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King Lab and Bessie Rhodes schools in Evanston/Skokie District 65 will have new names and missions when they start the new school year in September, thanks to a unanimous vote Monday night at the district’s board meeting.

King Lab and Bessie Rhodes schools in Evanston/Skokie District 65 will have new names and missions when they start the new school year in September, thanks to a unanimous vote Monday night at the district’s board meeting.

The schools will henceforth be known as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literary and Fine Arts School, providing an arts integrated curriculum that includes creating, performing, and responding to arts and literature,  and the Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies, which will offer a global perspective throughout its curriculum.

Along with the name change comes the new direction for the two schools, based upon a study conducted by two committees of parents, principals, and staff members.

First presented to the Board at its Feb. 22 meeting, the proposal adopted Monday night for the two “magnet schools,” as they are called, “offer parents an opportunity to choose a school that best addresses their child’s interests, talents, and learning needs,” according to the written recommendation from Superintendent Hardy Murphy.

“They provide a thematic focus and an alternate structure for differentiated curriculum and instruction,” he added.

The literary and fine arts theme at the King school will involve additional professional development, staffing allocations for a “creative movement” position, additional technology, and stipends to pay for participation in the Chicago Debate League program.

The Rhodes school proposal calls for instruction in the Chinese Mandarin language and funds to pay for participation in the Model United Nations and Chicago Debate League programs. Estimated costs to implement the recommendations are expected to range from $77,000 to $87,000 per year.

“As the magnet schools become more distinctive,” Murphy predicted, “desirability and applications will increase,” giving the district an additional  tool for managing enrollment at the attendance area schools.

Also, new ideas developed in the magnet schools can be shared with the attendance area schools, thereby strengthening all the schools, in Murphy’s view.

Also at Monday night’s meeting, the Board supported the Eco Power Challenge, an Earth Month program that begins in April to help students build greater awareness of their role in energy conservation.

And the board directed Superintendent Murphy to advance the “courageous conversations” initiative by asking the consulting firm, Pacific Education Group, to present a proposal for helping the Board avoid unconscious racism in its deliberations.

The Board also heard a report about the district’s physical education program and its health and wellness efforts.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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28 Comments

  1. Is there institutional racism at D65?

    The D65 Board told Hardy Murphy to ask the Pacific Education Group (PEG) to help the board "avoid unconscious racism in its deliberations."

    Is this because Hardy Murphy  insinuated that a board member diminished the achievements of African American students when she simply requested a board discussion on various tests? Then the district administration took the video of that meeting off of YouTube, claiming copyright of a PUBLIC MEETING!

    Was Hardy Murphy's accusation of Board Member Tracy Quatrocki an example of unconscious racism? We don't need to pay PEG $50,000 to determine the answer of Murphy's uncalled outburst. He never apologized to Tracy.

    Could it be that D202 and D65 Board members are bringing in PEG to silence dissenters by accusing them of unconscious racism?

    Afterall, PEG believes there is "systematic racism" in schools that have a "devastating effect" on minorities, and that schools need to heighten the awareness of "institutional racism." Is there now institutional racism at D65?

    Here is another reason D65 parents should not vote for the D65 and D202 board incumbents –  Katie Bailey, Keith Terry, Mark Metz and Jane Colleton – who support the services of the controversial PEG.. Is D65 and D202 really looking out for YOUR kids when it hires controversial PEG and eliminates true freshmen honor courses, including biology, because there are "too many white faces?"

    Vote for change – J.B. Rees, Eileen Budde, Richard Rykus, Jonathan Baum and Scott Rochelle. I sure will.

  2.  I agree with  Anonymous Al

     I agree with  Anonymous Al when he says,

    Was Hardy Murphy's accusation of Board Member Tracy Quatrocki an example of unconscious racism? We don't need to pay PEG $50,000 to determine the answer of Murphy's uncalled outburst. He never apologized to Tracy.

    Yet, Mr. Terry, during the last D65 meeting, bullied D65 Board members into allowing Dr. Murphy to obtain a proposal from PEG (in less than a week) and have a vote for or against the proposal at the next Board meeting. That would be the 1st time the Board will discuss  the proposal in public. Why aren't other proposals being sought and considered? Why a vote on the same day when the proposal is presented to the Board? 

    I urge you to contact D65 Board members and demand transparency.

    Mr. Terry, I am a minority (woman and educator) and when you address issues of race and multiculturalism, I am both embarrassed and offended. You do not have my vote.

  3. No to PEG – Divisive and Destructive

    What's the benefit of dividing the community this way?   To whom?   Maybe this is a "get out the vote" tactic, sort of like putting gay marriage on the ballot to bring in the republicans.

    The issue I have with PEG is that it's too narrow and not helpful to the community.   There is all sort of bias educators have to battle against.  Indeed institutional racism exists, so does an institutional gender bias.  Asians are assumed to be good at math and science, and tall men are more likely to become CEO's than short men.  Pretty blonds are assumed to be dumb.   

    It is not simply race that needs to be addressed – every child regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, height and weight deserves to be supported.

    Making the conversation this narrow – on race only –  is divisive and exposes this community to law suits it can ill afford.   

    The notes below will give you some idea of what's in store if this district approves this measure.

    http://www.illinoisfamily.org/dsa/contentview.asp?c=34417

    "In 2009, District 113 (Deerfield / Highland Park), in an effort to close the racial learning gap, Superintendent George Fornero hired Glenn Singleton, an expensive "diversity" consultant from San Francisco whom Fornero had used in Ann Arbor, Michigan when he worked there.

    At the all-staff meeting to introduce District 113 to his "social justice" theories, Singleton made some surprising statements. Singleton explained that many experts believe that the causes for the under performance of minority students are poverty, language issues, mobility, and lack of family support. He then made the startling claim that none of those factors is the cause. The causes, he claimed, are "institutional racism" and "whiteness."

    He went on to classify audience members into three categories according to their potential responses to his theories: The first group were those who would agree with him immediately. The second group were those who would be on the fence and need to be convinced. And the third group were those "who are gifted at subverting reform." In other words, those who dare to suggest that limited English skills likely affect test scores are "gifted at subverting reform." Singleton cunningly attempted to prevent criticism by pre-labeling pejoratively those who disagreed with him."

    We need to open dialogue, not close it down.  

     

     

    1. Chilling

      "Singleton explained that many experts believe that the causes for the under performance of minority students are poverty, language issues, mobility, and lack of family support. He then made the startling claim that none of those factors is the cause. The causes, he claimed, are "institutional racism" and "whiteness.""

      To clarify, Glenn Singleton is one of the principals at Pacific Education Group, which District 65 now proposes to hire in as a consultant, and which District 202 has already hired.

      D65 Board, I think you need to put this one out for bids. I think you need to look at a variety of diversity consultants. I would hope you can find a firm that takes a more balanced view of the factors affecting student performance.

      I would also hope you can find a firm that uses more positive methods to achieve what is supposed to be positive change. How about finding someone who can move us forward without systematically attempting to shame an entire segment of the community? No truly courageous conversation can take place if shame is one of the tools being used.

      1. A Chance for Change

        Before anyone buys the typical theory of liberals like this on education, they should read Wendy Kopp "A Chance to Make History" about how Teach for America found all these excuses false.

        1. Better Idea

          If you like Wendy Kopp's ideas about reforming education, then look at consultants who will move the district in that direction. Don't hire a diversity consultant. Hire an educational consultant, and one who will work positively for change.

          Bear in mind there's no tracking to get rid of in D65. There won't be an obvious "bad guy" to point to this time around.

      2. Chilling Indeed

        A truly courageous conversation would admit the possibility that the PEG folks are divisive charlatans. But say this, and you get branded a racist. 

        Yes, there is racism (and reverse racism), and yes there are issues that need confronting, but this is McCarthyism, pure and simple. 

  4. Magnet school for something really important

    Literary and Fine Arts School? School of Global Studies? How about a magnet school for something really important, like math and science?

    1. Merits of magnets?

      I often wonder what the purpose magnet schools serve in a school district of this size.  It seems that their purpose is past and mostly serve as a perceived superior alternative if a neighborhood school is viewed as sub par.   Why not pour all our resources into the neighborhood schools? The truth is, in this age of school disguised as an endless test prep seminar, the curricula can't be vastly different since all students are preparing for the same tests.

      1. Merits of magnets

        Here's a few:

        1.  Huge body of research supporting K – 8 education, particularly for boys.  Decreased aggression and social posturing. 

        2. Balance class size in the district.  Kids who would "push the balance" at a neighborhood school – causing them to open another classroom for a particular grade or make existing classes too big – can be accepted into the magnets.

        3.  Choices.  We live in a very diverse community where it's not a "one size fits all" for every kid.  Sometimes your neighborhood school isn't the best place for your kid.  Many families in the district have kids in both magnet and neighborhood schools.

        1. I have to agree with all of

          I have to agree with all of these listed benefits.

          I grew up in a smaller town than Evanston where K-8 schools were the only choice.  My children attend one of the magnets, and the "feel" of the school is similar to that of a school from a small community.  And when you are at a school for nine years with all of the same families, it does become your community school.  Evanston is not that big geographically – it is not like people are coming from an hour away so the kids can't get together outside of school hours with their friends. 

          However, it appears to me that the sheer volume of nonsense that can happen with 6-8th graders is drastically reduced when you are a reading buddy for third graders and they say hi to you in the hallway, or you run into your little sister from the 1st grade on the way to the cafeteria.  I am not saying Evanston's magnet schools are for everyone, and our neighborhood school certainly provides a quality education.  But the K-8 model gives middle schoolers a chance to be role models to younger kids every day, and, given a chance, they will meet that challenge to everyone's benefit.  To our family, the K-8 model made the Evanston school system much more attractive because of its "small community" feel.

          We are preparing to send a child to ETHS next year, and the wealth of resources and opportunities that seem to be available are very exciting after attending one school for 9 years.  But I know my child now has the maturity to be thrown into such a large school, which I didn't really feel comfortable with for 6th grade.

    2. Magnet schools based on parent /staff input

      Since these themes were determined by the parents and staff, I guess that they think that Literary and Fine arts (at King Lab) and Global Studies (at Bessie Rhodes ) are important.

      Those people have already voted with their feet.  We should respect their choices.

  5. Clarification on “the board directed the superintendent”

    Mr. Bartling says,  "And the board directed Superintendent Murphy to advance the "courageous conversations" initiative by asking the consulting firm, Pacific Education Group, to present a proposal for helping the Board avoid unconscious racism in its deliberations."

    Anyone who watched the meeting would not conclude that the whole board was directing the Superintendent to do this.  Katie Bailey and Tracy Quattrocki asked for more time so that the board could agree on an objective before putting out a request for proposals.  They also stated that they would like multiple proposals, something the board should ask for with any large expenditure.  Ms. Bailey also suggested that the board could attend the workshop that District 202 is offering to aid in forming an objective.  Ms. Quattrocki stated it was important to define the scope of the work our board and/or district wants to undertake. 

    Mr. Terry asked Ms. Bailey why she was backing off her earlier support for diversity training.  Asking for deliberations and multiple bids does not constitute a lack of support for diversity training.  It is what a school board member is obligated to do before committing taxpayer funds. 

    The board needs time to consider any proposal brought forth. It also needs to deliberate about the objectives for this work, research several vendors, and ask for additional proposals before committing the taxpayers' funds to this. Every dollar spent here is a dollar not spent on teachers or building improvements.  The stakeholders in the district have a right to expect the board to be thoughtful stewards of public funds, which Ms. Quattrocki and Ms. Bailey are trying to be.  I commend them for that.

    Eileen Budde

    1. Get ready everyone

      Lots of talkin' 'bout stuff but not actually doing anything. 

      First it's diversity training, then it's overcrowding issues, building improvements and teacher contracts.

  6. How will this solve the district’s space issues?!?

    These schools sound great in theory, but shouldn't all of our schools integrate fine arts, literature, and global studies like this? Can't all of the teachers incorporate these ideas, standards, and teaching methods across the district? And I fail to see how the continuation of magnet schools will help alleviate overcrowding issues. Will they start accepting more students? Do they have the ability to do so? I just think that with all of the issues projected for the neighborhood schools, and even the possible creation of a new school in the 5th Ward, that D65 would actually do better to re-district the whole, including King and Rhodes, and improve the differentiation, and arts/global studies integration within the curriculum for all of our kids.

    1. Let me explain it to you.

      I'll take it real slow.

      Some schools experience overcrowding at a specific grade.  It's not always the same schools.  For example, the kindergarten class at Dewey may be particularly large for next year.  SO, to alleviate crowding, the families who applied to the magnet schools from the Dewey district are accepted into the magnets.  Therefore, the kindergarten classes at Dewey are not too large.

      Or, in another example, perhaps 50 students register at Dawes for kindergarten.  Two classes of 25 students?  Three classes of 16 students?  Accept 10 students at the magnets and then there can be two classes of 20 kids.

      In order for this to work, the magnet schools must receive enough applications.  Thus the "remagnitization" of the magnets to ensure that they draw sufficient applications. 

    2. Let the magnets attract families

      If you take a look at the magnet school application stats in the opening of schools reports over the years there have been proportionately more families with students from the certain attendance areas applying than Dewey and Willard.   Right now there are schools in the district that have  very small class sizes due in part to low enrollment–Oakton especially–because so many families apply to the magnets.  To attract families from the Dewey and Willard neighborhoods the magnets must provide something more.

      For many years Hardy Murhpy willfully neglected the magnet schools, calling them "attendance magnets" and forcing all schools to adopt the same curriculum, allowing no differences whatsoever between the magnets and other schools except for a shorter school day and K-8 configuration. The board abetted him by instituting procedures that further weakened the magnet's missions. 

      This is a small start on the long road to undoing what neglect has forced the district to do.

  7. Katie Bailey earned my vote

    The poorly presented and biased "Courageous Conversations" proposal by Board President Keith Terry and ensuing discussion demonstrated his inability to lead and that he doesn't deserve another term. Katie Bailey, on the other hand was prepared, asked thoughtful questions and continues to demonstrate her commitment to serve all students in District 65. Ms. Bailey earned my vote, and i hope yours too.

    Mr. Terry's proposal was poorly prepared – he didn't present a reason or identify an issue that needed to be addressed. The agenda item "Courageous Conversations" is a term coined by Pacific Education Group (PEG), so the discussion starts from a biased beginning. How can PEG or any other consulting group present a proposal if the scope of the project isn't identified. Mr. Terry discussed the "isms" which can include a whole host of subjects such as sex"ism", religious"isms" (Judaism, Buddism et al), racism, etc. Or does Mr. Terry want to address issues regarding the Achievement Gap (Mr. Summers and Mr. Terry also brought this issue up). Or does Mr. Terry want to pursue stereotypes, prejudice or discrimination. Mr. Terry didn't even realize that PEG's sole focus is on institutional racism until Dr. Murphy brought this to his attention. Enabling a consulting firm to define the scope of the project for D65 is just giving them the passwords to D65 bank accounts. This can become VERY costly.

    Secondly, Mr. Terry didn't consider any options. I want a District 65 Board member, especially the President of the Board, to take the time to consider, analyze, debate, and discuss different options and THEN make a decision that is in the best interest of all stakeholders in our community, taxpayers, employees and students. This poor decision making approach is very concerning especially given the challenging fiscal times confronting our schools. It's irresponsible for Mr. Terry to claim we don't have the time to consider other options. It's irresponsible for ANY board member to push forward an agenda item that is going to cost the district thousands of dollars and considerable time without considering different options and making the BEST DECISION.

    Lastly, Mr. Terry's lack of leadership is most problematic. He squelched debate, derided Mr. Pigozzi and just pushed forth his preconceived agenda. Mr. Pigozzi raised very legitimate time constraint and other concerns. Mr. Terry's leadership is not the type that will best serve the interest of our community.

    Ms. Bailey on the other hand asked thoughtful questions and raised important issues. She stated her desire to have an objective discussion on race(if that's the issue Mr. Terry is proposing to discuss) but in an unbiased manner. She also wants to consider other options so that we can get more than one proposal and bid. That's being fiscally responsible. Ms. Bailey was prepared and knew that PEG is hosting a meeting on May 19th in Evanston where other board members can have an opportunity to gain more insight and information to make a better decision.

    On April 5th, (or earlier) I will vote for Katie Bailey, Eileen Budde, and Richard Rykhus, and i hope you will too.

    Watch the replay of the Monday March 14th Board meeting – you will be surprised – tonight @ 7 pm on Evanston Community TV – Channel 19 – also noon on Saturday – watch the replay and go vote at the Civic Center on Saturday

    1. Defending Keith Terry

      I rewatched the board meeting tonight to ensure that I was properly understanding your comments and honestly I think your comments are quite unfair.

      I understand we are in the middle of an election cycle but to attack Keith Terry over the issue of PEG and Courage Conversations seems strictly focused on the campaign.

      Keith Terry's role is to lead and to ensure that the leadership group (school board) is working as cohesively as possible. Recently the school board has had some major disagreements that could fundamentally affect their ability to lead our school district.

      His desire to enlist PEG is so that the board could effectively understand issues of race and be equipped to handle these conversations with the ultimate goal of closing the Achievement Gap. PEG is a firm that comes highly recommend by our sister district and as was spoken in the meeting already knows the community.

      The desire to push forward to receive a proposal was so that the issue/topic wasn't put on the back burner and addressed in an appropriate time frame. The board only agreed for the proposal which seems quite reasonable.

      Yes, they could have gone to two or three different firms for proposals, but let's view this from the lens of our day to day lives. Say you want to get your house painted and your next door neighbor had recently gone through the process and really liked the results of his newly painted house and was done at a reasonable price.

      Don't you think you would ask that paint company for a bid first? I sure do. One quick aside The funny thing is I have closely watched the Board, its meeting and its votes. And I have noticed how well Keith and Katie work together and how closely their votes match one anothers.

      The Board needs leaders and Keith is certainly a very good one and so is Katie Bailey.

      1. Its not a house
        D65 is not a house. Metaphors are appropriate when nobody understands the concepts involved, but we as an Evanston community know what it means to hire a consultant. Whether you agree with PEG or not, Mr. Terry did not effectively manage the board prior to this proposal when it came before the board. In fact, the superintendent yelled at a board member in a ridiculous and embarrassing fashion.

        Any consulting opportunity should be put out for a more public bidding process, especially because this is a particularly incendiary topic.

      2. Please look at Keith Terry’s record carefully

        I beg to disagree with the statements in Defending Keith Terry.

        Mr. Terry is not a strong leader. He is not a consensus builder and uses race (or accuses others of racism) to rebut  arguments that question his ideas/proposals. Often, during meetings he becomes belligerent and disrespectful of others' comments.

        He is also misinformed (or misguided) when discussing what is best for students. For example, last night at the 5th Ward Candidates Forum, he explained that as good option to reduce the achievement gap was to expand the African Centered Curriculum (currently offered at Oakton) But the data shared by D65 show that African American students in D65 ACC perform at lower levels than African American students enrolled in regular education classes at Oakton! Why does he want to expand a program that is not working as well as predicted for African American students? Why sustain a program that is not working for the kids who need the best programs and the most improvement? This is not a popularity contest in the Black community.

        Last night, Mr. Terry also mentioned that all the studies show that achievement improves when you go to a neighborhood school. But D65 data show that, for instance, our  Black children who are bused from the 5th ward to Willard do much better in academics than the Oakton Black students who attend their neighborhood school. Which studies are these? And, Mr. Terry sent his kids (at least one of them) to Timber Ridge…so, why didn't they go to the neighborhood school? 

        I find Mr. Terry's message to be conflicted and confusing to parents. I am not sure he knows where he stands with regard to many issues. He appears insecure to me.  Several times last night he said, "I am not a liar". He seems to be in a hurry to get a PEG contract signed. It feels like a last minute idea to get the support of African Americans for this election, or another distracting tactics so that we now talk about how racist Board members are and never get to the real issue here: why D65 cannot bring up achievement scores for Black students. 

        Mr. Terry seems to think that parents of Black students are all misinformed, can't think for themselves, and are looking for a "tough savior" who can tell them what's best for their children. He is mistaken.

  8. To Anonymous Al & Teacher plus all D65 & D202 taxpayers

    A $50,000 payment to PEG is just a drop in their bucket. 

    1. Drop in the bucket?

      Any waste here by the school districts and the city is not acceptable.  For far too long – elected official justified their mismanagement by claiming the funds were from another source – not the taxpayers – its only federal funds.  Another silly comment by an elected official was since we already spent money on an item lets keep on spending it.

      It a pretty safe estimate the school districts and city here are wasting at least 10% of the taxpayers funds on unnecessary expenses.

    1. I just spent the last half hour looking at online info about PEG

      and I can see no possible benefits from opening our wallets and inviting PEG in to the D65 community.  Try to learn something about Glenn Singleton from online resources– good luck.  You will link to a number of commercial ventures, but there is virtually nothing about him or his background and what qualifies him as a six-figure diversity consultant.  All I learned is that he was an admissions officer at an Ivy League university in the early 1990's.  Are there any data to suggest that PEG's work has produced any positive results in boosting minority achievement? No.  Lots of rhetoric though.  And check out how PEG has alienated communities from coast to coast– Ann Arbor, Virginia, Seattle, California, and more– there are dozens of web pages dedicated to this.  And see how the US Supreme Court viewed the work of PEG– yes, four SC members including Clarence Thomas and John Roberts had an opinion about PEGs work in Concerned Parents v. Seattle School District No. 1.

      Bottom line: Nothing positive for our community will come out of having PEG come into Evanston.  Any board member who approves hiring PEG without a careful discussion of the issues  and the implications should be voted out ASAP.

  9. PEG Proposal – Read the D65 Board Packet

    The D65 Board packet for Monday night's meeting shows that the proposal from PEG is for $55,000. It is only for "District Equity Leadership Development." Training begins in the summer. 

    Since this is a decision that will impact the new board members. Why not wait until after the election to make this decision?

  10. Evanston’s soft bigotry of low expectations

    D65 Board member and candidate Keith Terry is pushing for a vote Monday to hire PEG.

    Other D65 members, including candidate Katie Bailey, has suggested to expand PEG's role to include Latinos and gender gaps.

    If Katie Bailey votes to hire PEG Monday she should be voted out. We know Keith Terry will vote for PEG and he should be voted out.

    D65 and D202 superintendents Hardy Murphy and Eric Witherspoon have indicated  there is institutional racism in their school districts. It would be nice if someone asked them to provide details to back that assertion considering that:

    1) D65 has created the pilot program, the African American curriculum, at Oakton Elementary and the data indicates that ACC students score lower than African-American students enrolled in mainstream curriculum at other elementary schools. Yet, Keith Terry and Superintendent Hardy Murphy claim ACC is a success and want to expand it.

    2) D65 Board members Katie Bailey, Keith Terry and Jerome Summers are pushing a referendum to build a Fifth Ward school at a time the school district is in a fiscal crisis. There is no data indicating if there are even enough Fifth Ward students to support a new school or if the majority of Fifth Ward parents want a school. Then there's the question of diversity – is it even legal if the vast majority of students are of one race at an elementary school? This issue was raised about eight years ago during good economic times and a proposed Fifth Ward school was soundly defeated. Yet, Bailey, Terry and Summers are pursuing this with relentless intensity.

    3) D202 Board unanimously  eliminated true freshmen honors courses and opened it up to ALL freshmen students who can read at the freshmen level. Next year, freshmen biology honor courses will be open to all freshmen students. And why did this happen? Because there "were too many white faces" in honor courses, according to D202 board members and administrators. Academic competition has just been ELIMINATED and mediocrity has won the day all in the name of "closing the achievement gap."  

    4) Now D65 wants to follow D202 in hiring PEG to help D65 battle institutional racism. D65 Board member Jerome Summers said the goal of the Board is to close the achievement gap by "basically eliminating the policies, practices and expectations that diminish the achievement of minority students."  Just what policies and practices would this be considering all of the aforementioned things D202 and D65 are doing for a minority group of students?

    If there is institutional racism at D65 and D202 it is clearly reverse racism.

    I understand that Evanston is extremely liberal so much that no one can talk honestly without being labeled a racist – something an active PTA parent recently told me she was accused of. The truth is, based on the four items listed above, it is crystal clear that the main focus of D65 and D202 is concentrated on a particular group of students based on race rather than ALL students.

    We should praise, reward and constantly shine the spotlight on the hardest working, most accomplished and brightest students as an example for the rest to aspire to be like.

    The best will set the example for the rest, regardless of their skin color.

    D65 and D202 board members and administrators are promoting the soft bigotry of low expectations. The soft bigotry will continue for another generation until people have the courage to speak the truth and fight back when unfounded allegations are used to silence them.

    And I think the true intent of PEG is to silence people who disagree with many of the district's policies that favor one group over another all in the name of "closing the achievement gap." The biggest insult is those very same people are paying higher taxes to be silenced.

    You can't silence taxpayers in the voting booth, however.

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