Monday, April 18, 2011

The Mayor-elect appoints a new CPS team

Well we know who his new CPS CEO will be:
Jean-Claude Brizard's appointment as the new CEO of CPS sets up a potentially explosive showdown with the Chicago Teachers Union, which openly opposes many of the measures Brizard has endorsed, such as expanding charter schools and linking teacher pay with performance. In February, the Rochester Teachers Association gave Brizard a vote of no-confidence.

Brizard "is not afraid of tough choices, and that is what Chicago's students need today," said Emanuel, who has pledged longer school days and more accountability from teachers.

But the Chicago Teachers Union, whose contract expires next year, is poised for battle.

"We get it. I'm going to buy some boxing gloves now," said union President Karen Lewis. "But did I think Rahm Emanuel was going to put some reasonable people in place? Of course not."
Wanting a school system chief with education experience was a sticking point for a lot of people. Even if a future schools CEO had education experience it would be better if there were a "Chief Education Officer". There's a lot more to running a school system than having classroom experience although a CEO must know something about what's going on in the classrooms.

Anyway, more about Mr. Brizard:
With both classroom and administrative experience, Brizard is seen as a departure from the business-minded approach of former CPS chief Ron Huberman and more of a reformer in the mold of former CPS boss Arne Duncan, now the U.S. secretary of education.

In his resignation letter to Rochester's school board, Brizard touted what he said were his achievements while atop the 32,000-student district: Raising the graduation rate to 51 percent from 39 percent in three years; more than doubling the number of students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes; streamlining the district's curriculum; decreasing suspensions by two-thirds since 2006; carving $51 million out of the budget through more efficient business practices; and launching a 10-year, $1.2 billion school modernization initiative.

But Rochester, like Chicago, also is facing tough decisions amid mounting debt. The school district budget Brizard laid out this month included about $80 million in cuts, 1,000 layoffs and the loss of many popular school programs.
It was noted in that Tribune article that Brizard himself used to be a high school physics teacher.

In addition to a new schools CEO, the Mayor-elect also had people in mind to be part of CPS leadership:
Emanuel said his appointments were made on a "collaborative basis" with Brizard.

"I gave him my recommendations. A number of individuals he picked, a number of individuals I recommended and he concurred," Emanuel said.

Of all the picks, most educators know the least about Noemi Donoso, who was named chief education officer, a significant role that will shape education policy within the city and likely advance the national reform agenda. Donoso is director of the Denver Public Schools' Office of School Reform and Innovation, which oversees the district's charter schools and innovative programs.

For chief operating officer, a position that overlooks district facilities, food services and technology, Emanuel tapped Tim Cawley, who is the managing director of finance and administration at the Academy for Urban School Leadership. The group is a network of turnaround schools that has emerged under Mayor Richard Daley as one way to reform failing schools. Cawley came to the education world after a 30-year business career.

Brizard's new chief of staff will be Andrea Saenz, who comes from the U.S. Department of Education, where she serves as special assistant to the assistant secretary of vocational and adult education. She has worked on data-driven performance management for Philadelphia public schools, which will likely concern critics of former schools CEO Ron Huberman's data-driven performance management strategies.
It appears Emanuel will also gut the Board of Education and put in place his own appointments. To start is the Chairman of Urban Partnership Bank David Vitale. He also used to be Chief Administrative Officer of the schools under Arne Duncan:
Vitale is currently serving as chairman of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a nonprofit teacher residency program, and as executive chair of Urban Partnership Bank.

He will be joined on the reconstituted CPS board by Jesse Ruiz, who will resign his current position as chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education to take the role of vice president at CPS.

Former Northwestern University President Henry Bienen, former CPS Principal Dr. Mahalia Hines, businesswoman Penny Pritzker, Johnson Publishing chief marketing officer Rod Sierra and Chicago Urban League President Andrea Zopp will round out the new look board.

Their first job will be to appoint Jean-Claude Brizard and to agree to his salary and contract.
Exciting times at CPS isn't it? Hmmm, you know I should bring up Harlan again. I wonder what plans Alderman-elect Sawyer have for the schools in our ward.

1 comment:

  1. I have mixed feelings about this appointment. While I appreciate the general idea of having student performance as an incentive for teacher pay increases, the measures of student performance that have been the norm in recent years (teaching to the test) do NOT provide a good incentive for quality teaching, so so this may not improve the big picture for students. Unless there are changes in how student performance is evaluated, this may not be the positive change that it appears to be on the surface. Longer school day - can't happen soon enough. Other measures affecting teachers - mixed bag.

    The fact that Rochester is offering their condolences on his move here is rather chilling. This change may purge some bad teachers from the system. It would be unfortunate if it also costs us good teachers.


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