Monday, March 12, 2012

Protesters outside the District 150 Board meeting... Live blogging in comments...

A large number of protesters are expected to show up at tonight's BOE meeting to protest the demotion of two principals and the decision to not renew the contract of one assistant principal. Check back for updates as they become available.

168 comments:

Sharon Crews said...

I just heard that Terry Knapp's speech brought the house down! The crowd will on its feet often tonight!

Anonymous said...

Yay! Something has to be accomplished tonite, and not the demotion of 2 great principals.

Emerge Peoria said...

On fifth speaker.. standing ovations for almost all so far...rowdy crowd 3 community members and 2 teachers talked so far one from glen oak and from irving


7:08

Emerge Peoria said...

Knapp brought house down. Said Lathan is bully. She played musical principals and deserves an F. He said she should be fired.

6:56

Emerge Peoria said...

Don jackson said district 150 was given opportunity to partner with majic jackson for charter school at carver center and choose not to partner.

7:23

Emerge Peoria said...

Crazy and rowdy! People cheering and rowdy ..standing ovations ..shouting Amen!

Rev Randle speaking said that the theme of the evening is "fear".

7:35

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Emerge!

Anonymous said...

It's like I'm there. Please keep posting so I know what is happening!

Emerge Peoria said...

Laura patelle gives a speech about how she and dr lathan are not "home grown" and they have contributed a lot to 150..the crowd went NUTS! Started grumbling  and saying, "What's your point?!" "How about some home grown honesty?!"

7:50

Anonymous said...

Is Lathan worse than Hinton and the idiots he brought in? Its hard to imagine they are worse than Broderick, O'brian and the others!! Just askin. I feel so sorry for the kids, so sorry.
Thanks Emerge for communicating to the community, something Dist. 150 doesn't know how to do!

Emerge Peoria said...

These meetings really should be televised.

Anonymous said...

Hinton didn't do his due diligence and complete the full, required course work before becoming a superintendent. We really wanted him to work.

Anonymous said...

Laura must forget she has to answer to the public also. Making grandiose statements does not mean she is doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Please folks, let's keep on topic with tonights meeting.

Anonymous said...

I am a former staff member under Annette and wasn't able to make it to the meeting tonight. It's great to hear so many people come to bat for her and the other administrators. Given the circumstances which surround these recommendations, I hope that the pressure on central administration and the BOE is overwhelming. I would like to hear as many updates as possible!

Anonymous said...

If the board has their minds made up, then it doesn't matter what the crowd says. Just saying. And maybe just maybe there is some justification of their decisions.

Anonymous said...

You people are a joke. The place was a mess before Lathan got here. She's trying to clean it up and all you can do is obstruct. You should be ashamed of yourselves. And Emerge Peoria, you print unsubstantitated rumors and inuendo and should be ashamed of yourself as well.

Anonymous said...

You are so right, the district was a mess before Lathan. However, it doesn't excuse her bullying behavior!

Anonymous said...

I do remember seeing Lathan on TV when she first came and her behavior was very INAPPROPRIATE! I was almost embarrassed for her. I thought oh no, here we go...

Anonymous said...

Knapp is right. Lathans a bully. What kind of role model is she?

Anonymous said...

Those poor kittys. Who let the dogs out!!

Anonymous said...

Okay, what is the kitty thing?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget who is ultimately responsible for this mess, THE BOARD! They are the ones who keep bringing in bullies!

Emerge Peoria said...

It's over..lathan gave weird irrelevant statement about "moving forward with the district's strategic plan" and did not respond to any remarks. Cloyd said he supports Lathan.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean the meeting is over or they are moving on with the agenda?

Anonymous said...

All of this is staying on the subject! It proves there is a pattern with who the board hires!

Anonymous said...

So, what was said in regards to Annette, Kevin and Paul?

Anonymous said...

So, we still don't know the outcome? Are they going to classrooms? If so, when? Are they staying where they are? If this board votes for these people to return to the classroom, something must be done to get rid of this board. Where do we begin?

Emerge Peoria said...

No vote til march 26 .

Anonymous said...

Was there an explanation for this?

Anonymous said...

http://peoriastory.typepad.com/peoriastory/2012/03/finally-teachers-parents-and-the-community-are-mad-its-about-time.html

Sharon Crews said...

I don't think Lathan can continue to ignore Don Jackson, Rita Ali, etc. Now she is getting on the wrong side of the city and the community by nixing the idea of saving Carver Center with accepting the Magic Johnson school. Because Lathan treats people so badly and operates at a very personal level, it's only a matter of time that she goes after the wrong person(s)--maybe she already has.

tls1995 said...

We stayed for the entire meeting and still have no idea were we are with our principals.

Anonymous said...

That's the whole idea. She operates under secrecy. She doesn't want anyone to know what she is doing. Fear and intimidation! Sound familiar? She and Hinton must have studied under the same mentor. We, the taxpayer, paid for her to bring 11 people with her and she's already fired at least one of them. Can this board get any dumber?

Anonymous said...

Carver closed due to many things, not the least of which was poor financial oversight. Granting a charter isn't easy and my guess is it was an attempt to pull tax dollars from the district to support renewed programing @ Carver - whatever. Lathan just might be holding everyone to a higher level of accountability and meaning it. Ken was too nice of a guy and a deer in headlights on tough decisions. Part of leadership is not worrying about being liked. Obviously teachers crying fear and intimidation have been protected by tenure. Most of America is fearful about losing their job at some point, if not continually. Carry on.

Anonymous said...

There is a reason there is a bullying law in many states. I agree with the above statement to a point. However, if you have never worked under a bully then you don't get it. Bullies many times go after people who are excellent employees just because they are jealous. PERIOD. And yes, Hinton was NOT the nice guy he appeared to be. Ha, you must not have seen him in action.

Anonymous said...

Teachers aren't the only ones crying fear and intimidation here. Principals are as well. Ken, too nice of a guy? LMAO Ken hired 70% of his relatives and along with Broderick and O'Brian started the atmosphere of fear in our district. Let's not forget how O'Brian was removed from our district and how fast Broderick went running. Defending Hinton and his wacky Wednesdays, his arrogance and his favoritism is insane! That man was whacked! His defense of Mary Davis was also crazy.

Our board sat idly by while voting time and time again for disaster. They continue to do so.

Jon said...

Interesting that it was Petelle and Cloyd who spoke up in favor of Lathan and the administration. I thought they were the great hope of the District Watch Group.

Of course, I get a chuckle out of Knapp calling out anyone for being a bully...

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about the business manager Hinton hired. Oh my. This board needs to go! They are the superintendent's boss. They do not get that. Idiots.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...Jon...going after the District Watch Group, nothing new there. You should know about the Watch Group before commenting on it.

Oh, wait...Sharon is part of that group. That explains Jon's interest here. No bullying going on there...ha!

Anonymous said...

WMBD reporters are telling that neither name is on the HR report that comes out tomorrow.

Good reporting, Mrs Emerge!

Anonymous said...

Hinton threw everyone under the bus....O'Brien, Broderick, Cahill, and Davis....he was a bully, but he wanted people to think other wise. At least Lathan is open with her behavior.

Anonymous said...

Uhhhh Jon--Terry Knapp is a bully? That is the pot calling the kettle black.

Jon said...

"You should know about the Watch Group before commenting on it. "

I've been to the meetings. It's nice to see people get involved. However, I don't share many of the views expressed there.

Anonymous said...

Lathan won't keep nice principals, you have to be a bully, micromanager, and screw up your school real bad in order to be kept on as a principal in Dist 150. How can we unite to get rid of the entire Dist 150 Board along with Lathan?

Anonymous said...

Cloyd. What a boner. Speek out about discipline then support the status quo. Disappointed. Not surprised.

Jon said...

I didn't call Terry Knapp a bully - nor did I complain about it even if I thought so. I like a good ole debate. See the difference?

Anonymous said...

What do you think--was the Reverand's hairdo more Hello Kitty or Joel Olsteen?

Sharon Crews said...

I believe Jon said that he has been to Watch meetings. He may have been to one or two of the really big meetings when the shortened primary school day was an issue and when the closing of Woodruff was an issue. Almost all of the District Watch meetings are attended by very few people--and there is rarely, if ever, a stranger in our midst. I can guarantee that Jon has not graced us with his presence often or recently. He certainly hasn't been to any meetings since Dr. Lathan became superintendent.
Laura Petelle asked for our support as individuals, but District Watch does not support anyone as a group. I think maybe Cloyd came to speak to us when he was running--but I am not sure about that. However, neither of them represented any hope for us. I learned a long time ago that candidates' views change very quickly after they become board members. I didn't know Laura well enough to be an ardent support--I was, however, an ardent supporter of Jim Stowell. I wish I could have remained a supporter.
I love how Jon can make insinuations--and he certainly insinuated that Terry was a bully, but tries to get a pass based on what he considers vague statements that he can weasel out of.
At tonight's board meeting many who usually don't agree wholeheartedly with each other certainly agreed on one thing--Lathan is not right for District 150. That speaks well for our community--that we can unite when the time is right.

Jon said...

I guess when Diane said at a DWG meeting, of Petelle, "We've got one on the board, but it doesn't mean anything if we can't get more candidates who share our values elected to the board", and then several people nodded in approval, I was just mistaken about their hopes for Petelle.

I think Lathan is no more or less of a bully than Terry Knapp. I hope that's clear.

It was interesting to see Terry and Bobby in general agreement - is Bobby up for re-election soon?

Anonymous said...

Bobby is retiring. And Knapp isn't a bully. He sticks up for other people in a ferocious manner. Lathan sticks up for herself in a snake-like manner and behind closed doors.

Anonymous said...

"you have to be a bully, micromanager...." Sounds like she wants people that actually expect accountability and results. Seems like those that complain loudest are the teachers who like doing the least. No wonder the union stalwarts come out in force. Hey - HOW ABOUT DOING YOUR JOB!

Anonymous said...

The last comment proves that people from NC read this blog. Nice to see you here. Wish you were back down south!

Anonymous said...

Some managers actually are visionaries and leaders.

Others are dictators who intimidate and bully and berate those reporting to them as if they are small children.

Dr. Lathan shows signs of both styles at times. Lately more the latter, it seems. She needs to get back more to the former, of being a visionary whose visions inspire and lead others.

Anonymous said...

Ideas without execution are nothing.

Her ideas are good. No one seems to be disagreeing with her ideas, including her strategic plan.

It sounds like many people disagree with her methods of executing her ideas. Perhaps she does need to be a little more inspiring and leading and a little less "bullying" so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't be at the mtg so thanks for updates. My take away from it is that the board knows she is a bully from the multiple firings, lawsuits, shufflings of staff and even law firms, resignations but is ok with this type of management style.

The pic of Grenita in the paper is appropriate. That look- the look of insecurity masking itself as disgust of others is one she wears often. She hates Peorians and most white people. She only has eyes for Latoya.

Sharon Crews said...

Jon, we did like what Laura had to say at the time--but she was running for office and our choices were limited. Dr. Lathan was Laura's choice--it stands to reason that it will be a while before she wants to consider the possibility that she could have made the wrong choice--or she, like us, may not have had much of a choice in the first place. Also, Diane brought Laura to our meetings because Laura is her friend. Diane use of the word "we" doesn't mean anything because none of us, including me, speaks for the group. We are a group of individuals; we do not act as a group. We didn't go to the voting booth together.

Anonymous said...

Darling will not be running for re-election. Scott Donahue, who ran several years ago, is running in his place. The good thing is he is a classroom teacher, so he gets it. Should be a positive change for the teachers.

Sharon Crews said...

Also, Jon, we may have been nodding in agreement when Laura expressed her desire to keep Woodruff open. She broke that trust as soon as she took office.

anonymous Ptown said...

I usually don't comment on D150 issues, but I will say this:

1) From the PJS: "Rick Cloyd, another board member, pointed out that the state has mandated a new evaluation process for principals and teachers"

I don't see anyone commenting on this issue. If the state has a new evaluation process, and ALL school districts have to apply it to all principals and staff, then why are folks blaming Lathan? Maybe you should look at this new process, see if it is flawed before calling for Lathan's and the BOE's heads.

2) Speaking of the BOE, it is sooo easy to write that the BOE should be replaced...yet 2 Board members up for election this year are unopposed. So how come some complainers didn't try to run. You can't REPLACE a Board Member if NO ONE runs against them, and is successful at that.

3) Seems that no superintendent is ever safe at Dist. 150. If the super is friendly, outgoing, works well with staff, parents and community, the Board eventually sours on them and fires them...If the super is friendly, outgoing, works well with the Board, then staff, parents and community sours on them and tries to get them fired. If I had Superintendent credentials, I would never apply for that job in Dist. 150.

Jon said...

Maybe people were nodding in agreement when asked if they wanted more pizza? I guess maybe my previous comment wasn't clear...

Maybe Laura, Cloyd et al are privy to a lot more information and have made informed and sound decisions.

Anonymous said...

I have walked the halls of Glen Oak and Irving. I have taught in classrooms at both schools. A brand new building couldn't help Glen Oak. There needs to be more adult bodies. Coleman was given an impossible task. Kids run amok there, while Trewyn get an entire Elite team. Frankly, Irving is a joy. I just don't get what the problem is.

Teachers who have been with this district for almost 30 years are overloaded with work and wondering how new teachers are possibly coping. There is something seriously wrong with District 150. Bringing 11 people in from NC is crap. The fact that the board allowed this to happen is crap.

Teachers cannot fix the woes that are our neighborhoods. Shootings on Forest Hill now. Lathan and her posse will be gone with the wind sooner than later and taxpayers will still be left trying to pick up the pieces of this poverty ridden city.

Anonymous said...

this from a teacher who can complain on-line WHEN THEY SHOULD BE WORKING. But go ahead and cash your check and head home to your bedroom community.

Anonymous said...

It is easy to villify Lathan- there is enough source material. But, the real culprits here are the elected board members. They are fully aware of her management style. They authorized her hiring of North Carolina and the payment of them to move to Peoria. They fully authorized her removal of good people.

Ask yourself how Curtin came to be principal of Irving? She moved Barber just so that she could do Curtin in because she is completely threatened by Kevin's vast community support.

Prediction: The board will do NOTHING about Lathan, she will leave the district high and dry. She has a track record of doing this in both San Diego and Greensboro.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you stupid fool! I'm a sub. I work when I feel like it! Today, 75 degrees, I felt like staying home! LOL

Sharon Crews said...

Jon, I held out much hope for Cloyd when he spoke out strongly about discipline; however, after talking to 5 to 7 students at each high school, he seems to have decided all is well (at least, he didn't contradict Wolfmeyer when she drew that conclusion for both of them).
There you go again, weaseling out of the nodding comment by making us believe you were referring to the vote for more pizza--or maybe that comment was meant as humor--I will accept it as such.
In response to another post, I don't think the new evaluation process is for principals--could be wrong. Also, give teachers some credit for sticking up for their principals--with the exception of Peoria High's support of Simmons that hasn't happened recently.

Sharon Crews said...

By the way, about board members being privy to more information, etc. I think I know more about class sizes than they do. In a recent FOIA, I asked for any data that the board has been given about class sizes. The response was that there is no such report.
However, I had already received class size data--so I was fairly confident when I reported class sizes for kindergarten and 1st grade that the board had not previously been given the data.

Jon said...

There you go again with the "weasel" comments - you might better understand if you READ what I wrote, rather than what you think/hoped I meant. My comment about "nodding in agreement" was very specific - it wasn't made when Petelle was a candidate, it wasn't about closing Woodruff, etc. Remember, I was there....and so were you.

Sharon Crews said...

Jon, that's your modus operandi--to write statements that can be taken more than one way and then accusing others of reading into your comments. That's how you get your kicks--the "gotcha moments." I prefer communications that are meant to clarify, not to confuse. How could I remember if you were there or not--I didn't know who you were. Since then I've seen your picture, so I might be able to recognize you.

Dennis in Peoria said...

I just hope whatever issues are going on in District 150 get resolved, with the help of the community (esp. the negative commenters), the Board of Education, the Chamber & the City (who have indicated a willingness to help the district these days), the PFT, and most importantly the parents. The success of the children cannot depend on just one factor of the community. The quality of our future depends on the quality of life we give our children now.

Jon said...

Most issues aren't black and white - they're various shades of gray - or a different color altogether. Unfortunately, a lot of people can't handle that kind of complexity. It's easier to claim that a particular problem is due to "carpetbaggers", "lazy teachers" or "bullying administrators who can't teach". Then those pre-conceived notions block all forms of sensibility (and, yes, people read way too much into a statement based on the person saying it instead of the statement itself).

Anonymous said...

Gov. Quinn is going to cut pensions in the near future. Even for those currently retired. Disbelieve at your own peril. No gray area.

Anonymous said...

Jon, you're a big Hello Kitty fan, aren't you?

Sharon Crews said...

Dennis, I do struggle with the perception of "negative" commentators. Those who call attention to the negatives are often considered to be the troublemakers. The messenger has always been the scapegoat. However, pointing to the negatives can be a positive.
Right now we have a situation where people from various segments of the District 150 community are drawing the same conclusions.
The list of people who have had their lives disrupted by Lathan's judgments is getting ever longer. Most importantly the education of children is being negatively impacted because of these judgment calls.
I think it is a positive that the "negative" speakers speak up in defense of people who have served this community--and served it well for quite some time.
There is absolutely no evidence that Lathan has used any objective measurements in making these judgment calls about the effectiveness of the people against whom she has waged "war." She has made little or no effort to warn or even tell these people what they have done wrong. Certainly, the status of Glen Oak (overcrowded classes, changes in leadership, etc., unwillingness for the District to deal with the discipline problems effectively) are failures at the top, not the failures who have been asked to cope with the problems day after day. It says something that teachers are so willing to fight for their principals--the blame game is not being played in the building.
And I don't believe that there any problems at Irving--certainly nothing compared to problems in so many other 150 schools. So why is the principal being made into a scapegoat?

Anonymous said...

Normally I do not comment on the blogs, however, with so many things going on in this district I felt I needed to share my opinion. I have been in several schools and I can tell you hands on that students do push, shove, kick, spit, use verbal aggression towards teachers without many times consequences at all. Someone commented that teachers can go find jobs in other districts. Well, for many teachers they have too many years invested to seek employment in another district. Financially, it would be suicide.

Another factor I have not heard anyone speak of is what Lathan has done to the special ed students in this district. I know for a fact that many special education students are not receiving their minutes indicated on their IEP's. Some buildings have no place to take students due to overcrowding, many have so many students teachers cannot possibly get to all students on their case load. So many reasons. We have students working three and four years below grade level sitting in reg ed classes not receiving services. Parents and students don't always know their rights. Teachers do, but are afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation. That is a big thing in this district. If you try to speak out about what is right, you are punished.

If parents are reading the blogs and your student is in special ed in District 150, check with your son/daughter's teacher to make sure the minutes on that IEP is being met. Otherwise, file Due Process against this District. Speak out for students and parents that have no voice.

Anonymous said...

I heard that special ed students were not getting the minutes indicated on their IEP's. That is illegal. Clearly, Lathan does not care about those students.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to report District 150 to the State Board of Education for violating special ed student's rights. They can do an investigation.

Anonymous said...

How about lower performing schools are not allowed to take their elementary school students outside for recess because they "need to be learning from bell to bell". How sad, $45,000 worth of playground equipment that is sitting idle most of the time because our students need more WORK. Did Lathan ever hear about a "well-rounded" education? That would include social skills, that take place on the playground.....

Anonymous said...

Well what about the fact that we have no real reading program for middle school students. It's bits and pieces from many different programs. It is a mess!! How are teachers expected to raise test scores with the mess they have given teachers this year???? Lathan is clueless. If parents only knew what was going on in this district.

Anonymous said...

Concerning Special Ed, I heard all the Special Ed Managers positions have been eliminated and one coordinator over all will be hired. If that is true, I can guarantee Special Ed students will have serious problems.

Sharon Crews said...

As to eliminating recess, we are not educating robuts. Even little kids know how to rebel when treated unfairly--they will stop working and take a recess of their own making.
Dennis, do you think that this "negative" information about what is going on in the classrooms should be silenced so that Lathan can keep telling us that learning is improving.

Anonymous said...

Regarding special ed, that is the Director of special ed's job. She has not known what she's doing since she started. The department is a mess!

Dennis in Peoria said...

It is unfortunate that more problems than immediate solutions seem to be cropping up. But the public, in cooperation with proper authorities, whether local or at state level, can come together to solve problems. If local and/or authorities don't have the public interest to solve a problem, the next step is at the ballot box to vote against the status quo. Locally, it's too late to run as a write-in, I believe, so the next step would be to seek help from the regional office, or the State Board of Education.

Anonymous said...

No confidence vote needed for Lathan from parents and teachers.

Anonymous said...

Teachers have started contacting Bobby regarding the no confidence vote.

Mahkno said...

Linda Butler is running unopposed for School Board? WTF.

Anonymous said...

How was "respecting the customer" demonstrated at Monday's meeting?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Hello Kitty, grant us discernment. Which is more pathetic: a pastor who will succumb to the temptation of conflict of interest for temporal gain or one who either cannot help or has been rejected by one's own community and thus spends time trolling the blogs of other cities? Grant us wisdom, oh Kitty, and do not let us be deceived by the doggies!

Anonymous said...

How can taxpayers conduct a no confidence vote on teachers and parents?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon Taxpayer:

Your elected officials have made many changes to teacher certification and evaluation. If you think that your child's teacher(s) are lacking, you can discuss it with his/her evaluator.

However, your elected officials, probably in the desire to be re-elected, have given parents a walk. Contact your elected officials about holding parents accountable.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of the sped director. It's really not her fault, she should never hav been placed in that position. She did not have the exprience for the job. Whoever hired her should be fired.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right about that and it wasn't her fault. Timmy loves her and wanted her near him. She is a good lady, but doesn't have the experience to handle the special ed. in a district like peoria.

Anonymous said...

Can we have our Union election THIS April? Darling has waited a little too long to start to try be tough. We need someone young and enthusiastic for a change.

Anonymous said...

Just curious. I keep reading that Dr. Lathan was hired to "shake things up." Is that all? Are there no ends included in the target? Are all means justified if the ends means shake things up? Shouldn't the ends be "improve the district?" Of course, what does that mean and what should be improved? Should we only focus on test scores? Should parent satisfaction be taken into consideration? What about staff morale--is that part of the goal? If the only ends is "shake things up" then Dr. Lathan has truly rocked and rolled.

Anonymous said...

So great have a lousy Sp Ed Director and now Grenita is getting rid of the Sp Ed Managers (that's how it is done in NC. So now all the sp ed students are in even more trouble.

Anonymous said...

After her performance in San Diego with the special ed, it scares me to think she is doing anything to our special education here. Three years later and they are still trying to clean up her mess.

Anonymous said...

Most of our parents are not able to afford an attorney to represent them at special education meetings. However, you can contact Praire State Legal Services. Here is the website:
http://www.pslegal.org/
The district knows they can get by with things when it comes to our low income students/families. Please spread the word.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Debbie. The lunch ladies called. You can have your old job back.

Anonymous said...

District 150. Ruled with a gelatinous fist.

Anonymous said...

Parents of students with disabilities are allowed an advocate also. Maybe they should all show up at the IEP meetings with somebody who will speak for them. Or, maybe they should call the SPED director and make their concerns known.

It will be parents who finally get the attention of the state of Illinois and put an end to this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

maybe it's time to stop trying to "include" special ed students to the degree we have been. Evidently we pay A LOT of people to hold hands with these "one-on-ones". Why don't gifted students get advanced one-on-ones?

Anonymous said...

last anonymous, grab your Hello Kitty and go hide with Luh Toy, since neither of you understand kids with disabilities who have minutes on their IEPs. Wait, that would include most of the newest administrators!

Sharon Crews said...

This newest story on the PJS makes you wonder--especially since the name of the woman is never mentioned:

A former Blaine-Sumner School student bought the old building for $16,500 Wednesday after a round of heated bidding with a woman who planned to turn it into a ministry school and community center.

Chad Berry, who went to Blaine in the early 1980s, said he currently has no plans for the building.

"But when I heard Harrison went for $10," Berry said, "as a taxpayer, I was not going to let that happen again."

Anonymous said...

Seems like our biggest complainers are those educating special needs students. Over-paid babysitters for those who will chronically drain taxpayer resources. Enough already.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. If that last post tells us where the administrators stand on students with disabilities, this district is in trouble. So are the families in this district.

Anonymous said...

Those who teach special needs students are not complaining, we are a voice for the students and families that are not voicing their concerns. What Dr. Lathan has done to the special education programs/students is disheartening. We have so many special needs students that need to learn to read, write, etc... They need teachers who care enough to teach them these gifts.

How would you like it if you had a child that was in the 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade that could not read? Would you not want someone to care enough to help your child?

Not complaining, it's caring!

Anonymous said...

not an administrator - just a taxpayer that thinks gifted students deserve the same monetary support as those with disabilities

Anonymous said...

What did Lathan do to the special Ed program in San Diego? I really want to know. She needs to be reported on all violations in this District.

Anonymous said...

You need to be looking at the inexperienced special education director. I kind of feel sorry for her. She needs to go and maybe come back after she has had some administrative experience. It was a mistake hiring her. Who put her in that position?!!

Anonymous said...

The only minutes LuhToy worries about are the rollover minutes on her Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go Hello Kitty cell flip phone. Hey Bowinkle, Louise Fletcher called. She wants her shoes back.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon - the same person who hired the sped ed intr is probably the same person who hired you. my guess is they were only an idiot when they hired you.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon--don't know who the other anon is but I do know satire when I read it!

teachingrocks said...

Information on how "wonderfully" Lathan took care of San Diego's special education program:

http://m.voiceofsandiego.org/mobile/education/article_872dbcc0-38da-11e1-9c06-0019bb2963f4.html

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/2012/01/lessons_from_san_diego_too_muc.html?qs=san+diego+special+ed

Anonymous said...

Our special education department is in trouble and its not just because of Lathan. The director is making decisions that go against the law.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Dist 150 personnel did not attend the county wide Institute Day today at the Civic Center? Usually the District closes the schools and all employees must attend.

Sharon Crews said...

Is my memory failing me? To my recollection, there haven't been any county wide institutes in many, many years--at least none that District 150 attended.

Sharon Crews said...

Also, isn't the Civic Center a bit busy with baskeball games?

tls1995 said...

What exactly is District Watch and how do I get involved? Anything to make the schools better and the BOE more accountable to the kids and parents who don't have a choice but to have their kids in Peoria Public School.

Anonymous said...

District 150 has always attended

Anonymous said...

District Watch is a very informal group. We meet two Sundays a month (the Sunday before the Monday board meetings) at Monicals on Knoxville and Lake at 6:00 p.m. You can feel free to call me if you have any questions.

Sharon Crews said...

No, District 150 hasn't attended any county institutes for a long, long time. I assume you aren't a District 150 teacher, right?

Anonymous said...

Sharon. That is incorrect. We attended quite a few since you retired.

Anonymous said...

We didn't join the county institute last year because they took it back as a school day due to all the snow days we had.

Anonymous said...

Rumor is Lathan is going to get booed at the state tournament. I wonder if afterward she'll run off and lock herself in her office all weekend. Probably kick the trophy over.

Anonymous said...

Teachingrocks, thank you so much for your posting. The articles have been most helpful. It's sad knowing she is doing the exact same thing to our special ed students in Peoria. I totally agree that many of our students can handle a regular ed setting, however...we have so many that can't. We have to advocate for those students. Hopefully the state can help.

Thank you, again.

Anonymous said...

I remember going to one county wide at the Civic Center. The district provided a bus from many schools but few took advantage. I also remember going to one that was held at several venues. Mine was at Limestone. Did I forget some? I remember going to a district spring institute at Richwoods and many of us had to park in mud. Hinton was the superintendent at the time.

Sharon Crews said...

I just talked to Terry Knapp, who definitely would know about institutes. He agrees that 150 stopped attending county institutes a long time ago. He's going to call Brookhart's office Monday to find out when we stopped. But both Terry and I think it was before Hinton.
Terry said that he sort of remembers Brookhart having some sort of institute at the Civic Center once more recently. The institutes I remember were held at the old Fieldhouse and it was packed. I think those were in November just before Thanksgiving vacation. I remember going there as a student teacher and hearing hundred of teachers singing "Little Red Caboose) and wondered what I was getting myself into. Another tradition at those institutes is that the names of all teachers and retired teachers who had died during the past year were remembered with a bell ringing after each name was read. Also, I remember teachers skipping out and giving the rest of us their tickets to turn in to show that they had attended. We all stood in the packed foyer smoking.
Then later on District 150 started having two institutes alone, one in November and one in the spring. Richwoods would never have been large enough to include county teachers. As it was with just 150, overflow crowds were in the cafeteria watching on TVs.
Terry says that the District stopped having District-wide institutes because of cost.
More recently (while I was still teaching) we would have smaller groups for spring institute--primary teachers at one location, high school teachers at another, etc. Then Royster started having the meet and greet at the beginning of the year at the Civic Center--that happened for two years--and then Lathan did it. Teachers were always unhappy about those meetings because they wanted to be where they should be--in classrooms getting ready for school to start.

Sharon Crews said...

I did forget to say that there may have been county institutes with District 150 since I retired in 2005. I just don't recall hearing my teacher friends talking about such an event or seeing them on the calendar.

Anonymous said...

Hinton. Boner. He had the guy from Mariott come talk to us about five star service. Lame. Or what about the year the state lame of the year sing wind beneath my wings. Baaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Sharon Crews said...

Yes, the wind beneath my wings was under Griffeths regime--and I may have been gone for the Mariott five star service speech--or it was not memorable. Anyway those were District 150 spring institutes, not with the county. And, according to Terry, it was Hinton that ended the spring institutes because of cost.

tls1995 said...

Anonymous I do not know who you are to call you. Do you know me by any chance? I know a few people who tell me they read this blog and comment but I cant begin to guess who you actually are.

Anonymous said...

Hinton and Brookhart worked out a deal for the district schools to attend the county wide institute in March. They started in the spring of 2007 and continued until last year when the district used that day to make up a snow day. One year they used different locations for speakers. There you have it folks and Mr. Knapp can save himself a phone call.

Sharon Crews said...

You said you did not know who to call--if you are referring to my comment that you call me if you want to know about District Watch. I blog under my own name and my number is in the phone book under that name.
Thanks for the info about the institutes that started in 2007--this is the first I've heard of them. Did District 150 teachers all attend these institutes or was it voluntary--some posts seem to indicate that teachers had the choice? I'm wondering if the governor's latest actions to limit the funds of the regional superintendent will allow Brookhart the funds to continue these institutes. Or did District 150 help to pay for the institutes?

Anonymous said...

Lathan apparently didn't realize the power of the people of Peoria. She is not happy with the turn out and comments at the last board meeting nor is she happy she wasn't able to just ship Curtin and Coleman back down to the classroom. Please keep up the good work of shining the light on her behavior.

It does appear that she is determined not to let them go unpunished for their decision to apply outside the district. Don Jackson said it---she shouldn't take this as a personal attack nor should either of these people be punished.

I don't understand why she is so concerned. After all, hasn't her home state changed at least three times in the last five or so years?

I can almost guarantee none of these people would have sought employment outside of 150 if she was such a vindictive, bullying nightmare.

Anonymous said...

She was suppose to visit Manual yesterday, wonder how that went?

Anonymous said...

Where would she find the time to visit(bully) one school when she can just "summon" any/all principals to bow before her on Wisconsin Ave.? My hope is that FINALLY the community is seeing what the employees of Dist. 150 have been dealing with since this "carpetbagger" arrived. She needs to hop back on her BROOM and fly away. I also heard that NONE of the people she brought from IL have had to pay for their own IL credentials....funny, if I moved to N.C., you can be I'd have to PAY my own way. Wake up BOE, do your job! Quit believing everything this woman is saying, like you have done since she got here. You need to hold HER accountable. Fear and intimidation is not the way to higher scores.

Anonymous said...

The KItty offers a shake up idea: Get rid of all superintendents as well as assitant and associate superintendents in Illinois. Then have each district in the county contribute money for the salary of the regional superintendent who will work with principals to run the schools. Use the leftover money to provide more teachers and/or teaching assistants to the schools. MEOW!!!

Anonymous said...

Talk at the state basketball tourney is at least 3 Central players would not be eligible if it weren't for liberal grading standards by certain teachers. Manual coaches held their own accountable, not so much at venerable PHS. C'mon teachers - do your jobs!

Sharon Crews said...

That might be true of Manual this year--and I do expect that much of Derrick, who, as a student, maintained his grades while playing basketball--and didn't ask for or need special favors. However, Manual teachers, including me, were always under pressure from administrators, as well as, coaches, to be lenient with the grades of basketball players. It takes considerable courage--and tenure--to avoid repercussions for not yielding to that pressure.
Have any of you seen the questionnaire on the 150 website that is asking parents to vote on whether or not to keep all of the changes Lathan has made to the grading system to water grades down.
Anyway you have to be there, so to speak, to understand these pressures. Now when it has become much easier to get rid of teachers on tenure, don't count on the pressures being less--teachers will soon have no leverage when it comes to maintaining standards in their classes. There are many, many down sides to doing away with tenure--time will reveal all of them.

Anonymous said...

That is true, Manual has higher grading standards which made some of their players ineligible. On the other hand PHA only uses the IHSA standards which by all accounts did let several players who would have been otherwise ineligible play. It seems to me that all the Dist 150 high schools should use the same system. This happened not only during state, but the Regional and Sectional tournaments as well. PHS had players that were eligible yet they had the same grades as Manual players but it made the Manual players ineligible. It also makes it bad when teachers do not give grades weekly because they don't administer tests or work to raise their grades, therefore teachers use the same grades as the weeks or multiple previous weeks. Teachers should not be allowed to do this. This system should be abolished until the flaws are fixed.

Sharon Crews said...

Since when did Manual's grade standards become higher. When I did a study of the grades of seniors two years ago, the grades were extremely inflated--with 67% of the seniors earning A, B, C--heavy on the A's and B's.
Grades always vary from teacher to teacher, and grading standards have been lowered considerably in the last two years at all schools--see the questionnaire on the 50 website about grading standards.

Anonymous said...

"Manual coaches held their players accountable.". Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahajahahahahahahahahahajahajahahahahahahahahahaha. Are you f-ing KIDDING me? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Sharon Crews said...

With statistical data, no one should believe anyone who makes any statements about Manual (or any other school) having higher grading standards. I know that two years ago I had heard all kinds of reports about inflated grades at Manual--which is why I FOIA'd the data because I knew that I couldn't make accusations without solid proof and without comparing grades to SAT scores, etc.
The same is true for making positive statements that are hard to believe. Manual could be going by IHSA standards, but teacher grades could still be high. IHSA standards don't have any control of whether teachers grade high or low, etc. For instance, I continue to hear that Manual students are allowed (by administrative order) to take tests until their grades improve, etc. I guess it's time to do another FOIA study.

Anonymous said...

NO ONE should be ruining these kids' proud moment in their lives! Stop!

Anonymous said...

What about the kids who never got the chance because their TEACHERS held them to higher standards? Congrats on winning. Life won't be so "forgiving".

Sharon Crews said...

Whoever you are, you have absolutely no knowledge that could allow you to draw such sweeping generalizations about standards in classrooms at any of the three high schools. As a teacher, I could have taken some wild guesses (some more educated than others) about which teachers had the highest standards, etc.; but I would never have dared to make such accusations (or accolades) because without considerable research (and access to the numbers to do the research), you simply are blowing hot air.

Jon said...

CJs blog had a lot of discussion back in 2009 (when Hinton was still in charge and prior to Lathan coming to town) when the changes to the district's grading policies were announced. Steve Ptacek, for one, commented regarding the change in grading scale (an A going from 93-100 to 90-100, for example), saying " I have to address the absolute incorrect notion that a 10 point grading scale lowers standards....The argument that the 10 point system creates lower standards is only valid if the teacher in the classroom doesn’t change expectations."

Anonymous said...

The schools have what they call the "Schools Eligibility". The standards are different than for each school. Manual won't let any student with an "F" play sports or be in any activity. PHS lets a student have one "F" which is the IHSA standard. So yes Manual does have stricter rules than PHS and some players did have an "F". Schools should follow the same thing. What is good for one is good for the other. But again in Dist 150 every school does something different. No uniformity.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with you that IHSA standards are too low and that the district should have a uniform eligibility policy. The policy, yes, should reflect the kind of rigor we should be expecting from our students. I don't, though, think that comparing Manual to Central via sweeping generalizations is going to do any good. I'm sure there are players on both teams who take academics very seriously and a few on both teams who don't. I'm sure coaches Ruffin and Booth give their athletes an earful about the importance of academics. But hey, to try to cast a dark cloud over the PHS program because they won state and Manual got eliminated by Washington -- methinks you're just a bit . . . ummmmmm . . . SALTY.

Adkins-Dutro Pride of the City #1

Anonymous said...

Not as salty as Grenita. She probably hasn't talked to anyone all weekend after getting booed at the tournament.

Anonymous said...

Does Manual have 7 classes during their day, because I think IHSA says something about passing so many classes. I could be wrong because I am not a coach and therfore do not know the excat rule.

Sharon Crews said...

Jon, I don't think the 10 pt grade scale is the problem. I think the policies in question include the one that gave a 50 to students who earn grades from 1 to 49.

That is one of the policies included in the questionnaire on the District 150 website--the questionnaire was there yesterday; I can't find it today, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place; I just stumbled on it yesterday.

Jon said...

That issue was also put in place back in 2009 prior to Lathan coming to town.

http://www.pjstar.com/news/x2060103384/District-150-grading-policy-debated?zc_p=0

It's nice to see the current administration asking for input on the grading practices.

Anonymous said...

The students and fans showed repect and applauded all the medal recepients. Must of been the teachers who can't do the job showing their disdain for someone holding them accountable. The district would be better off pink slipping these miscreants, but alas, tenure hasn't been abolished - just yet.

Sharon Crews said...

Jon, I definitely didn't lay blame for the policy on Lathan; I know it happened earlier. I don't believe I criticized the questionnaire either. Just setting your innuendos straight. :)
Anonymous, exactly what ax is it that you are grinding and from what perspective are you making these judgments? And what is the source of your knowledge about grading standards, etc?
As to Manual not allowing students with F's to attend functions. That sounds like higher standards are in place. That, however, is deceptive if, as I believe is the case, very few students at Manual actually receive F's. Those are the numbers you need to get your hands on to prove your point.

Jon said...

From Sharon's earlier comment:

"Have any of you seen the questionnaire on the 150 website that is asking parents to vote on whether or not to keep all of the changes Lathan has made to the grading system to water grades down."

What changes has Lathan made to the grading system to water grades down?

Sharon Crews said...

You win that one, Jon. I did misspeak. I truly did know that the changes occurred under Hinton. Lathan is not responsible for the grading policy on paper. This is the questionnaire:
1. Please choose a selection that best describes the grade level that you teach.
Select all that apply.


2. Which grading scale do you prefer?
Current Scale: A = 90-100; B = 80-90; C = 70-80; D = 60-70; F = 50-59

Change in Scale: A = 93-100; B = 85-92; C = 77-84; D = 70-76; F = 69 & Below; I = Incomplete


3. Should this piece of the policy be removed?
"If a student puts forth the effort and completes an assignment but receives less than 50%, the grade shall be recorded as 50%."
Yes No


4. I prefer the following for number three in the grading policy
Current policy reads: III. Homework assignments will account for no more than 25% of the total grade.
Keep this current piece of the grading policy, as is!

Change this piece of the policy to read: III. All "outside of classroom" homework assignments will account for no more than 25% of the total grade.
Remove this piece of the grading policy!



5. I prefer the following for number four in the grading policy
Current policy reads: IV. The following guidelines shall apply to students with suspensions and unexcused absences: (a) Suspended students shall be given a zero, but they should be allowed to make up the assignment(s)/test/work and shall receive a grade of 50% if the work is completed.
Keep IV, part (a) of the grading policy, as is!

Change IV, part (a) of the policy to read: (a) Suspended students shall be given a zero, but they should be allowed to make up the assignment(s)/test/work and shall receive a grade of -UP TO- 50% if the work is completed.
Remove IV, part (a) of the grading policy!



6. I prefer the following for number four in the grading policy
Current policy reads: IV. The following guidelines shall apply to students with suspensions and unexcused absences: (b) Students with an unexcused absence shall be given a zero, but they shall be allowed to make up the work for full credit. At the high school level, after nine unexcused absences, the student automatically fails the course according to the District's Attendance Policy.
Keep IV, part (b) of the grading policy, as is!
Remove IV, part (b) of the grading policy!



7. Please indicate whether you agree, disagree or feel neutral about the following ideas being added to the Attendance Policy in regard to grades.


When an absence qualifies for make-up time, it should be made up three (3) days following the absence. If the absence occurs at the end of the grading period, the absence must be made up within ten (10) days. In the last grading period of the year, all absences must be made up within that grading period.
A student who has completed the make-up time to earn credit will receive his/her earned grade. If a student does not complete the make-up time, their INCOMPLETE STATUS will convert to an F as their final grade for that grading period. In addition to make-up time policy, students with unlawful absences may face disciplinary consequences.
Attendance notes: A note from a parent or guardian is required when students are absent. All notes are due within three school days after a student's return. Failure to present a note will result in that absence being categorized as unexcused.

Sharon Crews said...

P.S.--that error does bother me and, at times like this, I am grateful to have my watchdog, Jon, calling attention to my errors.
Guess I'll have to turn up the oxygen level on this machine that has now become a permanent attachment. Clearly, not enough oxygen was getting to my brain. :)

Anonymous said...

The grading committee was under Hinton and spear- headed by Sanfilip and Simpson. It was a committee of teachers and administrators from all levels as well as a central administrators, a board member, parents, and community members. I think the grading policy in D150 probably doesn't look like the grading policy in NC...so let's review it and change it.

Anonymous said...

There we go again - being judged by someone who doesn't know the difference between "must of" and "must have."

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Calling teachers miscreants. That's respectful. Boooooooooo!

Anonymous said...

I hear Lathanater had strict orders for the campus police to escort anyone out who failed to applaud for her.

Anonymous said...

Now we know what you have to do to get Butler to visit Peoria High. Win a state championship. Maybe see ya next March.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. PHS has an eight period day. Manual is on block scheduling.

TPBRicky said...

I was on that committee, and in no way shape or form was the 50% minimum agreed upon or recommended by that committee. It became "policy" later and was initially promoted as committee-approved, which it clearly was not. It is an inane policy that is making my job as a teacher much more difficult. Why are we continually surprised when the students keep using the back door we create for them? Just can't figure it out ...

Sharon Crews said...

Thank you, my friend, TPBRicky, I was going to report all of that, but I had already discredited myself on this issue by mistakingly attaching Lathan's name to this policy. :) Also, I remember that Ptacek believed, at first, that a committee of teachers had actually agreed to this policy but later got word to me that he had been duped.

Anonymous said...

I should say again....the committee was spear-headed by Sanfilip and Simpson. We all know they always had a room full of people in the room but did exactly as they wished. Look at the 'wacky Wednesdays' and the start times for school.

Anonymous said...

I hear LuhToy's favorite song is Lionel Richie's duet with Diana Ross - "Endless Love." Apparently, she can be heard humming it while she's sound asleep in her office. Coming in a close second is Kenny Rogers' duet with Dolly - "Islands in the Stream."