Thursday, September 2, 2010

Precinct7: Back to school daze

From Charles Thomas of ABC7 on the fact that the city schools have no Chief Education Officer:
Its bad enough that since the resignation last April of Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, the CPS Education Office has drifted without leadership as major decisions were made to prepare for the 2010/11 academic year.

What's even worse is that over 400,000 Chicago Public School students could head back to classes the day after Labor Day with no professional educator in administrative charge of what they'll be taught or to take the responsibility for whether they learn anything.

The Mayor Richard M. Daley approach to running CPS puts himself in charge of the politics and his Chief Executive Officer--these days Ron Huberman--in charge of carrying out hizzoner's plan administratively. The Chief Education Officer is supposedly in charge of all things having to do with what happens academically in the classrooms of over 600 schools. That responsibility includes the assignment of principals, teachers and curriculum.
Several principals, who wished to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, tell me the Huberman appointment over Eason-Watkins reveals that CPS these days is more about politics and making the Mayor look good than it is about the education of children.

The fact that politician Daley and bureaucrat Huberman made so many deficit-driven decisions about teacher layoffs, classroom size, etc. this summer without the input of a chief education officer speaks volumes about what's going on these days in the nation's third largest public school system. Symbolically, at least, city hall has already made it clear that having a professional educator at the table isn't that important.
To be honest, I have no problem with how CPS is currently administered. At least a professional educator is at the table and the school system isn't merely under the thumb of an educator. Since schools have limited resources you may need someone from outside of the school system to be able to manage them.

Of course that being said, I may have to concede that placing the school system as a city agency that is not independent from city governance, can be used for political purposes. I believe that is the case Thomas is making.

1 comment:

  1. What professional educator is at the table? As I write this, there is none... That's the main problem with CPS. Metrics, Professional Management Teams and all the other mess that's occurring at CPS doesn't trickle down to an effective management of the nation's 3rd largest school system. We're talking about young lives here. Children. Not a "metric".

    When you have people running the system with no idea or concern for our children, teachers, parents or for people who actually know and understand how things work educationally-- you have a mess on your hands which is what is happening now.

    You have no idea how many schools both elementary and high school with start understaffed on September 7th. Some high schools aren't even giving out schedules during orientations this and last week because they aren't sure if they'll have teachers to staff them or who they will be.

    If this whole thing doesn't reek of politics, I don't know what does.


PLEASE READ FIRST!!!! Comment Moderating and Anonymous Comment Policy

While anonymous comments are not prohibited we do encourage you to help readers identify you so that other commenters may respond to you. Either read the moderating policy for how or leave an identifier (which could be a nickname for example) at the end of the comment.

Also note that this blog is NOT associated with any public or political officials including Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer!