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Prescott Elementary School Protest Turns Tables on 'Tyrant'... Local School Council again snubs teachers, parents, students

Perhaps the most memorable sight during Tuesday’s (June 9, 2009) spirited protest at Chicago's Prescott Elementary School against their tyrannical principal was what almost nobody saw.

Principal Erin Roche — who’s face adorned scores of protest signs with a line drawn across it — waited until after most of the protest had ended and then left the building, running to his car parked in the back of the school and fleeing a scene that briefly turned the tables on his power trip that has forced the departure of many long-time teachers and employees.

One of the most spirited pickets during the June 9 protest at Prescott Elementary School was parent leader Naomi Counter-Ohiri (left, with sign in green lettering). Chanting "Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Principal Roche has got to go, the mother told Substance that Erin Roche eliminated special education programs for younger children, including one of her children who has Down Syndrome. The CPS Office of Specialized Services has told Ms. Counter-Ohiri that her child will be receiving the same services at a school seven miles away. While Roche eliminated special education services for Prescott's traditional students — and moved to fire or drive out the school's special education teachers — he brought in two expensive pre-school programs which were registering wealthy families (tuition: $2,400) while the protest continued. While parents like Ms. Counter-Ohiri were barred from the building, Roche had security guards let in anyone who was white and wealthy to register their children for the expensive program that is replacing the schools highly regarded special education program. Substance caption and photo by George N. Schmidt.But the main story was a public protest and picket line that involved at its height more than 50 parents, teachers, and students against the decimation of the school's veteran staff by a principal who has been at the school less than a year.

Teachers, parents and students were joined by Chicago public school teachers from the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) and the Coalition of Strong Democratic Union (CSDU) carrying picket signs and chanting "Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Principal Roche has got to go!"

All were carrying signs and picketing the school before the start of the school’s Local School Council meeting, which was scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

But apparently to keep one step ahead of his opponents, Roche and someone on the LSC not only cancelled the LSC meeting at the last minute, but he also padlocked the front gate to the parking lot to prevent anyone from parking inside on school property. Those who were parked inside the school parking lot could not leave as well, being virtually held prisoner.

The broad support for the Prescott teachers and parents was shown in many ways. Above, teachers from the South Side (Holmes Elementary School's Lara Krejca, left, wearing her CORE tee shirt) and far North Side (second from left, Jesse Sharkey, from Senn High School, walking alongside his son Caleb) joined their sisters and brothers at Prescott on June 9. Walking behind the Sharkeys is one of the two children of Naomi Counter-Ohiri, who is in the forefront of the previous photo. Substance caption and photo by George N. Schmidt. The May meeting of the Prescott LSC — reported previously at SubstanceNews during May 2009 and extensively in print in both the May and June editions — was highlighted by the refusal of the LSC to allow seven teachers, a parent, and students to speak.

Security blocks dissidents while litany of offense grows

The school parking lot was not the only thing declared "off limits" by Principal Roche.

A security guard at the front door made sure nobody was allowed inside the building not authorized by the Prescott's new general — a general who had declared an all-out war on his troops, purging practically everyone within his ranks.

Those prevented from entering the building included this Substance reporter as well as a couple of other reporters for local news outlets.

The issue has been brewing all school year. According to most of the teachers at the school, Roche has been on a with hunt to drive out tenured teachers and most of the staff he’s inherited. Utilizing constant harassment, he forced several employees on sick leave, destroyed a venerable special education program and terrorized those who won’t pack their bags immediately. The tactics have been intimidation, suspensions without pay and what many teachers have called harassment.

How vengeful is this principal against those who dare to defy him?

"I will sue you and take all your assets!"

Prescott Special Education teacher Brenda Chandler (above, with hand raised) spoke to the crowd of more than 50 people who picketed Prescott and tried to attend the LSC meeting, which was cancelled. Chandler told the crowd that Roche had threatened to sue her after she spoke to the Chicago Board of Education's May 27 meeting, and he suspended her for two days without pay the day after the Board meeting. Like most of the Prescott teachers being harassed by Principal Roche, Chandler has more teaching experience than Roche and and all the members of his inner circle. Substance photo by Garth Liebhaber.Brenda Chandler, a special education teacher whose program has been eliminated by Roche, helped organize the protest which drew more than 50 people. She also spoke out against his terror tactics at the last Chicago Board of Education meeting, on May 27, 2009.

“The next day he came to my room and told me he is going to sue me and take everything I have — my house, my car, all my assets for what I told the Board,” Chandler said. “He says it was untrue and inflammatory. I said he discriminated against the special education kids and adults over 40 years of age and he has two sexual harassment charges against him.”

Many Hispanic parents and their children stood in front of the school they have called their home for years united in opposition to the new principal.

“My kids don’t want to come to school anymore,” said Iris Jaima, a parent with two students at the school. “He looks at you like you’re nothing.”

Jaime recounted a time when her son’s teacher would not let him use the bathroom and he had an accident. So she had to come to the school to change his clothes. She then wanted to talk to (Roche) about this, but he refused to meet with her.

“I’m looking into transferring which is sad because I want my kids to be here,” she said. “The other principal at least encouraged them to be in school.”

Students walk the picket line after eighth grade 'ruined'

Among the many Prescott students walking the picket line was Freddy Rosado, a 5th grader. “He threw out my little sister (because the special education program was dropped), ruined my big sister’s 8th grade graduation (which was held in a bank rather than at the school) and fired the best teachers,” Rosado said.

His mother said her son was particularly distressed after Roche eliminated the awards ceremony for good attendance and grades. “He was really upset,” Anna Rosado said. “Why should I try, he told me, if they have no more medals to congratulate us.”

Prescott teacher and Local School Council member Suzanne Dunn (above right, holding signs) tried to talk with fellow LSC member John Farbrother (above left) while Substance reporter Jim Vail took notes. Farbrother repeated the usual narrative given in "New Leaders for New Schools" and other corporate school reform situations Before the arrival of Erin Roche, the school was in terrible shape, and that the teachers really weren't doing their jobs until Roche arrived to shake things up and shape them up. Like many people who repeat the corporate narrative (with local details provided by men like Roche), Farbrother could give no examples of the lazy teachers and desolate school that Roche was in the process of saving. Farbrother told Substance that he didn't agree with the decision to refuse public participation at the LSC's May meeting, and had no comment on the decision to cancel that June 6 meeting at the last minute. Substance photo by Garth Liebhaber. Rosado said she is ready to take her children, who are no longer invited at this magnet cluster school because they don’t live in the neighborhood, and enroll them in Ravenswood Elementary (ironically Roche’s last school where he was removed) so her children can enjoy the programs such as awards ceremonies, assemblies and fun activities that Roche has eliminated at Prescott.

A Ravenswood teacher who showed up to the protest stood outside her car looking on in what could be described as a melancholy awe of the nightmare she endured for four years at her north side school.

“It was a horror,” she said, preferring to remain anonymous. “But the real horror came when his contract wasn’t renewed. He’d sit in his office for hours not saying a thing. He’s smart and he’s dangerous because he’s so quiet. He has that respectful voice and calm manner, but everything with him is appearance. He pushed buttons in me that I didn’t know I had.”

Lone LSC member defends Roche

Most of the veteran teachers being harassed and slandered by Erin Roche have been at Prescott for years (in some cases, decades) and have deep roots with the remaining working class families in the community. They also have strong connections with their students. Above, teacher and LSC representative Suzanne Dunn walks with a student and a student-made sign while laughing at a comment from a passing car. A number of observers believe that one of the main reasons Roche and his supporters canceled the LSC meeting (and refused public participation at the May meeting) was to stall Dunn's seating on the LSC. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. To make the case for “objectivity” by hearing the other side of the story — which so far has refused to speak to Substance — one LSC member and Roche supporter showed up to the protest to give his side of the story.

“The school in my opinion has been failing and the teachers should be held accountable,” said John Farbrother, a community member who joined the LSC two years ago. “I expect these kids to be held to a higher standard.”

A heated but civil argument then flared up between Farbrother and a few of the Prescott teachers and community members who disputed his viewpoint. “I would have thought that the good fight to voice the outrage expressed today was what should have happened before,” Farbrother continued. “CPS standards are abysmally low and it is my understanding that we have not met or exceeded (the testing standards).”

Farbrother said he feels the community at Prescott is divided and that people are not speaking to each other. He agreed that not having public participation at the May LSC meeting to address this last month was “outrageous” and eliminating fun activities such as Halloween parties, awards ceremonies and cultural assemblies — all in the name of staying focused on the “test” — is not right.

Farbrother said he feels the old school before Roche arrived did not serve the children and the community at all because everything closed down at 3 pm.

“If something is wrong here it is the perception that nothing is being done,” Farbrother said. Whether Roche thinks his strategy to divide the community should continue in the future is anyone’s guess. Roche’s method of intimidation and non-stop use of writing up employees for what many believe are petty violations has gone largely unchallenged by the Chicago Teacher’s Union.

According to Kathy Jacobs, a veteran 3rd grade teacher Roche is trying to fire for “instructional weaknesses” — even though 80% of her students passed the recent ISAT reading test — CTU President Marilyn Stewart finally emailed her to say that Chicago Chief Instructional Officer Barbara Eason-Watkins has offered to set up a meeting with the Prescott teachers and a few other schools who are engaged in similar disputes once they locate a place to hold the meeting.

One glaring weakness of the CTU has been confronting the power structure when its members are in trouble. A few years ago the union newspaper showed CTU officers ascend in a phalanx of determination to confront a bully principal such as the one at Gillespie and tell him to back off. Since Stewart had Vice President Ted Dallas fired, Stewart has been reluctant to fight on this important front. While Stewart did show up to a recent LSC meeting at Gonzalus Elementary School to speak to the principal about her treatment of the teachers there, Stewart has yet to do anything concrete for the embattled Prescott teachers

More than an hour after he was supposed to have participated in the June 2009 meeting of the Prescott Local School Council, Principal Erin Roche sprinted out of the building from a side door and rushed to his car (above), which he had parked on the street rather than in the school's parking lot (which he has ordered padlocked). Although the remaining Substance reporters and photographer were unable to get a photograph of the now legendary "Roche Run", it was just possible to get the above photograph of Roche pulling away in his car before he sped down the street. Substance photo by Garth Liebhaber. With everyone still gathered outside the school building after almost two hours of li vely picketing, Chandler thanked everyone for their support of the Prescott community and asked those in attendance to attend one more big protest to make sure that Roche is removed and normalcy can return.

“We will not finish until Mr. Roche is removed from office,” Chandler said, to cheers in the audience. 



Comments:

June 12, 2009 at 1:34 AM

By: Past LSC member concerned with Current LSC

Think current administration not the past

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CURRENT LSC:

WHERE WERE YOU ON THE DAY OF THE PROTEST???

I find it quite interesting that the Roche supporters can only refer back to what the previous administration did NOT do. They (LSC Roche supporters) should discuss/debate in this open forum, the current issues of the parents and teachers.

However, Mr. John Farbrother, I have one comment for you, the last year of the Martinez regime, the school WAS NOT CLOSED at 3pm! Ms. Castillo and Mr. Martinez brought FAMILY FOCUS to the school (NOT CAMP ROCHE) which offered programs that included academics and sports. Actually, for the after school program (which was so needed) was closed in December or the first week in January (due to the teacher leaving) Roche told the teaching staff and LSC that until he found a QUALIFIED teacher to teach the after school program the after school program was canceled.

And, I know at least 2 teachers in the middle grades who were HIGHLY qualified to teach the program but were not allowed to teach. DID YOU or any member AT THAT LSC MEETING QUESTION MR. ROCHE? No, Not one member did! Yes, not one LSC member questioned him! Thus, I ask, who ultimately suffered? Yup, those students who needed the most additional support! But, then those students in need (grades 7-8) weren't in the Pre-K or K program.

Furthermore, the morning coffee's and story time were NOT implemented by Roche! They were implemented by Castillo/Martinez.

On the other hand, Yes, Roche did bring one thing to the school was a Saturday play day in the gym, which i am told was more like a coffee club to the Roche supporters and a place to take the Pre-K and younger children to play rather than something for ALL the students of all ages.

Remember YOU and the Lister group are elected to reflect and represent the NEEDS of ALL students! You should be having an open mind and question things ALL THE TIME!

That is your role to be a check and balance and a voice for all the parents! You should NOT place your agenda first. Can you honestly say that the current Lister/Roche camp are representing ALL students that includes (students with special needs, and middle school students)?

Please correct me if i am wrong (and i could be, i am just wondering) in any of the statements of inquiry.

Lastly, could someone substantiate anything the Lister group, please list to me any Social/fun activities that you and your supporters have specifically implemented this year. Can any activity the Lister group did to help these students as you did for your Saturday morning play day? For example, Ms. Lister, what did you do to help the 8th grade students to have a fun, happy, and successful graduation day?

Lastly, I sincerely hope there is some sort of investigation when it is reported (see above article) that Principal Roche states that "I will sue and take all your assets." Sincerely, I hope this is statement is NOT true. If this is factual, I am deeply embarrassed and ashamed to hear this sort of rheteric by an administrator. I am saddened.

Is this a professional statement to tell an employee? I think not!

June 12, 2009 at 4:08 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Roche's lawsuit threat in a long silly tradition

Since Prescott teachers reported to Substance that Erin Roche is not only a brilliant administrator and teacher, but also an equally accomplished lawyer, it's necessary to clarify what may be the law Roche has referred to in his threats against teacher Brenda Chandler (and, for all we know, others).

And since Principle Roche has refused for over a month to be interviewed by Substance reporters, have a local school council meeting at which public participation takes place, and public questions may be asked, it's necessary to clarify this one small point about the current stories, public activities protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (even in Chicago), and the laws of defamation. We also hope that New Leaders for New Schools will include some Power Point lessons on the rights of people in the USA while they train their future "CEOs" of our schools.

Since its founding in 1976, Substance has reported on the controversial behavior of many prominent people in public education, both in Chicago and elsewhere. One of the things we do is investigative reporting, a treasure that has gone out of fashion in the USA these past few corporate dominated years.

The first time the subject of a Substance article announced to the world she was going to "sue" us was in 1976. That's when we reported, based on several sources, that a Chicago teacher, Sheli Lulkin, had false flagged the anti-war and Vietnam veterans movements and worked as a police spy for the infamous "Red Squad" during the 1960s and 1970s. At the time of our report that she was a "C.I." (confidential informant) Lulkin was a Chicago Teachers Union delegate (Otis Elementary School), chair of Women's Rights (Chicago), national co-chair of Women's Rights (American Federation of Teachers) and one of the organizers in the anti-war movement (Chicago Mobilization; Vietnam Veterans Against the War, among others).

We reported that Lulkin had been spying for years on everyone from the civil rights movement (including meetings hosted by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during his brief foray into Chicago) to labor organizers -- including many in the CTU. Lulkin's friends (including the officers of the Chicago Teachers Union) denounced Substance (and this reporter). Lulkin said she was going to "sue" us. We said our lawyers were waiting.

In the USA, truth is an absolute defense to libel complaints, and a defendant gets virtually unlimited discovery during the litigation to prove the truth of what he has reported.

When it finally came out that Substance's reports were accurate, Lulkin was ousted from almost all of her union positions. She disappeared from the anti-war movement (she's still active in politics in the 48th Ward, including recent support for the militarization of Senn High School).

In 1982 and 1983 we reported that most of the claims of Chicago "miracle teacher" Marva Collins were a "media hoax." Collins blustered (on Page Three of the Sun-Times) that she was going to sue us, but never did. Again, the question of truth and the accuracy of our reporting must have demonstrated to a lawyer that the bluster was not worth bringing in front of a judge. But to read the Sun-Times at the time, you'd think Collins's threat to sue had actually happened.

Over time, it became clear that most of the media claims (even those made in "60 Minutes") by Collins were untrue, and that, as we said, the story was a "media hoax."

In the late 1980s, we reported exclusively that a Chicago principal (James Moffat, once a deputy superintendent and confidant of Mayor Richard J. Daley) was under investigation for raping students in his office while he served as principal of Kelvyn Park High School. Against, Substance was going to be "sued." Dozens of Moffat's supporters continued to repeat that Substance was on the verge of being put out of business through a lawsuit because of our outrageous reports.

Three years after our first report, Moffat was convicted on more than 30 counts of sexual misconduct — with five different students — and sent to prison for several years. OUr reporters were the only reporters to cover the lengthy trial at 26th and California gavel to gavel.

Although Moffat's supporters inside CPS continued to slander Substance, no lawyer for Moffat ever brought libel charges against Substance. Truth is an absolute defense to the charge of libel.

The list could go on.

Landon Cox (former basketball coach of King High School).

Various members of the administration of Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart.

Were Erin Roche to try and sue for the publication of words in a newspaper and on an Internet news service (which has tried to give him the opportunity to tell his side of this story), he would face several issues. One of which is the question of truth.

There are others, some founded in the law of defamation, others in our basic rights under the First Amendment.

Like all principals, Erin Roche is a public official in the USA (so are LSC members, being elected according to law). The First Amendment protects the rights of citizens to robust expression of opinion when discussing public business in a public forum regarding public officials.

Then there is the question of the truth of reporting. The best a reporter can do is consult documents, interview people, and report what can be found, both on and outside the "record." Erin Roche was informed a month ago that Substance reporters wish to interview him. Substance reporters tried to enter Prescott Elementary School on June 9, to attend a public meeting and to interview a public official.

The teachers from Prescott have spoken out at meetings of the Chicago Board of Education, and in the press.

The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects five rights for all Americans. We won't play quizzie games with it: those rights are speech, assembly, petition, press, and religion.

The only one of those rights that teachers from Prescott have not tried to exercise during their disagreements with Erin Roche — and the temporary majority of the Prescott LSC — is religion. They have spoken out freely, assembled regularly (including at school board meetings), petitioned vigorously, and reported their grievances in the press.

That's why, more than 200 years ago, the men who organized this nation wrote:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Or abridging freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances.

That's from memory.

Since May 2009, Substance has reported that the teachers of Prescott have been thwarted in their attempts to exercise some of those rights (speaking at LSC meetings, for example), while at the same time they've been threatened for exercising others of those rights (speaking freely to the press; speaking at a public meeting of the Chicago Board of Education).

Every eight grader in Chicago who graduated these past few weeks has passed the Constitution test required by the State of Illinois.

Apparently New Leaders for New Schools doesn't require the same knowledge of the Constitution of the USA and other abilities and understanding from the prodigies it is unleashing on public schools across the USA. Perhaps that's one of the many problems with the ideology that claims that democratic public schools (in Chicago and elsewhere) should be placed under the dictatorship of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) rather than principals who have experience in and know something about the realities of teaching.

June 12, 2009 at 7:37 AM

By: Gretchen Watson 1st Grade Teacher

Closed down at 3:00??

To the LSC member who claimed Prescott has always closed down at 3:00 in years past...where are you getting your information? Last year there was an after school program run by Family Focus the entire year. Myself and several other teachers also had our own after school programs in our classrooms to help our students who were interested. I stayed after school On Mondays and Wednesdays with several of my students to help improve their reading and writing skills. I did this from October through May and I didn't get paid for it. I did it because I care about my kids. There were other teachers who held similar programs in their classrooms as well. But see, none of you know that because you never bothered to ask any of us veteran teachers what our efforts were to improve Prescott. At the beginning of this year I again enthusiastically asked Mr. Roche how I could help with any after school tutoring. I told him about my after school program from last year. Two other teachers (who are now gone because of him) and myself also volunteered to start a running club after school for the kids. I also had a yoga instructor willing to donate a 90 minute class once a week for the year at Prescott to either the students or their parents as we were asked to think of ways to involve the community more at Prescott. Mr. Roche never took me up on any of these offers. Why? I also wrote a Donors Choose grant to get equipment for the indoor gym the Pre-K through 2nd grade used this winter during the bad weather. The grant got funded for $300.00 dollars worth of equipment. The Pre-K teacher wanted to paint this space sometime during spring break and I offered to help her,but my offer was not acted upon. Now I guess on the 27th other people will be doing what she and I could have completed by now. See, this is how it has been all year. So Mr. Farbrother before you and your fellow LSC members think that the teachers this administration inherited have made no effort to help improve Prescott, you couldn't be more wrong. Our help and enthusiasm was not wanted! Perhaps now some of you would like to collaborate with us on how we can all work together to make Prescott a great community school. We are willing to work to improve our school, I just don't think any of you know that. On the days I was not tutoring my after school kids, I was usually in my classroom until at least 4:30 or 5:00 grading or preparing lessons for the next day. Please stop commenting on how the teachers do nothing at Prescott. How would any of you know? I haven't seen any of you in here interviewing us!

June 12, 2009 at 8:38 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Lies -- Shutting down at 3:00 and other Boilerplate Yuppie Lies

For the past several years, we at Substance have been tracking the tired scripts repeated -- over and over and over -- by the teacher bashing, union-busting crews of New Leaders for New Schools, TFA, gentrification, and charter school totalitarians. When I read the quotes from the LSC "community rep" about the Bad Old Prescott, I knew that many people would be correcting them, and so was glad that Jim took the time to get those on the record.

There are several of these lies, and almost all of them are based on one or two Big Lies (like most of the dictatorial stuff from the previous Century).

"Teachers run out the door at 3:00 trampling the kids on their way to the parking lot.."

"Low expectations..."

etc., etc., etc.

Most of them have spent too much time watching those lying Teacher Hero movies, like "Stand and Deliver" or "Welcome to Success -- the Marva Collins Story." All of them have the same plot, as both propaganda and pornography usually do. Heroic teacher stands up to greedy teachers, and with "high expectations" alone gets rid of the bad teachers and saves everything.

The best way to hear them all of the lies in one place now is to listen to Arne Duncan and that stuff coming out of the U.S. Department of Education. After years of rehearsal in Chicago, the Big Lie of corporate school reform has now made it to the show. The Chicago Plan has gone national.

But since they are all Yuppie Lies -- the kind that elitists who got lucky enough to afford a million dollar townhouse behind Prescott are prone to repeat as part of their ritual, like whatever they do for personal pleasure in private -- used to rationalize gentrification and other crimes against democracy and democratic public education, it should not be necessary to refute each of them, one-by-one, over and over, ad nauseum.

Once you know the liars (and even better the source of the lies), you can save time and breath arguing with them. If they happen to bump into the truth by accident, just assume the next words out of their mouth will be a new lie.

That\'s what I eventually did when covering Arne Duncan during the years he was CEO of CPS. He would make up facts, lie, and dodge, all in the knowledge that most of the Chicago news media would simply quote his nonsense as fact.

Since the sources of those lies are centralized and come out of a couple of Lie Production Centers (not merely Hollywood's teacher bashers and union busters, but New Leaders for New Schools; the various charter groups; Education Trust — which gave the world the so-called Achievement Gap — Chicago Office of New Schools department; the Renaissance Schools Fund, etc.) just assume that anyone from any of those places will be telling the same old stories in the same mendacious way.

Now if someone wants to makes a cataloque of all of them — and take photographs of the liars who repeat them over and over, we will have a book.

I have been waiting some time to honor Ambrose Bierce (who wrote one of the definitive works on the last Gilded Age) with an updated Devil\'s Dictionary.

Maybe this can be it. But our local cliche factories at Prescott will not even be on the A-Team of liars.

Tops there today will have to be the U.S. Secretary of Education, as we will be reporting.

And from the looks of it, the new CPS CEO was at his top game even before he got to CPS, courtesy of his best little buddy, our imperial mayor. Ron Huberman never met a teacher or principal he could not bash with the right smarmy set of irrelevant data. Just like he never met a kinky young CTA executive — or MBA — he did not know could do a better job running a school system than teachers, principals and superintendents. Once Huberman gets over his cowardice in the face of TV cameras where reporters might ask questions about the schools and the education of children he will be in the major leagues.

June 12, 2009 at 11:04 AM

By: Concerned Ravenswood observer

The best is yet to come!

Hang in there people!!! Fight and take back your school!!

LSC--it's time to get honest with yourselves. Look back at the school year and what has blown up over the past few weeks. Is this what you REALLY wanted for your school? Alienation, subversion, intimidation and manipulation are NOT NECESSARY tools for effective change. Why do you believe these things are necessary? Do you believe this just because Erin Roche says so? Do you really this is the right way to run a school?

The paradox about Roche's leadership is that the best things will happen at your school after he's gone. Parents will realize what REALLY matters in a great school (and though test scores are, of course, important they are only a part of what makes a school great), teachers' dedication will be regarded in a new way, and the community will work together to heal.

Just ask anyone at Ravenswood what happened after he left. Those opposed to Roche--keep the faith and keep your eyes on the prize.

June 12, 2009 at 11:16 AM

By: Amy Zellman - Magnet Cluster Literature Teacher - out on medical leave

Terrified

I have to say, after I was harassed by Roche and Blahuta on several occasions, and was told in February after being observed once by Roche that I was doing everything he asked but doing nothing right, I did start leaving at 2:45 with the kids. I used to stay until at least 4:30 almost every night. You can check my record if you want. How teachers don't stay and get all their work done is beyond me BUT SOME DO. I was scared to death to be caught alone with either Roche or Blahuta. If I saw them close, I would ask other staff members to walk with me. They have exhibited erratic behavior for much of the year and I was terrified at the sight of them. The kids were afraid as well. Every time my door opened everyone jumped, the class went silent and we all waited to see if it was Roche, Blahuta, or Porter. When they did come to our room, it was as if we were instantly at a funeral or in fear of being abused in some way. Not normal or healthy for children or the teacher.

It is no secrete that I inherited a historically difficult fifth grade class. Difficult for many reasons of which I had nothing to do with. I asked the new administration early on for help with the class behavior, as the students (and parents) were often very unkind to each other. I received no help. I have heard they are still having a hard time of it.

Too bad. It didn't have to be that way but everyone's attention was so on Roche and his tyrannical ways that we got little done in the way of classroom community; Just one of the devastating situations that got worse because of our new wonderful principal.

I have no history of accusing anyone of sexual harassment and believe I dress appropriately for work. So Google me on this if you wish. On the last day I was in attendance at Prescott, Porter came to my room three times to tell me I must go down and meet with Roche "ONE ON ONE". I was in the middle of a lesson by the way. Ok, again terrified. Why would he emphasize ONE ON ONE?; Especially with a sexual harassment suit (or two) going on. I refused. Porter stated that it was an order not a question. I refused three times and said I would only meet with him if the union rep was present. He gave in. The meeting? It was to tell me for a third time that I was a horrible teacher and was not being asked back next year. This meeting had already taken place. I already had the paper work AND it was also sent to me in the mail by the Board. Come on.

I could go on and on as many of us who have lived this nightmare could.

Whoever wrote, good principal's have good schools is correct. So-so principals don't even have this much trouble! There are many good schools in CPS. And I do have to say the Chicago Area Writing Project is a wonderful resource for us all. Too bad Roche refused to allow us (a literature magnet school!) to participate in any CAWP sponsored activities. How in the world did he get to be a principal?

June 12, 2009 at 2:50 PM

By: Eli's Coming

Too Many Violations to Count

Clearly, the Prescott LSC violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act by cancelling the June 9 meeting. Roche told newly elected Teacher Representative, Suzanne Dunn, at 2:45 pm on Monday, June 8 that the meeting was cancelled. (On Roche's letterhead as recently as this morning he lists LSC Teacher Representative, Amanda Hazelip, but Suzanne is listed as "vacancy." Sorry, Suzanne. This is probably a Roche-Blahuta sly-boots show of how clever they are.

John Farbrother, LSC community member, was probably shocked beyond belief to be greeted by picketers!!! The three-headed president of the LSC, Lister-Roche-Vides, obviously neglected to tell Farbrother since they care for no one but themselves. (Rumor has it that Lister has not so gently pushed Vides out of the president’s chair.)

I believe everyone is on this violation, but let's not have no one on it. Where is Luz Lopez? She knows fully well that the Prescott LSC is in shambles and should be running oversight each month.

June 12, 2009 at 3:02 PM

By: JC

Time's Up

Not a good fit: Roche and any semblance of the truth

Not a good fit: Roche and honorable behavior

Not a good fit: Roche and the ability to speak without flunkies around

Not a good fit: Roche and a warm, welcoming school building

Not a good fit: Roche and any knowledge of how to teach

Not a good fit: Roche and concern for children

Not a good fit: Roche and the sense that something is just too trivial for even him to criticize

Not a good fit: Roche and the self-awareness that there is no there there

Not a good fit: Roche and any invitations from his fellow principals whom he embarrasses to death

Not a good fit: Roche and a future as a principal

Say goodnight, Erin.

June 12, 2009 at 3:15 PM

By: Seriously

Seriously

George, I've read these stories and actually laugh at you, since you yourself continually put yourself upon this self-created pedestal and preach about the lies being posted,... conspiracy theorist unite. Your articles which continually post their own false claims time and again not only lack substance (Isn't that what your paper is named after all? I guess if you have to say it has substance, it probably doesn't), but fail a basic level of ethics in journalism. Another example that "the only people let in the school during the protest were the rich paying for expensive pre-K could have been stated correctly with an ounce of journalistic research. Prescott does not have a Tuition based Pre-K this year, so anyone walking through the door was registering for CPS FREE Pre-K. Prescott after all is a community school, open to the community.

George, why would any reputable (and I apologize because I don't think you've ever claimed to be) journalist, who one might hope to be fair and unbiased with some semblance of ethics, have to post on his own blog? Why George? Why? Trying to stir the pot? Have issues of self-importance? Or just still bitter after all these years of being fired yourself from CPS?!? Goes to bias don't you think? I guess as long as there's a 1st amendment and people who still want to believe that what they read is fact (Enquiring minds do want to know) you'll have an audience. However, most people, especially the ones who you yourself probably despise the most, take the time and see through it...

June 12, 2009 at 3:47 PM

By: Every Teacher

IDIOT

Lame statements by community members like "The school in my opinion has been failing and the teachers should be held accountable", never detail what the teachers should be held accountable for.

Are teachers to be held accountable because a child struggles desperately to understand math, but just can't get it yet, no matter what the teacher tries?

Are the teachers to be held accountable because the family is poor and there isn't the best nutrition available at home to contribute to the children's best health, and that impacts his learning?

Are the teachers to be held accountable because there are domestic problems between the mother and father and the children can't stop obsessing about the problems?

Are the teachers to be held accountable because two languages running through their heads have slowed down their ability to grasp the lessons in either?

Are the teachers to be held accountable because the culture of the father says girls' education doesn't matter so he doesn't encourage the girls?

Are the teachers to be held accountable because Mom has to work two jobs or the late shift and can't help the kids?

Are the teachers to be held accountable because the parents were raised in such a way that they don't know how to parent and the kids run wild?

Are the teachers to be held accountable for the hormones running through the upper grades that make no education meaningful?

Are the teachers to be held accountable because a couple of kids disrupt the learning process every day, but the principal has the CPD security officer delivering flyers to the rooms or answering the phone in the office and he’s unavailable for security?

Are the teachers to be held accountable because the principal buys a silly reading program that dumbed down the achievement of the kids?

Are the teachers to be held accountable because the principal and his handmaiden ran a stealth school of torture as they tried in vain to get rid of all of the teachers they inherited and the teachers had to teach around the IEDs?

Are the teachers to be held accountable because the father is sexually abusing his daughters and, gee, they just can't seem to concentrate? Tell us, Roche supporters, which of those issues are the teachers supposed to own?

June 12, 2009 at 3:56 PM

By: Community Parent

Community Parent

And thus the issue. Apparently speaking for "Every Teacher" teachers should be absolved from ANY AND ALL Accountability.

Please quit!!

June 12, 2009 at 4:02 PM

By: Hilda

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

OK, so far SERIOUSLY has said the same thing six times. Who does this remind you of Prescott teachers? Who is the only one who defends Roche with a straight face?

The only reason Prescott is still open to the community is that Roche found out he couldn't suspend ordinary citizens without pay.

Any day of the week, let's put up the "facts" that came out of Roche's administration at Ravenswood and Prescott against the facts printed in Substance.

The votes for Roche:

Roche, Blahuta, Porter, Lister, Vides, Farbrother, Roehmer, Corporate Babe, Cosme, Flavia, treasurer of Erikson Institute.

(head of NLNS is getting a little squishy, because Roche's publicity is not the kind they like.)

June 12, 2009 at 4:25 PM

By: And what about the kids?

Isn't it Odd

Taking your students (young ones at that) to picket your new principal seems extremely exploitative. It seems odd that those kids are really there picketing to make a difference in the administration, they seem to be there for the photo op. In all of this, there has been very little discussion of how this has impacted the kids. FIne, people at Prescott are very unhappy, I'm sure Roche is too. All this whining and bitching is not helping them succeed whatsoever. Shouldn't the teachers be professionals and do this without the kids? They come there to learn, or that's why they have to show up, they do not come for the gossip and the anger. Both sides should re-evaluate how their behavior impacts the kids' education.

June 12, 2009 at 4:43 PM

By: Keep On

A Blast From the Past

I GUESS THOSE TEACHERS COULDN’T BE MADE TO DO ANYTHING EITHER. ROCHE JUST CAN’T CATCH A BREAK.

Written Tue Feb 5, 2008 Taken from District 299 Blog

Here's a letter from principal Erin Roche, which was given to faculty and is being sent to parents, in which Roche says he respectfully disagrees with the LSC decision and is planning on appealing:

Dear parents, families, friends, teachers, staff, and children of Ravenswood School,

The following comments are adapted from my address to the Local School Council at their emergency meeting January 30, 2008.

As I stated to the LSC after their vote, I disagree with the LSC's decision to not renew my contract. The LSC votes do not coincide with my understanding of parental support and evaluation of performance. I have appealed the decision to not renew my contract. My appeal is meant to show my commitment to Ravenswood School and to the work that we've been doing for the last three years. However, I have begun to look beyond this school year.

I joined Ravenswood three years ago and as principal undertook three major initiatives to improve rapidly student learning: Benchmark assessments, Balanced Literacy, and teacher-directed professional development.

Benchmark assessments are administered every eight weeks and give teachers feedback on individual student progress in specific areas of reading, math, and writing. Teachers use this information to create re-teaching plans, so all students can progress academically.

Balanced Literacy is a framework of instruction that allows teachers to focus on specific learning skills for individual students.

Teacher-directed professional development provides 14 hours each year for teacher teams to expand their instructional repertoire, so students are academically successful. Teacher teams identify their goals and the process by which they meet them.

Alongside these three instructional initiatives, I also began a strategy to embrace ALL the parents of the school's families and to include them actively in their children's school life.

In the past three years, all of these initiatives have resulted in significant improvements at Ravenswood. Test scores are up. Building improvements create a welcoming feel to learning. Classroom communities are stronger. Parent involvement is at an all-time high.

Over the next five months I intend to fully continue the initiatives. They have required faculty to think differently about student learning. That change has been hard for some faculty. Benchmark assessments, balanced literacy, and teacher-directed professional development will continue to build excellent learning for our children.

I am deeply disappointed in the decision of the LSC to not renew my contract. I don't apologize for pushing teachers to a higher standard, but I am sorry that I may have done something that made some teachers not want to renew my contract. I know that this has been hard on everyone.

I appreciate the strong support from parents and teachers in recent days and would welcome it throughout the appeal process. The outcome is less than certain given the vast discretion the Illinois School Code grants to LSCs in making these decisions. Let me be clear that whatever the outcome, I respect local control and the appeal process.

Ms. Blahuta and I will continue to support the good work that will occur over the next five months; at the same time, we have also begun to look for our next school leadership opportunity.

I wish students, their families, and the Ravenswood community continued successes and pledge to work toward that end this year. It is my hope that the next principal chosen by the LSC will support the successful initiatives established here for children.

June 12, 2009 at 5:32 PM

By: ANNA ROSADO

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!

TODAY WAS AN INTERESTING DAY. I TRANSFERED MY KID TO RAVENSWOOD FINE AND PERFORMING ARTS MAGNET CLUSTER SCHOOL, ON WEDNESDAY. PRESCOTT TOLD ME THE KIDSWOULD GET REPORT CARDS TODAY, ONLY THEY REFUSED TO GIVE THEM UP. THANKS O THE RAVENSWOOD STAFF MY KIDS HAVE THEIR GRADES, AND MY SON MADE HONOR ROLL AND NOBODY AT PRESCOTT EVEN BOTHERED TO CONGRATULATE HIM...WHAT A SHAMME ON PRESCOTT ADMINISTARATION.R

June 12, 2009 at 6:04 PM

By: To uneducated Anna Rosado

Good Riddance

You stated that Prescott did not give you your children's report card, but you know for a fact that he made the honor roll?! I wonder how would you know that without seeing his report card???

Wait I know!! Maybe, because the children did receive their reports cards today. They also all received 3 summer books to read over the summer!

As far as the autograph books for the 8graders. They all got t-shirts that they signed, but I think it's safe to assume that you know this already!

June 12, 2009 at 8:34 PM

By: To the apparently uneducated good riddance

Can you read?

I believe Ms Rosado said that thanks to the Ravenswood staff she was able to have their grades and as a result know about his honor roll achievement. Part of the transfer process, get it? Guess you're not as smart as you think you are. Read much?

June 12, 2009 at 8:37 PM

By: Margaret Wilson

It Takes Unity

I am sorry to see so many people attacking each other above. The only way that teachers and parents can succeed in making schools better are to come together. This is not going to happen when teachers attack parents (like the letter above) and parents attack teachers in general (instead of going on individual cases). The vast majority of teachers are dedicated and willing to go over and above their jobs. Most parents care deeply about their children and will do what they can to help their schools. Let\'s stop attacking each other.

June 12, 2009 at 9:28 PM

By: xian from CORE

Civic Engagement

Taking your students (young ones at that) to picket your new principal seems extremely exploitative.

Political issues should be discussed with children and they should be allow to participate in demonstrations. Civic engagement should be taught from an early age with plenty of opportunity for kids to make their own decisions and articulate their own points.

My experience is that when you do this right, kids shine, and then those who disagree with them accuse adults of "putting the kids up to it". This conveys the speaker's own lack of respect for children--the assumption they cannot think or speak for themselves.

The 5th grader in the article gives one of the best quotes--a thoughtful perspective from his own experience as a student.

June 12, 2009 at 9:43 PM

By: what a shame

Does anyone care about the IDEA act?

Mrs. Rosado's youngest daughter was forced out of the school because she had an IEP and was not nieghborhood. Yet she was not in a instructional program...she was in the general education room. I'm fairly certain that this complete discrimination. She was a part of the school and should not have been "relocated". There are a few "labeled" kids in the pre-k room as well, that the wonderful Ms. Brand has decided to boot due to being special ed and non-neighborhood. Huh. Mrs. Rosado, please, I beg of you...hire an attorney or ask for an advocate. This is not right.

An administration is not allowed to "cherry pick" out all the special ed kids with IEPs and inform them that they are no longer part of the school.

And to the comment from a "community parent" informing the teachers to quit- Please. Spare us. Go back to starbucks with your bugaboo and pray to the heavens above that your precious offsprings wind up normal. Otherwise, you may lose your spot at prescott.

I'm guessing that you've never had to deal with trying to educate a group of 30+ students from at-risk backgrounds with no funding while a creepy ego-maniac peers in your doorway. Actually, I'm guessing that you probably don't do much at all except take walks to the park and meet with your personal trainer while your husband is away on business trips...

June 12, 2009 at 10:03 PM

By: in response

to the "what about the kids" poster

The picket took place well after school hours, so fill me in as to how you manage to make the teachers responsible for the children showing up...

Parents were the ones who brought their children along. And maybe, this was actually a very big moment for some of them to teach a very big lesson. Perhaps they were trying teach them what most schools try and teach children. That bullying is not okay, and that it will not be tolerated. I'm sure they will remember walking for the right to stay in Prescott more than they will remember what they scored on the ISAT.

June 12, 2009 at 10:20 PM

By: To: in response

?

What would you call what the teachers are doing to the parents? Not one person has attacked the teachers the way they have. But I guess name calling is acceptable in your world.

Mrs Rosado has gone on record with her threats towards Mrs Lister. How can anyone support that is beyond me.

As far as her children; I guess u can say their learning from they see

June 12, 2009 at 11:39 PM

By: Teachers

Veterans

I keep reading that the teachers are veterans etc...

As the adult it is your responsiblity to be an example especially with your 30 years +. rumors are being spread through out the school by a select few who work at the school and others who are suppose to help better the school not send it to it's tomb!!

The word is out and sadly parents are pulling their children left and right from the school. Prescott future isn't looking so great for anyone including the veteran teachers.

I have to say that the most disturbing comments and rumors I have heard have come from children in 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. These children should be learning, discovering and dreaming of their future not being forced by those who are suppose to care for them to fight a battle that isn't their. Permitting children to disrespect those in authority so publicly, is teaching them to live a life without respect or regard to anyone!

As a parent I am very disappointed to read the harsh and hurtful comments directed to certain individuals, especially from teachers. As someone who is not part of the school I would have a really hard time wanting these veteran teachers teaching my children.

I myself am reconsidering picking Prescott as an option for my children in the near future.

June 13, 2009 at 12:14 AM

By: To "Teachers"

Are you crazy???

I am not a teacher at this school, but I am smart enough to know that this environment is not positive for kids. Why would you CHOOSE to put you child in this type of environment (regardless of who's at fault)? To me, that seems a little bit irresponsible as a parent yourself.

At any rate, there is quite ENOUGH evidence to also support those who are making claims that Roche has done wrongdoing. Again, why would you CHOOSE that for your child?

You must be crazy to send your child, under this administrator's "leadership" with the school being in this much chaos to this school.

I don't understand what the supporters of this administrator are thinking. Is Roche this good that he can brainwash all of you into believing that NOTHING wrong has been done? Come on. In every conflict, there are shades of grey in the stories that are given. If this is the case, you have to think that at minimum, SOME of the antics he has pulled at both Ravenswood and Prescott are true.

Open your eyes! Knowing what you know about this situation, regardless if you believe it all or not, how could you knowingly CHOOSE to send your child into this mess of a school? Rediculous!

June 13, 2009 at 12:38 AM

By: xian from CORE

"Respecting authority"

I have seen nothing but respect for authority from those involved in the protests. The same has not been true of all of the posts, but the internet is a funny place, and it's hard to tell who is who.

Of course, there are those that think "showing respect for authority" means to never question or turn a critical eye to authority--right or wrong.

This is exactly what we should teach our children to resist. Human suffering and tragedy usually accompanies the inability to speak out against injustice.

June 13, 2009 at 9:00 AM

By: Teachers

Veterans

I keep reading that the teachers are veterans etc...

As the adult it is your responsiblity to be an example especially with your 30 years +. rumors are being spread through out the school by a select few who work at the school and others who are suppose to help better the school not send it to it's tomb!!

The word is out and sadly parents are pulling their children left and right from the school. Prescott future isn't looking so great for anyone including the veteran teachers.

I have to say that the most disturbing comments and rumors I have heard have come from children in 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. These children should be learning, discovering and dreaming of their future not being forced by those who are suppose to care for them to fight a battle that isn't their. Permitting children to disrespect those in authority so publicly, is teaching them to live a life without respect or regard to anyone!

As a parent I am very disappointed to read the harsh and hurtful comments directed to certain individuals, especially from teachers. As someone who is not part of the school I would have a really hard time wanting these veteran teachers teaching my children.

I myself am reconsidering picking Prescott as an option for my children in the near future.

June 13, 2009 at 10:57 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Why anonymous, "Teachers"?

Dear "Teachers"...

If you are so concerned about "hurtful" realities, why are you being anonymous here?

The "hurtful" stuff we've been reporting has been done by Erin Roche and his small team of CEO wannabes to a larger group of human beings: (a) teachers, (b) parents, (c) students, (d) the larger community that believes in democratic public schools.

Democratic public schools -- as opposed to "elite" thingies for a self-appointed (and usually wealthy) elite. We're also the people that believe the best schools are those run by men and women who realize that the word "principal" began as an adjective and still is healthiest when it remains that way -- as in "principal teacher."

The very notion that a public school in the USA (or a public school system in the third-largest city in the USA) needs a "CEO" instead of a principal teacher has always been ridiculous, and it more ridiculous now that "CEO" has become a synonym world-wide for liar, thief, cheat, chisler, Ponzi artist, and a dozen other words I won't bother to list.

The work of teaching children requires teachers, not self-appointed "CEOs" or zealots who spent too much time reading Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand and not enough time reading Jefferson, Lincoln, Dewey, or, lately, our friends Alfie Kohn and Deb Meier.

Assuming that you knew about these attacks on (a) special needs children, (b) veteran teachers, (c) the parents of children who didn't kow-tow to the Roche Team, and (d) democracy itself long before Substance bumped into the story over the past eight weeks, why were you silent all year?

And why are you wearing a fig leaf this morning?

Every teacher, parents and student who picketed on Tuesday was on the record, defending democracy and decency in public.

The Prescott LSC has now violated democratic norms for two months in a row. In May, they gagged seven teachers, a parent, and a couple of students who showed up to speak at the LSC meeting. This was after a year of threats and intimidations.

In June, they "cancelled" the LSC meeting rather than face a larger group that wanted to attend the public meeting and speak out. In some cases, people have just been asking for clarification on what we've reported based on named on-the-record sources.

Instead, stonewalling, anonymity, and behind closed doors tyranny.

This is not some tinpot dictatorship, but that nation where eighth graders are supposed to pass the Constitution Test.

So...

Why are you using a pseudonym when everyone else in this discussion is on-the-record (or canceling meetings and ignoring public participation).

June 13, 2009 at 2:03 PM

By: Kugler

What is Right

a wise man once said,

A teacher should act rightly before a pupil and set a good example for him;

he should correctly pass on to him training he has learned;

he should use good methods and try to prepare the pupil for honors;

and he should not forget to protect the pupil from evil in every possible way.

If a teacher and his pupil observe these rules, their associate will move smoothly.

June 13, 2009 at 4:06 PM

By: ANNA ROSADO

By:to: in responce

YYES I HAVE GONE ON RECORD, AND MY THREAT TO MRS. LISTER IIS THE SAME, ONNE DAY THE PICKETING WILL BE AT UR HOUSE INSTEAD IN FRONT OF PRESCOTT.

AND MY KIDS REPORT CARD HAD TO BE FAXED TO RAVENSWOOD BY ROCHE BECAUSE AREA GOT ON HIS BEHIND

AND AS TO THE 8TH GRADERS, I ALSO GUESS YOU DIDNT KNOW THAT THEY ALL TTOOK THEIR OWN SHIRTS FROM HOME AND HAD THEM SIGND THE SHIRTS WERE NOT GIVEN TO THEM.

AND THE KIDS DID NOT GET ANY BOOKS ON THE LLAST DA TO TAKE HOME FFOR YOUR INFORMATION

AND YES MY KIDS LEARN PRETTY MUCH FROM ME ITS WHY I HAVE HONOR ROLL CHIILDR!!!!

June 13, 2009 at 4:29 PM

By: ANNA ROSADO

CHILDREN TO PICKET

TO ALL THOSE SAYING WE SHOULDNT HAVE OUR KIDS PICKET

I SAY WHY NOT? THEY MUST LEARN AT AN EARLY AGE THAT THEY SHOULD FIGHT FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN. MY LITTLE GIRL IS THE CHILD PICTURED ON THIS BLOG HOLDING A SIGN WITH MS. DUNN

AND TO MY FELLOW BLOGGER THAT THINKS IM NOT EDUCATED I BELIEVE YOU SHOULDNT JUDGE AYONE NTIL YOU HAVE LLOOKEDAT YOURSEF FIRST

June 13, 2009 at 5:11 PM

By: AR

LOL

Your child is not an honor student and I'm sure the school records can prove that! Wait...wasn't it your nephew who tried to posion the 5th grade teacher? Because he hated her so much?!

Your correct you are a great example to follow!

I guess since you transferred your children from Prescott they DID NOT get their summer books. Because the rest of the school did and it can be proven, unless another teacher is going to go on record and lie AGAIN!

June 13, 2009 at 5:29 PM

By: ....

Think!!

Teachers and parents alike are using miss using information to their benefit and are not stating the facts!

The president of the 8th grade committee dropped out a month before graduation. What is her excuse? The fact that the school had so little time to organize something that was decent and respectful for the parents and students should be applauded and not condemned!

You can't fault another person for the mistake or lack of dedication of another. Mrs. Rosado it is a shame that you feel the urge to attack Mrs. Lister when in fact you should be upset with another fellow LSC member. Whom I was told by a parent who personally knows you both that she is your best bud!

If you are resourceful you can find out information very easily that's not only correct but factual! I'm not a parent of Prescott and simply by asking I found out how difficult both your son and nephew apparently were in 5th grade.

June 13, 2009 at 11:42 PM

By: ANNA ROSADO

By:....... and think

I BELIEVE YOU DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY SONS GRADES BECAUSE YOU DONT EVEN KNOW HOW TO POST YOUR OWN NAME, OR U SCARRED I MIGHT COME AFTER YOU? WELL I DONT WASTE MY TIME ON TRASH.

MY SON IS A B HONOR ROLL STUDENT AND IF U SAW HIIS GRADES U WOULD KNOW THAT

AND I DONT THINK HES A PROBLEMATIC CHILLD BECAUSE IF YOU KNEW HIM YOU WOULD KNOW THAT HE HAS NEVER BEEN TO THE OFFICE FOR ANYHING ( FIGHTS, SUSPENTIONS)

AND MY NEPHEW YES HAS PROBLEMS IS WHY HES BEEN IN COUNCELING AND WAS DECLARED WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER, FOR YOUR INNFORMATION .

AND I DONT HAVE ANY BUDDIES WIH ANY PARENTS AT PRESCOTT BECAUSE I DONT LKE TO GET THAT CLOSE TO ANYONE. SO HEREVER YOUR GETTING OR DREAMING YOUR INFO, MAYBE YOU SHOULD GET YOUR INFORMATION STRAIGHT FIRST ....

AND IF YOU WANT TO MEET WWITH ME STOP HIDNG YOU REAL NAME AND SPEAK OUT IN FRONT OF ME I CAN SHOW YOU MY SONS GRADES AND THEN WELL SEE WHOS LIEING

MAYBE LISTER YOU SHOULD BE FIGURING OUT HOW TO GET RID OF ROCHE AND STOP WORRING ABOUT MY KID THAT IS NOT YOUR CON

June 13, 2009 at 11:59 PM

By: ANNA ROSADO

By:....... and think

ANOTHER THING MAYBE YOU SHOULLD BLAME ROCHE FOR REMOVING PEOPLE FROM THHE GRADUATION PREPERATIONS, AND EVEN IIF IT WOULD OF BEEN TRUE HE COULD OF GOTTEN THNGS DONE RIGHT FOR THE 8TH GRADERS INSTEAD OF RUINING THE GRADUATION. HE DIDNT EVEN LET THEM HAVE A LUNCHEON AND A WALLKING TRIP TO DEPAUL A WOW THIS IS SURE A GRADUATION TO REMEBER AS HOW OUR PRINCIPAL MESSED UP OUR GRADUATION CAUSE HE WAS HAVING THE SAME PROBLEMS WITH MY TEACHERS AND PARENTS AS HE HAS WITH RAVENSWOOD THAT FIRED HIM!!!!! WHAT A MEMORY!!

June 14, 2009 at 2:28 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Deletions for incoherence. Suggestions to participants.

As this "blog" (actually, these are comments in a news service) evolves, we'll have more suggestions about how people might communicate more effectively. For now, I'm going here twice a day and deleting any "Comments" that include off-the-wall obscenities or what read like personal threats. Although my experience with First Amendment causes in Chicago goes back 40 years now, this new medium does not allow people to anonymously do anything they want in words.

I just deleted a submission here because it was not coherent and appeared to include a threat. My suggestions:

1. Try to type messages in caps and lower case using standard English punctuation, since it may be in the use of all caps that the communication problems arise.

2. Do not compose and "Submit your comment" in the conventional shorthands of texting or other abbreviatory language substitutes. This news service is in standard English, generally following the Style guidelines published in The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage. While we will encourage the "Comments" section to include the broadest range of opinion -- EVUKANTGEDIT I delete it.

3. Those who make submissions in their own names are most likely to remain long-term participants here. Leave your blogging pseudonyms for other forums. Generally, the conventions of pseudonymity and anonymity are being allowed here, but not encouraged.

Remember: when you submit here, your Email and other identifiers are known to your host.

So "blogging" here (actually, commenting on articles) under a pseudonym is sort of like going to a party in a Halloween costume -- but the party isn't a costume party.

Your host has the power and the right to remove your mask -- or ask you to leave -- depending upon your behavior. This is not a place where ANYTHINGGOESANUBETABELIEVEIT!

Sorry, not.

June 14, 2009 at 1:37 PM

By: ANNA ROSADO

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!! part 2

With all that is going on at Prescott, to those that are with Roche tell me Why would anyone support anything, and vote a priciapal that was FIRED!! fromm another school into this school? Everyone saying that the factts aare wrong, so two differant schools, teachers parents, and students from ravenswwood and now prescott are having the same issues so tell me Is that too just a oincidence???????

June 14, 2009 at 1:59 PM

By: Sun Tzu

Nice Try

There are no grey areas to the Erin Roche nightmare. There are not two sides to the accounts of his aberrant, unprofessional behavior.

Everyone in the building was prepared to work with him, enthusiastically or not, because he was the new principal. 90% of the faculty had never heard of him and didn't know about his past. In the first 3 days of his administration, the faculty got a rude awakening about life with the traveling circus he brought with him from Ravenswood. The real eye opener came as they witnessed him begin his harassment of the bilingual teacher during the first week. The faculty tried to support her, but Roche brought his big old compensatory suspension pen with him and the teachers were in uncharted territory. No other principals had ever needed to lead with threats. They had administrative skills. He finally managed to harass her into a sick leave. (Look at his belt sometime and see those little scratched notches he has on there.)

Even as the cautionary notes and further suspensions without pay piled up, teachers did not complain to parents. Kids were told nothing about the principal’s behavior. For the information all of you oh-so-concerned-about-the-children sycophants, it might surprise you to know that kids can think for themselves.) The LSC was already suspected of being in the bag for him and no one complained to them either. Teachers tried alerting his superiors, but middle management never wants the boat rocked on its watch.

Finally, teachers appeared at the March LSC meeting to witness for themselves what kind of oversight the LSC was practicing. Surprise. Less than none. Remember how outraged Roche got when one of the faculty members engaged with him for 3 back and forths? Remember how he whined, “What? Am I having a conversation here? Someone on the LSC better speak up!” A couple of his Munchkins snapped to and all democratic exchange was halted.

Roche is the only target. There are a couple of people writing in support of him because their jobs are tied to him, but they are nothing to the faculty. He brought all this destruction to Prescott all by himself.

June 14, 2009 at 6:35 PM

By: ANNA ROSADO

involvement

JUST BECAUSE MY KIDS NO LONGER ATTEND PRESCOTT DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING. I WILL STILL BE THERE TO SUPPORT THE TEACHERS. AND THOSE OF U THAT IS SUPPOSED TO RID THE ROCHE, U SHOULD OR THE SCHOOL IS GOING TO END UP CLOSED FOR UNDERENROLLMENT. CAUSE I KNOW ALOT OF PARENTS PULLED THEIR KIDS OUT OF PRESCOTT BECAUSE OF ROCH. AND IM SURE IT WILL CONTINUE UNTIL HES BOOTED OUT AGAIN! YOU CANT RUN A SCHOOL IF U DONT HAVE CHILDREN ENROLLED! AND YES MY KIDS ARE AT OTHER SCHOOLS BECAUSE OF ROCHE, AND I KNOW OF SOME OTHERS TRANSFERG OUT AS WELL.

June 15, 2009 at 11:54 AM

By: William Wallace

Roche Supporters Try to Shut Down Parent Opinion

Bless you, Anna Rosado, for being stand up for your children, the teachers, and your rights as a parent and a citizen. Much as the Roche crowd would like to eliminate free speech, they haven't been able to shut you down or up.

Anna Rosado monitored her children's education as a parent should for all the years her kids were at Prescott. She paid attention, she was an advocate for her kids if she thought they were not being treated fairly, she upheld the teachers if one of the children needed behavior adjustment, she spoke her mind, and she never held a grudge. Her 5th grader is a wonderful, wonderful boy, a hard worker, and a very good thinker. If the Roche supporter demonstrating her class in attacking a child would address even a 100th of her attention to Roche's policies, she might learn some surprising facts.

You're in a far, far better place, Anna.

June 15, 2009 at 1:55 PM

By: Again, Seriously!

Again, Seriously!

To "what a shame", Just wanted to address your comments about meeting my personal trainer while my husband is out of town? Very producive comment by the way from A TEACHER(you did reference you know what it's like to teach 30+ underpriveleged kids)?? Hate to tell you, I'm straight. Though I do exercise(no trainer). Thanks for your concern.

And Anna, publically stating threats on a blog doesn't really make you a role model.

Anyone else wonder what a "B Honor Role" is? Best of the 75% percentile?? Lets just give everyone an A.

And George, keep posting on your own blog. I heard aliens are now attacking the teachers. Makes for a good story.

Any lastly, I notice that everyone, teachers included, continually reference the handful of teachers in question as "veterans", "seasoned" or "tenured"?? Interestingly enough I never hear them refered to as "Good"!!!!

June 15, 2009 at 3:36 PM

By: Baleen

Control Freaks Who Can't Spell

producive = productive

Lets = Let’s

refered = referred

Superior and Excellent teachers are not referred to as “Good”.

"Lets(sic) just give everyone an A." (as in the miracle of the Prescott Constitution Test this year?)

14 teachers are not a handful.

June 15, 2009 at 4:56 PM

By: To Prescott

?

Someone please tell me how I can see these teachers records for myself?

As a new parent coming to Prescott I want/need to know what type of teachers are working there?!

I'm sure their has been reports filed against them from parents? Co-workers? students?

Please someone help me!!

June 15, 2009 at 6:44 PM

By: Anna

to again seriously

first of all, you are obviously not a teacher. two If you feel that from me saying that" the next picketing will be in front of your house and not prescott" well then maybe you should be helping parents and teachers instead of tring to defend the principal that is terminating all programs for the kids in that school so that when ur kids graduate from prescott they can graduate at their school with pride. so that if you kid is the A or B student, that child will be validictorian and get a medal or certificate saying they have perfect attendance or anything like that to show maybe their kids in the future what they accomplished. oh wait, Roche eliminated all that... so if your kid goes to prescott now well they passed with honors THEY GET NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT!!!!

SO stop worring about other peoples kids and their grades or what they stand for and you should be worried about what your kid is gonna go through OR NOT in the years to come.

June 15, 2009 at 8:30 PM

By: what gets me is that this new leaders for new schools

teacher

is really doing a POOR job of preparing principals. OR is this what they are directed and funded to do?--get/teach their new principals to kick out all older (more experienced) teachers and not speak or share information with the school\'s parents. \rThey kicked him out at ravenswood and they had to get rid of the principal at Ames--another new leader who was politically connected. What is up with this program?

June 15, 2009 at 9:13 PM

By: Mary

Reality check

The reason the Prescott teachers are given an adjective such as "veteran" is that you need to distinguish these teachers from those teachers he brought in with him. The "new" teachers have been allowed to ignore fire drills, make inappropriate comments to students regarding other staff members and have behaved altogether unprofessionally. The veteran teachers are actually excellent teachers. They were looking for an administrator who would embrace collaboration between teachers and administration, and bring the school to the next level. What they got instead is a sociopath who thinks school administration is all about suspending staff, threatening staff and depriving children of a happy learning environment. Roche came in with an agenda and NO ONE was to be spared. If you are a parent who is truly worried about the teachers at the school after reading these comments then you really deserve what you get. The fact that the CEO sent his #2 person and Rachel Resnick to meet with teachers is HUGE! If you think that they are not very concerned about this "New Leader" then you don't know CPS. This is big and I believe that Erin Roche and Renee Blahuta will lose yet another gig and it can't happen soon enough.

June 15, 2009 at 11:30 PM

By: Superior Teacher!

Round 2 of your hideous teacher bashing

TO AGAIN SERIOUSLY:

For your wonderful information, you claim we don't use the word good teachers?

Well, our gratification comes from the smiles on the children faces when they learn a strategy to solve math or reading situations, parents, and students return after their child has graduated and state, "Mr. or Ms..... thank you, you helped our child progress."

But, then again, you wouldn't know due to the assumption that you are too busy listening to Roche glote about his 3 highly qualified teacher pawns! Look at her room when she showcased it at the LSC meeting--2nd grade (what a mess) but then again, Roche probably observed her and said it was beautiful as compared to us veteran teachers (he wanted ours to look sterile and boring-the best he could do is tell us that the blinds in the upper window were down--he didnt even think that they were broken and have been for quite a few years--what a genious he is--a true leader! (yeah, right).

But, then again, you are to far in Rocheville singing back up with the Rochettes Or better yet--are you the Queen herself making this off the wall comments...lol!

June 15, 2009 at 11:36 PM

By: Teacher and Community

Anna Speak up stand, let your opinoin be known!

Anna,

Speak up and stay focused! In my opinion you are right on target! I am sure eventually, other parents, and teachers who have sufferred due to the current administration are proud of you!

Do not pay attention to the insults, accusations, and attacks from those individuals who try to silence the TRUTH. LET THE TRUTH BE KNOWN!

I support you 150% as well as the struggle/plight of the teachers who are still at Prescott!

June 16, 2009 at 3:51 AM

By: ANNA

Stand Up, fight!

I thank you Mr. Wallace for seeing me for who I am. I will fight, picket, protest, and do wwhatever I have to, just so my kids get the education they deserve.

All children need motivation, so they will want to go to school and learn. the kids need good teachers like ms. wallace, miss. Jacobs, And mr. acevedo. THow they teach made my kids want to learn more. My son one time came on report card pick up and asked mMr. Acevedo questions about the solar system but because he made his tteaching and their learning fun too . So we must stand together and fight for this school back and get back the teachers that made this school a school of learning, not fear.

like I said My kids dont go there anymore but I will be there with the teachers anndparents until that man is REMOVED!!!!!

June 17, 2009 at 9:02 AM

By: John M

Ignorance is Bliss, but knowing the truth is real

People who critique spelling an grammer on a blog are ridiculas. Sometimes a parent didnt get the right education or depend on spell check. I work in a very large corporation in management and sometime I cant spell things right or grammatically put sentences togther all the time. This is a blog not an article or paper. Attck the real issues, not about someone's grammer or even a nephew. How would they control that. Get real....

This is not about personal attacks. This is about a Narcissitic Leader who came in to clear house and do things his way. Good for him if he owned a business or came in as a CEO of a business, but this is a school. The customers are children not adults....

Anyone knows that if a bully keeps picking on a kid, eventually the kid will stand up any way he can. So to critique the teachers and say they are not doing things right or set a bad example is wrong. They tried the right way and no one listened. So this time they picked up a rock to throw at the bully. After awhile anyone would fight back anyway they could if they had respect for themselves....

Everyone has thier own view or twist of facts, but one thing is consistant. The principle, the assistant principle, and the LSC tried to clean house and bully everyone around. And they are confused on why a revolt is happening. Rememeber the boston tea party. Fighting against Tyranny is what America was built on....

Also, this is another example of Unions collecting money and running from real trouble....

Good luck to all in this. All the teachers should be brought back under review with a new principle and then the truth will come out. I thought clicks in school was immaturity of the children not the principle...The extra periods are for spacing on a blog not to be critiqued.

June 17, 2009 at 11:17 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Proofreading is overrated when liars are debasing language with perfect grammar

Thank you, John M. I'm sure that the crooks who ran Enron (and had the highest IQ and SAT scores in most places they went) when it cheated California (and finally its shareholders) out of billions of dollars were able to compose perfectly grammatical memos. So they cheated on the electric rates nine years ago and killed people in Southern California to make a few bucks.

And I also have a hunch that the guys and gals at Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, American International Group and the rest of the Wall Street "Best and the Brightest" were producing spreadsheets and memos that had few errors of grammar.

Of course, they were also soaked in such greed and mendacity that they brought down the world economy with their jargon-filled CDOs (Collateralized Debt Obligations), CDFs (Credit Default Swaps), and tranches. Now there's one for the pretentious set. French and all. "Tranches" -- In the old days, the most familiar tranche my family saw was a sausage called "head cheese" that only my grandfather could eat -- and he also savored Limburger cheese. If you don't know what "head cheese" is, get a quarter pound and eat it while looking at it.

We do our best when editing Substance to proofread.

But the most important thing is fact checking. A person who can write or speak the truth -- even if semi-literate in English (as are hundreds of thousands of our neighbors, who may be scholars in a dozens other languages) -- is more valuable to a decent society than the compulsive liars, many of whom have run the public schools of Chicago for the past two decades, who savor their high ACT, SAT, and ISAT scores.

This is not to promote poor writing, or poor grammar. It's just to remind us that the value of people and the value of ideas doesn't have much to do with the ability of people to write coherent paragraphs -- or even to speak in coherent sentences and paragraphs.

We'll continue to encourage comments here from anyone with something to say and the willingness to say it.

I'll continue to delete only those comments which are blatantly infantile in some stupid and defamatory way (yes, we get comments from childish people who want to talk about the anatomy and sexual proclivities of their teachers, fellow students and principals, and I simply delete them when they pop up).

BUD AYE CUD RITE EN BURD CHARCOAL WID A STIK ON A DOG'S HYDE AN IF AYE WUZ RITIN' TRUTE ID WUD STIL BE WORT MORE THAN

A HUNDRED SPEECHES BY OUR CURRENT MAYOR OR CEO OR THAT SMARTASS RUNNING A DOZEN OR MORE OF OUR SCHOOLS.

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