Friday, January 27, 2012

It appears the BOE is tracking curriculum changes

So, if you are not pleased with how it's going, be sure and let them know. The following is excerpted from an Jan/Feb 2012 article on the Illinois Association of School Boards website entitled "Reading: Pumping up the Basics"...

The reason why the BOE meeting schedule was changed (from the article)
In order to keep track of the curriculum changes that are being implemented, the District 150 board has modified its meeting schedule. While the board still meets twice a month, one meeting is devoted to business with a 10-minute slot allotted for teacher or student presentations. The other meeting allots from 30 minutes to two hours for individual program presentations and discussion topics. These in-depth explanations also give the community the transparency and information that they have been asking for.

The District’s literacy plan is COMPLETE (from the article)
With the beginning of the 2011-12 school years, District 150 embarked on an orchestrated quest to pump up its reading scores on the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT). The multi-pronged approach is supported by teachers and tutors in the classroom all the way up through the superintendent and the school board.
 “We really want the board to see how this is working; Becky (Lindholm) and Shameika (Sykes-Patterson) can go through programs with them and not be concerned about the amount of time allotted.” Board President Butler
The basics of the change involve a daily dedicated 90 minutes of reading instruction throughout the elementary grades and an additional 45 minutes of grouped reading work every day. While the 90-minute reading block was in place before, it has now become sacrosanct. No student can be pulled out of that 90-minute reading block — not for speech, not for band, not for anything.

Superintendent Lathan knows that in order to make a difference, the district — from the board down to the teachers — must follow the plan that has been created. “This has to be done with fidelity,” Lathan said. To achieve that fidelity in the classroom, the district is providing professional development for teachers and principals on the new balanced literacy program, doing walk-throughs in classrooms to observe progress and implementing coaching where help is needed.

The district’s ambitious three-year strategic plan shows much work remains to be completed by 2014. But the important strategy of creating a new literacy program is checked off as complete. Read complete article here…




60 comments:

Anonymous said...

And WHO is giving the reports to the BOE? The BOE will decide from what is presented to them at their meeting from Lathan's crew if things are improving. WOW!!! I bet Lindholm and Skyes-Patterson want to keep their jobs...sounds like a good plan to me. HEHEHE

Sharon Crews said...

I think we need to acknowledge the possibility that some of the people that Lathan brought here might want to stay after she leaves. Some of them have made positive connections with teachers. Maybe they would not be so hesitant to do the right thing if they saw the ship sinking. Lathan won't be asking all these people to go with her to her next job maybe because her next job might not be willing to hire more than one or two new people.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Sharon, but I don't think it is unreasonable to think that at this given time, people working for Lathan will report and/or say what supports her and her initiatives in fear of losing their job now. Talk to some principals and former principals and they just might tell you what happens when you cross Lathan. And don't think her team members don't know what would happen if they cross her.

Anonymous said...

Sharon, the new superintendent may not want Lathan's people....ever thought about that....

Shaon Crews said...

I just said "acknowledge the possibility"--I truly have no idea how any of this will play out. However, I do know this is an extremely unusual situation because Lathan was allowed to bring in so many of her own choices for "middle management." Most superintendents brought in two assistants, at the most. Also, Lathan played games with the selection of principal so that now all of them are aware they are beholden to her for their jobs.
The fact remains that people, in general, will protect themselves, so if the tide would change for Lathan, it is possible that all of her picks would not stay as loyal. These are humanbeings--they may not like being puppets either.

Anonymous said...

Bells will toll district wide.

Anonymous said...

Whatever is is Lindholm and Sikes-Patterson are drinking......must be the same kool-aid from Lathan's thermos. Every teacher at every school is teaching something different. Reading Mastery is a HUGE JOKE, but hey, if it puts a "friend" in NC in the good graces of the publishers $$$$$, then I'm sure it's WORTH IT. (Insert sarcasm). I can hardly believe that this BOE with any common sense would believe this BS Lathan is shoveling down their throats. Wake up Butler, she's flushing the district down the toilet. Principals as well as teachers/staff are MISERABLE and don't let Lathan lead you to believe it's because we are asked to do MORE......not true. The fact is, we are doing BUSY WORK and it is NOT raising student achievement.

Anonymous said...

Amen....Sharon!

Anonymous said...

Butler doesn't want to wake up. She is reveling in being "popular." Lathan is making a fool of her.

Anonymous said...

She was a fool before Lathan.

Emerge Peoria said...

Come on now people, play nice. Dr. Butler is a Reverend.

Anonymous said...

Probably got ordination papers from same place LuhToy got her administrative certification. 14.00 unframed. 17.50 framed.

Anonymous said...

Ross went un, got some leopard print frames from Dollar General, and did hers up herself.

Anonymous said...

Be nice? "Reverend" Butler is foolish. She has the ability to speak up and advocate for children and she sits there with that dumb grin on her face and says NOTHING! That is a fool. Why run for the position? The only reason I can think of is for personal gain.

Anonymous said...

From which seminary did the "Reverend" graduate?

Emerge Peoria said...

I couldn't get to the site, let me know when, I'll try again.

Anonymous said...

Being on the school board is no longer an honor. It's kind of like that Who's Who scam. You think you're getting some great honor only to realize the WHOWHO company is just out to get you to buy their book. Or like the old Columbia House scam where you'd get ten CD's for a penny then have to buy ten overpriced CD's over the next three years. Just leaves you with a pit of sickness in your gut. Unless, of course, you're too dumb to figure out the scam. Then you just stick around year after year to play dress up twice a month and be a complete jackass.

Anonymous said...

It is time for District 150 to get back to their original mission, EDUCATION. They have branched out into too many other arenas. I understand all of the social services that some children in the district need but there are agencies in Peoria that are experts in those areas. 150 needs to get focused and make education their sole focus. They are becoming the master of none.
Of course, just my opinion.
Hedy Elliott-Gardner

Anonymous said...

I agree Hedy. Back to the three R's

Anonymous said...

That is the key, Hedy. We have tried so many other programs/services/etc that plain did not work in D150.

Let's get back to educating the students who are there to learn. Teaching and learning has to take priority now. Kids need structure and outcomes. They need to know what happens next.

Thank you for typing what the rest of the teachers think. Let me do my job...you, too, Hedy! We do it well. Time for learning to begin again!

Anonymous said...

What are the three R's again? R espect finances . . . ummmmmmm . . . R espect the customer. . . . and . . . R espect the Lathan?

Emerge Peoria said...

I think the Board owes it to their constituents to not just sit back and receive reports.

Hopefully they are also doing their own research and following through with schools to make sure that the information they receive is accurate.

As stated above, Shemika and Rebecca (all 150 staff for that matter) are employees, who want to keep their jobs, get raises and maintain a good working relationship with their boss.

Anonymous said...

I agree Emerge...but I believe employees in the district are afraid to talk because of the power Lathan has to just end someone's employment. It is a scary time in the district. I had a teacher tell me the other day that everyone is afraid and especially afraid to talk. They have seen too many people mistreated. The BOE needs to get a handle on the situation. I pray everyday that they will because good innocent people are being mistreated and hurt.

Anonymous said...

I ain't skrt a that woman. None a y'all should be either.

Anonymous said...

Does it ever seem - when you go to a board meeting - that there's an elephant in the room?

Anonymous said...

Nothing good comes from running a school district through fear and intimidation. It didn't work for Royster and it won't work for Lathan. It is evident she is padding her resume...looking for the next big payoff OR paycheck. Sikes-Patterson was a classroom teacher prior to coming to Peoria from NC. She has NO prior experience in the job she is performing and making big $$$. Truly, I have no idea why she is still on the payroll as a curriculum director, at the very most, she should ONLY be a classroom teacher like the rest of us. See if she can follow her own edics...

Anonymous said...

Did a single other principal stand up for the female principal who was belittled (reduced to tears) at the principal's meeting?

Sharon Crews said...

I don't know Sykes-Patterson and haven't heard much pro or con--however, please keep in mind that traditionally people in those positions were teachers before they were placed in positions on Wisconsin Avenue--many Peorians placed in those positions also flew by the seat of their pants.

Sharon Crews said...

If no other principal did anything in support of another principal who was reduced to tears, they all ought to be prepared--chances are more of them will be singled out in the future. District 150 employees better learn to support each other: teachers supporting teachers; principals supporting principals; and principals supporting teachers and vice versa. Remember that "No man is an island; no man stands alone"--this situation at a principals' meeting doesn't sound good to me--but then I haven't heard much of the story.
I believe Sharon Kherat was one of the first to be so treated--and I doubt that this recent one will be the last.

Anonymous said...

No one stood up for the individual because they all know what would happen to them if they did show some conviction. Remember very few people stand up for the one being bullied because they are afraid of the bully and what the bully will do to them.

Anonymous said...

Bully winkle.

Anonymous said...

Sharon. I agree with you that in the past teachers have been elevated to a position on Wisconsin Ave. However, did we have to move a 3rd grade teacher from NORTH CAROLINA? NO COMPETENT SOULS IN PEORIA?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Sharon, Sharon Kherat was treated terribly by Lathan. It was so vicious that Kherat couldn't continue like that and she had no choice but to quit. I think that Lathan is jealous of principals who get along with their employees and are doing a great job.

Anonymous said...

Anyone wonder what happens if you stand up to Lathan? Just look at what she did to her own hand picked number 2.

Sharon Crews said...

We have a fairly good idea what she does to underlings (those who are beholden to her for jobs). We don't know how she would behave if she were criticized by those to whom she is beholden--a school board member(s).

Anonymous said...

Ironically, if you could call it that, Lathan treated Kherat the way Kherat treated many of her teachers. Perhaps the correct term might be poetic justice.

Sharon Crews said...

However, I do not believe Lathan ever berated Kherat for her treatment of teachers. I believe that it was a personality conflict between the two of them. I found it ironic that Lathan publicly attacked Kherat at a board meeting about inflated grades, yet her recent questionnaire to teachers about their grades seems to indicate criticism about low grades.
What I'm saying is that I would have no objection if Lathan were to encourage principals to foster more positive relationships with their teachers, but I don't think that is the nature of her tirades to principals.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Hedy for your comments. By the way I heard that there was a Hello Kitty sale at a local store and that you should beware.

Sharon Crews said...

I guess I hadn't responded yet to Hedy's suggestion that District 150 has strayed too far from the real mission of schools--Education. Of course, Hedy is right. I would like to believe that all these programs are really going to make a difference--but I don't believe District 150 has any proof of the effectiveness of these programs.
The behaviors that are really disrupting classrooms are the result of some very deep-seated psychological problems. These kids need professional help (one-on-one), and the classroom isn't the place to tackle these disorders. I trust that most of you recognize that these young people suffer from problems beyond their control--it isn't that they won't behave; they really can't.
The very expensive programs work on only the well-adjusted students who misbehave now and then. Those students probably would respond to the ordinary classroom management measures that teachers have always used.
Meanwhile educational efforts are suffering serious setbacks in District 150.

Anonymous said...

Mic check. Check 1. Microphone check. Check 1,2,3.

Sharon Crews said...

I did hear that the last principals' meeting was held in Woodruff's auditorium and Lathan had a mike to speak to the principals. What's wrong with the scene? There aren't that many principals--why does she have to be "the speaker"? Does that say something about the give-and-take allowed at meetings. I don't think the principals had mikes. :) Does that sound like the same leadership that has caused lasting problems in San Diego?

shay said...

Good morning East bluffers. At 6:45 shots ring out. Two black males shooting at each other in the 1100 block Nebraska - Behrends alleyway in attempted car -jacking.


At the same time, apparently unrelated, a vehicle stolen from 700 block of ravine while warming up crashes into wooded area 1300 block east Nebraska.


Perhaps they were opportunistic little darlings on way to Woodruff? Is there any way to FOIA all the halfway houses in Peoria where Peoria gets all the recently released prisoners from Vandalia and Joliet who are attempting to assimilate back into Peoria's general population of thugs?



Tonight is 5th tuesday of month, blogger bash at Kelleher's. Please come hear and tell how to solve the world's problems over a cold one.

Emerge Peoria said...

Good morning Shay...

I could hear all the sirens in the distance and was wondering what the hell was going on. Sounds like East Bluffers need to duck and run directly to their cars, and jump in and take off without warming them up if they want to get to work in one piece. Oh, and don't stop at stop signs and lights, just in case somebody might try and take your vehicle while you are in it.

Anonymous said...

San Diego article was picked up in Ed Week. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/2012/01/lessons_from_san_diego_too_muc.html

WAKE UP Peoria....the city will be in future articles and blogs. Time for the board to intervene.

Anonymous said...

Large Marge,get off the microphone and start supporting your staff!

Anonymous said...

I heard the principals had to show up ten minutes before the start of the meeting to fill out a card if they wanted to ask any questions.

Anonymous said...

Did she sing Wind Beneath My Wings?

Sharon Crews said...

So any principal who happened to be needed in his own building would be penalized for showing up after the deadline to sign the card??? Sounds like the prevailing logic to me.

Anonymous said...

must be the same logic that grants lifetime employment to teachers that don't get their jobs done either

Anonymous said...

Did they pull a student from the Woodruff Academy to ensure they had someone to work the booth and keep the spotlight on Shuh Lay Lay for the entirety of the meeting?

Sharon Crews said...

Anonymous, I am assuming that you had many old teachers who didn't teach you anything throughout your educational career. I am assuming, also, that you are self-educated.
Guess what, some of my teachers probably weren't the greatest, but it just never occurred to me (even before I thought about being a teacher) to believe those few not so great teachers were holding me back.
Also, I contend that you would find it very difficult to find a teacher that everyone dislikes. In my experience, I found that even teachers that I may not have thought were that great actually were liked by a significant number of students.
Also, there aren't very many jobs that have as many "evaluators" as do teachers. Administrators, even other teachers, from 25 to 150 parents and children each year--all have their opinions about the worth of an individual teacher.

Anonymous said...

The mayor's sister is now in charge of Quest???

Anonymous said...

What does that mean?????

Anonymous said...

She is in charge of fundraising for Quest. She is not running it. Lol

Anonymous said...

Cindy Ardis Jenkins will thrive in this position at Quest. She did a great job at The Childrens Home. Quest is very fortunate to have her!

Anonymous said...

Where is the $$$ coming from to pay her? It would seem that a public taxpayer supported school of only 125+ students shouldn't be spending students money on someone for full time "fundraising". Someone ought to track how much is given to Quest vs. D150. i bet D150 contributions are down over the last several years, especially after the Chamber maids got what they wanted (Quest).

Sharon Crews said...

It's nice to see that Quest is keeping it "All in the Family." I understand that a couple of other Quest employees are relatives of Peoria political figures.

Anonymous said...

It's all about the facade at Quest. Good question regarding the pay of this professional. Does her salary come out of money given to them by the District, the loan from the County, or from "fundraising" proceeds?

Anonymous said...

Eh. Just let Quest hang around so the talking heads can say we have choice in Peoria. They don't have to mention that it's a bad one.

Anonymous said...

Is Reverend Buttler a reverend in the same way Dr. Dre is a doctor?