I think Charlie's post shows the problem of how parents and the school district currently interact. I know I presented counter arguments to several school board members regarding my kids' school (APP elementary), and I was just as ineffective as every other parent trying to save their own schools. The only information the current board seems to give any weight to is that brought to them by the district.
There are a lot of problems with how the District interacts and communicates with the community. So how should it be? What process can we develop that will allow people a meaningful voice in decisions, opportunity to have their input heard and considered, and, as much as anything, have an interactive conversation with District staff about ideas without bogging down the process and preventing any progress?
I think what Tracy Libros did was wonderful, but the scope of her work was too narrow to include ideas like Sand Point or McDonald.
The primary problem I see now is the asynchronous nature of the communication. Only one person speaks at a time. So we can talk to a Board member, but we're not there when they talk to the staff, so we can't respond to the staff's objections to our ideas. We need something interactive. We need a conversation. We need to bring data to it and the staff needs to bring data to it. And it all has to take place in an atmosphere of cooperation and shared purpose.
So let's get some ideas for an improved community engagement practice.