he posts here.

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:32 AM

I'd like to add that I don't know Mr. Kuriakos although, as I've said, I appreciate his efforts in opposing the ref. However, I've been truly amazed by some of the (anonymous, of course) posts assaulting his character, his motives, his work history and so on. These are Oak Parkers posting? Oak Park, home of liberalism, tolerance diversity and so on? Or maybe reps of the teachers' union or ed bureaucracy? Who knows. Maybe the WJ should start moderating comments.

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 8:19 AM

I still think the best solution is closed circuit cameras allowing observation without disrupting the classroom. But if that doesn't fly, how about a videotaped lesson parents could watch on site. It's not perfect because it's pre-scripted but it's something. And along with that, a full bio including majors, ACT scores,GPA, other ed and certific. info, and, most important, value-added scores for each class previously taught. Much more instructive than asking the neighbors.

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 7:42 AM

...contd...Finally, you don't help your case in terms of trustworthiness and credibility when you respond to your critics with veiled threats of violence; ie, wanting to meet them personally to give them "special" hugs, as you have done here and in another thread. It kind of confirms the impression that you have bad intentions. If you wanted access to my children's classrooms, based on how you operate here, I would object strongly.

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 7:39 AM

..contd..It does not appear that you meet those standards. Further, people are rightfully questioning your intent. Other parents have the right to know that the school is protecting their children from bad actors, and appears that many parents are suspicious of you. Even a 40 minute observation via Skype gives someone a lot of information about the children in a classroom. Who knows what you plan on doing with that information? ....contd

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 7:37 AM

Noel - one thing that you might want to consider is that when you're demanding access to classrooms, you are demanding access to other people's children. Those other people also have rights, like the right to know that the school is a place that protects their children's privacy and security. Generally, as someone observed below, "observers" who are there to research have been through an extensive vetting, including background checks and TB tests, and who are part of an accredited program...

OP  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 7:10 AM

Oops, that should read: "Parents of CHILDREN with special needs." But you probably already knew that.

Parker  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 6:30 AM

Just to clarify: Here is the Board policy: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=31138322

OP  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 6:07 AM

OPer, parents with special needs are still allowed in classrooms (besides their own children's) , they are just supposed to give notice.

OP  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 6:04 AM

@Michael, is that OPRF HS policy about parents/guardians sitting in on their child's classroom, or other classrooms? Mr. K wanted to sit in on a 4th grade classroom, and his child is in 3rd grade. IOW, not his child's classroom.

OPer  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 6:04 AM

@TanyaC - the visitation issue is a hot topic among parents with children with special needs because their IEP's are not followed or their child is literally being tied to chairs. A parent should have the right to visit their child's class with proper notification. I am less sure about visiting other classrooms. LOVE the idea of closed circuit TV.

OP  

Posted: April 28th, 2011 6:02 AM

Noel, your last post makes no sense to me. First off, if I am denied access to a class that isn't my child's, it's because I am "creepy" (and where you are getting that, I don't know, I am guess The Voices In Your Head are telling you that.) But if you are denied access, it is because the Powers That Be don't like you because you were against the referendum. Okaaay...

Research??? from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:37 PM

@Noel, aren't you part of a lawsuit pertaining to clarity of the written word? Now you're saying that you can call an observation "research or intelligence-gathering or whatever" and then demand that D97 allow you to do your "research" whenever you want? Teachers might not mind your presence, but even parent classroom volunteers must receive training to protect students' privacy. Get real.

Michael Nevins from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:33 PM

FWIW, although I never participated, OPRFHS has some sort of policy which allows a parent/guardian to sit in on classrooms. Someone might want to check up on that.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:15 PM

OP, Kids say the darnedest things. There is not need for folks like you to spread the rumors. From your posts, I am glad the Principal had good intuition to restrict you. You my friend sound creepy. I know of parents (good) who were allowed, INCLUDING me. You must not have made a good impression. I am sorry if you are semantically challenged. But I see you make up for it with your hebetudinous posts. You are are real asset to OP and D97. I would love to hug someday. Keep posting!!

OP  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:07 PM

And you were the one who tripped over that "research" wire. You had to know that wouldn't be permitted without more disclosures. And "intelligence gathering..." Man, you are getting creepier by the minute.

OP  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:04 PM

As a new parent, I was not allowed to sit in on classrooms before my child attended the schools. I was a bit miffed, but now I realize why the policy is in place. It's distracting to kids and teachers, and parents gossip. I don't need for it to get around that my son isn't being nice to Nancy or is pretty stupid in math. And nothing would stop a parent from doing that. As for information-gathering, do that on your own time and leave my kid out of it.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:56 PM

The operative word is 'observation' for 40 minutes (new district policy). I can call it research or I can call it intelligence gathering or what ever. Any K-8 administrator knows that academic research involves more than 40 min of observation. What about new parents who sit in on class rooms. They don't have kids, yet they are allowed to 'observe' or their own 'research'. It just does not add up. The GOOD teachers that I have talked to at Mann don't give a damn about me being in their cls.

research??? from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:51 PM

I believe that "research" refers to those people who are working on undergraduate/graduate degrees or those who currently work in the field of education. Those people who observe for qualified research must go through a vetting process in order to protect the privacy of all students. Teachers are used to being observed by other teachers, adminis, etc., so of course they are not averse to it. However, it would be unsettling if any parent could sit in on any class in the name of "research".

referendum@gmail.com  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:46 PM

Noel, were you offering to help out in the classrooms? I doubt the green dot parent project is successful because the parents sit in the back and smirk while they write notes.

OP  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:43 PM

First off, if there is any research being done in the classroom, you have to inform the parents of the type of research and how data is going to be gathered and used; Then you have them sign permission slips in order for the children to participate. And allow them to opt out. At least that's been my experience in d97. I think it takes a bit more forethought than was evident here.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:42 PM

Carolina Song, One can easily have a district laptop running Skype placed in the class room and then have the parent view the stream in another room. There is no need for any expensive equipment. The other option is just to have the teacher record a 40 minute time span and allow the parent to view it, with the teacher or anyone else from the district. Parents are the #1 reason why schools are successful. That is why schools run by Green Dot require parents to be in classrooms.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:38 PM

Yes I have heard from several parents about being denied class room visits. In fact Board Member Gates requested specifically that denials be logged and submitted to the Board because of complaints from parents. You should pursue the conversation with him. I have read the dist policy and there is NO mention of restriction on 'research'. The district clearly is paranoid when this word is mentioned. What are they afraid of? I have spoken to some teachers candidly & they don't have an issue.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:34 PM

I see we have a very friendly group of posters. I would love to meet each and everyone of you at some point. @Libby Paul, as a PTO member you of all people should know that parents cannot request their kids placed with a particular teacher. I have NEVER asked Ms. Kumar or Ms. Young before her to place my 2 daughters with any particular teacher. You probably are a good parent & teach you kids not to prejudge others. I don't think your parents taught you to do the same. You are good example..

NO WAY! because of who he has shown us he is  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:00 PM

My child attends the same school as one of Noels kids. I would be extremely upset if this unstable and vindictive person were allowed to "observe" the teachers/students. In fact, any teacher would be put in an unreasonable position to have a person who has shown such malicious behavior to his entire community and school district be allowed to "observe" them. We all know he is just looking for more things to complain about. Maybe he'll try to sue the teacher next for being paid too much!

Carollina Song from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 3:40 PM

One can take issue with Noel's representation or misrepresentation of the issues surrounding D97's visitation policy without bringing his employment history into it. We need to have conversation in the civic arena without the personal attacks.

EndLes Kuriakos from Oak Park from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 12:41 PM

My previous post included a link to NK's profile on Linkedin dot com. My point about NK's lack of ability to focus attention to an effort for any extended period is supported by his job history.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 12:08 PM

For 25 years, I volunteered in my school district. I was a board member, chairperson of many events activities including several millage and bond referendums, and was in schools as much as I was at home. During all those years I was in an active classroom on one occasion - I went to school for my daughter on Parent/Student Exchange Day. Unless approved to do volunteer work by the principal, parents have no right or role in a classroom. They need you to encourage them, not live their lives.

EndLes Kuriakos from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:37 AM

The citizens of Oak Park can only hope that NK's interest in his latest passion will end with the same frequency and short duration that has been his history:

OP  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:26 AM

This does go beyond Mr. K, though. If I need to come into my kid's classroom to help with math games or a party, that is one thing. I am there for a purpose, and (I hope) the teacher has spoken to me about the need to maintain the privacy of the kids in the classroom. To show up in someone else's classroom to check up on whether a teacher is suitable for my kid? Unless my kid has a special need, that smacks of helicoptering at best.

OP  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:23 AM

Research, huh? If Mr. K was coming to observe my kid's class, I would expect the school to let me know so I could pull the kid out for the day. Not to mention any "research" he might do.

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 10:14 AM

You are reading it right, OP, to the extent Mr. Kuriakos chose to tell the truth. According to the TribLocal article on this very topic, he originally told the school that his purpose was to "conduct research into teaching effectiveness."

OP  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:38 AM

If I am reading this right, Noel wasn't denied access to his child's classroom. His child is in 3rd grade, and he wanted access to a fourth grade classroom.

TanyaC  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:34 AM

I'm curious, how many other parents have been denied access to their child's classroom. Anyone know? Noel paints with such a broad brush, "more parents are being denied..." Has he talked to "more parents" or is he generalizing his experience?

OP  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 9:15 AM

Hm, wonder if there might be a profit motive in privatizing public education.

Confused  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:49 AM

I noticed Students First National Organization has 18 job openings. This is a great way for someone truly concerned about education to make a difference.

Decimus  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:43 AM

Noel forgot to include the following passage from the ccboe policy--which looks remarkably similar to Dist. 97's policy application: "Principals retain the authority to deny access to the school for any individual who may disrupt or disturb the learning environment or who lacks a valid or legal purpose for entering the school." Noel is that person who may disrupt or disturb and lacks legal purpose (or clue based on the complaints he files).

OP  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:40 AM

Closed circuit tv system! Imagine the outrage if schools paid for something like this, particularly given the resistance to supporting stuff like art, music, foreign language.

TanyaC  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:40 AM

As a stay at home mom, I spend a lot of time in the school. I know the teachers and the teachers know me. If he truly wanted to find the perfect the fit for his child, he could help out in the school. 40 minutes to observe is not enough time to "research" the teacher, but hours helping goes a long way.

Carollina Song from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:21 AM

@ Ms. Eads-I remember the careful discussions that were needed about putting in cameras in the middle school hallways. Let's set aside legitimate parental concerns about privacy for a moment. How much would it cost to install and maintain a closed-circuit television system throughout the district? What D97 expense should be deferred to make this happen? Should D97 for example delay classroom tech that has an impact on learning? Wouldn't this be derided as "wasteful non-educational spending"?

Who believes  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:10 AM

Who believes that any of this is about picking a teacher. Most of us just talk to other parents. Reading his previous blog posts, he wants the world to listen to him. He found a little voice during the referendum debate and now refuses to let it go. Next week, it will be something else.

Libbey Paul from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:01 AM

I can see no other reason for Noel to visit a 4th-grade classroom for his 3rd-grade daughter than to "shop for a teacher." If this became the norm for parents to attend each classroom of the next grade level for their child, classrooms would be overrun with observing parents in the spring of each year. I have a problem with that policy, and don't believe it serves the majority of students. Add in Noel's litigious tendencies and paranoia, and I say "hell, no!"

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 8:01 AM

As I've said before, the disruption problem could be solved by using a closed circuit tv system which would permit parents to observe teachers in action without disrupting the classroom. Apparently Dist 97 parents (except a favored few) have limited say in the placement of their children in classrooms. Powerful teachers' unions and reform-averse school bureaucracies are a good part of the problem, no doubt. Despite its progressive leanings, OP has shown little interest in challenging them.

Also confused  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 7:52 AM

Why does this guy want to "observe" the classrooms of kids who don't belong to him? Frankly, I think D97 is doing the right thing here, and protecting the kids' privacy and security from an adult male who is showing way too much interest in spending time with other people's kids for no good reason.

Confused  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 7:45 AM

"Students First" isn't that Michelle Rhee's org. Is this how she expects to make change by harassing the school board.

OP  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 7:13 AM

My child's classroom is not your goldfish bowl.

Confused  

Posted: April 27th, 2011 2:11 AM

From the article "Parents/guardians are encouraged to come to their child's school during normal operating hours. Parents/guardians may either visit the classroom (including the playground) at the teacher's/school's invitation or request a formal observation of a classroom." Isn't that D97's policy, "invitation" or "request"

Hire Local for FREE!

Post help wanted ads for FREE on the our local online job board.

Click here to place your ad

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassified
Photo storeContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad