Friday, June 3, 2016

Comments of the Day: Time to End the Code of Silence

We are publishing the following four comments we received today as our Comments of the Day.  They all discuss the issue of whether or not there is a Code of Silence in D181 and what our obligations as parents and community members are to deal with it.

As always, SOUND OFF!


Anonymous said...
Please don't throw in the towel. We need you. Admittedly, D181 is probably worse off under Dr. White than even Dr. Schuster.

White has allowed the curriculum mess to proliferate, promoted incompetent people, hired people who don't seem to have a clue or the inclination to do work necessary to fix the messes in our schools. The special education students we know are worse off than ever while they are pushed thru their various grades. Many of us know parents of special education students and have heard them tell stories of special education staff denying the existence of blatant issues that a lay person could easily see. We have watched as bullying by staff members has proliferated in some of our schools. It is covered up and denied while staff are moved to different grades and different schools. D181 still isn't challenging our advanced learners.

The code of silence lives among D181 teachers, staff and administrators.

Without this blog, most of the BOE and many district parents would be in the dark. 
Anonymous said...
There is a code of silence - but only we are to blame for that. How many parents have contacted the authorities to complain about this behavior? Not enough. 8:00 am needs to write an email to the board, file a FOIA, and contact the Attorney General. It is not enough to sit around and read for entertainment. If we allow the administration to continue to give our children's educational money to a revolving door of undeserving, impotent administrators, then why is anyone surprised when they get away with it? Not enough people have complained. Have you insisted for a response when you are ignored? Have you called the media to expose the problems? Have you publicly called out the offending administrators or board members when you are robbed blind? Treating these folks with kindness does NOT work. The golden rule does not apply to people without morals or a value system. It is better to be feared than loved. D181 knows this Machiavellian tenet. Do you? This administration is not using the same rulebook we are. What will you do about it?

Like Dr. White's quote says at the end of his emails, if you "dream" instead of "act", then nothing will ever change. He and his followers are all counting on the fact that parents are busy with their jobs and lives and won't have the time,money, or energy to take action against them. They want you to be afraid. Will you let them intimidate and embarrass you when THEY are the ones who should be embarrassed? People reading this blog - stop dreaming that this blog is the "action". This blog is the well that provides us will all the information you need to take action. Use it. Take your buckets to this well and drink the water. Let the water give you the strength to ACT. Instead, of drinking for sustenance, most of us stare at their buckets of water with parched mouths. Stop complaining how thirsty you are and ACT. GO to the next board meeting. Send more emails. Call a lawyer. Run for the School Board.

There are a lot of attorneys, CFO's and CEO's who live in this town who ironically, allow their K-8 school system to rob them blind. If we allow our board members to condone the silence and the wrongdoing, then we get what we deserve. Everyone hanging back on the sidelines, staring at the water, don't be surprised when your children do not get the same treatment that board members children's get. Or, the same treatment that parents with attorneys get. When no one dares to speak up against the corruption or silence, the whole group suffers. The parents who invest the time and the money to fight the corruption get what they want. The rest of us will not. It will not be easy, but anything worth fighting for is hard.

I am thankful for this blog, but if you read the story above our posts, you must understand that NOTHING has changed. What is the point of a well if no one drinks from it? I do not blame the bloggers for hanging it up. They have done important, valuable public service for ALL our our children. They and certain board members like Rich Giltner and Leslie Gray have put their reputations on the line while other parents think showing up at a school fund raisers meets their public service requirements. Act. Don't dream. 
Anonymous said...
I agree 10:50. My children are long grown, but I served on the Caucus and went to a number of school board meetings in my day. I follow this blog and our local papers, but that is it. We get the schools we deserve. Many drink the Koolaid that Hinsdale schools are outstanding. This is driven by the still strong results of Hinsdale Central. When the current group of 4th through 8th graders start making their way through high school, it will be interesting to see how the scores hold up.

I for one would like to see honest, fair reporting by the Hinsdalean and The Doings. The local press should be much more than cheerleaders for our town. Many people that are not aware of this blog will peruse the local paper once a week. The test results MUST be published and COMPARED to the results of 5, 10, and 15 years ago. Math and Reading scores must be published by school. I talk to former Monroe parents, and they are literally clueless about how far a once top school in the state has fallen. Parents of young children need to be INFORMED, they need to GET MAD, and they need to ACT!. My child is done, my child was an AP scholar at Hinsdale Central. My child got a great college degree and a REAL JOB!!!! My child worked her tail off starting in 2nd and 3rd grade. My child knew math facts in second grade and was required to learn 50 vocabulary words PER WEEK in 5th grade, plus all the countries and all the states. Learning is NOT a GROUP PROJECT. No one is going to take the ACT or SAT for your child. No one is going to take AP tests for your child. 

Parents of young children, you have to wake up. Our district has fallen very far in a short period of time. Cleaning house in the administration is the first step. We need disruptors on the school board, not the "go along to get along" types that fall for every educational fad that comes down the pike. 

This situation can be fixed. It starts when the parents of school aged children are informed and take the initiative to get their schools fixed. As a taxpayer, I will tell you we don't need more money or fancy new buildings. We need a solid curriculum that challenges all students. We need differentiated learning for our top students. We need much improved special education for a population of students. Please get informed and get involved.
Ann Mueller said...
Sadly, I have just reread the 5/27 blog post on the D181 curriculum mess. To think that the last five years' MAP scores have declined is just awful. Having been involved in the operations of D181 for the last 29 years and had two children successfully educated in D181, it is so upsetting to realize how D181 has slipped from being a high performing district that successfully serviced all students.

I want to make a couple of observations. In a high performing district such as D181, it is crucial that there be knowledgable, experienced educational leadership that puts what is best for the students first. The superintendent MUST BE knowledgable and experienced in ALL ASPECTS of elementary education, not just management and technology, but finance and CURRICULUM, too. D181 has NOT experienced a superintendent of this caliber for 10 years. I won't go into all the details/specifics, but it is TRUE! The administrative personnel blunders that D181 has experienced the last 10 years demonstrate what happens in a district when the WRONG people, who may have degrees, but no knowledge and genuine experience, are in charge. D181 was actually blessed when so many of the "bad leaders" jumped ship and then the BOE demanded that Schneider and Benaitis be "coached out." The interim personnel that D181 has experienced, going all the way back to Dr. Sabatino and up to the present, didn't work out well in our high performing district either. At best, interims help a district "tread water" and, hopefully, the district will not regress until a qualified permanent replacement is found. We know what has happened the last ten years. 6/2, 9:30am's comments are 100% correct. Also, 6/3, 10:50am has it right, too. The D181 community must end its "code of silence!" The entire D181 community, both parents and empty nesters, is to blame for allowing this unsatisfactory performance to continue in D181. Action needs to be taken! Go to BOE meetings and speak, contact the BOE members, serve on the Hinsdale Village Caucus that recommends BOE candidates, run for the BOE, demand that a new superintendent be found. There are current BOE members who know the current administration is inadequate, but just don't want to go through another superintendent search!!! They don't want tobe bothered to put in the time and effort....shame on them!! Not doing their job is negatively impacting our children's education. The only thing I take exception to in 6/3 10:50am's statement is the impression given that BOE members Rich Giltner and Leslie Gray are the only BOE members who have put their reputations on the line and acted correctly. Their are other current BOE members who have worked enormously hard for our students, devoted their time and put their reputations on the line, too. A couple others not so much.

Anyway, with new permanent SpEd and Curriculum Asst. Superintendents in place, hopefully, circumstance is D181 will greatly improve. However, dedicated, knowledgeable BOE members are needed and a knowledgable, experienced superintendent is mandatory. An engaged community that will take action is a must, too.

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