Oct 26, 2006

Ideas for Toledo Public Schools


(Toledo, OH) Chris Myers is a Toledo citizen who is interested in helping revitalize the beleaguered Toledo Public School system. He has created a website called Ideas for TPS in which visitors can offer suggestions on improving the city's schools and saving money for the district.

Subtitled "Citizens Providing Solutions," the site also offers visitors the opportunity to vote on submitted ideas, and ranks the suggestions by a variety of criteria.

Chris is interested in increasing the number of contributors, so if you have ideas for improving public schools be sure to visit "Ideas for TPS."


Mark said...

I'd call this a "Heart in the Right Place" idea. Fantastic, in theory.

In practice: potentially disastrous.

Here's how I view Toledo Public Schools: Power and glory-hungry school board; teachers that have had benefits taken away bit by bit to the point of making them paranoid and underpaid; parents, and I speak of the inner-city in particular, who essentially want the schools to do their job for them.

So here's what I expect from that website: a handful of people with genuinely good ideas that will never get listened to, and the rest with ideas that are impractical in theory or reality.

And don't even get me started if students chime in.

Call me a pessimist if you must, but the system has essentially worked this way for a while now. Someone, somewhere has to do something different, it's true, but ideally, it would be an altruistic school board (HA!) or superintendent.

And the closest thing Toledo had to an altruistic superintendent left for more money. Sigh...

liberal_dem said...

Chris wants to keep his name before the voters for his next run at school board.

Anonymous said...

Mark, while what you say may come true, the ideas will be out there for anyone to see anytime. But the site is founded on the idea that the knowledge of the crowd will refine the ideas by voting and commenting on what is there.

Like the comments on this post, I can begin to define my meaning and purposes to you and everyone else who reads it.

The people with the best ideas will be those in the system or those in similar large organizations. The good thing is the site is there for anyone to participate-internal and external audiences. In large organizations good ideas get lost up the chain and if there is a record, it is easier to make note of what is suggested.

I really want the site to work and be a model for engaging citizens or asking for their feedback or gathering their ideas. Tucson did something similar http://www.tusd.k12.az.us/contents/brightideas.html
and came up with 2.1 million in savings. BTW I found that site in looking for ideas to populate the ideasfortps.com site.

Regarding the reasoning of launching the site, it would not be there if the district officials and some school board members said they could not do anything else to help the budget situation and the district will need to make a decision on a levy either this month or next, so the time frame is now to get this up to try to come up with some new ideas to save money.

Hopefully others will duplicate the effort or come up with another similar type of concept. Hey, it did not take much for me to put this up and get running others can do the same too. Why not get people to think. Imagine if NW Ohio could lead the nation and the state in using tech to reach out to citizens. Now that would be cool.

Chris Myers

Hooda Thunkit said...

I'm with ya Chris!

It's more than the current board is able to accomplish, considering its current makeup.

The real issue isn't who has the idea, so much as it is, the board looking and acting on them.

I for one don't give a damn whose idea it is, as long as it works.