Saturday, November 29, 2008

Teacher Found Dead in Kentucky High School

This from H-L:
Teacher dies of natural causes in Ky. school
SOMERSET, Ky. -- The English teacher who was found dead inside Pulaski County High School over the holiday break died of natural causes, a coroner said.

Scott McAninch, 32, was found in a northeast hallway of the school after Somerset police were called there Friday evening.

The cause of death was a pulmonary embolism, or an artery blockage caused by a blood clot, said County Coroner Richard New.

The autopsy, performed Saturday morning in Frankfort, also determined he had an abnormal heart condition that could have contributed to his death, New said.

McAninch, a baseball coach, was probably just making a quick visit to his office when he died shortly after entering the building. He left his home around 9:30 Friday morning, New said...

Attorneys to split fees in 10 Commandments case

This from the Herald-Leader:

LOUISVILLE — Two attorneys have been awarded more than $44,000 in fees after winning a battle over the public display of the Ten Commandments at a Kentucky courthouse.

U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley said attorneys David Friedman and William E. Sharp, both of whom argued the case for the American Civil Liberties Union, should split $44,208 after winning a permanent injunction keeping the text out of the courthouse...

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 ruled that displays inside the McCreary and Pulaski county courthouses were unconstitutional while the U.S. 6th District Court of Appeals said a Mercer County Courthouse display that incorporated other historical documents was constitutional.

Since then, Ten Commandments displays and monuments in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia have been challenged and taken down.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Felner Runner-Up: 'Turkey at the Top' Award

This from the Chronicle of Higher Ed:

Turkey at the top is always intensely competitive.

This year’s contenders included first runner-up Robert Felner, the U of Louisville dean indicted for conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion in what the feds allege are repeated acts of embezzlement of grant monies amounting to over $2 million.

Not content with these escapades, Felner racked up 31 grievances and complaints in his 5 years at the “U of L” but was consistently backed against the faculty by upper administration, especially Provost Shirley Willihnganz and President James Ramsey, who spent extravagantly on lawyers and consultants to prop up his administration despite what numerous accounts (including this one and others that I’ve privately confirmed) termed an “onslaught” of complaints from faculty, staff and students alleging “unsavory behavior, ranging from sexual harassment to workplace intimidation.”

This pair continued the authoritarian regime of wall-to-wall administrative solidarity and secrecy established by their high-living predecessors, former provost Carol Garrison and former president John Shumaker—later found sharing lavish hotel rooms and limousines at public expense, while jetting to trysts in the University of Tennessee’s private plane.

But every year only one can win.

This year’s award goes to the chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, Charlie Manning, for his new business model for higher ed in his Appalachian state. Over the past couple of decades, the great state of Tennessee has burned millions of education dollars on executive compensation, sports facilities, and miles of orange carpet—while leading the country in squeezing its faculty. ...

Peggy Petrilli Timeline

Updated December 2008

Chronology: Peggy Petrilli and
the Booker T Washington Academy

2000 to 2004 - (KSN&C) Petrilli received acclaim in recent years as principal of Northern Elementary. She showed a flair for innovation, emphasized the arts and found more instructional time by starting Saturday programs. She created a more inviting atmosphere in the school, and her students made significant progress in academics. Since 2000, test scores rose 20 points on the state assessment, into the low 70s, while the number of "novices," the lowest performers, was cut in half. Much of the school's success has been credited to Petrilli's leadership. Petrilli served on Governor Ernie Fletcher's education committee

July 28, 2001 - Northern Elementary School principal Peggy Petrilli , who moved to Fayette County from Texas a year ago, told H-L she welcomes the public scrutiny and feels supported by the central office and superintendent. "We're headed in exactly the right direction," she said. "The community has a responsibility to hold us accountable and Robin is taking that responsibility seriously."

October 7, 2001 - (H-L) At Northern Elementary School, Principal Peggy Petrilli and her staff plan to adopt math activities from Maxwell Elementary and lesson plans from LaRue County. "Why not go to pockets of excellence in our own state to bring ideas back, and then modify, refine and implement them to meet the needs of our school and our staff?" Petrilli told Lisa Deffendall when she was education reporter for the Herald-Leader. "Why reinvent the wheel?"

October 10, 2001 - Peggy Petrilli , Northern's principal, said the [Great Leaps literacy]program is great for students who are struggling with reading and ..."It's so phenomenal for them (the children) to have their volunteer come into a classroom. Their eyes light up," Petrilli said.

January 16, 2002 - (H-L) Petrilli urged FCPS board members to pay more attention to enrichment programs for neighborhood schools such as hers.

September 18, 2002 - (H-L) Petrilli reported to the African American Education Coalition that the school's volunteer reading program brings in 20 adults to read with children and show children that "some outside person cares about them as individuals."

March 10, 2003 - (H-L) Petrilli told the Fayette county Board she has test scores to prove that music education is essential to academic achievement. With a grant from the state, Northern began violin instruction for every student from kindergarten through third grade. As of January, 70 percent of the second and third-graders are meeting or exceeding the work required of them. "We have no African-American achievement gap," Petrilli said. "In fact, our African-American students are over-achieving ... in comparison with Caucasian children at second grade and even with the third grade." The children themselves say music has had an impact on their lives. Fourth-graders at Northern are particularly riled that they might not see fifth-grade band.

March 26, 2003 - (H-L) Thanks to a $100,000 Arts and Humanities Foreign Language Integration Grant from the Kentucky Department of Education, all Northern Elementary students are receiving Spanish instruction twice each week. The program began this month. Northern was one of 10 schools selected statewide and the only Fayette County school to pilot the two-year grant program, said principal Peggy Petrilli . Elementary schools also were selected in Bowling Green Independent and in Henderson, Warren, Jefferson, Kenton, Jessamine, Bell, Greenup and Breathitt counties. "We're so excited about this grant," Petrilli said. "It's important that we develop and implement an exceptional pilot program. I'm determined to keep it going." Petrilli said there is a growing Hispanic population at Northern. "Something like this makes them see that they are special. With this initiative, their native language becomes intriguing and exciting to English speakers," she said. "It's a way to bring the two groups of students together."

June 4, 2003 - (H-L) In September, Petrilli promised students that if they improved their score on the Scholastic Reading Inventory Test to 80 percent, she would dye her hair blue. The students came through.

September 29, 2003 - (H-L) Only about 15 percent of Northern students were reading on grade level in 1999, said Principal Peggy Petrillo (sic). Petrillo (sic), who took over as principal in 2000, started a program of increased discipline for students, more professional development for teachers, and a greater focus on achievement. By last school year, 80.7 percent of Northern students were reading on grade level overall, and among second-graders, the figure was 91 percent, Petrillo (sic) said. "In second and third grade, the African-American children performed as well as, if not better than, the Caucasian children, so there was no gap," Petrillo (sic) said. The results show that achievement gaps can be closed, but that it takes time, she said. ...the human rights commission director, conceded that the organization found individual bright spots like Northern "everywhere we looked."

October 8, 2003 - (H-L) Between 2002 and 2003, scores went up at nearly 70 percent of Fayette County's 51 schools. Scores fell at 15 schools and remained flat at one. Northern Elementary had the largest one-year gain -- 8.9 points -- in the district . "It starts when children are in primary," said Northern principal Peggy Petrilli , who calls teachers the most important variable in the classroom. "And it takes time to put in place all the strategies and training the teachers need to be able to see good student achievement growth in children."

November18, 2003 - (H-L) At Fayette County's Northern Elementary, 40 percent of poor students reached proficiency on state reading tests last spring. Facing a statewide benchmark of 47.27 percent proficiency, Northern would have fallen short. Enter the confidence interval. To account for possible error, state officials calculated that Northern's score might be 19.9 points higher. So the percentage of poor students reading proficiently is adjusted up to 59.9 percent, and the school meets the federal target. "It's legitimate, but it certainly gives us a lot of wiggle room," Northern principal Peggy Petrilli said. "Our goal, of course, is to meet the standards every year without that help. We don't want to depend on the confidence intervals to pass." In all, Northern was helped five times.

Novmber 21, 2003 - (H-L) New Secretary of the Education, Arts, and Humanities cabinet, Virginia Fox was introduced by Governor-elect Ernie Fletcher in front of dozens of fifth-graders at Northern Elementary School in Lexington. Fox said she plans to lay groundwork for one of Fletcher's campaign promises: that all students can read by the third grade. At Northern Elementary, for instance, only 15 percent of students were reading at grade level in 1999. This year 80 percent of students achieved that standard, said principal Peggy Petrilli.

April 22, 2004 - (Art Jester at H-L)

Rays of hope are shining forth from the city's north side. Call them "Northern Lights." That's the title of a report issued today that praises Northern Elementary School as "something special" because "it has significantly raised student achievement while dramatically reducing school suspensions."

Northern has "dramatically changed from one of the worst schools in the Fayette County public school system to one of the best," says the study by Building Blocks for Youth. It is a national alliance of organizations concerned with issues on children, youth and the youth justice system. The report's author is David W. Richart, executive director of the National Institute on Children, Youth & Families at Spalding University in Louisville and formerly with Kentucky Youth Advocates.

"The report does not mean to assert that the achievement gap (between white and minority students) has been closed, but it is narrowing" at Northern, Richart said in an interview. "I've been in a lot of schools, but I've never been in a school where you could feel it so immediately - something exciting is going on," he added. Evidence of this improvement is cited in the report's two basic findings:
* The percentage of students who can read at their grade levels rose from 15 percent in 1999 to 81 percent in 2003. This is taken from the Scholastic Reading Inventory, a national test that compares students' performance against that of their peers.
* The number of incidents leading to suspensions dropped from 29 in 2000-2001 to 12 in 2002-2003. The number of students suspended fell from 16 in 2000-2001 to seven in 2001-2002...

...Historically, most of its students have been black and poor. Today, 70 percent of Northern's students qualify for free lunch because they are from low-income families. Enrollment is 60 percent black, 30 percent white and 10 percent Hispanic.

The report credits the turnaround to Principal Peggy Petrilli and teachers she recruited because they shared her belief that all students can excel. "There is a moral imperative that we teach children at very high levels," Petrilli said. Arnold Gaither, chairman of One Community, One Voice, a Lexington coalition devoted to closing the
achievement gap, said: "For years, we've been hearing that the kids who are poor, and minority kids, can't learn and can't be taught. Peggy Petrilli and her teachers are dispelling that myth." Numerous civic leaders have called the achievement gap Lexington's most serious problem.

Petrilli, who became principal in 2000, noted a sign of progress in that reading scores for blacks and whites in 2nd and 3rd grades last year were virtually even. She supports the reading effort by meeting with teachers every Friday, hiring a reading coach and testing students frequently, sometimes weekly. Petrilli said she has begun a similar approach this year to boost Northern's math scores, which she called

While students have shown improvement on the National Reading Inventory, state tests show sizable achievement gaps persist in reading and math. In 2003, 66 percent of white students scored proficient or distinguished in reading compared with 40 percent of black students. In math, the difference was 38 percent of whites scoring proficient or distinguished compared with 12 percent of blacks.

Other goals in Northern's curriculum reflect high aspirations: being fluent in Spanish by the end of 5th grade; learning Latin in 4th and 5th grades; learning to play various instruments to prepare for being in the school band; and Saturday classes, which typically attract 60 to 80 students or more.

Richart, speaking to the issue of student behavior, said that in many schools, students are often sent to the principal's office for relatively minor offenses which can ultimately lead to court. He said this begins a "school-to-prison pipeline" that ends in failure in the student's life.

At Northern, students who misbehave are sent to the in-school suspension office,
where they are treated seriously but also with encouragement. A staff of mental health professionals and social workers helps students with family and emotional problems. "We hold a child accountable for their actions regardless of what their disability or situation is," Petrilli said. "We will not allow a student to disrupt the learning of others." Teachers are trained to manage behavior problems, and misbehavior becomes the exception rather than the rule at Northern.

Carrie Jackman, a 5th- grade teacher with 16 years of experience in the Fayette system, called Petrilli a "visionary who provides the wherewithal to reach those dreams."

"We are empowered as teachers, because research has long shown that having a strong principal enables teachers to do their best work," said Jackman, in her second year at Northern. The school is the "best-kept secret in Lexington," she said.

Betty Hawkins, who has a daughter and a cousin at Northern, said the school's "reputation before Mrs. Petrilli came was not very good." But Hawkins, noting the improvement, said: "The kids really care about their teachers, and the teachers really care about their students. "The best part about this school is they test them so frequently, and they group the students according to their scores," she said.

Each night, students must take home a planner, or calendar notebook, in which they have written homework assignments and reminders; teachers can also include notes.
Parents must sign the planner every night. "It's very important to do this," said Shauntae Jackson, 11, who wants to be a pediatrician or a lawyer.

The atmosphere empowers students, said Nicole Rashid, 11, who said she would like to be an archaeologist or a lawyer. "If we don't listen, if we don't write notes, it's our fault," Nicole said. "Our education is up to us. Teachers are there to guide our way."

April 28, 2004 - (H-L) editorial says Northern's progress challenges the myth that poor, minority children can't learn while confronting other dangerous assumptions: that poor parents won't get involved in their children's education, that teachers don't care whether children learn and that disciplining children requires removing them from the classroom. Erasing such thinking is the first step toward raising educational levels for all students at all schools.

May 8, 2004 - (Cheryl Truman at H-L)

Over the next few weeks, you'll be hearing a lot about what Fayette County should be looking for in a school superintendent. Actually, it's rather simple: We need a superintendent who nurtures principals like Peggy Petrilli ...Frankfort's state education establishment, including Gov. Ernie Fletcher and state education secretary Virginia Fox, love Petrilli...

So the driving question in this superintendent search should be: How can we find
somebody who can nail down the money -- from any source, anywhere -- to be shoveled into achievement gap-narrowing programs like Northern's? And which of the candidates has the most compelling and proven vision for how to narrow the achievement gap throughout the school system?

Fayette's school system needs more people like Petrilli. It needs more people who yield results and fewer who run around playing at damage control, compiling reports and yammering about hardships. Schools aren't about process. They're about finding the joy in education.

Fall 2004 - Fayette school officials with support from One Community One Voice approached UK president Lee Todd for the university's help in solving the achievement problem at two low performing schools. Todd agreed to get involved. The plan: Merge the Academy at Lexington and Booker T Washington Elementary, get UK educators to secure grants and offer student mentors, and place a strong leader at the helm.

November 2004 - In November, Silberman tells H-L, "We don't want to come in and change everything and make that the cause of the increase in student achievement. We want to take the current population and faculty and staffs that we have in place and provide them with supports and resources to show what can happen."

Somewhere during 2005 - Peggy Petrilli was named National Distinguished Principal; and Principal of the Year by the Kentucky Association of Elementary School Principals.

July 23, 2005 - As part of the process of revitalizing the schools, [new BTWA] principal Peggy Petrilli wanted to "really transform the building itself, even though it had been renovated." Petrilli, [was] recently named elementary school principal of the year by the Kentucky Association of Elementary School Principals..."When this opportunity came along, I thought all kids deserve to learn at high levels," said Petrilli, who has been in education for 19 years. "I'm really excited with this partnership with the University of Kentucky."

July 26th 2005 - (H-L) Fayette County Board of Education grants Silberman $18,000 of additional performance-based pay based in part on the partnership between Booker T. Washington Academy and the University of Kentucky, which aims to close the achievement gap and raise performance at the merged school.

August 2005 - Seven key faculty members from Northern Elementary transferred to the BTW Academy with Petrilli. Fourteen teachers choose to leave BTWA. Nearly 50% of the faculty at Northern are new to the school.

September 12, 2005 - (H-L) Op-Ed by Richard Day:

The school year has started in Fayette County with an innovation: the new Booker T. Washington Academy. This is a laudable and ambitious collaborative effort involving the merger of two low-scoring, high-poverty schools -- the Academy at Lexington and Booker T. Washington Elementary -- with help from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the University of Kentucky.

Will Fayette County schools Superintendent Stu Silberman achieve his goal to make the academy one of the highest-achieving schools in the state without changing its demographics?

In January, Silberman told parents that much of their children's low-test-score
problem could be attributed to the principals and their ability to motivate their staffs. He said principals -- one at a high-scoring school and one at a low-scoring school -- could be switched, and that the scores would flip-flop in two years. He subsequently selected Principal Peggy Petrilli to lead the new academy.

Petrilli had received acclaim in recent years as principal of Northern Elementary. She showed a flair for innovation, emphasized the arts and found more instructional time by starting Saturday programs. She created a more inviting atmosphere in the school, and her students made significant progress in academics. Since 2000, test scores rose 20 points on the state assessment, into the low 70s, while the number of "novices," the lowest performers, was cut in half. Much of the school's success has been credited to Petrilli's leadership.

But what happens to Northern Elementary now?

Northern has lost its leadership and seven key faculty members who transferred to the academy with Petrilli. As Northern children returned to school this year, they were greeted by 15 faculty members who were new to Northern (almost half the total), including first-year principal Jennifer Flinn.

There is a need for sustainable student achievement growth in every Fayette County public school. The question is how the district gets there.

Silberman told the Herald-Leader last November, "We don't want to come in and change everything and make that the cause of the increase in student achievement. We want to take the current population and faculty and staffs that we have in place and provide them with supports and resources to show what can happen." The goals for the academy could not be higher.

The task of moving low-scoring students into the upper echelons will create a high-pressure environment for the adults involved, and some teachers expressed the desire to transfer out of the spotlight. Silberman extended the time frame allowing
teachers to do so. In the end, 14 teachers left the former Booker T. Washington and nine teachers left the former Academy at Lexington.

Despite the superintendent's desire to minimize the amount of change, Petrilli got an
opportunity to hire a lot of new teachers. A typical elementary principal might expect to hire a handful of new teachers in his first year; perhaps another handful in the second. Principals consider some amount of turnover to be a positive thing as the principal slowly begins to build a faculty that reflects his philosophy.

Most principals prefer to hire teachers with successful track records. But Petrilli seems to choose promising rookies; the academy started the year with 20 first-year teachers out of a total faculty of 40. Well-motivated young teachers can become proficient and loyal. They are also easier to fire if their performance comes up short.

Taking a school from 40 to 70 on the state accountability system is a great thing. Going from 70 to 100 is even better. The state goal is to get every school to 100 by 2014. Getting there may require other schools to engage in the kind of effort that can now be seen only at the academy.

Citizens should continue to monitor the progress of these and all public schools. We should support their efforts and provide adequate resources. They are vitally important to our community's continued prosperity.

October 2, 2005 - (C-J) A recent lunch menu at Lexington's Booker T. Washington Intermediate Academy featured baked fish, broccoli, parsley potatoes and applesauce. On another day, there was baked chicken, spinach salad and whole-wheat rolls. What you won't find on its menus are chocolate milk, chicken nuggets or pizza. "It's something I felt that we as a school could have control over," said principal Peggy Petrilli , who remembers cringing over last year's menus, featuring "chicken nuggets, or steak nuggets or fish nuggets or hot dogs or pizza." But the new menus did not come without a fight. Petrilli, who has lobbied for years to remove sugary, fatty and pre-processed foods from the lunchroom, said a district food service worker who opposed any change once yelled at her. "They couldn't believe I wouldn't let the kids have doughnuts," she said.

October 4, 2005 - (H-L) ...Petrilli's goals are not-so-gradually tiered. First, get the students to fully embrace the menu. Next, by mid-year, make the experiment cost-effective. Next year, work with local farmers to put fresh local produce on local school plates. Goal one is proving a hurdle. While Petrilli says the kids have not asked her for desserts, Jonathan James, 8, says he misses pudding. He's sitting in a huddle of children who are dressing their homemade tacos with fresh lettuce and shredded cheese. Peter Rawlings, 8, says he likes broccoli and has tried the corn but is "glad I'm not a tomato person, and they can't make me." Alex Giron, also 8, said she brought her lunch -- a Smucker's peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, Doritos, a Fruit Roll-Up and a juice box of lemonade -- because "sometimes I don't like the food here."

October 5, 2005 - (Cheryl Truman in H-L) Petrilli's schools tend to inspire awe in even the most cynical. We all know the odds that Petrilli faces trying to change that most entrenched of bureaucracies, the school lunch, and replace it with lower-fat, higher-protein choices. Last year, I had lunch at my neighborhood high school and managed to emerge with a tray that consisted of equal parts breaded, fried and sugared. Although healthier options are offered, watch a school lunch line and see what kids eat: It's a chicken patty and fries world out there.

October 19, 2005 - (H-L) Booker T. Washington Academy, an inner-city Lexington school, is pointing the way for the rest of this largely rural state with a pilot program that Principal Peggy Petrilli hopes will eventually bloom into a partnership with local farmers to serve fresh food in the school cafeteria.

November 2005 - In November, Silberman tells H-L, "We don't want to come in and change everything and make that the cause of the increase in student achievement. We want to take the current population and faculty and staffs that we have in place and provide them with supports and resources to show what can happen."

January 2005 - Silberman told BTWA parents that much of their children's low-test-score problem could be attributed to the principals and their ability to motivate their staffs. He said principals -- one at a high-scoring school and one at a low-scoring school -- could be switched, and that the scores would flip-flop in two years. He subsequently selected Principal Peggy Petrilli to lead the new academy.

(KSN&C) Time was, when most principals preferred to hire teachers with successful track records. But Petrilli seemed to choose promising rookies. Well-motivated young teachers can become proficient and loyal. But they are also easier to fire if their performance comes up short. Apparently a boat load of teachers failed to meet performance expectations and, like Silberman, Petrilli was not shy about pulling the trigger when she felt her students could perform better under someone else.

The academy started the 2005-2006 academic year with 20 first-year teachers on a total faculty of 40. The approach was not new for Petrilli. In fact, she received acclaim for her aggressive dedication to student achievement results at Northern and was praised for the same approach she used at BTW; and if some adults got bruised in the process - so be it.

Get the right people on the bus. Get the wrong people off the bus. Drive the bus.

And there was never a question about whose hand was on the wheel.
The FCPS investigation report alleged that Petrilli's faculty turnover rate was nearly 50percent, and that,
When Petrilli first arrived at the academy in September 2005, she moved 19 third-graders to second grade without consulting teachers or reviewing past grades, as required by law. The decision was based on how they performed in a series of tests conducted at the beginning of the school year.

FCPS spokeswoman Lisa Deffindall later told H-L, "All of those who were interviewed [during the investigation] confirmed that under Ms. Petrilli's leadership, they engaged in the same practices at Northern" where Petrilli received acclaim for raising test scores.

September 12, 2005 - (KSN&C in H-L) Op-Ed by Richard Day encourages the community to keep an eye on Northern Elementary and Booker T Washington Academy.

October 2005 - Petrilli moved to outlaw sugar from the school cafeteria and forbade the teachers from using candy as a reward in class. She received public accolades for her foresight and courage.

(KSN&C) No compromises; no apologies. That was the approach. Look at the kids. Decide what is best for them. Just do it. Parents and students may grumble now, but they will love it when their children are successful. That's how it was supposed to work.

So great was the desire for success in the Georgetown Street neighborhood that Petrilli was given unusual leeway in implementing her programs. "She was given carte blanche,' one district official told Kentucky School News and Commentary; "She got whatever she wanted."That included the full support of Silberman and some support apparently not available to other schools in the district. Petrilli's singular focus and drive - while valued and encouraged by some - was not universally appreciated.

It apparently rubbed some principals, and many in the district's middle management, the wrong way.I heard so many grumbled comments early on, that they lead me to believe some would have liked nothing more than to see Petrilli fail.
Jealousy? Perhaps. Or perhaps, the sense of an unlevel playing field for schools that have yet to meet their goals.

But love her or hate her, no one ever accused Petrilli of not working hard.

February 28, 2006 - (H-L) Petrilli touts, pre-schoolers tutored individually by University of Kentucky students. A first-grade class performing the Langston Hughes poem Dreams. A fourth-grade class playing Natalie's Dream on their violins. Classrooms no larger than 15 pupils, nutritious school lunches sans sugar and transfats, additional classes after school and on Saturday. "The major mission is for all children to be distinguished academic students and prepared for the rigors of middle school," said Petrilli. "I have a moral obligation to instill in our children hope for the future."

Petrilli spends most of her days scuttling between the intermediate building on Price Road and the primary building on Howard Street. Her work day is often more than 12 hours long... She introduced classes in violin and Spanish for preschool through fourth grade, Latin for fifth-graders, and a rotation of trumpet, clarinet and percussion classes. She also has enforced a dress code...

Her goal is to increase Commonwealth Accountability Testing System scores to a reading goal of 80, a science goal of 80 -- although most of the school is already at 100 in this subject measured through learning checks -- a social studies score of 80 and a math score of 75. This is out of a total of 140 for each subject area. The school's CATS academic index in 2004-05 was 55. The district index was 78.

"They're all behind, and this is them trying to get caught up, and this is my little way of helping," said Brittany Hale, 18, a freshman majoring in clinical and lab sciences.

PTA president Jessica Berry could have sent her 5-year-old kindergartner to Linlee, where she went as a little girl, but applied for an out-of-area request to get her into Booker T. "The different things that (Petrilli) wanted these kids to be able to explore, just to imagine those things to happen in a predominantly minority school and to make sure it happens, it sold me," said Berry.

May 2006 - FCPS investigation report claims that according to witnesses, Petrilli and staff members reviewed completed tests with pencils in hand and discussed students' answers "for hours on end" in a closed room, the report states. On one occasion, somebody suggested changing a student's answer, a witness said. Petrilli denied the accusation.

2006 - (H-L) BTWA snags a Knight Foundation grant of $550,000 " to redesign "teacher preparation programs in childhood and elementary education, create a community involvement program and conduct... an outside evaluation of the entire program to determine its weaknesses and strengths." H-L wrote, "Parents are excited about the changes at Booker T. and hope Petrilli can fulfill the goals set out for the school."

(KSN&C) Well that sounds great but it was not the whole story. A significant number of parents, and others have been concerned about Petrilli's take-no-prisoners style. The grumbling apparently reached a crescendo recently.

State Board of Education member C B Akins, who contributed his support to the Academy initiative and who pastors the nearby Bracktown Baptist Church where many members of the BTW community attend, commented at the June [2007] Kentucky Board of Education meeting that he had been fielding complaints from a number of people in his community about the loss of teachers. He did not specifically mention any particular school.

The FCPS investigation reports that in a two-year period about 100 students were improperly held back a grade at Booker T., in some instances on the first day of tests. Students who were performing poorly on practice tests were selected for demotions, including one student who had grades in the 80s and 90s.

Petrilli misreported the number of students who were not academically promoted, which inflated test scores. In the 2005-06 school year, 62 students were demoted from third to second grade. But Petrilli only reported 43 demotions to the school district.

The report also says the site-based decision-making council drafted only one policy in its first two years.

"This lack of policies permitted Ms. Petrilli and her leadership team to make decisions as they deemed appropriate in areas that are by law, under the authority of the SBDM,"
September 21, 2006 - (H-L) 74 percent of Fayette public schools raised their scores on the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System this year -- up from 50 percent last year -- with three ranking among the top-performing schools in the state, according to data released today. But only 34 percent of schools actually met their goals this year, a drop from 38 percent two years ago. Booker T. Washington Academy [was assigned a score] based on the district average because of changes in student attendance boundaries.

April 24, 2007 - FCPS Investigation reports school secretary Caroline Hellard reported that a student had withdrawn from the fourth grade on March 19, 2007, and re-enrolled as a third-grader the next day. Computer data showed that the demotion actually occurred on April 24, 2007, the first day of testing, according to the report. The student had passed all classes and was less than five weeks from being promoted. However, the student physically remained in the fourth-grade class with the same teacher for the rest of the school year.

June 2007 - (Petrilli's complaint) Petrilli reported to Stu Silberman that a parent of one of the students at Booker T. Washington Academy had engaged in conduct toward her that constituted abuse of a teacher as set forth in KRS 161.190.

Petrilli says BTWA parent Buddy Clark threatened that her "problems were just beginning" when she reported his child for being out-of-district without approval.

"Mr Clark met with Mr Silberman and gave him several demands - not all of them were about hte out-of-area situation... Mr Silberman told me not to worry about it...and ordered me not to turn in Mr. Clark's child for anything."

July 26, 2007 - William "Buddy" Clark forwarded an e-mail to his wife, Alva, and site-based decision making council member Jessica Berry. A month before confronting the Fayette school district superintendent with complaints about Booker T. Washington Academy Principal Peggy Petrilli, a parent urged the principal's critics to compile a list of everything that negatively affected black parents, "no matter how inconsequential it appears." Petrilli's lawyers later claim the e-mail is the "smoking gun;" proof that Petrilli's departure from the predominantly black elementary school was racially motivated. Petrilli later accuses Silberman of illegally forcing her to resign to placate her black critics...

Summer 2007 - FCPS investigation report states,

Students' private files, which include grades and test scores, were left unsecured in the school library...
August 12, 2007 - (H-L) Chess, cup-stacking (a game that enhances motor skills) and other strategic games are announced at BTWA.

On or about August 2007 - (Petrilli's complaint) Peggy Petrilli reported to her supervisor, Carmen Coleman, that the site-based council at Booker T. Washington Academy had engaged in conduct that constituted abuse of a teacher, as prohibited by KRS 161.190. Subsequent to Peggy Petrilli's report to Carmen Coleman, Ms. Petrilli notified Stu Silberman of the abuse she had received from the site-based council at Booker T. Washington Academy.

(Silberman Court Document) Silberman met with BTWA parent Buddy Clark to discuss his child's "schooling at BTWA."

August, 2007 - (Petrilli deposition) "Before school started in August 2007, I met with Mr and Mrs Clark again...The Clarks demanded to have the classroom painted, to have a better computer for the classroom, and to ahve a personal tutor for their child. that Clarks also stated that there were not enough black leaders at BTWA add that I needed to fix the situation...Mr Silberman admitted to me that if I had not turned the Clarks in, none of this would have happened."

August 22, 2007 - There was a meeting between the Silberman and a number of disgruntled BTWA parents and other supporters of the school.
Court documents identify attendees as:
Jock (sic) Wiggington
Katherine Warner
Jessica Berry
Alva and Buddy Clark
Georgia Powell
Carmen Coleman
Kim Nichols
Larry Conners, and
Cynthia Kay

Silberman is presented with 2 1/2 pages of grievances including:
* the use of disciplinary tactics not approved by the school council, including "kids being grabbed by the arm, cheeks squeezed, fingers pointed in faces."
* meager funding for special education and low-income students.
* poor teacher retention and high teacher turnover. * low numbers of African-American and Hispanic teachers to reflect the diversity of the student population.
* inappropriate cultural comments and phrases, including the use of "gigolo man" and "these people."
* concerns about grant allocations, "misappropriation of funds" and a failure to involve the school's site-based decision-making council in budget decisions.
* poor-performing students being held in a grade to keep them from testing in the next year.
* school officials standing over students while being tested.
* retaliation against parents for coming forward with complaints.

The parents asked for a curriculum and financial audit, a test-score investigation, an evaluation of teacher turnover at the school, and a new principal "who will encourage greater ethical, moral, and educational standards as well as cultural appreciation toward all of our families."

Petrilli's complaint would later state,

The meeting was held in secret and violated KRS 160.345(9) (a), which prohibits a practice that is detrimental to the successful implementation of, or circumvents the intent of, school-based decision making and did not allow Peggy Petrilli to be involved in the decision making process in working toward educational goals.

August 23, 2007 - Petrilli's complaint states,

Stu Silberman advised Peggy Petrilli that she could no longer be the Principal of Booker T. Washington Academy and that she either had to resign or retire. Stu Silberman's decision was based on race.

There was a meeting with Silberman, Petrilli and Elementary Director Carmen Coleman.

(KSN&C) Whatever happened at this point is at the heart of Peggy Petrilli's suit against Stu Silberman.

The district simply says, "she resigned." Silberman declined to comment on the parent's specific concerns telling the Herald-Leader it was a "moot point" since Petrilli was leaving.

hat is less clear is whether, at the end of her meeting with Silberman, Petrilli had the option to stay.

So, KSN&C wrote to Silberman to ask. He responded,

It never got to the point where Peggy ever asked to return to BTWA. As soon as we shared the concerns that were raised she decided that she did not want to go back. So, it never got to the point where that even had to be discussed.

In court documents, however, Silberman and Carmen Coleman assert that Petrilli was not fired, in fact, they say, they offered her the principalship back at Northern Elementary. (By state law, it would not typically be possible for a superintendent to simply offer a principalship, but at the time, Northern was being served by an interim principal. She could have been placed there, and then compete to regain her old position. If the offer occurred it apparently was seen as an unpalatable option by Petrilli.)

Petrilli asserts, "I asked Mr Silberman if I could assist with the opening of some of the new schools. He told me absolutely not. He said he talked to the entire cabinet and not a single one of them had a job for me. He also said I was not well liked...To my knowledge no investigation had been done concerning any of the allegations before I was told that I must resign or retire. In fact, between the time in which the secret meeting with the parents of BTWA occurred and the following day, when Mr Silberman and Ms Coleman met with me, there was no time to launch an investigation into, much less verify, and of the complaints lodged against me. Instead ... I was ordered to resign or retire."

Later, August 23, 2007 - Wienberg & McCauley Affidavits asserts,

Petrilli calls Alice Weinberg; "...she was hysterical." Meets with Weinberg and McCauley. Petrilli tells them Silberman told her "she could either resign or retire." Says Silberman told her that black "parents had threatened to picket."
August 24, 2007 - Wienberg and McCauley Affidavits state,

Silberman meets with leadership team at BTWA. Silberman explained that he met with "very angry, hostile parents." Silberman analogized the situation to, Remember the Titans, declares BTWA is "broken" and racially divided. Parent Robin Ogbulu tells Weinberg if she wanted to stay at BTWA she should "get in with (PTA President and school council member) Jessica Berry."
August 25, 2007 - (H-L) Two weeks into the school year, the principal of Booker T. Washington Academy has told Fayette school board officials that she will be leaving the elementary school, Superintendent Stu Silberman said. Petrilli declined to comment... (The H-L story appeared on the 26th.)

(KSN&C) This development is a serious blow for the school district that established the Academy to prove to the public that achievement gaps could be closed in all communities - even those entrenched in generational poverty - and that the BTW Academy would "become a model across the state."
An ugly email hits in-boxes at BTWA saying, "the truth will come out and you will all be going down!"

Silberman tells KSN&C,

"I am seriously not aware of any taxpayer money missing. What we will do in this situation is the same as we would do in any situation where concerns are raised - we take them seriously and look into them and take appropriate action to either discard the issues or deal with them."
On or about August 25-26, 2007 - Petrilli's complaint states,

Stu Silberman called Peggy Petrilli at home on multiple occasions and demanded that she either retire or resign. Mr. Silberman instructed Ms. Petrilli that she must make a decision to retire or resign and have it on his desk the first thing Monday morning.
Weinberg Affidavit states,

"Throughout the weekend...Carmen Coleman called me numerous times to reiterate that Peggy needed to contact Carmen or Stu and let them know what she had decided to do immediately." Weinberg says it was clear Stu had given Petrilli an
ultimatum. Coleman says Petrilli "should cooperate because Stu has a lot of pull in the state, flawless reputation, and Peggy needed to keep their relationship positive for her benefit."
August 27, 2007 - Petrilli's complaint states,

Stu Silberman again informed Peggy Petrilli that she would not be allowed to go back to her position as Principal of Booker T. Washington Academy. In addition, she was instructed by Mr. Silberman to resign or retire or else she would be suspended from her employment and an investigation would be started. As a result of Stu Silberman's threats and intimidation, which were based on race, Peggy Petrilli found her work environment to be intolerable and was thereby constructively discharged from her position as Principal of Booker T. Washington Academy.

It is still unclear what options Petrilli had to consider but District spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall told the Herald-Leader (May 3, 2008) that "Petrilli had the option of being suspended with pay while the investigation was pending."

Silberman met with faculty members to discuss Petrilli's departure.

August 27, 2007 – Petrilli’s resignation letter states, in its entirety, “I hereby resign my position in the Fayette County Schools” with no effective date. Handwritten, with Walther and Allen’s initials.

“(3) Ms Petrilli will not apply or employment with Fayette County Schools at any time in the future.”Aug 28, 2007 Email from Petrilli’s original attorney Jeff Walther to Brenda Allen contains Petrilli’s public statement and this:“Given that Peggy is still an employee, consider whether the statement ought to be released by the district.”

August 28, 2007 - (H-L) Petrilli issues statement:

"I stand behind our work at Booker T. The academic achievement of our students has been my life's work, my passion, my ministry.

After having a heart-to-heart conversation with [Fayette County Superintendent]Stu [Silberman] and [Director] Carmen [Coleman], it is evident that despite my best efforts, and the fact that I did the best I could do, I recognize that I could not build trust with a group of parents...

It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to leave Booker T. Washington for the sake of our students... I ask everyone to stay focused on high academic standards, a safe and orderly environment, a high-quality professional staff and most of all, our incredibly high-achieving, motivated and bright students."

Silberman met in closed session with the site-based decision-making council to discuss an interim and permanent replacement principal. Says he is considering retired administrators for the job.

August 31, 2007 - (Court Doc) FCPS General Counsel Brenda Allen wrote an email to Stu Silberman and copied Carmen Coleman. Coleman responded to Allen with her agreement and Silberman's response. At the time of this writing, that document is subject to seal by the court. Being knowlegeable of this fact, KSN&C is not publishing the document Plaintiff's attorney J Dale Golden calls "the crux of his case."

H-L reports details of BTWA parents' letter of grievances. Silberman told H-L district staff members have been assigned to investigate the allegations.

Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Lisa Gross said that the state had "received no allegations related to CATS (testing) improprieties at Booker T."

BTWA's PTA president Jessica Berry wouldn't talk directly about the allegations. She said discontent with Petrilli's leadership was widespread. "There were a lot of parents who had concerns"

September 1, 2007 - BTWA parent Buddy Clark blogs,

The extreme emphasis on testing in the public schools has had some unfortunate consequences at BTWA. Administrators were so focused on testing that they forgot about education. Those administrators forgot their obligation to “teach” honesty and integrity.

September 4, 2007 - Jock Gum named interim principal - for his "people skills." Gum said. "My job is to get everybody sitting on the same side of the fence. It'll take a while."

September 2007 - Booker T. Washington Academy posted double-digit gains in both reading and math scores for all subgroups, which include African-American, low-income and special needs students. Scores are under question.

Early September 2008 - " Fayette County Board Attorney Brenda Allen received the assignment to investigate the BTWA complaints. The exact date is not provided in her report. At some point after FCPS discovered that numerous BTWA students were moved the district examined records from other schools, looking for similar patterns, and found none.

October 18, 2007 - KSN&C reported,

...some Fayette school administrators apparently need reassurance. The concern in the trenches is whether Silberman would "have their backs" if parents complained as principals kicked their programs into high gear." Since KERA school principals do not enjoy tenure in their administrative positions, which makes them extremely easy to demote.
November 13, 2007 - Stu Silberman confirmed at a Long Term Policy Research Center meeting that Booker T Washington Academy is internally still "under investigation." Silberman clarifies,

"I did not say that Peggy was under investigation. I was asked to discuss the scores at BTW and I said that I couldn’t discuss those because those scores were currently being investigated but I could respond to what principals try to do to close gaps."
November 23, 2007 - (News-Democrat & Leader (Russellville, KY) ...let's recall the good ole days when quality teachers and dedicated principals were backed up by bosses at the central office and parents at home. It s not that way anymore, at least not in Lexington. The home-office types have pushed out overachieving and underappreciated principal Peggy Petrilli at Booker T. Washington Elementary School, a school created by merging two of the city s worst-performing schools filled with students from low-income families. Despite leading an academic turnaround, including a meteoric 76-percent rise in math test scores during her short time at the school, she apparently drew the ire of some who preferred the status quo. On top of that, she s received little heartfelt public support from superintendent Stu Silberman about her performance at Booker T.

December 19, 2007 -Petrilli was interview by FCPS attorney Allen, to "clear her name," in the presence of Silberman, Petrilli's original attorney Jeff Walther, and former FCPS director Bob McLaughlin. According to the FCPS investigation report,

Petrilli acknowledged that she had authorized employees to demote students in the days leading up to tests and held students back solely on their performance in practice tests. "I did the same thing when I was principal at Northern," she said. "Is that wrong? I had parent permission." She was then asked, "Regardless of what you told the parent and what they agreed to, how can that be a legitimate educational practice? How can a student have been determined to have completed all of the requirements of fourth grade in 2007 and then be demoted, not retained, but demoted back to the third grade in April 2007 on the first day of CATS testing? How do you have the authority to just declare a 'do-over?'" She then responded, "It's what's best for kids."
February 7, 2008 - Petrilli talks about turning around struggling schools after Bluegrass institute's Chris Derry hooks her up with Women of Web 2.0, an internet webcast.

February 8, 2008 - Petrilli sues Silberman. The suit charges Silberman and Carmen Coleman, Fayette Schools Director, with manufacturing evidence, creating an intolerable work environment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violating her civil rights. The suit asks for compensatory and punitive damages. The Fayette County Board of Education is also listed as a co-defendant. Complaint states,

Stu Silberman and Carmen Coleman knew at all times pertinent to this Complaint that the motivating cause behind the complaints from the site-based council and a group of parents regarding Peggy Petrilli were based on the fact that Peggy Petrilli is Caucasian and the disgruntled individuals were unhappy because they had been told by Stu Silberman that they would have input into the hiring of the next principal who they wanted to be African-American.
"I'm completely shocked that Ms. Petrilli is making these kinds of allegations," said Silberman (in H-L Feb 9), adding that he hadn't been formally served with the lawsuit. "I think to try to turn that situation into a race issue is totally ridiculous."

February 8, 2008 – Judge James D Ishmael randomly assigned to the case.

March 3, 2008 – Answer to Plaintiff’s Complaint.

“…Plaintiff was never discharged, or threatened with disciplinary actions, nor forced to resign…”“Plaintiff made admissions of fact contrary to the legal position she has taken in this litigation on the issue of race discrimination, constructive discharge and/or retaliation…”

March 7, 2008 – Plaintiff requests production of documents.

March 21, 2008 – Plaintiff served Responses to Requests for admissions.

March 26, 2008 – Letter from McNeill to Golden.

April 1, 2008 – Letter from Thompson to McNeill.

April 2, 2008 – Letter from McNeill to attorney Melissa Thompson (of Golden & Walters)

April 18, 2008 - African American Wendy Brown named principal of BTWA.

April 22, 2008 – Plaintiff Peggy Petrilli’s Answers to Interrogatories and Responses to Requests for Production of Documents.

April 23, 2008 - FCPS board attorney Brenda Allen submits her investigation report, much of which is referred to chronologically in this listing.

The report substantiated a number of allegations including, that Petrilli had consistently directed staff to mark a suspended child as "sick" so as not to invoke and ARC for change of placement; and that Petrilli had retaliated against a parent who had questioned Petrili's actions while asserting her rights as an SBDM member. The report cited Petrilli's poor teacher retention rate and high turnover at nearly 50% annually and that poor children were charged excess fees for field trips regardless of fee waivers.

Petrilli's attorney J. Dale Golden said she did not break a single law and suggested the report is designed to discredit Petrilli's lawsuit against the school district. Golden said Superintendent Stu Silberman forced Petrilli to resign, suggesting political expediency was at work.

April 29, 2008 – Plaintiff served Answers to Interrogatories and Requests for Production of documents

April 29, 2008 – Plaintiff served Supplemental Request for Documents

April 30, 2008 – Plaintiff asks Defense for Response to Interrogatories…Documents

May 1, 2008 - BTWA assessment coordinator Leigh McCauley resigned citing family and business obligations.

May 3, 2008 - (H-L) Ex-principal 'driven by test scores':

In just one year under Peggy Petrilli 's leadership, test scores improved dramatically at Booker T. Washington Academy in 2006. And in her six years at Northern Elementary -- another poor, low-performing school -- the jump in scores was even greater. The achievement won national attention and led to Petrilli being named state principal of the year in 2005. Some called it the Northern miracle. But a sweeping investigation recently completed by the Fayette County school board calls those gains into question. And it may lead to a wider probe by the Kentucky Department of Education.

May 4, 2008 - Anonymous complaint calls for OEA investigation of FCPS.

May 12, 2008 - Plaintiff files Motion to Compel. (in H-L May 14)

Petrilli filed a motion to amend her reverse discrimination lawsuit in Fayette Circuit Court to include the report's author, school board attorney Brenda D. Allen, as a defendant. It also sought to expand the lawsuit to include several new claims, including alleged defamation, conspiracy and abuse of process.
May 13 2008 - H-L opines, No magic beans in education: Petrilli case should be object lesson,

The most amazing thing about all this is how eager everyone was to be gulled, to believe that all it takes is the right principal for kids who have almost no advantages to suddenly knock the lid off standardized tests.

KSN&C responded,

No one was more eager to be gulled than the editorial board at the Herald-leader. ... H-L helped spread the news of the magic beans and didn't want anyone to get in the way of the narrative. They wanted to print the legend.

H-L claims it has learned a lesson from setting Petrilli up on that pedestal. Now they are fighting to keep Silberman up there.

May 14, 2008 – Defendants Oppose Motion to Amend

“The plaintiff is attempting to gerrymand history by connecting activities concluding after her resignation from her post in August 2007 as a causal basis for her suit filed in February.”

May 14, 2008 – Defendants Reply to Motion to Compel – given volume of requests, requests 30 days after May 16th hearing to comply.

May 15, 2008 – Defendants Response in Opposition to Motion to Amend Complaint

May 16, 2008 - Hearing on Motions

May 19, 2008 – Orders issued on Court hearing; Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel SUSTAINED – 30 days after May 16th; Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint SUSTAINED over objection

May 19, 2008 - Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint Filed“The Defendant [Brenda Allen]’s investigative report, dated April 23, 2008, is evidence of practice, custom and habit of the Fayette County Board of Education.”“The investigative report…was an attempt by the defendants to manufacture evidence…”

May 20, 2008 - Plaintiff served First set of Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents on Brenda Allen

May 29, 2008 - Plaintiff, Peggy Petrilli, Answers to Interrogatories and Responses to Requests for Production of documents.

May 30, 2008 - Letter from Thompson to McNeill – Plaintiff’s plan to depose: Stu Silberman, Carmen Coleman, Brenda Allen, Jock Gum, Jessica Berry, Alva Clark, Bob McLaughlin and Alice Weinberg.

June 2, 2008 – Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Claims Raised in Amended Complaint and to Dismiss Brenda Allen as a Defendant

June 2, 2008 – Defendant’s Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss Claims Raised in Amended Complaint and to Dismiss Brenda Allen as a Defendant.“…Brenda Allen…is entitled to immunity in both her official and individual capacities…”

June 4, 2008 - Letter from McNeill to Thompson.

June 4, 2008 - (H-L) Principal not forced out, board says. Documents say Fayette schools negotiated.

June 5, 2008 – Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Claims Raised in Amended Complaint and to Dismiss Brenda Allen as a Defendant

June 6, 2008 - Hearing before Judge Ishmael.

Golden's due process argument is that if FCPS had an obligation under law it was
pursuant to KRS 161.120 (2) (a):. If that's the case they failed to meet the requirements because the report was 8 months late. "It's a checkmate, Golden said."Or, if FCPS did not have an obligation to report "then the whole defense for why it's not defamatory fails," Golden said.

June 9, 2008 - Defendant’s Answer to First Amended Complaint

June 9, 2008 – Defendant’s Motion to Compel Complete Responses to Requests for Admissions

June 9, 2008 – Defendant’s Motion to Compel Full answers to Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents

June 12, 2008 – Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Motion to Compel Full answers to Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents and Defendant’s Motion to Compel Complete Responses to Requests for Admissions

June 12, 2008 - Reply to Plaintiff’s Response to Motion to Compel Full answers to Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents and Production of Documents and Requests for Admissions

June 13, 2008 – Hearing

June 16, 2008 – Plaintiff served Supplemental Response to Interrogatory

June 17, 2008 – Hearing

June 20, 2008 – Letter from Thompson to McNeill

June 24, 2008 - McNeill Letter to Thompson.

"Stu Silberman is available to be deposed on July 31, 2008, beginning as 9:00 am at the offices of Landrum & Shouse."

June 26, 2008 - Thompson Letter to McNeill.

"We will be taking Stu Silberman's deposition on July 31, 2008 at 9:00 am here at Golden & Walters."

June 26, 2008 – Plaintiff’s Second Motion to Compel

June 27, 2008 - McNeil Letter to Thompson.

"You obviously did not read my letter closely. We will not be producing our clients at your offices. If you wish to depose Stu Silberman, Ms. Coleman, Mr McLaughlin, and Principal gum, those depositions will be at our offices at Landrum & Shouse as I set forth in my letter."

July 1, 2008 - Defendant, Stu Silberman's , Answers and Responses to Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents.

July 3, 2008 – Defendant, Carmen Coleman’s Answers and Responses to Plaintiff’s First Set of Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents.

July 3, 2008 - Defendant, Board of Education, Answers and Responses to Plaintiff’s First Set of Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents. Responds to discovery

July 7, 2008 - Supplement to Plaintiff's Second Motion to Compel "Defendants Answers to the Discovery Provided the Plaintiff with little to no information about the key Events."

July 7, 2008 - Motion to Limit Duration of the Plainfitt's Deposition.

"...she shouldbe prepared to endure 'an extremely long day' since Defendants wish to 'conclude her deposition in one day, even if it is long.' " Limit to one day of seven hours.

July 9, 2008 - Defendant's Response to Plaintiffr's Second Motion to Compel.

July 9, 2008 - Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Motion to Limit Duration of her Discovery Deposition.

July 10, 2008 - Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Motion to Supplemental Motion to Compel.

July 10, 2008 - Plaintiff's Reply to Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Second Motion to Compel. "No serious attempt to Respond..."

July 18, 2008 - Plaintiff's Notice of Cancellation of Videotape Depositions.

July 21, 2008 - Defendant's Clarification to Notice of Cancellation.

July 23, 2008 - Defendant's Reply & Objection to Plaintiff's Second Motion to Compel Answers to Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents.

July 24, 2008 - Hearing before Judge Ishmael. (22-3-08 CD #119 @ 3:09 pm)

July 25, 2008 - Notice of Statements filed Under Seal for In Camera Review.

July 30, 2008 - Defendant's Notice of Videotape Depostion and Subpoena Duces Tecum. Petrilli deposition set for August 18th at 9 am at the offices of Golden & Walters.

August 1, 2008 - Notice of Videotape Deposition of Stu Silberman with Request for Production of Documents. Silberman set for August 28th at 9 am in the offices of Golden & Walters. Coleman, August 27th at 9 am at Golden. McLaughlin August 27th at 12 pm at Golden. Gum August 26th at 9 am at Golden.

August 4, 2008 - Motion for Reconsideration or, in the alternative, Motion for Clarification.

August 5, 2008 - Production of Documents Pursuant to Court's Order.

August 14, 2008 - Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration or, in the alternative, Motion for Clarification.

August 14, 2008 - Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Production of Documents Pursuant to Court Order Regarding Brenda Allen in her Individual Capacity. To dismiss Allen as defendant.

August 15, 2008 - Hearing before Ishmael. (22-3-08 CD#124) 1:18 pm.

August 20, 2008 - Defendant's Notice of Completion of Videotape Deposition of Plaintiff, Peggy Petrilli.

August 21, 2008 - Notice of Deposition and Subpoena Duces Tecum. Jessica Berry, Sept 9, 9 am, at Golden. Alva Clark, Sept 10, 9 am at Golden. Buddy Clark, Sept 9, 9am at Golden.

August 22, 2008 - Amended notice of Videotape Deposition and Subpoena Duces Tecum. Alva Clark, Sept 10, 9 am at Golden. Buddy clark, Sept 9, 9am at Golden. Jessica Berry, Sept 9, 9 am at Golden.

August 28, 2008 - McNeill Letter to Golden. "We take the position that you have waived your right to take their depositions in the future."

August 29, 2008 - Defendant's Notice of Completion of Videotape Deposition of Plaintiff, Peggy Petrilli. Began August 18, Continued August 26, Resume Sept 10.

September 2, 2008 - Plaintiff's Motion for Order, Pursuant to CR 300.04 and CR 37.01 (d), Stopping Any Further Harassment During Depositions and Motion for Costs.

September 2, 2008 - Defendant's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment on Defamation Claims Against All Defendants. Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion.

September 4, 2008 - Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Motion for Order Pursuant to Civil Rules 30.04 and 37.01 Regarding Deposition conduct. "It appears once again Counsel for the Plaintiff is running to the trial court purporting to be the paragon of professional conduct which is falser than a crocodile's tears."

September 5, 2008 - Plaintiff's Supplemental Motion for Order Pursuant to CR 30.04 and CR 37.01 (d), stopping any further Harassment during Depositions and Motion for Costs and Sanctions.

September 5, 2008 - Hearing before Judge Ishmael. (22-3-08 CD #141) 9:15 am.

Judge tells Petrilli and Silberman's attorneys to "play nice." Then sends them out for a milkshake.

September 11, 2008 - Notice of Videotape Deposition for Stu Silberman with Request for Production of Documents. Silberman scheduled for Sept 30, 9 am at Golden. Coleman scheduled for Sept 29, 9 am at Golden.

September 12, 2008 - Plaintiff's Response to Motion for Summary Judgment on Behalf of Carmen Coleman and Motion for Summary Judgment Regarding All Defamation Claims.

"The Defendant's incorrectly assert that if an employer can coerce an employer to resing, that the act is voluntary and thereby precludes an action for constructive discharge...Case law clearly holds that voluntariness is vitiated employee resings under duress...submits a resignation under time pressure."

September 12, 2008 - Defendant's Response to Plaintiff's Supplemental Motion for Order Pursuant to Civil Rule 30.04 and Civil Rule 32.01 Regarding Deposition Conduct.

September 17, 2008 - Affidavit of Alice Weinberg

September 18, 2008 - Defendant's Reply to Plaintiff's Response to defense Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of Carmen Coleman and Motion for Summary Judgment Regarding All Defamation Claims.

September 19, 2008 - Amended Notice of Videotape Deposition for Bob McLaughlin with Requeswt for Production of Documents. Scheduled for Sept 29, 11 am at Golden.

September 19, 2008 - Affidavit of Leigh McCauley.

September 22, 2008 - Notice of Continuation of Videotape Deposition of Plaintiff, Peggy Petrilli.

September 24, 2008 - Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint

September, 24, 2008 - Amended Complaint Against All Defendants, Causation and Punitive Damages.

September 24, 2008 - Hearing with Judge Ishmael. (#22-3-08 CD # 158) 2 pm.

Judge Tossed Defamation Claim.

September 24, 2008 - Order: Plaintiff's Motion on Alleged Behavior of Defense Counsel Held in Abeyance.

September 24, 2008 - Order: Motion to Dismiss Brenda Allen in her official capacity - Granted. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Allen in her personal capacity - Denied. Defense Motion to Dismiss Count 3 (abuse fo Proces) on Amended Complaint - Granted. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Count 5 (civil conspiracy) - Granted. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Count 4 (defamation) - Denied.

September 24, 2008 - Order on Motion to Compel Defendants to Fully Answer and Request Production of Documents.

September 29. 2008 - Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint Against All Defendants.

October 1, 2008 - Defendant's Motion of compliance with the Court's Order of September 24, 2008, Regarding Defense Answers toPlaintiff's Written Discovery.

October 2, 2008 - Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint Against All Defendants.

October 9, 2008 - Order. Defendant's Renewed Motion for Sumary Judgment as to Plaintiffr's Defamation Claims - Granted.

October 31, 2008 - Motion to Set Pretrial Conference and Trial Date.

October 31, 2008 - Notice of Videotape Deposition of Barbara Conner. Set for Nov 13, 9 am at Golden.

November 10, 2008 - Order. Defense Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint - Denied.

November 13, 2008 - Amended Notice of Videotape Depositionof Barbara Conner with Request for Production of Documents.

November 18, 2008 - Defense Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Pretrial Conference and Trial Date.

November 18, 2008 - Defendant's Renewed Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Comply with Court Order.

November 18, 2008 - Defendant's Motion for More Definitive Statement.

November 20, 2008 - Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Renewed Motion to Comply with Court Order.

November 22, 2008 - Hearing before Judge Ishmael. (22-3-08 CD #195) 8:42 am.

November 25, 2008 - Motion for Release of Statements Filed Under Seal for In Camera Review.

Defense argues Alice Weinberg & Leigh McCauley spoke to attorney Golden
about Petrilli and their own potential complaints created attorney-client privilege. Plaintiff submitted their statements under seal. Then, Plaintiff produced the documents.

November 25, 2008 - Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of Defendant Carmen Coleman in her official and individual capacities as to all claims of the Plaintiff.

December 8, 2008 - Plaintiff's Motion for Separate Hearing on All Dispositive Motions.

December 8, 2008 - Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Paragraph 10 of the Court's September 22, 2008 Order.

December 10, 2008 - Defendant's Notice to Take Deposition and Production of Documents via Subpoena Duces Tecum. Requiring W R McCray of Tax Tech, to produce Peggy Petrilli's tax documents.

December 11, 2008 - Defendant's Reply to Plaintiff's Motio for Separate Hearing on All Dispositive Motions.

December 11, 2008 - Defendant's Response in Opposition to plaintiff's Motion to Strike Paragraph 10 of the Courts September 22, 2008 Order.

December 11, 2008 - Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Motion for Release of Stateme3nts Filed Under Seal for In Camera Review.

December 12, 2008 - Hearing before Judge Ishmael (22-03-08 #207)

December 16, 2008 - Defendant's Notice to Take Deposition and Production of Documents via Subpoena Duces Tecum. (Harold Young of Tax Tech, set for Jan 6, 2009.)

December 16, 2008 - Defendant's Notice to Cancel Deposition and Production of Documents via Subpoena Duces Tecum. (W R McCray)

December 19, 2008 - Plaintiff's Notice for Protective Order. "Defendant's do not have a wholesale right to rifle through every part of the plaintiff's life... The defendant's are simply attempting to annoy and harass Ms. Petrilli."

December 22, 2008 - Hearing before Judge Ishmael (22-03-08 #214) Defendant claims the court hearing was unnecessary and moves to have his costs restored by the Plaintiff. Judge overrules Plaintiff's Motion for Protective Order. Holds Defendant's Motion for Costs in abeyance.

Most source material obtained from court documents and by a Newsbank search. Much of the unattributed H-L reporting prior to November 2008 is attributable to Raviya Ismail and Brandon Ortiz: some source material at KSN&C; light editing throughout. Where exact dates are unknown, placement of items on the chronology are approximate. KSN&C readers are encouraged to provide more specific information with citations if I've missed something.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cities and Schools See Pension Costs Jump

This from the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer by way of KSBA:

Owensboro and Daviess County
to see increases totaling $1 million-plus

The city of Owensboro will see its pension costs rise by nearly $900,000 next year while Daviess Fiscal Court will have to pay an additional $400,000 under new contribution rates set by the state last week.

The city, county and other local governments around the state had received a break in their annual pension costs this year with the passage of House Bill 1 during a special legislative session.

To help stem rapidly increasing retirement costs, the pension reform bill dropped the contribution rates that local governments must pay into the County Employee Retirement System for the current fiscal year.

But the new, higher contribution rates approved last week for next fiscal year have government officials scrambling to find the funds to make up the difference.

“We knew this was going to happen,” Owensboro City Manager Bill Parrish said. “We just didn’t know how much.” ...

Brad Hughes at the KSBA eNews Service notes:
Although the following story does not mention it, Kentucky schools also will face similar increased costs because of this action.

Whitlock Declares Hiring Freeze in Advance of Anticipated Cuts

Dear Colleagues,

When I sent you my most recent communication late last week, I did not know how quickly the request would come that we describe how we would implement a budget reduction and the impact of such a cut on the programs and services of Eastern Kentucky University. As you have probably seen in the media we have been instructed to prepare such a report based on a potential 4 percent reduction (just over $3 million) of our state appropriation.

While the media have accurately reported that these reports are due to the State Budget Office by December 5, we need to have EKU’s information submitted to the Council on Postsecondary Education by close of business on Wednesday, Dec. 3.

Dr. Richard Crofts, interim president of the CPE, was correct in his quoted statement in today’s newspapers. It is difficult to effect a mid-year budget reduction strategically. What we can do, however, is deal with it through short term strategies and then use the time between now and the end of the fiscal year to make the strategic adjustments in a more measured manner. That will be our approach. As we work together to accomplish this, we must keep in mind that the nation’s and state’s fiscal challenges will likely continue into 2009-10.

Next Monday I will report to the Faculty Senate where we stand on this matter. On Tuesday the Administrative Council – which now includes faculty, staff, and student leadership in its membership – will discuss the nature and content of what we will include in our report to be filed on Wednesday.

The strategic implementation of whatever cut we ultimately receive will involve the entire organizational structure coordinated by the Financial Planning Council. It is very possible that we will not know the true amount of our budget reduction until after the Governor and the Legislature have had an opportunity to address the state’s finances when the General Assembly convenes in January. As we did when earlier this year we were facing a possible 12 percent reduction (that turned out to be 3 percent), we will plan for the worse while hoping for the best.

What I will seek for us as we deal with the impact of the global economic crisis on our campus are:

1. Protection of our core instructional mission.
2. Avoidance of forced layoffs of faculty and staff supported by our general fund and auxiliary budgets. As we have done before, our goal will be to manage the unavoidable reduction of employees through attrition. In order to accomplish this, we will immediately be implementing a hiring freeze with the same conditions as what we had in place last spring semester.
I am confident that we will be implementing other cost containment measures that will be identified and communicated in the coming weeks.

I am equally confident that the Eastern Family is up to the challenges that face us.

Have a great Thanksgiving. Despite the hard work ahead we have much for which to be thankful.

Doug Whitlock

SOURCE: Campus-wide email

Bill Seeks Elimination of State Income Tax

This from the Jessamine Journal:
Two of Kentucky’s state representatives are sponsoring a bill for the upcoming General Assembly that would abolish the state’s income tax and lower the sales tax from 6 percent to 5 percent.

Rep. Bill Farmer, R-Lexington, and Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, filed a bill to amend KRS 139.010 to eliminate the tax on income for all Kentucky workers, a practice that has been adopted in nine other states — Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. To offset the lost revenue from the income tax, the bill would extend the 5-percent sales tax to areas that were not previously taxed, such as services and commercial real estate. According to Farmer, that 5 percent will be enough to fund the Kentucky budget.

The thought behind getting rid of the tax is that more money will go directly into the pockets of citizens.

“When you call the plumber every 18 to 24 months, you are going to have to pay five cents on the dollar for what the plumber does for you which you are not paying right now,” Farmer said. “But if you are decent at controlling your money, you will have the money to do it with...

Jeff Co School selection letters criticized

This from the Courier-Journal:

Response time too short, Attorney Teddy Gordon says

The lawyer who successfully challenged the Jefferson County Public Schools' student- assignment plan in the U.S. Supreme Court says a letter sent to thousands of elementary school parents last week gives them too little notice to decide if they want to keep their children in their current schools.

The letter said parents have until Dec. 1 to decide whether they want to stay in their current schools or choose another. But Superintendent Sheldon Berman said in an interview ... that the letter sets only the first deadline for making that decision. Berman said parents will be able to make that choice until sometime in January -- probably Jan. 10...