Hat Tip Dennis-in-Peoria
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Hat Tip Dennis-in-Peoria
Monday, September 17, 2012
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Saturday, June 30, 2012
Well it's that time of year again and as far as I know, nothing about the process for choosing has changed. 1470 WMBD is reporting that current board vice-president Chris Crawford and board member Martha Ross will likely be nominated for board president. Ross has been on the School Board for
Monday, April 2, 2012
"You don't have to like me, you don't have to love me, I'm asking you to respect what we're trying to do in our schools."
Superintendent Grenita Lathan
Donald Jackson, "It's not just one or two people in the community who are concerned," The district has hired 11 people from North Carolina, Lathan's home town, for $1.5 million, but none are black males, while qualified people from Peoria are ignored. People with master's degrees are supervising those with Ph.Ds. While there is "a level of administration never had before," classroom aides are being cut to part time next year and some classrooms have 30 children. The money could be better spent. Jackson is the President of the Illinois and Peoria NAACP
Quotes excerpted from pjstar, peoria story, week, ciproud.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Last week, NAACP President, Donald Jackson said that they would be reviewing some of the Administrations recent decisions. You may recall that previously the NAACP had expressed concern about what the District was doing to qualify long term staff that they had previously been successful in attracting.
"It's not just one or two people in the community who are concerned," said Don Jackson, president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He said members of the chapter are meeting Thursday to discuss a response. pjstarIt's said that folks feel it is time for BOE President, Linda Butler and company to have their feet held to the fire. To date, only BOE members Rick Cloyd and Martha Ross have spoken out here and there about decisions that Administration have made, with the rest of the BOE appearing to have remained silent. However, it is believed that there may be other BOE members who have lost confidence in the Superintendent but have not yet voiced their opinions publicly.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Recently appointed District 150 School Board member, M. Lynn Costic went to bat for Martha Ross at Friday afternoon's school board meeting. Costic, who was appointed to the school board via the straw poll process in January of 2011, expressed concern for using the straw poll process to decide who the school board president will be.
Linda Butler chosen as District 150 board president Longest-serving member Martha Ross questions 4-2 vote's fairness
District 150 School Board Vice President Linda Butler was elected Friday as president of the board, which again passed over longtime member Martha Ross.
Ross has been on the School Board for nine years, longer than any other member. After Friday's 4-2 vote, she said the practice of selecting a board president was "unfair" and "biased."
"We as a board are supposed to model how we want our children to perform. We want our children to treat each other fairly ... but yet I really feel that is not what is happening with this board and it is a personal feeling that I have not been treated fairly for whatever reason," Ross said during the meeting, adding that "it has the appearance in this community as being discriminatory and biased."
Board member M. Lynne Costic voted with Ross. Voting for Butler, in addition to herself, were Debbie Wolfmeyer, Chris Crawford and new board member Rick Cloyd, who was sworn in Friday. Laura Petelle, who gave birth to a boy on Wednesday, was absent.
Costic questioned the straw poll process of determining who will lead the board meetings.
Wolfmeyer, the board's outgoing president, said "This is an individual decision that board members make as to who they want at any given time to lead the board."
"I am just going to call it. Mrs. Ross is continually getting passed over and passed over, and there is a major concern from the community as to why this continues to happen, and if she is not being told why she is not being selected for the office of president after serving on this board for nine years, then shame on us as a board. She needs to know. I would like to know." - M. Lynn Costic -
Butler said she supported Ross for two years after coming on the board, even nominating her one year as president, but that the votes just didn't fall in her favor.
Currently, the only qualification to be president is to sit on the board for at least one year.
Ross said the process "has been changed many times to fit the people who wanted to be in the position." A past policy required a board member to be vice president before becoming president, she said.
Butler, an administrator at South Side Mission who has been on the board since 2007, said her two priorities for the next year are student academic improvement and the district's finances.
"I believe we have made some good decisions, but clearly there is a lot of work ahead of us," Butler said of the past year.
Cloyd, installed during the board's annual reorganization meeting, was elected earlier this year. He replaces outgoing board member Jim Stowell, who finished his five-year term.
"It's humbling and exciting at the same time and I appreciate the opportunity to serve - I've lived in the Peoria area my whole life and went to District 150 schools," Cloyd said. "This is a great opportunity to give back to the community. I think we're on the start of a good path and I want to help us stay on it." Source
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
In my opinion, the news story below illustrates another example of the violation of children’s rights that have been happening in District 150 for very long time. ACLU stuff, right? And people in Peoria wonder how we got to where we are.
It's interesting that this story would run in the Journal Star and not mention that for years Martha Ross has been standing up for the children who were being expelled and suspended.
Here's to the people who made light of that...
District 150 addressing discipline for disabled students
School Board puts new policy on display after warnings from state
District 150 on Monday said it is taking steps to correct a years-old problem of how it disciplines students with disabilities after warnings by the state.
Maureen Langholf, who earlier this year was named director of special education at District 150, said it has put in place more intervention procedures, provided additional social training to special education teachers, and even began placing some students in half-day programs at the Moss Avenue building that houses Peoria Alternative High School and the Adult Education Center.
"It's stopped the high number of days per child" who have been suspended, Langholf said Monday prior to the School Board putting on public display a new policy. She also acknowledged the decreased numbers are not necessarily indicative of less bad behavior.
Langholf said the goal is to help get at the root problem of why students are misbehaving and addressing it, rather than simply applying punitive measures, not to mention addressing federal law. Students also are receiving more educational services, with more than three hours in a school setting versus one hour by a tutor at home.
Under the revised discipline guidelines for students with disabilities, students may be suspended for no more than 10 days each year. After 10 days out, the district must provide educational services in accordance with that student's Individual Education Plan. Behavior intervention plans also must be established.
A special education student who carries or possesses a weapon to or at school, possesses or uses illegal drugs or inflicts serious bodily injury upon another person at school shall be placed in an alternative educational setting for no more than 45 school days, the revised policy states.
Superintendent Grenita Lathan said Monday the rules cannot prevent expulsion of a special education student.
At issue with the state has been the school district's past practice of suspending students with disabilities in increments of up to three days after they already had been suspended for 10 days, which violates federal law. It's unclear how many students were included in the citation from the state, which ranges from 2007 to 2010.
No additional staff members were hired for the changes put in place this year, though more work from teachers, administrators and special education staff is required, officials said.
"It's more work for schools, but it's part of our responsibility," said Bill Salzman, the district's director of student affairs.
The new policy, which district officials say follows the law, is expected to go before the board next month for formal adoption.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The fact that not televising the meetings is a cost saver has yet to be proven (even though I seem to recall BOE member Ross asking about it twice). However, it has become evident that the real reason for not televising the meetings is more than likely wanting to control the message, along with not wanting to publicize the level of discourse.
BOE member Stowell is correct that the District should care about the message that the public receives if the speakers make unfounded comments. But not televising the meetings in an attempt to “control the message” won’t work.
BOE member Petelle has speculated that perhaps allowing back and forth dialogue would allow the District to address the unfounded issues immediately. With discourse being at the current levels, in my opinion, back and forth dialogue in this type of forum could be a quagmire.
Sure it’s got to be hard being a BOE member on the end of a well researched issue that you have no knowledge of, delivered jabbingly (new word). However, you can’t deny that the District Watch Group has brought many issues to light that the BOE and the broader public were not aware of.
Mrs. Petelle’s intentions are good, but how many BOE members are really prepared to address the various issues that randomly come up from speakers? The majority of the commenter's at the BOE meetings are very well prepared. They have done the research, they have talked to people, they have handouts and they are passionate about that of which they speak.
Providing opportunities for members of the community, including employees, parents, and students, to have input in local school board deliberations is a very important part of conducting school system business.
At the same time, however, the BOE cannot effectively do its work and reach reasoned decisions if the public commentary portion of BOE meetings sets a tone of incivility and disorder. Thus, policies dealing with public commentary during official meetings of the BOE must make The Rules very clear...
• All comments made during the public commentary portion of Board meetings will be limited to specific items included in the official meeting agenda.
• Individuals wishing to speak during the public comment portion of Board meetings must, prior to the Board meeting, have his/her name placed on an official list of speakers kept by the Clerk of the Board.
• Persons whose names do not appear on the approved list kept by the Clerk of the Board will not be permitted to speak.
• Speakers whose names appear on the list kept by the Clerk of the Board will be called in order and given a specific time limit within which to make their comments to the Board.
• Inappropriate comments, name-calling, profanity, the venting of personal issues, or other disruptive behaviors will not be tolerated.
• Civility will be insisted upon and enforced during all Board meetings.
Any individual or group of individuals whose comments and/or physical behaviors are deemed disruptive of Board business, and/or who engages in speaking on subjects not at the time relevant to matters before the Board, will be removed from the Board chamber and escorted off school system property. Source
If an issue is important enough for back and forth dialogue, perhaps the BOE member could discuss it after the meeting and/or place the item on the Agenda for a later date.
Give these volunteers time to do the research and get answers after the issues are raised and then hold them accountable based upon that feedback.