Thursday, August 16, 2012

1st Parent University of the 2012-2013 school year - tonight

Dr. Steve Perry is the keynote speaker at District 150's first Parent University kick-off event that is scheduled for 5:00 - 8:00 this evening. Dr. Perry also spoke at this morning's kick-off breakfast, that was held at the Civic Center Bradley University’s Renaissance Center. From what I have heard, he cussed up a storm and rattled some folks.

In the video above Dr. Perry appears to be talking to a somewhat upscale group of volunteers, teachers and community leaders. The message he delivers to them is good.

The thing is, even the most educated among us have struggles understanding the school system. Some of us  (parents, community leaders, volunteers) can do research and know somebody to ask questions to firm up our understanding about certain aspects of education. Unfortunately, there isn't a huge pool of folks out there with the right answers, or any answer for that matter. Many simply don't have the resources to get answers and therefore we remain silent or go along with the "hired experts," hoping for the best, afraid to stand firm and demand quality in education.

Parent University should be about teaching parents HOW to help their children. It does not matter how dynamic the speaker is, or how well he can relate to folks, if parents are not taught how to ask for what they need to help their child learn - or how to advocate for their child, nothing will change. Browbeating has never been known to be a motivator.

Dr. Perry is currently an Education Contributor for CNN and his speaking fees are in the range of $10,000 -$20,000. For that price, tonight should be a pretty good show, let's hope parents show up.


TEACH 150 said...

I should have known since Lathan is the one that brought Dr. Perry here, he would browbeat the teachers and staff of D150. Yes indeedy.....I got to sit there and listen to some weasel from a CHARTER SCHOOL tell ME that I need to LOVE my students MORE....REALLY? I have taught on the southside of Peoria for nearly 20 years and I need this yahoo telling me how to handle MY students(of whom he does not know). I was insulted by his notion that we NEED to BE that person in their lives so therefore they will be successful. I have always been that stable, fair, caring force for my students. I don't need D150 shelling out $15,000 to hear it. Oh, and I bet there will be less than 50 people at the Parent U. tonight...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Perry needs to take some public speaking classes, I couldn't understand half of what he was saying.

Dennis in Peoria said...

I have received permission to videotape Dr. Perry's presentation and use it on CAPtions, so I will be there. I'm interested in what he will be talking about.

Anonymous said...

Essentially Dennis, he lays NO responsibility on the student/child. Their actions/inactions are the fault of their parents and teachers. I wouldn't have paid 10 cents to hear him speak...

Anonymous said...

Dennis, maybe you can bleep out "sh@t" "a**" and other words he may use. Nice example for the chil'ren, Reverend Butler.

Janet Schwarz said...

I had put in a request to see his speech via Skype, since I had put my heart and soul into 150, but now I'm reconsidering.

Anonymous said...

Lathan once again slapped district150 teachers in the face. I cannot believe another out of state educator made fun of our mayor's attire. Lathan should have gotten the message when few applauded her and many left while she was speaking when she was making her closing comments.

Emerge Peoria said...

In attendance at the Parent University - pretty good crowd - about 40 - 60 parents. Teachers from other Districts. Nice spread from HyVee (little sliders, egg rolls, fixins).

Anonymous said...

Are the teachers from other districts from districts in North Carolina? Just askin.

Sharon Crews said...

The cussing--what kind of respect or professionalism does that show? Is that the behavior he would like teachers to emulate? As long as we keep telling children that they are victims, they will remain victims. As long as they believe that they cannot control themselves, they will force others to control them by force, etc. As long as we keep telling parents that the school must perform the miracles, parents will see no reason to try and will believe they are helpless. Why should we believe that railing at and criticizing teachers will make them better teachers. If we believe that, then shouldn't we believe that screaming at and blaming students will make them better? My guess is that he didn't change anyone's mind or didn't say anything that will inspire anyone to be better. Oh, well, it isn't the first time that District 150 teachers had to listen to someone that left the classroom long ago for some reason other than love of children and teaching.

Emerge Peoria said...

@ Anonymous 5:47:00 PM

That's funny. Laughing Out Loud.

No. The teachers I know, that are here, are from smaller districts around Peoria.

Susan said...

Are people there to eat and leave or are some planning on staying and listening to him browbeat them?

Emerge Peoria said...

That's funny Susan. Really. Laughed Out Loud.

I'm out of here, picking up my honey and heading to the River Front for Thursday Jazz!

Anonymous said...

I thought that Dr. Perry was articulate. Not only did I find his cussing inappropriate but he also insulted Baptists--perhaps Christians in general. It is obvious that he was never properly taught the concept of free will. Or, did he refuse to learn it. HMMMMM (I guess that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink unless he knows that you truly love him.)

Anonymous said...

I did like how he compared teachers not saying anything about other "bad" teachers to the stop snitching campaign.

Anonymous said...

I would like for him to know that I am not his "homie" or his "g". I don't appreciate the young way of speaking that sprinkles profanity throughout their conversation and thinks it's normal. If your going to speak to professionals please do so in correct Engligh.

Dennis in Peoria said...

I just got back from the Parent University. I would like to estimate about 100 were there, but they were scattered in 3 sections of the auditorium. Dr. Perry actually hit home the important actions that parents MUST do to ensure a quality education for their child. That includes showing up at PTO meetings or P/T conferences dressed like a professional, not like a...well, you know. (He used similar phrase). He did not use any profanity at all. He was very humorous, but used the humor to emphasize his points. That includes watching for patterns of misbehavior of their child, dealing with it now, not after it happens more than once.

I left when the Q & A session began because I was running out of record time. Right now, I'm thinking of editing it down to fit into a CAPtions that will air Sunday, August 26th. But I will put the unedited video on Youtube after that.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, Dennis, he was cussing earlier.

Anonymous said...

I also want to point out that Mr. Cloyd must be quite the ventriloquist. He was able to talk out of his hind end and make it look like he was using his mouth. I cannot even remember the exact sentiment--something about listening to and/or supporting the teachers. Did he listen to the teachers when they marched last spring asking to be treated with respect. He knew that the union had given the superintendent a list of areas of concern that we would like to see improved. He also knew that if we did not see improvement, we would take a vote of no confidence. So, this great listener/supporter, then turned his back on us and voted to extend the superintendent's contract a year early without waiting to see if things improved. Is that the way to let us know he loves us? If students learn better if they know that they are loved, do teachers teach better if they know that they are loved? I also loved the irony of wanting to get the staff healthy and providing donuts at the event. Remarkable!!

Frustrated said...

Nice post Sharon. I imagine the Elite program tells children the same thing - control yourself and you control your destiny.

The District needs to create a common message & voice that transcends throughout the organization and the community.

What a missed opportunity that the keynote speaker did not have a more motivating tone to his speech - this was suppose to be the kickoff to another great year???

I attended a mandatory athletic meeting at my child's new HS last night. The principal concluded the event with a speech on team work, conduct, anti-bullying, and student & parent responsibility. He was uplifting but at the same time firm. It was a beautiful thing.

Janet Schwarz said...

Emerge, thanks for the info on the spread...good to hear there were "sliders" (kudos to the food planner!) was Jazz Thursday?? How dare Honey miss the food!!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

What's up Emerge?

Dr. Perry was not only an excellent choice (if I must say so myself) but he, more than that, was pertinent, timely, said what we need to be said, (as it seems that Peoria, has selective hear syndrome) and he did an excellent job.

I was there for most of the experience myself, and I've recorded my thoughts and opinions HERE

I know from my own experience what is being discussed and the benefits that are being brought to the table both to the parents and students under the current process.

One thing to note...because I am curious about this...since we have "opinions" on Peoria education...

How many in this forum knew that Manual HS received and secured almost $650 Million in scholarships for their graduates last year? How man knew that one of their starting basketball players, Isaiah Duncan, was one of the class valedictorians?

Why was this type of educational success not big news in Peoria?

kohlrabi said...

Really? 650 million dollars? For a school with an enrollment (according to the Illinois school report card website) of 1162 total students. How many of those graudated last year - 290 would be a generous number. So each graduate averaged 2 and a quarter million dollars worth of scholarships! Wow, that is impressive.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Pastor, I am sure that you feel that the speaker was an excellent choice because it was YOUR CHOICE.

2 Anon said...

$650 million? Seriously?

Al said...

Nice of Emerge to let you put a link to your blog on hers. I read your thoughts Pastor. Why such a the smug tone?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Perry has a doctorate in what and from where?

Janet Schwarz said...

And how many people knew that in order for Manual to secure Federal dollars, it meant getting rid of staff, no matter how good, in order to show "change"???? (One only needs to read Arne Duncan's speeches and actions!)Wake up! "Federal Funding" = "firing staff" + "asinine teacher evaluation" The words "Congratulations! You've won Federal grant money!" will only be said to you as you approach the guillotine.....

2 Anon said...

Isaiah Duncan would have been in the paper as a Valedictorian.

Anonymous said...

650 million? What are you smoking?

Emerge Peoria said...

What's up Pastor?

Kudos on being instrumental in bringing such a provocative speaker to our little town. I'm pleased to see that you are working with York on Parent University. Although York has the expertise, I think it's important to have the input from parents about what they want to see.

If this first PU is any indicator what may be in store for parents this year, I'm looking forward to the next event.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

I'm sorry I was thinking too large of numbers...I meant THOUDSAND...not million...

In addition, now what do you call one of the top 10 in the class?

Well, that's what a Manual Basketball player, Isaiah Duncan was...When he marched in with the top 10 in the class with his valedictorian vestments, that's what they called him anyway.

I see that many of you didn't hear any of that huh?

Why do you think that was? Any takers?

Sharon Crews said...

Manual High School has traditionally given out many scholarships to students--has always had a great alumni from many years ago to help provide scholarships. The current administration, etc., cannot take any credit for these ongoing scholarships of very long standing. $650 million sounds like a pipe dream, however.

I did hear from someone's whose judgment I trust that Perry was not that bad. One speaker isn't going to change much--only those who stick around to do the real work can effect change.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...


Thanks and I appreciate it.

@Al, what does "smug tone" mean? Please define that.

2 Anon said...

I am a taker...if Mr. Duncan was a Valedictorian, he would have been listed as such, the day they listed all of the graduates. Also, they have a separate article on the top members of each area high school's senior class. I believe it is an add-on to the paper because they include so many area high schools. (I am not doubting you, but you seem to think nobody was privvy to that information.)

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

LOL...I said "million" and they said....that's IMPOSSIBLE for "them"...didn't you say that???

Although I was mistaken, and you could call Mrs. Jenkins to confirm the exact numbers and where the scholarships came from that the kids QUALIFIED for....I take it that none of these people believe that the district could possibly even come close to that figure could they?

Let's back it down to about $5 Million. i wonder if that would be unbelievable?

Anonymous said...

Pastor, Why would you find it appropriate for a speaker to use words such as "shit", "ass", "damn", and "hell" in a professional setting or as a pastor, why would you find it appropriate in any setting?

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

2 Anon,

It's really not a mystery even if my terminology was lacking...Yes, I agree that anyone could gain the info but very few did, at least to do anything positive with it.

That fact is in a town that spreads news of district failures and supposed, bad working conditions, we have a BLACK basketball player graduating from a HS in the HOOD with HONORS and no one including YOU speak of it.

In fact you seem somewhat "disturbed" that I bring it up. Why?

Maybe it's my lack of being able to communicate it correctly huh? Did anyone else communicate it?

Sharon Crews said...

I believe scholarship money generally comes from interest drawn on money given by Manual alumni over long periods of time--and drawing interest over long periods of time. I would be exceedingly surprised that any of this or last year's scholarships came from from many "new" donors. The district has nothing to do with scholarship money from specific schools--it's all from the alumni associations. The city, in general, would be surprised at the amount of scholarship money that has flowed from Manual High School every year for many years. However, I am finding the $650 million hard to fathom. I would like to hear a report of the exact figure.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

I didn't hear those "other" words and after hearing what some of the teachers are saying regularly in class and in in their personal lives, I wasn't threatened.

As one who doesn't cuss...(not even when I stump my toe), I wasn't bothered.

Anonymous said...

Of course, blame the teachers, how convenient!

Sharon Crews said...

Rev. Burnett, if teachers, indeed, regularly speak with profanity in their classrooms, I believe the issue should be addressed. I am not so certain, that in this day and age of personal privacy, one can call account profanity used away from the classroom, etc. Are we excused for our own behaviors because someone else's behaviors are worse than our own? Is that the way God judges are sins--by comparison? The speaker obviously created some negative vibes--maybe they serve a good purpose. I wasn't there, so I can't say. I'm not sure that calling people out in such settings does anything but make some people feel good and others angry--don't know if any productive change can take place with generalizations and accusations about people that the speaker doesn't even know.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Do you really believe it's that simple? Less than 30 minutes ago I met with a parent who's son was THROWN into a locker at a local school by a teacher. i said "teacher" not security guard. This was in PEORIA, IL. right here.

Do you think "cussin" will ever make it to the front office??? Please...

The Speaker, Dr. Perry, with an earned degree, placed things exactly where they should be...why should either you or I reward and be happy with failure, simply because some has a contract or because they "say" they are doing the job?

You see Bob Darling started off yesterday trying to blame the administration saying that the district is failing because we don't have the right leadership...well "leadership" isn't in the class room and IF we are failing it's not because the teachers's don't have a contract. I suppose he would say that it's because of dissatisfaction with the work environment.

The problem is that success and failure, "should be" judged on the success of children...shouldn't it???

This is where the disconnect comes in...we have a faction of people that say, as long as they are comfortable, and happy we're a successful district. While students are suspended at epidemic rates, not college ready and are behind in all required skills...

Then there are others like me, that says SUCCESS may make you uncomfortable but that may be essential to the process of creating the type of education that helps ALL Peoria youth.

So while we're talking Peoria, let's define "Success in Education" because from what I can see, that definition is based on a bunch of relative rationalizations that only seek to make "self" feel good, in spite of the actual results. I would rather judge SUCCESS on what is achieved by these young persons depending on these adults to get their act together.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Mrs. Crews,

I'm sorry to be so sharp on the comments, but I have 2 children in the district and actively involved in not only my kids but the education of other children at all levels.

I have seen my share of wonderful professional teachers dedicated to their professions and could call their names. Love them all!!! But I have also had my FILL of of child and parent haters standing behind "tenure" violating POLICY with impunity simply because they think they can all the while our children suffer.

I KNOW this...I have EXPERIENCED this. When a teacher stands and tells you they WILL NOT grade your child's paper because they don't "feel" they have to and the Principle doesn't know how to handle things because of a UNION...there are issues and they can't be handled or addressed making people comfortable pretending that all is well.

That teacher ran into me, had to be made to do right, but is STILL employed by the district. I am a parent. What of the countless other students who don't have an involved and knowledgeable parent such as myself??? I know, they will simply fail because someone will not accept challenge.

I'm the wrong one to be relegated to silence or inaction, and I see the issue clearly.

I just wanted to clarify my passion. Thank toy for all the work you've done to help children all over Peoria and this country as they have gone out and many of your former students are successful all over the country.

Sharon Crews said...

Rev. Burnett, I know your sincerity and there is no reason you or anyone should be silenced--all voices are needed. I know that there are examples of the whole spectrum of teachers from very good to very bad. Hopefully, the good far outweigh the bad--that's the way I saw it in my 43 years of teaching.
If some miracle could occur and we could all follow the golden rule of treating others as we want to be treated, all our problems would go away. Something so simple, yet so hard to accomplish.
I believe that everyone--teachers, parents, administrators--associated with public education are all put on the defensive by the outside world and by each other. No success will ever come from such an environment. I don't see that climate changing any time soon--and kids will be the losers.

Anonymous said...

That was Burnett? Wow

Anonymous said...

Harvey Burnett is District Superintendent of what? It is a joke to say even $650,000.00 in scholarships. Even to say $50,000.00 would be in excess. And how many students actually graduated from Manual? And exactly how many dollars were given out? How much was given by the alumni, how much by the ones at the school, etc? The amount of scholarships given out shouldn't be that hard to prove. IF there was that amount of money given, then parents need to find out who got the amounts, what the criteria was, etc, because my child stated very few students received scholarships. Where is the program, it should tell you how many were in the graduating class? Did all these students actually graduate? The reason the paper didn't announce the amount of money in scholarships is because they didn't want egg on their face stating the amount when it would be inaccurate. Also the paper listed the top 10 in the class. Was Duncan listed?

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Now see, it's racists like this that ate part of the problem. He assumes that Black students from Manual aren't and can't possibly be college ready. He assumes that Black students are on local "handouts" for education termed "scholarships" to the tune of over half a million per year and probably that Peoria Promise is the only thing "they" can aspire to.

No mention of other D-1 ready student athletes playing in Italy and travelling the world RIGHT NOW because they are STUDENT athletes given to success both educationally, physically and morally.

In addition, it is fools such as this, (and I mean what I say) who probably didn't attend the graduation ceremony AS I DID, to hear the achievements of both Black and White students that best represent the future of Peoria, but because these children live and attend school in a certain place they can't possibly be privileged as he is to hide behind anonymity...

We'll stay hidden and allow the rest of us to grow into success. Your fear to stand behind what you believe, and to make a rational argument for whatever your position may be on the issues, is blessing to the rest of us, who not only promote the success of one another, but who also know the real measure of success in not only academics, but modern life.

Duncan was Listed and he walked in FRONT of the class. It seems that you may have thought he was still in back, but he did make it to the front on his efforts and qualifications.

Anonymous said...

District Superintendent Burnett,

Please share with us from which seminary you graduated. Masters or doctorate?

Anonymous said...

Nothing racist was stated, implied or indicated by the above comment Mr. Duncan is a fine young man so don't know what all this is about. I just was asking about him being named Valedictorian and that it would be listed in the program if he was. The scholarship amounts, from whom, and to whom, could be FOIA to prove the exact dollar amount.

Anonymous said...

I think, Reverend Burnett, that the reason there wasnt a media blitz regarding Duncan is because we have African-American athletes and African-American non-athletes graduating from Peoria Public Schools with academic honors all of the time. The media, of course, is much more likely to run a story about an African-American male committing a crime than an African-American male doing something positive -- that's for sure (and it's wrong) -- but African-American achieves aren't something out of the ordinary. I don't foresee News 25 coming to do a story on my daughter's academics. For her, graduating with honors isn't out of the ordinary - it's an expectation.

And hey, I got a kick out of Steve Perry. The time flew by because he was entertaining and he did give me some things to ponder. And I respect anyone who overcomes poverty to become successful.

Let's hook up at PHS sometime. Let me introduce you to some of our amazing students. We have some lofty goals this year and can use all the help we can get.


District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

The communication gap is another problem that should be filled.

Your line of reasoning is based on racist tenets plain and simple. If I had mentioned a White student or otherwise from Richwoods, there would be no question of a "listing" of the types of scholarships or a FOIA or anything else for that matter. For you to think that these benefits fall to any other, is a more reasonable proposition. But for a Black student to achieve in Peoria, or for a student in such an economically disadvantaged situation (black or white) there must automatically be a "question" as to the scope and limitations of his/her achievement. Yet, you don't see the problems and flaw associated with that line of reasoning.

Why? Because that's what you've always thought and become accustomed to at least toward certain segments of Peoria.

The problem is that both Black and White students achieve and have achieved greatly in education at Manual HS. The same school that meets much stereotype as one filled with "bad behavior" and other issues, although they have probably some of the greatest programs, students and stories of educational success in Peoria in modern times.

So the "implication" of your line of reasoning rang through loud and clear. So why wasn't any of this educational success been lauded in Peoria especially when you can pick up the paper and read about crime/violence and drugs on Peoria's South Side every day?

I venture to just take a good ole fashioned guess as to why.

Personally, I was waiting for someone, anyone to mention it ever since I knew these things prior to graduation when administrators at Manual were securing and helping students obtain scholarships for next level education. I heard it again at the graduation ceremony itself and yet Peoria is oblivious to the facts...Why?

I'm confident that I know, at least in part.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Unfortunately, success is NOT an expectation for Peoria minorities whether they are minority poor or racial minorities. That expectation of underachievement has bleed through educationally as well. This is the problem.

BTW, I am a Central graduate, I still hold the record to the Shuttle Run (which they stopped before someone was able to break the record) and top 10 to 20 all time in the 100M...In addition, they still owe me my last Track Letter...and I will be there to get it this year...I want my letter!-LOL!!!

Thanks Adkins-Dutro.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Burnett, you didn't answer the above on which seminary you graduated from or whether it was a masters or doctorate.

Just remember because it is stated at graduation doesn't mean it is fact.

Anonymous said...

Please share with us. What was Mr. Duncan's GPA and ACT/SAT score? Which college will Mr. Duncan attend? The Journal Star stopped publishing the GPA of Manual's top ten a few years ago. I am a Manual graduate and would love to hear a student commended.

Anonymous said...

Rev. Burnett, there is a difference between being an advocate for your children and being a bully. I have SEEN you bully teachers at Roosevelt and constantly complain to the principal(s) about us. You need to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. If you want teachers to DO THEIR JOB, let them, don't interject your own personal vendetta upon every teacher your children have. No one wants a child whose parent won't let teachers teach. Just sayin.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

To Anon: Saturday, August 18, 2012 8:01:00 AM CDT:

You said: "I have SEEN you bully teachers at Roosevelt and constantly complain to the principal(s) about us."

You have "seen" no such thing. If you haven't been in the room when discussions have been had you have "seen" nothing. What you are saying is that you have "heard" that I bully teachers through the grapevine of lies and misinformation that Dr. Perry was discussing the other day, and that you have tapped into which is not only very unprofessional, but an unreliable method of gaining information about anyone and anything. So I even question your ethic period.

So allow me to provide some correct infomration pertaining to the reasons I have had to spend efforts to hold "some" (and I mean less than 2 and possibly 3, teachers accountable for their actions:

I've had to hold teachers accountable for REFUSING to follow written district 150 policy on both grading standards, methods and other issues. If I didn't say anything, they would have done nothing even though they KNEW they were in violation of district policy. Unlike many parents, I DO know the difference between "policy" and "practice" and I'm not talking about "practice", I'm talking "policy".

I've had to hold certain teachers accountable, for not having a rationale or logic of grading. Such as why a test done in one class, is applied to another class altogether? Such as why and how does "participation" (which is a subjective standard designed to increase the grade) decrease a student grade by a whole grade -point, when there are no student disciplinary issues and it can be pointed to that the child was involved.

I have had to hold teachers accountable for not only delivering opinions, but supporting that opinion with pertinent facts as any rational person would expect.

I have had to hold teachers accountable for taking their frustration with me as a parent/community advocate/involved parent out on my child in the classroom.

I have had to hold teachers accountable for their reluctance to even address me as a PARENT and being intimidated or "bothered" when I do my parental duty to engage aspects of my child's education in things as simple as asking questions or setting PLANS to overcome problems (you know, the things that teachers do?).

I have had to hold teachers accountable that have told me, by email and face to face that they REFUSE to grade papers that were delivered to them properly simply because they "didn't want to"...ooh yes, can you say union contract???

I have had to question teachers as to why and how they felt it is acceptable that only a select few achieve in their class in certain subjects, while the majority of the class grades are substandard?

So these are the things that you have "heard" about, only you have "heard" these things in light of your colleague(s) complaints that someone was finally concerned enough about their child and educated enough on the system to not allow them to underserve my family. They found out that although their behavior towards both Black children and familes may "play in Peoria" to a certain degree among certain individuals, it doesn't "play with the Burnetts"...instead of you taking a professional path in obtaining FIRST hand information, because you SEE either myself or my wife EVERY day in the school, (if you have anything to do with the school) you choose to buy into a stereotype that I can prove to be false, because very little if anything that I have been involved in, in my child's education, has been without a witness, or outside of the presence of administration and the proper supervisory.

See pt. 2

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Pt. 2:

In addition you haven't heard a "constant complaint" from me or my wife on Roosevelt teachers either. I don't have to do that as MOST of them are very good and competent at what they do and have assisted me and us along the educational path as well.

Now, with what I have been through, and I can be very specific with both names, dates and possibly even times, I SHUDDER for the students that have no advocacy from parents and family and who do not know proper process and have had to encounter these particular teachers and their methods without support.

So since your unprofessionalism precedes you, my presence should make your skin crawl and irk you, because you should know that I will fight for any child, parent and family, not just my own, who experiences, the unprofessional attitudes, such as yours, and negative experiences similar to those that I have encountered.

I am a parent that will not sit and allow teachers to yell at children, snatch them by the arms, provide unethical discipline without speaking up or protecting them when these things are done in my presence simply because one feels that they can get away with it and have to answer to noone.

At the same time, just as I did with Roosevelt 5th grade last year, I will take time out of my schedule to be there for ANY teacher experiencing classroom problems and wanting intervention or help into gaining control over certain behavioral issues in their class. What I have found is that not only do the kids welcome this, but the teachers are benefited from having support and a partnership from someone that they know is interested in both the child's and classroom's success.

Did you "hear" any of these things through that "dirty grapevine" I wonder. I think not.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

One more thing...I agree that teachers should be allowed to "DO THEIR JOB", but they must never forget that their resource is a human resource.

The child they teach is loved by someone even if it is not them. The family that they deal and interact with DESERVES the respect of a complete and full disclosure and being made to truly feel as if they are a partner in the process of education.

I wonder:

Did you hear through this "dirty grapevine" that the technology that you use at Roosevelt was in part secured by the efforts of yours truly?

I'm almost sure you didn't hear that story. You didn't hear the story of when Brett Elliott and Magnolia Branscumb had done their best efforts, written the correct orders, followed the district instructions that administration told them that they weren't receiving anything in the way of new technology for our kids.

In fact some of what they had ordered for Roosevelt children was somehow and for some reason shipped to Thomas Jefferson.

What happened? I got on the phone, I made a visit to district 150 ADMIN, I had meetings asking why they felt it was appropriate to not provide our children the technology, not only due them, but the same technology that schools on the North end already had.

Less than 2 weeks later, the technology started to arrive "mysteriously" and if you use a certain technology now, it is my efforts in holding district 150 administration accountable that assisted with previous administration in making that happen.

Now did any of my efforts to make ALL teachers (even the bad ones) job more easy filter through that "dirty grapevine"???

I think not, that's not as interesting as feeling like you don;t have to be accountable to parents.

Anonymous said...

I heard you got your "divinity" degree while in the Big House. Is that true? Doesn't everyone find GOD while incarcarated?

Janet Schwarz said...

District Supt. Harvey Burnett: I've never met you, I don't stand in your shoes, can never really say I know your experiences, yet you and I have had to say the very same things to teachers of our children, and, if I may say, practically "live" at the schools our children attended. (At least, that's what I HAD to do.) Please keep sharing specifics about what you've had to do when advocating for your own children...and others, I'm sure. There was one school day this year when I told one of my kids, "You and I are going to school together. You are to get your things and meet me in the library. I will work with you the entire day and together we will BOTH get work done." (At the time I was re-studying chemistry and calculus to get my professional license renewed..) I INFORMED the necessary people ahead of time. I DIDN'T ask for permission, marched in, signed in, put on my visitor badge as per policy. My child met me in the library, and we WORKED. EVERYONE saw us, EVERYONE knew we were there and WHAT we were doing and WHY, and somehow they all had the sense not to DARE COME NEAR ME. Trust me, I've had YEARS of doing OTHER PEOPLES' jobs in the year the front office secretary joked, "Are they going to put you on the payroll??" Supt. Burnett, KEEP holding bad teachers in account, and if I can guess, you have no intention to stop. I'd just like to hear from you about one thing: I've wondered ALL THIS TIME, "Where are the OTHER parents??" Yes, I KNOW some work 'round the clock, because I've reached out to their kids at lunch or in class. I would really be interested in hearing what you think about how to get parents who refuse to take responsibility, to DO SO, just as you and I have done. Again, I'm NOT talking about the ones who work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet...I often used public transit and see the crowds at the downtown hub working hard, along with others who had cars, but not really reliable. Keep sharing details of your experiences...respectfully, Janet Schwarz p.s. BTW, please explain where race comes in to this, as I DO remember reading about Isaiah either in the Journal Star or Remarkable Times...regardless, I really didn't see where race came in..Thanks!

Emerge Peoria said...

I too agree with Pastor Burnett about the level of WORK required on behalf of a parent to be involved and knowledgeable. And yes, my efforts were met with resistance from the principal of the school, to the PTO and the teachers they controlled.

However, I have learned that in education, it is not as much about race, as it is about economics, who gets free lunch and/or what zip code the child comes from.

Anonymous said...

Dist. Superintendent, You have defended Dr. Perry. You have defended your questions and actions. Please now spend the same amount of time (or more) sharing your first love: the defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

I find these comments about race and economics ridiculous because my children go to north end schools and I have had these same experiences! Some teachers are just bad and need to be fired! Parents do have to work hard and fight for what is right but it is made harder by the parents who do go into schools and bully teachers/staff instead of taking a hard look at their own child. I am a teacher and a parent, wish I had an answer to the problems. The only I know is I love my children and teaching. So I plan and doing both to best of my abilities.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Anon. Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:17:00 PM CDT,

I don't understand the relevance of the question, but it sounds like you may need an invitation to church so you can hear me both defend and forthtell the Gospel of Jesus Christ personally. You may either meet us at 2500 N. E. Madison in Peoria IL. at about 8:15 AM on Sunday Aug. 19 Or Sunday Aug. 26th or beginning Sept. 2nd and beyond at Bradley University Garret Ctr. starting at about 9:30 AM every Sunday thereafter.

Both myself and New Bethel would welcome your presence.

You may also hear my defense of the faith in our facebook forum, In Defense Of The Faith, which you are welcome to join, read my gospel teachings, and hear my gospel messages and various teachings both HERE, Here and or HERE.

In this forum however, preaching of the gospel is NOT the aim.

FYI: the faith that I embrace has legs, arms and hands as well as mouth. Faith in action is what motivates me to act and do what I do. So hopefully you'll find any of these other readily available and vast resources adequate to quench your thirst for any biblical or spiritual discernments that you are looking to make regarding me.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Emerge ~ THANK YOU!!!! Absolutely correct! Economics provides many false impressions.

Emerge Peoria said...

@ Anonymous Saturday, August 18, 2012 1:18:00 PM CDT

My children went to North end schools too.

Janet Schwarz said...

To Anonymous, I'm not sure who you are referring to when you say "parents who bully staff" because I'm not one of them and quite honestly, I hardly ever saw another parent at the schools I attended. If you thought my reference to the library was bullying, think again...accomodations were not being made for my child at the time, so I did what I HAD to do to get this child to school. I hardly said a word to ANYONE that day, except "Good morning" to the front office secretary, and "May we please use the library?" to the librarian...oh yeah, and I went to the teacher and blandly said, "Hi, we're here, we'll be in the library" and "Thank you very much" to both the librarian and the front office on my way out. OOPS! Forgot...if any class came into the library I politely asked the teacher, "Do you need us to move?" They always said, "No, Mrs. Schwarz, you can stay where you are". And I thanked them. So much for bullying....

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Janet Schwarz,

You hit the nail right on the head. I think the problem is systemic and that is much of the resistance we ALL face.

We also need to hear what problems are being encountered and as Dr. Perry suggested to the parents so that we can "fight the right fight".

So far as the other parents, many feel marginalized. Look at what Emerge has experienced. That shouldn't have been. At the same time, noone wants their child damaged and unfortunately we can't spend enough time in the school to manage attitudes that may appear after parents ask questions. So in Peoria, as I have observed it, parents will dumb down, don't rock the boat too much so that their child won't face repercussions, because quite frankly, the Principal, in many cases, doesn't want to deal with the long drawn out process of the union grievance, even when they are right, and the teacher in most cases thinks that the Principal should simply uphold whatever they do out of professional courtesy.

In my opinion this has in part oppressed parent interaction as I stated previously.

What can overcome this reluctance and drawback??? INFORMATION and EDUCATION. On both policy and procedure and how to change the culture that we are dealing with.

This attention to detail by the parent seems to be perceived as being mean spirited by those who offend and wish to continue to offend. However it is a breath of fresh air to professionals who embrace their job and want to truly see a child progress.

I have encountered teachers that helped me to better understand my child's challenges. They PARTNERED WITH me to help address text book related issues and how my child(ren) could better achieve. The good ones see my wife and myself as a valued partner and a big relief in removing pressure, because they know that I and we will pull out every stop to facilitate success. The bad one's however only get frustrated, angry, play games of "quid pro quo" with administration and simply refuse to try to do better.

If we can educate parents on how to address these issues and help the teachers to become less intimidated when they are asked to justify their grades, actions and recommendations for our children, the boat will rise for all of us.

Personally, I'm calling for strong PTO's at every school and a strong Parent University, to not just be talked to, but to undertake the issues that are of concern as it pertains to our children. The union won't represent our children. Children don't pay dues. The District has its hands full as well.

Parents must be encouraged to take a stand, become educated on the process and policy and work together to resolve the issues.

So THANK YOU for your encouragement as well and whatever I can do, I will continue to do, because the education of ALL of our children, Black, White, Latino, Asian, Islamic and otherwise is of vital importance.

See. 2

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Pt. 2

One more thing, you ask about the racial aspect of things. It has to do with expectation. The expectation among many on Peoria is that the Black community may be good at producing athletes, or even criminals as we see in the news, but to be top 10 in class, receive sholarships or any of the other more positive things should be "questioned". Look at the response to my commentary about Duncan. Those that didn't see the news even question the grading system or some other aspect.

Why is it hard to believe that Black girls and Black boys want their education and are able to learn at the highest levels? In my day, being one of two Black students in my class it was a 4th grade teacher that proclaimed that I couldn't read although I had the lead part in the class play and had to read and memorize my lines...The next day she made me sit with first graders reviewing their reading program...right here at the former Kellar West (now Lindbergh GS)

After 30 to 40 prayer vigils for families and individuals who's lives were cut short because opportunities weren't maximized either by the criminal or the victim, I have very little patience for "status-quo" ideology because I know the danger contained within them.

Thank you for allowing me to expound.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

And Emerge, THANK YOU for this forum and your work to bring and deliver the right information to Peoria.

I am encouraged that no matter what the disagreements may be that we at least have an opportunity to address issues head on.

Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Meditate on I Corinthians 12:8-10 if you do not understand the question. If you still don't, then you probably never will.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Yea, sure...Did I say I didn't understand the question or the question's relevance?

Maybe that as well s the scripture is not fully understood by you for whatever reason.

Anyway, Thank s again Emerge!

Anonymous said...

Janet, I was not referring to you. I feel for you as a teacher and parent that you and your child had to endure some of psd150 worst. I was referring to the parents who come in the school yelling, cussing, and threatening violence. You sound like the type of involved parent I would love to have at my school.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Burnett and is he a self-ordained minister or has he a theology degree?

Anonymous said...

I think he is Dr. Lathan's new manager.

Sharon Crews said...

Just asking--what degree did the Apostle Paul hold--what seminary did he attend? What does any of that have to do with Pastor Burnett's comments? I get it; you are trying to discredit him. I haven't found him to be an unreasonable man. He certainly has graciously given me the opportunity to agree or disagree on this blog.

I certainly disagree with him as to the evils of the union; however, his views aren't unusual--much of the non-union world of business, etc., puts all the blame on unions, also.
Now is the time for teachers' unions to prove their worth--not just as protectors of teachers but also as protectors of students.

Last spring we saw the evils of administrators who very subjectively labeled four principals as bad principals--and all evidence seemed to point to the unfairness of those charges. There is no reason to believe that judgment calls on teachers will be any more fair. Also, we now have proof that even they believed their judgment calls weren't all that great since District 150 has offered $7,500 to $15,000 to teachers to essentially accept their apology but resign to find a job to teach somewhere else. If the evaluations were on firm ground, there would be no monetary bribes or efforts to reverse bad decisions. I am all for making teachers accountable; I just don't think anyone has come up with the objective way to do that--right now it's all in the eye of the beholder. And, quite honestly, I don't trust the "beholder" decision makers.

Janet Schwarz said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for clarifying. Thank you District Supt. Harvey Burnett, for explaining for me...there should be A LOT MORE published in the JS about great things that ARE happening among African-Americans in Peoria. I'm pretty sure I read about Duncan in the JS because my email got hacked and I had to change it several times, so I stopped receiving the Remarkable Times for quite a while. Anonymous, unfortunately, you sounded too close to a teacher who I know did not want me at said school and made one of my kids' year pure hell, even though I was nothing but kind and cordial to this person...SORRY! I wanted to tactfully (hope I did) explain more of my experience in case you were her. I fully understand why teachers must post under "Anonymous". Which leads to what I next wanted to say to District Supt. Rev. Harvey Burnett: in the 11 years I gave my soul to the kids of 150, it was my perception that I had NEVER seen, and didn't know why, a school district treated their employees so badly. Rev. Burnett, I'm curious, have you ever had a teacher say to you, "I can't say this because I'll lose my job, but YOU can because YOU'RE a parent!"? Has this ever happened to you? Because it has happened to me too many times. And I TOTALLY AGREE with you, parents DO feel marginalized!! Rev. Burnett, I don't know if you've read some of my other comments on this blog, but we had to suddenly relocate to another state when my husband lost his job at CAT a year ago. I spent the year getting my kids through the year at 150 while getting the house ready to sell. It is still not sold, even though we have relocated, and I would love to meet with you the next time I'm in Peoria to discuss other issues that I've never had solutions to, face to face, so you can help me figure some things out. I'm going to be bold, Rev. Burnett, and say publicly that Peoria was the 6th city I've lived in (15 years) after moving from Indianapolis for several years. I honestly don't know why, but Peoria has been the most racist town, on all sides, I have ever seen. It would be great to meet with you and talk, because I've always wanted to say that one way to help is to somehow address the racism in Peoria. Maybe you could educate me on why this is so, because, whether you believe it or not, this is one Causcasian mother who doesn't see skin color at all...I only treat people the way I want to be treated, and only make judgements on character. For the record, I had my kids attend Proctor Day Camp for a couple of summers because it was the best kept secret in town, and the ONLY pool we as a family would go to was John Gwynn, because it was such a GREAT DEAL (I could get our family of 5 in for the price of 1 at Lakeview) and quite frankly, it was much bigger, and the people I hung with were TOO FUN!! Here's something funny, Rev. Burnett: one time at John Gwynn, I wanted to go down the slide...then chickened out at the top and retreated back down the stairs. All the kids kept saying to me later, "I saw you up on the slide..hahahaha!!" At first I thought, "How did they see me??" Then I just laughed because I realized what a dumb question that was...and Anonymous, THANK YOU for the compliment. Both of you are greatly appreciated!!

Sharon Crews said...

I'm sure that I try too hard to forget the racial bigotry I've seen up close and personal in Peoria. It hasn't gone away; it probably won't go away in my lifetime, at least. It doesn't belong in the District 150 classroom.
My only experience is at Roosevelt Jr. High (1962-69) and at Manual from 1969 to 2005. In the early years of integration, I certainly saw plenty of examples of racial inequity and unfairness. I believe that things changed over the years--for the better at Manual. I can't speak for today--I'm not there.

Personally, I'm all for naming bigotry when I see it. My greatest fear, however, is that the victims of bigotry will remain such as long as they consider themselves to be victims. We simply must empower the youth with positives, not negatives, about themselves. Telling them that their teachers don't like them or that they can expect to be treated differently or that white teachers can't teach them effectively is detrimental to making them strong. I hate making all of this a self-fulfilling prophesy for black kids.

Janet Schwarz said...

One last thing for the record, in case someone who doesn't know me from this blog reads what I just wrote, YES PEOPLE, I "get it" that attending Proctor and "going to John Gwynn" alone DOES NOT make me an expert on racial issues! Those are certainly NOT my only experiences with other races, my point was only that I truly DON'T see skin color as an issue to me personally. Thank you, Janet

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...


Thanks for your comments and questions. I'll try to deal with a couple of them.

You asked:"Rev. Burnett, I'm curious, have you ever had a teacher say to you, "I can't say this because I'll lose my job, but YOU can because YOU'RE a parent!"? Has this ever happened to you?"

Yes I have. Depending upon what the matter is I have taken it up personally to cover the teacher and or administrator that needs the assistance. This is what I call "partnership". We are working together to secure one goal...the successful education of the student.

See administration, the school board and Spfld. needs to be reminded from time to time of the human piece of the puzzle and what we should all be trying to accomplish. That's why I believe that it is vitally important that the teachers have the right and correct perception of parent intervention and responds to the parent and child correctly to facilitate a strong relationship.

All I know is that parents that send their kids to school every day and kids that show up daily aren't expecting failure nor are they expecting roadblocks to educational success. Those days should be over. Help a child achieve and do that by seeking new methods or reaching and interaction because one thing is sure, the same thing will continue to produce the same results and we can no longer afford that.

Now the perception of this is that this type of "unwritten code" began with Dr . Lathan. It didn't. It existed under Harry F. Whittaker some what, 30 to 35 years ago. Only there was a less diverse workforce and face it, people were willing, because of the time, to keep things on the "White" track.

My mother was an assistant teacher during those days. In the late 70's I had spoken up on an issue when I was about 14 years old, and ended up writing the Supt. a letter. I remember her (my mother) being mad at me because she just knew that once they found out that I was her son, she wouldn't have a job.

Thankfully it worked out. The district office wrote me back, said they took what I had to say seriously, and eventually the issue was resolved and she didn't get fired.

The general social climate has people running scarred, but I can't say that one false move is firing anyone. A series or combination of false moves may lead to that, and I certainly see an administration that is taking note of those moves as well as it should be. I know no "boss" that doesn't take an evaluation of their talent and progress towards goals.

I'll address the racial aspect next.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...


You also stated:"I honestly don't know why, but Peoria has been the most racist town, on all sides, I have ever seen"

Well, when we're talking education, Peoria was NOT exempt from the same trouble that happened in other parts of the country with integration, only Peoria was in the North as opposed to the South.

I'm sure Mrs. Crews remembers the Manual riots and can verse you on that better than I can. I'll say this however that social classism has existed in Peoria for a long time. Predates me. It is yet alive and well.

When Black students were introduced to Manual, Manual was the high school where wealthy White families attended and they fought to keep it White.

Now, things have changed and I don't want to fall into genetic fallacy of any sort, but I will say that when I came here in the late 60's and early 70's the same type of mentality existed. Peoria was ripe fodder for the comedy of Richard Pryor, who grew up seeing it all and using all of it in his comedy.

Like you have am not from here and didn't stay statically, so I too have some contrast to compare this place too. It is a good place, but there are some social attitudes that must change and some perceptions that are being addressed because it's time for them to be addressed.

With a student population of 62% to 65% minorities and a failing mark as a district, things MUST change and as I have examined the education dilemma, one thing we know that works is parental inclusion, early childhood education and innovative teaching methodologies.

Union or no union these things can be done and all our children and families can experience the results.

BTW: I was talking about scholarship dollars earlier and some of these folk had a fit with the correct $500 to $650 thousand figures. Well at Dr.Perry's PUBLIC school, Capital Prep, receives millions of dollars annually for it's graduates. The students qualify for these benefits based on academic performance. Noone at Capital Prep thinks that's unusual. I will ask, but I don't even think anyone asks for a FOIA. But every year kids go to college and begin their adult life and dreams. That doesn't seem to be unusual there. In fact it is expected. I wonder what the difference is???

That's OK, I think I already know.

Anonymous said...

I didn't like his speech. He spent most of the time badgering the teachers. I'm a graduate of Peoria High and I've seen firsthand how these teachers are treated by students. It's a little difficult to teach these kids when they're being a bunch of belligerent hooligans. I've seen teachers get degraded to the point of tears and physically attacked. What happens? NOTHING! The kid doesn't get punished and the teacher gets to serve out their remaining school year in fear. Let's blame the teacher. I wasn't aware it was the teacher's job to teach them math AND manners. No fault lies within the student. Nice.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

"Dr. Lathan's new manager"...LOL-LOL-LOL!!!!

COMIC relief!!!!!


District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

I know you have some real concerns, but you miss the message my friend.

You said:"It's a little difficult to teach these kids when they're being a bunch of belligerent hooligans"

Although you may have heard BLAME....blame wasn't the game. I'll touch on that at the end here.

In this situation, the key is to construct a method to diffuse the adversarial relationship. Unfortunately, more disciple won't do it and suspension makes the problems worse for all of us.

First, let's construct a way to eliminate the"hooliganism" from the may have to spend some time each day convincing some that you are on their side before you even open a book.

"Hooligans" have dreams too. Have you ever asked them where they are on their way to? (and I don't mean jail) I mean what do they want to accomplish in life?

What does your main "hooligan" want to be in life? Do you know? have you ever asked?

If not, the judgement made is incomplete and without full knowledge. That's not what you learned in school, but it's what too many accept when they see the conditions up close. It's also what the "hooligan" has become accustomed to from most people they interact with.

I know the problems at Central for both you and some very good students and teachers, and I plan to work with Mr. Elliott on some recently developed concepts. But I would like you to think about just what I've suggested here...How much do you really know about some of these "hooligans"? Can anything they want out of life be used to help bring them on track and keep them on track?

That was the message I heard from Dr. Perry and it all began with LOVE...both of your profession and for the objects of it.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

I meant DISCIPLINE...not disciple...although discipleship wouldn't hurt either...LOL

Janet Schwarz said...

Thank you so much, District Supt. Harvey Burnett, for taking the time on a Saturday night to answer my questions. I appreciate your time, thought, and effort and will make note of the location of your congregation...I have to warn you, though, you'll be able to tell who I am if I'm in Peoria on a Sunday because I will probably be the only one wearing jeans, sandals and a casual shirt at your service. God accepts me for who I am, and I'm sure you will too. People can take me or leave me, because trust me, what you see is what you get...I only clean up for funerals. Ha!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...


LOL...Jeans, sandals, and then there are even yoga pants, won't be the only long as you bring your heart, we'll be good-LOL!!!

Dennis in Peoria said...

Finally getting caught up on reading the posts here..and it's funny, how in other blogs and comments, parents get blamed a lot for not being involved with the child's education.

Here, we have a dedicated parent who is a male (which is rare, usually females are more involved), and regardless of his occupation, is and wants to be very involved with his child's education...and some posters here STILL slam him.
If Rev. Burnett was the CEO or President of a local company, would some of you still be blasting at him? Probably not. Just my 2 cents there.

In any case, Janet, if you do make it back to Peoria to meet. Rev. Burnett, I'd like to have both of you on our CAPtions show, to talk about the parental side of education and advocacy. Just let me know.

Janet Schwarz said...

Dennis in Peoria: you are TOO KIND! I'll be more than glad to assist in any way, if it helps just ONE person to not go through the hell I did...BTW, I'm not sure how to access CAPtions..I'm a real turnip brain, if you haven't figured it out by now...and need to know how I can contact you the next time I'm back, which may be in the next two weeks, not sure...GRATEFULLY and RESPECTFULLY, Janet Schwarz (Caveat: there is one particular horrendous thing that happened one year, to which I gave my word to a current district employee, who happens to be a VERY GOOD one, that I would never speak of publicly again. I must let my "yes" be "yes"...I'm sure you understand, and I can explain more to you off camera and in person..)

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...


Thank you and I found that to be strange as well...I thought it was just my perception of things....LOL!

Anyway, count me in my friend at whatever level you need me. Please email me at and we'll work out a schedule.

Thanks again.

Dennis in Peoria said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

FYI- I found my child's graduation program, Rev. Burnett, and Isaiah Duncan was number 10 in the top ten of his class, which is fabulous and we are all proud of him. But he wasn't a valedictorian. Please try to verify your information before you post it.

Emerge Peoria said...

Dennis in Peoria said...

Janet, My email is

Keep me updated on your travel plans to Peoria, and we'll work something out with Rev. Burnett.

Janet Schwarz said...

Thank you very much, Dennis! It would be an honor to help in any way....

Anonymous said...

Wow on Burnett. Lots of in your face and finger pointing and no solutions! Just a lot of race and religious entitlement. Bc I'm black I know more.....bc I'm a preacher I can speak or write LOUDLY.

My advice- quit filling emerge up with your rant and offer some ideas on how to make it better.

Also, when you put yourself out there as an expert and self title yoursel- don't be surprised when people call you out on your training and experience.

Anonymous said...

Just now reading some older posts, in what time frame was Manual ever populated with rich white folks? My family attended Manual in the early 60's and it was poor families and lower incomed children. I have never heard that there was ever a movement to keep black students out. Tell me when this happened, if it did, and I doubt it , it was when Manual was on Licolon street. In the 60's my brother was one of a few whites on the team.

Anonymous said...

See the attached article about the history of Manual, with the following quote from the time Manual was located on Lincoln pre 1963:

"Both Don Jackson (class of 1956) and his wife, Ernestine Humes Jackson (class of 1959), sensed a civil rights movement stirring in that old building, though blacks made up a small minority of the enrollment."

Sharon Crews said...

Yes, there was an effort to keep blacks out of Manual--they were called Trewyn (majority white) and Roosevelt (majority black). Whether or not it was planned that way, I came to believe as a teacher at Roosevelt from 1962-1969 (just before and during the Civil Rights Movement), that keeping kids through the 9th grade at a junior high kept many black kids from moving on to Manual. The move to make Manual a 4-year high school (in 1969 when I also moved to Manual) was the effort that integrated Manual--not many black kids went to Manual before that era.
Depends on what you call rich--they were some upper middle class West Peoria kids that went to Manual in those early years. However, West Peoria kids were from strong middle class families.
I can, also, tell you that in 1969 when we all moved to Manual, we (teachers and students) were not welcome additions. My "fondest" memory is that all teachers who came from Roosevelt and Trewyn had to park in the 3rd and 4th rows--obviously, we weren't exactly treated as Manual teachers. A first-year teacher could park in the first 2 rows--but not us. However, I think Manual made a better-than expected transition to an integrated school.

Dennis in Peoria said...

Who's mainly responsible for a quality education for children? Parents? Teachers? Administrators? Actually, all three, if they work together diligently and without their own agendas. Successful Charter School Principal and CNN Education Contributor Dr. Steve Perry was in Peoria to speak at Dist. 150's 1st Parent University of the 2012-2013 school year. While his delivery style was much like a stand-up comedian, he hit home on several points that parents must do...and what teachers and administrators must do to ensure the children can learn. CAPtions will feature excerpts of his speech on Sunday, 5 pm on Comcast Cable 22. His entire speech will be online as a CAPtions Web Extra next week.

Anonymous said...

Wow all of this was a lot to take in. I heard Dr. Perry speak and I have to say that I was impressed. For a couple days I read and heard that some teachers were uncomfortable and even upset. Some have even gone as far as to say that Dr. Perry was the absolute wrong choice as a speaker. Because he said "ass"? Dr. Perry knows our students, he understands what we see every day. He described our kids and the interactions we have with them. He detailed the frustrations that we face every day because he's experienced them also.
If you truly listened to him you know that he was credible and honest.- and that's what bothers some of you the most. It bothers you because although he let us know he understands the struggles he also told us that we can not use those struggles as excuses not to teach.
There were points that Dr. Perry made that made me uncomfortable because I've made mistakes in teaching myself. I have been complacent at times, frustrated, overwhelmed by the "job". I have taken student remarks personally, blamed parents, and have even questioned if teaching is worth it.
I am a teacher at Trewyn. It has been a crazy couple of years for me. I'm white for those that are keeping track. I have my share of ups and downs but I see amazing things happen every day. Dr Perry wasn't there to beat up on us or to say we were failures. What I took from his articulate, honest and humerous talk is that we have to stop making everything about us.
We can argue contracts, parents, policy, evaluations, degrees, stress......but ultimately we still need to teach. And every single one of our kids can be taught.
So we won't make AYP. We can sit around and talk about how unfair the standards are but that doesn't mean we can't make progress. The system might be broken, some of the policies might be broken, some of the teachers might be broken but the kids are not.
Anywayyyyyy, just wanted to chime in with my opinion. I think we need to be honest with ourselves sometimes and focus on what we can do with the time we have instead of wasting so much time pointing out all the obstacles and reasons we're not having success.