Friday, February 11, 2011

U. of C. prof is CPS' new chief education officer

U. of C. prof is CPS' new chief education officer - Chicago Breaking News

I'm sure that many are applauding this. Especially for those who didn't like the administration of Ron Huberman who left his post last fall:
Chicago Public Schools Interim CEO Terry Mazany today announced the appointment of University of Chicago professor Charles Payne as the school system's new chief education officer, but he won't have the job long.

The chief education officer is the No. 2 position at CPS and has been vacant since the end of June when Barbara Eason-Watkins, who was well respected for her work during Arne Duncan’s tenure, left the district to become superintendent of the Michigan City, Ind., public schools.

Joking that he was the "65th person" Mazany asked, Payne, 62, said his main job in the next 90 days is to facilitate the writing of an education plan for the district that may be useful for a future administration.

"We can begin to vet and explore some ideas that may help the next mayor or next chief executive officer get off to a faster start," Payne said. "We can do some work so they don't have to repeat that."

He also wants to "start a conversation between stakeholder groups that don't necessarily talk to each other."
There are those who are concerned about the fact that Payne has no experience teaching in a public school classroom on either the elementary or secondary-level. His education experience is on the post-secondary level. To that Payne remarks:
"My job is not to teach," Payne said. "My job is to facilitate writing an education plan."
I know that people have looked to used this 2011 municipal election as a place to make some changes at CPS. One came out with a proposal to change the composition of the school board and not only that make it entirely elected. There are many who believe the CEO of the public schools should have education experience.

To which I say that there is a need for a person who has education experience at the top of the Chicago Public Schools. Of course they need not have to have experience teaching in a classroom, but they should know about education policy. Hopefully they can communicate the policy to those who actually are working at the schools.

To manage a system that has according to Wikipedia has 675 schools (elementary, charter, and secondary) and 403,279 students as of 2009-2010. You need people of different skill sets. Of course you need educators whether they acutally teach or just people who are able to create education policy. Also you need managers who know how to allocate resources where they are needed. Especially needed are people who have financial expertise who can craft a budget for such a large system. Also, if one can prove able to not only be an educator but a manager as well and be able to navigate both roles that shouldn't be a problem.

1 comment:

  1. He's an extension of the Huberman administration philosophy which was taken from UC.


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