Thursday, April 16, 2015

CONTINUED STUDENT VIOLENCE PLAGUES WAUKEGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS 

Batiste & Lamping fail to curb in-school student attacks, instead threatening staff with retaliation for reporting these incidents that endanger students and district personnel.

In response to our on-going investigation, Corruption Busters was contacted today regarding a violent altercation at the Brookside Campus involving up to 8 students resulting in allegations of an attack on a student with a lock that caused injury.

If you have information related to this incident, please contact us at corruptionbusters24x7x365@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

WPS60 Unofficial School Board Election Results 4-7-2015

Three corrupt incumbents voted out of office.

Congrats to the winners.
Your new responsibilities include restoring fiscal and educational integrity to Waukegan.

We suggest that the board vote to remove Anita Hanna as President and also insure that her sweet-heart deal to get free rent and use of a WPS60 School building for her family day camp business not be renewed at taxpayer expense.

We also encourage the new board to fully scrutinize the cronyism regime of Batiste & Lamping, put a stop to their spending & personal gain and commence setting the foundation for searching for a new Superintendent who will make Waukegan proud.



Monday, April 6, 2015

WHERE IS DR. DONALDO BATISTE, SUPERINTENDENT WPS60, AS CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES RUN RAMPANT AT JEFFERSON MIDDLE SCHOOL?

Last week the Assistant Principal (Nichole Farris) of Miguel Juarez Middle School of Waukegan removed her daughter from Thomas Jefferson Middle School stating the building is too dangerous. 

Remember Theresa Anderson, Principal at Jefferson? Click here for our previous post on October 26, 2014.  Apparently, Anderson has lost control of the school and has again illustrated that she is fully unqualified to maintain a proper and safe learning environment. 

Breaking News....WPS60 engages in cover up to conceal underage drinking, drug use, fights, weapons assaults on students with blades, forcible hair cutting and fireworks in the cafeteria. 

In the past few weeks Waukegan Police have responded to numerous incidents where students and teachers' physical safety are at risk. We invite the good citizens of Waukegan to request copies of these incident reports from the Police Department to validate the veracity of these claims.

Here is the content of an email authored by Anderson to the staff:


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Two mothers of students in Waukegan School District 60 are calling for the resignation of Superintendent Donaldo Batiste for what they say has been a mishandled response to allegations of inappropriate contact between staff and their children.

Click here to view story at Chicago Tribune April 1, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

PEARSON VIOLATES STUDENTS' PRIVACY RELATED TO PARCC TESTING

From: Randi Weingarten, AFT President
To:  Press Outlets
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 10:37:24 AM
Subject: Pearson is spying on students

Big Brother really is watching. Outrageously, testing giant Pearson is spying on what students are saying on social media.1 

Right now, students in 12 states and the District of Columbia are taking the Common Core-aligned PARCC test. And we’ve just learned that Pearson is monitoring what those students say online for “test security.”

We’re demanding that Pearson immediately stop monitoring students on social media and disclose any contract language about test security for full public review. Add your name!

This isn’t the first time Pearson has been caught engaging in unscrupulous behavior. Last year, we spoke up when we learned that Pearson’s contract in New York put a gag order2 on educators who proctored the tests, and earlier this year Politico exposed how Pearson has squeezed profits out of our schools, from Florida to Texas to California.3

Now we find out that the company is actually spying on students—many of whom are minors. It’s one thing to protect intellectual property, but this raises far too many questions.

How is Pearson monitoring students? What information about students does Pearson have, where did it get it, and what will it keep? Is Pearson reviewing everything students post? What protections are there for student privacy? What basis does Pearson use for its searches? Is the monitoring based on general search terms, or is Pearson actively following specific individuals? Who else is Pearson secretly monitoring?

Pearson must stop monitoring our children and open the books to show us who the company is watching and why.

Even if you don’t live in a PARCC state, we should all be concerned.
As the largest for-profit education, testing and book publisher in the world, Pearson is involved in education in nearly every state, with testing contracts in 21 states, plus Washington, D.C., New York City and Puerto Rico. In total, 39 percent of all standardized tests in the United States are run by Pearson.4


Sadly, all of this comes back to the obsession with high-stakes tests. The results from these tests will be used to punish teachers and schools—and may even be used to hold kids back5—all while Pearson rakes in millions to create and score the tests and spy on our students.

Tell Pearson to stop spying on students and commit to full transparency for all matters related to “test security.”

We learned what Pearson is up to from a leaked email that a New Jersey superintendent sent to her peers after one of her students was flagged for a “Priority 1” breach. To make matters worse, the New Jersey Department of Education wanted the local school to discipline the student.

Parents, students and educators all have a right to know what’s happening. I hope you’ll join us in demanding that Pearson immediately stop monitoring our students and commit to full transparency around its “security” practices.

In unity,

Randi Weingarten
AFT President

[1] Valerie Strauss, “Pearson Monitoring Social Media for Security Breaches during PARCC Testing,” Washington Post, March 14, 2015.
[2] Michelle Davis, “AFT Goes to England to Protest ‘Gag Order’ on Test Questions,” Education Week, April 28, 2014.
[3] Stephanie Simon, “No Profit Left Behind,” Politico, February 10, 2015.
[4] Matthew Chingos, Strength in Numbers (Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings, November 2012).
[5] Molly Callister, “Why Los Angeles Sends Failing Students on to the Next Grade,” Hechinger Report, August 14, 2014.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

BREAKING NEWS! FICARELLI SUBMITS $73,025 INVOICE TO BASTISTE AT WPS60 FOR OUTSIDE LEGAL FEES JUST FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, 2014!

Ficarelli should be grinning from ear to ear

This equates to the annual salary 2 Waukegan teachers. Ficarelli's bill reflects 262.9 hours of work. For most folks working 8 hours a day, there are 176 hours in a month. (8 hours x 22 working days).

Here are Ficarelli's monthly billings:
June, 2014            $ 15,589.50
July, 2014             $ 15,276.00
August, 2014        $ 12,910.50
September, 2014  $ 20,163.63
September, 2014  $   8,820.00
October, 2014      $  73,025.00


GRAND TOTAL $145,784.63

More poor judgment on the part of Batiste? Remember, he directly negotiated a contract with Ficarelli at the end of May, 2014 for $50,000 and then rammed it through Board approval two weeks later. Keeping the sole source wired deal to this dollar threshold skirted a full board discussion on this topic and prevented going to a full, open bid soliciting outside legal services.

Again, not Batiste's money. Waukegan taxpayers' funds promiscuously spent on Family and Friends!

Couple this revelation with the FOIA information obtained by Corruption Busters regarding the PR contract with Greentarget, recommended by Ficarelli/Hinshaw at '20% discounted rates' totaling $15,761.15.

Anita Hanna, WPS60 President, should be taking lessons from Ficarelli. Both have been taking care of the family business at personal expense.

Dear Folks of Waukegan, have you had enough of these shenanigans?

Contact the Lake County State's Attorney, Mayor Wayne Motley, Rep. Rita Mayfield and Senator Terry Link to open an investigation into fraud, waste of taxpayer funds and corruption.



Monday, December 1, 2014

FURTHER ABUSE OF TAXPAYER FUNDS BY BATISTE, FICARELLI AND WPS60. Another adventure down the rabbit hole. 




In our ongoing investigation of waste of taxpayer funds by the WPS60 Administration, our latest FOIA related to Outside Consulting contracts contains a very interesting contract between Batiste and Greentarget (Hinshaw's PR Firm) executed March 3, 2014.

For the negotiations that were held last spring related to the previous contract, Batiste decides on a defensive measure to manage communications. Of course, who does he turn to for assistance? His one-number speed dial on his district provided cellphone...Smiley Tony Ficarelli. We wonder if Tony received a finder's fee??

Again, we find no evidence provided that Batiste solicited bids from other qualified PR firms or even made any attempt to identify those resources. In addition, the district has in-house PR staff including Nicholas Alajakis, who cranked out daily reports to the press, WPS60 website and Facebook page...all at no additional charge to taxpayers. 

Was this simply an oversight? Laziness? Or, is there a a more sinister bent to this decision? Batiste again taking care of his own.



Anticipating an upcoming Teachers' strike, Batiste enters into an agreement with Hinshaw's PR Firm and receives a 20% courtesy discount.



Not bad, Ficarelli is getting $275 or better per hour. Why not reward friends and family with another sole source, wired deals to friends and family at taxpayer expense?

Who takes 5 hours to draft a letter to parents at a cost of $250/hour? 

The new PARCC test for Common Core would be a great source on how to craft sentence structure for clear communications!

How many English teachers are employed at WPS60 capable of drafting a letter? 

With over 40 years experience between them, Batiste and Lamping are not capable of articulating the District's position to the public? Interesting because Batiste has no problem authoring his Superintendent's Letter monthly and freely distributes the content to parents of 17,000 students and 1200 teachers! At no additional charge to the Waukegan taxpayers!



Who needed Spokesperson media training at $4,000? Ficarelli was the spokesman for WPS60 and enjoyed basking in the glow of network interviews at taxpayer expense!

Click here for the executed contract with Greentarget reviewed by General Counsel, Tom Morris ("Of Counsel - Hinshaw) 

Purchase Order 151502 issued on 10/22/2014 by WPS60 in the amount of $11,995.00. 

Disbursement 5/13/2014  against Greentarget Inv. # 2624 partial payment in the amount of $6,000.

Disbursement 5/13/2014 against Inv.#2626
partial payment in the amount of $9,761.15, including the balance of $5,000 and a FEDEX charge of $4,761.15!

The $11,995 purchase order actually resulted in disbursements totaling $15,761.15. No problemo; not Donaldo's money!

More on results of the Outside Consulting Contracts FOIA soon....