Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Hinsdalean's Endorsements Draw Criticism from Our Readers

The Hinsdalean has published its endorsements of the D181 candidates, and our readers aren't happy. Neither are we, but we aren't going to give that newspaper any credibility by actually publishing who they picked or their naive and ignorant reasons why.  Instead, we are going to post the comments we have received so far and provide this free standing post for anyone else who wants to SOUND OFF!

We will be publishing our endorsements in the next week, so stay tuned.

Anonymous said...
I am extremely disappointed in the Hinsdalean. Leslie Gray, above all the other candidates, deserved its endorsement. She is the most qualified of the six candidates which was plainly obvious from both the Hinsdalean and Clarendon Courier's debates.

I believe they got it right by endorsing Jennifer Burns and Richard Giltner.

However, the Hinsdalean certainly showed that Mike McCurry's advertising dollars speak louder than strong qualifications by endorsing Amy McCurry who decided to run over a champagne dinner and couldn't answer a question at the debates without reading from a script.

Absolutely disgusted!
Anonymous said...
I can't believe Gray wasn't endorsed and McCurry was. Between the conflict of interest and lack of knowledge and depth that was apparent in both debates and in the impromptu questions asked by the Hinsdalean for publicaton, it is obvious that Ms McCurry is nowhere near qualified to hold this position. "I look forward to learning about the levy process" is just one glaring example." My guess is that The Hinsdalean didn't like the fact that Ms Gray went strongly on the record in opposition to some aspects of the Learning For All plan. In doing so, it missed an opportunity to endorse needed diversity on the Board about this plan. By endorsing Turek and McCurry, both huge supporters of the plan, we are left with only Giltner and Burns to hopefully bring an objective perspective about this plan if they win. Hopefully the community will see this error and necessity more clearly than The Hinsdalean did. Learning For All has been a colossal failure by almost all accounts. More of the same rubber stamping of this major initiative is not what we need at the BOE level. Objectivity and a strong command of facts and details is.
Anonymous said...
Well if there was any doubt of bias, it is all clear now. Of course the Hinsdalean can give their opinion (they own it) which they really shouldn't be. I agree with Mr. Ellis of the CH courier, it's not their job. Having attended the hinsdalean debate I can say hands down, Mr. Czerwiec was the most articulate and knowledgeable candidate. He won the debate as far as I would tell and no I do not know Mr. Czerwiec. What was also clear was that Ms. Mccurry had no knowledge of the tax levy and district budgeting process. SO for her to be endorsed over someone who clearly understands the issues is mind boggling. Is it better to have someone who understands school finances, the levy and who by the way was a classroom teacher or someone who supports a plan that has worked well for her kids and was a special ed teacher (deals with a smaller number of students)? Aren't we all lifelong learners? Why is it that it is implied that educators are the only lifelong learners? We are all constantly having to learn new things at the workplace. I would like them to see the rigorous board exams and license exams various professionals have to take to remain certified. I also felt that Mr. Turek lacked knowledge of the tax levy and has shown no evidence of holding anyone accountable including himself. 
A British Tar said...
I'm just curious why the Hinsdale had a picture (and name) of Planson instead of Gray. Plans is running for the 86 board, not 181. Was this intentional, or just a mistake, like that one D86 news article on Facebook that accidentally had the axe through a windshield?
Yvonne Mayer, Current Taxpayer, Former D181 Parent and Board Member said...
I am speechless. This is Yvonne Mayer, and I am once again posting using my name. I woke up this morning and checked my front entrance to see if the Hinsdalean had delivered their newspaper to Burr Ridge residents. They had not. Yesterday, the posted on their Facebook Page that today's run would be their largest circulation ever and that they were delivering to all homes in Clarendon Hills, not just Hinsdale. I posted a comment asking them to also deliver to all D181 homes in Burr Ridge and Willowbrook, but they never posted a response. I guess they don't care enough about all of the D181 residents, just those in Hinsdale (as they should since it is, after all, called The Hinsdalean) and now the residents in Clarendon Hills. So I ponder the following questions:
1. Why just add Clarendon Hills to their free distribution list?
2. Could it be because they are endorsing two candidates who live in Clarendon Hills?
3. How many homes are in Clarendon Hills -- a couple thousand?
4. Why would a Hinsdale based paper, deliver for FREE, a paper to Clarendon HIlls? It obviously isn't FREE for the paper to run hard copies for all of these homes?
5. Why would the Hinsdalean take money out of their profit margin to run hard copies for all of the Clarendon Hills residents?
6. Could it possibly be that someone is funding these extra copies, and if so, who is?
7. If the Hinsdalean is paying for these extra copies, why are they not running copies for all of D181's residents? Could it be that they have been pressured in some way by some of their advertisers to deliver copies this week to Clarendon HIlls? If so, who are these advertisers (or advertiser)?

Many questions to ponder. Of course, no answers will be given.

As for the Hinsdalean's endorsement of Turek, I am completely disgusted. Consistency? Good leadership in the last two years? Praising him for the teacher's contract? So disappointing that the Hinsdalean has overlooked the fact that Turek didn't lead the negotiations. Vorobiev and Clarin did. He just voted. So disappointing that the Hinsdalean overlooked the list by the bloggers of 22 reasons, all based in fact and actions/statements made by Turek, that show clearly that he has not been an effective board member to our children and taxpayers, but just to the administration.

Pam Lannom has no children in D181. For her to suggest that it is important for the Learning for All "process" to continue to roll out is irresponsible journalism! It was not a "process" when I voted for it. It was a plan, and I only voted yes because it was going to pass since the majority of the board wanted to rubber stamp what the administration wanted, but in order to hold the administration accountable I and Brendan Heneghan voted yes, something Turek personally promised me he would make sure would happen. Three years later, there has been no accountability. No data to prove that the plan has worked. And yet Turek "loves the plan" as he has repeatedly stated during the debates and board meetings.

It is truly disturbing that the Hinsdalean has reached the conclusion that the L4A plan should continue, a conclusion that will only hurt our children, should Turek get reelected.

On April 7th, please vote for 4 candidates who have recognized the deficiencies that exist in the district's administration and the L4A program and will not just roll over and pretend that all is rosy. These 4 candidates will not just rubber stamp the plan/process continued roll-out, but will demand data and demand accountability. That is NOT MICROMANAGEMENT, no matter how much the Hinsdalean likes to use that word.

On April 7th, vote for Burns, Czerwiec, Giltner and Gray!
Yvonne Mayer, Current Taxpayer, Former D181 Parent and Board Member said...
Oh yeah, and Turek didn't care at all that I was physically assaulted by a fellow board member. That is the icing on the cake. He not only disrespected me as a fellow board member, but as a woman, and his refusal to take a public stand on any type of physical abuse should be reason enough not to vote for him. He laughed at the Clarendon Courier debate when he referenced the blogger's list of reasons not to vote for him, but none of the reasons, especially that one are funny. 
Parent Who has Lost Respect for the Hisndalean said...
It is clear as day that the Hinsdalean sold out to the highest bidder. They will whine and cry that "it ain't so" but do they really think the community is that stupid to not see this political gaming for what it really is.

Clear as day that McCurry's husband is a prominent advertiser. Doesn't each full page ad he runs cost just under $1000? If he runs one full paid ad each week, that is $52,000 per year. No way can the Hinsdalean afford to lose his advertising or that of other realtors who might support his wife running for the BOE. The Hinsdalean will claim, "no way, no way, journalistic integrity rules the day," but I'm not buying it and neither are other intelligent D181 community members.

If Ms. McCurry had actually given substantive, knowledgeable, fiscally responsible answers to the questions she was asked during the Hinsdalean vetting process and during the debates, then maybe, just maybe, their endorsement would make sense. But anyone closely reading all available material and who has watched both debates knows full well that she is the least prepared of all six candidates to serve our children well. Nice lady, maybe. But nice won't help our kids.
jay_wick said...
I have respected Ms. Lannom since she was just a reporter in a different era of community newspapers.

It is silly to attack the ethics of The Hinsdalean, the simple fact is they just don't have the resources to cover the schools in the depth necessary.

The fact is every member of the current BOE, save its titular head, have been critical of L4A. The administration has morphed this thing so many times that it is simply unrecognizable. It is clearly NOT serving all the learners and the evidence of that is not just here on this forum but in the FACT that where once ALL of district schools where on the on the Honor Roll from the Illinois State Board of Education now just ONE is on that list -- The Lane VS. ISBE Honor Roll Academic Excellence...

As I have encountered anyone that truly expresses an interest in why the BOE needs change I have tried to state the case for fiscal restraint in addressing the issues facing our schools, accountability for the direction of the schools, renewed focus on the classrooms not bloated administrative staff (that apparently cannot handle the tasks they were hired to perform...) and, above all, equal access to high quality schools.
If folks can honestly say they believe the candidates supported by The Hinsdalean stand for these things I am deeply worried about the future...

Please DONATE So I can afford more ads {even in the papers that support the wrong candidates, because, in principle I think community journalism is a good thing} 


Be sure to "LIKE" my Facebook pages too!


Anonymous said...

Ok so maybe Ms. Gray has been negative about the administration and the Learning For All plan. Does that imply that she has an agenda? She and Ms. Burns are by far the most informed candidates running for these positions. The Hinsdalean endorsed Ms. McCurry because she is a nice person and it has repeatedly chosen to ignore the conflict of interest issues (that are in no way resolved by her resignation which, by the way, still hasn't been approved by the BOE and won't be until after the election). I don't believe that Ms. Gray will micromanage the administration but I do hope that she will hold them accountable for student growth which is something our current BOE has not done in 3 years. Being "nice" just doesn't cut it any more. Just because Ms. Gray has legitimate concerns doesn't mean she has an agenda. If anyone has an agenda, it is clearly D181 employee Amy McCurry who has been singing Schneider's praises all over town. Nice is not more important than informed.

No, Ms Lannom, we shouldn't go ahead with the Learning For All plan. Perhaps you should speak to some of the teachers and principals away from the BOE meetings to get the real truth about what is going on in D181 classrooms and how they really feel about it. Last I checked you don't have students in D181 so how can you make a determination about this? You shouldn't.

Anonymous said...

Pam Lannom is shill for McCurry and L4A toadie. Let's remember she was a frequent lunch buddy of Schuster's, and is now beholden to spouses of BOE candidates who pay hefty advertising fees to this rag of a paper. Lannom has no authority or educational expertise to voice her stamp of approval of the L4A plan of disaster, nor will her child ever be affected by it. She should be practicing ethical journalism by keeping her nose out the this debate. Shame on her.
From now on, I will happily place her rag in my recycling bin where it belongs. No need to waste my time with biased, unethical reporting.

Anonymous said...

Last election cycle the Hinsdalean endorsed Sarah Lewenson. The voters gave her the fewest votes and she did not win by a long shot.

Our local papers should not be issuing endorsements, especially with their inherent conflicts. The voters should decide for themselves. I agree with Mike Ellis on that.

Anonymous said...

My Hinsdalean is in the garbage where it belongs. Disgusted.

Susan Blumberg-Kason said...

I was surprised and disappointed the Hinsdalean did not endorse Leslie Gray for the District 181 Board of Education. As you write, Leslie has been an engaged community member. She has been at every D181 board meeting I've attended over the last two academic years. She worked collaboratively with the D181 administration to bring back grade level math to the current 5th grade class across the district. We should all thank her for saving our children from further suffering after that disastrous experiment two years ago. She is also a member of the Superintendent's Learning Committee and continues to works closely with the administration. From personal experience, I know that the selection process for the Superintendent's Learning Committee was lengthy and carried out with great care. I am also very familiar with the Hinsdale Caucus and the level of attention they gave to each applicant. The Caucus is comprised of volunteers from our community who dedicated hours and hours of their time last spring, summer, and fall to interview candidates. The Caucus then spent long hours to review the interviews and decide on the best people to serve on the Board of Education. Leslie was one of these candidates the Caucus endorsed. So I can't see how the Hinsdalean could ignore her passionate commitment to our whole community. Since when did speaking out for smaller class size, full-day kindergarten, and differentiation equate micromanaging? Vote for Leslie Gray on April 7th.

Anonymous said...

One thing that Ms. Lannom's faulty endorsement of the last 2 candidates brought out was the impressivley respectful tone of Mr. Czerwiec towards her in a previous post. As a true gentleman, he did not criticize or malign her because she had her own opinion. He humbly acknowledged that everyone deserves to have an opinion that differs from his own. This is a glaring difference to Mike McCurry's boast today that his 11 year old uses the B word to describe other children. He expounds upon the evils of bullying in his article in today's Courier, yet allows his children to refer to others (girls) as the B word. Is this what Mrs. McCurry's "D181 upbringing" refers to? Is she somehow trying to say that she was raised better than those of us who weren't? I wouldn't brag about my child using that word anonymously, let alone with my name attached.

We know that he wasn't referring to the word bully, because he used the word "bullying" several times in his article today. Yet he doesn't seem to recognize that calling another child a B word is bullying. Not only does it qualify as one of his favorite words, "vitriolic" , it is also very demeaning to women. So the point of your article was well made, Mr. McCurry - your children are listening, watching, and mimicking what they hear in their home. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Well, said, Ms. Kason. It's too bad that The Hinsdalean didn't bother to focus on Ms. Gray's significant contributions and accomplishments since living in this district. These achievements reflect the broad range of issues in which she is well versed and her commitment to bettering the educational experience of ALL students - as a volunteer, not a paid employee. Without her efforts, this year's current 5th grade class would still be subjected to mandatory acceleration and compacting for all and our larger schools would still be operating under L4All with only one differentiation specialist. If this is "micro-managing" then I'll take 4 more years please!

Anonymous said...

Oh, for goodness' sake. Use your reading comprehension skills, 2:50. You're starting rumors based on misunderstanding.

Of course the "b word" was "bully." You can glean that from the context of the article, specifically *because* McCurry referred to bullying earlier in the column. That last paragraph wasn't about ACTUAL children. The "children" he wrote about were the bullies on this blog.

"But what about those children who, having been taught better, continue to share only vitriol? What about those whose contributions are so vicious and/or inaccurate that they can only be shared when nobody knows who shared them?

Well, even my eleven-year-old knows what to call those kids. (It begins with the letter B.)"

The word is "bully," and the children he's referring to are you and the others. The anonymous ones, contributing vicious and inaccurate information.

Everybody's entitled to their opinion, but that opinion should at least be based on fact. Anybody who's ever met a single McCurry would know that Mike and Amy would NEVER allow their children to call ANYONE the other "B" word.

Anonymous said...

4:32pm -

Talk about being a bully! If you are so comfortable singing the praises of Amy and Mike McCurry, why don't you identify yourself rather than chastising another commenter.

Anonymous said...

Okay to the expert on reading comprehension, what does this mean if he's not referring to his kids?

"Well, even my eleven-year-old knows what to call those kids. (It begins with the letter B.)"

Thank you for translating and accusing other people of bad parenting when you yourself didn't put your name. I don't really care who you are. Obviously you think you are better than everyone else. Congratulations! Again I don't care. I just don't want experiments on my kids and want to be bullied into submission for an inclusive program that is completely unproven. That's what this board has done. Ignored us and bullied us by laughing at us and ridiculing us when we lined up and used the appropriate forum to raise concerns. The reason I am anonymous is because I don't want our house or my family to be subjected to scare tactics that you would see in small towns.

Anonymous said...

5:33 pm commenting again. I meant ridiculed and ignored by the previous board, some of who are also a part of this current board.

Anonymous said...

4:32, just because you don't agree with me, I have a hard time understanding how a nice person like you feels so comfortable throwing out insults like "Use your comprehension skills!" That is just rude. And vitriolic. But let's make this clear - NO ONE thinks BULLY is a bad word. It is NOT a bad word. That is why schools and teachers use it each and every time they talk about bullies. That is why there are BOOKS about bullying in our elementary school libraries, and that is why Mr. McCurry used the word himself multiple times in previous paragraphs. Teachers never refer to it as the B WORD! For goodness sake is right! Yes bullies are BAD, but no one, not a 5 year old or a 50 year old says B word instead of the word BULLY! And if he really thinks that, then he is more out of touch with reality than I thought.

But just to humour you, let's just say that your incorrect understanding of the B word was correct. Wouldn't it also be somewhat BULLYISH to even call another child a BULLY? Or even a B? It isn't nice to call or label anyone in a negative way, especially a chilld. EVER. The point is: Mr. McCurry is a hypocrite. People shouldn't go around criticizing others on a blog OR a newspaper OR in person and think that bullying is only possible when it is on the internet! It is still bullying if it happens in a phone call, in person, with or without your name attached. It is still bullying if it happens at a board of education meeting, on the playground or in a fraternity. Look at what happened in D86 the other day when Manley berated a high schooler for starting a petition because she was offended by it! The petition was not respectful to Ms. Manley, but from what I understand, Ms. Manley has a long history of not showing respect. That's why everyone wants her to resign! Manley doesn't give respect to anyone else, yet somehow expect it from everyone! Skoda's group feels that they are the only ones who are EVER right. They refuse to see the point of views of others. Ms. Manley was so frightened of a child exercising her freedom of speech, that she started to berate her. Just like Mr. McCurry attacks the blog. Will Ms. Manley ever agree with the high schooler? Probably not. But that girl still has every right to pass out flyers or start a petition. And the blog has every right to exist.

Anonymous said...


Like the Skoda crew, Amy McCurry believes that she and her ideas are above reproach, evidence and policies. That only a few deserve power over what is occuirng in our children's schools. They feel it's acceptable to berate, dismiss, or ignore others, but God Forbid someone else criticize THEM. That's just not ok. Bullying doesn't just happen at D86 meetings. It has been happening over and over at D181 meetings for for years now. It doesn't JUST happen on anonymous internet sites. It happens to teachers from Adminisitrators, principals to teachers, parents to teachers, and bosses to employees. It comes about when one person refuses to accept the FACT that in America, having a differing opinion is legal. Especially when it concerns your own child's public education. We don't have to agree with the people who run our public schools. They are not private! Parents need to speak up. People who do speak up are taking the time to GO to meetings and participate. They are LEARNING about the issues and concerns that are facing our kids. Just like the the McCurrys, these parents also deserve respect.

Criticism part of life, especially if you choose to put yourself in the public eye. Have you ever read Angie's List? A product review on Sears or Nordstorms? For your doctor? If you haven't, I am not sure where you have been. When my childrens educations are being led in uncharted, unsupported territory with my own tax dollars, you better bet I will speak up. And if the way I want to do it is through a public blog that gives access to EVERYONE, what is wrong with that? That is better than the secretive D181 administration does! Sure, I could post on The Wives of Hinsdale website or go laugh at the Commity House's spoof on our town, but I just think my time would be better spent posting on a blog that concerns itself with my child's education. What's wrong with that? If you don't like it, don't do it. And if I want to criticize an article that a candidate's husband writes in the paper, I can. That's my right. Just as it is yours to criticize what I write on this blog. But get over yourself. If you don't like what is on this blog, go start your own blog. But let's face it, you would be too narrow minded to ever post anything that you didn't agree with. Just like a bully.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, really don’t care who the Hinsdalean endorsed today. Like a reader said before, that paper goes from my driveway to the garbage, never coming out of the little plastic bag it arrives in. And the only reason I know who was endorsed was because of this blog. I have not even read the article. I learned long ago that Pam Lannom paints a very different picture than what actually occurs at board meetings so it really should come as no surprise to anyone that the endorsements were presented as they were. I choose to look at the Hinsdalean not endorsing Gray as a positive. So bare with me......The Hinsdalean is about portraying a perfect town. And don’t get me wrong it is truly a beautiful place. It’s one of the reasons we moved here. On the surface it’s everything a family could ask for....gorgeous homes, tree lined streets, a quaint little down town, so many parks to choose from, but the real draw....the schools. And the Hinsdalean does its part to perpetuate this image of perfectionism. But as many people have found out once you start peeling back the layers, things don’t look so pretty in Mayberry. And it’s not just with the state of our district, it’s a lot of things, but I’ll stick to the education piece. I’ve attended board meetings and have left them blown away. Put it this way, I wouldn’t have a job if I pulled half the stuff some of these administrators have pulled, from incompetence to insubordination. And I would be dismissed from sitting on the board of directors of an organization in the real world if I were as disengaged as some of those members are. And all of this all at the expense of children. But then I would read these board summaries written by Pam Lannom and would think to myself, were we at the same meeting? It didn’t take long for me to realize, it’s all about the image with her.

Well Ms. Gray is not about the image. She is about the substance and one of the most qualified running for the board. Ms. Gray knows what the issues are. And guess what, so does Pam Lannom. But she’s about selling the image and not the truth.

I’m smart enough to vote for candidates who are qualified to actually DO the job and will not just pretend. The pretenders are all about perpetuating the idealistic view of Hinsdale. And this town can’t be propped forever on an image. Maybe the district used to be great. But from my vantage point, it’s not looking so rosy anymore. We have serious issues and need serious people to represent the community. If you’re new to this blog or if you have questions about what’s going on in this district, start reading right here. Learn what the issues truly are. I can promise you that you will not find them in the Hinsdalean.

I will be voting for Gray, Burns, Giltner, and Czerwiec.