All Comments

  • 2015-07-06 12:57:59
    Lynn Hawley on North Shorts: Yes, I miss browsing in bookstores, but there is an excellent alternative--your public library. Shelves full of new and old books await your discovery of a new favorite author. Plus, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, CDs, videogames, ebooks, eaudiobooks, and much, much more. Usually available for free with your library card. And if you are looking for something in particular, and your library doesn't happen to own it, they can request it from another library. Also for free. Support your local libraries! [Read More]
  • 2015-07-06 09:44:24
    Paul on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

    Instead of the NEW principal FOCUSING on CORE course MATERIAL,
    SHE wants everyone to focus on RACE RELATIONS.
    I guess we will all find out once the current students take the ACT test this year. [Read More]

  • 2015-07-06 09:40:29
    Scott Kolbe on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: To Jennifer Neubauer:
    I'm not sure you're yet aware of this, but Dr. Holland doesn't answer to you. Neither does the LFHS school board or superintendent Michael Simeck.

    "The LFHS principal reports to the superintendent and the superintendent reports to the Board. As is our longstanding practice, the superintendent or his designee conducts a confidential interview process."

    A confidential hiring process. When Dr. Holland's identity was somehow "leaked" to certain individuals outside of the hiring process, we've seen continual attempts to not only undermine Dr. Holland's credentials, but an attempt to take quotes from her web blog out of context and attack not only her intentions but her character. Your trumped-up "digital proof" didn't sway the eventual hiring process in the slightest. Something to reflect upon, isn't it?

    You lost the effort to undermine the hiring process, Jennifer. We'd suggest you try to move on and cease with your tirades about race that come into every single post (and ongoing letters) here. The pattern is very telling. [Read More]

  • 2015-07-06 07:35:53
    Adrienne Fawcett on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: Sunday night late I OK'd a comment that really should not have gone through and I've deleted it. Other comments have come in this morning and they're not going to get posted as one can be construed as a personal attack and the other a defense of the person being attacked. And so on. Please Keep the Discussion Focussed on the Issues, not on other commenters, letter writers, board members, Chala Holland, Mike Simeck, or any one single person. [Read More]

  • 2015-07-05 18:31:13
    Marcus Tullius Cicero on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: @theo:

    As I regret that you have not been keeping up with current events, permit me to explain that the relevance of the 90:1.2 statistic is that Dr. Holland's professed beliefs in race equity, white privilege, cultural relevance, African-American history, Michel Foucault, hidden racism, etc. and et al., have no relevance in a high school in which white students outnumber black students by approximately 83 to 1.

    Hence, there is no attempt to marginalize the other 8% of LFHS students, but I am certain that you knew that already. It goes without saying that her beliefs don't have anything to do with the Asian, Hispanic, and mixed race students in the school either, but again I am certain that you already knew that as well. But I thank you for providing me with the opportunity to clarify the point, [Read More]

  • 2015-07-05 13:41:40
    Jennifer Neubauer on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: Ms. Ritter, I hope the wounds your daughter suffered at the hands of her classmates and which you find somehow relevant to discuss here have healed. Second, of course I am aware principals meet with student council members throughout the year....but LFHS has never had a principal to my knowledge that has met with students in July and had such rightful opposition from the community (there were well over 350 vocal opponents at the Bd of Ed meeting at which she was approved and many more who couldn't attend, who signed the petition,etc.) and who has refused to explain her attempts to hide her internet presence or divisive views on "white privilege" TO THE ADULTS IN THE COMMUNITY. I'm surprised you would find that defensible. Third, thank you for your concerns about me finding something else to do with my time. Had the LF Caucus done its job before slating the Board of Ed who hired Simeck or before slating the present Board of Ed and looked for members with courage, critical thinking skills, a modicum of interest in LFHS parents' expressed needs and desires (instead of their own agenda, whatever that is), I wouldn't have dedicated most of May and June to trying to uncover and reveal facts which the LFHS community should have known prior to the Board approving this inappropriate hire (As it turned out, the facts didn't matter to this Bd of Ed. But I didn't know that at the time). But here's the thing: if you think I am the only one who is dumbfounded, upset, incredulous, seething, angry and resolved to do something, then I invite you to look at my email inbox. You can tell all THOSE people to find something else to do with their time. I do not cease to be amazed and proud of the excellence, courage and commitment of LFHS parents and District taxpayers who truly have the best interests of our children and town at heart and who will continue to work to reverse course, despite their own heavy personal and work burdens. This job is truly worth our time. Pleas [Read More]
  • 2015-07-05 13:20:47
    Jennifer Neubauer on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: The LFHS stakeholders-- who expect transparency and a minimally competent hiring process, a responsive administration, critical thinking skills and courage from the Board of Ed and a top notch leader of integrity and accomplishment-- are the losers. [Read More]
  • 2015-07-05 10:07:31
    Hilary F. Till on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: Dear "Find something else to do" (and also Julie, Lisa, and Mary),

    Jennifer Neubauer won (and is continuing to win) in the "battle of ideas."

    It has been gratifying to find out that most Lake Forest parents actually prefer critical inquiry over magical thinking.

    Sincerely yours, Hilary F. Till [Read More]

  • 2015-07-05 02:42:16
    theo on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: Just curious-- the author writes "LFHS is suburban, 90% white and 1.2% black". It seems that the invisible 8% do not even have "any story" to exist in Lake Forest, let alone the rest of the world. [Read More]
  • 2015-07-04 21:18:50
    Sundevilpeg on Customers Get a Bang Out of Unique Restaurant: "... you can feel assured the birds they use are Amish chickens. That means no genetically modified organisms (GMOs)..."

    There is no such thing as a GMO chicken. [Read More]

  • 2015-07-04 16:13:22
    Marcus Tullius Cicero on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: The complaining commenters above fail to seize upon the salient points of Ms. Neubauer's letter, to wit: 1) As predicted, from the start, Dr. Holland is bringing her concepts of white privilege, race equity, and "cultural relevance" to LFHS, beginning with this video, and 2) Her story about taking down her offensive internet postings is not credible.

    The propaganda video may be dealt with in brief:: If Dr. Holland wanted to be culturally relevant (to use her expression, not mine), she might have shown a video about an Asian or lower-income white student's experiences in an upper-middle class suburban high school such as Lake Forest. Instead, she shows a video about an African woman with an axe to grind. This event would be silly were it not right out of the Saul Alinsky playbook: We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. There will be much more to come.

    More importantly, though, the controversy about Dr. Holland, as we all know, arose when her racially offensive and derogatory internet postings about white privilege suddenly disappeared in the midst of the hiring process. The clear implication, of course, was that Dr. Holland was trying to conceal her insulting beliefs from her prospective employer and community. AT NO TIME DURING THE PROCESS DID SHE HAVE THE CANDOR TO EXPLAIN TO THE COMMUNITY WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY.

    No employer in the private sector would have hired a chief executive who acted as Dr. Holland acted. Yet the Board hired her anyway. Such is the crux of the matter. Evidently, to the commenters above, this was acceptable. As evidenced by the views expressed at the Board of Ed meetings, the standards of the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff communities are higher.

    What is more, the forum in which finally she chose to tell her story was to a student council composed of adolescents who rightly are intimidated by the authority of her office and lack the maturity and experience to ask hard questions of her, such as "Why do you choose to insult [Read More]

  • 2015-07-04 12:21:28
    Lisa Spano on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: Yawn... Growing tired of Ms Neubauer looking to cause more trouble. Welcome to the LFHS community Principal Holland. We are happy to have you here! Happy 4th of July to everyone. [Read More]
  • 2015-07-04 07:46:57
    Julie on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: Very interesting. Thank you for sharing this. As the parent of a LFHS student, I have been wondering if there would be any sort of reception for, or chance for families to meet, the new principal. So far I haven't heard of any. Maybe one is in the works.

    I wonder what the student council members thought of Dr. Holland's presentation. Good lesson for the kids: don't leave your online presence unattended or in the hands of others. [Read More]

  • 2015-07-04 07:14:08
    Find something else to do on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: It's time, Jennifer, to let Dr. Holland do her job. It's time, Jennifer, to move on to a new cause to champion. Accept the reality that you lost this battle. [Read More]
  • 2015-07-04 07:13:54
    Mary Ritter on Opinion: Tell The Whole Story LFHS: Ms Neubauer. Please find something else to do with your time.
    And bravo that the new principal had a discussion with student leaders about being careful to not only themselves get to know fellow students and not white wash them with "one story" that can last an entire High School career, but also to role model for others how to "get to know the whole and the essance of fellow students, and to not judge."
    One Story happened to my child. Fellow students rather than get to know her, believed "one story" about "who she was" that was actually formed in Middle School, that place where students are -sarcasim meant- "so inclusive and friendly" to anyone different from them.
    Lessons on not falling for "one story" is part of fighting bullying and bully-ers. It's good to hear the school is working in terms of making all students comfortable in their own skin, skin having many various connotations.
    PS Years ago, several of my children who were on Student Council, had meetings with the principal that were not announced to the public. This is a non starter. By the way Adichie's new book "Americanah" is excellent, why don't you pick it up and read it and then work to make Lake Forest High School the best high school in Illinois. So much more positive to build things up rather than tear down.
    [Read More]
  • 2015-07-03 03:48:06
    Jennifer Mannis on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Thank you Dee! Your comments are not fruitless they
    on point.
    [Read More]
  • 2015-07-01 22:16:04
    Judy Powell on New Facebook Page Set Up For Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Stuff: How may I join the .lb of marketplace? I live in Lake Bluff and have tons of great stuff from Europe and the USA [Read More]
  • 2015-07-01 07:39:45
    B. Friedland on Police: Drug Paraphernalia in Driver's Car: I'm glad that the police are being vigilant about the drug problems in our lovely glade. How surprising for those of us who walk, and find drug paraphernalia along the curbs--especially in cul-de-sacs adjacent to open spaces! Needles in the streets! Who would have thought? [Read More]
  • 2015-06-30 20:26:04
    Gigi Verrey on New Facebook Page Set Up For Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Stuff: Hi Leslie.
    I live in LF and would love to post items to give away and find out about what's available to purchase. I liked the page but can't find where to ask to join the group. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


    Gigi [Read More]

  • 2015-06-30 08:47:17
    Lorelei McClure on Child Network of Evanston Given Grant: I was so happy to read this informative article. What wonderful and needed work they are doing. To my mind, the holistic approach is the wisdom that has been necessary heretofore in order to realize long range life changing results. Thank you for writing it. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-29 13:31:41
    Tim Fox on Hole in One: Shoreacres is just a fun golf course and a great place to relax [Read More]
  • 2015-06-29 05:48:55
    David Barkhausen on History and Mystique on Lake Michigan: That's a wonderful, fun article, Keith. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-27 12:31:16
    Nancy on County Fair Asked To Cancel 'Banana Derby': I've started a petition to end this disgusting event. Shame on Lake County Fair, Stars and Stripes Fest and all other associations who condone and support this practice. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-26 18:44:43
    Eileen Moore on Upbeat Walker won't be down for long: So proud of my granddaughter, Adrian!!!! To say that she is awesome is an understatement as witnessed throughout this article. No doubt she will recover and return to the field even stronger and more impressive. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-25 10:56:28
    Paul Nelson on Professional Bike Race Returns To Lake Bluff: My son have attended this event last year and really excited. Now he said he'll attend this again, I'll tell my friends to attend too. Thank you for the information.

    Best Regards,
    Paul Nelson. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-19 23:53:18
    Conie Choo on Café Serves Much More Than a Meal: It’s a wonderful and informative post… Thanks for sharing. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-18 08:51:15
    Joan Fishman on Wilmette's Little Free Libraries: Thanks - I've seen these around Wilmette and love now learning more about the "movement" along the people behind it all. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-17 13:24:51
    Adrienne Fawcett on Who Are These Masked Men?: carl -- i have a new appreciation for the humble bannister, and from now on i've decided to leave my laptop downstairs in the home office where it belongs. now if someone would just invent a laundry elevator, we'd all be a lot safer :-) [Read More]
  • 2015-06-17 13:23:07
    Adrienne Fawcett on Who Are These Masked Men?: Sandy and Neva -- thank you, i am indeed on the mend! [Read More]
  • 2015-06-17 11:06:36
    Sandy & Neva on Who Are These Masked Men?: Maybe you need to dial back your in-depth research for your next article. Just a thought. The article was well written and thorough, as usual, and a good reminder that most accidents occur in the home. We are all lucky to live in an area that has such competent emergency help readily available. Hope you bounce (carefully) back quickly. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-17 10:37:18
    Carl Noble on Who Are These Masked Men?: Adrienne, you have to stop with the cheap booze. Remember black labels & you'll be safe!. My daddy said to ALWAYS have hold of something (like a railing) when going down stairs. That sort of eliminates carrying stuff in both hands.

    If you need any more expert advice, feel free to call :-)

    PS. get better & great article -- as always.

    C [Read More]

  • 2015-06-17 07:57:35
    Merry on Who Are These Masked Men?: So sorry to hear about your accident Adrienne, but thank you for turning it into a terrific story about our local fire departments! We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated volunteer staff here in LB and the collaboration with the LF department makes it all work so well. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-16 22:03:49
    Adrienne Fawcett on Who Are These Masked Men?: Yes, I called 911 from my cell phone -- it went through with no problems :-) [Read More]
  • 2015-06-16 18:47:23
    Just Reuter on Who Are These Masked Men?: Thank you for another helpful article Adrienne! Did you call 911 from a cell phone. Is it possible to call 911 from a cell phone? Thank you. Judy [Read More]
  • 2015-06-15 11:17:33
    Gary Finley on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: No matter how you package it, "White Privilege" is simply racism and has no place in either our schools or a civil society dedicated to equal treatment under the law.

    This situation requires a tremendous amount of oversight and responsible community members need to do the following:
    1. We need to teach our children that anyone who judges them by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character, is a racist no better than those who stood in the school doors in the 1950's. These people deserve no respect. Our children should not be taking advice or guidance from anyone who treats them like second class citizens.
    2. We need to teach our children that anyone who tries to blame them for things they didn't do simply because their skin is white needs to be fought and defeated.
    3. We need to make sure that Dr. Holland's beliefs in "White Privilege" and "Whiteness as Property" do not become part of the lessons or curricula in Lake Forest High School.
    4. We need to keep Dr. Holland from bringing in PEG consultants to harass our teachers and waste our money.
    5. We need to watch all of her new hires and determine if they share her radical racial views.
    6. We need to make sure she does not do away with tracking programs which she sees as new Jim Crow laws.

    It's clear that we will get no help from Superintendent Simeck or the School Board, so all of this will have to be done by citizens working outside of the bureaucracy.

    I am well aware that the racist poison of "White Privilege" has spread throughout our Universities, but it doesn't mean we have to force our kids to drink it in Lake Forest High School. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-15 11:02:55
    Adrienne Fawcett on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Dee: You ask for transparency but do not use your real name. You provide an email address with your comment but is it your real address? I have sent you two emails to answer your questions and have received no reply.

    Allowing anonymous comments is the industry standard and Daily North Shore is for the time being going with it. This is a new site covering a much larger geographic range than its predecessor. We are trying a lot of things.

    Throughout the past few weeks I have posted the DNS comments policy here and asked readers to alert me to comments that they feel violated the policy. When I first read the comment about making life difficult, I interpreted it as “life will be difficult because of the rancor.” After hearing from readers who felt it was a threat, I removed the comment.

    If you value transparency, please use your real name. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-15 10:02:03
    Dee on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Dear Adrienne Fawcett:

    Since the post by MCN is referenced here by two commentators we know he did say, "make her life difficult', referring to Dr. Holland.
    Do you mind sharing the following:
    1. Was his comment 'scrubbed', and why?
    2. Do you consider this a threat? If so, what's the protocol for such, besides deleting the comment?
    3. Did you contact MCN to make him aware you were scrubbing the threat? Did you contact any authorities? The board? Dr. Holland?
    4. Thank you for your transparency! [Read More]

  • 2015-06-15 10:01:33
    Jennifer Neubauer on Getting Past Color At New Trier: “Whenever I walk into a classroom, I will always be black first. I will always be labeled a black writer, or a black girl, or black student. I think that’s one of the hardest things to really break down at New Trier.”
    This young woman's analysis of how everyone at New Trier views her is based on what, exactly? I am not certain why she feels comfortable asserting that the first thing, the very first thing and thus the primary thing everyone (who is white? or do Hispanics and Asians fall into this group, too) thinks about when she walks in a room is the color of her skin. She might be uncomfortable for reasons known to her alone. But why does she feel comfortable making a blanket statement based on a subjective feeling? Perhaps she could have scientifically polled a meaningful sample of non-African-Americans at New Trier and asked them what they thought when she walked in a room. The results of that survey would be truly valuable at assessing the truth of the situation and attitudes toward race and achievement at New Trier.
    But when subjective feeling substitutes for truth and, worse yet, the basis of an indictment of others, I fail to see the value.
    [Read More]
  • 2015-06-14 19:27:42
    Pat Hanrahan on How Suite It Is ...: Nice article & illustration. Greg is my cousin. I used to babysit him years ago. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-14 18:58:07
    interested observer on Getting Past Color At New Trier: Congratulations to this brilliant young woman. I wonder if the author or readers will realize the very powerful commentary she is making about her school environment. Not the surface-level compliments and appreciation but the more profound commentary on race. My fear is that her story will be another case of African American exceptionalism (i.e., "She's not like the rest of them.") to make the dominant groups feel comfortable and progressive. For those who want to know how debilitating "racial spotlighting" can be, please do a simple search on Googlescholar to learn how talented African American students have to deal with this phenomenon and how it taps into liberal feel-good ideologies.

    Again, congrats to this young woman for enduring what she has and managing to be successful in spite of it. A good follow up story would be to make more visible the conditions at New Trier that make her feel like it is necessary to "conduct yourself perfectly in ways that tear you apart" as well as the micro-aggressions that exist in that environment.

    have a nice day. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-14 09:52:36
    Paul Sachs on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Well said, Dee! Thank you for your insight and your intellectual honesty. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-14 05:00:18
    Dee on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: I wonder what you mean by "Make her life difficult?"
    And, with the disclaimers on Daily Northshore, why in the world would they print such a 'promise?'
    My God.

    I am watching these posts with extreme concern about the inability to grasp and retain very basic and well-accepted terms/definitions like "white privilege", and the many possibilities of who Malcolm X was and what he stood for. Who gets to limit what Malcolm X said? In fact: Who wants their enemies to educate their children?
    He made no mention of the color of his enemy, so it's interesting that those who are part of this campaign would leap to these interpretations without acknowledgement and consideration of the range of possibilities. That limited examination is void of critical analysis, surely a reason to quickly lose points on a research paper at ETHS, New Trier and LFHS. That leap just doesn't seem critical nor rigorous enough for even a teenager.

    That said, Malcolm X thought some Black people were problematic, as well. And no one mentions the many changes in his philosophy over time. Many argue his public acknowledgement that he could be brothers with white people got him killed. So there, he's no longer frozen in time.

    Same with Dr. King, who was hated during his lifetime. His words were sanitized before inclusion in the national identity. There is no need to take his quotes out of context when he wrote several books. If you read them you will know he was hated for a good reason--he challenged the moral and ethical structures in the United States with revolutionary intent. I am sure this same group critical of Malcolm X should also be wary of quoting Dr. King too quickly. Videos of him during his last two years may scare you; heck, he was asked for reparations in 1963.

    Both King and Malcolm X died at the hands of those who wanted no change. They, too, were constantly threatened. And misquoted. And misunderstood. Imagine where we would be if they didn't c [Read More]

  • 2015-06-12 18:03:14
    BB on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: If diversity was a criteria for choosing a new principal, I applaud the Superintendent and school board. I think it'd be great for our high schoolers to have a person (or more specifically a woman) of color to look up to and be inspired by. The right one could'e ended up a legend in LF. Unfortunately, for this "trailblazer," we really needed someone we could feel confident was a unifier, not a divider. With race as a central tenet or building block of Dr. Holland's educational center, it's hard to portray her as that unifier. By posting the Malcolm X poster inferring that white educators are the enemy - then personally endorsing that point of view just one year ago - the concept of a unifier goes right out the window. Then, by cynically and tactically hiding it all as soon as her name comes out - well, that's when her entire nomination should've gone out the window. If Jay Rodgers posted a white supremacist poster on his social media pages, then deleted it - and someone recovered it during his vetting process - game over. Why are we even discussing all the other issues. This was huge! For me, all the local uproar was not racism - but a response to Dr. Holland's racism. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-12 15:49:31
    Paul Sachs on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: As a proponent of identifying players by name perhaps MCN could provide us the name of the courageous individual who plopped this story in the lap of the missus. Perhaps that guy (or gal) could participate in the dialogue and articulate his (or her) agenda and the reason he (or she) didn't sound the alarm himself (or herself), but rather got someone else to do the dirty deed. And it seems, dirt cheap. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-12 13:15:46
    Lisa Jaenicke (author, daughter) on Goodbye & Thank You, Lake Bluff ...: CORRECTION!!! The builder is DR Horton. My apologies... [Read More]
  • 2015-06-12 12:50:30
    Adrienne Fawcett on Joan Copello Heath: Susan--I love that she is credited with the Heath bar wrapper. Now I know why you love the minocqua fudge toffees! [Read More]
  • 2015-06-12 10:15:55
    Terry Darraugh on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Well said and I agree! The process of bringing Dr Holland to LFHS was not what it should have been. I hope it is better in the future [Read More]
  • 2015-06-12 10:05:10
    Edward Sachs , Jr. on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: An empty nester, 10 year Lake Forest resident, I attended the meeting. I feel the Board inexperienced and cornered by inexperience. They did not use a recruiter to solicit and screen proactively across the country. I further came am wondering what the Board mission and what Dr. Holland's mission is. She has an identifiable racist tone in her resume, which is a story concerning a side business and website that are objective facts. This legitimate taint was glaringly avoided by tbe Board. Lake Forest has a fractous history with Boards and Superintendents. Dr. Holland appears capable and a decent individual. Hopefully, the High School mission becomes more clear and clearly accepted. What is the exact mission Board members and Superintendent? If a mission plan is not made more clear, the School will lose standing. Lake Forest ratings languish behind New Trier, Glenbrook North and Highland Park. The gap risks widening unless oversight improves. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-12 07:40:43
    Lisa Spano on Joan Copello Heath: Dear Susan, I'm so sorry for your loss. May you be comforted by memories and the loving kindness of family and friends. PS the Heath bar has always been one of my favorites! [Read More]
  • 2015-06-12 04:37:35
    Concerned resident of Lake Forest on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Interested observer likes to engage in begging the question as well as straw men arguments which are leading in nature.
    Paragraph 8 was my favorite baiting ploy thus far and I believe qualified as obfuscation.

    TGIF [Read More]

  • 2015-06-12 04:14:30
    Concerned resident of Lake Forest on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: 1. The inexperience comment stems from an expectation for an individual with a lengthier and proven track record (say someone with 20-30 years experience. In their early 50's perhaps) who may warrant the resources this community feels it has to offer (one of the highest paying salaries for the position in the country)

    2. Surely de-tracking, which is presumptuous based on her educational thesis. Furthermore, the link between her and the controversial Pacific Education Group which currently is contracted by Evanston, Oak Park, Highland Park, and New Trier. Lastly, side note, why shouldn't a school which exhibits a certain demographic engage in tracking in order to put forth the most impressive application possible toward college and university acceptance? The question here is not whether it is racially preferential but class preferential.

    3. Not sure which posts you are making reference to, however, public officials are held to a higher standard than private citizens. Plain and simple.

    4. Patronization aside, this is fallacious. The position that one must either be actively pursuing a progressive agenda or else be labeled "against" said agenda is disingenuous. By this logic, myself being a white male must be a sexist by virtue of not actively advancing feminine issues and only merely agreeing on gender equality in principle.

    5. Do you mean to suggest residents of lake forest re-zone the town to create affordable housing thus encouraging diversity across a spectrum of incomes (and presumably ethnicities). You're becoming increasingly combative in your condescension and thus I am through. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-12 03:47:44
    Concerned resident of Lake Forest on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: The concept of white privilege and the offense it elicits most often stems from those with no first hand experience with its manifestations. For example, an individual who while pale in complexion grew up in poverty may not feel very privileged in any sense of the term but then may come to realize that they, through now fault of their own, may have applied for housing and been offered a lease over another. Minority lessee die to prejudice on behalf of the landlord. This is a simple example of one manifest benefit.

    The issue most have with the enduring concept and the revival of such a polarizing issue is that to perpetuate of the idea of a default birthright ends up hurting everyone in the long run by either crystallizing the belief one is in fact privileged by racial identity, by serving to further polarize individuals in the formative years of one's own ego(self) on the basis of race (harmful to the idea of a racially equitable society), or to further engender race identity politics through the enactment of remedial policies which have to the extent of my knowledge been shown to have little if any positive impact.

    The institutional constructions most under scrutiny are surrounding economic barriers to advancing ones education. Most simply put, It goes like this; those with accumulated wealth, whether generational or acutely accumulated, have the resources to enroll in an advantageous school district by virtue of property ownership within such a district or by virtue of costly private institutions OR lastly by investing resources in the explicit training for "gate keeping" exams such as the SSAT, SAT, LSAT and so on... minorities traditionally are not privy to the requisite resources for such "privileges" and become mired in generational economic and therefore educational stagnation.

    Obviously this is not a universal truth, it is just the basic argument against white privilege or otherwise the manifestation of institutional racism...

    Just a crash cou [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 22:22:15
    Parent that cares on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Interested observer,
    That is so funny-I call Lake Forest fantasy land! I guess you're saying the fantasy is over, that's too bad, it was really nice. I'm sure everyone here will be ok with that and realize that we have had it too good for way too long anyway. We really don't deserve it, it has been very selfish of us all. Oh and there's no gate around Lake Forest, and we probably don't need to consider one now, since the fantasy is over anyway.
    [Read More]
  • 2015-06-11 20:38:21
    Parent that cares on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Interested observer, here are the answers to your questions:

    1. You answered your own question.
    2. The curriculum is the common core that was forced on all states by the federal government. They are de-tracking at the middle school that leads to de-tracking at the high school. Ms. Holland is a supporter of de-tracking and she was just hired to be principal at the high school. You put two and two together.
    3. I have not observed any racial posts or integrity issues, except your comments.
    4/5. I will not need to wish anymore for racial diversity of the student body and I am off the hook for being involved in progressive racial change, which is a good thing for the cause because if you haven't observed yet, it's not that easy to express your opinions with our BOE and Superintendent and have them act on them. From their recent actions, it seems the BOE/Superintendent would be very open to finding ways to expand the racial diversity of our high school, so I would guess that will be part of their discussions in the near future. It will not matter if the majority of the residents are open to the idea or if they are finally ready for it, it will get done, that's the way things operate around here now. I don't have any say in any contingencies either, I'm just a parent.
    6. I prefer Dr. King because he believed in peace instead of violence and prefer these very relevant quotes of his:
    “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
    “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others.”

    Good night. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 20:17:00
    Mike on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Racism? Bah! This was always a question of square peg/round hole based on Holland's weak resume, lack of training, and questionable integrity. Race had zilch to do with this. If anything, Holland was treated with kid gloves. A white guy with her thin background but who was nonetheless "great with kids" would never have made it to final interview rounds for this job.

    All you had to do was do a race/sex blind force ranking of the applicant resumes, a practice common in the private sector, and which I'll bet the school search team and board never did. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 19:39:53
    jjack on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Nice try. People that want to believe LF or any other community in the Northshore is racist will find it....cause that's their agenda. I find people in this community to be incredibly intelligent, friendly, ambitious, caring and's a beautiful place to live - and apparently to work - which is why people move here, settle here and work here. Bottom line, with any high level position, three top candidates should have been presented to the board and community for review. Not one - with no experience in the position applying for. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-11 19:28:00
    interested observer on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Mike (if I may),

    I am not claiming that your point was about predictability. My point is that you leaned on test scores. But leaning on test scores serves no purpose, for the reasons I pointed out.

    You are doing a little bit of scurrying here. First, you laugh off my facts about affirmative action. Then, I provide you with some level of proof and you shift the focus. If White women benefit from affirmative action, and those white women are married to white men and they have white children, then both of the latter groups benefit. That is not hard to understand. It does not contradict my assertion. It follows directly from it.

    I am not trying to impress you. So, whether you are impressed is not the issue. In matters of race, who is impressed is my least concern. Here is my suggestion to you: Don't be mad about the suggestion that race may be the source of some people's concerns, be mad at racism. A really refreshing comment from you would be something along the lines of: I am so committed to my community and schools, that I will object to any form of racism that exists in this whole affair. Instead, you only offer a denial of racism with respect to you and your wife. The defensiveness is thick.

    It troubles me, and should trouble any progressive thinking person who is reading these posts, that you might be in a position to vet African Americans on matters of importance. That's the difference between 1950 and 2015. Today, it is more subtle.

    have a nice day. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 17:59:45
    interested observer on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: jjack,

    you saw no evidence? you might be missing the forest for the trees. i'm curious as to what you think would constitute evidence for racism. if you are looking for 1950s style racism, you are probably correct, you did not see it. but, evidence for the new racism comes in other forms. i don't say this to indicate whether some folks in Lake Forest are racist or not not. my point is that racism is alive and well in the U.S. it did not magically skip over the good folks in Lake Forest. we see in many of these posts that there is an imaginary and ideological gate around the place, but that does not extend to there being a shield or dome over the place that makes it impervious to racism. to suggest so is to live in a fantasy.

    have a nice day. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 17:53:20
    interested observer on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Parent that cares,

    Just a few observations about your most recent post:

    1. Dr. Holland serves as an assistant principal. How is she inexperienced?

    2. What unproven curriculum changes are you referring to? Please provide a reference to the curriculum changes that you say Dr. Holland plans to implement. While you are at it, please provide a quote or evidence that she plans to de-track at LFHS.

    3. Equally concerning are the racial posts and integrity of the comments on this board. How concerned are you about those posts?

    4. So, you are merely "wish"ing that there was more diverse student body. Racial change does not result form a "wish." If only it were that simple. While you are wishing are you also engaged in progressive racial change?

    5. What exactly do you mean when you say that racial diversity will be "looked at as a possibility down the road?" Do you mean when the residents of Lake Forest are ready for it? Do you mean when they will finally allow it? What are the contingencies embedded in your "possibility"?

    6. Why do you prefer Martin Luther King Jr. to Malcom X. If you really do, then you must also realize that Dr. King said the following:

    “The thing wrong with America is white racism. White folks are not right…It’s time for America to have an intensified study on what’s wrong with white folks.” - Martin and Malcolm and America: A Dream or a Nightmare? p. 234.

    “I’m sorry to have to say to you that the vast majority of white Americans are racist, either consciously or unconsciously.” - I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr., p. 40.

    “The American people are infected with racism.” - Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr., p. 350

    have a nice day. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 14:42:01
    Parent that cares on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: My perspective is that I do have more at stake and many are trying to trivialize the changes and problems happening in our districts right now. My perspective is also that you are somewhat removed from all the details not having children in the school system any more. However, everyone does have a right to express their views and that is respected. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-11 14:26:45
    Adrienne Fawcett on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: As a reminder, here is a link to the Daily North Shore comments policy:

    Basically the policy can be summarized as such: Don't say anything here that you wouldn't say in public and to a person directly. And also, please don't call people names, or threaten anyone. And readers, if you see a comment that you find objectionable, please email me and tell me about it. I do read every comment -- but I can make mistakes and I appreciate your feedback. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 14:22:07
    Paul on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Holland is hiding her website from Lake Forest Residents and we are suppose to trust her ?

    Trust is EARNED. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 14:08:30
    Mike on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: @still anonymous interested obvserver:

    I've lost where you made your post responding to me above, so here it is for the record:

    @anonymous interested observer:

    Second time around and you still don't get it. I said NOTHING about predictability. I only pointed out that she made a factual error, because clearly black and white students perform differently on the SAT's after normalizing by income, contrary to what she said. OK?

    Second, it wouldn't surprise me if white women are the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action. So what? What made me laugh about your remark is that, as you sanctimoniously inform me that white women are AA's primary beneficiaries, you then say white men and white children are AA's primary beneficiaries, which is not only contradicts your first assertion but, at least in the case of white men, is untrue. That's a big oops.

    I'm really unimpressed by your not so subtle suggestions in others of your still anonymous postings that racist feelings against Dr. Holland somehow underlie the opposition to her. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least in regard to my wife's and my opposition.

    I don't have any interest in responding to your other points or further explaining my responses and I don't find you particularly challenging. In that regard, you flatter yourself. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 14:02:59
    Parent that cares on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Yes, you are wrong. The experiment I am referring to is having an inexperienced leader implement unproven curriculum changes which include detracking as well as concerns about Dr. Holland's racial posts and her integrity and character. I have no problem with a black principal at LFHS, and in fact wish we had a more diverse student body. I'm guessing that will be looked at as a possibility down the road, and I think it would have a bigger impact on our students and community. I also wish Dr. Holland did not erase some of her online presence and wish that she had posted pictures of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. instead of what she did post. It is hard for me to not have reservation about someone who posts such hateful rhetoric being hired as a principal. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-11 13:07:53
    jjack on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: I'll start by saying that I do not live in Lake Forest. My daughter attended an independent school in town, and I have some close friends there. I have no reason to comment, except that little thing called freedom of speech. Everyone on this board has the right to comment and make their opinions known. I think the citizens of Lake Forest are well educated, sophisticated people that care a great deal about their community and education for their children. And what is wrong with that! In the last few years my daughter was in school, I saw NO evidence of racism whatsoever. So let's stop playing that card once and for all.

    If the good doctor wants to make a positive step in the right direction, she should come forward and answer parents questions. They are ultimately her employer now. If there's no reason for concern, most parents will figure that out rather quickly. On the other hand.....maybe that's why she aint talking [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 13:05:03
    Sridhar Krishnaswamy on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: My response to Dr. Johnson would be: letting experience crush all hope would be a terribly sad way to live ones life!
    Let me be clear - the decision that the BoE made is not one that I would have made for reasons I have mentioned before. If the website was not pulled with the intent to hide its contents, it could have been brought back up within twenty minutes at any time during the controversy surrounding its disappearance. To me that is a matter of integrity which cannot be overlooked during a hiring process. But the BoE has made a different decision, and I have no reason to believe that the BoE and the Superintendent have anything but the community's best interests at heart.
    So, yes, I will reiterate that at this point the only thing all of us should hope for is that Dr. Holland will be successful in taking LFHS to even greater heights.

    Sridhar Krishnaswamy [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 12:52:46
    interested observer on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Mike (if I may),

    I will work from your most recent post:

    1. You referred to an "erroneous" assertion the part of Dr. Holland regarding test scores. You are making an argument by referring to those test scores. My point was to show that the very test scores you refer to, SAT or otherwise, tell us very little even if you are trying to highlight an error on her part. You did not mention SAT, but the Thernstrom's do. I have actually read the book. So, whatever argument you were making has little support if you are basing it on test scores. You cite test scores for a reason, if it is to convince us that they measure something important, you fall short. Predictive validity is just one way to point that out. You may not like it, but it is true.

    2. Please enlighten us on what is so sanctimonious about my comments. Claims need evidence. Is it because I challenge your position?

    3. With respect to my assertion about affirmative action, here is one source, if you care to accept it:

    If you are not willing to accept something from a popular press venue, then check out the book "When Affirmative Action Was White" by Ira Katznelson. or this statement from North Carolina State University:

    Again, you may not like it but the data are clear.

    4. Liberals can hold conservative views. Moreover, it is often self-proclaimed liberals who are the most conservative. Many folks in Lake Forest, such as yourself and those who are posting here and saying it is not about race, probably believe they are liberals. I stand by characterization.

    have a nice day. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 11:24:19
    Been there, seen that on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Lived and raised our children here. Educated our children in LF public schools. Experienced one superintendent go to jail, one nearly bankrupt District 115 and another high school superintendent whose idea of leadership was to allow the school to run itself. Many changes in school principals, some of which were wonderful and some not so great. Saw schools redistricted, changes in curriculum and educational pedagogy. All three of our children somehow made it through, attended outstanding colleges, and became successful adults who are raising their own families.

    The institution is much stronger than any one or two leaders. Fine teachers and staff, talented students, and strong supportive families ensure that the schools remain sound, and nothing will change that. "Parent that cares", you mistake perspective for judgment. You have no more nor any less at stake than any parent or family in any community. And your accusatory language directed at me and "others of the sort" for having a view that is different from yours happens to be extremely condescending. We all have a right to comment on this situation and express our views. Now I'm off to clean my home, go to the grocery, and attend to my responsibilities, none of which includes golf or sitting in a lounge chair. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 11:19:50
    Mike on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: @interested observer:

    FYI, "Mismatch" was written by two self-proclaimed liberals. Someone who doesn't know that should not criticize me for my "limited knowledge". Hence, I have no reason to trust your other unsupported assertions, your extraordinarily incorrect claim in paragraph 9 being among them. I mean, that one is a real howler that just doesn't pass the straight-face test.

    Nor am I interested in treating with someone who makes wild-eyed and erroneous but quite amusing (to yourself, anyway) speculations about my own non-agenda. Good day.

    PS Thanks for your courage in letting us know who you are. You're a stand up guy. Or gal. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 10:34:41
    interested observer on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Parent that cares,

    I wonder, and correct me if I am wrong, if the "experiment" that you are referring to is to have someone Black be in charge of educating white children? If that is the experiment, then please be honest and clear so that we know what you mean. There seem to be so many assumptions wrapped in what will happen with Dr. Holland at the helm. If this is truly your concern, then it seems to mirror the concern that others have attributed to Dr. Holland. The long-standing history of the U.S. shows that Black children, for example, have participated in an experiment where white leaders have been in charge of their education. That seems to be okay, partly because there is assumed, taken-for-granted competence among white leaders. But, the very idea of a Black leader...Well, many of the posts say it all.

    have a nice day. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 10:26:42
    Arnold D on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Quite enlightened commentary, Ms. Foss. Perhaps there's plenty of embarrassment in this community to go around. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-11 10:18:45
    Been there, seen that on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Well said. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-11 09:58:50
    Parent that cares on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: "Been there seen that" and others of the sort, maybe your problem is that you have lived in Lake Forest for 23 years. Do you think that might be skewing your world view a little? It is maddening that people in this community feel they can lecture others on what is right for other people's children and take a "holier than thou" attitude with very little view of the world other than the idyllic community they have lived in for 23 years. It's easy to say lets go along with the current hot trend of liberalism when you have lived in Lake Wobegon for the past 23 years. You see little of what bad things can happen. I have lived most of my life in an urban environment, where bad things do happen on a daily basis, and it's not pretty. I'm sorry if you feel an acceptable option is to "invite Dr. Holland to contribute her expertise...and wait to find out if what she brings to the table improves the education experience for our students", I do not! I have seen these experiments go bad! You expect the parents of this community to take a wait and see approach for the next three years? You think that is a reasonable directive for a highly educated and responsible parent with multiple children in this school and district? I'm sure it is very interesting for you to sit back in your lounge chair (after your golf game at your private country club) and watch this trendy social experiment unfold, heck, it's a lot like a reality tv show, but please do not dare comment on what is right for other people's children and pass judgement on them for how they wish to raise their children or for any act of caring and concern about their children's education. You may have a voice as a taxpayer, but many of us have MUCH MORE at stake than you do in this matter and I would appreciate you keeping your condescending comments to yourself. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-11 09:56:54
    Lynette Foss on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Put away the pitchforks, people. Dr. Holland is hired. It's time to support her. Stop embarrassing yourselves and our community by looking for trouble where there is none, and move on with your lives. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-11 09:44:46
    interested observer on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Carl,

    What is your position on "white privilege"? Do you think such a thing exists? Can we look at history and contemporary times and find this in any way? Or is it just completely made up? That is, there is no such thing or manifestation of white privilege. What are your thoughts on this concept? And given the mountains of sociological evidence supporting this concept, what counter do you offer to well-trained sociologists who have documented it for hundreds of years? Please help us understand. Thanks. Looking forward to your reply. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 09:34:54
    interested observer on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Carl and Mike (if I may):

    Thank you for your replies. I must say that that I find your argument strategies to be quite interesting. A few comments back to you:

    1. Carl, you assume that I am commenting from the "left." One could only come to that conclusion if one were commenting from the "right." or some other moderate position. I will rule out the latter since your comments are not moderate in any way. Having established your rightist position, much of what you now has a certain logic to it, within a right perspective. The important point to establish your "conservative" position in what you want to have us believe is a progressive community.

    2. Carl, if you are not asserting that the advantages accrued in Lake Forest are not the result of "pure" meritocracy and effort, then what are you saying or admitting? What accounts for the advantages that are not the result of these? We would all like to hear?

    3. Carl, I have made no claims of racism in my posts. I have responded to your claims about racism. Again, studies show that when there are adamant claims that race is not an issue, it is usually because race is an issue. You may not like that conclusion but it is true.

    4. Carl, the amount of name calling in your post shows that you would rather attack the messenger than the central message. Moral courage would involve much more than making sweeping claims about community values. Also, what is there to be jealous of and why would one be jealous? If I am not mistaken, the issue at hand is Dr. Holland, not the kinds of trinkets that can be found in your community.

    5. Michael, your choice of two texts also reveals your political leanings. The two you cite are written very conservative scholars who still hold on to a widely dismissed "culture of poverty" thesis. No serious social science scholar even believes this view.

    6. In citing "test scores," you are referring to SAT data. SAT scores have no predictive validity for college success and completion. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 09:12:47
    Concerned Parent on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Am I the only one who thinks there is the possibility that Dr. Holland "had" the job before this all started?

    I know it may be simple circumstances, but things don't seem quite on the up and up. I thought the school had to make public offerings for this job before they hired someone. The districts "search" ONLY included a post on a teacher's website for three weeks - not exactly trying to get the most experienced talent that way, but it probably does pass the test of a public posting.

    Again, there may be nothing to this, but it definitely smells funny. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-11 00:26:30
    MCN on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: If there's obfuscation here, anonymous uninteresting observer, it's you who is behind it.

    1) The studies I read suggest that black underperformance is a result of culture, not tracking, as well as at the college level to race discrimination in the guise of affirmative action. You can start with Stephan and Abigail's Thernstrom's book "No Excuses", then move to Richard Sanders "Mismatch". Read them and weep.. And contrary to Dr. Holland's inaccurate assertion in her master's theses--such as it was--when black test scores are normalized for income, the result is NOT that they are the same as white scores, but that white scores in the LOWEST income bracket are higher than black score in ALL income brackets, including the highest. The source for that tidbit is the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, c. 2009, and you can find it yourself if you know how to use Google.

    2) My wife's non-agenda is obvious. She raised points that are crystal clear about Dr. Holland's profound and disturbing lack of qualfications, her unsuitable training given her desired assignment, and her lack of candor about her unpopular views. Your response is what?

    3) No one said that all people in Lake Forest are here by merit alone, a straw man that your gleefully raised just to knock him down. Big deal.

    4) The only valid point you make is that this candidate is all about race. But you don't make it the way you think you do. The fact is that a white male candidate with Dr. Holland's thin credentials, abhorrent views, and reckless attitude about covering up his paper trail would have never gotten out of the starting block for this job. Dr. Holland, I believe, solely because of her race and sex, was treated much more leniently than a white male. So, yeah, it's all about race.

    My name is below. Let's see yours, tough guy. Or gal.

    Michael C. Neubauer [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 22:36:58
    Greg Harlan on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: It's an interesting pattern; in virtually every one of your comments you keep insisting that "this isn't about race," yet you continue to bring that very issue to the forefront -- every single time.

    And you're awful big on the threats, Mike. Exactly how do you intend to "make a life difficult for her," as you so brazenly state? Care to elaborate on that? [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 22:07:29
    Carl Castrogiovanni on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Why would a hater of 'white privilege' want to be a principal here?

    Answer: $160,000 annual salary

    Hypocrisy is such as thing to behold... [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 21:52:17
    interested observer on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: No racism in Lake Forest. Thanks for letting us know. Your comments are quite illuminating, in many, many ways. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 21:49:54
    Carl Castrogiovanni on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: "The amount of obfuscation here is astonishing. It seems that some Lake Forest residents think they are smarter than everyone else and can intellectualize the real issues out of plain sight. "

    Wow. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. The galactic-scale hypocrisy of the left is an absolute certain, just like death and taxes...

    No one claims that places like Lake Forest are pure meritocracies. No one. Period. You Holland supporters have displayed astonishing prejudice. The resistance to Holland, to you, and to your ilk is NOT racism. It's indignation at the utter disrespect shown to our community, and to us as individuals.

    No one claims this community is perfect, but it *IS* a community built buy achievers; by makers. Do we bristle when insulted by your cadre of jealousy? Most certainly. That is not racism. That is moral courage... [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 21:47:46
    Been there, seen that on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Having lived in Lake Forest for 23 years and having seen a good amount of social change in the community, I complete agree with "interested observer". Instead of embracing the opportunity for community and student growth in both cultural understanding and the examination of current educational practice, many (but certainly not all) residents choose to see the change as a challenge to "Lake Forest values" because any such such change is interpreted as a criticism of the status quo. A sense of superiority (usually not upheld by anything other than economic data) often supersedes facing uncomfortable truths and the chance to actually improve things for everyone.

    Espousing interest in improving the educational system while denying that the system could be improved by change is disingenuous, and no amount of rhetoric about "finding a good fit for Lake Forest" and a qualified candidate's lack of experience can mask the dishonesty inherent in the argument.

    Why not invite Dr. Holland to contribute her expertise to the conversation and the educational system and wait to find out if what she brings to the table improves the educational experience for our students? Her contract is based on performance. Judge her on that. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 21:37:46
    interested observer on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Dave Marchant,

    If you are reducing racism to individual psychology of Lake Forest residents and equating anti-racism to white benevolence of those same residents, then I fear you have already lost on item number two. Good luck with that strategy and line of reasoning. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 19:43:28
    interested observer on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: From the article: Rourke further noted that Dr. Holland has spent the last decade espousing goals to solve racial inequality by the removal of tracking systems that are in her view the byproduct of white privilege. “The positions of the Lake Forest community and the positions of the candidate are largely at odds with each other,” he said.

    Two points of note. First, this is not just her view but a finding that is consistent across a number of rigorous research studies. Second, is Mr. Rourke suggesting that the community supports tracking that produces educational inequality?

    From the article: Many residents questioned whether Dr. Holland had a hidden agenda.

    More diligent reporting would also shed light on whether those who object also have a hidden agenda.

    From the article: Residents also objected to Dr. Holland’s written statements about white privilege in school systems, arguing she was not a good fit with the values of the community.

    Of course, we are asked to believe that all the advantage held by those in Lake Forest resulted from merit alone.

    From the article: Lake Forest resident Rob Rourke asserted the issues at hand weren’t about race but about experience and fit.

    When such statements are made, it is usually because the issues at hand are precisely about race. The research is clear on this point. Dr. Holland is an African American female. Anyone who does not acknowledge this is being intellectually dishonest.

    Final point: The amount of obfuscation here is astonishing. It seems that some Lake Forest residents think they are smarter than everyone else and can intellectualize the real issues out of plain sight. In the spirit of candor, let's name it and let them own it. Let them continue to live in their bubble. Some of the worst parent socialization I have seen in a while. And to think, these are the same people in boardrooms, in bank offices, who serve as lawyers, and so on. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 18:54:43
    Mike on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: Lisa, I note that there are a number of anonymous posters who wrote comments approving of the Board's decision, yet you are not complaining. The reason is?

    MCN--My name is already out there. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 18:20:08
    Lisa Spano on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: NDC, identify yourself and stand behind your comments! Coward, coward coward! Our school board members are fellow community members, elected by the voters of this district. They serve without pay. I stand behind their decision and welcome Dr. Holland to the LFHS community.
    The Daily North Shore needs to adopt a
    policy that requires comments must be accompanied by the person's name, as was the case of Gazebo News.
    Thank You.
    Lisa Spano
    [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 17:28:28
    Terry Darraugh on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: I have put four daughters through LFHS from 1996-2006. Our experience was excellent and our daughters all got into the colleges of their choice. I agreed with 90% of what happened at the school There seemed to be great respect for the teachers and I was impressed by the administration and it's communication with the parents and community. So I was sad to hear of the controversy over hiring a new principal and was invited to come and listen last evening to the school board and it's opposition.

    I went to the meeting as an observer. I came away with three conclusions:

    1. The process for choosing this candidate was flawed.
    2. Though the candidate seems to impress people and seems driven to excel in her education career I felt her experience was slim for someone in this position
    3. The concerns of those attending were not addressed concerning her views of education particularly noted in her master's dissertation, consulting website and doctoral work.

    Let me expand on each point
    Superintendent Simeck stated that the position was advertised (if I heard correctly) in one professional publication. From that posting 20 applications were received. The field was narrowed through confidential interviews by Mr Simeck to 8 , 3 and then he made a final recommendation of Dr Holland. I find it difficult to understand how there weren't more applicants and why the net wasn't cast further. Additionally, why weren't successful principals from other schools with more experience recruited. It seems like a very important position with the power to hire and fire staff and control the direction of the school.

    Two of the board members in their statements before voting admitted that they were within months of being on the board. In addition, the FAQ link revealed that 3 of the six board members “at the time of the May 26th meeting had not yet met the candidate or had a chance to ask many of the same questions raised by the community” last evening. They were asked t [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 17:25:33
    LFHS Grad and Current Parent on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: I strongly agree with those who are encouraging our community to support Dr. Holland, as we really have no other choice, but I wanted to add one additional thought to the dialogue on how this search was conducted. This principal search was initiated late in the "hiring season" for teachers/administrators. Given the aggressive timetable the superintendent was working under, it made it all the more imperative that an experienced search firm be retained to aid in identifying the best candidates. It's my belief that when the District began its search it's likely that many of the best available principals had already signed contracts for next year. Given the situation, a wiser approach would have been to either hire a search firm or consider naming an interim principal (like one of LFHS' current assistant principals) so that we would have the time to go out and recruit an outstanding candidate who would be a good long-term fit for our school. In my opinion, there is no superintendent responsibility that's of greater importance than hiring principals for our schools and I'm not sure that Mr. Simeck has lived up to this responsibility (only time will tell). I understand that the superintendent and board have the authority to make hiring decisions, not the community, but when a search appears to be conducted this poorly then we have every right to question their decision making and our confidence in their leadership. LFHS is in desperate need of true leadership, as there are many systemic and cultural issues that need to be addressed. Let's hope that Dr. Holland has what it takes to be the kind of principal LFHS needs right now.

    I hope the Board and Mr. Simeck will step back from this experience and think about more proactive, positive ways to really engage the community in the future. I know meetings are scheduled and sparsely attended - maybe it's time to be creative and think about other ways (like social media or webinars or online Q&A) to create a better [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 16:05:06
    NDC on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: "Board President Reese Marcusson states, “The Board of Education has listened to community concerns and thoroughly considered all information. I thank the community for their patience and my fellow board members for dedicating their time and energy to this important matter. The District 115 Board of Education has an unwavering commitment to our community and students.”"

    Well, this is a total lie. The Board sat on their hands and were not pro-active in going after the best talent out there. Again, three weeks posting on a single job board, 20 resumes and this is what the community ends up with? Lazy, lazy, lazy.

    The search should have been expanded, even a search firm hired to go out and find the best pool of talent. And I really hope that Mr Simeck' realizes that his credibility, ethics, and integrity are called into question. The school board, with the exception of one, has failed the community.

    I hope that in three years time, when the board is faced with finding a qualified replacement, they will actually conduct themselves in a more professional manner and treat the search with the respect and the needed engery to find a leader who is able to lead LFHS to the next level.... [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 15:46:12
    Concerned resident of Lake Forest on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: It's as telling as the suggestion by a speaker that everyone at the board meeting needed what Dr. Holland had to offer. What exactly is it that she is offering one might wish to expand upon? [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 15:39:58
    Concerned resident of Lake Forest on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: The "justice" which is in question is white privilege shaming which everyone is for right or wrong concerned about being on her agenda. That's the elephant in the room. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 14:42:14
    Terry Darraugh on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: I saw many very good choices for school board speak at the meeting last night. I certainly hope their will be some that step forward to run. I think a variety of opinions on the board is a healthy thing. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 14:38:52
    Carl Castrogiovanni on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: To Ms. Holland and the "progressives" supporting her: please allow the people of Lake Forest out from under the weight of YOUR pre-judgment, and give us the chance to vet your ideas for educating our children. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 14:29:20
    Mike on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Shame? The only shame, Paul, is that over the protests of a very well-informed and even-minded community of parents and citizens, the Board hired an underqualified candidate whose training and experience (what little of it there is) are inappropriate for a school like LFHS and who, moveover, tried to hide her offensive educational and political beliefs. That last betrays a total lack of integrity and should have been a non-starter to begin with.

    How difficult is this for you to understand? I mean, really?
    MCN [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 13:19:32
    Paul on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Thank God for the Guscott-Muellers, Mr. Block, Ms. Freeman-Murray, and our duly-elected School Board. I was beginning to feel shame for my community of 42 years. The rest of you: please allow Ms. Holland out from under the weight of your pre-judgment, and give her the chance to do right by all our kids. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 13:15:34
    Mike Jones on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Just "curious", what is your name? [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 13:14:35
    Dave Marchant on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: We have two problems on our hands on the immediate horizon: 1) We have an inexperienced Principal. Dr. Holland is now our teacher (specifically, the teacher of our teachers….starting in a few weeks). 2) We stand the strong chance of being characterized by the outside world as racists.

    It is time for us as a community to take immediate action to prove that we are indeed NOT racist. How poetic it would be if we were to flip on its head the statement “only a FOOL would let his enemy teach his children”?

    How to do that? Let’s make it clear that we are WISE and will continue to be friends and allies with all of our teachers…..collaborating for the betterment of our children and their world’s future. Let’s underscore this by welcoming Dr. Holland into our community and doing everything in our power to help her with the learning curve so she can quickly become the superstar Principal we have been told she is projected to be. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 13:06:19
    Jay Wiggins on Holland Hired After Tense Meeting: What a terrible hire. Saddended to hear this news. Makes me think I should have gone to the meeting last night, but from what it sounds like the board and their Czar Simeck had their mind already made up. Mr. Simeck has to go. He is not working for the community as he took ZERO of their input. Fire Simeck and repeal the board ( not Moorman) [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 13:03:15
    Paul on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Yes! Let's hope she's opposed to justice. We won't put up that kind of shenanigans! [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 12:57:35
    Momzhood on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: I have concerns about the Board members "getting to know" Dr. Holland. I was surprised to learn from the Supt.'s FAQ attachment to the announcement email that 3 BOE members had yet to meet Dr. Holland when they were scheduled for the first contract-ratifying meeting on May 26. They would vote on a principal they hadn't met? [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 12:55:57
    LF Parent on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: And note the word "progress" at the end of this statement. It's a Liberal tell.
    I'm guessing you consider yourself a "Progressive."
    Progress towards what, exactly? A utopia where everyone is the same and no one achieves more than any other?
    Progress in that the Principal position at lFHS is now an entry level one that requires no relevant experience?
    I know, I know. We all just need to get our minds right and see the transformation that LFHS needs to make.
    This is an attack from the Left. Pure and simple. I wish it were more incompetent/innocent than that. But history would indicate otherwise.
    [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 12:49:41
    Momzhood on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Doug, Oak Park-River Forest High School is not one of the lowest performing high schools in IL. In 2013-2014, its students had an average ACT score of 23.9. Agreed that ACT score is not everything and only one facet and a cheap/quick determinant of the success of its students. But a very low performing high school would be an average of 18-19 ACT. OPRF is substantially higher. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 12:29:01
    Mike on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: As Dr. Johnson said to the man who was entering his second marriage, "Here's to the triumph of hope over experience."

    MCN [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 12:25:11
    Mike on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: I would like to hope so. And I assume you will be supporting us? Like by identifying yourself so we can contact you to help hand out flyers and go door to door?

    MCN [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 12:25:07
    LFHS Grad on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Curious - to answer your question, it takes something like this to mobilize people to run for school board. So you will probably see at least one of the names you listed on the ballot for school board in the next election. Its in two years, but I suspect the PEOPLE of Lake Forest will not forget this. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 12:24:50
    Olivier on Misty Hyman Clinic: Hyman is not only a great coach, but a fantastic swimmer, and a bit of a revolutionary. She had easily the biggest upset swim on the women's side at the 2000 Sydney Games.

    Susie O'Neill, the Aussie favorite, had been undefeated in the event for 6 years (including winning gold in Atlanta four years earlier), and had just months earlier broken Mary T. Meagher's "untouchable" world record in the event. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 12:15:25
    Sridhar Krishnaswamy on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Now that the BoE has made its decision, it is time to move on from the contentious process and welcome Dr. Holland as the next principal of LFHS. Yes, clearly the process was not optimal; and any hiring decision that requires a four-page FAQ to explain the choice can certainly be improved. However that is for the Board, the school administration, and the community to figure out going forward.

    The BoE members who voted for her, and the Superintendent and the search committee that recommended her, have no reason to foist an unqualified person with a hidden agenda on the community. So, let us accept the BoE’s considered decision as being in the best interests of the community in which they live. In the same vein, the people who opposed her candidacy are not deeply misguided angry mobs. They are just concerned citizens who expressed their opinions in a mostly respectful way.

    Now that the decision has been made, it is important that the community do all it can to help Dr. Holland successfully lead LFHS, as it is our children who will be affected by her success or failure as principal.

    Sridhar Krishnaswamy [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 11:49:26
    Curious on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Just curious - are Jennifer Neubauer, Michael C Neubauer, Donald E Russ, Gary Finley, Michael Beachem, Dr. Kienzle, Mike Jones and all of the other individuals who have been so vocal about their concerns actually going to get out from behind their computers and mount a campaign to run for something in the LF/LB communities? It is easy to criticize; it is much harder to be part of the solution by becoming an elected official. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 11:33:50
    Lise Dominique on Banana Derby: Not A Fun Time: I agree with you wholeheartedly, Lisa Burton Radzely. It's incredible to think that with all of the supposed "enlightenment" about the callous and outright cruel treatment of animals, that this activity continues to exist and be tolerated and supported. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 11:29:47
    LFHS Grad on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: This is a case where I truly do hope that the vocal majority that was ignored by their elected school board and superintendent who is paid very generously by the citizens he chose to ignore are wrong. I hope they are wrong for the sake of our children. This is one instance where I would love to be proven wrong. I also hope Dr. Holland realizes that she is coming into a very resourced community that won't put up with any shenanigans, and that she is truly taking this job with no intention of engaging in any kind of social justice. Otherwise, I don't care how well the job pays, she will hate her job at LFHS. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 11:23:24
    Doug on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: It is time to call for a vote of 'No Confidence' for our local school board. They were elected by us to represent our wishes. They need to be voted out of office/fired/terminated immediately. This was a sham and a disgrace. All we asked for was a qualified candidate. What we got was a 3yr assistant principal at one of the lowest performing high schools in Illinois. Great Job, future ex-board members. (Ted Moorman aside) [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 11:05:59
    Jim Clark on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Fire Simeck. I know there are a lot of realtors in this town and I suggest you realtors give him a call. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 10:48:54
    Mike on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: "Angry mob." Thank you for your offensive mischaracterization of the meeting last night, Mr. Burgener, I expected no less.

    And as for you, Mr. Harlan, thank you for libeling my wife as "deeply-misguided" and for her efforts in revealing the sad truth about Dr. Holland as a "smear campaign". Your courage is remarkable.

    Michael C. Neubauer [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 09:43:20
    Todd Burgener on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Proud of the BOE, and its immediate past members, for helping to identify, getting to know and supporting Dr. Holland through this process. Proud too of Dr. Holland for confidently enduring the same. There is a big difference between an angry mob and community representation. To my eyes and ears, what we saw last night was the former. The BOE and the administration deserve credit for recognizing the difference and voting accordingly. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 08:08:23
    Mike Jones on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Good for Ted Moorman, but as for the rest of those board members, I hope they are treated as second class citizens in Lake Bluff and Lake Forest. I will for sure not allow them to play at my golf club! They sat there for around an hour and a half listening to community member after member voice displeasure and concern about this canidate. The board was offered solutions to fix their mess and choose to disreguard everything that was said. It was an astounding display of arrogance and condescension. Truly a JOKE. Makes me sick there was 300+ people there, where as a normal meeting has 2-4 people. They just don't care, and the people who do care are the ones paying for it. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-10 07:18:12
    Donald E. Russ on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Six of the LFHS Board members were caucus-endorsed. Inspired by the Harry Griffith scandal, Ted Moorman ran independently and defeated a caucus candidate to win a seat on the board.

    Mr. Moorman was the lone dissenting vote. Whether that is cause for celebration of the caucus system, or condemnation of it, will divide us as sharply as Chala Holland has. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 06:19:02
    Greg Harlan on LFHS Board OKs Principal Contract: Well done! Congratulations to Dr. Holland.

    And kudos to the LFHS superintendent and school board for having the insight and courage to let their decision stand. Despite the attempts by a few deeply-misguided folks to undermine the lawful hiring process with a fear-mongering smear campaign, progress has prevailed. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-10 01:58:23
    Concerned resident of Lake Forest on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: After attending the BoE meeting this evening and having weighed the evidence with respect to Dr. Holland's background and the rabbit hole which is related to the PEG group's PR nightmare of misplaced funds and race baiting, it is quite clear the question is, why here? Why now?

    After reading the amicus brief which was granted cert by the Supreme Court in Seattle School district case wherein the definitions of racism were adapted in a grossly inappropriate and agenda driven manner with no ultimate goal of equity (which is the presumable platform upon which Dr. holland has driven her career in education) it is shocking that a 200k salaried position would be on the table to an individual who has worked closely with, been awarded by, and subscribes to such a world view.

    For consideration are the facts that highland park, evanston, new trier and most recently oak park have all employed the services of PEG where Dr. Holland has been either supportive of or instrumental in securing such a contract for race relations training as seems to be explicitly the function and scope of her employment at oak park as Assistant principal for the instruction of ...[sic]

    A telling barb elicited by one of the speakers at tonight's proceedings which came on behalf of Dr. Holland can only lead one to speculate as to the motives behind such a hire whilst also illustrating a roiling of communal tension between oak park alumni and the parents of LFHS. If even in brevity, the suggestion following the negative sentiment surrounding the anonymous flier's content and purpose which had been circulating the town this morning to raise awareness that 'perhaps this audience is in need of what Dr. Holland is offering' was interesting indeed.

    Given the nature of Dr. Holland's ideological background and professional relationship with the PEG in conjunction with the tsunami of backlash surrounding anecdotal evidence for such programs promoted by said consulting group one can only wonder if [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 23:35:25
    Gary Finley on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: For any who don't already know Chala Holland was approved as principal 6 to 1, with Ted Moorman the only non-Caucus Board member, as the sole dissenting vote. At least 300 people showed up and the crowd was overwhelmingly against her as a candidate.

    I am proud of all the residents who wrote and spoke so eloquently, intelligently, and respectfully during this tense situation. Despite all the accusations and insinuations of racism, I haven't seen any of it. Well done neighbors! Well done indeed!

    Tomorrow we find a way to regroup. Literally... tomorrow. Or more likely for those reading this in the morning ... today. Because in a stunning coincidence Charlie Kirk the 21 year old founder of Turning Point USA will be speaking June 10 at 6 pm at Gorton Community Center. The topic will be:

    "How to Preserve Your Freedom of Speech & Assembly (and How to Avoid Getting Kicked Out of School) While Organizing Your Campus to Defeat the Liberal Left"

    I can't think of a better place to start getting ideas about how we will face what's coming in the next few years. I hope to see you all there, and remember this is a challenge that is worthy of our best effort. Our kids deserve nothing less. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 22:42:30
    Nell on No FOIA, No Answers At LFHS: Okay. The District not providing you with redacted resumes probably has less to do with "cloak and dagger tactics" and more to do with legitimate FOIA exemptions that protect those documents from disclosure. Applications for unsuccessful applicants are typically confidential and fall under one of FOIA's exemptions. An unsuccessful candidate is not a public employee and their information is not subject to the same laws of disclosure as a successful candidate. Releasing information about unsuccessful applications is considered an unwarranted invasion of privacy and the Public Access Counsel has issued several opinions upholding that applications--not JUST names--are confidential.

    Emails about personnel can sometimes fall under FOIA exemptions. Since you requested email pertaining to a candidate and not a public employee, I would guess that the reason that they can't provide the information prior to June 9 is similar to the reason I described above: if you're not a public employee, your information is not bound by the same laws of disclosure. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 20:34:45
    KLZ on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: There are many quotes regarding trust. Many talk note that earning trust takes time, but can be broken in seconds. The trust in the BoE as well Simeck has been broken. (Note: Trust is carried over from the previous board, which is "unfair" to new members, but it is reality) Transparency, tracking, program changes, condescending tones....the list of "why" goes on and varies for each person. Regardless of what happens tonight, the BoE (old and new) and Simeck need to embrace the environment. Whether it is fair/unfair or true/untrue, perception is REALITY. Whether it be on social media, online sites such as DNS or the Patch or ???, embrace that the community is in turmoil. These are our children, and the most important job we have in life is raising them. We will all fight for our children. The circle of trust is broken. HEAR that and change how you work with the community and serve the community moving forward. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-09 18:07:42
    A Concerned Former Teacher on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: While I wouldn't frame it quite the same way, the point above about teaching to "the lowest ability" isn't far from what will happen. Any responsible high school teacher will teach to her audience. I wholly agree with an earlier comment about the tracking done at the high school: it works. Students are NOT stuck in a track, there is fluidity. If a teacher or parent (or student for that matter) believes someone isn't being challenged enough or that a particular class moves too quickly, a change is made. A real concern is that, contrary to Mr. Burgeners suggestion, the organizational structure sought by this administration will undoubtedly result in far more students "slipping through the cracks." This would be especially sad in an institution where it doesn't have to happen. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-09 17:03:12
    Lake Bluff Parent on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: LF Parent,

    You made all the points I previously made more salient. Failed leadership, starting from the top, has put us in the current situation. All it takes is a simple Google search to find that Superintendent Simeck was at the center of a controversial situation in his previous district in Berkley, Michigan as well. I see a developing pattern here.

    Going forward, it's imperative that proper leadership be put in place. It has to be done with inclusive community involvement, transparency and collaboration between all stakeholders. Another added measure would be to simply do a Google search on all potential candidates. Online sources, including more permanent news stories that cannot be easily scrubbed, can provide a good deal of information about a potential hire and their history in a district as well. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 16:19:11
    Cindy Raymond on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: Mr. Krishnaswamy is quite on point. Integrity is the most important thing we can teach our children, whether it's in honors classes or otherwise. Truth often comes at a price people are not willing to pay. Our children see this splashed all over the news, constant cover-ups by dishonest adults feverishly managing their images - we would do well to set an example here and make transparency/integrity our priorities, truly in fairness to all involved, first and foremost. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-09 14:56:44
    LF Parent on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: Without addressing every point in this post, which are many, let me say that I have read just about every comment related to every op ed published on this site. The idea that the "discourse" has been anything less than civil is ludicrous. Has there been direct and frank points made? Yes. Have any of them crossed the line? No. Certainly not from the point of view of those that have taken issue with this process. When our conservative community is being attacked from the political Left, those of us who have educated ourselves about the Left, their objectives and means, and the way in which they subversively implement them, know an "Infiltration" when we see one.

    It is OUR job as parents to teach moral and civil codes to our children, and to do our best to ensure that they receive an education that is consistent with those values (or at the very least isn't hostile to them). It is difficult enough to lay the foundation before they head of to college, which have become Left leaning indoctrination camps. To now be confronted with Leftist ideology taking hold in our high school causes great distress. To say this is about the "kids" and not the "grownups" is a silly statement. It is our job as "grownups" to both look out for our kids AND our community.

    Several (4 I think) of the BOE members started very recently. The idea that a full and comprehensive vetting process was done here doesn't pass the smell test. The fact that the BOE didn't hire a search firm to identify THE best candidate our community can afford is both shocking and laughable. Posting the position on a "job board?" Whoever made that decision should be held accountable.

    I have taught my kids that, as Viktor Frankl boldly proclaimed in his book "Man's Search for Meaning," there are only two races: the decent and the indecent. In the 20 years I have lived in Lake Forest I have rarely come across any parent who teaches their kids differently. The fact that aspersions are being ca [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 12:46:48
    Rob Troxel on No FOIA, No Answers At LFHS: Its plain for all to see that our biggest taxing body Dist 115, sees no reason to conduct open dialogue with taxpayers. We empower the school board to represent us and give the superintendent guidance. Not the other way around. Unfortunately we get leaders like Klingenburg, Griffth, and now Simeck.
    I implore you to stand up and be counted tonight at the school board meeting.
    [Read More]
  • 2015-06-09 11:34:55
    Jennifer Neubauer on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: First, thank you for originally voting against hiring Mr. Simeck, Mr. Burgener. Second, did Mr. Simeck ever complete the PhD he promised the Board he would complete as a condition of his hiring? And hasn't the time for completing this PhD (usually 10 years, I'm told) elapsed? Third, those weren't threats. Fourth, I'm not the only lawyer in town. Have a nice day.
    Jennifer Neubauer

    Lake Forest Schools Hire New Superintendent
    by Adrienne Fawcett • February 14, 2012

    By A. J. Goldsmith

    After an intensive recruitment and interviewing process, board members of Lake Forest School District 67 and Lake Forest High School District 115 on Monday announced a replacement for retiring Superintendent Harry Griffith.

    All 14 board members agreed on the selection of Michigan educator Michael Simeck who has 10 years of experience as a superintendent of schools in two Michigan communities. Simeck will assume his post on July
    1. The term is three years.

    There was not universal agreeement on the terms of his contract.

    Both districts will share the salary and expenses of the new superintendent. However the actual contract is in the name of District 67 with an attached Intergovernmental Shared Services Agreement approved by the District 115 board.

    Simeck’s annual salary will be $220,000. The agreement calls for a $500 a month car allowance, a $30,000 annual contribution to Teachers’ Retirement System and a $750,000 life insurance policy. The districts will also share the $15,000 moving allowance.

    Voting against the contract were two members of the District 67 board, Bill Anderson and Laurie Rose, and two members of the District 115 board, Dick Block and Todd Burgener.

    Board Member Dick Block said: ‘It’s all carrot and no stick.” He also said he did not like the negotiating process.

    The four members who voted against the contract expressed feelings that there wasn’t enough accountability built into the agreement.

    Burgener called the contract “archa [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 11:26:00
    Sridhar Krishnaswamy on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: It is good to have the perspective of someone who has been on the inside share his experience regarding how these decisions are vetted by the Board of Education. Mr. Burgener is right in saying that we must have faith in the ability of the elected BoE to ask hard questions and make informed decisions. Certainly, the not-so-subtle threats of legal responsibility that have been made on DNS by some are not really helpful, and may only serve to harden positions. At the same time, it is unfortunate that some of the actions of both the candidate (taking down her controversial website) and the BoE (calling an early morning special meeting over the Memorial Day weekend) have not helped. Both of these actions may have valid explanations, but the optics was simply not good. Given these circumstances, I do believe that the community members concerned about this hiring are well within their rights to respectfully make their voices heard. Just as the BoE provides oversight to the Superintendent, so must the public provide oversight to the BoE, helping ensure that the decisions it makes are in tune with the community’s needs.

    Mr. Burgener is correct that this is about the children and not the grownups, and that grownups should set examples of good behavior. As a father of three children in the Lake Forest schools system, I expect that the people I entrust my children to will not only be highly qualified to hold positions of responsibility, but will also serve as models of integrity. Bringing down a website with controversial opinions in the middle of an academic hiring process does not pass the integrity test for me. Integrity requires that we let our record stand public scrutiny; we can either affirm or publicly disavow them, but we can never attempt to erase or hide them. If the BoE intends to proceed with this hiring, I hope that the candidate will waive any legal restrictions so that they can share with the public any information they may be privy to which prov [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 10:13:54
    Gary Finley on LF Board: Consider Lessons of the Past: The Board meeting will be tonight at the West Campus gymnasium at 7 pm, June 9th.

    Government oversight and transparency are incompatible with our existing laws protecting the secrecy of this process. Whatever benefits are gained from keeping things secret, they are out weighed by the appearance of hidden agendas driving the process. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 10:02:05
    Gary Finley on Why This Candidate For LFHS?: The Board meeting will be tonight at the West Campus gymnasium at 7 pm, June 9th.

    Well said sir. The people of Lake Forest continue to respond to sneering condescension and accusations of racism with mature professionalism. Well done. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 09:50:17
    Gary Finley on Questioning Liability In Principal Search: The Board meeting will be tonight at the West Campus gymnasium at 7 pm, June 9th.

    Repetition is the cornerstone of education! [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 09:48:45
    Gary Finley on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: The Board meeting will be tonight at the West Campus gymnasium at 7 pm, June 9th.

    No one else is fighting for our kids. It has to be us. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 09:47:04
    Gary Finley on No FOIA, No Answers At LFHS: The Board meeting will be tonight at the West Campus gymnasium at 7 pm, June 9th.

    It's clear that the State laws governing the management of our school systems need to be changed, or we need to find a way around them. This cloak and dagger style of administration only helps those who have something to hide. Does anyone know if "Home Rule" would grant us any leeway? [Read More]

  • 2015-06-09 09:37:54
    Todd Burgener on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: I should have been more clear in distinguishing between following the advice of ones own legal counsel and reacting with fear to the outside threats of legal action. The threats of legal liability to which I referred were those I inferred from Mrs. Neubauer's letter to the BOE, which she placed publicly on DNS yesterday. To me, the letter read as a preemptive allegation of board malpractice. My hope is that the BOE is not overly influenced by such threats...real or perceived. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-09 07:57:44
    Hilary F. Till on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: This is a stunningly condescending letter from the former president of the LFHS Board of Education. I would hope that we would eventually have a referendum on whether Mr. Burgener's framework is what the residents want for their high school. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-08 23:48:24
    Gary Finley on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: First, our schools administrators have a habit of implementing changes that have not been proven to work. Several years ago when they introduced the latest 20th century learning fad, I asked Kyle Schumacher if they had any evidence that these new changes would improve anything. He had to admit they didn't. That is no way to run a school, but that's how it's done. We put in place the latest unproven teaching fads and then expect the teachers to make it work somehow.

    What policies will Dr. Holland bring with her, and have they ever improved anything anywhere, and how will those methods improve things in our schools? If you can't answer that, then all those aspirational words were wasted.

    Second, with regard to trusting our elected officials to make the best decisions for our kids, I will never trust anyone who wants to put my white children under the guidance of someone who sees white children as advantaged oppressors who need to pay their debt to other races. Dr. Holland sees white people as her enemies. Can you understand my concern? This is not subtle nuanced stuff here.

    Last, with regard to how our children will see these events, I hope they see that someone is fighting for them ... at last. I hope they learn to NEVER let someone blame them for something they didn't do, and that they NEVER have to answer for the sins of their ancestors. They should demand that everyone treat them as an equal and that those who treat them as second class citizens because of their white skin are racists, no better than those who stood in school doors in the 1950's to keep black kids out. THAT is what we should be teaching our children. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-08 22:26:11
    Taylor Cottam on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: Statistics 101. Correlation is not Causality.

    I have attached a link to Oak Park diversity training from Ms. Chala Holland herself. You can choose for yourself if you want to have the LF teachers indoctrinated. What she is pushing is a LEADS system of teaching from the Pacific Education Group

    They have had a lot of problems with a group that she is associated with, which is the PEG group. Please come to the board meeting and make your voices heard.

    Another Controversy with PEG, who Ms. Holland lectures: [Read More]

  • 2015-06-08 22:11:55
    Taylor Cottam on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: What he is saying is "All her past has been vetted, but they cannot tell us because they are legally barred." Then he turns around and says, Hopefully the legal threats won't influence their decision.

    There you have it, I can't talk because of Johnny Law, and BTW, he can't stop me from doing what I want. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-08 21:59:27
    Parent resident taxpayer on Questioning Liability In Principal Search:

    704 and counting ignored by Simeck [Read More]

  • 2015-06-08 18:09:51
    Concerned Parent on From Former LFHS Board Prez ...: While I would like to thank Mr. Burgener for his service to the BoE, I would have to disagree with some of his points. He specifically talks about "children with disabilities" making a larger part of the core / non-honors/AP classes - that is most likely because they NEED the courses adapted to them. As a parent of a child with special needs, and also a parent of a child that is in honors classes, I have seen the differing levels of coursework and there is no way I would want my special needs child placed in the honors class. How would that be fair to him being compared against the other students, unless you are talking about lowering standards, and how would it be fair to the other students in the honors class if it had to be slowed down and lessened so that my son could participate and learn? To say that you are going to teach ALL levels in the same class is to admit you are teaching to the lowest ability.

    Also, I really have to question if THIS candidate is really the person for the job to help LFHS move forward and upward. Her resume is very light - having only four years administrative experience as an Assistant Principal for Instruction - doesn't Mr. Burgener believe that LFHS both needs and deserves someone with more experience at the helm. That plus the candidates decision to hide her past, controversial, views - hiding the truth and not owning up to her own words - makes her unqualified. Was Mr. Burgener here when LFHS posted its core principles, one of which was to accept responsibility for your actions? [Read More]

  • 2015-06-08 15:56:52
    David F. Craigmile on Questioning Liability In Principal Search: Have lived in Lake Forest for over 45 years, sent five children through the high school; I am appalled at the lack of quality of the current candidate for the Principal position. Equally, it is a disgrace that we have outside hucksters and lawyers appearing to "pressure" our Board to make a terrible decision on a new principal. Who is responsible for this obvious attempt to "jam" in a candidate who not only lacks the basic competency, but espouses radical ideas that have no relevancy for our children? Strongly, advise the Board to terminate those personnel first and then get on to the job of finding a quality person to fill the needs for our children and community! [Read More]
  • 2015-06-08 13:45:47
    Lisa Jaenicke (author, daughter) on Goodbye & Thank You, Lake Bluff ...: Yes, Alexis, it is beautiful, but unfortunately very much in need of extensive and expensive repairs and upgrades.
    It's time has come, and we will cherish the memories!
    [Read More]
  • 2015-06-08 12:43:00
    Jennifer Neubauer on Questioning Liability In Principal Search: Just received this email from another concerned person:

    "What is most troubling about Chala Holland is not her position on tracking. What is most troubling is her reference to "white privilege," which is an integral part of a set of arguable theories (e.g., Critical Race Theory, Critical Pedagogy) that are politicizing and poisoning professional development, English curricula, social studies curricula, and even world languages curricula. These theories include a host of assumptions posited as incontrovertible facts. And in most schools, neither students nor faculty study resources critical of Critical Race Theory, thus violating the most basic intellectual commitment of sound pedagogy.

    School boards should be asking administrative and faculty candidates for their positions on Critical Race Theory, Critical Pedagogy, "Teaching for Social Justice," and "white privilege." They should be asking them which scholars most influence their pedagogical beliefs. They should ask them for their views of Tim Wise, Paul Kivel, Peggy McIntosh, Paulo Freire, and Bill Ayers,

    Here are some short and compelling videos on the annual White Privilege Conference that are well worth watching:

    Sincerely," [Read More]

  • 2015-06-08 09:41:18
    Rob Troxel on Questioning Liability In Principal Search: Thanks for your letter. This sums up our feelings rather eloquently and we hope the school board accepts their responsibility to rein in the loose canons in the District administration. Further, it is time to look closely at Mr. Simick to see if he really has been much of a fit for our district. Having just paid my real estate taxes, I realize I want more say in the spending conduct of this administration. No more rubber stamping on poor direction and decisions from this or any other succeeding board! Please come to the June 9th meeting @ 7 PM to be counted! [Read More]
  • 2015-06-08 07:45:51
    Lake Bluff Parent on Questioning Liability In Principal Search: I hope the Board has had some time to do some soul searching and deep consideration of the facts and potential ramifications of their decisions since May 26th.

    As a LFHS stakeholder, I still remain very concerned about the fast process and the lack of community representation in the task force that narrowed the search down to one candidate for the Board to consider. (2 non-elected parent volunteers on the task force does not represent the community). I expect that the community and Board would desire a principal candidate with a proven track record and relevant work experience to charge the lead and not consider it a position where you come to "cut you teeth". I think it's fair to say, we as a community expect more.

    As an aside, The US News and World Report High School Rankings 2015 came out recently (it is just one metric, for some a debatable one, but many still consider it a go to source when evaluating a high school). While Northside Prep still remains ranked #1 in Illinois, with a STEM rank of #29. LFHS has gone from #24 to #26 in 2015 with no STEM rank. Last year, Libertyville was just behind LFHS at #25 and is now #13. There has been much talk at the high school about the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) or STEAM (Art) in our curriculum and its effect on our students' ability to be competitive as they prepare for jobs in the future. Does this current candidate have the relevant work experience and back ground to guide us in that direction ?

    Another important consideration is if it was confirmed that the current candidate was accompanied by lawyers at the last board meeting on May 26th prior to being hired. If true, I am very concerned as LFHS stakeholder about our ability to hold such a candidate accountable for job performance if actually hired for the position.

    In short, I hope the Board has the courage and insight to act independently and move forward in hiring a new principal based on good information a [Read More]

  • 2015-06-06 10:02:40
    Lisa on County Fair Asked To Cancel 'Banana Derby': Get input from Lake County residents, not just fair attendees. I'm sure my family isn't the only one who boycotts the fair because this event exists. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-04 19:41:06
    Les Sklenar on Tung H. Jeong: Regardless of his eminence in the field of holography (as described in the article), Dr. Jeong was yet a competent and approachable physics professor. I was happy that I was able to schedule myself into his basic physics class and learned a lot, back in the 60s. May he rest in well-deserved peace. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-04 17:13:02
    Kristen on Trust In LFHS Representatives: In the case of the "re-branding" of the math classes at DPM, if you look closely at the course sequence sent to parents, you will see the Explore and Core classes at the middle school have been "re-branded" into one class culminating in Algebra 1 in 8th grade. The majority of children will be placed in this one level because the majority of students currently fall into either Core or Explore math. The track above this on the course sequence chart is what we currently know as "Quest", and is for a much smaller group of very advanced students. The track they list above that one, Algebra 1 in 6th grade, is obviously for the even smaller number of math geniuses that will be placed a grade level ahead. Bottom line: the majority of the students will placed in the same math level. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-04 09:50:15
    Jennifer Neubauer on Let LF Principal Search Take Its Course:
    Scroll to the bottom for confirmation from Ms. Fawcett of what web archiving services revealed: that Holland's online record was scrubbed after her name was leaked for the principal post.

    The only apologies owed are hers and Simeck's to the community for attempting to cover up her views on tracking as a "beacon" of "white privilege and institutionalized racism" and her expressed affection for Malcolm X's comment: "Only a FOOL would let his enemy teach his children." (And whites, in Malcolm's world, were the "enemy." Go study your history).

    Perhaps you were not at the May 26th, standing room only meeting and felt the palpable disgust and outrage about both her opinions and Simeck's "hiding the ball" from the Board and the Community. And the "booing" you allege is exaggerated: the LFHS stakeholders who showed up at the hastily called 7 a.m. meeting after the Memorial Day holiday expressed frustration that the Board allowed non-LFHS stakeholders to take the microphone to tell us, in one way or the other, that we were wrong and that "Chala is great". These folks also conveniently failed to comment on the cover-up and Holland's divisive views. One of the commenters, an African-American woman from LF with children in the system who finally got to the microphone at the end of the public comments section called Holland's views "divisive" and noted LFHS didn't need Malcolm X or the KKK in the school. Agreed.

    What moral authority could Simeck and Holland ever retain to lead LFHS now that we know of the cover-up of her online presence and the hideous, racist nature of her views towards "whites" (and tracking as their tool). How anyone can believe these are fit leaders of faculty, staff or children is simply beyond belief. We now know that both of them will go to great lengths to hide the truth to advance their own agenda. And that's your idea [Read More]

  • 2015-06-04 08:25:25
    Alexis on Goodbye & Thank You, Lake Bluff ...: What an architecturally and historically beautiful home!!! It's a shame to have Lake Bluff lose it. Best wishes for wonderful Sunset years! [Read More]
  • 2015-06-04 07:15:51
    Mr. Diefenbach on LF Principal Search: Questions and Answers: Lake Bluff Parent Comments from 6-1
    "Going forward, I think it is prudent to have some sort of consistent protocol in hiring that is transparent and allows for open, inclusive community input. Current District 115 Superintendent Michael Simeck went through such a process when he interviewed for a position at Bloomfield Hills, Michigan just before coming to Lake Forest.
    "Collaboration, transparency, and the inclusion of an unbiased third party (e.g. search firm) must be a priority going forward or we can continue to expect more of what we are going through now in the future."
    The Board is elected to represent the Community not an "autocrat" who presents 1 candidate, with no search firm, who has no experience or track record of successful leadership as a principal. There should be a choice in our democracy of more than one candidate in a pool of 20-25. This is about transparency and full disclosure.

    Barry Rodgers, Assistant Superintendent, was hired less than 2 years ago using search firm He was the leading principal in Illinois at the time. He provided much stablity after years of school disruptions and turmoil which we all would like to put behind us. Maybe the board should propose a vote on 6-9 at 5 pm at WLF campus to consider the appointed of a new Superintendent who listens to the taxpayers and the 689 people who have signed the petitiion to remove the sole principal candidate from the pool of 20-25 where many are qualified principals with actual experience. This is about "experience" and nothing more. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-03 14:15:44
    Adrienne Fawcett on LCFPD Risks $160,000 Planting Trees: Robert and Sonny -- I asked LCFPD Executive Director Ty Kovach about this. He said the reason they are going out to bid before having a Master Plan approved is: "We are trying to position ourselves in anticipation that we will have Master Plan approved next fall. If we wait, we won't be able to get any trees or shrubs in by the fall planting season." He also said they are sorting through feedback from the public meeting and from comments to the LCFPD website, of which there have been a lot, and they will introduce a revised MP at some point, I believe they are shooting for September. So it remains to be seen whether the trees in this contract would go on the old golf course or not; they have a lot of other areas where the LCFPD can and wants to plant trees. But he did say that the LCFPD's mandate is to return land to its natural state, so trees on the fairway is a goal. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-03 11:03:16
    Robert B. on LCFPD Risks $160,000 Planting Trees: Another bloviated opinion piece by Sonny Cohen that is completely inaccurate of activities and plans at the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve. Trees are not being planted in the middle of a golf course fairway. The golf course is dead and has been dead for years. The areas of interest for the planting of trees are in areas that have been defined for over a year in both Concept A and Concept B for the master redevelopment plan of the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve including the existing parade grounds - which is not at golf course. The LCFPD has been very fair in allowing the public to voice opinion, especially fair to Mr. Cohen who was allowed to present his "option C" during a recent public open house. Daily North Shore - please stop publishing Sonny's inaccurate accounts of LCFPD activities and motives. [Read More]
  • 2015-06-03 09:27:36
    Heather on Wilmette's Lakefront Committee Looks to Future: So glad you're keeping us well informed about this important endeavor! [Read More]
  • 2015-06-02 20:03:21
    Carolyn on County Fair Asked To Cancel 'Banana Derby': Regarding the "Banana Derby" at Lake County Fair, I would hope that fair officials will listen to those who closely study and understand our close primate relatives and take their wise advice. As we mature and grow as a civilization, just as we have evolved on extending universal human rights, is time for us to evolve to a higher standard of treatment for our fellow living creatures who aren't human but who share most of our emotions and experience the world the same way we do.

    If you put this to a vote of fair-goers, I wonder how many would vote to spare these smart little beings the terror of this event. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-01 17:05:42
    Gary Finley on LF Principal Search: Questions and Answers: Pull back? I would hope not. Her primary qualification is that she has a racial chip on her shoulder, and she has made a career out of implementing "racial equity" policies.

    Proponents of "White Privilege" see all whites as oppressors and seek to convince whites of their guilt regardless of their actions, simply because of their "skin advantage". Dr. Holland's core beliefs lead her to treat whites as second class citizens and enemies. My children are not oppressors, and I will not accept anyone in our schools who tries to convince them that they are. No one should stand by idly and let a person like this become a leader in our schools.

    Dr. Holland is not to blame for this. She is what she is, and only started hiding it two weeks ago after being offered a job where her radical ideas don't match the community's values. Simeck had to know all this, and yet he still put all of us through this. What must Simeck think of the people and the children of this community if he chose such a person? What was he trying to accomplish? The hard part is believing what so obviously must be true. Force yourself to face the ugly truth, and then act on it.

    Simeck must go. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-01 15:15:14
    Carl Noble on LF Principal Search: Questions and Answers: 1. Excellent job by Adrienne (did we expect less?)

    2. Look up Michael Foucault via any search engine. A dubious authority at best. You judge the appropriateness of someone who follows his teachings/writings. Some folks will find racism everywhere.

    Carl [Read More]

  • 2015-06-01 12:38:46
    Michael H. Ebner on LF Principal Search: Questions and Answers: So here we come upon a second troubled search for an area high school, the other one having occured earlier this year for District 113 (Highland-Park-Deerfield H.S.)

    And what have we learned? In this day and age, because of the so-called electronic resolution in communications, public stakeholders exercise a larger role in the appointment of superintendents and principals.

    Clearly our school boards and senior administrators have to account for as much as they conduct executive-level searches. It is unavoidable and a reality of the way processes work in the twenty-first century. We cannot escape back fifty or so years when such matters were conducted behind closed doors.

    I commend Adrienne Fawcett -- whose journalistic sensibilities I greatly admire -- for the posting made on May 31. It certainly lays out a great deal of information in a rather disapassionate manner. Readers of DNS are most fortunate, since we are not going to obtain news and analysis from the print daily newspapers or the various weeklies.

    In the end, my wish is that the public stakeholders might pull back and allow this matter to settle down in order to reach whatever conclusion unfolds in this most unfortunate business. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-01 09:46:37
    Cindy Raymond on LF Principal Search: Questions and Answers: My earlier posts align with the thoughts of 'Lake Bluff Parent' in terms of transparency and community involvement -- it is imperative at this point.

    Though opposing viewpoints and letters of support are part of collaborative debate, the mindset set forth in a previous Letter to the Editor that we should just 'trust' the representatives we appointed is troubling. While I agree that we should not be micromanaging daily tasks, it is our job as resident 'stakeholders' to direct, evaluate and question their work. An impressive resume does not guarantee integrity and there are some who's interests are completely self-serving, especially in regards to power, control and money. It only takes one individual's hidden agenda or disordered thinking to wreak havoc in an organization and it is foolish for us to behave as bystanders. These are general comments regarding our role here - sexting 'trusted' principals selected by 'trusted' representatives and 'trusted' long-time political leaders who's moral bankruptcy is splashed all over the news as we speak serves as our warning to select our representatives well, but demand transparency, integrity and collaboration along the way. Dishonest image-management coupled with our tendency to look the other way (and a naïve desire to trust) is not a good combination. Thank you to those who are paying attention. [Read More]

  • 2015-06-01 09:46:16
    KB on LF Principal Search: Questions and Answers: Adrienne, thank you for writing this article. I was not aware we were adopting a new Language Arts curriculum in District 67 before reading your article.

    From your article:
    In response to questions by Daily North Shore, Lauren Fagel, the current assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, technology, and assessment of Lake Forest School Districts 67 and 115, said in an email:

    We have been asked if will be doing the same process for our Language Arts curriculum. In January, 2015, the Board of Education voted to adopt a new reading and writing curriculum.

    From minutes of the BOE meetings found on the Lake Forest schools website:


    Mr. Andersen reported that public organizations have different goals and many challenges including motivating a large group of people. The vision of the Board should be to focus on broad goals, not to be inflexible. The mission of the District is Education and is not personal. Mr. Andersen stated that it is a privilege to serve on the Board, that it is a vital role and the goal is to work together in a respectful manner.

    Approval of ELA Adoption
    Mr. Simeck recommended adoption of the English Language Arts as discussed at the December Board meeting.
    MOTION: Mrs. Fisher moved, seconded by Mrs. Clemmensen, that the Board of Education of Lake Forest School District 67, Lake Forest, Illinois, approve the English Language Arts adoption, as presented.
    Votes were taken by roll call. Votes were cast as follows:
    Ayes: Lemke, Borkowski, Clemmensen, Andersen, Fisher, Folker Nays:
    Absent: Schuler
    The motion carried unanimously.


    English Language Adoption Report
    Mrs. Fagel, Ms. Milsk and Dr. Wilcox reported on the English Language Arts Adoption recommendation. The reco [Read More]

  • 2015-06-01 06:41:22
    Lake Bluff Parent on LF Principal Search: Questions and Answers: First of all, thank you for posting this Adrienne. It's very helpful in sorting out and understanding a timeline as to how we got to where we are today.

    The one point that I am still unclear about is bullet point 4 in the search process. It states:
    "a team of teachers, students and parent representatives interviewed the candidates and narrowed the pool down to three and then to one, their top choice being Dr. Holland" (no search firm at any step in the process?)

    I would like to know how this group was selected. Was there an open request sent to all stakeholders in both Lake Forest and Lake Bluff asking community members to join? Otherwise, I am uncertain how any other selection process could create a committee that could represent the interests of both communities at large. If it was an open call and I missed the memo, you can stop reading my post now. Otherwise, the rest of my post is relevant and I hope an answer can be provided to my question.

    In Lake Bluff, we had a series of admin personnel turnover over the last 10 years. Often times, parent committees were formed to have input on many important decisions in the district. These committees always seemed to have formed without an open call to join. Were the rest of us supposed to trust that these unknown selected people were qualified and representative of the community interests without bias? The results of those decisions never seemed to work out long term. Trust was not built, collaboration between community and district did not happen. Our current superintendent, Dr. Jean Sophie, has an approach that I believe has been successful in our district. I have seen more positive change in this district since her arrival. One important being communication to serve on committees has been opened to all stakeholders - a big step in creating transparency, respect, trust. Her philosophical approach can be summed up in her closing on her memos, "In Partnership". Without that basic premise, the LFHS communi [Read More]

  • 2015-05-31 17:51:56
    Concerned Parent on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Maybe you could provide a view then - the picture is of Malcolm X making the statement “Only A Fool Would Let His Enemy Teach His Children” with Dr. Holland's comment of “His words continue to resonate. His life will never be forgotten.”

    How would you interpret that? If those words continue to ring true today, who does Dr. Holland view as the enemy? At the time, Malcolm X was referring to white people - is that Dr. Holland's view? Based upon this, would she truly be capable of being an impartial principal to ALL students? Based upon this and her other writings, I would think not. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-31 15:25:07
    Sridhar Krishnaswamy on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Okay, that settles the matter for me. Thanks. [Read More]
  • 2015-05-31 14:43:08
    Adrienne Fawcett on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Sridhar and others -- I saw the websites on May 15; they were down the next morning, May 16. [Read More]
  • 2015-05-31 13:41:25
    Sridhar Krishnaswamy on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Unfortunately, footnote [1] does not identify the archived web page (it could refer to the archive of any webpage). Attempts by others to find an archived page for Dr. Holland’s website time-stamped May 16, 2015 on Wayback Machine have not been successful (see Steve Haugh and Dave Marchant's comments). This is a serious matter simply because, in my view, any attempt to sanitize ones record during a hiring process is unacceptable and would automatically disqualify any candidate who attempts to do so. The claim that the website was archived as being live on May 16th therefore needs to be substantiated. All it requires is for the person who made that claim to simply provide a web link to the Wayback Machine archive which others can follow to see for themselves. If you are unable to provide that link, please say so and we will leave it at that (I have no interest in knowing why the claim that it exists was made in the original post…we can assume that it was an honest error as the internet is a tricky thing after all). Lack of a May 16th archive does not mean that the website was not live on that date; it simply means that one cannot jump to the conclusion that the website was shut down recently based on the evidence presented.

    If 5 cents is necessary to put this question to rest, I will gladly send it along. Please provide the link. Thanks. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-31 12:51:05
    Jennifer Neubauer on Why Was Record Scrubbed?: I am not a tech person, but a little research shows the following that supports both Michael's letter and my own researched letters:
    According to Wikipedia on the Wayback Macine:
    "Since 1996, they have been archiving cached pages of web sites onto their large cluster of Linux nodes. They revisit sites every few weeks or months and archive a new version IF THE CONTENT HAS CHANGED [emphasis added]. The intent is to capture and archive content that would otherwise be lost WHENEVER A SITE IS CHANGED OR CLOSED DOWN [emphasis supplied] Their grand vision is to archive the entire Internet.[3]"
    I guess we can investigate whether Wikipedia's contributors know what they're talking about, but even a non-tech person like myself can understand the Wayback Machine doesn't snap unchanged web pages just for the heck of it. Even a non-tech person like myself understands there must be some trigger---a change or a shutdown--that causes Wayback to take a snap of a page. Google cached pages (which other contributors to DNS have used) seem to run along those same lines.

    Moreover I am informed by someone who has made a living in software that the robots.txt is merely a suggestion that the manual or automatic web crawler not go into certain directories. I'm informed that, while most web crawlers respect that, adding the robots.txt file does not prevent crawling into those directories. So whether or not she used the robots.txt file, manual or web crawlers could disregard and find the page. A tech layman would likely believe that "taking down" a site is all you need to hide it, in any event. So the discussion of the robots.txt file issue is of no moment. BTW, Wayback respects robots.txt file according to the Wikipedia. Thus, the most that can be said is that when she took the site down in May 2015 she didn't bother to use the robots.txt file to deep six it from Wayback (but not necessarily other manual or w [Read More]

  • 2015-05-31 11:57:13
    Concerned Parent on Why Was Record Scrubbed?: Steve - you make it seem like everyone knows about the 'robots.txt' file, which is a pretty strong assumption.

    Do you honestly believe that someone with solely four years experience as an Assistant Principal for Instruction is qualified to lead a high school such as Lake Forest? If you say "yes", you are showing your bias. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-31 11:54:25
    Concerned Parent on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: The author who researched the "sudden" disappearance of Dr. Holland's works DID post the information. Just because you did not make the effort to look does not give you the right to accuse the person who posted the information.

    Well, Dr. Holland could come forth and admit that she scrubbed her online content because it was inflammatory and would hinder her chances of getting the job - at least that would be HONEST. It seems you want to give her a pass and hold her to lower standards, why is that? You make accusations about others, yet you seem to be the one with two standards. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-31 11:50:47
    Concerned Parent on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Regarding your 2nd point, there is a large difference between being a principal for a small grade school (K-4) with a few hundred students and a college prep high school with thousands of students. There is no double standard and your insistence on making the comparison shows your biased views.

    Regarding your 4th point - race is being injected into the conversation by supporters of Dr. Holland, such as yourself, as a way to redirect the conversation away from her lack of experience. I don't care what race the candidate is, four years as an Assistant Principal for Instruction is not enough for leading a larger high school.

    Then, in general, regarding "people who know her" vs. those who don't - the active of her trying to sanitize her online views, including her very racist comment with the quote from Malcolm X (is that really the best one she could have highlighted?), make it difficult to get to know someone. The act itself of hiding her views shows a lack of character and is counter to what our school supposedly professes and asks of its students (posted on LFHS website). [Read More]

  • 2015-05-31 08:27:47
    Jennifer Neubauer on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: NYTimes:Tracking Students By Ability Produces Academic Results [Read More]

  • 2015-05-30 18:41:15
    Steve Haugh on Why Was Record Scrubbed?: The assertion that the website was "scrubbed" as part of a cover-up is also preposterous for another, far simpler reason. If a person's goal really IS to hide content from web crawlers like the Wayback Machine, it's simply accomplished by adding a file called ROBOTS.TXT to the site's host directory. You configure it to disallow robot compilers to archive content, at which point no further data is compiled, and the Wayback Machine returns an error message saying the site cannot be accessed due to the site's robots.txt configuration (so even previously-compiled data is no longer shared.) As a researcher, believe me when I say I have firsthand experience with this!

    I have to wonder why all of these dangerous co-conspirators like Dr. Holland and Dr. Simeck and those shadowy ACLU attorneys didn't do a better job in crafting their nefarious plan. Since so much of the character assassination of Dr. Holland springs from insinuations about her 'deceitful' online behavior, and (projecting from that), her "shame" for sharing educational resources which are actually quite mainstream in the educational field (abeit apparently dangerously Trotskyite for the good citizens of Lake Forest), I have to ask: what else you got? [Read More]

  • 2015-05-30 18:30:23
    Laurie Rose on LFHS Extends Principal Search: "Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was there any item of news, or any expression of opinion , which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on the record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed as often as was necessary." George Orwell , 1984 ( currently in D 67 curriculum)

    " Those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana [Read More]

  • 2015-05-30 12:56:37
    Joan Cordeniz on Comparing Principal Resumes ...: I am concerned about several elements in Ms Neubauer's letter, the first of which is a rather significant factual error. Linda Yonke is not the principal of New Trier High School: she is the superintendent of the New Trier District. New Trier has two principals—Denise Dubravec (Winnetka campus) and Paul Waechtler (Northlake campus). Dubravec had a total of 13 years of experience when she was offered the job at New Trier; Waechtler had 11 years of experience when he was offered the job. This certainly puts Ms. Neubauer’s claims in a different light.

    Additionally, the way that Ms. Neubauer calculates the experience of other principals is misleading in some cases. For example, she notes that Glenbrook South principal Brian Wegley has 27 years of experience. However, Wegley did not have 27 years of experience when he was offered the GBS position—he had 17. In order to adequately compare the two, Ms. Neubauer should have counted the experience that each principal had when they were offered their current position.

    I am also concerned with the level of unsubstantiated assumptions that appear in this letter. Ms. Neubauer has stated that Dr. Holland intended to deceive the Board and the community by removing social media posts. The truth is Ms. Neubauer has no proof as to why those posts were removed and her assertion that they were removed for malicious purposes is based on her own conjecture. The unsubstantiated suggestion that Mr. Simeck may have been “charmed by a personable young woman” is insulting both to Mr. Simeck and to Dr. Holland as educational professionals. Implying professional misconduct is a serious accusation and one that should be backed up by clear and compelling evidence, not baseless speculation. Unless Ms. Neubauer can produce evidence of such misconduct, I believe a retraction and an apology is due from Ms. Neubauer to both Dr. Holland and Mr. Simeck.

    While I am sure that DNS is enjoying the extra traffic that this comment section is generati [Read More]

  • 2015-05-30 11:20:56
    Nell on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Okay...that wasn't what I was hoping you would take away from that article, but I appreciate the fact that you took the time to read it.

    The quotes that you pulled describe the environment in which white privilege is created as well as why it is difficult for us to recognize it as privilege. I do not think McIntosh is arguing that people must take responsibility for the actions of others. In fact, she later says that social change is not going to result from a single, individual action, but from a larger awareness and consciousness. Moral character depends both on your individual actions and how you fit into society, not just individual actions alone.

    I invite you to look more closely at what McIntosh has to say about addressing the problem of privilege:

    "We might at least start by distinguishing between positive advantages [of white privilege], which we can work to spread [to others], and negative types of advantage, which unless rejected will always reinforce our present hierarchies. For example, the feeling that one belongs within the human circle, as Native Americans say, should not be seen as privilege for a few. Ideally it is an unearned entitlement. At present, since only a few have it, it is an unearned advantage for them."

    So basically: some of the benefits of white privilege are rights that should belong to all humans. We should figure out how to ensure that ALL people have the opportunity to enjoy those rights. I hardly think that this is a radical or racist idea. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-30 10:42:17
    Dave Marchant on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: I don't buy that.....and not because I don't have a nickel to spare. See my latest post on article, specifically titled about this topic

    There is an archived page that is date stamped earlier than you claim the HECG site was still live. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-30 09:08:49
    Rob Rourke on Trust In LFHS Representatives: Tuesday was a proud day for me. I was obviously very proud of my courageous Freshman son for helping to create awareness of such an important issue as well as how respectfully and articulately he presented his views to the Board. The petition he started on sparked a counter-petition in support of the candidate. Between the two petitions, there are nearly 700 signatures in a little less than one week. That is great. The engagement engenders a sense of pride for our community – and the passions expressed on the subject; frankly, on both sides of the matter.

    Creating awareness and transparency on such a critical issue, irrespective of the outcome, makes us a stronger community. We should be all pleased by so many people coming together to have their voices heard. Doing so, in a public setting or on social media, is not without risk. One risks alienating neighbors and friends. One risks the potential for horrifically misplaced and inappropriate labels of racism -- when in fact it wasn’t even a member of the Lake Forest community who crammed that topic into the conversation. Judging by the turnout and passion displayed at the Board meeting, many in the community feel these risks are worth taking as the stakes are very very high – providing the best quality education for our children. These are decisions in which, we as parents, should have a loud voice. We should be proud of, and thankful for, such engagement. This engagement and attention is appropriate – it is the right thing to do. While some have suggested we should “just trust the process” and “we should all take a deep breath”, I would strongly argue community input and engagement is core and fundamental to the decision process. I am very appreciative of the Board for facilitating this input.

    I was also personally glad there were a few people who came out to speak on behalf of Dr. Holland Tuesday. It was useful to hear about her track record, qualities and accomplishments. It [Read More]

  • 2015-05-30 00:30:01
    Steve Haugh on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Is 5 cents a page the "concerned citizen" rate, or the "ACLU lawyer" rate? [Read More]
  • 2015-05-29 23:29:49
    Jennifer Neubauer on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Mr. Jackson, you and I had a personal email discussion and I am surprised you felt the need to go public with views we've already discussed. As you know from my personal email to you, Ms. Holland brought her family's history into the discussion in two previously published articles in the Evanston and Oak Park press. She discussed with pride her father as a prominent community organizer and her mother as her first teacher and gave these as reasons that she got into education in the first place. As I stated in my email to you when you pointed out that it was unkind to bring her family into this, I said there was nothing she should be embarrassed about and that it was just for context and that of course I had no intention to embarrass or hurt her by mentioning what was already out there in two published accounts....Again, these comments about her family were either direct or paraphrased quotes by the reporter and came from her own lips. I didn't manufacture them. I am still mystified as to why you think this was inappropriate, but many things about the discussion mystify me, starting with all the folks who give her glowing reports and gloss over the fact that the leader of a high school should model personal integrity. Scrubbing your online presence to hide offensive comments so you can get a job from a community you don't really like in the first place (see her comments on our "white meritocracy") doesn't model integrity. I know you are a reasonable person and understand this is the nub of the matter. I guess I would ask you how you would respond to a person who wanted to come into your community after similarly insulting your community based on skin color and then scrubbing those comments just to get a job. I imagine you'd react exactly how we have reacted here in Lake Forest. [Read More]
  • 2015-05-29 17:33:42
    Gary Finley on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Thanks for providing that link. Everyone should read it. It completely vindicates everything I've been warning people about. Take this excerpt for example :

    "I began to count the ways in which I enjoy unearned skin privilege and have been conditioned into oblivion about its existence.

    My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an unfairly advantaged person, or as a participant in a damaged culture. I was taught to see myself as an individual whose moral state depended on her individual moral will. "

    .... and she thinks that people who think their moral state depends on their own actions is wrong!

    There is no way we should have someone in our school system who believes that all white children have an unearned skin advantage, and that they are OPPRESSORS of a damaged culture. I am teaching my children that they ARE defined by their actions and their words, and that they NEVER have to answer for something they didn't do, no matter much people like Dr. Holland try to heap blame on their small shoulders!

    This is hideous racism of the worst kind, and is incompatible with a civil society. Turn the colors around and see if this passes the smell test. I struggle to believe anyone would want to put this kind of burden on any child.

    Please don't let this racism into our schools. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-29 16:56:42
    Nell on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Gary,

    I've seen you and a number of other readers bring up white privilege and I seem to recall that at one point, you also had some questions about its definition and meaning. One of the best articles I have read on the subject is "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh. You can find it here: I like this article because it describes white privilege in relatable, concrete examples without using emotionally charged language. It's a quick read and I highly recommend it to anyone with questions about this topic. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-29 14:42:15
    Adrienne Fawcett on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Daily North Shore has received some comments lately that we have not posted, so this is a good time to again point out that we encourage comments but we have specific guidelines. A general principle of our policy is: Do not state anything in a comment that you would not say in public and do not state anything about another person that you would not say to his or her face.

    Here's a link to the DNS comments policy: [Read More]

  • 2015-05-29 13:53:15
    TF Meehan on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Perhaps she was concerned that her writings would be the victim of gross misrepresentation and misunderstanding by people with a certain agenda. Can't imagine why she would think that, judging from the completely rational and absolutely-not-sanctimonious comments here. [Read More]
  • 2015-05-29 11:42:55
    Gary Finley on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: More thinly veiled accusations of racism are the highlights of the parade of false accusations and phony outrage.

    Excuse me for going over this again but "Repetition is the cornerstone of education"!

    The racist views in question are those held by Dr. Holland. It's her views that need scrutiny, further investigation, and full throat-ed condemnation.

    Here’s why people are worried about Dr. Holland:

    1. Her core beliefs include “White Privilege”, "Critical Race Theory", and “Whiteness as Property”.
    2. As a result of those beliefs she sees tracking programs as racist like the Jim Crow laws and wants to end them.
    3. She put in place a “Racial Equity” program at OPRFHS that may or may not have neutralized tracking. Did they? Do you have a copy of her Racial Equity power point presentation you can share with us?
    4. Simeck has been dismantling the tracking programs in the middle school, so we know he leans this way despite his public statements to the contrary.
    5. Superintendent Simeck chose her even though her experience at principal is nil.
    6. Chala attempted to scrub all her online information from the internet.
    7. Even after she scrubbed her radical views from the internet, violating our stated goals of hiring someone who is dedicated to transparency, and after the public made it clear that we did not want such a person as our principal, Superintendent Simeck did NOT retract her as his recommendation.

    That is a key point. Simeck is STILL standing by someone who is trying to hide her views from the people of Lake Forest. Views and policies that are incompatible with the values of Lake Forest residents, to put it as kindly as I can.

    There. Those are the concerns and issues to be discussed. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-29 11:26:50
    Jennifer Neubauer on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: See Footnote #1 of my letter. I also have the screen shot and printed it out, too. I can hand those things out to anyone who needs to see them. Cost is 5 cents a page. [Read More]
  • 2015-05-29 10:11:39
    Gary Finley on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: A color-blind society is what we should all strive for. If we fail in one area then we need to address it and correct it. That CAN NOT be accomplished by putting in place policies that discriminate against white children in order to make them pay for the crimes of the fathers. That will only sow more resentment and drive us apart.

    That is exactly what is happening here, right now.... and it's by design.

    If you are believer in "White Privilege" then please go ahead and offer your own interpretation of that belief and the policies you support. Only Dave has tried to defend it, and that's been a half-hearted effort.

    Do you really want a principal who sees white children as privileged and thinks she should use her power to do something about it? [Read More]

  • 2015-05-29 09:58:27
    Gary Finley on A Call for Reasonable Dialogue: You should understand that being treated like an adult in a debate is not being mean, it's a sign of respect.

    Here's my critique of your post:
    1. You ignored the content of my post, which directly addressed the issue, while accusing me of ignoring other people who frankly aren't addressing the issue. That's doesn't make any sense.
    2. You continue to argue that no one will argue with me. Think about it.
    3. You are engaging in personal attacks. That creates the caustic environment you claim to be against.
    4. False accusations and phony outrage don't work in this format. Try something else.

    I am well aware that this is not a game. Dr. Holland is a believer in "White Privilege", "Critical Race Theory", and "Whiteness as Property". These are anti-white racist philosophies, and we are about to put such a person in charge of our high school. It's very serious stuff.

    Please research these philosophies and then you will be prepared to discuss the issues. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-29 09:57:19
    Dave Marchant on Why Was Record Scrubbed?: Buried in the comments in the original article Steve Haugh uncovered something very disturbing about one of the foundational premises of that article, and that premise has subsequently gotten a lot of mileage. The title of this thread/article is more appropriate to examine this further (in an easy-to-find place). Here is the issue:

    It appears that there is no proof that Dr. Holland’s HECG website was “scrubbed” on or around the interviewing process…..and that there is a strong appearance of deceit on the part of Jennifer Neubauer.

    As Steve points out, ”Your entire basis for that claim appears to be the FILE ARCHIVED ON MAY 16, 2015 note. which I can only assume was doctored in order to make your claims more sensational.”

    Sridhar Krishnaswamy followed Steve’s post with this:
    This is interesting information. It appears that the site was down at least as early as May 19th, 2015 (check: which shows the same ‘We are Down for Maintenance’ message) . I, too, am unable to see that the site was live anytime after December 2014. ….. This does put a different spin on things.

    At this point, it is really incumbent on the original poster (Mrs. Jennifer Neubauer) to show that the site was alive on May 16th as indicated in her original post.

    The above commentary is based on footnote 1 in Jennifer’s letter to the BOE:

    This comes directly (presumably as a direct copy-paste) from the web archives on the “WayBack Machine”

    Here is how to view these comments which are not visible in your web browser, but are embedded in the HTML code of the web page - the behind-the-s [Read More]

  • 2015-05-29 09:15:54
    Gary Finley on Full Crowd At LFHS Board Meeting: Dave,
    Finally you admitted to be a believer in "White Privilege". That's good. We're getting somewhere. Now please tell the community how implementing policies based on the White Privilege theory will help our children. And while you're at it, please explain how any philosophy which judges a person solely on their skin color is compatible with a civil color-blind society. I listed a whole bunch of difficult questions that the proponents of White Privilege need to address in another post. I'm sure you've seen it. Have at it.

    For my part of the argument, when someone tells me they "see the reality of White Privilege", and implement policies in a school designed to counter the "advantages" whites are supposed to have based on their own prejudices, then I take them at their word and I believe they mean it.

    I prefer this format for discussing hot-button issues because I find that it neutralizes false accusations and phony outrage, common tactics used by my opponents who are not prepared to defend their position, or who know doing so will embarrass them. You can say what you want about what I write, but everyone can just go back and read it themselves. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-29 08:51:51
    Kristen on Trust In LFHS Representatives: Kudos to the wise older brother for pointing out the reality of the situation. More than half of the Board members were as new to the process as any citizen of Lake Forest. I'm glad the Board called an emergency meeting and brought the concerns of the community into the deliberation (even though it was at a very inconvenient time for many - many important events in Lake Forest take place at inconvenient times).

    I think we should definitely continue the conversation and stay involved in our children's education whether or not their are controversial issues at bay. The conversations in the media and Facebook are important and show that parents want to be involved in the process and demonstrate a big reason why the children of Lake Forest are successful...because they have parents, neighbors and teachers that support them and use their resources to ensure they grow up healthy and with the capacity to survive and hopefully flourish when they are "all grown up."

    Please continue the discussion. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-29 08:18:20
    Concerned Parent on Trust In LFHS Representatives: Ms. Moore -

    You indicate that the loss of quest is merely a re-branding, and in the case of Math, that is true. That is not the case for the English classes.

    In addition, there is no such re-branding for the loss of the "Explore" program for the 3rd & 4th graders, those classes have been removed with the direction that the previous "Explore" teacher will now do push-ins to the classrooms for all students. That is a "dumbing down" no matter how you look at it. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-29 07:25:28
    Emily on 'Whites Like Me': Mr. Beyer, I second Amy's apology. I was fortunate to have been part of a class at Northwestern, the Psychology of Prejudice. Despite growing up in working class Detroit, I never truly understood class and race difference. Two decades ago (and some more recently), upon moving to LF, we experienced anti-semitism in Lake Forest. But, I assure you, there are some residents of LF not represented here on this blog. I truly hope the residents of Lake Forest can move beyond defensiveness, maybe even gain perspective or at least get back to the issue at hand. By the way, none of my children have a desire to return to the the Pleasantville of Lake Forest. I'm proud my husband and I raised them to be thinking empathetic beings. [Read More]
  • 2015-05-29 01:40:22
    Amy on 'Whites Like Me': Mr. Beyer, I apologize on behalf of others who are shaking their heads in revulsion and embarrassment at the level of ignorance (and arrogance) displayed in yet another slew of demeaning comments. Some folks are a waste of energy. Save yours for others who need schooling in what it is to be a principal. Good luck and thank you for taking time to share an insider's perspective of Dr. Holland. [Read More]
  • 2015-05-29 00:26:04
    Kay on Trust In LFHS Representatives: To anyone who is “embarrassed”, "appalled", etc.

    With all due respect, I feel your “horror” and “embarrassment” are misplaced. As Adrienne Fawcett noted in her May 26th article’s comments, “the word “boo” was not used…members of the audience exclaimed “No!” “No!” “No!” …..and “It’s our school!” Since Ms. Fawcett clarified that, I’m not sure why people are still using that word. And even if the word “boo” was used, is that such a terrible word that it requires multiple letters, comments, lengthy discussions, etc.? Does that justify insinuating or calling those who disagree with Dr. Holland’s theories ‘immature, classless, bullies, hysterical, poor example to children, cowards, disrespectful, immature,’ and even ‘racist’? Not only do all those comments have nothing to do with the issue at hand- whether or not Dr. Holland is a good fit to lead LFHS- but they are also ad hominems, which is never good form in debate. People who disagree with Dr. Holland’s theories and assertions do not deserve to have their character and integrity defamed. And people can disagree with the merits of Dr. Holland's writings without it being rooted in some contrived flaw in their own character.

    It seems that you have set up a straw-man argument, focusing on this issue about the so-called “lack of decorum” at the BOE meeting, when really, no one is advocating rudeness to Dr. Holland or anyone else. But since you want to spend so much time on decorum, I would like to point out that there was nothing “outrageous” or “embarrassing” by Lake Forest residents’ behavior at the BOE meeting (or online, save the ad hominems, previously mentioned) and I think some people might need to lower their sensitivities a bit. If you believe Tuesday’s meeting was “outrageous”, then you probably have never been to a Chicago BOE meeting. Have you ever watched a Parliamentary or Congressional debate on TV? Have you ever seen our own Illinois congress debate in Springfield? Perhaps all jun [Read More]

  • 2015-05-29 00:24:12
    Kay on A Call for Reasonable Dialogue: To anyone who is “embarrassed”, "appalled", etc.

    With all due respect, I feel your “horror” and “embarrassment” are misplaced. As Adrienne Fawcett noted in her May 26th article’s comments, “the word “boo” was not used…members of the audience exclaimed “No!” “No!” “No!” …..and “It’s our school!” Since Ms. Fawcett clarified that, I’m not sure why people are still using that word. And even if the word “boo” was used, is that such a terrible word that it requires multiple letters, comments, lengthy discussions, etc.? Does that justify insinuating or calling those who disagree with Dr. Holland’s theories ‘immature, classless, bullies, hysterical, poor example to children, cowards, disrespectful, immature,’ and even ‘racist’? Not only do all those comments have nothing to do with the issue at hand- whether or not Dr. Holland is a good fit to lead LFHS- but they are also ad hominems, which is never good form in debate. People who disagree with Dr. Holland’s theories and assertions do not deserve to have their character and integrity defamed. And people can disagree with the merits of Dr. Holland's writings without it being rooted in some contrived flaw in their own character.

    It seems that you have set up a straw-man argument, focusing on this issue about the so-called “lack of decorum” at the BOE meeting, when really, no one is advocating rudeness to Dr. Holland or anyone else. But since you want to spend so much time on decorum, I would like to point out that there was nothing “outrageous” or “embarrassing” by Lake Forest residents’ behavior at the BOE meeting (or online, save the ad hominems, previously mentioned) and I think some people might need to lower their sensitivities a bit. If you believe Tuesday’s meeting was “outrageous”, then you probably have never been to a Chicago BOE meeting. Have you ever watched a Parliamentary or Congressional debate on TV? Have you ever seen our own Illinois congress debate in Springfield? Perhaps all jun [Read More]

  • 2015-05-28 22:07:01
    Dave Marchant on Full Crowd At LFHS Board Meeting: Hi Gary,

    Sorry, but I will not be taking the bait. Here’s why:
    1) You have failed to provide the input/background on your assertions that I have asked for in our dialog in multiple places. You seem not to be interested in dialog….your posts to me (and all over these threads today) belie that. My observation/opinion is that you seem interested in the game of scoring internet points by ignoring respectful questions while posing loaded questions (some downright silly) seemingly aimed at entrapping (and cross-posting some on multiple threads).
    2) I am totally unqualified to offer any sociological expertise on my own….so all I could do to engage your request is to find something via Google and post it here (as I suspect you have done with the definition you posted). The topics you list are debated at the highest intellectual levels of the field, so a discussion here would accomplish nothing.
    3) Your real life persona is much better than your online one, so that’s how I would prefer to engage. You seem to have a different perspective and experience in these topics, and I feel I could learn from that.
    4) Most importantly, the point is about what Dr. Holland thinks……and anything I post would/could be seen as putting words in her mouth; and that is what I am objecting to.

    You have established a clear pattern in your posts across multiple threads of making assumptions that trend away from “benefit of the doubt” and towards “worst case scenarios”. You have done this both by making assumptions and passing them off as fact, and by putting words/motivations in Dr. Holland’s mouth. At the risk of sounding pompous for stating the obvious, this sort of pattern is the exact same pattern used by conspiracy theorists.


    PS: I changed my mind after writing the above and will offer my definition. “White Privilege” is Jeff McHugh having to empathize with a potential new colleague since nary a peep has been uttered in the comments here (under his ann [Read More]

  • 2015-05-28 21:35:17
    Kay on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: I don't think Dee lives in Lake Bluff or Lake Forest. [Read More]
  • 2015-05-28 21:26:45
    dee on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: This is something else: I have only witnessed these sorts of micro/hyper-aggressions in books and documentaries about red baiting, witch hunts, and other odd social phenomenons.
    I did not write that CRT (Critical Race Theory) was a pedagogical method. There is, however, a pedagogy entitlted CRT (Culturally Relevant Teaching). Which are you chatting about here?
    See, yet another example that there is difficulty understanding very basic concepts.

    Having said that, this notion is simple--you are a minority in your community.
    There is a ground-swell of orderly, healthy, respectful, articulate and reasonable voices.
    I join those in your backyard who say you, you are indeed scrubbing facts, and presenting a faulty narrative.
    I do slightly wonder what you will do with the information after background checking her doctorate degree; do you posses the mettle to address her by her professional name? Pay close attention to how your youth define bullying. Then check yourself.

    By the way, you own no power over me so I won't bend nor answer upon your request.

    Just as I'm not talking to my dining room table tonight, nor will I continue this fruitless exercise.

    Good luck holding this campaign together,

    Dee [Read More]

  • 2015-05-28 21:24:54
    Kay on A Call for Reasonable Dialogue: Hello,

    I am happy that high school students are participating in this forum. But I would like to point out to "Anonymous student", that yes, you really should be giving your reasons as to why you believe Dr. Holland would be a good fit for your school. That's the point. We are trying to stay focused on the issue at hand- which is whether she'd be a good fit for the school- and avoid making character attacks and using emotive language. [Read More]

  • 2015-05-28 20:31:17
    LB parent on Questioning LFHS Principal Search ...: Lisa,
    I'm surprised that after so many years of experience, you only know two people who have ever moved from one principal position to another. I'm not even in the academic field and I can name 4 examples off the top of my head, all within the last 6 years, and all within just two communities - Lake Forest HS Principal Barry Rodgers was Principal of NorthSide Prep (the #1 ranked HS in the state of Il), Margaret St. Claire, the current Principal of LB Elementary School, her predecessor Shelley Overman, and the candidate who also interviewed for the position, all Principals of other schools before coming to LF/LB. So it doesn't seem to be uncommon at all. It also seems to me that any good administrative candidate would be happy to work at a high school like Lake Forest where the salary is quite generous, where students and teachers feel safe, and where parents are actively involved and actually show up to volunteer. And, being at the top of the list for public schools in the state, I would think any administrator would view this position as a "step up". Your comment that every little decision will be "dissected and critiqued" is simply not fair and not based on any fact. This decision about whether or not to hire Ms. Holland is not little by any means, and I would argue that an Effective administrator would welcome feedback and suggestions from the community he/she serves.
    [Read More]

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