Friday, February 24, 2012

Teachers are praying that the Board of Education will show some sign of life

Lately life has kept me from blogging as regularly as I used to. However, I have not negelected to read your thoughts each day. As I look through comments, the resounding noise I continue to hear is based around this years Lemon Dance. Although, I'm not so sure it's a lemon dance, as comments seem to indicate that it's more a vindictive Superintendent...
Anonymous said... I can't believe no one has mentioned yet what the bully is doing now, firing the principals at Glen Oak and Irving. Their crime - applying for jobs in another district... I'm all for holding people accountable, which seemed difficult for former sups' when their friends/relatives were in positions, but let's be fair in the delivery. 
That doesn't even begin to address her actual delivery style - bully is right on. I don't remember there ever being a class in college called "Leadership from the Top Down" or "Because I Said So," but apparantly Dr. L found a class like that and then minored in "If I yell at you and demoralize you, you'll listen." Oh and supposedly she's been telling people she's not going to allow public comment Monday night, possibly due to the backlash of her wanting to fire these 2 administrators (again, not the one's that deserve it) and their assistant principals...  
Dr. L has proven in just 2 short years how vindictive she can be. I'll fight and take the risk if my students are being impacted, but so far they are sheltered from all of this mess. The new curriculum objectives are good, everything else about her sucks! Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Comment after comment seemed to back up the sentiments of the Anonymous above; the sheer astonishment that main street media had not picked up on the current upheaval within District 150 based around the rumor that the Superintendent will be sending Glen Oak  principal, Annette Coleman and Irving Principal, Kevin Curtin back to the classroom. It is has been difficult to read the sheer pleas from Anonymous teachers, begging any Board member who may be reading the blog to stop the Superintendent from her latest cuts...
Anonymous said... Lathan has her claws out and is directing them towards two principals who have dedicated many more years to the youth of Peoria than she ever will. Both apparently tired of her insanity and ego-tripping and dared to apply for a principalship outside of Peoria to get away from her bullying. Both are now being recommended by her to be returned to the classroom due to "poor leadership". It is funny that this poor leadership did not surface until they both decided to try to save their own mental health and get away from Psycholathan. 
If you know Annette Coleman or Kevin Curtin, you must know how outstanding both are in their schools as well as this community. To think that Lathan has made their lives so intolerable that both made a choice to leave 150 is nearly criminal. Something needs to happen in order to stop this woman from destroying the good people who are actually in the school buildings working with Peoria children.
All Lathan has done is tie the hands of principals so no punishment can be given then walk the halls, poke her head into some rooms, deem all teachers she sees as unsatisfactory due to student behavior, and close places like Garfield where absolutely wonderful things were happening. I'm pretty sure she didn't bother to walk those halls before she said, "Close it!" 
I pray the board can actually see that the crime of this recommendation has nothing to do with Coleman and Curtin's leadership and everything to do with hers! Sunday, February 19, 2012 
Anonymous said... That would make 4 excellent principals she has chased away. This must stop. The BOE has to take their heads out of the sand and save this district! Our children deserve better than this! With Lathan, it isn't about the students...it's about her way or the highway. Please, the good, intelligent people on the BOE...look into all of this! Sunday, February 19, 2012 
Anonymous said... Please be sure to include the loss of Paul Monrad, assistant principal at Glen Oak, in your count of lost talent in 150. His contract has not been renewed and he will be leaving the district at the end of this school year. Yet another unbelievable loss for our students. Sunday, February 19, 2012

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

The morale in our schools is at an all time low!The curriculum is a joke! Dr. Lathan has teachers who are not qualified to make up curriculum on committees making up curriculum! Primary aged children have no reading books to take home. Teachers are supposed to run around the building trying to find materials to teach reading! Teachers are afraid to speak out for fear Lathan will retaliate. Just when I thought the education in district 150 couldn't get worse, it did. The principals are so afraid of Lathan's revenge, they don't have the courage to speak out for the well being of the kids. This is very sad!

Anonymous said...

The shrine to "Hello Kitty" is getting bigger and bigger. The caretaker of the hallowed area has asked the maintence men to enlarge the storage area in her classroom so that she may do justice to her hero. So what if the students don't have desk to sit in, "respect the Lathan" and Lathan's handmaidens must be our top priority. "We are not worthy!!!" as we give each other the offical Hello Kitty salute. All hail the Kitty!!!!!

Tia said...

It should be noted that neither one of them got a job in another district. I know that the district one of them applied in has reopened the application period. So the question should be asked, why did they choose not to hire one of them? I doubt Lathan has that much pull in other school districts in this area? Or does she?

Anonymous said...

Please, everybody needs to go to Hines on Monday, and fill the room the Committee of the Whole meeting is being held. These fine men and women of our district who are being sent back to the classroom need our support!

Oh, and the speaking portion of the meeting is at the end of the meeting, and only 2 minutes per person. Now you know why the Lath and BOE like this Committee of the Whole meeting once a month, instead of 2 regular board meetings.

Every board member should be outraged. They all know Kevin and Annette! This will be the ultimate betrayal if they allow these principals to be sent back to the classroom. Each of them can find employment elsewhere, and not need to reference Lath or the BOE. Plenty of D150 admins will give them glowing references.

Your constituents want you to be pro-active, BOE...not a yes, ma'am, board. Do the right thing. Give us back the principals who have worked with Peoria's students for many many years. We are losing the brightest and the best due to Lath and the BOE.

Anonymous said...

May the KItty be with you!

Anonymous said...

Fidelity Castro.

Anonymous said...

I will say again on this thread..has Dr Lathan stayed commited to one district? NO. None of her chronies have either. So why should District 150 be punished for looking elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

Why isnt Dr Lathan held responsible for the failure of Glen Oak? Is it the principal and asst principal's fault that the school has 800 plus kids and 2 administrators? What is the student population at Manual and how many administrators do they have? Glen Oak was supposed to be a coomunity school and the Peoria Park District hasn't even been allowed to do programing in the school. It was built to have a number of adult literacy classes and those have never been offered. It was sold to the taxpayers as a K-8, year round, communinity school. It is not K-8. It is not year-round. It is not a community school. The principal and asst principal CANNOT control that. Dr Lathan and the BOE have lied and should be held responsible.

Anonymous said...

I had an opportunity to be in Glen Oak a couple of weeks ago...it was crazy, the teachers seemed to be trying to work with the kids and the asst. principal was running around answering call after call on his radio. There were children running the halls....I won't be going back.

Emerge Peoria said...

I was told that Engin Blackstone (Quest principal) only does three year stints, preferring to open schools and keep it moving. If that is true, his time in Peoria is up soon. Both the jr. high school and the middle school at Quest just might need a principal.

Anonymous said...

Emerge-Does he change his name every three years as well?

teachingrocks said...

Once again Dr. Lathan is trying to bully more principals out of this district. I wonder what it will take for the board of education to actually investigate these things rather than blindly rubber stamp any recommendation presented to them by the superintendent.

Here are some facts. Since her appearance in our district a few short years ago, Wisconsin Avenue has turned into North Carolina Avenue. There are many associate superintendents and others in high positions making well over $100,000. Our school district has lost principal after principal because they weren’t able to follow Dr. Lathan and her “my way or the highway” policies. It is easy for her to say they were not doing their job, but can she produce enough documentation to actually prove that? She should be asked to because of the incredible number of people who are fleeing.

The latest victims in this scheme are the principals at Irving and Glen Oak. Their crime? Applying for a job outside the district. Annette Coleman has been principal at Glen Oak for the past two years. She has been in District 150 for 19 years. She does not have performance deficiencies in her file—until after Dr. Lathan found out about her application at another district. Dr. Lathan has now turned her sights on making not only Mrs. Coleman pay for this “lapse of judgment” but is also taking down others associated with Glen Oak. Sadly, this includes the very children she was brought here to help.

Where were Mrs. Coleman, Mr. Monrad, and Mr. Curtin five years ago when Dr. Lathan was still in North Carolina? Where were these three just a couple years later when Dr. Lathan was in San Diego redesigning their special educaiton program? San Diego Unified is still reeling from the changes she implemented there. These three administrators along with many of the teachers who have or will be leaving this chaotic mess created by Dr. Lathan were in Peoria, teaching, loving, motivating, supporting, counseling, and trying to stabilize the lives of the children of Peoria. These teachers and principals, the ones who will still be left, will continue to do this long after Dr. Lathan is gone.

All these programs and intiatives were brought in and dumped into the laps of the teachers with little to no training or time to study them before rolling them out into the classroom. Is this a sign of an effective leader---a skilled superintendent? The only place all of these things look really good is on a resume. That resume is the one of Dr. Lathan as she moves on from Peoria and leaves whoever is left behind to sweep up the mess and move forward. How much damage does this woman actually get permission to do from the Board of Education before someone stands up and yells, “ENOUGH!” Please, do not let any more dedicated, loving, and cherished princpals leave this district. The time is NOW for a change to be made. Dr. Lathan has a boss too and it is time for them to begin their own evaluation of her performance. Send the message that vindictive, bullying, chaotic, morale busting behavior does NOT play in Peoria.

Anonymous said...

Two truly outstanding principals in District 150 are being punished because they got tired of all the horrible, vindictive things Lathan has done in the couple of years she has been in Peoria and tried to escapte. As soon as Lathan found out, her main goal in life became punishing these two. Please, quickly study the careers of Annete Coleman and Kevin Curtin and see how much they have dedicated to our kids. It is an absolute shame there is a possibility that Irving and Glen Oak are going to lose them. Please, protect our students and let them keep their jobs!

In a good and decent world, Paul Monrad would also be retained in 150. We are really going to lose something wonderful when his contract is over.

I can only shake my head in amazement that yet one more atrocity is happening in District 150.

Tia said...

My question has still not been answered. If these principals were so great, why didn't they get hired in the other district? That district decided to not make a hire because they had no suitable candidates. Grenita does not have that much pull where she can tell another district not to hire someone. Or does she? No one can answer that.

I don't believe everyone has the facts on the Coleman/Curtin situation.

Emerge Peoria said...

Tia...

When a graduate from Manual(or any 150 school) applies for a job the employer automatically thinks they are sub par...

I am willing to bet that a principal from Irving or Glen Oak would have to fight that same preconceived notion when they are seeking employment outside of the District. The school's reputation proceeds them.

Anonymous said...

Tia-I guess what everyone is wondering is if they were such a problem then why ALL OF A SUDDEN when they applied for a different job did all of this come out?
Another question for you, Tia. Apparently Grenita thought that Annette had something on the ball when she put her in charge of this school last year. This is the school that the whole city is watching. How did that change in a matter of months? Same with Irving. Grenita placed Kevin there. Irving has always been a vibrant school with a great staff and a ton of volunteers. GRENITA CHOSE to shuffle principals and move Mike Barber from Irving. GRENITA CHOSE to close Garfield. GRENITA FIRED SHIPP and GRENITA PLACED ANNETTE at Glen Oak. So my question Tia what has changed in those months?

Anonymous said...

Emerge..
Please give this message to Hello Kitty
"I am not worthy, I am not worthy"

teachingrocks said...

GIVE ME A BREAK! These two principals have been with the district for years. Try and find something bad said about either one of them on blogs or in the media. I bet it cannot be done. They have dedicated the past 20 or so years of their lives to the children in Peoria. The fact that they both chose now to apply elsewhere is certainly an indication of problems in top management of 150.

Second, who do you think the other district called when looking for a reference? Ummmm, Grenita. Do you think she gave glowing recommendations when she was heard saying she was pissed when she found out what they had dared to do?

Do not cross her. Do not question her. Do not try to escape her. Cower in the corner and pray to stay away from her line of vision. The only problem with these two is that they are strong, dedicated educators who decided to look elsewhere in order to escape the madness.

I pray we do not lose them because it is a loss that will be felt by hundreds of children throughout Peoria. I also pray this move by Lathan finally opens some eyes to the true nature of the beast.

Anonymous said...

Emerge: Could you please post the Monday night board agenda for D150 BOE meeting? For "some" reason, this administration does not want the public to know WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, or WHY as far as conducting business. We are taxpayers and we have a right to know BEFORE the action has been taken. Please send a link. Thanks,

kohlrabi said...

You can access the agenda via the calendar.
http://psd150.org//site/Default.aspx?PageID=2&PageType=17&DomainID=1&ModuleInstanceID=2139&EventDateID=4710&CurrentView=month

Tia said...

Thanks for the answers. I do agree with Emerge that probably the school's reputation preceeded them. They were trying to move to schools that are highly recommended, which in turn comes with new challenges.

However, all of us can only speculate what goes on behind closed doors. Keep in mind there is always 3 sides to every story.

teachingrocks said...

As of right now, the location of the meeting is Hines School at 6 pm. There has been talk of it being moved but nothing definite yet.

Rixblix said...

So, the status quo in 150 doesn't work because it hasn't worked for years. Yet a Superintendent who is completely shaking things up isn't working either? I thought Laura Patelle was supposed to be the BOE member who was going to cut through the bullshit, be held accountable and ensure an open and honest dialog with Diane Vespa and the rest of the District Watch group.

Could it be that running a school district actually ISN'T like running a business? Could it be that top to bottom there are people who are entrenched in the system? I agree 100% with the person who pointed out that if those administrators who sought employment elsewhere were so great, why weren't they poached from 150?

To be sure, there are issues in 150; the issues were years...decades....in the making and it's impractical to think that someone, anyone, will be able to affect a change in 24 months.

Anonymous said...

Ok Tia- another question. Why do you think Dr Kherat, Angie Stockman and Nicole Wood left 150? Maybe the sudden fleeing does have something to do with Lathan, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

The loss of good principals started with Hinton when he released a perfectly good principal who had been with the district almost 20 yrs and brought in crazy Mary O'Brian, who had to be walked out of the Admin blding. And he hired how many of his relatives? Which is worse, Hinton's relatives or all of NC? It's hard to say!

Rixblix said...

I am so confused when it comes to what the community wants when it comes to D150. There seems to be a consensus that the issues facing the district are long-standing. But cleaning house of the "old guard" is frowned upon.

When it comes to discipline, the practices that have been in place for years aren't working....but teachers/administrators who try something different are vilified.

I bet than anyone with an idea can walk up to their neighborhood school, request a meeting with the administrator in charge and share their solution to the ills of our schools.

Don't wait for a BOE meeting. Seriously, walk in the door of the building, request an appointment and share.

Anonymous said...

Wow is the last comment clueless. If you share an opinion and the principal shares it with one of the attack dog layers the they are fired. How does Tim and Revonda live with themselves? oh wait...Lathan has well know dirt on both of them..

The only drama in a school district should be in the hs theater class. Ive asked this over and over on this site. BOE member- what has all of the drama and chaos resulted in? A better life for students? If the answer is no then quit letting an insecure unprofessional crass bully continue hurting students and adults. Treat her th same
way she has treated so many others- fire her.

tls1995 said...

There are several parents and staff that plan to attend tonight’s school board meeting specifically because of the threat to move/remove our Principals at Glen Oak. My question to anyone who has been to a Peoria School Board Meeting - the agenda states three different start times. Should we plan on being there for the entire thing starting at 4pm or just the regular session starting at 6pm?

While I would love to go for the whole thing starting at 4pm that will mean taking off work early and if that isn’t necessary I really don’t want to waste my time.

Anonymous said...

The 4:00 is executive session roll call, then they go into a private area for roll call and dinner.

The 6:00 start time is when it normally begins the public session. The public comments are at the end of this type of meeting...Committee of the Whole. One speaker only has 2 minutes, so it says. So, bring lots of speakers.

JC Friberg said...

A few other words of suggestion for those wanting to addend/speak at tonight's meeting (and I hope it's packed!!):

- Arrive early. Meetings with a contentious issue on the agenda fill up and there aren't enough seats for all.
- If you know that several folks will be speaking on your topic, arrange talking points for each speaker so that all your topics get covered and you aren't repeating each other. 2 minutes isn't long, but if you organize well, it can work out fine.
- If you do arrange talking points, the first person to speak should ask if they can be followed by several people to present a united message. The Board usually grants that (or did in the past).

Good luck!!

TPBRicky said...

Re: Rixblix "When it comes to discipline, the practices that have been in place for years aren't working....but teachers/administrators who try something different are vilified."

Wrong. The practices that have been in place for years [clearly stated rules, consequences, etc.] and have worked for years [up until the late 90's] are NOT being done. That is the problem, and if you were in the schools, you would know.

Jon said...

Teacher vs Teacher

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is that none of you know any of the true details because they are confidential personnel issues. Who does? The board. And who's side are they on? The Administration.

Anonymous said...

If you believe that the board of education has the true details then you do not understand the Lathan school of leadership. The true details involve retaliation against two principals who stood up against Lathan and/or applied to another district. Lathan is someone who has bounced through three districts in the last five years of so and I find it quite concerning she has a problem with someone trying to move. Also, her "I was pissed" comment when asked how she felt about their applying outside 150 makes it pretty obvious you are supposed to bow down and do what she says but certainly not supposed to try and escape her.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Dr. Lathan keep doing it your way.

Anonymous said...

"quite concerning"

Anonymous said...

From where does the quote "I was pissed" originate? I have personally heard her say she "hoped to build capacity for building instructional leaders throughout the area". If asked, can a Board member reply to the question - Is there documentation and is the District prepared against legal action? - with at least a yes or no?

Anonymous said...

If I were a current principal I would document everything that Dr. Lathan did. Every time she berated me, every time she shook her finger in my face, every time she pounded her fat little hand on the table. This is a hostile work environment. Employees are being bullied and they should seek legal advice.

Sharon Crews said...

When Lathan arrived, we were told she would be meteoric. We were told she (or she stated) that she would be cleaning house, etc.
She rearranged the house in ways many of us found inexplicable, and she has cleaned house or maybe muddied it.
From all I've heard (and no one has come up with better explanations), all of the principals that have been "encouraged to leave" were involved in some personal conflict with Dr. Lathan. Lathan seems to me to be bent on cleaning house by removing anyone who shows any disagreement with her or disloyalty to her. Her own survival seems to be the motivating factor. I don't see how personal revenge has much to do with improving the educational enviroment in District 150.

Anonymous said...

Sharon--can you provide proof that all principals who were encouraged to leave were in personal conflict with Lathan?

Sharon Crews said...

I used the word "seems" because there is no way that I can know for an absolute certainty that most of those fired or demoted by Lathan were fired because of a personal conflict rather than because of any objective assessment that those fired were a detriment to District 150. If you know of any objective information to the contrary, by all means feel free to enlighten us.
There are leaks in the Distict, in general, on Wisconsin Avenue, particular, so information does spread rather quickly.
I think this is a very important issue. District 150 cannot afford much more upheaval that has nothing to do with improving the District. Personal conflicts (even the appearance of such) have no place in the decision making process.

Anonymous said...

It has been reported that the vote on Annette and Kevin will happen at Monday's board meeting. There is a plan to picket before the meeting and several people are planning on speaking.

Anonymous said...

Has she forgotten that this is America!!!
Since when can't teachers apply to a different school district without retaliation?