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'Performance Management' Enthusiast: Famous last words of Josh Edelman

Back at the beginning of September, when more than 400,000 families were thinking about getting their children's school clothes and supplies and more than 25,000 teachers were getting their classrooms ready for actual schooling of real children, the people at Chicago's "Office of New Schools" were preparing with joy to "iterate" their "performance" for the Huberman regime. Reading through some back issues of the Board of Education's monthly Renaissance Schools newsletter, Substance came across the following:

Renaissance Schools Report. September 2009, Volume 5, Issue 9

In This Issue:Ten Quotes Found in the Marshall Memo, INCS 4th Annual Charter Family Picnic, "America Goes Back to School" with Secretary Arne Duncan, POV "The Principal Story", Noble Street-UIC Students Discover Chicago, Catalyst Charter-Howland Receives a Helping Hand, Schools Making Headlines

The last Board of Education meeting attended in full by "Chief Officer of New Schools" Josh Edelman (above left) was August 28, 2009. Although Edelman wrote enthusiastically about undergoing Chicago's "Performance Management" review under Sarah Kremsner (above third from right, with glasses), most central office administrators by then were aware of the fact that the "Office of Performance Management" had become a patronage haven for millions of dollars worth of Ron Huberman cronies, who used irrelevant computer models to terrorize administrators, who in turn were supposed to terrorize teachers and other workers in the schools. Kremsner's power comes exclusively from Ron Huberman's patronage, which in turn comes from Mayor Richard M. Daley. Within a week after Edelman wrote enthusiastically about the "Performance Management" review of the Office of New Schools, he was out of his job and heading to a new job in another city. Substance photograph by George N. Schmidt.Letter from the Chief

Dear Colleagues: In Mid-October, the Office of New Schools (ONS) will present at its first Performance Management (PM) meeting for CEO Huberman and other key CPS senior leaders. This is a great opportunity for ONS to inform district team members about our refined vision, mission, goals, and structure and to share the key performance indicators we will continually use to quantify our efforts on behalf of "new" schools. As I have offered in previous communications, through Performance Management we will:

o Engage in an iterative process used to measure progress of district, areas and schools based on key performance indicators;

o Find the right information to make decisions based on evidence;

o Receive support for innovation; and

o Face the brutal facts with the belief that we can do better.

Over the next few weeks we will work with our CPS colleagues to determine if charter and contract operators can attend this PM session so that you can see it in action. Attending the PM session will provide you with more in depth insight into our work and give you a chance to better understand CEO Huberman's areas of importance.

Beyond PM, I am thrilled to begin my third year of school visits and am pleased with my experience at the first round of 2009-2010 visits. Over the past few weeks, I had the pleasure of spending time at schools that welcomed students back in August. Whether day 3 or day 12, each school was already down to business teaching students expectations and routines, and every school had students engaged in rigorous academic content. I saw teachers using each minute well in class and students moving at pace during passing periods to get to class before the bell. Students and teachers alike were making sure the business of learning continued flawlessly. After a challenging summer of tough choices and central office cutbacks because of the resource-strapped environment, nothing could have created more excitement and joy for me! One last thing... Our 2nd Annual Back to School Event will take place at the beautiful, new Charles Shaw Technology & Learning Center at Henry Ford Powerhouse in North Lawndale on October 14th. We look forward to officially kicking off the year with school leaders and other stakeholders at this important gathering. CEO Huberman, Dr. Eason-Watkins, other district partners, and external stakeholders will join us. You will receive more about this event and PM in the weeks to come.

If your school year has already begun, keep up the good work you do on behalf of our youth. If you begin on September 8, have a wonderful opening of school.

Working Together,

Josh Edelman

Executive Officer, Office of New Schools

Michael Scott's final Chicago Board of Education meeting was riddled with conflict. By the October 28, 2009, meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Board President Michael Scott, whose body was discovered near the Chicago River and Kinzie Street on the morning of November 16 (the police now report it was a suicide following a month-long investigation) knew that top staff at the Chicago Pubic Schools had leaked unfavorable information about his expense account to the press. Scott left the Board chambers during the October Board meeting following a heated exchange with CEO Ron Huberman. Much of the meeting was chaired by Vice President Clare Munana. Confrontations became more common during the months after Mayor Daley appointed Huberman (aho has no education experience, training or credentials) to be the third "Chief Executive Officer" at CPS. One main reason was that Huberman was appointing dozens of individuals he had picked personally to lucrative patronage positions in the new $20 million "Office of Performance Management" without placing their names or nominations in the public agenda of the Board, as required by law. By October, Huberman had created an entirely new patronage center at CPS, the "Performance Management" offices, which hadn't even existed a year before, while proclaiming that CPS had a budegt "deficit" of $475 million. Board members in the above photograph: Left to right: Roxanne Ward; Clare Munana; student "shadow" board member for October; President Michael Scott; Tariq Butt; Alberto Carrero. Not in attendance at the time was Board member Norman Bobins. Not in the photo but in attendance was Board member Peggy Davis. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.A few weeks before Michael Scott's death, Josh Edelman moved on to another town.

Did "Performance Management" have anything to do with Edelman's demise? Substance's investigative reporting team is beginning a lengthy investigation of the stories, and would like to hear from readers who have had first hand experience with Ron Huberman's PMS (Performance Management System) in practice now that it has had a few months to iterate its iterationalities and the growing conflicts between the expanding Huberman "team" and members of the Chicago Board of Education, especially after August 2009.

As readers of Substance know, while the Chicago Board of Education was approving the massive cuts at the local schools in September and October 2009 (in accordance with Huberman's claims that the school system had had a $475 mllion "deficit"), Huberman was being allowed to secretly add $20 million worth of staff and stuff under the rubric of his "Performance Management" office and systems. Huberman has yet to explain how his "Performance Management" system has been reviewed an tested, although it is firmly in place across the city's school system as 2009 ends and CPS completes the mourning period for deceased Board of Education President Michael Scott.

In addition to the half dozen top people (all without teaching or educational experience) he brought in, Huberman has been appointing a dozen or more lesser lights, each at a salary of $80,000 or more, to mid-level "Performance Management" positions in the "Chief Area Officers" staffs.

The newly created Office of Performance Management was budgeted for a central office budget of $5 million (for an entity that hadn't existed before) and another $15 million for elsewhere in the system. Since he took office in February 2009, Huberman has hired more than 40 of his old cronies from the Chicago Transit Authority and elsewhere to the highest paying jobs in the Chicago Public Schools.

By the time he stages the media event (above) announcing his claim that the Chicago Board of Education was facing a "deficit" of $475 million, newly appointed Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman (at podium) had begun installing a growing number of expensive cronies into top executive positions at CPS, especially a newly created entity called the "Office of Performance Management." By August 2009, Huberman had appointed, often without submitting the recommendations to the Board of Education, dozens of individuals without any educational training, certification, or experience to "Performance Management" positions, at a cost that will exceed $20 million if Huberman's budget projections are completely filled ($5 million in new positions in the central office; an additional %15 million elsewhere). By December 2009, Huberman's "Performance Management" people had unprecedented power in CPS. The only two of the four people in the above photograph remaining at CPS as the winter vacation approaches are Huberman and "Chief Education Officer" Barbara Eason Watkins (second from right, above). In August 2009, Huberman appointed former Chief Financial Officer Pedro Martinez to the position of "Chief Area Officer" for Area Four (at his previous salary of $174,000 per year), but Martinez left shortly afterwards for a job in another city. Board of Education President Michael Scott (above left) was found dead on November 16, 2009, near the Chicago River west of the Merchandise Mart in what Chicago police, after a lengthy investigation, say was a suicide. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. And the six remaining members of the Chicago Board of Education have not said one word about it at any of the ten Board meetings that have taken place since then.

Edelman is not the only "Officer" to have been purged by Huberman. 



Comments:

December 9, 2009 at 3:19 PM

By: No fan of Josh

Josh lands on his feet in DC

On October 7, 2009 Michelle Rhee ordered a reduction in force for the DC Public schools of 388 employees, or whom 229 were classroom teachers. The average age of these laid off teachers was 49. In some cases these teachers were “escorted” out of the schools by police and security teams. The overwhelming majority of these laid off teachers were black. Shortly following this lay off DC Public School hired Mr. Edelman to be director of the "Office of School Innovation." This office is in charge of the following less than critical programs:

• Schoolwide Applications Model (SAM)

• Full Service Schools (FSS)

• DC Catalyst Project

• Autonomous Schools

• Partnership Schools

• DC Collaborative for Change (DC3)

• International Baccalaureate (IB)

• Capital Gains

• TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More)

On November 3, 2009 the following post by a person calling themselves Zack appeared on the blog The Washington Teacher http://thewashingtonteacher. blogspot.com /2009/11/ beginning-of-end-for-dcs- rifd-teachers_02.html:

“I know Josh Edelman very well because my children attended SEED Public Charter School when he was there. SEED PCS was not that great, they are engaged in using public funds and sharing each among each other and lying about raising funds on behalf of SEED PCS. As a parent and non DCPS teacher, I am not sure of what number they are playing with the children of DCPS because Josh Edelman knows DC council Tommy Wells and Jack Evans very well. Is this an old boy network getting each other to get some of the piece of pie in DCPS money?”

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