Monday, March 26, 2012

NAACP to hold press conference at tonight's BOE meeting

I will be second hand live blogging the School Board meeting that is being held at Charter Oak School tonight. Word is that Don Jackson, President of the Illinois NAACP is hosting a press conference at 5:30pm outside where tonight's BOE Committee of the Whole Meeting is being held. Check back regularly for updates...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Students pleading with District 150 Administration to make the school safe so they can get their education find themselves censored

 I finally got a chance to take a close up look at the recently censored article which was written by students at Richwood High School for their student newspaper. My first thought after reading the piece... this doesn't sound like any Richwoods High School I have ever known! Wow, what's going on out there in the best high school in Peoria?

I find it interesting that all of the things that Richwoods students are alleged to be getting away with - they come down hard on at Manual. There are some students at Manual who are said to have violated the dress code and who are now wearing uniforms (in accordance with the current policy). Why is the discipline policy being applied so stringently in one school and not the other(s)?

Excerpts from the censored article...

Misbehavior in the halls translates to misbehavior in the classroom. A poor classroom atmosphere then, results in a poor education.

We have seen an increase in cell phone and mp3 usage in the halls and in the classroom. We have also seen a rather lax dress code enforcement, thus students are able to wear pretty much whatever they please.

... a group of students placed a young lady in an empty trash can during lunch and pushed the trash can down part of the terrazzo. They only faced a light verbal chastisement.

... the halls are rowdy, and, quite honestly, a scary place to be.

Some students genuinely fear for their safety at school... Growth is stunted by fear of physical or psychological harm.

There should be stricter policies to curb the rise in texting, dress code violations, fights, rowdy hallway behavior, and plain rude behavior in classes.

This administration needs to lay down the law and enforce it well. Students need to abide by the rules that are set forth, and common sense.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

District 150 Board moving forward with principal shuffle

From the BOE Agenda:

Proposed Action: That the Board of Education adopt the resolution of Proposed Reclassification of Kevin Curtin to another position in the district.

Proposed Action: That the Board of Education adopt the resolution of Proposed Reclassification of Annette Coleman to another position in the district.

Proposed Action: That the Board of Education adopt the resolution of Proposed Reclassification of Gloria Cox to another position in the district.

Proposed Action: That the Board of Education adopt the resolution of Proposed Reclassification of Michael Smith to another position in the district.

"Monolith" divided...

"Don Jackson, president of the Peoria chapter of the NAACP questioned Lathan’s reliance on hiring administrative staff from North Carolina. It sends the message that no one from the Peoria community is qualified." 3/13/12 pjstar
"We will not move forward with personnel at the helm who have so many personal ties to the community that radical change would be rendered virtually impossible. The ... team necessary to turn a failing district around should be her call. Does it matter how many team members come from places outside the district if they are the right ones for the task?"Joyce Banks, Exec. Dir., Community Builder's Foundation  3/24/12 pjstar.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I can't get mad about Trewyn getting much needed attention.

For generations now, Peoria District 150 has underserved the children of Peoria. The disservice to the black community has been and/or is vast. From what I can see, the NAACP and/or the ACLU could have instituted a class action lawsuit against the District for the violations against student civil rights and the inequality in the schools. They did not/they have not.

Today, to hear people complain about what they call “special treatment” that the students at Trewyn are getting saddens me. These children and their families are the very people who have been done a disservice by this District and this City for generations. Sure, they appear to be getting a little extra, but it’s still a drop in the bucket when you consider how long the education of black children in this City has been neglected.

While the complaints about the arrogance of the Superintendent may be well founded, the big stick that the Superintendent is welding is directly related to power that was given to her when our District violated student’s civil rights with an unequal education.

Many may not like it, but the Superintendent is doing a great job of CYA for District 150, which is exactly what the BOE wants/needs for her to do. Sorry folks, but as long as she is protecting the civil rights of the children who have obviously consistently received the least in this City, her power will remain intact.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Magic Johnson wants to help high school dropouts

We have heard recently where District 150 apparently had an opportunity to team up with Magic "Ervin" Johnson to open a charter school. This little tidbit has left many wondering, what exactly is the deal with District 150 and Magic Johnson? 

Well... word is that Lathan has met at least twice with Clyde Gulley, the Regional Office of Education and a rep from the Magic Johnson Charter School. Apparently Magic would like to open Carver as a school for drop-out, offering vocational education. However, just like the Peoria Charter School Initiative (Quest), they need a district to partner with to issue diplomas. Lathan has said that she is not interested.  
Magic Johnson Enterprises, Johnson's company devoted to improving urban communities, will work with EdisonLearning, an educational services provider, on a dual-front approach to help support urban students, working under the name Magic Johnson-EdisonLearning Assist.
"Improving the quality of life for people residing in urban areas is my life's passion, and through Magic Johnson Enterprises, we have been part of positive change in these communities," Johnson said in a press release. "When just over 40 percent of students in Los Angeles, Houston, and Baltimore are graduating from high school; and less than 30 percent of black males in New York, Detroit, and Miami—steps need to be taken to recapture these students into the education system to better their opportunities in life."
The partnership will establish Magic Johnson Bridgescape Learning Centers to help urban high-school-age students who have either dropped out or are at risk of dropping out earn a high school diploma. EdisonLearning already operates eight Bridgescape Centers in Ohio and will open three new centers in Cincinnati this month (September 2011).
Bridgescape Centers combines face-to-face learning with online instruction to help tailor instruction to individual student's needs. Each center works with 100 to 150 students at one time.
For urban students still in school, Magic Johnson-EdisonLearning Assist will work with districts to incorporate Alliance School Turnaround Initiatives, which are aimed at boosting student performance in underperforming schools.
Each district will work with an EdisonLearning Achievement Team to design and implement a tailor-made turnaround model for their schools, complete with leadership development, curriculum improvements, and proven assessment systems, according to the initiative. Currently, EdisonLearning is providing school improvement/turnaround services to roughly 80 schools across Virginia, Maryland, Hawaii, Delaware, and Nevada. 
"Every student in the United States, regardless of ethnic or economic status, should have access to education that enables them to succeed," said Jeff Wahl, president and CEO of EdisonLearning. "Magic Johnson-EdisonLearning Assist provides an important safety net for students who have left or are at risk of leaving the traditional school setting. The positive impact of their success is important not only for the students themselves and their communities, but also the nation as a whole."
Why was the Magic Johonson Bridgescape charter school EdisonLearning) effort nixed by Lathan et al? Whatever happened to "parents needing choice" and Lathan's mission to give it? Weren't we lead to believe that this Board was all about charter schools? Why is this Magic Johnson charter school venture less worthy than say, ummm... Concept Management (Quest)? 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Protesters outside the District 150 Board meeting... Live blogging in comments...

A large number of protesters are expected to show up at tonight's BOE meeting to protest the demotion of two principals and the decision to not renew the contract of one assistant principal. Check back for updates as they become available.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

HIV virus alive and thriving in Lexington Hills?

It was just last May that a letter was sent to the owners and operators of the Lexington Hills Apartments, notifying them that the complex was in danger of becoming a "chronic nuisance property" because of criminal incidences occurring  in the common areas and parking lots.

For the most part, it appears that reports of shootings in the area, have slowed down. However, lately I am hearing that there is another killer in the area - the HIV virus.

I don't have proof of the previous statement, but I have decided to go ahead and post this warning, in the hopes that it if is true, word will spread instead of the virus and people will behave more responsibly.
Keep it 100...
use a condom every time!