Officials, student dispute prior testimony at U46 trial (Sun-Times Media)

by Emily McFarlan Miller

CHICAGO — Once, former School District U46 Director of Bilingual Education Dionnes Rivera gave then-assistant director Carmen Rodriguez a list of teachers to write recommendations for to Aurora University, Rodriguez said.

But Rodriguez protested she didn’t know all the teachers and certainly hadn’t evaluated them all, and Rivera took it back.

Another time, Rodriguez interviewed the relative of an acquaintance of the two administrators, she said. She didn’t feel that person had sufficient English language skills for the position, she said, but some time later, Rivera gave her a slip that told her to hire that person.

All this played into Rodriguez’s decision in 2005 to apply for and accept a new position within the Elgin school district as principal of Ontarioville Elementary School in Hanover Park, she said.

“Dr. Rivera and I were having professional differences,” said Rodriguez, now assistant superintendent for elementary education in U46.

“I didn’t agree with all her decisions.”

Those differences continued Tuesday as Rodriguez disputed testimony given previously by Rivera in the racial discrimination trial against the state’s second-largest school district, as the case resumed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

For the rest of the story, read Officials, student dispute prior testimony at U46 trial (Sun-Times Media).