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Did Prescott's Erin Roche lie about the reasons for cutting special education?... Top CPS special ed official disputes Principal's claim

The Chicago Board of Education confirmed that they did not order the principal of Prescott Elementary School to cut its Special Education program.

Prescott Principal Erin Roche at the May meeting of the Prescott Local School Council. At the May LSC meeting teachers and parents were told they would not be allowed to make public comments. The regular meeting scheduled for June 9 was cancelled. No meeting has been scheduled for July as of July 1. Roche had earlier told people at Prescott that his elimination of special education teachers, services and equipment had been mandated by CPS officials. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Ms. Deborah Duskey, "Chief Officer" of the Office of Specialized Services, told Substance at the Board's June 24, 2009, meeting that no such order was given to Prescott Principal Erin Roche. Roche informed the parents, teachers and students that it was the Board's decision to eliminate two special education programs (along with their teachers). Roche also had a special lift for disabled wheel chair-bound students, parents and teachers dismantled and removed from the school.

Duskey also said Roche's claim that the Board ordered his school to remove the wheel chair lift for handicapped children is not true.

Substance contacted Prescott school during the last week of June after asking about the special education situation, but Roche refused to return the phone call to comment on this latest development.

The Prescott teachers, parents and students protested outside the last scheduled Local School Council meeting on June 9 against the new principal. The majority of teachers, many parents, and other staff charge that Roche has gone to war against the faculty by either firing or suspending without pay veteran teachers. One of the pretexts he gave for removing some teachers was that special education programs were being moved because CPS officials told him to do so, according to teachers at the school and one parent.

Deborah Duskey (center above, with parents and teachers from Montefiore school discussing special education at the April Board meeting) told Substance that the Office of Specialized Services did not tell Erin Roche, principal of Prescott Elementary School, to close two special education programs and tear out a chair lift at the main stairwell at the school. The lift was to enable children, parents, and teachers confined to wheelchairs to enter the century-old building more easily and helped bring Prescott's building into conformity with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Since becoming principal last summer, Roche has focused on a strict testing environment at the expense of enrichment programs and he has sabotaged the school's special education and bi-lingual programs, according to teachers and parents. Roche claims that the mission of the school is to provide what he calls an "elite" education to the school's students. But many critics, including the majority of teachers, have charged that the notion of creating an "elite" school means driving out of the school children with disabilities and families who cannot afford the million dollar townhouses that have been built near the school during the real estate bubble developments of the past six years.

The principal of Prescott is not alone among newer Chicago principals in trying to drive out the majority of teachers and students who will not yield higher scores on the all-important standardized tests. Several other principals have become well known for their abuse of teachers and parents during the last six months, thanks in part to a new generation of teacher activists in Chicago, and the cooperation between those activists and angry parents.

Prescott, Fields and Gunsaulus elementary school teachers met with Board of Education Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman's assistant in mid-June to complain about their principals' attacks on the teachers.

The scars in the wall below the railing at the main entrance of Prescott Elementary School had not yet been painted over in early May when this photograph was taken of the spot where Prescott's wheel chair lift had been. The lift was removed on the orders of Prescott principal Erin Roche. As a result, the school may now be inaccessible to parents, children, and school workers who are wheelchair bound because of disabilities. Officials at the Chicago Board of Education's Office of Specialized Services, which is in charge of overseeing services and access for people with disabilities for Chicago's public schools and charter schools, told Substance they had never known of a school that eliminated an accessibility device before the elimination was done at Prescott during the 2008-2009 school year. Generally, CPS has been spending millions of dollars to make its buildings — both regular public schools and the growing number of charter schools — more accessible to the disabled, not less so. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. The Huberman assistant promised to respond to the teachers' concerns within two weeks. Teachers and parents at the schools have told Substance that no response has as of yet been forthcoming.

As of July 1, Prescott had not announced when the next meeting of the school's local school council would take place.

The June 9 LSC meeting was cancelled by Principal Erin Roche when more than 50 pickets showed up from all over Chicago to support the school's teachers and other staff and to question Roche about his treatment of the staff and students. 

Final edited version of this article posted at www.substancenews.net July 3, 2009, 1:00 p.m. CDT. If you choose to reproduce this article in whole or in part, or any of the graphical material included with it, please give full credit to SubstanceNews as follows: Copyright © 2009 Substance, Inc., www.substancenews.net. Please provide Substance with a copy of any reproductions of this material and we will let you know our terms. We are asking all of our readers to either subscribe to the print edition of Substance (a bargain at $16 per year) or make a donation. Both options are available on the right side of our Home Page. For further information, feel free to call us at our office at 773-725-7502.



Comments:

July 2, 2009 at 12:12 PM

By: WWJD

Thank God For Substance

Roche lied and lied and lied about his actions and those beautiful little children in the 2 Special Ed programs were discarded like the textbooks he threw out. When the one mother spoke so emotionally and eloquently in April about her autistic son and the setback he was going to experience because of Roche's treachery, Jennifer Lister looked her right in the eye and said the Board closed down the programs and Roche couldn't be blamed.

How these people on the Prescott LSC can live with themselves is beyond belief. They are either liars along with Roche or they are negligent in their oversight duty. The entire Prescott LSC should be disbanded.

Roche closed down those programs to get rid of the teachers and/or to make room for elitist preschool programs. This is not the way that normal principals run schools.

His AIO, James Cosme, supported Roche’s lie either knowingly or stupidly in front of the Prescott faculty on April 30. He should be released also.

The situation at Prescott is too ugly to continue. There are investigations already underway and about to be launched at every level. The damage he has done to two schools is unbelievable.

There is nothing positive that Roche brings to Prescott. He couldn't convince his faculty in four years at Ravenswood that he had a viable education plan. Any one of hundreds of other principals could do the job ethically, professionally, and morally and not bring disaster to faculty, staff, parents, and children.

The Prescott LSC was on notice at least by March that there was trouble with this principal and yet they went ahead and gave him a positive evaluation based on his suggestions on how to evaluate him. They should all be questioned by Luz Lopez, Dr. Bill Rice, Jose Alvarez, and Reverend James Meeks, Illinois Senate Education Committee Chair, about why they would feel compelled to sacrifice the school for the sake of one flawed individual.

July 2, 2009 at 3:06 PM

By: Prospective Prescott Parent

Are You Kidding Me?

Is this all really possible? At first, I couldn't believe the awful things that I have been reading these past months. There has been virtually no legitimate response from the Roche camp so there has to be truth behind all these awful stories. Why is the Board of Education allowing this to continue? I would really like to see our neighborhood school as an option for my children but this is insane!

July 2, 2009 at 4:36 PM

By: Disgusted Fellow Administrator

New Leader? Not At All

This tag of being out of New Leaders for New Schools is becoming a real albatross. Center For American Progress keeps trying to boast about its baby. I would homeschool my kids before I would let them attend a school with a NLNS principal.

I am sickened when I hear the things that Roche does. He tars all of us. Prospective Prescott parents ought to run away before putting their kids in that environment.

July 2, 2009 at 7:12 PM

By: what is up with the AIO

teacher

is he friends or related to Roche? Cosme should be stopping this guy asap. Why does he keep supporting him--does he get something from NLNS for this? SHAME on him and he wasnt to me one of the new CAOs?\\\\rSHAME

July 3, 2009 at 4:31 PM

By: Ravenswood teacher

Where is Roche's camp???

Hey everyone,

I have kept up on all the blogs partaining to Prescott since these events have begun to unfold. I have posted and have tried to help with the situation at Prescott. One of the things I have been noticing is that the Roche camp has become suddenly very quiet?!?

So...what gives? Is it because they are now questioning their loyalty to the cockroach OR are they now thinking that, given all that has taken place, that they are scared that they are in too deep OR (and more likely considering Erin) is that he told his camp that they shouldn't post. If he is being investigated, this could help the case of those against him.

I just think that it is very funny that they were going back and forth with Ms. Rosado for awhile and speaking up for him and now...nothing.

What gives Roche supporters? Is this newest story a little too shocking for you?

July 3, 2009 at 5:56 PM

By: teacher

Roche Supporters quivering in the shadows

I have three possible scenerios:

First, maybe the Roche supporters brick wall is crumbling down and they are waivering?

Second, maybe they realized their err and are too embarrassed to admit their defeat? But, then i doubt if Lister and her crew would ever admit their err or defeat.

Three, the AP or the Imperial Ruler Mr. Roche himself is out on vacation? Remember Prescott is now a Track E school and they will be returning to work the first week in August.

July 5, 2009 at 12:05 AM

By: exhausted

Still Recovering..

See?! All the stories told by the Prescott teachers must now carry some weight with the LSC! He lied to the staff, he lied to the BOE and most likely he has or will lie to you in the future! No way all of the veteran teachers could be making this stuff up for months!

Another lie, being allowed to cut gym to a part time position! He fired the gym teacher (on the last full day of school, June 10th! What a classy guy!) In Illinois it is against the law to cut gym to a part-time position! But who is doing anything about this? Not Jim Cosme!! Aren't you concerned about childhood obesity, or don't rich white kids get that?

And this year is an evaluation year for all the teachers at Prescott. Who will protect those teachers that have worked hard but are "not a good fit" in the Roche world of "elite education"? Is it fair for this man to have this much power to destroy peoples lives, financially and otherwise(physically, mentally and spiritually)? Oh, I forgot, the LSC is not worried about anyone who can't handle a "bad situation with one's boss!" If it were you, wouldn't you want people to help you?

School is right around the corner, August 5th is the first day on the new Track E schedule. May I suggest the LSC come get to know some of these teachers and hear their side of the story?

My suggestion would be to put EVERYTHING back to the way it was before Mr. Roche and Ms. Blahuta arrived (bring back Ms. Wallace, Ms. Solivan, Ms. Brown, Mr. Acevedo, Ms. Ramirez and Ms. Zellman) and bring in a different principal and let's see if we can't all work together this school year, instead of allowing a couple of power hungry individuals with no soul and no conscience continue to destroy the beauty and integrity that once was Prescott Elementary School.

All in favor?

July 5, 2009 at 11:21 AM

By: Out of Patience

Get Out!

During this July 4th weekend, it's time to remember and remind all the management at CPS and all the politicians--city and state, and the very few Roche supporters (mainly himself and Blahuta) that there is no other story here than Roche is unfit to be a principal anywhere. He caused all the trouble at Prescott in order to protect his job, or at the order of CPS to cut salaries, or because of voices that only he hears.

Any attacks he is experiencing come from teachers, aides, and parents fighting back as they should have right from the beginning. No one expected a professional principal with even a drop of humanity in him to behave as he has.

There will be no videos about all getting along. The only solution is for him to get gone.

July 5, 2009 at 5:13 PM

By: RO

Lies Are So Eagerly Perpetuated

Mayor Daley said on June 10, 1999 in The Heartland Institute’s publication:

"When I took direct responsibility for the Chicago Public schools in 1995, we adopted "accountability" as our guiding principle. Since then, we have shown that accountability can--and does--lead to academic and fiscal improvements."

Take responsibility now, Mayor Daley! Your school board is running amok! No one is accountable for Erin Roche or the other tyrannical principals who should be dismissed immediately! Not one person at the school board will step up and be a man! Whiny, wimpy management like Huberman, Scott, Eason-Watkins, Villasenor, and Cosme all claim their hands are tied. They should all resign and stop taking public money.

Just what would it take, Mayor Daley for the School Board, who actually owns the contracts that everyone pretends the LSCs own, to take oversight responsibility?

Your schools are being run by one or two parents who have personal agendas. In every instance these parents get on the LSC to secure privileges for their own kids or to pretend they are in charge of a business.

The Chicago School Reform has always been and continues to be a sham.

July 6, 2009 at 5:06 AM

By: ANNA ROSADO

RAVENSWOOD PARENT

WELL HELLO PRESCOTT FAMILY, IVE BEEN KEEPING UP WITH BLOG BUT WOW I GUESS LISTER IS SCARED, LISTER LISTEN U KNOW U WERE WRONG ABOUT ROCHE, IT WOULD BE NICE FOR U TO ADMIT IT NOW!!LOL

YOU OWE IT TO ALL PRESCOTT FAMILY AND LET THE WWORLD KNOW ABOUT UR NEXT LSC MEETINNG ITS UR OBLIGATION!!

July 6, 2009 at 1:56 PM

By: Roche MUST have a meeting in JULY

teacher

don\'t let him fool you--Roche MUST have the LSC July meeting and it has to be posted 48 hours in advance. Call 553-1400 and tell them that he is refusing to have the meeting or to post it. He can be written up for this! There MUST be an LSC organizational meeting in July!

July 7, 2009 at 7:56 PM

By: Not Giving Up

NLNS Must Be So Proud

The Board members and their assistants all seem to think that Erin Roche just must not be a morning person. Consequently, he rubs teachers the wrong way during the school day. Give him a break, you complaining educators you.

Every BOE member and their assistants should have to read the above article every day until they understand that lying, unethical principals are not fit leaders for schools.

He is not going to accept a slap on the hand from the Board members and their assistants and suddenly turn into Rick Warren. He's a liar who is committed to getting rid of all the teachers that he inherited and the special education children at Prescott.

Wonder if he thinks about those little children who needed stability in their everyday lives and how he just tore them from their safety zones in order to get rid of their teachers. Wonder if he thinks about the April LSC meeting when he allowed Jennifer Lister to lie to the mother of the autistic child. "The Board of Education closed your son's program not Mr. Roche!"

July 8, 2009 at 8:54 PM

By: Waiting

One of Them is Just Following Orders

James Cosme, Roche's AIO should have to publicly explain why he supported Roche's lies about OSS closing the special ed programs. No one has to answer for anything at CPS. Roche suspends teachers for bogus reasons as he carries out the new model for running a school and he hasn't had to answer-- yet. Cosme sits in front of a room full of witnesses and says "We're not burning books at Prescott," (he's right, of course, Roche didn't burn them, he threw them out) and "Roche didn't close the 2 special ed programs."

Judgment Day is coming for these creeps. Getting a little hot, fellas?

July 8, 2009 at 11:54 PM

By: Finally!

In appreciation...

A great big thank-you to Debbie Duskey for speaking up and informing substance of Roche's lies... Its a breath of fresh air coming from someone at the top. It's what we have been saying all along... she probably still has the saved emails from him requesting that the programs be closed. He did send them. Be sure to ask for copies, George:)

That would be a real treat to post.

July 9, 2009 at 8:45 PM

By: Reader

YES, He Lied!

It is obvious that Erin Roche lied. It is a matter of record that he claimed that CPS/OSS forced him to cut the special education programs at Prescott. That has been disputed by the Chief Officer of that department. He is a liar. The question remains, what is going to be done about it? Will James Cosme and Flavia Hernandez also be held accountable for these decisions? They have publicly supported their boy so they must answer for these decisions too! Enough! It is time that someone answered for the destruction of this school and the damage done to the students and teachers!

July 10, 2009 at 1:04 PM

By: Gargantuan

Think About His Ultimate Plan

Erin Roche's desire to get rid of certain children and certain teachers and get what to his strange little mind are better children and better teachers is not to be ignored. It is a highly disturbing philosophy that he is being allowed to pursue unchecked.

Justice Louis D. Brandeis said “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” Roche likes operating secretly.

Everyone who values justice, morality, and decent human behavior has to write, call, or speak with Board Members and local and state politicians and alert them to the situation that has been destroying Prescott for the last 10 months. Don't worry about whether or not you have the right person for the problem. Get Roche's name out there and keep it out there. As soon as he becomes more of an irritant to the powers that be than a value as a seat holder in the corporate takeover of city schools, he will be removed "for the good of the school." His contract will be quietly and conveniently disregarded.

And that will be for the good of all society!

July 13, 2009 at 6:30 PM

By: G. O.

He Leaves Destruction in His Path

I wonder how anyone can tout a principal and his "educational plan" who has caused so much pain, heartache, and trouble at 2 schools in 5 years. Huberman, et. al. should have to walk the building without Roche and listen to the hours of complaints from teachers, students, and parents.

July 14, 2009 at 2:09 PM

By: So Many Lies to Expose So Little Time

Great Idea

At the July organizational meeting of the Prescott LSC, will the T-shirts be available with the new slogan LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE?

July 15, 2009 at 6:03 AM

By: Silent Supporter

OVERWHELMED

I am overwhelmed with all the information that has been dug up about Mr.Roche. I wish that any information about the Spec. Ed controversy and supporting evidence of his lies could be delivered to the council. It is disheartening to think that this whole mess is about a power struggle and the only ones in the middle of the battle zone are the children.

I am maintaining myself at a distance to better observe and gather information that I hope can help remedy this most unfavorable situation. I apologize for being part of the council that offered him the position. But for arguments sake, I conferred with those above him and let myself be another pawn in their game.

But I am awake and ready to do what is right for the children and 'real' Prescott community.

July 15, 2009 at 7:12 AM

By: LSC Member

LSC Info

LSC meeting was held on July 14th. Some items on agenda will be addressed in out August 11th meeting. Funds to add air-conditioning to classrooms was approved, and notice that Alliant Credit Union is sponsoring additional units for other classrooms.

Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary will be nominated and voted in at the Aug. 11th meeting.

There is a parent vacancy and community vacancy on the LSC for this meeting as well. The LSC will convene at a special meeting to be held promptly on Aug.11 at 5:30pm. There are currently two candidates for these positions.

If you are interested in filling either the parent position (child must be enrolled and attending Prescott to be eligible) or community position (live within Prescott's boundaries and have no children at Prescott) can download, print and submit their application to the school office, as well as presenting a copy to the LSC at the August 11 meeting for consideration. Only those with completed forms can be taken into consideration.

Will post direct link as soon as it is forwarded by LSC Relations.

Will try to keep posting any and all information discussed at public LSC meetings as part of the blog.

July 15, 2009 at 8:08 AM

By: Please Help Us!!

To Silent Supporter

All of the teachers that Roche inherited have been keeping records of everything he has done to them, my running record of all the craziness from last year is about 12 pages long. Perhaps you would like to read these for yourself so you know first hand all the bad things that happened. This is an offer to the LSC also, I would love for all of you to know what happened as well! So, Silent Supporter, what do you say? I understand wanting to keep your name off of the site, but is there an email address where we could forward our stories to?

July 15, 2009 at 10:32 AM

By: Right Will Win

It's a Survival Struggle

The problem at Prescott is not a power struggle. Roche came in and started to annihilate teachers that he inherited. The teachers had no beef with him. There are NOT 2 sides to the Prescott story.

He now has a war on his hands because he tried an illegal takeover of people's careers and well-being. He is NOT going to have his way. He judged wrong when he looked at the faculty and, like all misogynists throughout history, decided they were just a bunch of women and he could quickly and easily snuff them out and secure his position.

He is full of sound and fury, but he's a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing. Thanks, William Faulkner.

July 15, 2009 at 10:46 AM

By: Grayson

Proof Positive Why LSCs Are A Waste Of Time

I woke up to a wonderful email report of the Prescott LSC "organizational meeting." They spent an hour and a half postponing that meeting until August 11. They work so well!

Principal, Erin Roche, that bastion of calm, ethical behavior, ended up shouting "COME ON!" at Jose Villasenor, Deputy Director from the Office of Local School Council Relations when Villasenor made a suggestion as to how to move the befuddled council through two opposing motions on the table.

Things did not go as predictably as Roche has been used to. All the council members agreed to place a discussion of Bylaws on the August 11 agenda and Roche was the only dissenter. OMG. Bylaws! Rules and Regs! Not Roche's private club anymore.

The sender of the email says she is not so supportive of Roche's behavior after last night.

Goodbye Roche.

July 15, 2009 at 10:48 AM

By: J.O.

He's Not Helping Our Kids

Roche is a jerk. Where are the no-nonsense parents from the neighborhood who will tell him to sit down and shut up?

July 15, 2009 at 11:04 AM

By: Laughing out loud

Laughing out loud

I hope there was at least one reporter there, with a camera, to catch the action live. From other reports (Gunsaulus, for example) Mr. Vallasenor has to have a sense of humor (and some No Doz) to do his job well. Not everyone from central office is a waste of tax dollars.

July 15, 2009 at 11:11 AM

By: Agenda for July 22 Board meeting

Who will bring this information to next Wednesday's Board meeting?

Hopefully, there will be a larger Prescott contingent for next week's Board of Education meeting. The last few meetings, complaints about tyrannical principals have been brushed off by Michael Scott (the other Board members sit mute during these discussions, as do Ron and Barb) with that usual "But we have no power because it was the LSC..." blah blah blah.

Tell that to the LSC at Julian High School. Or the LSC at Oglesby. Is it true that Ron Huberman staged that raid on Julian (with all the TV camera lined up before the principal knew anything was up?) to get that strange story in Newsweek. The one that claimed he walked into the school like the tough new sheriff he fantasizes he is and ousted her terrible self, while the cameras rolled?

Anyway, as April 3 demonstrated, Michael Scott is talking smoke when he claimed CPS doesn't have the wherewithal to rid a school of a principal who's doing wrong. By now, Prescott has accumulated enough evidence -- from Special Ed to that crazy "organizational" LSC meeting being postponed while a guy from CPS tried to help -- to do something before another school year is screwed up.

But in order for that to be taken seriously next Wednesday, at least one of two LSC members will probably have to join Prescott's beleaguered teachers to narrate the latest chapter in this silly but sad saga.

July 15, 2009 at 12:26 PM

By: Lady Luck

wondering

Was the Prescott LSC meeting announced to the public?

July 15, 2009 at 7:16 PM

By: Interested Party

Blood Pressure Rising

Who asked Villasenor to attend? Looks like Prescott LSC will have observers until Roche gets gone. Roche better supersize his bottle of Tums.

July 15, 2009 at 9:02 PM

By: Observer

Prescott shift?

Am I correct in thinking that possibly this lame LSC has begun to see the error in their ways? Did they actually challenge him and NOT vote his way. I love it! I would pay to see the Roche lose it in front of CPS "downtown" personnel! WHOOHOO!

July 15, 2009 at 10:38 PM

By: Ravenswood teacher

these 2 vacancies are your chance to get the right people on the LSC

Prescott school community:

You are certainly making headway! These two vacancies will allow you to get the right people on the council who will help the children of Prescott. The teachers need to get the word out to concerned parents that this is the opportunity of a lifetime for all of you. Let me tell you why. In February, you will be electing the council who will vote on Roche's contract. If you have 2 new members on the committee who understand what is happening, can oust Amanda and get a teacher who can help speak for the teachers, and have "silent observer" who understands how toxic he is for Prescott, you will be well on your way in getting rid of Roche.

I can tell you from experience with him, the LSC (silent observer on the council and maybe the teacher rep) will need to work together to demand him to provide you with information that you request. Remember, him hiding what he was doing with spending funds (by providing his OWN fancy spreadsheets instead of copying the budget directly from ORACLE) is how he got by with whatever he wanted to do. As the LSC, your responsibility is to monitor the budget. With that said, you have the right to demand that he provide you with the EXACT information you request. I can also tell you that you can keep asking Dr. Rice (LSC relations) to keep attending the meetings. They will then be able to help you keep track of what he is and is not doing.

This is a great opportunity. I give "silent observer" a lot of credit.

Again, if you were to speak to ANY of Roche's old supporters from Ravenswood (even the one who gave Lister the recommendation to hire him) SHE would even tell you how toxic he was for our school.

If you come together as a school community, you will QUICKLY see that the teachers aren't the problem. You ALL will see that it is HIM who is the problem. I promise you. You ALL will be happier if he is gone! This is speaking from experience as a teacher who he tried to destroy as well!

Good luck! We are pulling for you!

July 15, 2009 at 11:41 PM

By: watching

Kudos Ravenswood Teacher

Thank you, Ravenswood Teacher! As someone who cares about a Prescott employee who has been destroyed by this nutcase, I appreciate your willingness and desire to keep this issue alive. It would be very easy for you to get on with your career and life. You and your school community have survived this nightmare and have come out on the other side. My hope is that Prescott fares as well at some point. Erin Roche is an egomaniac who didn't learn anything by being tossed out on his butt by the Ravenswood LSC. If anything, he is even more diabolical in his scheming to destroy a school community. Thank you for your wisdom and support. We will survive!

July 16, 2009 at 11:40 AM

By: Patience Is Gone

The School Doesn't Deserve This Nightmare

Since Roche is used to writing the LSC agenda and controlling the meeting (watch him whisper out of the side of his mouth telling the president what to do and roar with laughter when she has to say "What?") it must have been a Maalox moment for him when there was DISCUSSION about the agenda by the members.

Most of the Prescott LSC cult members aren't in the inner circle so they look like dummies when they see the agenda for the first time and there is no public participation and Lister has already decided on the way she's going to evaluate Roche's first year. Maybe they might want to actually do their duty as elected LSC members and contribute.

Jim Vail said in a June article that LSC member, Farbrother, showed up to defend Roche. I'd place a bet that he only showed up because he hadn't been told by the elite members that the meeting was cancelled. Whoops!

In the June article LSC member, Farbrother, was quick to declare that teachers need to be held "accountable." Oooh! Since that is the go-to mantra of all concerned citizens who don't have a clue about school problems and their solutions, I wonder if he'll be as stand-up in August and hold Roche accountable for his public lies about closing the special ed programs. Reference Ms. Deborah Duskey, Chief Officer of the Office of Specialized Services.

Maybe Farbrother would also like to put into the minutes the suggestion that fellow LSC members like Jennifer Lister should refrain from blindly bellowing out the hokum that Roche spews so immorally.

July 16, 2009 at 11:58 AM

By: Hold Him Accountable

Has He Already Spent the Money?

I was at the LSC meeting on Tuesday and something remains in my head that Roche said. After all the craziness, the motion to "okay" the money for the air conditioners on the third floor was up for a vote. Mr. Farbrother asked before the vote if they would be installed before school started. Mr Roche replied, "It's already taken much longer than I expected!" Does this mean he already spent the money without the consent of the LSC? Am I the only one who picked up on this? I was amazed when no one from the council questioned this! You better start asking for all those Oracle spread sheets to not only find out how he's spending money, but also when he's spending money!

The next BOE meeting is Wednesday July 22nd at 125 S. Clark Street. Anyone wanting to voice their concerns about all the recent wrong doings at Prescott should attend and participate in the public speaking portion of the meeting.

July 16, 2009 at 3:20 PM

By: Friend of a Friend of Used to Be Prescott Parent

Get a Grip Roche

Just saw a cell phone picture of Roche, you know--Principal of the Year--shouting at Mr. Villasenor. Is that shade of red available at Pittsburgh Paints? It would look good on the next picket posters.

Luz Lopez, do you do tutoring of principals and how they should conduct themselves at the LSC meetings?

Can the entire Office of Local School Council Relations please attend the August 11 LSC meeting?

July 16, 2009 at 5:30 PM

By: outraged

How can he sleep at night?

Above all, remember this...

While Roche tries his best to polish up the school for his tution-based preschool classes this summer, the parents of the special ed kids he kicked to the curb are scrambling to find out where their children will be going to school. Kids with disabilities who were comfortable and making progress, in a familiar enviroment they took months to adjust to. They were a part of that school community, and they have the right to stay there. By that respect, shouldn't we be able to kick any student into a new building, at any time? Some live in lincoln park and are being bused as far west as austin in the fall...does that sound fair to you?

As a parent, it disgusts me that this behavior is allowed to take place, and that the board is not holding this nasty man responsible.

Any man who can do such a thing and still manage to sleep at night should not be around children period.

What a disgrace he is. I hope his own family is embarassed. The LSC members who support him should hang their heads in shame...

July 16, 2009 at 6:37 PM

By: Waiting

Strike Two

Those 2 special education programs with their teachers and aides were the story that Roche should have heralded far and wide if he was looking for applause. All the teachers and kids in the school who were there BEFORE ROCHE GOT THERE worked together for a long time to make the special needs children in those 2 classrooms accepted, welcomed, unexceptional members of the school community.

General education kids had to be familiarized with some of the exceptionalities of the special needs students so there was no teasing that took place, or misunderstanding of the special ed children’s actions.

The children in the 2 programs needed to learn to trust adults and kids who weren’t in their classroom. Some days everyone went 1 step forward and fell back 2.

Contrary to the narrow-minded, tunnel-visioned, egotistical opinion of the principal, he was not the one who anyone was waiting for. Teachers spoke to each other about the social-emotional well-being and educational progress of all the kids all the time. Would it surprise you to know, dimwit Roche that BEFORE YOU GOT THERE upper grade teachers often sought out middle grade and primary teachers to talk about growth of students?

If Roche could have checked his giant, blockhead, I-know-more-than-anyone syndrome at the door he might have witnessed beautiful interactions between regular ed students trying to help special ed students on the playground. He might have heard delightful discussions between regular ed kids and their teacher as they recounted something that had been done to them by a special ed kid, but how the regular ed kid knew it was an accident.

He might have seen special needs kids going up to teachers who weren’t their classroom teacher and reporting some success and feeling so proud that another adult was so happy with them.

It’s enough to make you cry that Roche got rid of them because 1. he’s heartless, 2. he wanted so desperately to get rid of their teachers because they dared to demand he act ethically and not like a common street thug, and 3. he wants some frou frou, tea and crumpets school that he can pretend is not in a working class neighborhood of Chicago.

Bring back the exiled kids and put Roche on a bus.

July 16, 2009 at 7:11 PM

By: Special Ed Presentation to the July 22 Board meeting

Special Education should not be destroyed

Hopefully, more than one family from the special education group that has been purged from Prescott will be at the July 22 Board of Education meeting. Even though it is a burden to get to the Board by 7:00 a.m. to sign in to speak (some time after 10:30, whenever Michael Scott stops stalling and drawling), a major purpose of speaking would be that CPS order the restoration of the two classes -- with all their children and the teachers, in the same rooms they once occupied.

A good special education attorney (like Matthew Cohen) could probably bring this instance to Judge Robert Gettleman (the judge in federal court overseeing "Corey H"), but the point is to keep the programs at Prescott, not to wander through the courts.

If several parents (along with the children and teachers) outline what Roche has done, the Board might well see how it can ensure that the programs remain at Prescott despite what Roche thinks he is doing.

July 18, 2009 at 12:11 PM

By: Ravenswood teacher

This purchase of air conditioners before approval is typical

Prescott school community,

This purchase of the air conditioners is very suspect, to say the least. I can't stress enough that this is EXACTLY the type of thing he would do at our school. He would purchase an entire curriculum, then he may or may not ask for approval of the LSC. It would just show up one day and we would be expected to use it. If we would inquire about where it came from, he would either say that we received a grant or that it was donated. Now we know that he did use school funds to purchase many of these items, without approval of course.

It sounds as if the deal was done with these air conditioners before it was ever voted on. You can contact the Area Facilities Manager for your school to see when the work order was put out for the work to be done.

I hope that this LSC is beginning to wake up and smell the rotten schemes of Erin. The budget is a BIG place where you can "get" him. There are specific rules that MUST be followed. If you can prove that he is not following protocol, you would certainly have more documentation to add to what you already have. Keep on him. A leopard doesn't change his spots. Sooner or later, his greater sense of self will take over and he will think that he can do whatever it is that wants to do again.

I challenge this LSC to test my theory (even though it's not theory it is fact). Every month, ask him for the specific documentation of expendiatures from ORACLE. He has the ability to break down EACH FUND so that the LSC can see exactly what was spent and when. He, of course, isn't going to like this because he KNOWS that he is doing wrong, but don't let him get by with this! He was purchasing thousands and thousands of dollars worth of items by himself without ANY approval.

The other thing to keep tabs on is the monthly internal accounts budget lines. He and his "lawyer" AP would pay themselves back (using student funds) for parking, meals, and many other things. Ask him for these on a monthly basis. Monitor the ORACLE budget and the internal accounts budget. Keep him honest!!!

This will make him crazy; however, it will be worth it in the long run. He took and took and took from our students to purchase things that he needed and did very little for programs that would truly help our bilingual students or our special ed students.

So you know that at our school we had NO school-based problem solving? NEVER!!! Also, he used 2 of our 3 bilingual positions as regular classroom teachers and 1 person had over 100 bilingual students on her case load that she was expected to service. This is a travesty!!

Again, LSC members, this is FACT. If he is who you think he is, he should have no trouble with giving you the information you request. I guarantee you that he will become very angry with asking him for documentation like this. You will then see that all of this that EVERYONE is talking about isn't made up. He is the one with the problem!

Good luck! If you have specific questions that you need background on regarding him, ask them here and I would certainly do what I can to help.

July 18, 2009 at 7:04 PM

By: Concerned Parent

Fix This Mess

I just found out from another parent that my daughter will be in a split classroom next year. Are there the same amount of teachers as last year at the school? I didn't hear of any split classrooms last year. Is there anything I can do as a parent to stop this? If not I will be taking my kids to a different school. Can someone tell me if this is true or not and what are the actual grades that will be split.

July 19, 2009 at 12:46 AM

By: ANNA ROSADO

TO CONCERNED PARENT

HAVENT YOU BEEN READING THE BLOGGS? THERE ARE ABOUT 4 TEACHERS LEFT AT THE SCHOOL. ALL THE REST WERE SUBSTITUTES,AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR SO IF I WERE U, I WOULD EXPECT MORE THAN HALF OF THE GRADES TO BE SPLIT-CLASSES

AS A FORMER PRESCOTT PARENT GOOD LUCK TO YOU, AND SAY HELLO TO THE GREAT TEACHERS LEFT THERE THEY ARE THE BEST.

July 19, 2009 at 3:01 AM

By: concerned advocate for the children

Speak Up and Speak out 4 the children

to concerned parent about split classrooms:

Below is a laundry list of possible ideas to contact to voice your concerns about a split classrooms(Teachers will back you up:

1. Call/write the office of elementary education and complain about Mr. Roche to voice your concerns about his antics;

2. Call/write your ALDERMAN and complain about what is going on at Prescott (don't bother with Fritchie the state rep, he knows what happened from the students voicing concerns and he did nothing---i would write or call other state rep offices;

3. Call/write the mayor's office;

4. Call/write the NEWSPAPERS/tv stations! Put an editorial.

5. Call/write Ron Huberman, Barbara E. Watkins, and Michael Scott. Ask them to help your plight to stop the split level classrooms.

Remember, you are a tax-payer and it is within your RIGHT to voice your concern. WRITE WRITE WRITE! Don't give up. You are voicing your concern for your child.

After all aren't we all in the teaching field for the students?? If Roche and the Board of education are so "FOR THE CHILDREN"; then they would ban all split grade level classrooms. Instead of using the money for all these math specialists, etc, they should use that money for another teacher in the schools to avoid split grades. Split grades don't work! Believe me, i have been there and done that!

If enough word gets out and feathers are ruffled, then Roche, his vp, his 3 teacher croonies and the LSC moms (his cheerleaders) might start to wane.

Lastly, in your questioning of ROCHE, inquire why is there a Assistant principal for a school of 200 students or less in a NON teaching positions. I know most schools with under 350 students, the AP is a TEACHING AP, but then again, Roche needs her free to plan and get all those horrible veteran teachers (lol).

July 19, 2009 at 4:09 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Split classrooms

Hopefully, some Prescott parents will be at the Wednesday Board of Education meeting asking why there must be these "split" classes. The teachers who were at Prescott at the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year, when this stuff began, could easily have been back in September 2009 for the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year. The Board facilitated the purge, and now not only the teachers but the parents, children and community will be paying a terrible price. Did the LSC realize this when it decided to enable Roche (who still hasn't called Substance or our reporters).

July 19, 2009 at 4:17 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Concerned parents need information, not fabrication

One of the reasons I wrote the above Comment was that our family (minus our Whitney Young graduate -- Class of 2007 -- who is studying for his BS at Cal Berkeley) is just back from a very fine driving vacation to New York City. Both ways and each night we read books, did "books on tape," or otherwise did stories for our two littler ones (Josh is four; Sam is now eight).

I can't imagine spending the summer worrying about the school my son will be attending in September, as the Prescott parents must do this year.

This is as a parent. We're very very happy with the public school that Sam will enter third grade at in September. Dan's education in Chicago's public schools (Beaubien; Whitney Young) was as good as any he could have gotten in the wealthiest suburban or private schools, as his performance in the College of Engineering is demonstrating.

One major key to Dan's success, and to the growing enthusiasm of Sam for school and learning, is the stability of the school. Not once during his eight years at Beaubien or during his four years at Whitney Young did Dan face the kind of stupid disruptions facing the children and families of Prescott since last year and destined to burst out again in September.

One major factor for Sam's success (so far) in his public elementary school has also been the stability and predictability of staff and schedules.

The sabotage of many schools that CPS creates or tolerates has to be stopped. At Prescott, the only way to do that is to reverse the Roche purges. So much damage has already been done. But to allow that damage to continue from the first day of school in September should be unconscionable.

July 19, 2009 at 1:49 PM

By: And the Beat Goes On

Roche Rolls Right Over Children In Order to Crush Teachers

There will be a SPLIT FIRST AND SECOND GRADE CLASSROOM AND A SPLIT FOURTH AND FIFTH GRADE CLASSROOM at Prescott in the Fall. These choices were made by Roche in order to punish his inherited teachers. He hopes that maybe THIS move by him will drive out 2 more of the dreaded veterans who cause his flashbacks to Ravenswood. (Teachers there voiced a negative opinion of him and his educational philosophy to the LSC and he was non-renewed.)

A split first and second grade is absolute death to the learning process. First graders

are learning everything new. They are going to have to have all kinds of independent work time while the teacher teaches the second grade. Sounds so simple...except that first graders don't know how to work independently at all, let alone for long stretches of time.

A split fourth and fifth grade is bad in its own way. The social problems will be the concern for the teacher and the parents. Fifth graders are way too mature for incoming fourth graders. There will be more territorial squabbles in a split fourth and fifth than in a split classroom in the lower grades. Bullying will have to be watched for.

Too bad one member of the LSC had her own reasons for pushing through this flawed individual to head up this school.

July 19, 2009 at 1:56 PM

By: Two Split Classrooms for 2009-2010 School Year

Two Teachers Pulled to be Literacy Coaches

There will be two split classrooms this year at Prescott. A 1st/2nd split and a 4th/5th split. Mr. Roche pulled two teachers (from his inner circle of excellent teachers that he hired) to be Literacy Coaches for the school. What "Literacy Coach" actually means to this administartion I could not tell you. Prior to his arrival, the literacy coaches at Prescott (Mr. Harlan and Ms. Zellman) did divide their time between their own class rooms and subjects that they taught, and going into other classrooms as extra support for the other teachers during reading and writing time. It worked out beautifully and there were no split classrooms. Split classrooms are incredibly hard to teach as certain students will not get the attention they need and deserve. It is impossible to teach two of every subject matter during the coarse of the day. The ones that will suffer as a result are the students. Split classrooms are sometimes the result of low enrollment, but I don't believe that to be the case in this situation. Prescott does have small class sizes, but this is how you want your child's classroom to be so that your child does receive the attention he needs from his teacher. There were small classrooms last year and it went well, why change it now and have the students pay the price?

If you are concerned about this you should attend the Board of Education meeting July 22nd at 125 S. Clark Street and voice your concerns. Also, please attend the LSC meeting at Prescott on August 11th at 5:30 to direct your questions to Mr. Roche during the public participation portion of the meeting. Also, contact all the above mentioned state officials and ask them why this is happening at Prescott when Mr. Roche pulled two teachers from their classroom positions.

July 19, 2009 at 2:14 PM

By: Glad to Be Gone

Things Don't Look Good For Your Children

Roche has already told the two teachers that he is punishing that he expects them to have two complete sets of lesson plans.

It is impossible to fit in a full curriculum for two different grade levels during the day. In all past years, principals, when forced because of enrollment to create a split class, left it up to the professional judgment of the teacher to combine where he/she could.

Roche neither trusts, nor likes the teachers he inherited. (He came in with that relationship handicap because the teachers were eager to work with him.) He has tried assaults on many different fronts hoping to drive them from the building. As much as the teachers dislike him now, after enduring 10 months of unbelievable attacks from someone who gets to call himself PRINCIPAL, they're not leaving because he doesn't get to act like a two-bit, backwater, revolutionary and run them out.

Someone in this city or state is going to decide that the rule of law and the rule of a contract and the rule of human decency are going to prevail.

July 19, 2009 at 10:27 PM

By: Ravenswood teacher

Who are the literacy coaches?

I am just curious as to whether the 2 literacy coaches are going to be Pricilla and Amanda? Can anyone comment? I am just curious as to what credentials they have. Will both of the literacy coaches be out of the classroom teachers? If this is the case, parents, you should revolt. If these 2 are now out of the classroom full-time, this means that 2 quota positions (unless the LSC gave him approval of funds to purchase literacy coaches)have been taken away from your children. It would also explain why you now have splits in your building when you haven't in the past.

Does anyone have the inside scoop on this?

July 20, 2009 at 2:06 AM

By: ANNA ROSADO

Split-Classrooms?

I wonder what is the enrollment at Prescott?? How many children will be enrolled for the start of school year on Aug 10?? and How many were enrolled at the end of the day on June 12, 2009??

Because now I wonder about B.O.e. closing Prescott for low enrolment! ANYONE WITH THESE RESULTS?????

July 20, 2009 at 11:36 AM

By: He's Getting Worse

Of Course He Picked His Faves

Amanda is one of the literary coaches for sure. I believe the other one is his sixth grade hire. Both will be out of the classroom.

Roche has had 2 organization plans so far. There is suspicion that, just out of spite, he may have a third organization plan ready on August 5 so that any veteran teacher who prepared for and purchased materials for a new grade level over the summer will be screwed.

Because Roche went ahead with a Track E schedule and didn’t bother to even poll the faculty, a couple of his faves may need special dispensation to start school when they feel like it. The Kdg teacher has already reached out to one of the many subs who populated the roster during the year to sub for her at the start of the new semester because she, the Kdg teacher, will not be available.

Also, the second grade teacher is getting married in August. Best wishes to her, but WILL THE HONEYMOON BE PUT ON HOLD BECAUSE WE’RE IN SESSION? WILL TEAM ROCHE TRY TO PRETEND THAT THE TEACHER IS ILL? WILL TEAM ROCHE OPENLY REMINISCE ABOUT THE WEDDING BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY ARE INVINCIBLE?

Stay tuned for further episodes of As Prescott Turns.

July 21, 2009 at 1:44 AM

By: concerned teacher, community

Our wildest imagination

Hey, I wonder if team ROCHE and his pawns are proud of all the WONDERFUL publicity they are getting?

I wonder what credentials that Amanda and the sixth grade teacher (Gaou?--excuse the spelling not sure how to spell her name) have as Literacy COACHES? Do they have a PROVEN track record of INCREASING SCORES to be worthy of the honors of Literacy Coach? Amanda a Second Grade teacher? They don't test for the ISAT? What can she tell or guide an 8th grade Literacy class and make it meaningful? OOOPS maybe the night in shining armour, Jenn Moore will come to the rescue? NOTE--i never saw any accomplishment of the Roche team last year except demoralizing staff?

And who is this 6th grade teacher who has worked less than 5 months at Prescott? How is she worthy of a Literacy Coach? Didn't she come from a CHARTER SCHOOL? Are they subject to the same strenuous regime that the Veteran Teacher's are held accountable? I doubt that.

Maybe he should call in another adviser to help! Cripes, the enrollment is less than 200 (note pre k doesnt count FYI--LSC)and he had an intern (porter), his full time AP in a NON teaching position, Fenisha Hubbard (his CMSI math Guru), and lastly to come to the rescue, Jenn Moore! Who else does he need? Maybe they all should be put in the classroom FULL TIME, then he would surely have his dream team and the scores would rise beyond our wildest imagination!

Then again, Team Roche has notion that he is above the law and can do as he sees fit. No one from downtown or the LSC has yet held him accountable for what he promised!! Mr. Roche, may i ask where is the INCREASE IN enrollment that you promised during your interview? Mr. Roche, who is your cheerleader downtown that has blinders on?

July 21, 2009 at 11:47 PM

By: GERRIA SIMPSON

FORMER SECURITY OFFICER

HELLO GEORGE HOW ARE YOU MY NAME IS MS SIMPSON,I JUST WOULD LIKE TO TELL HOW MY POSITION WAS CLOSED THE DAY WE RETURN TO SCHOOL AUGUST 27,2008,I MET MR.ERIN ROCHE ON THE LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL JUNE,OF 2008 HE SEEM LIKE A NICE PERSON I HAD NO IDEAL HE WAS GOING TO ELIMINATION MY POSITION,I WAS THE FIRST POSITION HE CLOSED WITHOUT NO WARNING ,I REPORTED TO WORK ON AUGUST THE 27 AND WAS TOLD THAT MY POSITION WAS CLOSED BECAUSE OF A BUDGET CUT,I THEN ASKED HIM WHO WILL BE DOING SECURITY HE REPLY THAT HE IS WORKING WITH SAFETY AND SECURITY,I THEN TOLD HIM IAM WORKING FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY,HE THEN REPLY THAT YOU WILL RECIVED PAPERS IN THE MAIL AND IT WILL TELL YOU MORE,THAT WAS IT I LATER FOUND OUT THAT HE HAD HIRED TWO PART TIME POLICE OFFICER IN THE POSITION, HE HAD CLOSED MY POSITION ON TWO DAYS BEFORE WE RETURN BACK TO WORK THAT IS VERY CRITICAL HE WOULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT,I HAVE BEING READING THE THINGS HE HAVE DONE AT PRESCOTT IAM VERY VERY DISPLEASE WITH HIM,I WAS GOING TO ATTEND THE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING ON 7/22/09 BUT IAM NOT FEELING WELL THIS MAN HAVE REALLY DESTROY MY LIFE IAM STILL NOT WORKING,I LOVED PRESCOTT AND THE STAFF AND THE KIDS IS THE ONES I MISS THE MOST,SO WHOEVER ATTEND THE MEETING TOMORROW PLEASE SPEAK OUT WE NEED THE OLD PRESCOTT BACK,MY PRAYER GO OUT TO ALL THE STAFF WHO LOST THEIR JOB,THANKS GEORGE FOR THIS SITE I JUST HOPE THAT CPS WILL TAKE ACTION PLEASE BECAUSE NO ELSE NEED TO LOSE THEIR JOB.

July 22, 2009 at 1:41 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Destroying lives

Ms. Simpson:

Thanks for adding this information to the lengthy thread at SubstanceNews about Prescott and Erin Roche. Has anyone ever figured out for you what he meant by "position closed because of a budget cut..." This seems to mean that someone else "cut" the budget, and it sounds like the stuff we were hearing about special education cuts at the school. Given the seriousness of security in every school (which should have at least one experienced security aide who knows the school and community) that cuts was, like the others, not in the best interests of the people of Prescott.

Sorry to hear about your unemployment situation. This is becoming true of more and more CPS people who are cut, both because of central office (today, Ron Huberman's purges) or because of local principals on power trips. It's one of the reasons why CORE (www.coreteachers.org) filed a discrimination complaint against CPS regarding the firing of veteran teachers from the "turnaround" schools. But it's been obvious for years that many principals have been using every trick in the books to do their own purges so they can bring in their "own people."

One of the ironies of that is that after a few years, they tire of "their people" and replace the earlier ones with a later (younger) generation, and the process repeats itself. It's one of the reasons why we've organized unions and fought to keep them honest. Nobody stays young, cute and quick forever, even though at age 23 some people believe they will.

July 22, 2009 at 6:24 PM

By: It's Coming

No Moral Compass

The word was that an LSC member didn't want Mrs. Simpson as the security guard. The faculty knew that Roche was lying to Mrs. Simpson the minute he told her that downtown closed her position. It was the first signal of the ugly time we were in for.

Roche is so arrogant he thinks that whatever he says is believed and he is so disdainful of people not in his clique, he equates a lack of response with stupidity.

He will be unable to understand what happened when he's removed. He'll be saying, "It wasn't supposed to happen like this!"

Hang in there, Simpson.

July 26, 2009 at 5:31 PM

By: Emily D

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

The people on the Board of New Leaders for New Schools can't stand Roche either because he is so arrogant. Imagine being caught in a lie in print and still showing his face in public. He belongs down at 125 S. Clark or in North Korea, either way everyone will celebrate. Maybe not Jennifer Lister.

July 26, 2009 at 7:08 PM

By: I'm a skeptic

How do you know they don't like him?

Emily,

Just out of curiousity, how do you know that the Board of New Leaders doesn't like him? I would be very curious as to how you know this information.

Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE for it to be true; however, I am a skeptic. Erin Roche is just following the propaganda of the New Leaders program. They might not like the fact that he has gotten so much publicity, but what information do you know? Please tell!

July 28, 2009 at 4:49 PM

By: What's To Like

He's Not Just Following Orders

People talk and they're talking all over the city about Roche. The people at the Board can’t stand him. His fellow principals can’t stand him. The Board members of NLNS can’t stand him. And they talk—off the record, of course. Who is protecting him at City Hall? He’s not worth it and it’s going to come out.

Sure he has supporters--the teachers and assistant principal that he has given jobs to and the LSC members that he has promised an exclusive school to.

But everyone else, except Roche, plays by the rules. Evidence is being gathered. No one is relying on just the anecdotal evidence from the people that he has abused, discharged, insulted, or just annoyed with his arrogance. Other people don't act like Roche and lie or behave inhumanely so they can get their way.

He lied about the security guard's position being closed by the Board and thus got rid of the security guard. He lied about the 2 special ed programs being closed by the Board and hoped he would get rid of the 2 special ed teachers. He coldly eliminated the 2 non-tenured teachers. He closed the full-time gym position and got rid of the gym teacher.

If he is just following the propaganda of the New Leaders for New Schools without thinking for himself, he is the most dangerous kind of person to be in charge of a group of people. Everyone who has had the misfortune of having to exchange opinions with him knows that he either doesn’t answer a challenge, or declares that his is the only opinion that matters, or issues a suspension without pay. I wonder if Jonathan Schnur, CEO & Co-Founder, New Leaders for New Schools would support the actions of their fair-haired boy, publicly?

July 30, 2009 at 6:05 PM

By: It Will Soon Be Over

Pathetic

If Erin Roche and Ron Huberman and Michael Scott could get over themselves and agree who would be the lead singer, they could take it on the road as the Wii Jonas Brothers. None of them appears to be capable of speaking a real statement.

If the Pinocchio Syndrome ever kicks in when they're all in the 125 S. Clark Fun House together, the whole place will come crashing down as Extreme Nose Growing takes place all at the same time.

A simple voice vote from any group who has seen them in action about the continuation of their employment in our city would have them in the bread lines before the echoes stopped.

August 2, 2009 at 2:47 PM

By: Graduate From "2009"

This Is Sad!

Well I graduated from Prescott this past June. As we All know problems are occuring. I have been at Prescott since Kindergarten. And all though I am not there anymore, and although i didnt read this whole blogg cause i got bored, I think its really bogus that they fired, okay well let me rephrase that, that they "made the teachers feel bad, which made them want to leave" POINT! All the teachers that we all grew up with, are no longer there. That itsnt fair, because for example, Mr. Poulakos, Ms. Zellman, Mr Harlan, They were all GREAT teachers. Therefore, although Mr Roche mayb not have fired them, he made them feel bad by his comments. I dont know this for sure, because if he DID EVER insult the teachers, he never did it in front of students. But whatever, I mean i shouldnt care anymore, but I do cause i have cousins that will continue to go there, and I want the best for them. So, if it means going on strike and doing whatever it is! Prescott needs to go back to how it was.! This is bogus! but whatever its just my opinion. [=

October 21, 2009 at 12:39 AM

By: Someone who is watching from afar

WAKE UP/THINK CRITICALLY/USE YOUR BRAIN

I have been watching this whole thing over the past year or so. I find that the teachers who are against Roche are being very immature. They have been living without any direction from a principal until Roche arrived. All of a sudden they are held accountable and they can't handle it.

I think that this article is completely biased and basically what I would call a tabloid for angry teachers. There is no proof of any of these allegations.

To my dear Graduate of 2009, do you really want Prescott to go back to the way it was??? It was failing its students, not passing the annual yearly progress checks of NCLB, and if it didn't close because of that, it would have closed for attendance issues. Your science teacher that you loved...did not have the credentials to be teaching science. What you hear that Roche says is HEARSAY. That is something that doesn't get accepted by a judge in court because anyone can say anything.

Roche doesn't lie, he is discreet. Why? He has to run a school and improve it. This means making changes so that things get better, which means some heads roll. I wish Obama would make some heads roll. Change is hard.

If you don't like it, get out now. Find a new job. Quit complaining. Find yourself a place that works well for you. Think about what is best for the kids. You want them to learn, and that is what I see happening in that school.

Don't just accept things, think about them, critically.

October 24, 2011 at 11:39 AM

By: Parent of current prescott student

Confused

We have had a couple of years to put this in perspective. And now I think all who faulted Principal Roche needed to own up to their error in judgement. His one job is to advance the education for the students in his care. Four years of steady improvements has Prescott on the verged of being mentioned in the same sentence as Bell and Blaine as the best prek-5 schools in the city. Very often hard decision leave a few casulaties, or colateral damage, and while no one would wish this on anyone it's a reality.

My guess is the teachers that got fired, deserved to be fired. Life has a way of taking care of those who work the hardest to advance.

As a parent of current Prescot student I couldn't be happier with Roche success. I apologize to the few that were hurt.

Cheers the Principal Roche for standing up and making a difference. And for making the hard decisions to advance the greater good.

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