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District 203 boundary battle

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The Naperville School District 203 Enrollment Capacity Study Group already has drafted a couple of boundary maps. But many in the district are not happy. Or at the very least they are very concerned. What should the study group be focused on and how should the district's facilities best be utilized?
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Ironically, despite a dubious Phd, he seemed to be very practical. Restructuring attendance boundaries to eliminate overcrowding by transfering students to schools far below capacity makes total sense.

We are going on five years for Jaensch to make good on his 2007 campaign promise for a longer school day and foreign language. But what would you expect from a militant union activist himself. At least he got his wish, his company is in bankruptcy and his pension cut 90%.

Of course he was fired. They will eventually say they weren't going to renew his contract. He says he resigned.

Read between the lines. The school board doesn't want to admit they made yet another major hiring mistake and wasted pretty close to a million dollars on him with literally nothing to show for it.

I have posted three times and not one was published. There are stories floating around that Mitrovich was indeed fired. Seems weird to relocate to Chicago for only three years. I hesitate to comment since there may be more troubling situations (his or family health).

Or may it be that redistricting, while saving money, offends a minority that lose their walking privilege? Are people opposed to his efforts of trying to upgrade education? I certainly am not, it is long overdue. This complacency about being the best of the worst system in the world is laughable.

Change is good. Imagine if the district insisted on using slide rulers!!!!!!

That way, the little darlings will ALWAYS have taxpayer supported services (gets them ready for later life!) and early and constant access to union-delivered dogma.

xx

how did that work out for you?

No problem with your post at all. Sorry if it came across that way. I just hit reply to your post rather than scrolling all the way down to leave a comment.

Regarding TH... he is lost in his own delusional world where he can pretend to believe there is anyone in Naperville who cares about or agrees with his opinion. The problem for TH is he has lost all credibility with his voodoo numbers, amateur analysis skills, and lack of objective or critical thinking in terms of school district issues.

Hey, why not just create a state-run (ie Naperville) co-op daycare center for use by all Naperville children, beginning say age 3?

That way, the little darlings will ALWAYS have taxpayer supported services (gets them ready for later life!) and early and constant access to union-delivered dogma.

Anonymous,

It sounds like we agree, so why do I feel you have problems with my post?

And how exactly was it ever a good idea to put the education and future of our children in the hands of unionized government employees?

ALL education in America should be privatized. It is past time to let the free market and competition reform and transform education. Government run education is stagnant, bureaucratic, wasteful, and mediocre in it's ability to change, adapt, and improve.

Every local school system, bar none, bends over backwards trying to emotionally convince taxpayers that their schools are the best. Of course, taxpayers are eager suckers who want to buy into the belief that their children are getting a great education and the schools are spending tax money wisely. However, if anyone looks beneath the surface the truth is all of the school districts use slightly different criteria and measurements to support their claims.

Even school districts like we have in Naperville with "reputations" for being "good" schools do not actually perform significantly better than other school districts. Adding full time kindergarten isn't any kind of magic potion or pill that is going to improve performance down the road.

The reality is the education bureaucracy is just looking out for it's own. The student population bubble is passing through the system and the forecast shows we will be left with over capacity in terms of desks, classrooms, and schools. And teachers.

One way to help keep those desks and class rooms filled is full time kindergarten. The alternative is empty desks, empty classrooms, and laying off unneeded teachers which the bureaucracy isn't going to do voluntarily or willingly. And how many parents bought the sales pitch hook, line, and sinker that it was "all about better serving the needs of the children"? What this is really all about is the bureaucracy looking after each other.

They haven't told you this yet but coming up next will be full-time district-run "early childhood" programs. They also haven't told you about the new bubble coming with the alarming rate at which the number of younger children in the district with developmental issues is growing. Nor have they told you how much more expensive it is to educate these children from "early childhood" to 12th grade.

And the school district sure as heck hasn't fairly reported on how many parents of children with developmental issues are targeting our school district and moving here only to rent and not even pay property taxes to help with the financial burden their own children are causing to our school system. Not helping are social workers in other school districts and communities that actively encourage parents to relocate to Naperville because their own local schools don't provide the services their children need. Great game isn't it? Other schools get away with not offering programs for these children or the cost associated with running these programs and then dump these children on Naperville and let us pay for them and deal with all of the additional problems that come with running these programs and educating these children.

Not to much further down the road we can also expect to see district run pre-school programs which will come on-line initially as part-time with the ability to add younger ages and transition to full-time as needed to continue to keep as many desks and classrooms filled to capacity.

Believe it.

Full-Day Kindergarten:

Brief response to Mr. Higgins' letter to the editor.

It appears that once again he assumes people are ignorant or inappropriately discounting ideas. Look in the mirror.

Regarding mathematics and any info posted on his website...This 9 year old paper is hardly the basis for arguing for all day kindergarten. In particular, fewer concepts with more depth are encouraged. I agree 100%! That would mean less time drilling specific ideas, not more.

But I can type or talk until I am blue in the face about grade school mathematics, but I will offer up a simple observation.

Grade school teachers by and large are incapable of understanding the future usage of mathematical and scientific concepts so that individual standards are "taught" without the teachers being able to set the students up to see the bigger picture.

More time in kindergarten is not needed. A more skilled work force is.

Also see this article which was passed on to me. It even cites the article Mr. Higgins posted:

commoncoretools(dot)me/2012/02/16/the-structure-is-the-standards/

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Southside anon,

As you defend the teaching profession, which I see as honorable as any other (but certainly no moreso), I note a possible hint of ignorance as to jobs others have.

So I ask,
--Have you ever tried to impart knowledge on a group of  highly-skilled engineers to bring an important project to fruition, when yonare asking them to work, say, 80-100 hour weeks for a period of, say, 3 years at a time? 

 --Have you tried it while dealing with a behavioral disorder adult  who is constanty bucking his/her company's  mission or business?  

-- Have you tried any of the above while  the employee in charge of an important piece  of the puzzle   is distracted because he didn’t eat last night or ecen this a.m. because he has been workng for 30 straigh hours? 

--Have you tried it while imperative contributors are drunk and/or stoned out of his mind?

 --Have you tried dealing with this for YEARS  on end only to have to continually get new projects added and budgets cut?

The above is the simple reality in Naperville, and pretty much anywhere, in being part of a profefssinal group. I can guarantee that the average wages, especially the average hourly earned, is well below the $80,000.00 (and  closer to $120,000.00 on an annual basis) paid to  our TEACHERS in 203. If youndo not understand this, than you are sorely on the wrong side of truth.

 Please do not assume you understand the rst of the work force, its value, or the REAL, accurate amoun paid to any holder of a job.

You have  proven your ignorance on the facts of the teachng profession's financials here in 203.  Please get a grasp on some facts before you engage in its defense!

 

D203 66% with masters+
State 60% with masters+

although two years ago that was 70%/56%

I would not call that a huge difference

I'm going to leave the pension misconception alone for now, but a combination of benefits beyond inputs plus a delinquent state has created the problem. I'd ask you to review the state literature on assumptions for the pension payouts. I have posted elsewhere on this topic, and will not do so here as this seems to be the boundary thread.

Medical and dental are pretty good benefits, especially at the family level.

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"--Again, please check your facts the $80K quoted is the average of all salaries in the district. This includes administrators, department heads, and teachers making extra pay due to coaching, clubs, etc. You will find that the vast majority of strictly classroom teachers are making less then 80K a year."

uh...no

In fact, according to the Sun Times last year, the average D203 Grade School teacher made $83K. Teacher. This includes art, music, PE, classroom teachers, librarians, etc.. No administrators are counted in that figure. Not a whole lot of coaches or department heads. Sorry.

For more info, go to iirc(dot)niu(dot)edu . The figures here represent all teachers.

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To anon@ 8:36 am:
If you are going to post facts, please make sure you have your data straight. In full disclosure I am not an educator. I come from a family of educators (none of which work in IL). I closely follow D203 issues.

What I do know is there are 176 days in a school year, many of which are not full days
--This is true.

A normal full day is 5 hours of instruction and most elementary and jr/middle high schools seem be open from 9-3 or about 6 hours.
--Not true. The JHSs Day is from 8am to 2:50pm. Most teachers are in the building from about 7:15am to 3:30 or 4:00pm. Which equates to about 8 hours in the building
-Most teachers do not instruct for 5 hours a day, most schedules seem to be 3-4 hours per day.
--Again not true. Teachers receive 1 prep period and 1 lunch which equates to about 5 ½ hours of teaching time.

Comparing 176 work days at the quoted $80K per year annualized to the full work year that most workers put in comes out to $118K.
--Again, please check your facts the $80K quoted is the average of all salaries in the district. This includes administrators, department heads, and teachers making extra pay due to coaching, clubs, etc. You will find that the vast majority of strictly classroom teachers are making less then 80K a year.

Teachers work 35 weeks a year and have 17 weeks off every year. In any other occupation that would be considered either seasonal work or part time work. Most private sector employers do not provide any benefits to part-time employees.
--Again not true. Subtracting out Summer Vacation, Winter Break and Spring Break school is scheduled for 40 weeks. Please remember the majority of the half days and days off are due to state and county wide mandated teacher training/institute days. The teachers are still working on those days. Yes teachers technically do get 12 weeks off a year. I can guarantee that the majority of the teachers in the district work during those 12 weeks off. Maybe not every day and maybe not full days but they do work. I would guess that the average teacher works about 4 to 6 extra weeks during the summer. Walk into NCHS or NNHS during the summer. You will find the school filled with teachers getting things ready for the next school year. They are not getting paid to do this.

Now let’s talk about sick days
--Yep teachers get sick too. It’s a known fact that when you put a large number of people in one place diseases spread.

leave of absences
--Don’t see an issue here Leaves of Absences are unpaid.

tuition reimbursement
--Not 100% up on the current contract but if there is tuition reimbursement it is very minimal. Please remember that teachers are in a job where they are encouraged to continue their educations, they have very little room for advancement (pay is defined by the contract) and the only way to “move up” is to continue their education. There is a very high number of teachers holding master degrees in 203 (compared to other districts). The majority of them have paid for them without assistance and it takes a very long time to recover the amount of money spent as the raise (for having a masters) is not substantial.

medical, dental
--Yep they are offered medical and dental benefits. From my understanding the rates they pay are on par with or higher then those paid in the private sector.

OH YES, retirement benefits
--Please don’t blame the teachers for the failing of the state government to properly fund the retirement fund in IL. No payment was made into it during the Blago years. In fact he borrowed money against the pension fund. We are now faced with a crisis because our legislatures decided to ignore a constitutionally mandated obligation.

compare the value of all of that to the average worker and by any method of comparison teachers have a pretty cushy gig
--Have you ever tried to impart knowledge on a group of adolescents 5 days a week for a significant period of time? Have you tried it while dealing with a behavioral disorder kid who is picking on another student constantly? Have you tried it while the kid in the front row is distracted because he didn’t eat last night? Have you tried it while the kid in the back row is stoned out of his mind? Have you tried it while the kid in the middle sees school as a refuge because his parents beat him every day? Have you tried after dealing with this with all of these students in one classroom? Have you tried dealing with this for weeks on end only to have to come back to school every day and listen to Johnny Sudents parents call you every day because their kid deserves an A in your class but only turns in C level work? Please do not call it a cushy job. If you don’t think this reality in Naperville then you are sorely mistaken.

Teachers would be better off to shut up and sit down than to be stupid enough to even think they deserve more in this or any other economy.
--I think you will find that the majority of teachers in Naperville are actually happy with their jobs and have a good grasp on the economic issues as well as the issues facing the state today and are happy to be in a district which values them. Please do not call teachers stupid its insulting to them as well as a lot of other people.

Sounds like someone is jealous because they have a garbage job with no future.

Anyone else notice how kind and supportive the SUN has been of the Occupy movement, yet the SUN was downright vindictive, dismissive, and erroneous on its coverage of the TEA gatherings?

So, if I have it right, the mistake the TEA party made was not defecating on the streets and parks of America, not committing any beatings, rapes, assaults, building burnings, or other violent or personal crimes.

In fact, it is now clear the TEA party should never have picked up after itself or treated the nation's parks, etc., with respect.

Oh, I forgot ---- beating up police and illegally taking over possession of someone else's personal property is also a way to have the media, and our little Naperville SUN, treat you with the utmost respect and favorable coverage.

Real nice.

First off I don't know for a fact that the average teacher salary is $80K per year.

What I do know is there are 176 days in a school year, many of which are not full days. A normal full day is 5 hours of instruction and most elementary and jr/middle high schools seem be open from 9-3 or about 6 hours. Most teachers do not instruct for 5 hours a day, most schedules seem to be 3-4 hours per day.

Comparing 176 work days at the quoted $80K per year annualized to the full work year that most workers put in comes out to $118K. Pro rating all of the half days and "full days" of 5 hours of work compared to the 8-10 or more hours of work each day by other professionals and the annualized amount jumps all the way up to $189K just based on 5 hours per day and that is giving credit for time being "present" not actual teaching or work hours.

That's right, based upon the number of hours "present" each day and the number of days worked each year someone in the private sector who have to earn $189K to take home $80K based upon 176 5-hour days.

Teachers work 35 weeks a year and have 17 weeks off every year. In any other occupation that would be considered either seasonal work or part time work. Most private sector employers do not provide any benefits to part-time employees.

Now lets talk about sick days, leave of absences, tuition reimbursement, medical, dental, and, OH YES, retirement benefits and compare the value of all of that to the average worker and by any method of comparison teachers have a pretty cushy gig.

Teachers would be better off to shut up and sit down than to be stupid enough to even think they deserve more in this or any other economy.

If they are unhappy with the pay, benefits, or working conditions they are free to go to work anywhere else just like everybody else. Good luck finding another gig that is anywhere even close.

And teachers better enjoy it while it last because taxpayers are no longer amused by the incompetence that has permeated school districts who have allowed our educational system pay and benefits to get so totally out of control.

$80K based on an entire year of work (which they don't work an entire year) is $100K. I think that's plenty for teachers.

Anyone, can i get an "Amen!" on the pittance we pay our teachers and a commitment to get it to something less embarassing, say a distict average of $120,000/yr or so?

I mean it --- what can we do about getting our teachers more pay!

$80,000.00 a year? We should be embarassed of ourselves.

To A,

He is conflicted. An obvious solution to this school problem would be to close Naper and Elsworth Schools and consolidate their enrollment at the larger, more vacant schools. This plan would have a minimum effect on walking students (just those in these two schools), but would create enormous savings. (And of course, the District did not consider).

But his kids go to Elsworth. So he crawls in a hole instead of be truthful. Just like being wrong on the salary issue for four years and running.

Another theory is that he is the only one defending the unions. So if he is shut up, then who would argue with Mike D., myself, -1? You don't see Stailin, Obama or Saul Alinsky defend their positions, they impose them. I think the left has sent his to Siberia.

Outrageous!

We only pay our teachers $80,000.00 per year? We should be ashamed-- we are Naperville!

OUR teachers deserve more, more, more!!

It is rather curious that Higgins is really quiet on this. This is a big issue for 203 and I wonder why he is so silent.

Salary: One more comment:

Using the salary database at familytaxpayer.org and using my usual filters, I get D203

2010 Average salary = $81703
2011 Average salary = $79768

The ISBE has

2010 Average salary = $80527
2011 Average salary = $78380

Both of these show a 2.3-2.4% decease in average salary as would be expected with replacement of high paid retirees with new employees lower on the payscale. Since the ISBE numbers use partial FTEs and sum them up differently, it is not surprising that I get a higher average salary using only those actually employed full time. Those employed less than 1.0 FTE tend to have a lower salary if extrapolated to a 1.0FTE.

My data set shows 136 people who fit the criteria 2010 only. They had an average salary of 85,259.

My data set shows 147 people who fit the inclusion criteria in 2011 only. They had an average salary of 60,606.

I did not go back to see how many of these would have shown up in both years had I allowed fewer than 9 months, less than 1.0FTE, change to administration, etc. I suspect very few.

I can supply more info if Mr. Higgins ever actually does what he said he'd do over a year ago.

-1


No. Not only lane changes. It also includes those in the retirement 6% bumps. For some reason, I thought there was some funny lane change language in the first year of the contract, but maybe that was D204.

It turns out that Dave Zager has not clarified how he categorizes the 6% retirement people in his (total incumbent salary increase) metric since they are not plopped onto the salary chart in any convenient place. He also must define how he categorized the "raises" for those who DID retire.

Remember the metric being touted elsewhere is what the increase in total salary would have been had everyone stayed. If he is not including raises for people who retired (!?!?), then we cannot calculate "savings" due to turnover like the chart shows. Cue Twilight Zone theme!

Taking total creditable earnings like I do makes the most sense when calculating average percent raise. Much better than going through bizarre gymnastics to create a non-existent number to help someone who was and still is clueless try to understand reality.

When I get some time, I will post an update to include 2010-2011.

-1

-1,

So with no step and base increases, are the increases you calculated due entirely to lane changes?

-JQP

Unrelated to Boundaries

:

D203 Average raise 2010-2011

Geometric Mean: 1.49%
Arithmetic Mean: 1.57%
Zager-like: 1.45%

Method: Took all people listed at familytaxpayernetwork in D203

Filtered out administrators
Filtered out those listed as not full time
Filtered out those who were listed as less than 100%
Filtered out those who were listed as fewer than 9 months.

I then did a ratio of 2011 creditable earnings to 2010 creditable earnings for those people in the district both years. I included all who were between 20% cut and 20% raise as with my prior analysis. As usual this captured 98%+ of those who showed up on the list both years.

For GM, I multiplied all such individual ratios and took the geometric mean.

For AM I added all such individual ratios and divided by the number included.

For Zager-like, I added all included 2011 salaries and divided by all included 2010 salaries.

All three numbers are calculated on the same set of staff.

Interestingly, due to the step and base freeze, a whopping 32% saw a paycut as would be expected due to slight shifts in extra duty. The vast majority of these were less than a 2% cut. 42% were listed as between a 1% cut and a 1% raise.

-1

Yet another Taxpayer Ticket Platform being implemented. Too bad we did not do it before spending all the money on Mill Street.

Rudy Carl, long term District 203 Board Member, stated that District 203 redistricted EVERY YEAR from 1980 to 2002 (as new schools were being brought on line). So this is just a continuation of a prudent way to use resources.

I hope all walkers can walk to their nearest school. However, I think that 203 is missing an opportunity. Instead of downsizing schools, they should take at least one school out of regular operation. The school should be turned over to an independent charter school that would provide competition to the "public structure".

This would improve education by giving parents a choice. In turn, the remaining schools would work harder to compete improving their product.

Competition would help improve American education. Let's try to be world class and start it here in Naperville.

1) Is the land east of the subdivision possibly switching from Kingsley to River Woods known to not be suitable for more housing?

There are a couple of different properties just east of Heritage Creek. There is a very small 1 street subdivision. I would assume that they will be moving to Riverwoods along with the Heritage Creek kids. There is a plot of land just east of that street. It is currently a horse farm. Just east of that is a gravel quarry. The gravel quarry is still active. The owners of the quarry have recently purchased the horse farm. They have leased the land for the horse farm back to the previous owner. The quarry owners have done this to provide a buffer between their operations and any homes in the area. They do not intend to mine the horse farm. Once they quarry is no longer active (not sure of time frame), then the master plans call for the horse farm to eventually be developed into a subdivision. I am guessing that that is at least 10 years away and probably somewhere in the 15 to 20 year time range.

So I decided to look into the maps a bit more and there are two other unresolved issues in my mind.

1) Is the land east of the subdivision possibly switching from Kingsley to River Woods known to not be suitable for more housing?

2) Is there a reason that the apartment dwellers who can walk to Steeple Run are being displaced for potential home owners in what is now a vacant lot? The renters may be able to see Steeple Run from their apartments.

Mr. Higgins, do you have an opinion of any of this? I read that you felt the process was bad when Ellsworth was closed in a supposal, but no word from you now that Ellsworth is not on the chopping block.

-1

Minus is right on. Unfortunately, I've seen too many elected officials, especailly in Naperville, hide behind others and let them take the heat while they stay safe. It's all about them, not the taxpayers.

Seems I've been hearing word of a petition of no confidence being circulated through the district questioning Mr. Mitrovich's ability to lead the district as Superintendent.

IMO, a vote of no confidence needs to be put to rest before we move forward on any of these issues.

you *could* format my post like I had it.

D203 Enrollment Capacity Study Committee:

Thank you for spending your time and energy on this very important project.

My quick take having not pored over all of the documents.

There are FOUR separate issues which would seem to need different goals set forth

(1) Overcrowding at Mill Street
(2) Overcrowding at Beebe
(3) Shift of some students from Kingsley to River Woods
(4) Adjustment of reported school capacities to account for the possibility of Full-Day Kindergarten and subsequent displacement of students out of Highlands.

(1) and (2) seem to be appropriately dealt with by the maps and seems to be needed. There may some (4) creep into (2) since Beebe drops to a 5 section school with "only" 29 classrooms.

(3) is a probably the right thing to do despite the move disrupting students who would otherwise stay at Kingsley.

Now to (4).

Nobody's opinions but those of the board members matter on this one.

The board MUST, as soon as possible, declare whether Full-Day Kindergarten will be implemented soon. The board is the adult in the room, and it is ultimately their decision. The board is allowing the ECS Commitee and Dr. Mitrovich and district staff to take heat for the maps that work out for Full Day Kindergarten.

There are obviously some pros and cons of Full-Day Kindergarten. I do not count the ability to comply with Kindergarten Common Core Standards among the pros.

So I ask the board to, as they say where I am from, (poop) or get off the pot. Make a decision on Full-Day Kindergarten so that anger or applause can be directed correctly, and so that the time and energy of the ECS committee and the distressed Highlands parents is not wasted.

If the board does not want to make a decision now, I can accept that. Then maps without the Full-Day Kindergarten assumptions and school capacities should be investigated. In fact, they probably exist in all of the maps by keeping Highlands students where they are. The board can be given maps with and without Highlands shifts and make a decision.

Goals 1, 2 and 3 can be done tomorrow if the board wished.

Do not delay implementation of 1 and 2 to get perfection for 4 if it is not a guarantee.

For what it's worth, do not get me started on Language Immersion in each elementary school. That is a non-starter as far as I am concerned.

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