District 150 parent voices disapproval of CHANGE150

By WEEK Reporter

February 19, 2014 Updated Feb 20, 2014 at 10:41 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- After Peoria District 150 parents and community leaders rallied last night over growing concerns with district leadership--one parent disagrees with CHANGE150's aim, motive and tactics.

"I think they're picking the wrong fight, and they are fighting the battle the wrong way," said District 150 parent Harvey Burnett.

Burnett says no school system is perfect.

"I think that this particular group has been heard, but now there's a desire to infiltrate the system, undermine the system and to try and strong arm," said Burnett.

After attending the change 150 rally last night, he was disappointed.

"It is like we don't care about the mishandling of test scores, which essentially amounts to cheating. It is as if they do not care about that and just want to proceed," said Burnett.

He is even more disappointed with what he says is a destructive and negative approach to change.

"This superintendent has brought positive change to the district and to the class room," said Burnett.

He says problems in school systems stem from underlying issues in the community like socioeconomic inequality. He believes a single person cannot be to blame. He believes CHANGE150 is resorting to bullying tactics to affect change.

"I refrained from using the word bullying, and I didn't use it last night, but I really think this is," said Burnett.

Instead, he says that all parties including the parents, the district and the city could to more to be a part of the solution.

"If we can be proactive and try to find some way to connect. If we can raise the level of expectations for our community as a whole, we'll be better off than just saying, 'Hey you need to move so the next one can be in place.' " said Burnett.