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  1. Daily North Shore has received some comments lately that we have not posted, so this is a good time to again point out that we encourage comments but we have specific guidelines. A general principle of our policy is: Do not state anything in a comment that you would not say in public and do not state anything about another person that you would not say to his or her face.

    Here’s a link to the DNS comments policy: http://dailynorthshore.com/daily-north-shore-comments-policy/

  2. I wanted to add a few things to this discourse on Dr. Chala Holland.

    1) The individuals who are supporting Dr. Holland are those who have worked with her, and those who know her personally. The individuals who are opposing Dr. Holland are those who have not worked with her, and those who do not know her personally. While Lake Forest residents should absolutely have the agency to hire anyone they would like to hire, it seems silly to only allow voices who don’t know her – and to not allow voices who do know her. Silencing the only people who actually know her seems irresponsible.

    2) It seems that one of the Lake Forest schools recently hired a middle school principal. A cursory read of the article about him makes him seem like a terrific educator, and I hope his tenure in Lake Forest is wildly successful. However, the lack of an uproar when a white male principal candidate is selected without previous principal experience, when there’s an uproar about a woman of color without previous principal experience, bears examining. Is the implication that principal experience is more important at the HS level? Did other aspects of his experience make his lack of principal experience irrelevant? How valuable is a PhD to the community? Is the community simply more comfortable with a white male in a leadership role than with a black female? Or did the middle school candidate pool lack candidates with previous principal experience? This seeming double standard surrounding Dr. Holland’s candidacy bears investigation and reflection – and race and gender must be a part of those investigations and reflections.

    3) Dr. Holland is being compared to other candidates. The people whom you selected to choose your principal found her to be the best, and that has to be worth something.

    4) Some people on these threads have argued that race is being “injected” into the conversation. Perhaps we should consider how race is always part of the conversation, though often the part that’s unmentioned and unconsidered.

    5) Finally, I teach AP classes at OPRF. Having worked with Dr. Holland since she joined the OPRF administrative team, I have found her to be incredibly supportive of the work I do in my AP classes. In fact, she has gone out of her way to sit in on my classes, offer constructive feedback, participate in our classroom discussions, and provide professional development opportunities for me. To think that she would immediately dismantle the AP program at LFHS seems curious, as ours at OPRF has not been dismantled. However, I would submit that all investigations of any curriculum are worthwhile – and considering how to elevate the struggling learners seems like a great goal to begin with.

    • More thinly veiled accusations of racism are the highlights of the parade of false accusations and phony outrage.

      Excuse me for going over this again but “Repetition is the cornerstone of education”!

      The racist views in question are those held by Dr. Holland. It’s her views that need scrutiny, further investigation, and full throat-ed condemnation.

      Here’s why people are worried about Dr. Holland:

      1. Her core beliefs include “White Privilege”, “Critical Race Theory”, and “Whiteness as Property”.
      2. As a result of those beliefs she sees tracking programs as racist like the Jim Crow laws and wants to end them.
      3. She put in place a “Racial Equity” program at OPRFHS that may or may not have neutralized tracking. Did they? Do you have a copy of her Racial Equity power point presentation you can share with us?
      4. Simeck has been dismantling the tracking programs in the middle school, so we know he leans this way despite his public statements to the contrary.
      5. Superintendent Simeck chose her even though her experience at principal is nil.
      6. Chala attempted to scrub all her online information from the internet.
      7. Even after she scrubbed her radical views from the internet, violating our stated goals of hiring someone who is dedicated to transparency, and after the public made it clear that we did not want such a person as our principal, Superintendent Simeck did NOT retract her as his recommendation.

      That is a key point. Simeck is STILL standing by someone who is trying to hide her views from the people of Lake Forest. Views and policies that are incompatible with the values of Lake Forest residents, to put it as kindly as I can.

      There. Those are the concerns and issues to be discussed.

    • Regarding your 2nd point, there is a large difference between being a principal for a small grade school (K-4) with a few hundred students and a college prep high school with thousands of students. There is no double standard and your insistence on making the comparison shows your biased views.

      Regarding your 4th point – race is being injected into the conversation by supporters of Dr. Holland, such as yourself, as a way to redirect the conversation away from her lack of experience. I don’t care what race the candidate is, four years as an Assistant Principal for Instruction is not enough for leading a larger high school.

      Then, in general, regarding “people who know her” vs. those who don’t – the active of her trying to sanitize her online views, including her very racist comment with the quote from Malcolm X (is that really the best one she could have highlighted?), make it difficult to get to know someone. The act itself of hiding her views shows a lack of character and is counter to what our school supposedly professes and asks of its students (posted on LFHS website).

  3. I didn’t expect to come across such overtly racist and classist writing on this site. I guess Lake Forest is living up to its reputation. (But you know, keep denying that race has anything to do with this….whatever helps you sleep at night.)

    • Mr. Mazurek:

      There has not been a scintilla of racism displayed against Dr. Holland or anyone else on this site. Take your libels and go home.

    • Who is saying race has nothing to do with this? Dr. Holland believes in “White Privilege”, “Critical Race Theory”, and “Whiteness as Property”, where whites are to be treated as second class citizens. My kids are to be treated as second class citizens because of their white skin. This is outright race warfare. It’s damn ugly racism on her part, and I’m not going down without a fight. My kids deserve at least that.

      This is ALL about the racial chip on her shoulder, not mine.

    • … and please point out a single example of racism put forth by Dr. Holland’s opponents. If you make the accusation you should be able to back it up.

  4. Mr. Haugh:

    Timing is everything. Her posts suddenly and coincidentally disappear when her candidacy is leaked? You believe that? Well, let me tell you about this Bridge that I have for sale . . . .

    You are aware, are you not, that Dr. Holland (and Superintendent Simek) have had every repeat every opportunity to explain what happened to her internet postings full stop. Their silence very strongly suggests that the reason the posts disappeared was to conceal her views. You understand that, do you not?

    • Mister Mike:

      “…Her posts suddenly and coincidentally disappear when her candidacy is leaked? You believe that?”

      No, I don’t believe that. That was precisely my point. And since the entire, carefully-constructed narrative of parental outrage is based on that assertion, I am asking the author of the original allegations to show her work. Are you sure you’re not the one with a new bridge in his front yard?

      And as for Dr. Holland and Superintendent Simek not responding to your satisfaction… what WOULD be a satisfactory explanation, to your way of thinking? I’ll wager there isn’t one, because you and others are using this flimsy “deceit” narrative to justify your intervention into the Board of Education’s hiring process. Your goal is either to make the process itself so toxic that the Board of Education will disqualify her as a candidate, or to make the prospect of accepting the LFHS job so toxic that Dr. Holland will withdraw her candidacy. I’m sure one or the other will be the end result of this disgusting farce, so congratulations ahead of time. Once the dust settles and everyone involved is done high-fiving each other, I can only hope that you all spend at least an equal amount of time looking your neighbors and fellow school-parents in the eye, and wondering whether it was worth it.

      • The author who researched the “sudden” disappearance of Dr. Holland’s works DID post the information. Just because you did not make the effort to look does not give you the right to accuse the person who posted the information.

        Well, Dr. Holland could come forth and admit that she scrubbed her online content because it was inflammatory and would hinder her chances of getting the job – at least that would be HONEST. It seems you want to give her a pass and hold her to lower standards, why is that? You make accusations about others, yet you seem to be the one with two standards.

    • Perhaps she was concerned that her writings would be the victim of gross misrepresentation and misunderstanding by people with a certain agenda. Can’t imagine why she would think that, judging from the completely rational and absolutely-not-sanctimonious comments here.

      • Maybe you could provide a view then – the picture is of Malcolm X making the statement “Only A Fool Would Let His Enemy Teach His Children” with Dr. Holland’s comment of “His words continue to resonate. His life will never be forgotten.”

        How would you interpret that? If those words continue to ring true today, who does Dr. Holland view as the enemy? At the time, Malcolm X was referring to white people – is that Dr. Holland’s view? Based upon this, would she truly be capable of being an impartial principal to ALL students? Based upon this and her other writings, I would think not.

  5. As a proud LFHS graduate, I learned a thing or two about verifying “research” during my time there!

    Funny old thing, that Wayback Machine. When I go and try to do the same research, I see that there is a single archive entry from 2015 (May 26), which does indeed have the expected “down for maintenance message”. But then the next earliest archive is from December 2014, and contains the full site-as-maintained. There is a single blog post from January 2013 with the “controversial” quotes about tracking (which are actually a whole lot more mainstream and non-controversial than you would perhaps think). Lost in the foofaraw is the fact that Dr. Holland ends the offending post with this sentence: “What are your thoughts? Let’s engage.”

    Please then explain footnote 1, which is the basis for your “shocking” assertion that “shortly after many received news of Simeck’s intention to recommend Holland’s hiring, (…)even the web pages of her academic consulting company, HECG, (www.hollanded.com) were immediately disabled.” Your entire basis for that claim appears to be the FILE ARCHIVED ON MAY 16, 2015 note. which I can only assume was doctored in order to make your claims more sensational.

    I have a much more rational explanation for the “scrubbing” (again, a totally inappropriate word designed to inflame sentiment). Utilizing various other archive dates on Wayback, it is clear that there is no discernable activity (blog posts, etc) on the site from its launch in early 2013 until December 2014, and during that period DOCTOR Holland was employed (and presumably not moonlighting as a consultant). So why not eventually take it down for the simple reason that it is no longer current or maintained?

    I would like to see you provide further evidence that all of the sinister “disabling” and “scrubbing” that you allege happened in the last two weeks actually occurred in the way you describe, since so much of the subsequent debate has taken these facts as givens. I seen no evidence to support your claim.

    • Steve Haugh,
      This is interesting information. It appears that the site was down at least as early as May 19th, 2015 (check: http://web.archive.org/web/20130225083738/http://www.hollanded.com/academic-tracking which shows the same ‘We are Down for Maintenance’ message) . I, too, am unable to see that the site was live anytime after December 2014. The site has not been very active ever, and it is entirely possible that Dr. Holland and the LFHS Search Committee discounted a blog post from 2013, and that there was no attempt to “scrub” the online data after her candidacy was leaked. This does put a different spin on things. At this point, it is really incumbent on the original poster (Mrs. Jennifer Neubauer) to show that the site was alive on May 16th as indicated in her original post.
      Sridhar Krishnaswamy

      • See Footnote #1 of my letter. I also have the screen shot and printed it out, too. I can hand those things out to anyone who needs to see them. Cost is 5 cents a page.

        • Unfortunately, footnote [1] does not identify the archived web page (it could refer to the archive of any webpage). Attempts by others to find an archived page for Dr. Holland’s website time-stamped May 16, 2015 on Wayback Machine have not been successful (see Steve Haugh and Dave Marchant’s comments). This is a serious matter simply because, in my view, any attempt to sanitize ones record during a hiring process is unacceptable and would automatically disqualify any candidate who attempts to do so. The claim that the website was archived as being live on May 16th therefore needs to be substantiated. All it requires is for the person who made that claim to simply provide a web link to the Wayback Machine archive which others can follow to see for themselves. If you are unable to provide that link, please say so and we will leave it at that (I have no interest in knowing why the claim that it exists was made in the original post…we can assume that it was an honest error as the internet is a tricky thing after all). Lack of a May 16th archive does not mean that the website was not live on that date; it simply means that one cannot jump to the conclusion that the website was shut down recently based on the evidence presented.

          If 5 cents is necessary to put this question to rest, I will gladly send it along. Please provide the link. Thanks.

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