Wednesday, January 22, 2020
US flag

We ask your help in developing our wiki

The Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog, has developed a wiki (similar to Wikipedia), and our intention with the wiki is to bring out important narratives about our schools. News stories we publish here are sort of a snapshot of school history (in fact, this blog was originally published on the schoolsnapshots.org domain). But in order to get a more complete picture of what schools are really doing, we need the whole narrative, the good and the bad, the view from the bottom and from the top. With that, we will allow readers to better synthesize information about each school and possibly make suggestions for improving some aspect of it.


Please review and comment on our high school template

To that end, we are asking for your help in developing a template that would be suitable for high schools in the US. What are the main topics that should be addressed for each and every high school, the areas where the school shines like a beacon and those where improvement is needed?

I have created a first draft for a template, using a high school in Illinois. I ask that you take a look at the template and either

  • Post a comment on the “Discussion” tab for the template page
  • Email me your feedback directly at paul@schoolsnapshots.org

I think it will take less than a month to get the template for high schools crystallized and clear for readers. Then we’ll go to work.

I realize most of the people who know about these schools have an interest in promoting the good side. That’s where Voxitatis comes in: as journalists (and scientists), we will seek to independently confirm information, piece by piece, and to determine how reliable the information presented is in terms of its reproducibility under independent scrutiny.

Of course, we’ll do an incomplete job in the beginning, but as the project proceeds, I hope it will acquire lots of footnotes with references to uploaded supporting documentation for any piece of the school’s narrative the page includes.

The project will start with high schools in Illinois and Maryland, our two home states, our beat from a journalistic perspective. After what I hope will be a year or less, we should proceed to high schools in other states.

It’s going to cost a little money to get involved with the wiki as a contributor, but this is not intended to be profitable for Voxitatis. The money will be used to pay someone to create individual users on the wiki. Automatic robots try to break into systems like this, and the only way to keep them from posting illicit or unwanted information is to shut the door in their electronic face. That means we have to create accounts manually, and that will require me to pay someone to do that, since I expect it will take too much time and I can’t abandon my day job at the Maryland State Department of Education to create user accounts on the wiki.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

Md. & IL bands perform on New Year’s in...

Bands from IL and Md. once again entertained thousands of people who lined the streets of London and Rome on New Year's Day.

Howard Co. sounds an under-staffing alarm

Teachers in a Md. district have filed a grievance over missing planning and lunch periods and, as a result, putting the most vulnerable students at risk.

Top 11 school stories of 2019

We find these 11 stories to have the greatest potential for influencing activity and direction in schools for the near future.

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.

Loan forgiveness gains some bipartisan support

One Republican from GA, who used to work under Betsy DeVos at the US Education Dept, offers a plan to forgive some student loan debt.