My Candidacy statement
● A high-quality community public school system is the most important feature of a healthy community:
● the greatest gift to parents is a high quality education for their chidren:
Given the opportunity to learn effectively in our schools, our children can succeed in achieving their dreams in life;
I will work to help to make South Bend the best urban school system in Indiana, for our children, for our parents, and for our whole community:
● through helping provide the best learning classrooms for all our children
● through supporting our teachers in the classroom especially in providing the best ongoing professional development on student learning
● through the choice of a new superintendent whose prime focus is providing the best possible education for all our students

The most important goal for the Board in the coming year is the selection of a new Superintendent:
we need a person with a vision and understanding for successful learning to take place in a large urban education system: he/she must have two essential qualifications:
★ Provide educational leadership for our teachers;
★ Have the personal intercommunication skills to work positively with the School Board members and the community.

I believe each board member must represent the consensus opinions of the community and will work hard to find that consensus, and bring it to the board deliberations. As a part of this process, I will work to reduce the use of “grandstanding” by board members.
Community input into board decisions is essential and I will work to allow more community input into all important Board decisions - through Board committees and at the monthly board meetings.

Some of the important Educational needs for the South Bend Community School System:
High schools:
All four high schools are presently on the State probation list; the present administration has several plans in progress to bring them up to to standard;
I am strongly supportive of the recent proposals of the administration to bring the ideas of the “New Technology High School” to South Bend. Community leaders have already reported on their support for this new problem-based learning for high school students: it is an opportunity for bringing community support (financial and otherwise) to our presently beleaguered high school system. (See reference below)
Intermediate Centers:
During the past three years I have worked during the summers with many of the math and science teachers of the lowest-performing Intermediate Centers to help them introduce the latest education ideas for learning in the classroom: these guided inquiry techniques correspond closely with the problem based learning techniques mentioned above. They provide the hands-on, minds-on learning atmosphere so essential to maintain student focus at this age of development.
Primary Centers:
The focus of the South Bend Schools administration of the past few years on literacy and math needs to be broadened to include science learning. Thirteen years ago, some elementary teachers were trained in Guided Inquiry techniques in the classroom with the use of experiential science modules: these modules are still part of our classroom instruction in the K-6 grades, but most of the present teaching staff needs a revived professional development to bring the excitement of science back to the students.
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My Experience
I have lived in South Bend school district 4 for 13 years (at 917 W. Washington St.), and been active in community affairs during that whole time, dedicated to enhancing the quality of life especially in the inner city areas of South Bend, and especially on the near West side.

My wife and I have a lifelong commitment to a healthy public school system, as evidenced by much of our work and community involvement over the past 40 years.
Our 4 children graduated from Chicago public schools, and during that time we were both active in helping to to rescue the system from the popular, but very appropriate description "the worst schools in the Nation". I was a founder and first Director of
TAMS, a facility established on the IIT campus to provide professional development in science and math for Chicago teachers.

Since 1994 I have been Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame, but am also active in community affairs and in supporting our teachers, especially in science and mathematics in our local public school systems of South Bend, Mishawaka and Penn-Harris-Madison.

I am a founder and Director (since 2004) of NISMEC - the Northern Indiana Science Mathematics and Engineering Collaborative - a collaboration of local higher-ed institutions (Notre Dame, Saint Marys and IUSB), the St. Joseph County schools (public and private) and other local educational and community institutions.

I serve on the 10 member board of I-STEM - (the Indiana Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics network) The I-STEM Resource Network is "a partnership of Indiana’s public and private higher education institutions, K-12 schools, business, and government. It supports K–12 teachers and leaders working to implement high academic standards towards STEM literacy for all students. It also provides Indiana education leaders with new knowledge about teaching and learning."

During the past year I have developed a proposal for HOST: A Hands-On Science and Technology Center to be established in South Bend: the goals and objectives of the center Project are to bring access to science literacy for the whole St. Joseph County community:

Being so deeply involved in all these projects which are focused on the development of lifelong learning for all our community - children, parents, and others - makes me feel the need to bring these same principles to our own school board. The board's work is focussed on bringing effective learning for our children, but if successful it has immediate consequences on the role of learning and education in all our lives. There is a strong need today to bring these principles to the board's deliberations.
{Here is a brief chronological biography (pdf-file)}
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NISMEC: http://www.nd.edu/~nismec/nismec11.htm The Northern Indiana Science, Mathematics and Engineering Collaborative.
   Recent NISMEC Newsletters...Spring 2008 and Fall 2007
The NISMEC mission statement is: "A community resource center providing professional development opportunities and resources for educators to enhance standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education."
We have provided professional development to more than 250 teachers at all grades of the local schools during the past four years. We have achieved a funding level to enable us to continue that support during the foreseeable future. More than 50% of our funding goes directly to teachers to pay stipends and to defray tuition costs at Notre Dame, and Saint Mary's.
In the past three years about 80 South Bend Intermediate Center teachers have taken summer workshops.
An initial NISMEC success in 2005 was in helping the Mishawaka School City obtain a State of Indiana DOE 3-year partnership grant (Approx $500,000 partnering with Saint Mary's and Notre Dame). In the past two years we have tried, but been unsuccessful, in obtaining similar support for the South Bend Community Schools.
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HOST: A Hands-On Science and Technology Center
The Project goals are:
(1) to develop and implement the use of research-based guided inquiry materials for best-practice teaching in accordance with the Indiana state curriculum in science and mathematics; and
(2) community involvement and development in science and technology education and understanding.
This development of a cohesive “project-based” system of hands-on learning in STEM learning, integrated through all parts of the community provides a transformative change, to a whole-community of STEM learning which connects all ages of participants “from cradle to old age”.
The most important consequence will be the development of a productive workforce for the new technologies and economy of the 21st century in a presently economically depressed area. The local collaboration between community businesses, institutions of higher education, a nd the community schools in bringing a higher level of STEM understanding to the whole community will be the most important impact of this work. If successful, this will become a model for the State of Indiana, especially in the schools as they move toward math book text adoptions in 2010 and science text-book adoptions in 2011. This role of experiential learning is essential in the move away from passive inefficient classroom learning as it exists in many schools today.
Initial work on funding this program from Federal, State, University of Notre Dame and other local sources has begun. A broad coalition of leaders from local business and educational institutions are involved in these initial steps. A brief summary of the initial vision (concept paper) for HOST can be found
here.
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The Teachers Academy for Math and Sciences (TAMS)
was formed in 1991 to provide in-depth professional development for math and science teachers.
The program was available on a whole-school basis, and provided support for hands-on, minds-on classrooms. This general format is now known as the Guided Inquiry (GI) methodology. TAMS specialists attended the initial meeting when NISMEC was formed at South Bend, and gave an example session of their work at the LaSalle Academy of the South Bend Community Schools.
A brief description of TAMS was given in an
APS Education Forum, and a review of the statistics of their successful implementation can be found here.
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The Indiana Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network.
I-STEM: http://www.istemnetwork.org/index.cfm
The Network is "a partnership of Indiana’s public and private higher education institutions, K-12 schools, business, and government. It supports K–12 teachers and leaders working to implement high academic standards towards STEM literacy for all students. It also provides Indiana education leaders with new knowledge about teaching and learning." I-STEM forms a 10 area network within Indiana, with Purdue acting as the central and leading institution. It was formed about 2 years ago through a collaboration of Indiana business leaders (principally of business within the biotechnology industry), the Governor's office, and the Indiana State Board of Education. CELL developed the initial structure and goals, and continues to coordinate I-STEM developments with the institutions providing continuing funding. NISMEC represents the north-central Indiana region if I-STEM.
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The Citizens Schools Committee of Chicago
This group of community people active in the reform of public education began in 1932 , and had a continuous role as a watch dog of education in Chicago for more than 60 years. CSC became a rallying group for school reform in 1989-1992 with the development for plans for parent-teacher control of local schools. These 9-member elected LSC's (Local School Councils) are still in existence today. A brief description of the events at that time was reported in
Education Week. I was Chair and on the CSC Board for several years 1987-1992.
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MS-Squared Summer programs for Middle school teachers at Notre Dame and Saint Mary's
(Adapted from the NISMEC newsletter, spring 2008)
The teachers of the MS-squared workshop of 2007

With the continued financial support of I-STEM and of the Siemens Foundation, the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College held several 1-week and 2-week workshops at the middle-school level (grades 5-9) in the summer of 2008.
These NISMEC-sponsored workshops have primary audiences for Middle School Teachers from the three local school corporations of South Bend, Mishawaka and Penn-Harris-Madison. Each workshop is focused on the needs for a particular school or schools, since we believe the "whole-school" concept is essential to providing the teachers with "outside-the-classroom" support as they develop the needed Guided Inquiry methods and concepts. The workshops are appropriate for teachers in grades 5 through 9, inclusive.
Stipends:
Each workshop teacher attending received a stipend of $500 per week, and partial support for graduate credit costs from Saint Mary's or from Notre Dame.
Place: At Notre Dame's Jordan Hall of Science.
Workshop 1: 2 weeks, starting June 16, for Middle-School science teachers (South Bend Intermediate Centers). The workshop focuses on the needs of the Intermediate Center teachers of the South Bend Schools.
Workshop 2: 1 week, starting June 9, for Middle-School math and science teachers (Penn-Harris-Madison Grissom Middle School)
Both workshops follow the prescription on integrating math and science content and learning found so successful in the past two years: we combine guided inquiry learning with development of content knowledge in mathematics, particularly pre-algebra concepts, and in all the sciences appropriate to the middle-school classrooms.
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The New-Tech High School program
    The principal “New Tech” idea is to put students in a cooperative learning atmosphere where they learn how to solve problems through developing their own learning ability. The students become the owners of their new learning - the teachers become their guides and their resources: The “New Tech” classroom provides the tools to optimize the learning processes.
    This spring, a high-level committee from South Bend visited the original New Technology High School in Napa Valley, California, and reported their findings back to the Board in August. {Committee members included Paul Laskowski, Steve Luecke, Pat McMahon, Reg Wagle, all of South Bend, plus Nancy Sutton of CELL.} Their report was strongly positive on the need to institute the New Tech program in at least one of the South Bend high schools.
    In a separate 5 minute contribution to the board, I discussed
the educational ideas behind the New Tech system, and possible ways to implement it in South Bend.     I believe this is an opportunity to seize quickly to help bring our high schools off the probation list - the program has a large initial cost; however, already the community leadership is strongly positive, and can be expected to provide moral, political and financial support and help develop positive community involvement; the local higher education institutions can be expected to help in minimizing the costs of teacher training for the program - it can be a chance to finally give high school students in South Bend the very best possible learning experience.
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Service for the Indiana State Board of Education
    I continue to serve the Indiana State Board of Education on several statewide science education initiatives: I represented the state as part of a 5-member committee at a recent national conference on "best practices" in science education"; this committee continues to compare other state initiatives in developing an Indiana-wide plan for bringing "Guided Inquiry" methods to all classrooms. I serve on the INDOE committee rewriting the science curriculum: these important initiatives are preparatory to the coming years of adoptions in science and math. I will continue to help the South Bend Community Schools Corporation be an active beneficiary of the latest developments in the State's initiatives in science education.


CELL The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning
    CELL, at the University of Indianapolis, "promotes professional and civic leadership for achievement of educational excellence and equity for all students with the goal of making Indiana a national model for educational excellence" and has acted as a conduit for initiatives combining the goals of Indiana technology companies (principally biotech engineering), the Governor's office, legislators and educational institutions; the development of I-STEM is one example of bringing financial support to the needs of science education.
Since 2005, CELL has initiated the annual "Indiana Education Transformation Conference": the November 2008 conference focus is "Responding to Tomorrow's World - Breaking the Mold of Today's High Schools"
CELL also has helped establish the statewide New Technology High School initiative, in collaboration with the State Board of education.
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Some references

New Technology High School:
Memo to the South Bend School Board, presented August 18th, 2008
Guided Inquiry in Mishawaka Elementary science classes - "Revolution in the Schools" a crayfish study
{letter to the South Bend Tribune - May 2007}

some Links

 My family website  


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Remember to vote on November 4th or by absentee ballot beforehand
I also recommend voting for Dawn Jones for the School Board District 4