Thursday, November 14, 2019
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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.

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