Monday, April 9, 2012

UPDATED: Second hand live blogging Board of Education Meeting...

Union President, Bobby Darling "out of order" at BOE meeting...

5:58  No picketers!
6:40  Meeting still hasn't started. Supposed to begin at 6:30
6:41  Meeting finally started
6:50  Teacher spoke regarding Harrison and Glen Oak. "Who is responsible for promising the taxpayers community schools and not delivering?"
6:52  Terry Knapp spoke regarding state baseball tournament. The IHSA baseball championship game help same day as 150 graduation. Lathan promised last June that would not happen. It was brought up last August and she did not change date. He is hoping that will not happen next year.
6:53  Mr Sierra said discipline is NUMBER issue that faces 150.
6:55  Bobby Darling states the district laying off  70 teachers...what will that do to class sizes?
7:00  Speaker asking why board meetings aren't televised live.  Asking for BOE to give community opportunity to watch meetings.
7:00  Public Hearing for Dismissal of Teachers.
7:09  Public Hearing people can speak a second time.
7:18   Bobby Darling asking if layoffs are really for economic reasons? Why does the District continue to buy more  programs if this is truly about economic reasons?
7:19   Teacher said that she has 34 kids in her home room. "…if district is laying off teachers next year will I have 44 or 54?"
7:24  Teacher said layers and layers of bureaucracy ..lots of people making 6 figures that never see the children.
7:25   So it came out that the teachers that will be dismissed tonight were not EVEN NOTIFIED!
7:40  Martha says she doesn't feel comfortable firing people without giving them notice.
7:41  Linda Butler and Dr Lathan says that Union given list.
7:43  Bobby Darling jumped up and yelled "IT'S NOT THE UNION'S JOB TO TELL PEOPLE THAT THEY ARE FIRED!!!!" Linda Butler.." Mr Darling, you are out of order! Mr. Darling you are out of order! "
7:51 Wolfmeyer.."Mr Darling, I totally I agree that it's not the Union's job to tell people that they are fired."
7:54 Martha said she will not support layoffs bc staff was not notified that they were being laid off before vote.
7:59  Does Chris Crawford speak?
8:00  Martha changed her vote 7-0 all teachers dismissed without notification.
8:04 Presentation by BOE. Patelle wants to know where the District is as far as televised meeting. Lathan said something will be in board minutes.
8:11 Meeting over.

Check back regularly for updates.
Hat tip to my friend on the Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have teachers who were pink slipped in the past notified? I didn't think anyone ever was.

Sharon Crews said...

Good for Bobby Darling! The order in this District is out of order. I don't think anyone was ever surprised by being pinkslipped because all teachers in a certain category (1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year teachers) always expected to be pinkslipped and called back when there were openings due to teachers who retired or quit, etc.
No one has ever been surprised--until now.
Before there was order and everyone understook the order--now there is no order. Everything is decided on someone's whim.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a law that they have to be notified by a certain date if they are going to be laid off? Or is it in the contract?

Jon said...

The agenda references the law, found in o Section 24-12 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/24-12). The law changed for school years 2011/12 and beyond. These are HONORABLE dismissals of teachers in "contractual continued service". The teacher must be notified at least 45 days before the end of the school year. The union that represents the teachers must be given the list at least 75 days before the end of the year.

Anonymous said...

Let the lawsuits fly.

Anonymous said...

What is going on with the Principals that are being sent back to the classroom? When does this happen?

Sharon Crews said...

Jon, according to this new law, who notifies the teachers? Even if the union gets to have the information, doesn't mean that the union is responsible for notification, does it. In the past, I believe all pink slips were sent via registered mail.

Jon said...

Here's a link to the law.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=010500050HArt%2E+24&ActID=1005&ChapterID=17&SeqStart=149900000&SeqEnd=153500000

The teachers WILL be mailed written notice from the district...now that it has been voted/agreed upon.

Anonymous said...

The Union is certainly not responsible that's the district's job. The Union doesn't employ the teacher why would they fire them?

Anonymous said...

when is this board gonna open it's eyes this lunatic is going to destroy this district. How many North Carolina programs and transfer employees have to be brought her to put us deep in the red? I feel many lawsuits being formes.

Anonymous said...

From Jon:

"The union that represents the teachers must be given the list at least 75 days before the end of the year."

It appears to me the union didn't know in those 75 days.

Anonymous said...

RaVonda deliberately not listening to Hedy. Thanks, CBS!

Mahkno said...

Tonight's meeting could have been much different had any of those protesting had saw fit to run for a BOE seat. Two seats went unopposed a few weeks ago.

Methinks a lot of people enjoy complaining and really have no desire to see anything improve. If it did improve they would have nothing to complain about.

Anonymous said...

Employees can't run for board seats.

Anonymous said...

Coleman is going to another school to be Asst. Principal, but I did not hear which school. When is this happening? What is going on with Curtain and the others?

Anonymous said...

According to the news, they have laid off tenured teachers? Yet, those teachers have not been notified?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Am I reading the pjstar article correctly, they have laid off 53 tenured teachers? Has this ever been done before?

teachingrocks said...

I am honestly wondering how much damage this board is actually going to allow Lathan to do before something happens. How can they live with themselves and what is happening to the schools in this district? Where are the people who are for the children and are higher than the teachers---someone who can stop this train wreck before there are more casualties. We are so busy scrambling to comply with her initiatives and continue to learn new curriculum, deal with overcrowded classrooms and out of control behavior, and somehow stay out of her radar so we don't receive some "punishment". We don't seem to have enough influence over anyone to get them to see what is really happening.

"If a teacher is saying it, then it must be utter rubbish." "Those teachers only care about summers off and their fantastic pension." "Life is so easy for those teachers. How hard is it to sit in a room for a few hours a day with some kids? I mean, C'mon!"

Trust me, if the teachers weren't in it for the kids, there would be a whole lot of empty classrooms these days because the teachers would just stay home. There truly can't be another profession that puts up with more ignorant attacks from people who have absolutely NO idea about that which they are speaking.

My prayer is one which includes someone actually waking up and seeing the real deal behind this NC insanity. So many truths are floating around out there and the BOE is burying their heads yet again to the reality of what is happening.

District Watcher said...

I would like to see the Board of Education grow a pair and move Lathan to a classroom - broadcasting that action live. THAT would be progress. Instant respect and they would turn the reputation of the District on a dime.

Question said...

I just noticed on PJStar.com that someone said that the North Carolina Administrators are sending their kids to Dunlap schools. Is this true? If that is true, the arrogance is over the top!! Someone needs to report on that!

Anonymous said...

I spoke with Mrs. Coleman this morning and neither she nor her attorney either one knew anything about her being reassigned to another school as a Assistant Principal at any pay level let alone a increased pay level.

Dennis in Peoria said...

I heard on WMBD radio this morning that one of the 3 winning Mega Millions jackpot tickets was actually won by a group of 3 teachers in Maryland, not the McDonald's employee. The report said that even with their new fortune, these teachers are not giving up their jobs.

Now that's a real dedication to teaching for you.

But there are many Dist. 150 teachers who are also dedicated to their profession, despite how the students behave & perform; despite the lack of support from some parents; despite how their respective school principal responds to their concerns; despite what new initiatives or policies come from the Central Administrative office; and despite how the State of Illinois constantly shortchanges funding for education.

Dennis in Peoria said...

Some reader comments to newspaper article:
"The district is bloated with administrators, interns, security, teachers, and clerical staff who do nothing for kids on a daily basis"

"Any cuts should start at the top administrative level.

Dr. ___ has already caused enough damage to ___

It's time for ____ to step down."

Dist 150? Nope, Dist. 186 in Springfield. Problems with funding and cuts are happening all over.
Folks there are not happy with their superintendent either.

http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x898662468/School-board-hears-objections-to-budget-cuts

Fortunately, my daughter is not on the list for a RIF slip.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand. Lathan just quietly withheld telling schools that many teachers would be pink slipped? Just quietly forgot to tell the union 75 days in advance? Or was it on purpose because that is what she does best? Deliberately hides the truth, so when it comes out, the BOE has to push it through because there is a cut-off date?

Why would the BOE allow that to happen? Do they not know better? When somebody forces an action through due to a deadline, somebody on the board should say...STOP...this is not how you handle this. You take it off the agenda until it has been investigated.

Why Wolfmeyer didn't know this is beyond me. Wasn't she the president of the secretary's union? The BOE is showing they are just followers, not leaders.

Anonymous said...

The Nc admin with just a bachelors no previous admin experience and no admin cert but makes 80 plus grand sends all three of her kids to Dunlap. Renting. None of them ate planning to stay....

Anonymous said...

Emerge- Time to bring back Vindictive HK!
MEOW!!!!!!!! Dr. Lathan scratching her employees eyeballs out.

Anonymous said...

The Kitty says:

Blessed are the mewciful for they will see Kitty. But woe to him who seeks his reward this side of the kitty litter!

Anonymous said...

Not one teacher has been informed as of the end of the school day as to whether or not they have jobs next year. What the heck is going on Lathan. Piss on "theKitty" ,meowwwwww

Anonymous said...

D-150 teachers, my heart is saddened by what is happening. You deserve better.

Please hang tough. I am confident things will change. People who give so much daily will prevail, eventually.

If I could, I would give all of you a hug and a big red apple.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where Mr. Curtin will land in District 150? Will he just pack his bags and fly out of here? He is a good guy. Why, Why, Why!!!!!!!

mazr said...

just saw this on Craigslist:

$1 / 6br - Richwoods high school (University) (map)

Date: 2012-04-10, 8:18AM CDT
Reply to: mrh5c-2950013427@hous.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

This large building has an uplifting atmosphere and is filled with potential. It comes with private tennis courts, a football field, and several baseball fields.

Please only serious bidders

"Happy Tuesday" ~Cynthia Clark
University at Northmoor (google map) (yahoo map)

Anonymous said...

You would think that Curtin and Coleman would both be given same job at same pay, right? They did receive same rating so why would one give a better job and pay than the other?

Rixblix said...

Teachers sign a contract that (usually) runs August to August. There is never advance notice of being pink slipped. Union reps don't get notice, building principals MIGHT know who in there building is getting pink slipped (just so they know what to expect the day after slips are given). Even teachers with tenure can get pink slipped. (As an aside, anyone know where the term "pink slip" comes from?) A pink slip simply means that the position for which you were hired may or may not be available during the next contract year.

The entire staff at the school where I work has been pink slipped...every year, for years. Our funding is 100% in the hands of the State of Illinois. No one knows if, when, or how much the state will give.

This outrage about "pink slips" is stupid. Ask your kid('s) teacher how many times he/she has been pink slipped in their career...you're gonna be surprised.

Anonymous said...

I heard there is a 7:00 Union meeting tonight. What will we know after the meeting? Is this a regular scheduled meeting or an emergency meeting?

Anonymous said...

Regular meeting night after board meeting.

Emerge Peoria said...

Okay teachers let us give the Kitty a rest. I know you are stressed and I appreciate you having a sense of humor, but Ima delete those last fifteen comments because there are some serious issues that you all seem to need to discuss. And all the "anonymous", Lathan is a big meanie stuff is wearing on me. Too many people not owning their comments... Come on really?

Anonymous said...

Emerge-Always the voice of reason. You should run for school board. It would be a refreshing change.

Sharon Crews said...

There has never been such an outrage about pink slips because 1st, 2nd, 3rd year teachers expected the actuality or the possibility of pink slips based on the financial condition of the district, etc. These non-tenured teachers just knew there was a good possibility that they might be called back--and hoped for the best.
This year is different because tenured teachers are being pink slipped--that, of course, is a major change. Those who want tenure to go away will applaud this change. The rest of us fear that the evaluations and evaluators are anything but fair and that those who could lose their jobs are scapegoats as a prelude to erode the union, etc.
Vindictiveness should not be a part of this process--it seems that there is an element of "I'll do as I please, right or wrong" about the way Dr. Lathan is handling this situation.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Emerge!!! The Kitty and meanie comments are neither productive or constructive. I do hope you do realize some of must remain anonymous as we could suffer repercussions from our immediate supervisor. .

Anonymous said...

After Lathan alienates all of the unions and straps the district with several lawsuits, she'll take her "I don't want you at my slumber party" mentality to another district and will start to contaminate things there.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how many teachers were pink slipped in other districts?

Dennis in Peoria said...

Later this summer, when Illinois determines the education budget, and teachers are hired back, that story probably won't make the news; and if it did, I bet there will be a big fat (0) comments on it there, or in the blogs.

Anonymous said...

Emerge: reconsider the Kitty deleting. People need an outlet for humor because the real state is difficult to comprehend. The novel Catch 22 allowed people to laugh at some of the absurdities of WWII.

Latoy Kennedy has been uncouth and cruel to Peoria teachers. Someone with that much responsibility should be respectful of teachers and attempt to be helpful in their difficult work. Instead, she has been very public in her less than professional attempts of many things including her dress (hence the Hello Kitty) expected of someone in that job. She freely discusses how Peoria teachers are incompentant, she is highly publicly critical of the role of the union...which is all fine IF she had something better to offer. Still waiting to see what that is....

Sharon Crews said...

Dennis, you do understand, don't you, that the outrage isn't about pinkskips per se? One outrage was that at the board meeting, the board president made a statement to the effect that the union should have notified those who were pinkslipped (she doesn't ever understand the process--scary) and, also, the greatest outrage is not just that tenured teachers can be fired but that the process by which such decisions are made can be very flawed and subjective.

Anonymous said...

If Dennis would listen to the sound bites on peoriastory, he will hear one confused teacher stand at the mic and ask if she was being pink slipped.

She wanted to speak to it during the hearing, but had no clue if she was one of the ones who were going to get a pink slip.

The first part of the hearing was for teachers who got pink slips to speak. Huh? Nobody had any idea who literally were getting pink slips, but they set a time aside just for them to speak?

We need a board who knows the protocol and then stands behind all of us in D150.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know: what position all those from North Carolina held before coming to Peoria; what degrees do they have and were they employed in the school system; how much they were making at their former job to compare it to their salary here; how many have their children in non-district 150 schools;exactly how many are here from North Carolina and what is the total amount of their salaries together? We need to see exactly what experience they have in running a school system.

Anonymous said...

Mindy of Peoria,

I think we the voters need to turn over the school board. I am ready to help anyone with some intelligence to stand up to bullies. HEAR ME! We as a community need to get rid of the current board and start over. We need to take back our schools and smile proudly when district150 is mentioned. Today our schools are a disgrace and it is embarrassing to talk about the educational program in this city. We have to start with the BOE and hope the rest falls into place. I can't remember the last time this district has had a leader in place, I am talking about a true leader. Since our district is a top down orginization we the community have to start at the top and work down to clean up the mess the top has created. I know many teachers in this community and I am proud to say I know most of them, but I am not proud to mention anyone in the Administration team, nor the BOE. We need, as community members, to fire the board!

Anonymous said...

LaToy: Doctorate from University of North Carolina Greensboro, former small school principal, urban elementary school. No central office experience.
Revonda: Master's degree, High School Principal of one school, no central office experience
Does Geri have a degree? Elementary school principal. No Central office experience
Sheimka: bachelor's degree, assistant principal like position, no central office experience
Renee: Elementary school principal, no central office experience

Grenita: Doctorate North Carolina A and T, elementary school principal, brief central office experience

These people (except Revonda) are just FOG (friends of Grenita).....

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lathan is just a bully and does nothing but intimidates everyone that don't cow-tow to her. She gave Annette an outstanding in October by Dr.Lathan. In January she was unsatisfactory. What was that about. Because she applied for a position in Dunlap?

Now she gets a asst principal position and a raise, I want that job......

Anonymous said...

Did Lathan assume nobody (citizens) would notice the under-handedness of this job she is plying Mrs. Coleman with? Did she not think we are smart enough to see her manipulations?

She seems to be aware that the school board hasn't noticed any of her games yet. What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

Geri cox is one of the most hateful people on the planet. She has a real problem w white women- a majority of the teaching force.

3rd year teacher said...

First of all, I am commenting anonymous because I am a non tenured teacher in the district and many of you will not like my comment.
I have personally had many conversations with Dr. Kennedy and she is very knowledgeable about her position and offers many ways to improve the curriculum in our district. The way she dresses is SO unprofessional to talk about. WHO CARES! It has been researched that your dress (a teacher or administrator) is NOT connected to student achievement. She has not been rude to me and I have not seen her act unprofessionally to others. Yes, she speaks her mind, but look, I am too, and you are as well. I am on board with improving this district but when we have teachers who are no longer willing to just do their job, it gets difficult. So much complaining about more programs being implemented and more duties are being put on teachers. I understand this is different than it was before, but I must say my opinion has little to do with "before" because I am a new teacher. The programs being implemented are programs that incorporate best practices. So if you are an effective teacher, you are already doing these things. I addition, the district is trying to provide training on these new programs. I don't think the extensive training is necessary, we are in a technology booming world, get with it or get out of it. It is simple. If you spend some time just messing around with a program that you are not familiar with, you will learn much more than any training session will teach you. I am embaressaed to be in education with educators that are talking like this. This is no example to our children. To try to advocate for things to remain the same as they were is JUST as bad as complaining about someone, from North Carolina or not, trying to get change from our district. Let's not make this personal. Make it about a business decision to improve the education of our children.

Anonymous said...

You have to love the arrogance of the inexperienced.

Anonymous said...

"Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it."

~ George Santayana

Anonymous said...

Bow tothe kitty.....third year teacher.

Anonymous said...

I was convinced that the NC people took the NC suttle every weekend. What happened to you third year teacher? Was you punished this weekend and forced to write nice things in this board?

Third year teacher said...

Seriously? What a nice, professional, level headed response.

Anonymous said...

I have only seen Dr. Kennedy once and was shocked at how rude she was to a teacher. That is my only experience so I do not know if that is a pattern or an exception; however, I will not be arrogant enough to decide that since this is my experience, that it must be everyone's.

Sharon Crews said...

To Third Year Teacher, while your opinion isn't the predominant one I'm hearing (or mine as a retired teacher), I remember being a third year teacher and remember that nothing or nobody could have asked me to view anything about my teaching experience with negativity--although I am sure there were older teachers who didn't share my rosy outlook. In fact, I didn't join the union (we had a choice then) until the 1980s (started teaching in 1962).
What I am trying to say is that I hope there are others like you who will not be swayed by the turmoil arould you so that you can enjoy your students and they you. The District is in big trouble if there isn't some positive energy.
However, please don't discount all that you are hearing from reasoned people. Later in life and in your career, you may be grateful for those who do see the harm that is being done to the teaching field right now. Yes, I do sometimes cringe when I hear comments that I don't feel teachers should express (and some of the most offensive comments aren't from teachers). However, please listen to the words of teachers like Jeff Adkins-Dutro--he is devoted to District 150, its teachers, and students.

Anonymous said...

To Third Year Teacher:
You should hear about how LaToy talks about you behind closed doors. She thinks all Peoria teachers are lazy. She thinks that they are trying to hold black youth back. She thinks that teachers should not get paid for PD even though she paid her own teachers to come to Thinking Maps training from NC. She openly mocks Peorians- imitates them. She thinks Peoria is lucky to have someone of her caliber.

At one point, including LaToy, the entire front lady crowd office bubble was on some kind of anti-drepessant medication...bc of the pressure of being in too far over their heads, because of working for a woman who uses YELLING as her go to management tool.

Anonymous said...

To Third Year Teacher:

With all due respect, your original post is so full of grammar errors and spelling errors that I did not finish reading it.

I understand typing on a keyboard is part of the problem, but I was turned off by it.

It's good that you are happy with your position. I was too as a third year teacher. It does not negate what is truly happening in this district, though.

Sharon Crews said...

Sorry but I do have to jump in here. I am an English teacher and I think I am fairly good at spotting errors, etc. I found only one spelling error, not more than one. Yes, there are errors, but most are minor compared to the general sentence structure of his/her writing (and considering this is just a blog post).
In my lifetime, I have read the writing of many veteran teachers--especially, those who aren't English teachers--and, of course, many administrators who totally mangle the language (spoken and written).
Yes, I think all teachers and administrators should strive to present themselves well in writing, etc.
I guess I'm glad that no one has a copy of anything I wrote when I was a third-year English teacher.
And I'm going out on another limb here. When the NC people came to town, only two people (at board meetings) were friendly to me--that would be Michelle Ungurait and Latoy Kennedy. Latoy was extremely pleasant to me and I to her. I really wanted to like her. In my comments at meetings, I did begin to attack some things such as the Thinking Maps purchase--which would be a direct slap at her. She has cooled to me and I can't say that I blame her.
I have since heard a significant number of things from teachers who see a more negative side of Kennedy. This is not an administration that seems to foster pleasant relationships. However, there has to be one or more teachers that get along with Kennedy. If this third year teacher happens to be one of them, so what! I don't know how we can expect her/him to see our point of view if we can't, at least, listen to her point of view--and accept her own experiences as valid.
Sorry again--but person pointing out grammatical errors, your pronoun agreement needs some work. In the sentence about the keyboard. the final pronoun "it" has no antecedent.
Usually I try very hard not to react to grammatical errors because I am quite capable of making them myself.

Anonymous said...

Third Year Teacher: There are many of your points that are well taken. However, I would like you to post the sources of the research stating that teachers or administrators dress doesn't translate into academic achievement. That is interesting.

I would like to say, "Clothes do make the Woman." If the stated administrator paid closer attention to her sense of fashion, she would be respected. No one wants to walk into a Central Administration office and find those who are making professional, educational decisions looking "unpolished." People tend to disregard one's lack of knowledge when they see there is much effort in their appearnance.

I worked in an environment where top leveled managers dressed well because they represented the company and wanted everybody to know they were serious about the vision and mission.

Do you think this administrator needs a "style specialist?"

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. If we start requesting better clothing from administration, they will fly even MORE people in from North Carolina to fix this Peoria mess.

Anonymous said...

Kennedy makes over $120,000 a year. The woman can afford to shop of off non discount racks...
Her disheveled appearence really is a sign of larger inner turmoil and confusion.

Also, it has been noted that the superintendent changes her hair style frequently. This is an outward sign that she really doesn't know who she is- always trying on new identities. Another outward sign of inner turmoil.

Anonymous said...

Kennedy-$141,000
Johnson-$104,000
Lathan-$237,000
Hoffer-$119,468


Source:
http://www.familytaxpayers.org/salary.php

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about the next "exodus" to P-Town. The word is out that the teachers in D-150 are far smarter that they thought. It is my opinion that they were under the impression that we were a bunch of "country bumkins" surrounded by cornfields. Not so, not so.

They found out that the teachers in this district rock. We can teach all kids regardless of race, SES, nationality etc.

White teachers can teach black kids. Black teachers can teach white kids. We teach all kids!!!!

Nobody, No where, No how can take that away.

Bullying, Rudeness, Intimidation, Walkthroughs, Satisfactory evaluations (that should be excellent Evaluations) can't break us!!!!!!

By the way, a fashion specialist and a personal shopper is available at no cost.

Anonymous said...

What's happening with those appeal hearings?

Anonymous said...

If you can teach, why are scores so bad?

Anonymous said...

LaToya Kennedy is a bully, arrogant and has nothinggood to say about Peoria and the district. So why is she here. If she does not like what see sees go back to NC. It just appears that she and Lathan have no knowledge of how to treat people. You can discipline people and correct anyone if you know how to do it. However intimidation is their mo. They think that works. Remember Dr. Royster, the superintendent before the District brought in Ken Hinton. She was an intimidator and a bully. What happened to her?