District 428 Survey

Did you take the strategic planning survey? What did you think of it?

I took it as kind of a push poll, myself. At the very least it presupposes a good relationship between school district and community–“I am delighted now”–which, from where I am sitting, is somewhat delusional. Real strategic planning confronts weaknesses head-on and if you don’t even see them, you will fail.

If budget deficits persist even with responsible fiscal management, than [sic] the Board of Education should secure community support for an Education Fund Tax Increase


9 thoughts on “District 428 Survey”

  1. “If budget deficits persist even with responsible fiscal management, than [sic] the Board of Education should secure community support for an Education Fund Tax Increase”

    How? By letting the bond company and architects help fund another smoke and mirrors PR campaign referendum?

  2. I looked over the “survey” which is a bogus instrument chock full of the usual Deweyite edu-babble nonsense. I checked the few relevant boxes, and then put my comments into the handy box there at the end. I doubt that my sage observations will have any effect. At least the declining economy will finally force the District into fiscal responsibility, when their debt becomes unserviceable and they have no other choice.

  3. Push poll…

    CREDIT: De Kalb County C.U.S.D. 428, IL

    Concurrently, Moody’s has affirmed the A1 rating on the district’s $35.8 million outstanding general obligation unlimited tax debt (including the current offering) and A2 rating on the district’s $3.9 million outstanding general obligation limited tax debt. Management also notes the district may seek an operating rate increase in fiscal 2012 to augment property tax revenues. Moody’s notes the additional borrowing weighs heavily on the district’s debt profile; however, it does not substantially alter the district’s overall credit quality. Public Finance Group Moody’s Investors Service John Humphrey

    The $35.8 million is the first of three scheduled bond sales for the $110 million referendum. The above is from http://www.moodys.com and a subscription is required. Dist 428, the City of DeKalb and the Park District are all on the Moody watchlist for possible downgrading of their respective credit ratings.

  4. I took the survey, although I didn’t like the multiple choice options either. As Steve mentioned, the most useful part is the comments box, in which I said, among other things, they better not raise taxes! Now, let’s see how much they listen to their “stake-holders.”

  5. How much of the Moody’s A1 rating for the school district comes because of the infusion of tax dollars coming from the first full year of a discounted real estate taxes Mac?

    Does anybody know off hand how much Target was scheduled to pay the school district? How will this payment plus the increasing amount over the next several years to where they are paying 100% actually figuring into the repayment of the school bonds?

    I have a feeling that these dollars will become very important in the future of the school district. These are the dollars that will be needed to do further improvements as I do not see this community “donating” anymore dollars via a 2nd referendum.

  6. The survey is set up to justify more spending later. That happens over and over again in this town. At least there was one open-ended question at the end. Yes, Steve Berg is right about the language and I doubt everyone taking it is going to know what all of the questions refer to the way they appear on the survey. Fortunately, I can read educationese but not everyone else can, probably far fewer than half of survey takers.

    For the country’s sake, bring back far more home/consumer economics and vocational training! How about civics classes? Teachers east of here told me this summer that there are not required classes in civics anymore like there were in the past. I know those topics do not show up on the No Child Left Behind tests (what I figure the survey called the “core” curriculum). But it is obvious to me that one major part of the banking problem was a lack of basic knowledge by homeowners on what their mortgage agreements really meant. Subprime, balloon, and adjustable rate mortgage papers did not come with a black flag and a skull and crossbones on them like they should. Arrr, there be banking pirates in these waters! I learned about interest rates and mortgages in high school. I also recall learning something about gas mileage on vehicles from my government teacher who was the brother of a state police officer.

    For those folks who still see the glass as being half full, those higher gas prices have not yet fully sunk in yet.

  7. I responded to the survey by questioning its technical design. Rank order questions are always difficult to phrase and the rule of thumb is never to rank more than half a dozen items or so. The questionnaire forces comparisons between fish and apples, again a major design flaw. You don’t compare pedagogical items with fiscal with infrastructure in one massive ranking.

    District should be praised for seeking input but the design defeats that purpose.


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