A former Crystal Lake Grade School employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, has filed a complaint concerning the way tests were administered in the district.
In the fall of 2012, the employee supervisor was notified that “cheating was taking place in our building with the PERA [Performance Evaluation Reform Act] exams which included about 10 to 15 administrators.”
The complainant states, “This involves about 18 administrators and possibly the new Superintendent.”
The complaint says,
“These are the details of the incident.
“The time was closing in for Administration to complete the PERA exams by the required due date.
“The Technology Department…was busy handling problems all morning due to ISBE login issues and problems with videos.
…[in] the Main Office…I noticed he [the Network Services Manager] was working in our largest Conference room, setting up a large group to take the test together.
“There were white boards and two women who were positioned in the center of the room to help with the test.
“One Administrator whispered to the Network Services Manager who was on the phone with ISBE Tech Support to make sure they don’t tell them that we’re all in the same room together.
“Obviously they knew it was forbidden.
“When the Network Services Manager left the room we had a brief conversation where I said, ‘What, are they all taking the test in there together?’
“He confirmed, ‘Yeah, between you and me.’
“I have recently notified the Network services manager that I’m reporting it, so he is aware as of June 8, 2015.
“…the system will have recorded this incident by room number and log-in to the ISBE.
“Our system records everything.
“That very same day, at lunch, the Director of Technology asked how our morning was.
“The Network Services Manager actually brought it up first in a brief comment of which I don’t recall the words to, but I stepped in and confirmed what was witnessed and said that it should be reported and I specifically mentioned whistle-blower, and the protection that it implies.
“In the past, reporting incidents never worked in my favor so the three of us had a brief conversation stating that neither the Network Services Manager nor I wanted anything to do with reporting it.
“It was the responsibility of the Technology Director to report it as our handbook stated which happens to be different than what the BOE put together in their policy manual.
“I reminded the Tech Director of the Rules of Ethics.
“I had heard them from a family member who is an Administrator in another District just the week before.
“The ethics code for PERA testing is clearly broken down.
“My position was terminated the following 2013-2014 school year after 12 years of service, whether this was related I do not know but my position was replaced, not a RIF.
“…My attorney advised me that I don’t have a retaliation case from the incident because I didn’t report it directly to the state.
“Since I’m not employed with District 47 anymore I’m freely reporting it under my own will.
“The Network Services Manager will have the bulk of the information, as he was verbally or electronically told to help with this project. He also has better knowledge as to who by name was in the conference room.
“I have given everything I know.
“…Teacher union should be aware that evaluations may have been done by non qualified participants and that could greatly hurt the teacher evaluation program.”
Here’s one of the rules from the Frequently Asked Questions page that the allegation says was broken:
21. If I can take the assessments online at home or my office, what rules are there for the security of the online assessments?
Users will enter training through the ECS system portal to validate the user based on their IEIN number. Users also cannot use outside assistance of any kind during the assessment, accept assistance or assist anyone else in completing the assessment, allow anyone to take an assessment on their behalf, or take an assessment on another’s behalf…