Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
The pjstar reports: "... Irving met a woman, whose alias is Jazzie Summers, at the Grand Hotel and the Jamison Hotel, both located on Brandywine Drive, sometime between March 1 and June 30." Further...
Garren's boyfriend, Anthony Gray, told police he, too, recognized Irving, saying his job was to check out each client as they came to the hotel. He told police he was within a few feet of Irving and was "100 percent" certain he saw Irving with Garren, the report states. "
"The location of the alleged rendezvouses also was suspect." "The notion of this pimp hanging out in the lobby at this nice hotel, that didn't happen. That's a nice place."
1470 WMBD reports: "Johnson County Iowa States Attorney Janet Lyness confirms Garren was 18 at the time of her arrest (in Iowa on April 14, 2011). Lyness says Garren's birthday is March 19, 1993. That means she turned 18 this past March 19th. Reports say Irving and Garren, aka Jazzie Summers engaged in sexual activity sometime between March 1st and June 30th.
Peoria County Sheriff's Captain Dave Briggs says only basic information has been released, only to say more information is being sought and other avenues are being pursued."
Friday, July 29, 2011
Assessing Racial Equality in Peoria with the President of the Illinois NAACP and the President of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce
So much of what Mr. Ivory and Mr. Jackson had to say is right on point. They are both very well informed individuals who are native PIAiens. With two such powerful advocates for black causes living right here in our midst, I have to admit, I struggle to understand how there can be so many black people who are hopeless, jobless and living in poverty here in Peoria. Think about it, how many black businesses can you name (not counting restaurants and barber shops)?
A little bit about Mr. Jackson and Mr. Ivory:
Mr. Larry Ivory, CEO of the Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce, Peoria, Illinois
Mr. Larry D. Ivory majored in International Business and has over 32 years’ experience in Business, with 26 years as a Financial Advisor. He was the Executive Vice President at State Wide Financial Planning and has worked for two of the leading stock brokerage firms in the country, Merrill Lynch and Salomon Smith Barney where he was a Vice President. Mr. Ivory was also a General Partner for the African Opportunity Fund, a hedge fund which invested in the African Stock Exchange. He is currently a Business Consultant who has done work for the Peoria Black Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of businesses. Mr. Ivory is the Mid-West Regional Vice President and board member of the National Black Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., President/CEO of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, Board member, and founder and past Chairman of the Board / CEO of the Peoria Black Chamber of Commerce.
Donald R. Jackson is the current President of the Peoria branch of the NAACP and the President of the NAACP Illinois State Conference.
Mr. Jackson was admitted to the practice of law in April, 1974, while working as a field attorney for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). That practical experience allowed him to be hired by Bradley University as a part-time instructor teaching the principals of collective bargaining to junior/senior level students in the College of Business.
Early in his career as a private practitioner, Mr. Jackson expanded his practice to include Civil Rights representation and litigation. Mr. Jackson has processed claims for clients before the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IHDR) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Mr. Jackson has extensive litigation experience in the Federal District Court Title VII claims of race, sex, retaliation, hostile work environment, FMLA, and handicap discrimination involving public and private entities. Similarly, he has litigated like claims before the Human Rights Commission. Mr. Jackson has argued civil rights cases before the Appellate Court, Illinois Supreme Court, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Jackson is the one who ensures racism does not play in Peoria!
This disillusioned young lady has been hard at work, with regular ads running on the Internet, saying crap like this:
"Hey Boys Its Ur Number 1 Lady Ms. Jazzie Summers. I'm The Perfect Party Girl And All You Need To Treat Yourself From The Days Stress So Come Get Your Jazzie Medicine And Let Me Take Your Stress Away For Many Days To Come. I Love To Try New Things And Will Always Try My Best To Give The A-1 Service U Always Look For But Can Never Find."
Four Arrested for Prostitution in Coralville
Posted April 15, 2011
IOWA CITY — Amanda L. Garren, 18, of Wilton, IA,Rachel M. Foster, 20, of Peoria, IL, Erica E. Kauer, 19, of Silvis, IL and Stephanie M. South, 27, of Silvis, IL were arrested for prostitution at the Coralville Baymont Inn on Thursday evening.
Coralville police were dispatched to the location following reports of suspicious activity. After contacting the accused, each woman allegedly admitted that they had posted ads online to meet men and had traveled to the hotel with intent to commit sex acts for money, police reports said.
This baby faced young lady has been way to busy to just be 18 years old. Hopefully, this latest arrest will get Amanda Garren off the streets and in a place where she can get some help.
As far as Councilman Irving, if the allegations prove true, Gloria Cassel-Fitzgerald just may get that seat after all.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
C.J. goes into detail about the Paul Wilkinson Drudge Report incident at around the 14 min. mark.
Welcome to the 21st century Mr. Bohannon, don't let blogs, bloggers, blogging bother you. Part two of the interview is below.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
As we know, recently the state and city commissioned a feasibility study on the installation of a roundabout. The study is said to have cost nearly $400,000. City Hall is good with the findings of the study and is about to seal the deal on the Beautiful Warehouse District Roundabout.
The local sentiment on Cat getting what they want...
... IF Caterpillar employees came back to the City of Peoria (to the older neighborhoods) bringing in their tax base and their children to Peoria schools, how safe would they be? What would be the probability of being hit by bullets (rather than trucks)?
Monday, July 25, 2011
"The BUILDING will house a new program, assuming that it's acceptable under the original program that allowed us to buy the building, which we're looking into.
This program will be "suspension respite" as well as transitional for students returning from the DoC or perhaps from other programs who need assistance in transitioning back to a regular school environment. Suspension respite accomplishes a few things.
First, students who look on suspensions as a vacation from having to go to school get a rude awakening. They STILL have to go to school, but now there's no fun at all. (In-school suspension is actually quite common -- I admit I served one myself in high school, for parking tickets of all things -- in districts that have the space to house such a program. Out of school suspensions are definitely a less-preferred option.)
Second, students who need behavioral assistance, etc., are able to get it -- suspending a kid for fighting for 10 days doesn't actually fix any underlying problems that are going on. This program will allow us to deal with underlying problems.
Third, it keeps students in the classroom and getting educated, even while they suffer the classwork and grade penalties that normally go with suspension, so while their grades suffer, we're at least keeping them from falling too far behind their classmates. (Since most students who end up suspended ARE struggling academically, and a suspension sometimes leads directly to dropping out as they decide now they'll never catch up.)
It's not intended to be a "stable" student population; it is intended to serve as an intervention and a stop-gap for those students who are in danger of expulsion, but who -- we hope -- can turn their behavior around with assistance."
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement features these other key findings:
Of the nearly 1 million public secondary school students studied, about 15 percent were suspended or expelled 11 times or more; nearly half of these students with 11 or more disciplinary actions were involved in the juvenile justice system.
Only three percent of the disciplinary actions were for conduct in which state law mandated suspensions and expulsions; the rest were made at the discretion of school officials primarily in response to violations of local schools’ conduct codes.
African-American students and those with particular educational disabilities were disproportionately disciplined for discretionary actions.
Repeated suspensions and expulsions predicted poor academic outcomes. Only 40 percent of students disciplined 11 times or more graduated from high school during the study period, and 31 percent of students disciplined one or more times repeated their grade at least once.
Schools that had similar characteristics, including the racial composition and economic status of the student body, varied greatly in how frequently they suspended or expelled students.
The analysis considered in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP) placements, and Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program (JJAEP) placements. In-school suspensions ranged from a single class period to several consecutive days, and out-of-school suspensions averaged two days per incident. Students assigned to DAEP were there for 27 days on average; JJAEP students were off the school campus for an average of 73 days. Informal actions (e.g., detention, parent/teacher meetings) were not reported to the Texas Education Agency and were therefore excluded from study.
“One of the most important takeaways from the report is learning that the school a student attends largely influences how, when, or if a student is removed from the classroom for disciplinary reasons,” said Senator Florence Shapiro (R), chair of the Texas Senate Education Committee, and one of the lawmakers who supported the study. “The data suggests that individual school campuses often have a pronounced influence over how often students are suspended or expelled.”
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I felt Gordon was an excellent candidate for the Committee on Education Reform, because I knew that she had already been working on reaching out to those in the education community for input since 2009 (see invitation above - click to enlarge). I find it interesting that Bradley McMillan, our local ethicist, is implying that Gordon may have been unethical now that the education reforms are begining to see the light of day.
From what I know, I would agree with Gordon, that her support for reforms predates the campaign contributions.
Education reform linked to donation?
Rep. Jehan Gordon insists her support of bill predates $100,000 campaign donation
How much did campaign donations smooth the way for education reforms? The head of an out-of-state group that helped craft the education reform package Illinois lawmakers passed nearly unanimously this spring put a focus on that question with some unguarded comments at a conference at Colorado's Aspen Institute early this month.
And because she was one of the biggest recipients of campaign cash from Jonah Edelman's Stand For Children organization - some $100,000 in 2010 out of about $444,000 in donations she raised in the last six months of her successful re-election campaign - state Rep. Jehan Gordon, D-Peoria, is caught up in the controversy. She insists her support for reform predates those campaign contributions.
Legislature who had supported pension reforms during 2010, Edelman said during his Aspen remarks. But his organization stepped in with campaign donations targeted at several key races - six Democratic candidates including Gordon, and three Republicans.
After the election, the group crafted a series of proposed reforms that "tied tenure and layoffs to performance . . . streamlined dismissal of ineffective tenured teachers substantially" among other things and discussed it with Madigan, Edelman said. "He said he was supportive. The next day he created an Educational Reform (Committee), and his political director called to ask for our suggestions who should be on it."
Gordon was among those who were quickly appointed to the committee, as was the only other incumbent House member to receive donations from Stand for Children and win re-election. That move, said McMillan, highlights the ease with which money can appear to buy access to politicians.
Gordon was blunt in her reaction to the controversy: "You don't buy my vote." She turned the question on itself, arguing she'd also received donations in the past from union groups that were wary of Stand for Children's aims.
"Having taken support from education groups before does not make me beholden to anybody (either)," she said.
In fact, she said, she worked with all interested parties, from Edelman's group to state teachers unions. She touted her frequent contact with the latter group - including District 150's teachers union - while working on the reform package.
When she heard what Stand for Children was supporting, "I felt it was an excellent platform, it was something I could support," Gordon said. And she did, after also giving local educators a heads up that she would be backing the measures and soliciting their input.
Because of that, Gordon said that "I absolutely don't regret" taking the $100,000 contribution. "I stayed true to what I've always said. I've always said we need to be doing more in education."
Gordon said she worries that Edelman's remarks "could potentially set us back" from any further education reforms. "This was a first step. There are a lot of things we can be doing to ensure that kids are receiving the best quality education." Source
"a Peoria man was ordered held on $200,000 bond Tuesday for allegedly having marijuana, cocaine, several thousand dollars in cash and a dozen firearms, including two assault weapons.
The pjstar failed to list the street value of the drugs (this website puts it at $100 per gram for cocaine), or the firearms. They also failed to put up the mugshot of the alleged criminals:
Kyle L. Joos, 29, of 5233 N. Knoll Ridge Road appeared in Peoria County Circuit Court on charges of possession of between 15 and 100 grams of cocaine with intent to deliver and possession of between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana with intent to deliver.
Assistant State's Attorney Dave Kenny said officers with the Multi-County Narcotics Enforcement Group and Peoria Police Department raided Joos' home Monday and found $7,700 in cash, 60 grams of powder cocaine, 360 grams of marijuana and 12 guns, including an AK-47 and a .22-caliber GSG-5 submachine gun.
Police also seized several TVs and furniture from the home. Joos has not held a job for several months, and authorities believe those items could have been paid for through drug profits.
If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
Not even a week ago a local man was ordered held on $2.5 million bond after police allegedly found 200 pounds of marijuana at his home. Look at the contrast of information provided when Kevin McGee was arrested. They supplied a lovely mugshot, along with information on the street value of the drugs, in an effort to show "justification" for him being held on a bond usually reserved for murderers. The disparity is gross. Put then again - this is Peoria and the Journal Star.
Kevin K. McGee, 37, of 808 W. Brons Ave. appeared in Peoria County Circuit Court on charges of marijuana trafficking, possession of more than 5,000 grams of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of more than 5,000 grams of marijuana.
The trafficking charge carries a 12-to-60-year prison term, and probation is not an option. For that reason as well as the street value of the marijuana, about $200,000, Assistant State's Attorney Steve Pattelli sought the high bond, an amount normally reserved for murder suspects.
The prosecutor said police were tipped by informants that a large shipment of marijuana was coming to McGee. Officers staked out his house and allowed the drugs to be delivered on Wednesday and then raided the house. They found the drugs, a handgun and $9,000 cash, Pattelli said in open court.
Monday, July 18, 2011
If only the Drudge Report would pick up on the news reports on all of the black on black crime playing out in Peoria
July 11th, four people were shot, including two brothers who were wounded in separate shootings;
July 13th Peorian confronts armed intruder with golf club;
July 13th Mistaken identity nets robbers no money;
July 14th a man who was shot multiple times was later pronounced dead. Another man who was reportedly shot in the same incident suffered a wound to the head;
July 16th Peoria man, 32, stabbed in the lower abdomen;
July 16th No suspects in South Peoria gunshots;
July 17th Two Peoria residences robbed at gunpoint over past four days; Bullet hole found in Peoria house; Man robbed at gunpoint in Peoria; Gunfire follows crash Sunday night.
And now this:
CityLink passenger struck by stray bullet
One person was injured Monday afternoon after a bullet or pellet struck a CityLink bus.
The bus was headed west on Howett Street about 1:30 p.m. when a bullet or pellet from a pellet gun struck the bus, shattering a window and injuring a passenger. The victim suffered facial wounds, police said.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
When he first broke the news about baby boy going to prison, moms was mad at both of them. But by the time the conversation ended, moms was in a better place and acknowledged, that at least in prison he would get off drugs and get his diabetes taken care of...
Many of us have seen the dismal statistics for Black males in America. African American men are at the bottom of the barrel in nearly every category of life, including healthcare, education, incarceration, and unemployment. Many of us raise our Black boys with little to no understanding of how many of these statistics are perpetuated by a series of systems that serve to enhance and promote a lifestyle that leads to an early death. That is one reason why we’ve expressed concern for hip-hop music, fueled by corporate America, that promotes a self-destructive lifestyle that many young men emulate.
It turns out that the facts might be worse than many could have speculated. According to a recent study, Black men are half as likely to die in prison than if they are free. The authors of the study claim that easier access to healthcare, protection from drugs and alcohol, and the ability to avoid deadly Black-on-Black violence leads to a longer life span for those who are incarcerated. African American males are the only group for which these facts hold true, according to the authors of the study.
The authors of the research, set to be published in the Annals of Epidemiology, also claim that the study reflects a pattern that those from disadvantaged groups live longer in prison primarily because they are protected from violent injuries and murder that can happen on the outside.
“Ironically, prisons are often the only provider of medical care accessible by these underserved and vulnerable Americans,” said Hung-En Sung of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
“Typically, prison-based care is more comprehensive than what inmates have received prior to their admission,” Sung, who wasn’t involved in the new study, said to Reuters Health.
The study examined 100,000 men between the ages of 20 and 79 being held in North Carolina prisons between 1995 and 2005. Sixty percent of the men being examined were African American. The authors found that while in prison, the death rate between whites and Blacks was the same. But outside of prison, Black males were far more likely to die than whites.
“What’s very sad about this is that if we are able to all of a sudden equalize or diminish these health inequalities that you see by race inside a place like prison, it should also be that in places like a poor neighborhood we should be able to diminish these sort of inequities,” said Evelyn Patterson, who studies correctional facilities at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
“If it can be done (in prison), then certainly it can happen outside of prison,” Patterson said to Reuters Health.
I don’t know about you, but this study made my stomach turn. Dying and going to prison are among the easiest things for a Black man to do in a world where it’s easier for him to get a gun than a good public school education. Most interesting is that Black male political power is so weak that politicians in Washington have almost no incentive to pay attention to the crises occurring within our communities. Source
Friday, July 15, 2011
Calming colors can work wonders when children need to be focused and study. I remain surprised that schools don't use color to their advantage when dealing with so many excitable youngsters.
What do you think - are the schools with the high energy colors, the schools with the highest number of discipline issues?
Psychology of Color: Red
If you want to draw attention, use red. It is often where the eye looks first. Red is the color of energy. It's associated with movement and excitement. People surrounded by red find their heart beating a little faster and often report feeling a bit out of breath. It's absolute the wrong color for a baby's room but perfect to get people excited.
Psychology of Color: Blue
Seeing the color blue actually causes the body to produce chemicals that are calming; but that isn't true of all shades of blue. Some shades (or too much blue) can send a cold and uncaring message. Over the ages blue has become associated with steadfastness, dependability, wisdom and loyalty (note how many uniforms are blue). People tend to be more productive in a blue room because they are calm and focused on the task at hand.
Psychology of Color: Green
The color of growth, nature, and money. A calming color also that's very pleasing to the senses. Dark forest green is associated with terms like conservative, masculine and wealth. Hospitals use light green rooms because they too are found to be calming to patients. It is also the color associated with envy, good luck, generosity and fertility. It is the traditional color of peace, harmony, comfortable nurturing, support and well paced energy.
Psychology of Color: Yellow
Cheerful yellow the color of the sun, associated with laughter, happiness and good times. A person surrounded by yellow feels optimistic because the brain actually releases more seratonin (feel good chemical in the brain) when around this color. It is the color associated with optimism but be careful with yellow, when intense, it is the color of flames and studies show babies cry more in (bright) yellow rooms and tempers flare more around that color too. It has the power to speed up our metabolism and bring out some creative thoughts (legal tablets are yellow for good reason!). Yellow can be quickly overpowering if over-used, but used sparingly in the just the right place it can be an effective tool in marketing to greater sales. Some shades of yellow are associated with cowardice; but the more golden shades with the promise of better times.
Psychology of Color: Orange
The most flamboyant color on the planet! It's the color tied most this fun times, happy and energetic days, warmth and organic products. It is also associated with ambition. There is nothing even remotely calm associated with this color. Orange is associated with a new dawn in attitude.
Psychology of Color: Purple
What color were the robes of kings and queens? Yes, they were purple, our most royal color that is associated with wealth, prosperity, rich sophistication. This color stimulates the brain activity used in problem solving. However, when overused in a common setting it is associated with putting on airs and being artificial/ Use purple most carefully to lend an air of mystery, wisdom, and respect.
Psychology of Color: Brown
This color is most associated with reliability, stability, and friendship. More are more likely to select this as their favorite color. It's the color of the earth itself "terra firma" and what could represent stability better. It too is associated with things being natural or organic.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I posted about how the pjstar covered her departure here (see excerpt below). I guess the bottom line may be that it doesn't matter what grounds under which you were fired, you still have to follow procedure (especially if set out by contract):
“Ms. Schau reported that when the budget was adopted in September it was based on the prior year and had some flaws and now we have documented all needed changes. An amended budget has been prepared that shows our best estimate of how the district will end the year. Administration is recommending that the amended budget be put on display for 30 days and a hearing be held on June 29, 2010.”
When comparing the revised budget presented at that June 29 meeting with the original budget dated the prior September, one of the prime differences was that “Purch Serv” (an expense) from the operating budget was $4MM higher than budgeted, with no real change in operating revenues (thus the operating budget as a whole was $4MM worse than previously expected). The natural question is how much of that difference was an admitted error and how much was due to overspending, presumably by others in authority?" *
Additionally, there were at least two occasions that Schau gave the Superintendent erroneous information regarding spending for summer school and adult education. Oh, and let us not forget when ten (10) clerical workers were given raises, even though Durflinger said he knew of and approved "three to four people" but no others *
*under Schau's watch
Pamela Schau filed the seven-page suit in U.S. District Court and seeks a judge to declare the district did not have “proper cause to discharge Schau for cause” as well as to reinstate her complete with back pay and benefits.
She was fired after a 90-minute rare executive session by the School Board at its August 2010 meeting. Schau, a recently retired suburban Chicago school district official, was hired in July 2009 to take over the reins at the financially troubled district.
It has not been publicly revealed why Schau was fired from her position in the middle of her contract and just before the start of the 2010-11 school year. At the time, Schau said that she was told “the board felt I was not providing sufficient leadership in the area of accounting.”
The suit states Schau’s contract gave her the right to have “written charges and a hearing before the Board of Education in the event it seeks her discharge for cause.” None of that was done, the suit alleges.
“That by virtue of the manner in which Schau was terminated from her employment with the District, Schau was denied any hearing opportunity to challenge that action either before or after her removal,” the suit states.
Schau, the suit alleges, “suffered emotional pain and anguish, damage to her reputation, embarrassment, humiliation, inconvenience and the loss of enjoyment of life.” Source
This evening in Downtown Peoria my girls and I were taking a walk. Over near the Riverfront Village Platform, I noticed that the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce appeared to be setting up for an event, so we wandered over.
They were setting up food and signs that indicated that they were celebrating 100 years at the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce (or something). They had food by Chamber member restaurants, music, dancing, beverages all FREE. My girls loved it.
While the kids were munching on free stuff, all of a sudden the song Celebration by Kool and the Gang starts to play. The next thing I knew, there they were - the flashmob. It consisted of Chamber members, THE MAYOR and City Council members. Check the photos:
Sorry to disappoint - no black kids were involved.
"There was so much that needed to be accomplished this year, I think I beat myself up more thinking what I wanted to get done. When you think about improving personnel practices and the operational side of the house, there's still more I wanted to accomplish."When questioned on what kind of grade she would put on her own report card:
"I Think about a B or a B-plus. I need proficiency rates. I need to see what we accomplish in student achievement this year. What does it show, how many students are meeting or exceeding standards in reading and math? Then, we'll be able to assign a score beyond that."Lathan says she remains focused on continuing to keep a tight reign on the budget and making sure the curriculum changes she put in place begin to show fruit. Additionally, she is especially proud of the contract agreements reached with teachers and support staff in - what she calls - record time. Source
Monday, July 11, 2011
July 6, 2011, WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE—
At least four parents turned in their children to police after seeing surveillance video of teens looting a gas station in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood. The teens stormed the gas station and began looting shortly after the lakefront fireworks show ended on Sunday, July 3rd. FOX6 spoke with one mom who saw her 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter on video.
A woman who asked only to be identified as Kizzy told FOX6 her story. "I was just watching the news and I seen a picture of my son. I kind of rewinded it a couple of times to make sure that was him. Then I went on the website, because there were more pictures and that's when I seen my daughter on there."
FOX6 repeatedly aired surveillance video of the looting incident at a BP gas station in Milwaukee's Riverwest community. Many teens in that video may have continued on to rob several people a few blocks away.
Stealing chips was enough for Kizzy. "It was kind of heartbreaking to see that, but I knew I would have to bring them to the police station in the morning," she said, "What kind of kids are being raised? I'm thinking that, I'm watching it and then I see my son. I'm like something's got to be done."
Kizzy said when her kids got back from Summerfest she confronted them about what she saw. At first her son denied it, but then confessed. "I slept on it then I woke up this morning and we talked about it and I said this is the decision I made."
Kizzy brought her two children to police district five and turned them in. "I have provided a stable loving home and it's disappointing to see my children on the television and I advise any parent, if you're raising you children to go into the right direction come forward, because it's going to continue to happen. I've seen it with other family members, they get away with it once they'll do it again."
Kizzy recognized another kid on the video and is trying to reach his parents. FOX6 posted still photos of the people involved in this looting incident.
WMBD 31 has obtained part of District 150 Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan's contract; it was being kept secret.
The district's school board made changes to the contract at its meeting last month. At the time, the district would not release what specific changes were made.
After filing a Freedom of Information Act, we learned the superintendent must evaluate student performance on standardized tests, curriculum, and attendance and drop-out rates.
She must also report to the school board and make any changes she sees necessary. The report must include goal and student achievements required by school code.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Today, Billy Dennis posed this question:
click on image to enlarge
Billy, I would post this on your blog, but for some reason I continue to be unable to post there - anyhoo, go to WMBD1470 and look at the first piece they published on the "Taft riots", look at the terms the story was filed under. Fox News, simply found an AP photo that reflects what WMBD 1470 filed the story under "disaster, accident, war and conflict". In other words, WMBD gave Fox News the ammunition (pun intended).
Gotta go, I'm not supposed to be posting while on vacation! Carry on...
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
Friday, July 1, 2011
BOARD OF EDUCATION
ORDER OF BUSINESS
July 1, 2011
A. CALL TO ORDER – 12:00 p.m.
B. ROLL CALL
C. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
D. SPECIAL RECOGNITION – Jim Stowell, outgoing Board Member
E. BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS ON THE 2010-2011 YEAR
F. ADJOURNMENT SINE DIE
PEORIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
BOARD OF EDUCATION
ORDER OF BUSINESS
July 1, 2011
OPEN SESSION – Administration Building, DLC Board Room
A. CALL TO ORDER
B. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN PRO TEM
C. RECOGNITION OF ELECTED BOARD MEMBER
Oath of Office – Debbie Wolfmeyer, District 2 and Rick Cloyd, District 3
D. ADOPTION OF BOARD AGREEMENT ON THE FOCUS OF THE WORK OF THE BOARD & CODE OF CONDUCT Proposed Action: That the Board of Education adopt for 2011-2012 the Peoria Public Schools Board Agreement on the Focus of the Work of the Board and the Code of Conduct.
E. ELECTION OF SECRETARY PRO-TEM
F. ROLL CALL
G. ADOPTION OF RULES AND POLICIES OF THE NEW BOARD Proposed Action: That the rules and policies of the immediate past Board be the rules and policies of the new Board.
H. PRESENTATION BY AUDIENCE
(Board Policy 2:230 – An individual may address the Board at this time for no more than five minutes with further time allotted as appropriate, at the discretion of the chair and with the concurrence of the majority of the Board. Total time on any one subject shall exceed twenty minutes only at the discretion of the chair and with the concurrence of the majority of the Board. Each speaker will give his or her name and address.)
I. ELECTION OF OFFICERS
2. VICE PRESIDENT
J. APPOINTMENT OF SECRETARY, ASSISTANT SECRETARY, TREASURER, AUDITOR AND ATTORNEY FOR THE 2011-2012 SCHOOL YEAR Proposed Action: That Joan L. Bastian be appointed Secretary of the Board of Education; that Kena Brown by appointed Assistant Secretary of the Board of Education; that Dr. David Kinney be appointed Interim Treasurer and the firm of Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick and Kohn be appointed as attorneys.
ACTION ITEMS – CONSENT AGENDA
(Action by the Board of Education on the items listed with the Consent Agenda are adopted by a single motion unless a member of the Board or the Superintendent requests that any such item be removed from the consent calendar and voted on separately. Generally, consent agenda items are matters in which the Board and Superintendent agree are routine in nature and should be acted upon in one motion to conserve time and permit focus on other-than-routine items on the agenda)
1. Deleted by EP
2. HUMAN RESOURCES REPORT – Dunn Proposed Action: Appointment, employment, compensation, performance, resignation, retirement or discharge of an employee.
3. TRAVEL REQUESTS - Lathan
4. INTERIM PAYMENTS – Kinney Proposed Action: That the Board of Education approve the School District’s expenditure of funds to defray necessary and proper expenses and liabilities of the School District incurred for educational or operations and maintenance or transportation or site and construction purposes of the District, until which time the Annual Budget of the District is adopted in conformity with applicable sections of the Illinois School Code.
5. RESOLUTION APPROVING THE ILLINOIS SCHOOL DISTRICT LIQUID ASSET FUND PLUS CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT PROGRAM (ISDLAF+) – Kinney Proposed Action: That the resolution be approved as presented.
6. RESOLUTION AUTHORIZNG INTER FUND TRANSFERS AND LOANS AND AUTHORITY TO INVEST FUNDS – Kinney Proposed Action: That the resolution be approved as presented.
7. TAX DEDUCTIONS – Kinney Proposed Action: That the resolution be approved as presented.
8. RESOLUTION DESIGNATING DEPOSITORIES – Kinney Proposed Action: That the resolution designating depositories be approved.
9. RESOLUTION APPROVING TREASURER’S BOND – Kinney Proposed Action: That the resolution providing for a $15,000,000 Treasurer’s Bond be approved.
10. PREVAILING WAGE RATES Proposed Action: That the resolution establishing prevailing wage rates, in compliance with Illinois Statues, be adopted and that a copy of this resolution be filed with the Secretary of State and the Department of Labor by the Secretary of the Board of Education.
PRESENTATION AND SUGGESTIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS
REPORTS FROM BOARD COMMITTEES
Since the positive correlation between parent involvement and student achievement has been well documented, the under-representation of urban parents appears to be solely their fault. Conventional wisdom is that schools bend over backwards to get every parent involved, but for whatever reasons (ignorance? fear? unconcern? other priorities?) many urban parents choose not to do so. "They" are the problem. "They" don't know what's important. If "they" really loved their children... and so it goes. That communication from the school may be misdirected is never a consideration.
Schools seldom see themselves as part of the problem. They fail to consider that the opportunities for involvement they are offering may not be what urban parents really need, at least initially. Traditional parent involvement tends to be student-centered and/or school-based, characterized by activities conducted in or out of the school with the child and/or the teacher. For parents whose personal and family circumstances afford them the confidence and comfort to involve themselves in these activities, student-centered opportunities can be very attractive.
Instead of repeatedly dialing the wrong number, urban schools can play a major role in transforming reality for urban parents by offering them parent-centered opportunities as a critical first step. Empowering parents with a different sense of themselves clarifies their perspective and unleashes their commitment and creativity to benefit their children. Thus far, there is little evidence that urban school leaders understand this potential or desire to tap into it.
Rightly or wrongly, urban schools seem to expect parental commitment without the development of trust or mutual respect. Among many urban parents, for whatever reasons, the kinds of commitments desired by today's schools require cultivation. Investing time and scarce resources into cultivating more than superficial relationships with urban parents seems fiscally irresponsible when the return on investment may be modest. Moreover, failure to do so assures the status quo. If the status quo is unacceptable, urban school educators should do two things: 1) resist the temptation of short-term "quick fix" approaches that typically over promise, but under deliver; and 2) invest in programs that not only build trust and respect, but also change parental attitudes, values and behavior.
Changed attitudes, values and behavior are the building blocks of empowerment. So, what needs to happen is not rocket science. Priorities for parent involvement need to be changed and alternative approaches explored. The future of our nation and its children resides in our ability to radically re-direct the trajectory of our aspirations in a global community. Otherwise, the coveted place the U.S. once held on the world stage will become ancient history. Consistently, the airlines remind adults on-board each and every flight what to do for children seated next to them "in the event the cabin pressure drops and the oxygen mask appears." "Put your mask on first; then, attend to your child!" Urban school leaders should heed this directive! Parent-centered engagement programs are not a quick fix, but they can resuscitate uninvolved moms and dads with fresh air.
Providing urban parents experiences that motivate, enlighten and bond many of them for life transforms their ability to impact the education of their children. Those of us who do this work persevere because our auditory capabilities are intact. We heard the needs of those whose reality we now champion long before any of them knew we were listening. We will not rest until others take time to hear and heed their call! Source