Dr. Malito identified three points of interests, three questions:
- What to do with the two highschools?
- What to do with the three middle schools?
- How to increase academic “rigor”?
He mentioned that he had read “Tipping Point“, a book about “How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference”. Having read that (along with “How We Decide“, which I found to have a surprising amount of conceptual overlap), I had a fair amount of appreciation for how Dr. Malito is concerned about the public’s perception of Unit 4 (particularly, the Board and the Administration). He stated that he wants to rebuild/increase relationships and improve communications with the community, citing a “lack of confidence” and in some cases, “a little lack of trust”. He recognizes the need of Unit 4 to earn that trust. I particularly found it interesting that “the Board” emphasized this point to him. I can only imagine that Sue Grey is behind that emphasis, and I am glad for it. Note also how this point of building trust and relationships is not in the top three, however…. I found that a bit odd. Which is why I wanted to hear more. The “Top Three” were not talked about much, and the one topic that received the most attention (in the short just-shy-of 4 minutes) is not in the top three.
Go listen to it yourself and tell me what you think. And hopefully we will hear more about this as Dr. Malito engages in more talks.
In other news, the Unit 4 superintendent search page has not been updated for a while. On June 17th I asked the Board about specific timelines for goals identified on the search page, and I was given a vague “progress has been made”, but no specific dates or items of what that progress was. I was told that progress was difficult because the Board had not met over the summer. But they met on July 17th…. and I am not seeing what they did. Sue Grey gave me a copy of the “Champaign Search Calendar“, and again, I am not finding that on the Unit 4 website.
I confess, I am chomping at the bit – I am anxious, eager. I want to see things happen! My observation is that:
- Folks get excited when change is in the air. Sometimes that is good excitement, sometimes that is bad.
- I personally, and several others, are excited in a good way about a new superintendent and have sincere hopes that good change is coming soon
- However. When the wheels of bureaucracy move this slow, excitement dies. The Board says they want feedback and they want to dialog with the community. I have no doubt that individual members of the Board are meeting with lots of different people (I have met with several myself, and know they are very busy talking).
- I am not seeing a public accounting of how the Board is meeting the goals they have put forth on the search page. I grant that perhaps I am simply missing it. Maybe.
It is not my intent to poke holes and make the Board look bad. Rather, I really really want them to look good. So I am trying to hold them accountable to the things they said they are going to do. Sometimes it comes across as pestering or nagging, which means I need to work on my presentation. *grin* If they want to earn trust, in my opinion they need to go an extra mile and start walking the walk. Again, I fully acknowledge that various members are doing an awesome job as individuals. Kudos to them! Now let’s make it happen for the Board as an entity.