Superintendent’s live online chats engage hundreds

Clayton Wilcox, Superintendent of Pinellas County (Fla.) Schools, has begun leading a live chat on his blog for members of his community. His blog is The Classroom, a dialogue on Pinellas public education. Wilcox posts news, raises questions and responds. His new online discussions, called "Friday Night Live," begin Friday evenings at 9:00. He starts a discussion thread and then opens it up for public comments. He answers as many posts as he can between 9:00 and say 10:00 or so.
He says the first "Friday Night Live" session went well. I’d say so. The discussion drew 859 comments. I’ll repeat: eight hundred fifty nine comments. Is this man engaging the community, or what? The topic: “There are a few schools in the district talking about starting gender specific grade levels or subject areas … while I believe the research is mixed today … there are examples of academic success particularly as it relates to girls. What do you think of the district piloting some options for families? Perhaps most importantly … would you send your son or daughter to a single gender classroom?”
This week he’ll do it again with a new topic.

Friday, May 19, 2006
A note from the Times
We'll leave the The Classroom on "read" mode, but have disabled the commenting feature. Over the summer we'll look at ways to make the conversation here more productive, including looking at some form of registration. (The screen name feature on blogger probably isn't enough.)
–Christine Montgomery
Director of Electronic Publishing
St. Petersburg Times

Thursday, May 18, 2006
The End of the Blog Site
I will talk with the Times tomorrow about ending my blog – I think that talking face to face with teachers will be more productive going forward.
I imagine this will be my last post … I will try to achive the posts received up to this date … some will say that I wimped out … I will just say this … the lies, distortions and mean spiritedness of some – was not worth my time or worthy of this district … good night and good luck.



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