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: