CUSD 200 has hired UNICOM-ARC to facilitate community sessions. The first one was held on January 15th. The next will be February 19th. To keep these honest, we need taxpayers who are Taxed-Enough-Already in attendance.
— prior to the first meeting, I had emailed this to a couple friends —
The district is paying UNICOM $49,500 for this project, despite having a full time PR director and a very well paid superintendent. Why? Could it be because UNICOM is associated with the union and known for the Delphi technique?
The following is from a 9/20/2013 article “D 200 Board Split on Community Engagement” in my suburban life with comment by Jan Shaw in 
…Dan Burns, a representative from the company, said that the proposed study would be an “entity on its own,” including separate branding and websites, with the goal of putting the message in the hands of the community.
“It’s important that everybody have the opportunity to participate in this process,” Burns said. “This is a citizen-led, citizen-driven process.” Burns said that the UNICOM model, which D-200 used about a decade ago for a high school referendum question, included a few steps. [Friend of the school, paid $18,250 in 2002 – not CUSD 200]
First, it would form a 12- to 15-person facilitative committee of staff, teachers and community members, which would work with the Board to determine a “charge,” or focus, to guide the study.
From there, the committee and UNICOM would host a series of two hour-long resident workshops. Each workshop would have a specific topic and include a data presentation at the beginning, followed by small group brainstorming.
A staff member at each table would record verbatim responses. At the end of the process, UNICOM provide consensus points and suggested avenues for the Board. [Sound to me like the “Delphi Technique”]
They have already selected a group of 8 citizens to work with school administrators and union reps as the core community group. Now they need regular citizens to come to their consensus
The first meeting fit the description on the Delphi Technique. This is a structured communication technique, frequently used by highly trained facilitators to manipulate a crowd into a pre-determined consensus. Understanding it is the first step in combating it.
Delphi Technique, what is it?
Ground rules for disrupting the consensus process:
Video: Beverly Eakman The Delphi Technique used in Education