Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The "Well Respected Principal" Of change...

"The issue of a local, well respected principal's apparent character assassination is not only unfortunate but a distraction from what every one of us is called to serve- do not use your freedom to indulge in the sinful nature of the race strawman, but rather serve one another in love!" 

This was the commentary from a confused and obviously uninformed citizen encouraging me, (Pastor Burnett) because I am Black, to commit my energy to freeing slaves in Sudan. At the same time calling me "misguided" and oppressed by the devil.

These are the comments that life is made of when one comes against principalities and spiritual wickedness that have bound the hearts and minds of individuals and they are filled with confusion. First, because I am Black does not give me a greater concern for Sudan. I am an American and have never been to Sudan. That suggestion in itself is RACIST and based on racist, stereotypical notions. Secondly, if one believes in God and biblical truth, how can one believe that God will use anyone to free anyone else when, according to them, that person is yet bound and in an even worse condition? Not only is a biblical interpretation of such out of line with scripture, its is contrary to all that Jesus taught about the mote and beam. (Mt. 7:3-5)

Third, and more pertinently to the issues at had, is this person's reference to the "well respected principal's apparent character assassination" part:

John Wetterauer
We all know that John Wetterauer was relieved from his duties at Charter Oak GS due to his failure to detect and report testing irregularities. According to many of the group's leaders and adherents, this removal was the "straw that broke the camel's back" giving rise to a vocal outcry from the Charter Oak Parent group which eventually gave way to the group "change150". Out of all the supposed "injustices" and "mismanagement" of Dr. Grenita Lathan. According to them, the removal of Wetterhauer demanded action because he was a "good man".

While the later may be true to some that he may have had positive experiences with, the record paints a slightly different picture of the person that the group, change 150, has championed. I will just say this, if he wasn't already a bad employee, he became a bad employee over time, and there is noone to blame but himself for that.

The part that I find interesting, is that this Supt., his boss, was willing to deal with his character issues, and all
Supt. Dr. Grenita Lathan
the negative that he was placing not only upon employees, but also parents and ultimately children in order for him to even keep a job. Certainly, it appeared that all was well on the surface, but there seemed to be something building underneath that reached epic proportions and disregard of rules and procedures.

I believe that under any other boss, and even many of them defending him who own businesses, that Mr. Wetterauer would not have had a job long before there were questions about "testing irregularities". This "monster Supt" as she has been called by critics, not only gave this breaking bad employee a chance, but still, in the end, did not fire the man from his job but helped save his pension by placing him on administrative leave with pay (before he took sick leave) and before ultimately transferring him to anther location prior to his resignation.

What you will see in DOCUMENTED reports, is that the character by which change 150 gets its fuel to act. It seems from the reports, that he signed off on, that he was not a team player, did not follow the outlined and proscribed rules in many instances and even made up his own rules, violated outlined school policies and procedures all while complaining openly about leadership, and was not only accused of racism but spoke to Black students and parents using negative and racist connotations and language in his unwarranted diatribes.    
Below you will see 3 reports from this "well respected principal's" file with Peoria District 150. These reports are public knowledge and something that the principal was willing to live with regarding his person and the interpretations of his character. Believe me, this is nothing that I would ever have made up, but certainly adds much context to the "tails" continued attempt to "wag the dog", when it comes to answering what some folk really want "changed" in Peoria education. As I have said previously, as we look more deeply this whole issue has nothing to do with children or their progress...  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

ISBE...change 150 Declares Victory...Sure...OK...

I have never seen so many blatant lies, half truths, and such a need to deceive at almost every hand. When it comes to District 150 and their current and welcome efforts to modernize District 150 education, making the District a place for the improvement and acceptance of ALL of our students, and yes, that does include IMPROVEMENTS in education for Black, low income and all minority students as well, there has never been so much public deception and efforts to steer the conversation in ways that it was never intended to go or even suggested.

One such effort begins with the reporting of information and claims that there was no evidence that neither the former Charter Oak Principal, John Wetterhauer nor certain Special education teachers manipulated or changed test answers. Interestingly enough, and what makes this so deceptive, is that this is an issue that neither District 150 nor its board never asked or even suggested, however, it is being reported as some sort of clearing of the Charter Oak teachers and administrators of their alleged misdeeds. Let's look at one groups continued misleading of the public on this issue.  

"Cleared of cheating"???

According to the group calling itself "change 150" the former Charter oak Principal and teachers have been "Cleared of ISAT cheating" by the ISBE letter (which can be viewed below). The assumption is that the letter, cleared both Charter Oak teachers and administrators of cheating and that, according to them, the letter only serves to sheds light on the "monster Supt." the WOMAN who is at the head of District 150 destroying it piece by piece starting with our "pride and joy" Charter Oak....

Change 150's statements and assessment of facts are borderline DELUSIONAL.

First, the findings of the ISBE are not in line with and have no bearing on the initial complaint of the District as I have stated above...NOBODY and their Grandmother claimed that tests were manipulated as in having answers changed after they were handed in...The claim was that the tests were IMPROPERLY administered and administrated. This means that the tests were given outside of the guidelines of the accommodations specified by the children's IEP (Individualized Education Plan) This does not suggest in any way, that the teachers, after obtaining the the tests from the students, took the answer sheets, read the tests and erased and corrected the answers...That was NEVER the claim. The ISBE found no evidence of that. District 150 found no evidence of that either. Neither District 150, nor Supt. Lathan made that claim. The CHEATING comes in when, from all evidence and results, that neither the administrator nor the teachers were following the outlined guidelines, and were possibly, according to the resultant numbers, steering students into answers that they otherwise would not have had or would not have come up with on their own. This had NOTHING to do with changing answers on a test or multiple tests. The proposed cheating was much more ominous and less obvious than that.  

The ISBE report in no way clears ANY person of the allegations that District 150 made or the findings of discrepancy which are evident among the scores, even according to them. 

To interpret the statement as a "clearing" someone of "cheating" is simply a deception and a delusion that this group continues to perpetrate. This only leads to our second point:  

If one simply reads the statement PRIOR to the answer for which no allegation was ever made, one will find that the ISBE agrees that Charter Oak test scores were irregular. Here is the ISBE statement:
"While ISBE recognizes that the results of the administrations over several years have yielded highly discrepant results for a select group of students, as identified by the District..."
Now, let's look back at the change 150 statement and even the suggestion by John Wetterhauer's attorney claiming that the report provides some level of "vindication" for his client. Examine their statements and ask yourself, what do we have? I'll tell you, it is fairly clear...We have the TAIL wagging the Dog unfortunately...Plainly and simply, we have manipulation and misstatement of the argument and certain facts in order to steer public perception and conversation on the issue in the wrong way....only the INFORMED need inquire further. Neither of their statements (neither change 150's or Wetterhauer's attorney) can stand light of day and examination under the perspective of truth.

Taking The Complaint Further

One should ask, what does the ISBE see that makes them feel compelled to take actions further than anything the District requested, by turning over the report to the unit which regulates licenses. In other words the ISBE basically avoids all the issues that the District outlines, answers a point that was not asked or ever brought into question, admits that 4 years of discrepancies were brought to them, but they only examined one, and then turned over everything to the Educator Licensure Division for further determination.....

This is very interesting because according to an article written by Pam Adams of the Peoria Journal Star, the District's case and allegations were "uncommon". This is what Pam wrote:
"This case was uncommon, according to a state board spokeswoman, because it covered allegations spanning a four-year period, rather than one instance."
It would seem that there was no rush to judgement here on District 150's behalf as has been suggested by Dr Lathan's opponents and detractors. It would also seem that from ISBE eyes and assessment that allegations from ONE instance or ONE year are sufficient to make a case for review. Does this 4 year wait sound like a Supt. or Board run amuck arbitrarily making decisions to destroy people and take apart schools as we have heard ad nauseum in this case? Does it even make sense to suggest that either the Supt. or Board were ready to destroy Charter Oak, their teachers or administrators by taking 4 years to do so? The suggestion and fundamental charge of change 150 and Wetterhauer's attorney is ridiculous and revealed to be nothing more than a smokescreen and obfuscation of truth.

Licenses May Be Revoked?

District 150 did not ask the ISBE to review any licenses. Who did this? Noone wanted educator licenses revoked or called into question. However, do the allegations warrant this, or is this merely a diversionary tactic or plan. I ask this because I would like to know who and which individuals wanted the ISBE to drop the entire matter and not make any determinations at all? Could someone, PLEASE answer that for us...The peanut gallery would like to know!

We are in receipt of certain information which strongly suggests that the the ISBE was pressured by powerful interests to NOT proceed further with any of this. It would seem that the ISBE making judgement on issues which were not in question may be their best response to that pressure. 

I simply ask, WHAT IS THE "SECRET" that these "interests" do not wish to come to the surface? Was the ISBE report deliberately misdirected or redirected to NOT address any of the substantive issues that the District claimed at this point? Certainly there was high level discussion regarding the District 150 issue, because it was and is "uncommon". Shouldn't such an "uncommon" situation warrant more than a simple one page response of less than 300 words, especially after all this time? Since there is no timeline for review of the more substantive claims, will there be further manipulation and redirection away from the initial complaint to serve the "talking heads" as they fill the air with confusion and deception to serve their own needs?

I don't know, but one thing is for sure, this is a real battle and issue and it is filled with mystery, intrigue, deception, posturing, and all the political games that one would expect from the worst political pundits ever. For sure, WE won't be deceived by any of them and we will continue to examine this matter further and on a more proactive basis.

Let us make a few phone calls and find out what is really going on and who it really is, aside from those already identified by our efforts, that have a vested interest at removing this Supt. and undermining this Board, by creating so many lies and hysteria about this issue and more.

ISBE Letter to District 150: