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Linda Burke July 16, 2014 at 07:17 am
As for the teachers' offered contract, of course it is and should be subject to tough negotiations.Read More That's what collective bargaining means. However, the board's proposal would make us the extreme outlier in the Chicago area, and not in a good way. Its aim is to boot teachers out of the middle class, where they deserve to be. (Teachers don't get rich, but they should be middle class. How can they inspire our kids to seek and value education, if they personify an underclass of temporary labor?) It bears repeating that NO other Chicago-area high school district, and almost no other district of any kind, has attempted this. Folks, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. You get what you pay for. We can't be the worst paid district in Chicagoland, with a board majority that goes out of their way to insult and demean our teachers, and still offer an education that rivals the best of the best. Not only is this a moral issue, but middle class homeowners can't afford to pretend that school comparisons don't exist or don't matter. War on public education equals war on the middle class.
Ken Wilson July 21, 2014 at 09:07 am
I agree, Dr. Skoda is a high school teacher with over 30 years of worthy, exceptional service andRead More experience. He is clearly articulate and an intellectual who volunteers his time to serve as School Board President and cares deeply about children. It is understood in a community of over 100,000 some will attack his good intentions and disrespect the fact he is a teacher. There is a very small minority of High School Stalkers, some have been hangin out at the high school for longer than 20 years after they graduated. Yes, kind of like the old football quarterback from 1970s trying to finagle an invite to prom. I guess all this talk of War may brand the Union Education First movement (UEF) of bitter individuals as a Hate Group. Or so the word was at the public pool last weekend. We appreciate Dr. Skoda's .30 years of service as a teacher to children and his efforts to raise the bar on Illinois' public education.
Steve Gilmer July 21, 2014 at 01:53 pm
Linda Burke July 15, 2014 at 09:29 pm
This is also interesting--the board majority tried to keep the location of the press conference aRead More secret from fellow board members and the public. Chicago Tribune reporter Annemarie Mannion published a short piece several days before the press conference indicating the day and time of the event, but not the place. I'm sure her article wasn't expected by the board majority--they obviously intended a complete surprise, with no advance notice at all. That way, they obviously hoped, they could keep their shenanigans secret from the public except for the version they wanted us to hear, while using a public place supported by public funds to promote their message. Fortunately, there was a person with a conscience who revealed the location of the meeting. One newspaper account of the press conference shows Mr. Corcoran holding up a sophisticated graphic obviously used to advocate for his extreme anti-teacher agenda. Who paid for the PR professionals to design this material? We taxpayers, of course. We will also pick up the tab for the district-wide propaganda mailing planned by the same four board members.
Linda Burke July 15, 2014 at 09:44 pm
This is interesting--the board majority wanted NO advance notice of the press conference to fellowRead More board members or the public. Days before the event, however, Chicago Tribune reporter Annemarie Mannion published a notice of the date and time, but not the place. Reporters were ordered not to reveal the location of the press conference. Fortunately, we were informed by an individual with a conscience, making it possible for concerned residents to attend the event, or try to. As you know, the taxpayers who tried to attend were arrogantly turned away. And to think this is the board majority that promised transparency, honesty, and accountability. We are obviously getting just the opposite.
Linda Burke July 15, 2014 at 10:02 pm
Oops, I didn't think my earlier comment had posted, so I posted the same idea twice. Sorry aboutRead More that. I am amazed that some people actually LIKE and support the devious tactics of this board majority--the secrecy, the dishonesty, the waste of taxpayer dollars, the contempt for taxpayers. Fortunately more and more district residents are beginning to question. Can't we all agree that if they want to hold a secret meeting and exclude the public, they should pay for their own private venue, their own PR consultants, and their own political mailings?
Credit: Hinsdale South Vespa Twitter
Dick Flesher July 3, 2014 at 12:36 pm
Teachers should perform well. Just what the performance criteria encompasses is just one aspect ofRead More judging excellence. Be careful about tying performance to standardized test scores.
Rick Cazzato July 3, 2014 at 10:51 pm
I do not consider my son's teachers guests in my community.
Rick Cazzato July 3, 2014 at 10:54 pm
I do not consider my son's teachers guests in my community. I value them like family. They teachRead More my son and work with him in the classroom and the athletic field from 8 am to 6 pm Monday thru Friday, and on Saturdays.
David William June 26, 2014 at 07:13 pm
I moved to the Hinsdale District 86 area over 5 decades ago because of the quality of the schools.Read More Now I’m reading that the new school board has done more damage to the school district in one year then all of the gains that have been made over the past 50 years. In reading Dick Skoda’s 6/24/14 media release on “THE BOARD’S GOAL FOR TEACHER’S CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS”, it seems that the board majority wants to implement a merit pay system. Merit pay seems to be performance based, but how do you quantify the impact that every teacher, sponsor and coach has on the lives of the thousands of students that they see. Do you use test scores for their merit pay? What about the remedial English teacher, who’s taught students just to read or write. The lower level math teacher, who teaches students basic addition and subtraction. The special education teacher who teaches their students how to function in today’s society. The physical education teacher who teaches the students how to live longer, happier lives through daily exercise along with the added benefit of higher academic performance because of the proven fact that exercise helps you learn. The new board majority has talked about fiscal responsibility, but has spent tens of thousands of dollars on hiring a consulting firm to find corruption. None has been reported. The board has spent tens of thousands of dollars hiring a firm to look for hundreds of students who attend District 86 schools and don’t live in the district. They found a few, most of which were homeless. The board has greatly increased the number of administrators, costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars. They have also increased the class size by not hiring teachers to accommodate the student growth in the schools. After running a successful business for 33 years, I felt it was necessary to hire the best quality employees. If I needed to pay these quality employees more than my competition, I did. I was shocked to read that board member Ed Corcoran says that teachers should be so honored to work in such a prestigious school district that they should be paid below market rates. How can we continue to attract quality educators by paying them less than the competition? My three children all graduated from the Hinsdale District 86 schools. They had fantastic teachers and all of them received a great education. How many of these great teachers will we lose if the board gets their way to pay them below market rates? Hinsdale District 86 schools have been rated at the top of the state for test scores and education along with New Trier and Stevenson. How long will it take for board president Dick Skoda, a retired Morton West teacher, to reduce the quality of education and test scores to the level of Morton school district 201?
Cindy Novak June 19, 2014 at 11:45 am
I knew we could agree on something!!
Dick Flesher June 20, 2014 at 04:09 pm
It has been documented that years of service and advanced degrees are important indicators ofRead More effective teaching and have served our education community well for many decades.
Linda Burke June 22, 2014 at 09:10 am
In case anyone is interested in the facts on what teachers are requesting in the current negotiationRead More process, here is a place to look: search the Doings Hinsdale website for the article by Kimberly Fornek titled "District 86 Board approves salary for support staff, continues teacher negotiations." It should appear in print this coming Thursday. With all things factored in including benefits, the teachers' request is for a 1% salary increase. The board's offer would reduce every teacher's compensation, a move not attempted by ANY other Chicago-area school high school or unit district. Mr. Corcoran would have us believe we can continue to attract the best teachers with insulting treatment and cuts in compensation so that we pay less than neighboring school districts. Here, I call on common sense principles: if it sounds too good to be true, it is. You get what you pay for. Less is not more. This is true of education as it is in life. Thanks to reporter Kimberly Fornek for a complete and accurate presentation of the facts.
Barry Allen June 17, 2014 at 08:29 am
Linda, any idea what the normal daily rate for someone at that level (school CFO) would be on aRead More consulting basis (not a permanent employee)?
Theresa Phan June 17, 2014 at 11:59 am
The teachers union is making a big mistake by threatening this strike. They are already very wellRead More paid. The vast majority of parents will have no sympathy for them if they decide to strike.
Linda Burke June 17, 2014 at 06:31 pm
Hi Barry. I believe that $750 a day is the going rate for this type of professional hired for anRead More interim position. I think that other D 86 interim employees, e.g. Gerry Yeggy and John Nieween (sp?) were paid the same. But I'm not sure--this would make a good FOIA request. The board majority's hiring of Roger Kempa at that salary, to sleep through board meetings, was such a blatant quid pro quo that even I was surprised by it. Hi Theresa. No one wants the teachers to go on strike, least of all the teachers. Let's not forget that teachers are not alien beings--some of us parents ARE teachers, and many more of us have loved ones who are. There is a lot of misleading "information" out there about teacher compensation. In reality, D 86 has a long history of fiscal conservatism, with per pupil expenditures thousands of dollars lower than our closest academic competition, including New Trier Township. The present board is anti-teacher, not fiscally conservative. They are spending taxpayer dollars like there's no tomorrow on more administrators including crony hires, expensive outside consultants, and perhaps most outrageous, ongoing legal fees related to the Barrett lawsuit. But this posting is already getting too long. It's just that they give me so much material.
Denise Stout June 8, 2014 at 11:42 am
Dear Linda, Your comments are worth noting...I would like to hear from those you have accused ofRead More "cronyism"? I trust there is more to be revealed. Just a short comment from me as Sunday is my day to reflect....with the huge budget to manage for Hinsdale Central High School I am in favor of bringing in business experienced managers. If we spent money for a qualified Recruiter to hire experienced job seekers that sounds fair. Recruiters make hiring more professional and someone from Kraft Foods gets hired what was their job at Kraft? Most likely it was business management. Kraft is a well run and respected Illinois company that hires many of our local graduates....that is a plus for me. Maybe outsiders can examine our cost structure to see how they can streamline costs for the school and benefit the teachers. By they way ...Kraft pays huge corporate taxes to support pensions and benefits of teachers. On another note, The amount of money teachers spend from their union dues to elect favorable politicians....could make up a huge deficit in Springfield in their paychecks and pensions...too bad the majority never have a say in how their money is spent...they trust their elected leadership to make those financial decisions...and we know they have overspent the teachers money without their approval. I guess there is fingers to point in all directions....as for me...I will wait to see how the negotiations continue on these contracts. You as a resident understand that the taxpayers of Hinsdale are also footing the bill for the Hinsdale Middle School repairs in the millions for a problem with deadly mold. Just out of curiosity ...why did the Superintendent Renee Schuster and Kevin Russell, who was assistant superintendent for District 181 resign and abandon the kids at a time when their was a serious crisis effecting their students....that kind of disloyalty is disturbing to me when you are taking home salaries over $200,000.00 a year. Maybe having business experience in handling crisis management is a good idea for future hires. Poor examples of leadership may be part of the reason the current Hinsdale High School Board finds it necessary to bring in people outside the institutions of established power. The residents of Hinsdale have born the burden of patronage from the Teachers Union which has been part of the landscape in our schools leading to increasing tax burdens to make up for governmental inefficiencies. I wish I could run my household that way...spending my way out of debt. As for me...let the negotiations be transparent....the parents will be watching carefully how both sides handle them. I trust the people of Hinsdale...they are smart, informed and thoughtful! If our fine teachers do not want to work with the so called "dreadful" elected Hinsdale Central School Board, I say goodbye and goodluck! Thank you Denise Stout
Linda Burke June 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm
Hi Denise. First, I don't know anything about District 181, beyond what anyone can see in theRead More papers. So I have no comment on 181. I'm only active in 86. You reference the "smart, informed, and thoughtful" citizens of Hinsdale. Smart and thoughtful they are, but to be informed on what happens in the schools, it's important to go to board meetings. Fortunately more people are doing just that. The papers don't report everything. WHere has any teacher said they don't want to work under the "dreadful" elected school board? There is no such statement. Why not read what the teachers really did have to say, also published in Patch? Evidently, some people trust the present board majority to the point of approving hundreds of thousands in extra spending on administration and outside consultants, even as we are cutting faculty and downgrading our academic program. Yes, Mr. Corcoran has argued that hiring a more expensive CFO with no school experience would somehow release more funds for education. But that's not what the CFO himself has to say. At the most recent Finance Committee meeting, which I attended, it was interesting to hear that CFO explain how each "building," what some of us call schools, would receive exactly the revenue it had last year. The CPI is up, enrollment is up, spending on administration is way up, time and money were wasted on the outrageous Barrett settlement, but each "building" will have exactly what they did last year--for education, clearly a low priority. This plan also equals program cuts, given a rising CPI, rising enrollment, and so much funding diverted away from education. Some people are too busy to keep up with all this, some people evidently approve--but fortunately, many others are beginning to question.
Ken Wilson June 14, 2014 at 04:48 pm
There is a distinct difference in opinion. One opinion suggests the state of Illinois publicRead More employees are performing at a high level of administrative fiscal oversight and "school experience" is a sought after criteria when seeking someone highly skilled to perform valued oversight and active management of a $100,000M public school budget everyone is trying to get their sticky little, fat fingered hands on. The other opinion suggests someone who has survived in the most demanding, high performing areas of corporate finance may have something to bring to D86 in terms of best practices regarding $100M in spend and another $60M in reserves. Do you want to recycle the same old stale ideas and policies typical that provide $20M of D86 cash reserves were earning less than .25 interest or bring someone in proven to be successful and a winner in the most competitive of corporate environments with the expectation they bring that same energy, can do attitude, and financial best practices to D86? Are the best, brightest and highest performing financial CFOs limited to currently working for the schools or is it possible exceptional talent that will excel in the role can be found in the private sector. You know you are important when your toady has their own toady. Now if may take Baum and Gilbane a while to get some good no-bid contracts or influence this new head of the money purse. In the mean time others can still seek influence and try to donate thousands of dollars to a couple board members like the Perkins architect firm's donation and the teachers' union donations to board members that in turn vote on their contracts. Let's hope this new CFO is active in establishing ethics policies that seek to diminish this apparent conflict of interest between board members getting cash from vendors and employees and then voting on those same contracts. When they say it is not about the money, guess what it is about the money.
Rob Weed June 3, 2014 at 09:44 am
I am all for paying good money for outstanding teachers, however when you have good teachers whoRead More already make outstanding money ask for more when economic conditions are still questionable, the taxpayer needs to say NO. The teachers have done a nice job and they get rewarded with an average salary in the six figures. They have great benefits and if they want summer off, they get it off. I would be supportive of a bonus plan which would reward outstanding teachers who have shown results in the classroom, both in teaching style (not just reading PowerPoint slides) as well as successful students. Not too many people, even in our area, earn that kind of money. Few of us can just go to our boss and demand an almost 6% raise either. The union members need to tell the union bosses this is NOT the time to ask the taxpayer to pay more.
Connor Matthews June 3, 2014 at 12:14 pm
Rob, while I don't entirely disagree with your comment, I do in the respect that I don't thinkRead More that's what the issues are here. Of course, this article doesn't cover those issues, and only hints at a raise being the issue. The author didn't even wait for comment from the union to run the story, so that should help you understand how she wants this story perceived. The D86 School Board has caused this adversarial relationship. I would suggest the Patch - and taxpayers - examine those issues, as well as how those members can be replaced. This is not a typical strike with pay at the forefront, as this article would lead you to believe.
Patch File Photo
Dawn Urbanek June 10, 2014 at 09:01 pm
We have to make people aware that our State is run by public employee Unions and we need court casesRead More like today which ruled that the California Teacher Tenure rules are unconstitutional so that we can change laws and vote people out of office who do not represent the interests of the public who pay the taxes.
Spencer James July 11, 2014 at 03:19 pm
Something that is interesting to note is that high school grads are going to four year universitiesRead More and studying subject that isn't marketable. While on the other hand you have people getting vocational training at vocational schools that essentially guarantees them a job out of school that will make them 'x' amount of money. So it isn't that college degrees are worthless, some are. It is also said that sometimes trade school is the right choice! Spencer James | <a href='http://www.newmexicodentalassisting.com/' > http://www.newmexicodentalassisting.com/home.html</a>
Spencer James July 11, 2014 at 03:20 pm
Something that is interesting to note is that high school grads are going to four year universitiesRead More and studying subject that isn't marketable. While on the other hand you have people getting vocational training at vocational schools that essentially guarantees them a job out of school that will make them 'x' amount of money. So it isn't that college degrees are worthless, some are. It is also said that sometimes trade school is the right choice! Spencer James | http://www.newmexicodentalassisting.com
Hinsdale Central senior Chris Borg and the Kentucky Armory Club shirt that got him suspended.
Tom Koz May 16, 2014 at 12:02 pm
If I had a school age child I would send him to school everyday with clothing having a picture of aRead More gun on it, just to p**s off the whiny liberals !!!
Will Hein May 16, 2014 at 07:29 pm
Tom- are you the same Tom Koz who married Doris "way back in the day"?? Just wondering----
Tom Koz May 16, 2014 at 08:02 pm
I do not know a Doris. You've got the wrong guy.
A Kentucky Armory Club T-shirt got Chris Borg, 18, of Hinsdale, suspended.
Linda Burke May 15, 2014 at 07:32 pm
to quote Mr. Pipal, "Freedom of speech is not a 'catch all' right to express what you want toRead More express anywhere you want to express it." I am actually familiar with the first amendment and even with some of the case law related to the first amendment as it applies to students in their high school. Rightly or wrongly, there have been limits approved on free speech for students in the high school setting. A first amendment case could be made for no dress code anywhere. I respect the consistency and zero hypocrisy of that position. If we allow for any dress code within a high school, then the image of a Kalashnikov rifle is not appropriate for student attire. Yes, that is common sense. I think this young student has many promising qualities, but he also chose to defy a reasonable request made by a teacher, within his high school, without being willing to accept the consequences. He obviously has some growing up to do, and the best way for that to happen is for me to terminate my contribution to his fifteen minutes of fame for this behavior.
Patrick Scott May 15, 2014 at 08:08 pm
While many have "feeling" about this issue, the dress code is not that specific...onceRead More again one has assumed a lot or was in contact with the teacher/administrator to know how they created the initial decision on this. Student dress code is a moving target...one judge/administrator allows students to wear another country's national emblem while blocking students from wearing the US Flag on their clothes claiming that in so doing the students wearing US material will incite a riot...now that's a legal liberal stretch. Another Judge decides that uniforms in public school is enforceable. Lots of twists and turns by judges. Apparently no one decision fits all situations and I guess that's how the 1st Amendment works.
Bob Vey May 31, 2014 at 09:01 am
As Chris said in the article he wore the shirt "at least 10 times" before & nothingRead More was ever said or done about it ; that sets a Precedence. Why all of a sudden did they decide to do something about it???? Schools are there to Educate the students as Rick Pipal has stated on May 15 at 6:22 P.M. What ever happened to tolerance???? There is way to much Political Correctness in this Country!!! No matter what you look like, say, or do, it's going to Offend someone, somewhere. Political Correctness is making people to Damn Sensitive!!!! People have to learn to grow the hell up & toughen up!!!
Nicole G April 24, 2014 at 07:37 am
The slides listed on the link mentioned above, as of 7:00am on 4/24/14, are different than theRead More slides presented at the board meeting on Monday 4/21.
Tom Weiland April 24, 2014 at 09:45 am
Great teachers deserve great pay. How about the administration staff salaries? What percentage ofRead More the budget do they entail? And after school stipends for sporting events? With all the unfunded government mandates these teachers have it rough. Don't forget our kids education iS the big picture don't sweat the small stuff. ..
A parent April 26, 2014 at 09:02 am
I couldn't help but to do some comparison between Stevenson and DHS as a resident in Deerfield,Read More since district has put up the news on the website. Operational spending per student is $16,839 in Stevenson and $20,821 in DHS. STEM ranking, #37 for Stevenson and #145 for DHS. I have been very disappointed in science teaching in DHS. Now I believe that there is some truth in the rankings.
Ying Shen April 27, 2014 at 10:05 am
WLA May 1, 2014 at 07:18 am
I don't think magnet schools should be included. All the other schools have to take all students inRead More their district, magnet schools can pick and choose best students.
Sue Pircon April 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm
Interesting letter, but I question the timing and what the school board really intends with itsRead More publication. Are they as interested in "transparency" as they claim? Or is it more about damage control? It all sounds awesome but do they really mean it? Through a recent FOIA request I obtained an email sent from Board Member Ed Corcoran, a member of the negotiation team, to a community member and his comments reveal a very different point of view. He stated "As a person elected by the taxpayers, I hope you understand your duty and to advocate for only 2 parties. The student and the taxpayers. With the excellent work conditions and benefits teachers realized in District 86, the salary levels would be lowered substantially by market forces. Our salary and benefits should be lower than other districts due to the great parents and great students and excellent work environment/conditions - not to mention the prestige our teachers enjoy in the education community. There are large numbers of unemployed and highly qualified teachers, so it should be obvious to anyone that we should not be paying above market wages with taxpayer's hard earned money." ~ Ed Corcoran This doesn't sound like someone who "respects and appreciates" our teachers. It sounds more like someone willing to replace them with folks off the unemployment line.
Orange County Sheriff's deputies conduct a bomb sweep at San Clemente High School earlier this month. | Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.
David Greenberg March 28, 2014 at 11:46 am
"Virtual walls"? Geezus... GPS spoofing is but one way around the geofence. The otherRead More is simply walking up to someone and saying "HEY *(&*(^^#&*(Y($*() !!!!!" Or use a different app created with a bogus email account... *sigh*. Sticks and stones people... sticks and stones... Walk it off and move on...
Stu Pidasso March 28, 2014 at 12:37 pm
thats for sure, this country is turning into a bunch of pansies!!
Stu Pidasso March 28, 2014 at 12:39 pm
my kid tells me that his buddy who lives over in Europe has a math book that shows a drawing of anRead More obese American eating a Cheeseburger with Plumbers Ass , as if we are a bunch of slobs over here!!! Is that nice or what???

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