Saturday, June 13, 2015

ADMINISTRATION AT WPS60 CONTINUES FINANCIALLY WASTEFUL LEGACY OF SCHOOL MIS-MANAGEMENT AND STUDENT ENDANGERMENT

Update 7/12/215
Bethel Cager was earning $117,164 as third area superintendent in Racine for the 2011-2012 school year (Racine Unified Plans Administrator Cuts to Help Balance 2011-2012 Budget).  Batiste hired her at $145,000. That is an increase of $27,836...almost 24% pay bump.

This money could certainly have been allocated to direct instruction to benefit the students.

Perhaps he should have consulted with Anthony Ficarelli to negotiate her salary?? 

Batiste certainly has no problem using taxpayer dollars to take care of his cronies.

Latest Update on Bethel Cager 6/30/2015

According to WPS 60 FOIA response, "Dr. Cager previously served as Principal, Jefferson Middle School, from July 21, 2004 through August 20, 2007, when she voluntarily resigned to accept a position of higher responsibility in the Racine, Wisconsin School System."

Also, according to WPS60 FOIA re administrator's hire dates, Batiste's start date is January 5, 2004. Batiste responded that the "previous superintendent hired Cager". Was this simply a coincidence that both ended up in Waukegan from New Orleans??


 
Simple arithmetic....$165,000 take away $145,000 equals $20,000 annual decrease in pay to return to Waukegan from Dixmoor. Can't put much of a spin on a downward career move....

Excerpts from Cager's 3 year contract as Superintendent at West Harvey-Dixmoor ending in a Separation Agreement due to "philosophical differences".



While collecting her severance from Dixmoor, according to WPS60 FOIA, "Dr. Cager was engaged as a special Consultant beginning on May 18, 2015, and she has worked at a daily rate of $400 following the school calendar for 12 month employees.  Her engagement as a consultant will end on June 30, 2015.  There is no written contract covering this interim employment."

Cager's new contract with WPS60 starting 7/1/2015


Update on Bethel Cager 6-20-2015


Click here for Cager's contract for Dixmoor District 147 for the period March 14, 2013 to June 30, 2016

Click here for District 147's July 3, 2014 minutes related to Cager's Performance Improvement Plan 

Click here for Separation Agreement of Cager as Superintendent at Dixmoor Dist 147 recorded in minutes dated October 16, 2014.

We are awaiting response from Batiste as to his relationship with Cager after receiving a tip from a confidential source alleging that she is his niece. Update 6/30/2015...Batiste responded that the relationship with Cager is strictly professional.

At the WPS60 June, 2015 board meeting Cager's hiring as Area 2 Associate Superintendent was approved by the board. 

We have asked the Board to suspend this appointment pending an investigation into these allegations.

On June 19, 2015 Michael Rodriguez, Board President WPS60, acknowledged initiating an investigation. We will patiently await the results of the investigation.




June 13, 2015 Posting:

Corruption Busters has an on-going investigation into the ill fated hiring of Theresa Anderson by Mary Lamping & Donaldo Batiste (see Oct. 24, 2014 post http://ow.ly/OgABX and recent student attacks at Jefferson).   

The results of a FOIA response by WPS60 indicates that Anderson has been removed from Jefferson but will continue as a paid district employee at $131,000 through the 2015-2016 school year. 


"As a Principal who was not reclassified or non-renewed prior to April 1, 2015, Mrs. Anderson is protected against demotion or reduction in rank or pay by 105 ILCS 5/10-23.8b through the 2015-2016 School Year." "Dr. Batiste has recently required that Ms. Anderson undertake a special assignment.  This should be addressed by the Board in a more formal way in the near future."


This is particularly egregious because Anderson's employment was challenged one year ago by staff complaints but WPS60 had already approved her contract for the 2014-2015 school year.  Apparently, the same dilatory tactic was used this year to extend her contract. Surely, this was achieved with full knowledge and complicity of Batiste and Lamping.


After Anderson's less than stellar career at Chicago Public Schools, she should not have been hired in Waukegan.


WPS60 has assigned two replacement staff members (one a consultant, Dr. Cager, who had been a Superintendent in the South suburbs and had been removed from the position 
last October but paid through this school year  http://ow.ly/OgE7L) and will hire a new principal at Jefferson for 2015-2016. This effectively doubles the salary expense incurred by taxpayers due to continued inept safeguarding of money.

Bethel Cager is a former employee of WPS60 (another Batiste refugee from New Orleans).  In 2003, both Batiste and Cager are listed on an IRS990 non-profit tax return as Officers, Directors, Trustees or Key Employees of The School Leadership Center of Greater New Orleans (see Page 4). 
http://ow.ly/OgK8D. Batiste's saga of Friends & Family continues unabated.

She was the principal, ironically, at Jefferson Middle School and had more than her share of problems. She made a hasty exit amid much criticism and a bit of scandal. She apparently moved to Racine in 2008 or 2009. Now she's back and responsible for, among other things, evaluating the performance of principals!


We suggest that the school board investigate the failure of the administration to terminate Anderson's employment for cause. In addition, the board should institute checks and balances to prevent hiring administrators from other districts without proper due diligence into their performance. 


WPS60 has a legacy of hiring "sloppy seconds with baggage" from other districts to wit Mary Lamping and Bethel Cager . 


The WPS60 Board of Education will soon commence a search for a new Superintendent.  The district will be best served by hiring a dynamic professional educator with proven, measurable success from outside the district to change the culture of corruption by the present administration.