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