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Sunday, January 10, 2016

"I CANNOT ABIDE EXCISION OF MY WORK FROM THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF THE ACADEMY." Lord Pretentious Bemoans The Loss Of His Public Role...But Wait, Isn't He Still Pulling The Strings?

MISS FORTUNE REVEALS NEW INFORMATION THAT CASTS DOUBT ON BRAD HABERMEHL'S DECEMBER 8, 2015 INGERSOLL SENTENCING HEARING TESTIMONY; NEWLY-RELEASED DOCUMENTS EXPOSE INGERSOLL'S SHOCKING EGOCENTRICITY, IRRATIONAL RANT










Lots of Shakespearean bitching and moaning from the Bard of Bay City, Steven Ingersoll, in a stunning, newly-released March 17, 2014 email.

After you read it, I'm betting that you'll join me in thinking Ingersoll needs a Choice Theory refresher seminar. 

BACKGROUND

When the Grand Traverse Academy's Board of Directors "severed ties" with its superintendent, Kaye Mentley, on July 3, 2014, Full Spectrum Management's Mark Noss released the statement shown at left.

At the time, Noss portrayed the decision to sever ties with Mentley as stemming from a vote taken during the board's June 27, 2014 meeting, where members voted 4-1 to recommend that Noss sever ties with any previous Smart Schools Management staff. Board President Brad Habermehl was quoted in the July 3, 2014 edition of the Traverse City Record-Eagle, questioning how the Academy could be "moving forward with a new team when we have all the same high management employees running the show with Mark."

However, Habermehl's testimony on December 8, 2015 (during Steven Ingersoll's sentencing hearing) contradicted his and Noss' earlier statements, even blaming Mentley's firing on declining academic results at the Grand Traverse Academy. 

But official documents, including a series of emails, obtained by Miss Fortune from Lake Superior State University via a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal Habermehl's testimony was misleading, especially his claim that Michigan's 2014 Top-to-Bottom school rankings contributed to Mentley's demise -- information that was not released until nearly six weeks after Mentley was given her walking papers.

GRAND TRAVERSE ACADEMY: A GLASSER QUALITY SCHOOL

The 1998 book, Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom, is the primary text for all that's taught at the William Glasser Institute. In 2005, the Grand Traverse Academy was named a Glasser Quality School. 

It's too bad Glasser's prohibitions against what he called the "Seven Deadly Habits" (criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing and bribing/rewarding to control) didn't rub off on Steven Ingersoll.

THE TESTIMONY

When asked on December 8, 2015 by Ingersoll attorney, Jan Geht, about the firing of Kaye Mentley, Habermehl stated Mentley's departure was set in motion when "Bruce Harger sent out an email to the Board of Directors and Kaye Mentley asking about the particular academic model in regards to Integrated Visual Learning and Icon Mapping."

Habermehl continued, stating that "Kaye Mentley had mentioned that -- that she had changed that model, and it brought some concern to the board members and with investigation into what changes she had made, it was concerned that she had watered down and was not using the model as it was in the past."

However, Habermehl's testimony veers off track, away from early 2014 email communications, heading toward information that was not released by the Michigan Department of Education until nearly six weeks after Mentley was fired.

Habermehl testified that it was brought to "the board's attention by Lake Superior State University's Bruce Harger that in 2010 Grand Traverse Academy students scored in the 90th percentile in its rankings of other schools in the state of Michigan. In 2011, it had scored again in the 90 percentile; 2012 it had an all-time high of 91 percentile, but it was in 2013 that we saw a drop down to 71 percentile, and then in 2014 we saw a significant drop at the 44 percentile."

Excerpt, GTA 2014 Mid-Contract Review
Michigan's 2014 Top-to-Bottom list, part of Michigan's school accountability system which ranks schools on their student performance, was not released until August 16, 2014, nearly six weeks after Mentley was fired. (An official in the MDE's Accountability office confirmed to me last week that the information was not leaked to school districts prior to its late summer release.)


In my opinion, the newly-released documents show it is likely Habermehl was conflating the information released well after Mentley was canned with information included in the Grand Traverse Academy's February 27, 2014 Mid-Contract Review. The review was provided to the board by Nick Oshelski and Bruce Harger of Lake Superior State University's Charter School Office.

And how do I know that?

In addition to the mid-contract review, I also have contemporaneous emails (official records received as the result of my Freedom of Information Act request to Lake Superior State University) between Harger, Mentley and Ingersoll that I believe are among the correspondence Habermehl "misremembered" so sloppily during his testimony on December 8, 2015.

And although people can have different interpretations of the same event, simply because they had a different perspective, the emails paint a radically different picture than the one Habermehl earlier sketched.

THE EMAILS

We begin with Mentley's March 17, 2014 email to Bruce Harger and Nick Oshelski in response to the Mid-Contract Review. (You'll note that Harger's email address doesn't appear in the header; the email salutation addressed both "Bruce and Nick".)


Good morning Bruce and Nick,


Thank you for such a comprehensive report as part of the mid contract review for Grand Traverse Academy. I think may of the suggestions will be helpful as we work to improve Grand Traverse Academy as well as have the Board be better informed and more involved. Specifically, the establishment of a finance committee and an instruction committee will help with communication. I will be responsible for the instruction committee, but will also attend meetings of a financial committee. I was pleased that at our meeting on March 7, 2014 the Board agreed with the forming and role of these two committees.


We would certainly like to see improvement in our MEAP scores in writing, science and social studies but I am not sure administering the NWEA three times per year will accomplish that since NWEA doesn’t test social studies or writing, and currently the science is poorly aligned. We do administer the NWEA three times per year in math and reading for all students who are below level in reading and math. That seems to be worth the time away from instruction for assessment. I am not sure that this is true for all students. Perhaps a better measure of achievement would be the end reports on each of our intervention groups.


There is a glitch that we are trying to figure out with NWEA and perhaps you could be helpful. In reviewing student performance over time, it seems that there is a problem with the validity in measuring student growth, specifically with the question: did this student have adequate/expected growth this year. I will try to explain, just using simple numbers. A student could get a RIT of 220 in reading in the spring, then get 160 in the fall. In the following spring the student could get 190 and his/her growth would be considered satisfactory based on the projection from the fall score, yet obviously the student “lost ground” in achievement. We are trying to figure out how to better track this and are working with NWEA and other district representatives to see what they recommend. Even though for state teacher evaluation it is all about the growth in any one school year, I think a much more important concept is growth over time. One of the reasons I dislike fall to spring measure of student growth is that the student can score quite a bit lower in fall than in the previous spring. Is that due to a loss in the summer? Is that due to teachers not being careful enough with test administration in the fall since it doesn’t “count” as much? If we are after good learning, it should not be susceptible to a summer slump. Lots to think about and figure out! I think these are good questions to get answers to before we implement more testing. We need to keep in mind that each time we administer a school wide test, whether it is NWEA, MEAP or ACT that loss of instruction time is about one half day for each week.


On page 8, I just want to make sure that the CSO office is aware that GTA does not use icon mapping, and our use of integrated visual learning is quite different from Bay City Academy or North Central Academy. 

I would be happy to explain this further if you would like. We are currently engaged in an alignment study between our current curriculum, textbooks and CCSS. We are planning a full implementation of CCSS in the fall of 2014.

Again, thank you for this report, I look forward to continuing to work together.


Kaye


Mentley's email prompts a response from Bruce Harger.




I agree with you that spring to spring is a better measurement of student growth (as long as we look at the same cohort of students, i.e., some of the students who were tested the previous spring might not be present the following spring, and vice versa). We would focus on NWEA math and reading as part of the growth to achievement model so I fully understand the desire not to test 3X per year in the other subjects. The CSO does have an expectation that academies will test 3X per year using NWEA MAP in reading and math.


I would take you up on your offer to comment on IVL and icon mapping at GTA. IVL is an integral part of the model that LSSU reviewed when it authorized the renewal of GTA’s contract. Some of the people we talked with at the site visit were very positive about IVL. I remember the enthusiasm that Lila had for the icon mapping (when I was Provost). So I am surprised when you indicate it is not part of the model.


I am pleased to hear of a more active role for the board. We would not want them to cross the line between operations and governance, just as we try not to cross the line between oversight and governance. We would expect that the involvement of board members would help the board perform its governance role and not just be an improvement in communications.


Bruce

Harger's response is copied to both Nick Oshelski and Steven Ingersoll.
Later that day (March 17, 2014, two days before he handed the controls to friend and colleague, Mark Noss), Ingersoll responds, reacting with the vivid language you'd expect from a narcissist about to fall on his sword: how dare you peasants eff with my IVL income stream!
I would like to point out that the founding principles of visual learning play a central part at GTA. To imply otherwise is inconsistent with the history of the Academy, its founding and my role.


While it is true I am on the cusp of removing myself from the Academy’s operations, I do not wish my life’s work to be expunged from its history. Indeed, one might note the correlation between precipitous drop in test scores and my diminished role.


I believe both IVL and Icon Mapping have been instrumental in the success of the Academy. The steep rise in MEAP social studies scores to GTA’s highest historical level for any subject was the result of an energetic implementation of Icon mapping following the attached anecdotal classroom studies. One need only compare current social studies scores to get the point.


I will no longer be available to help implement the important contribution of visual learning at the Academy. 

Dr. Noss is fully capable and I pray willing to carry on in my absence in this regard. I have and continue to sacrifice for the excellence and indeed very existence of GTA. 

I cannot abide excision of my work from the history and future of the Academy.


Okay, he didn't say that exactly, but he came pretty close.
And, unless I'm missing something, isn't this school thing supposed to be about the children?

In case you thought Steven Ingersoll's 2014 "mantrum" didn't produce its desired effect, take a gander at this excerpt from a recent Grand Traverse Academy board meeting.

Reunited, and it feels so...good?





15 comments:

  1. This guy needs to go to federal pound me in the ass prison period....what kills it thou is his butt buddys still making money on the scam

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  2. prison time, soon?

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  3. Expressing my opinion here...this guy Ingersoll he is a bad man and he needs to be stopped in his tracks and anyone associated with him needs to be accountable also. I have a question here. Do you think a man like Ingersoll is going to just let his fifedom go...absolutely not. He is still controlling both Bay City Academy and Grand Traverse Academy, he has just put his little puppets into play, Lynch, Noss, Harger, Habermehl, Johnston, Bradley and many more.

    Now if the Michigan Department of Education isn't run by Ingersoll we can find truth and justice.

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    1. You are so right makes you wonder who is in Lansing!
      what's funny if you're a felon you're not supposed work at a school but yet you can be a felonI make over a half a million dollars and rent a year that is so crazy!
      what's crazier yet is where do they find these teachers to stay in teach? they're not doing right by the kids by doing that!
      how could they take a paycheck and be a part of all this.
      do the right thing is the school motto...I wonder how Ingersoll felt when I said that at his trial,they asked me why I was testifying and I said it's the right thing to do!
      so do the right thing teachers walk for the kids
      everybody connected to this have to live with themselvesso very party read Miss knows anything let it out!
      you are not doing a service for these kids their families or yourself.

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    2. Wonder which address Ingersoll will have to set his GPS for his personal prison cell where he won't be able to make too many choices anymore(aka "Limitations on Choice Theory")? He can put a whole new definition on "Icon Mapping".

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    3. Ingersoll says: "Dr. Noss is fully capable and I pray will carry on in my absence." Only problem is he'll be carrying on Ingersoll's tradition of money manipulation, abuse and corruption. And Ingersoll is right when he said "I pray..." but the only problem is he's misspelling the word - he should have written "prey"; afterall, they'll all been preying on the taxpayers' money and hope to continue until someone stops them.

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    4. Oops... meant to write "they've all been preying on taxpayers' money"

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  4. No one involved with either school is doing anyone a favor. Both of these Jack*ss money schemes should be shut down and the students should get into a "normal" school where they have a chance to find success. Parents stop the fraud against your kids and get them out of these money pits for the taxpayers. The lack of money will be the only thing that shuts them down.

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  5. It would be nice if all the board of both districts and the administrators of the management team all end up in prison for fraud and mismanagement. CORRUPTION CORRUPTION CORRUPTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Well, la-di-frickin-da!

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  7. Excuse me la-di-frinckin-da
    When are the parents and teachers going to stop supporting these money grubbing thieves. This is one of the most important stories of corruption that is happening to our communities to date. I am sickened by the fact that these kinds of heartless corrupt people are in control of schools. Schools are responsible for nurturing and teaching our children, when did schools become about money and corruption. What kind of society are we building. Obviously not a good one. It is time for everyone to come forward and expose this situation. Do you really want to support this kind of corrupt school system? Do you want this to be the norm?

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  8. I am sure Glasser's is rolling over in his grave about these two schools, their founder, the board members and the management companies. Obviously, Ingersoll made a choice of creating a life centered around the "Seven Deadly Habits", criticizing, blaming and complaining these helped Ingersoll feel in control but focuses on the past and not solving the present problem and damages relationships. Nagging, threatening, punishing and bribing/rewarding to control are all coersive techniques designed also to make someone do what we want them to do. And this goes on everyday in the courtroom, in the boardroom and in the school's. Unfortunately, it is the teachers and children that get the brunt of their actions. All of these habits do not teach self-discipline or responsibility and all of the 7 deadly habits destroy relationships. Too bad everyone in charge and followers of Ingersoll have adopted these behaviors so well.
    What Glasser's wanted was for individuals to replace these 7 deadly habits with the "Seven Caring Habits: caring, listening, supporting, contributing, encouraging, trusting and befriending. I am sure Glasser is rolling over in his grave and if alive would want these schools closed. Let alone the blatant thievery and lies that the board and chartering university LET(HIDE/TURNED A BLIND EYE) his management companies and the new management companies get away with.

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    1. And the audacity of Ingersoll to say: "I have and continue to sacrifice for the excellence and indeed the very existence of the GTA." What he's really doing is sacrificing other people's lives and finances, and he still wants that annual IVL licensing fee and the money that comes from that curriculum if you want to call it that. Ingersoll sacrificing anything? Now that's a real laugh.

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