Middle School Task Force Pleased with Survey Results

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Boastfully reciting responses like “I need more information” and “Yes, I love my child” from a parent survey aimed at shaping the future of Elmhurst School District 205’s three junior high schools, Middle School Task Force co-chairman and District 205 Superintendent David Moyer told board members last week that the survey results clearly indicate community support for all future decisions from the task force and vindicate the school district’s controversial $225,000 contract with the creators of the survey, District Management Council.

“The results are exactly what we expected,” said Moyer, who is a Tier 3 Double-Platinum Member of DMC, where disciples representing school districts from across the country attend conferences and summits such as “Getting the Survey Results You Desire”, “Flashmob Focus Group Interview Techniques” and “Clever Mottos for Today’s School Districts”.  “We’re confident now that we have the support of middle school parents to take these results and apply them to all grade levels in D205.”

Comprised mostly of teachers and principals from all three Elmhurst middle schools, the task force was formed in 2015 to define the philosophy of the D205 Middle School Program and narrow the achievement gap between students, which is a focal point for many educational reforms.  Conducting group interviews, lurking around local social media circles, and administrating the survey comprise the majority of research executed by the task force to fulfill Moyer’s “All Means All” rallying cry and assist each school in forming “one overachieving goal” for the 2016-2017 school year.  About 3,160 surveys were issued, and almost 400 were completed by parents. The announcement of the survey results has since triggered questions from the community regarding the DMC contract and Moyer’s affiliation with the company.

“People fail to realize something very important about the contract,” said Moyer.  “We only need to get two more school districts to sign up with DMC – and for those school districts to each sign up two more school districts – and then our district gets all of its money back.”

Perceived by some to contain odd queries presented in a somewhat scattered format, the parent survey included several questions with only “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” as possible answers, and a section where parents were asked to choose between math, science and lunch period as their preferred program to be cut for the 2016-17 school year.

“We learned a lot from the survey,” summarized Moyer.   “It was interesting to find out that most of the parents want what’s best for their kids.”

An excerpt from the Middle School Task Force Survey is below.



Superintendent Defends Grade Level Centers Amid Parent Criticism

by Dave Noble, Your Neighbors and Your Neighborhood Beat Writer
ELMHURST – Citing “invaluable” cultural and travel experience acquired from changing schools every few years and the potential for “the best damn fifth grade kickball team in the western suburbs”, District 205 Superintendent David Moyer on Monday emphasized the benefits of Grade Level Centers while trying to calm the nerves of local parents who fear that Elmhurst schools will soon be populated by children from the same grade level rather than by the neighborhood in which they live.

“I’m not sure if there’s a single disadvantage to this idea,” said Moyer, who inadvertently started a firestorm at the Board of Education meeting last week by stating that Grade Level Centers are “not necessarily ruled out” for Elmhurst schools.   “We’re not saying that this is going to be implemented in Elmhurst, but we’re not not saying it, either.”

Criticism of Grade Level Centers has been overwhelming since Moyer’s comments, as numerous eCommunity discussions and an online petition have made it clear that Elmhurst parents are against the program.

“People seem to be ignoring the many advantages of GLC’s,” continued Moyer, focusing on the absence of peer influence on younger students.  “Your kindergartner won’t come home from school one day crying because some fourth-grader told him that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, and instead of being taught four-letter words from older kids on the playground, children will learn those words from their parents at home or in the car, as it should be.”

Moyer went on to list a projected 300% increase in local bus driver employment and “leveling the playing field” of property values in Elmhurst as additional benefits derived from Grade Level Centers.

The next Board of Education meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 22nd at 162 S. York St.  Sources have confirmed that further discussion of Grade Level Centers may or may not take place at that meeting.