Willoughby-Eastlake School Board…textbook on how to lose touch with taxpayers

We attended the Willoughby-Eastlake School Board meeting last night, and left wondering if the board members really understand how to connect with people.  We are not sure if we have ever, we mean EVER, been to a meeting led by a more controlling bunch of, hard-hearted people than the existing W-E school board.

(1) The public must register in advance to speak at their public session, and are allowed a grand total of three minutes. Those not registered in advance cannot speak.

(2) The Iron Maiden running the show reminded the audience that dialog – meaning a “question and answer” session during the meeting is not permitted.  Basically, they want you to register to speak, and they will respond to the question at the NEXT board meeting.  Obviously,  the board members do not feel comfortable with their ability to answer questions honestly, and need time to craft a response.  They insist on one-way communication with them doing the talking – not good optics.

(3)  Superintendent Steve Thompson responded to a question posed by a taxpayer at a previous meeting asking why the W-E schools have declining test scores.  Super Steve implied that it was because the mean old State officials improved their standards by changing the definition of what represents a passing grade.

There are two factors the State uses to give the school district a passing grade: (1)  the cut score, and (2) the percentage of the students that must meet or exceed the “cut score”.

Previously, the “cut score’ was 50%, and 75% of the students had to achieve the 50% threshold in order for the school district to get a passing grade.  Now the State officials have the audacity to reset the “cut score” to 75% and expect 85% of the students to answer 3/4 (75%) of the questions correctly for the school district to get the passing grade.

Note to school board: Many of the people in your district grew up with a much more rigorous grading scale.  To get a “C” average on your report card you had to get 70% – 79% of your answers correct.  In many households, striving to be average was not acceptable, and a 50% grade was FAILURE.

(4)  After the Superintendent gave his answer, the gentleman in the audience that had posed the question took umbrage with the response, and become quite vocal.  When he started to raise his voice, the Iron Maiden, instead of responding to the gentleman in a kindly manner, told  him to leave the meeting.  The elderly gentleman, obviously slightly handicapped, had to bear the shame of walking out of the meeting with his cane in hand.   The Iron Maiden had shown the audience that she is no one to challenge, and she takes no prisoners.

(5)  A member of the audience, who had registered to speak, told a heart wrenching story about the insensitivity of the school district when they destroyed a memorial and cut down a tree that was planted in honor of her deceased daughter.   She wanted to know who made the decision to destroy the memorial, and why was the decision made.  True to form, the clueless, heartless school board would not respond to her questions.  Each and every one of the school board members remained silent and should be ashamed of their lack of compassion to a member of their district that was obviously in a great deal of mental anguish. (Ice water does not have to be served to the school board, since it already runs through their veins!)

(We gave our business card to the grieving woman, and told her that we would gladly write about her story, and all she has to do is contact us.)

(LFC Comments: Unfortunately, our public school system promises equality of opportunity, but what they really want is equality of outcome.  They want to lower the standards so “no one gets left behind”.  They want to squash individual achievements and replace it with “group think”.  

In our opinion, the W-E school board has no clue on how to interact with the citizens of their district.  Their “ham-handed” approach to conducting public meetings is deplorable.

just say no

We predict that their 4.99 mill additional, continuous levy is on its way to another 80% – 20% defeat in November.)

Categories: Eastlake, Lake, Lake County Cities & Townships, Uncategorized, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills


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  10. So I have read a few of these articles and its almost as assuming as faux news. They are written with an obvious bias almost as if you have a personal grudge against the superintendent. On top of that not even being in this district or able to vote? Really? Are you hoping the levy fails and the schools worsen to make your property values increase? Seems like that could be the case. SOI is a huge win and fantastic school. Does this school system have some opportunities? Potentially however I believe the immense destruction the failure of this levy will cause not only to our kids, our school system, but also your property values far outweigh the small property tax. Maybe take on for the team and skip eating out twice a year to allow more room in your budget. If this is unaffordable for some people perhaps consider downsizing your home as it seems you may be living outside of your means. Its a shame if you truly care as much as you do that you cannot live up to the header on your site…(upholding honesty and transparency). This is impossible to be honest and transparent when you have such a clear bias. Hoping this helps! https://www.e-counseling.com/relationships/be-honest-do-you-have-confirmation-bias/

  11. Not sure what that means….

  12. Why don’t you put extra money in for those who can’t afford it then!

  13. Hi, Tyler….so glad you are getting into the local issues…..The whole family is so very proud of you! The point of our website is to educate the taxpayers about Lake County issues. Whether, I pay the taxes is irrelevant, because it is not about me. There is growing concern that the ever-increasing property tax issues will tax seniors and those living on fixed incomes out of their homes that they have worked all their lives to achieve.
    I have no doubt that you are going to do just fine since you have parents and grandparents that love you, and will ensure that you will receive a great education. You may want to stay tune for our next article on the W-E school levy. We will show where the school officials are misleading the taxpayers on the cost of the levy. Keep studying……

  14. Dear Brian massie (my uncle)
    you do realise that if the levy passes it doesn’t affect you because you live in concord and if it doesn’t then i no longer will be able to go to the school of innovation for high school right?

  15. Luci
    Sorry I will never vote for another school levy again as well as plenty of people that are tired of being taxed . Maybe they should start charging every school student money to attend the brand new schools that our kids never had . Deal with it

  16. I believe that the district does need the money for many things.I have a son that goes to the school of innovation eighth grade and if the levy doesn’t pass he won’t be able to attend the school. Many people don’t realise that the board of education building was made with insurance money. and not taxpayer money. I being a proud mother of five believe that we NEED this levy for them. I just urge you to think of your kids and grandkids when you are at the voting booth.

  17. Who is the Iron Maiden? Name names! We need to know when she is up for reelection and who can run against her!

  18. So we are voting no for our kids because you think the school board is mean?? Interesting.

  19. Seems to me the the Willoughby-Eastlake School board has lost sight of who they work for. They won’t autonomous group. They work for the good of the citizens in this school district. They should be watching their backs because at the next elections all their heads will be on the chopping block.

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