Archive for December 2012

Meindl’s absurd obscurantism

December 21, 2012

Here is a reply to a very thoughtful letter by Ms. Frances Roach at the RB Landmark website:

Christopher FitzHenry Robling from Riverside, Illinois

Posted: December 21st, 2012 10:34 AM

dear ms. roach,

your letter is very powerful and much appreciated.  if one assumes this board is proud of what it did, then it is also undeniable that the board has an odd way of expressing its pride.

it has consistently failed to show the community why what it did makes sense.  it has placed obvious inconsistencies and  contradictions throughout the record.  it spent our tax dollars to prevent us from knowing what it did.  it pays the scariano law firm while the village is rife with conflict-of-interest rumors that it blithely refuses to address.  perhaps most disturbingly, it squelches its own public responsibility by hiding under the non-disclosure agreement from the second Battersby separation (“second” because this board botched the first separation, and so much else, to the detriment of the innocent, competent and victimized Susan Battersby).

thus the board tells us questions we ask, regardless of subject matter, get to items that fall w/in the Battersby NDA, and so they may not respond, and we must be quiet.

this tactic puts off-limits discussion of purely management (i.e., administration) and oversight (i.e., board) actions because the board says they must not discuss them.

this policy culminated in board president meindl’s “we will say no more, to heck with you” statement at the last meeting, made after she manipulated the agenda so that no one could reply to her — thus more squelching.  this is absurd and ashamed obscurantism.

i conclude the board is not proud.  it is scared stiff of anyone understanding its serial failures to oversee and the underlying serial failures to administer.

quite clearly, to all not digesting board kool aid in this Christmas season, a woman who served us well now despairs for her career, while a vicious prevaricator sits atop one of our schools.  in our name, this inversion has occurred.  and our board desperately wants us to forget it.  it is a Christmas wish that i think will not be granted.

best, c

“fire colleen or resign” — sent Wed., Oct 24, 2012

December 10, 2012

dear mary ellen,

your failure to protect the children and families of D96 by leaving colleen in office is appalling.  frankly, having gotten this far into this mess, and showing such poor judgment as to be here, in this place, i think it is shown that you are unfit for the post you hold.

the very least you can do is fire colleen now, even if that means reassigning her to the end of her contract.

here is what I said at the landmark website this morning, which I hereby say to you directly and personally:

Let’s get this straight:

According to this article, Colleen Lieegi has falsely reported child sex abuse involving her ex-husband, a D96 teacher and neighbors.

Lieggi hired a D96 teacher to babysit her kids. The teacher performed D96 work in the principal’s home on one of her children, while babysitting. Upon an unwelcome result, Lieggi reported child sex abuse involving the teacher. She then attempted a retaliatory firing against the teacher.

This went through our superintendent, who issued a formal D96 document to the effect. But in time that document was withdrawn and superseded by a D96 pledge to pay according to the teacher contract and to pay the teacher’s attorney.

Our Board president, Mary Ellen Meindl, looks at this and says, “My concern is if any of this is a personnel issue relating to District 96 and, no, it is not.”


Not surprising, since Ms. Meindl has thrown the shredder switch three times after legally receiving the police reports of the errant principal.

As for the neighbors, they were out of town when the child sex abuse that Lieggi ‘mandatorily reported’ was supposed to have taken pace.

And as for the ex-spouse, he has been given a clean slate by investigators.

The Board is protecting the principal who made false reports. ‘”Her job is in no jeopardy,” said school board President Mary Ellen Meindl.’

The Board has profoundly failed the community and all D96 parents. It should ask itself, “if we were interviewing Colleen Lieggi and we knew of these false reports and other judgment errors, would we hire her?”

If a Board member answers “yes,” then he or she is unfit to serve.

Ames principal Colleen Lieggi either is a stone cold liar or needs intensive counseling. Hiding behind her mandatory reporter status and blaming her children indicate very serious needs, the treatment of which is incompatible with her position, responsibilities and judgment of her office.

I do not have a child in her care, but if I did I would insist she step down or the child be transferred. Lieggi’s actions are irreconcilable with the discretion over children that goes with her position. Her babysitting arrangement alone implicates her managerial and institutional leadership. The false reports implicate her stability.

The D96 Board has failed the parents it represents, it must return to the topic and end Lieggi’s association with our schools.

[End Landmark post text]

mary ellen, the Landmark / Skolnik article reveals you — at best — as a fool.  you would be a laughingstock if this were not serious, but it is.  please try to reconnect with the interests of parents in protecting their children.  fire colleen.  feel free to call me if you wish.


chris robling

here is mary ellen’s reply, the next day:


I am in receipt of your correspondence.


Mary Ellen Meindl

President, District 96 Board of Education

Sent from my iPad


Are professionals responsible?

December 5, 2012

“Experience and continuing education is highly valuable.”*

All of us make mistakes, but this from our RB-income dependent neighbor “Curious Resident” is unfortunate by any standard. Anyway, nbd.

Now, back to education, and MR’s quite pertinent point.

I have long wanted to cross this “t,” the “t” of responsibili”t”y.

CR (Curious Resident, not this author) deeply believes in the professional distinction of certain teachers over at RB.

So do i, as nearly a zillion quotes around here, repeated year after year, show.

But that does not make me incapable of asking, simply and directly, where were the professional educators when we were suffering through the buffoonery, corruption, skullduggery and mismanagement of the bad old days?

This question is not about the badness of the bad old days. Whatever learning was going on, the place was in fact going bankrupt in a miasma of neglect and oversight. The good that was happening was utterly unsustainable because the slime was rotting the place from within. We all know how bad those days were.

But some among us — say, Illinois certified staff on site — who by definition are trained experts, looked the other way during the parade of horribles, and in fact during the long slog of delousing, as well.

And, from the tenor of CR’s posts, CR seems to think those on site should be rewarded now with Hinsdale salaries, with no mention or explanation of why they, our putative “partners,” failed to show up when needed most. As professionals, weren’t they responsible?

MR says, ‘the money is not there.’ i agree with MR.

And i further ask, where was CR’s vaunted professionalism when the community needed it to keep RB on the rails?

The mistake at the top (“is” instead of “are”) is in fact no big deal.

But CR’s “education rational,” by which i think CR meant to say, “education rationale,” is a big deal. The community deserves to know why the teachers’ rationale did not include blowing the whistle and pitching in to clean the Augean stable.

Any answers?

*[POSTED TUESDAY DEC 4, 2012 10:55]
p.s. more posts and emails like this at

POSTED WEDNESDAY DEC 5, 2012 00:10 #

Seeking ‘Ideology’s’ Citation . . .

December 4, 2012

Posted: Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Article comment by: chris robling

To: ‘Ideology’
“Sinde/Welch/Keen/Buttimer/Robling – their goal is this idealogically ‘pure’ goal of somehow attacking the profession of teaching or making an example of RB’s teachers. For what? I don’t know.”
Speaking for myself, i ask ‘Ideology v. Reality’ to provide a citation.
In fact, i have scrupulously opposed all demonization of teachers, both corporately and indivudually, and i have repeatedly upheld the union’s right to get the very best deal it can for its members, since that is its job.
Feel free to check, where i have rolled up perhaps one hundred posts and emails on the subject.
Happy for the give-and-take, but the topic’s seriousness behooves accuracy.
If achieved, then we can get to — your word — “concessions.”
Cheers, c

to see the exchange, scroll down from the article “Riverside-Brookfield class size rises”  at:

Here is a pretty standard example of what i referred to above, elsewhere on this blog:  “RB teachers, their contract and union — 11/11/2011.”  It’s under “Riverside Brookfield High School — Turnaround”