Wednesday, February 18, 2015

833 Manipulates Parents Using Delphi Technique - Part 2
During the Feb. 11"Community Conversations" meeting at East Ridge High School, we were appalled to see concerned parents and taxpayers manipulated by the Delphi Technique or Delphi Method.  The goal of Delphi is to ensure the "evolution of consensus"or solidarity of belief.

In the previous blog post, I stated that  the  friendly facilitator, Brian Boothe, Director of Professional Development and Accountability,  listened and sympathized with the targets by getting them to express their concerns. Then, in an attempt to diffuse the tension, he asked the concerned parents to play a ridiculous "unifying" game prior to asking for their input.

Let's "rewind" the evening's conversation to reveal the repugnant treatment of a concerned parent by Superintendent Julie Nielson,  Assistant Superintendent for Academic Excellence and Accountability. 
Nielson's role as the "professional agitator" is meant to learn something about the audience; who are the loudmouths; who are the leaders and who can be manipulated during the course of the argument.  Those in opposition are made to look foolish, stupid and inarticulate.  Take a look at Ms. Nielson in action in the video below and how she treats a parent concerned about cuts in the Reading Recovery program:

This brought back vivid memories of the a movie we're all familiar with, "The Wizard of Oz."

After scanning District 833 Administration webpage, I noticed that three members of the Superintendent's Cabinet had the term "accountability" in their job-title.  Rather than always defaulting to cut teachers, might I suggest that we begin by cutting the fat at the top of the pay scale as redundancy is not cost effective.

During difficult economic times, our families are forced to modify their activities and programs.  Ms. Nielson states that Reading Recovery is from THE Ohio State University and can't be modified to accommodate  two children at the same time.  Chances are the Reading Recovery program will be replaced by the MN Reading Corp program in 2016.  SF607 will appropriate $9,175,000 per year to support AmeriCorps members serving in the MN Reading Corp program established by ServeMinnesota.  Funding will include costs associated with training and teaching early literacy skills to children age 3 to grade 3 . The bill is authored by Senators Kent, Johnson, Nelson, Pratt and Saxhaug. The replacement of teachers with federal paid volunteers is now commonplace as we move away from local control toward federal control.

We would like to congratulate Ms. Nielson as we have nominated her for our new award, "PUCK of the Month."  The definition of "puck" is:  A hard rubber disc used by players in ice hockey; but I prefer the noun:  A mischievous sprite or elf.  You be the judge.

For information on how to disrupt Delphi as well as our next nominee for "PUCK of the Month",  please subscribe.

UPDATED 2/18/2015 8:48AM


  1. What is this gift you have for being more perceptive than all the concerned parents and taxpayers like me who were helplessly manipulated like rubes in a Vegas hypnotist's show? And now, like the Wicked Witch of the West, you have a crystal ball that allows you to see that a bill just introduced is destined to become law.

    Not that that would be a terrible thing based on the trial evaluation funded by the Corporation for National & Community Service.The randomized, controlled third-party evaluation of Minnesota Reading Corps, conducted by National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, found that elementary students tutored by AmeriCorps members achieved significantly higher literacy levels than students without such tutors and that the impacts were statistically significant even among students at higher risk for academic failure.

    The evaluation showed that:
    - The average kindergarten student with an AmeriCorps tutor performed twice as well as students without one.
    - The average first grade student performed 26 percent better than the expected level for on-track students.
    - Students with higher risk factors (such as dual language learners and students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch) significantly outperformed students who didn’t receive tutoring.

    I think everyone would be better served if you stuck to the facts instead of jumping to erroneous conclusions based on your skewed presumptions and amusing yourself with astoundingly childish monthly "awards."

  2. Dear Concerned Dad:
    Somewhere in your blizzard of words, I believe you made my point. The district is delaying their decision on Reading Recovery until SF607 passes or fails. Should SF607 become law, District Reading Recovery teachers will be replaced by transient, federal Americorps paid volunteers.

  3. SAR, if you're having trouble understanding my 220-word "blizzard" of a response to your 460-word post, perhaps you would benefit from some sort of reading comprehension program.

  4. Concerned Dad,
    Perhaps the person who would benefit from a "reading comprehension program" is you as SAR's response is spot on.
    Please keep it civil or you will be banned.
    Thank you.

  5. AMB, perhaps you could help me find the civility in SAR's post, which takes a simple answer by Julie Nielson and labels it as "the repugnant treatment of a concerned parent" as part of a technique to make the opposition "look foolish, stupid and inarticulate," and calling Nielson a "professional agitator." I think anyone without an agenda looking at the video evidence would be hard pressed to call Nielson's treatment of the questioner as anything but respectful. Do you honestly see it differently?