BOARDWATCH: Does 'STEM' mean that Chicago schools will feature 'bookless' libraries soon? Parent charges that Earle Elementary School is being decimated by CPS, and 'interim' principal

In Chicago, all public schools are equal, but, it may be said, some are more equal than others. Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced the public money was found to add space at Payton High School, which serves the most wealthy community in Chicago (the Gold Coast) while in other parts of town, it's time for more austerity. One example brought to the attention of the members of the Board of Education (all appointed by Rahm) was Earle Elementary School, in the Englewood community.

Apparently, the CPS administration doesn't believe that a STEM "Welcoming School" should have a library that allows children to read books and other print media. Above, during the first weeks of October 2013, when this photo was taken, the library at the Earle "STEM Academy" in Chicago's Englewood Community was being used as a storage room. Parents charged at the October 23, 2013, meeting of the Chicago Board of Education that Earle was supposed be become a "bookless" library. Substance photo.While Chicago Public Schools lurches in the claim that the future of education is in what Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls "STEM" -- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math -- one South Side elementary school is beset with problems despite all the talk. And the problems are getting worse as the administration of Emanuel's appointed "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett ignores the parents, teachers, children and community whose complaints from Earle Elementary School have been growing, supported by scandalous depictions of the mess inside the school.


From: Mrs. Betty Deer, Parent, Earle STEM Academy

Re: Chicago Board of Education Monthly Meeting -- October 2013. Welcoming School's Treatment of Parents and Students

On behalf of my children and the children of the Englewood Community, I stand before you as a parent determined that Earle STEM Academy will become a Welcoming School for students, parents and the community, and demand that the present interim principal, Katesha Melendez, be removed.

Betty Hughes, who told the Board that she has both children and grandchildren at Earle Elementary School, expressed her disappointment that CPS officials, including Denise Little and Adrian Willis (both "Chiefs") had failed to deal with the parental complaints about the situations at Earle. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.When Elaine Goodlow Magnet School closed, we were told that the New Earle STEM Academy, the Welcoming School, would give our children a better education in a safe learning environment. However, since the first day of school, parents have been told by the interim principal Ketesha Melendez and her security staff that parents are not welcome in her building. In addition, the Earle STEM Academy does not have a functioning library nor a library teacher as promised.

In less than two months, Mrs. Melendez's ability to lead a school has been questions by many complaints that parents have filed against her. The fact that she is an interim, and is not qualified for the position of principal, says it all, but to go further, in Lincoln Park or Hyde Park there would never have been a three year without a contract unqualified interim principal running a school.

Under her leadership, my child All Deer along with other children has been subjected to corporal punishment. Yet, it's unbelievable to that after the investigation into corporal punishment, we are still being asked to work with Mrs. Melendez as if she is what is important and not our children!

Is it because we are Englewood that we have unqualified leadership in our school? Is it because we are Englewood that you think it's okay for our children to come to school under feat of being bullied, harassed, or verbally abused by the leadership and security team of Earle STEM Academy?

Earle Elementary parents have tried to get relief from the school's problems this year from "Chief of Chiefs" Denise Little (above at the October 23 meeting) to no avail. "Chief" Adrian Willis has also failed to deal with the growing scandals at "Earle STEM Academy." Substance photo by David Vance.Is it because we are Englewood that we must take our fight beyond this Board meeting today; to the press in order to have a qualified principal with excellent leadership skills that is willing to work with our parents, children and community?



November 3, 2013 at 6:50 PM

By: Betty Deer


Marie Roberts,if that's your real name. I have never hung around Goodlow School drinking coffee or eating donuts. How would you know that I have three seventh graders there unless the administrator told you. Also how would you know that the library was under construction unless the administrator told you. How would you know that some children took pictures of the library unless the administrator told you. How would you know that it was said that the teacher hit or slapped a children unless the administrator told you. So for the record, everything that I have said you had better believe that I have evidence. I' not a person who just go around making up lies about anyone. The only reason Goodlow School closed is because of the cheating data from Earle School that will be produced at the meeting. Once it all come out Goodlow will have it's name back. And believe me I don't watch soap opera.

November 4, 2013 at 3:29 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Another Troll down -- 'Marie Roberts'

We haven't heard from so-called "Marie Roberts" who commented attacking the people from Earle school who spoke public at the October Board of Education meeting. As a result, the comment to from "Marie Roberts" has been removed from this website. Our readers are required to provide our other readers with their First Names and Last Names if they want to comment. And anyone who tried to use a phony name is cut too.

We have a large collection of these Troll comments. Some just use first names. Some use pseudonyms. Others...

They have an obsession with Substance (and in some cases with the President of the Chicago Teachers Union; or with the Substance editor). Maybe some day we'll get to publish a collection of cowardly stuff like these.

November 4, 2013 at 4:45 AM

By: Dr. Michelle Clark

Earle School

It is about Time that the Truth has Won out and Trolls are seen to be the Faceless Cowards and Phonies that they are. Mrs. Deer used her Real name and I am using My Real name because We are not Afraid to tell the Truth about what is going on at Earle Stem Academy or CPS for that matter. When we see something Wrong we will Speak Out, When we see Our Children being Abused we will Speak Out, when see Monies not being used for what they were Intended We will Speak Out, when we see a Interim Principal show Nepotism We will Speak Out, when we the Parents being Disrespected we will Speak Out. Wrong is Wrong no matter What Title that Person may hold whether that is Interim Principal, Chief of Networks, Chief of Chiefs or CEO of CPS. We will Vent Until There Is Change.

November 5, 2013 at 12:47 AM

By: Dr. Michelle Clark

Earle School

Marie Roberts, What FOIA told you that Mrs. Deer had 3 Seventh Graders that couldn't do long division, What FOIA told you the Library was under Construction instead of being used as a Storage Room, What FOIA told you the Parents sit around drinking coffee and eating doughnuts in the main office and that My son is not in Attendance? I didn't know that the FOIA knew things like that but you have to Remember I only have a Doctorate so maybe I am just not as smart as you. Ms. Roberts Why didn't the FOIA you received tell you that Earle has been on Lowest Probation Level 3 for 10 Years Straight and that Goodlow's Reading, Math and ISAT Scores were Above Earle's? Ms. Robert why didn't it tell you that Goodlow had more Students than Earle and better Attendance Record than Earle? For the Record I will Vent until the Danger is out of Earle Stem Academy and that Danger is the Interim Principal Melendez. Ms. Roberts you have said it is about the Children, so does that mean that you can Debase and Defame children by the Ugly manner in which you Described Mrs. Deer's Children? That in itself says that you are a Unfeeling and Cruel Troll.

December 4, 2013 at 10:30 PM

By: Lyndell Smith

Principal Melendez, Principal Smith, and Adrian Willis\' Love Triangle

My heart goes out to the parents at Earle STEM Academy. I can believe that Principal Melendez has been the interim for 3 years without reprimand for defaming children. It has been said by many teachers in the former Englewood Gresham Network that former Chief Adrian Willis and Principal Melendez have been engaged in an ongoing physical relationship during her 3 year tenure as the interim principal at Earle. Maybe this explains why Melendez has not been removed and why her leadership tactics were not questioned. Chief Willis has apparently

January 8, 2014 at 3:08 PM

By: Doninique Jones

Bring Melendez back to Earle

I love the way ms. Melendez run's this school I have know problem with not being able to just run thow the school why is it that when its time for you to come pick up a report card you are not there to do it but when some bs kick off that\'s when you want to run up there to the school and with ms. Melendez you aren\'t going to running up there and I love knowing that my kids are safe there with her...bring her back

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