'Turnaround' job descriptions are straight out of Orwell's 1984... Chicago schools CEO Ron Huberman adds bureaucratic jobs while continuing to eliminate hundreds of veteran teachers

By September 1, 2010, Chicago and its public schools administrators had created an Orwellian masterpiece. Since June 1, 2010, Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman has eliminated the jobs of more than 1,500 (and perhaps as many as 2,000) veteran classroom teachers. The eliminations took place with the beginning of so-called "turnaround" at five schools after the regular school year ended in June (700 teachers and others, including principals, dumped) and continued throughout the summer.

Chicago Public Schools 'Chief Executive Officer' Ron Huberman (above with hands outstretched) explained to the August 25, 2010 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education why he had to cuts hundreds of veteran teachers in order to supposedly balance the budget, which he had claimed was facing a "billion dollar deficit" earlier in the year. Huberman fired veteran teachers, then began a hiring binge to increase the number of patronage jobs in places like the CPS "turnaround" office. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Dozens of so-called "coaches" (actually, teachers deployed citywide) were dumped by Huberman in June. More than 400 teachers were eliminated by August 1 from the so-called "Track E" schools, most of them without being placed, as required by the union contract, in the reserves.

More than 600 teachers were eliminated by August 31 from the regular school year schools.

And all the while, Ron Huberman and the Board of Education's $1 million propaganda office was proclaiming that CPS valued veteran teachers.

If there was anyone who didn't see the irony in all this, the Board's September 1 personnel notices show it again. Dozens of jobs are being offered for non-teaching, basically bureaucratic work in favored places within Huberman's patronage bureaucracies, even as veteran teachers are being force to apply for unemployment compensation.

From the looks of it, CPS is adding at least four different quasi-administrative jobs at Fenger High School alone for the coming school year. As a close reading of the requirements for each of the jobs indicates that the person best qualified would have a sense of humor based on a close reading of "Animal Farm" or one of the other classic works of George Orwell. Classroom teaching experience is not listed among the desirable traits for these "turnaround" specialist jobs. It almost seems like the less experience an applicant has, the better. But the salary schedule begins far above the average teacher's beginning salary, and can run as high as $110,000 per year. This in a year that just heard Ron Huberman proclaim that thousands of teachers and PSRPs had to be fired in order to balance the budget that was supposedly facing a catastrophic "deficit."



Many of the strangest patronage jobs will be placed by the "Office of School Turnaround" at Chicago's Fenger High School (above), which became famous last year after a student was murdered after school. The school had become chaotic during the opening weeks of the 2009 - 2010 school year because Ron Huberman had fired the majority of the school's veteran teachers under "turnaround." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.JOB: Title Turnaround Teaching and Learning Specialist (Professional V), Location Fenger High School, 11220 S Wallace Street, Chicago, Illinois 60628

Position Number 399279, Position Value 1.0, Position Grade A07, Budget Classification TBD, Position Period 12 Months

Salary Minimum: $78,700, Midpoint: $94,800, Maximum: $111,000

Position Summary Purpose of the Position: Reporting to the Manager of Teaching and Learning, the Turnaround Teaching & Learning Specialist will assist teachers in focusing their instruction on the College Readiness Standards, with an emphasis on assessment. This professional will focus on individual and group professional development that will expand and refine the understanding about research-based effective instruction as outlined by parameters detailed the CPS Turnaround Model. In order to meet this purpose, this Specialist will provide personalized support that is based on the goals and identified needs of individual teachers. This is an individual with extensive successful classroom instructional experience and as well versed in instructional best practices.

APPLICANTS, please choose one of the below as your specialty:

Qualifications Understanding by Design Specialty: The coach will need to possess a high degree of comfort and ability with the Understanding by Design curriculum framework. In order to lead professional development sessions and evaluate teacher created work, the coach will need to be familiar with topic selection, standards alignment, enduring understandings, essential questions, assessment creation and alignment, GRASPs, and the creation of learning plans. The coach preferably will have experience leading a group of teachers in similar work and should be familiar, not only with the UbD text, but also the UbD workbook. The coach should also be able to give constructive criticism to professionals and guide their learning in an effort to gain mastery of this curriculum framework. Experience with large-scale interactive professional development preferred. Candidate should be able to showcase tangible examples of either curriculum they have created using UbD, professional development they have led around this topic, or both.

Qualifications 2. Assessment Specialty: The Assessment Specialist will be responsible for coordinating assessment data loading, coding benchmark assessments, maintaining and monitoring implementation of interim assessment schedule, developing and loading of assessments and instructional resources, creating and maintaining EPAS like assessment data bank, and problem solving any data issues with CIM. The Assessment Specialist will provide data reports to various schools/groups and provide CIM training to staff and provide professional development on the above responsibilities to subject matter experts and academic department chairs.

3. Response to Intervention (RtI) Specialty: The RtI Specialist will coordinate and assist with the implementation of intervention strategies and / or programs within and outside the classroom setting. Candidate will be responsible for the implementation of the acceleration lab and reading and math interventions, data analysis and collection of individualized interim assessments for students identified as needing remedial instruction within the RTI guidelines and the dissemination of data using CIM to building and district level school personnel.

4. Well Managed Classroom Specialty: The Girls and Boys Town Education Model is an integral component of the Turnaround Schools culture and climate model at the High School level is the Boys Town Educational Model. The Boys Town Education Model, which “is a school-based intervention strategy that emphasizes behavior management practices, relationship-building techniques, and social skills instruction. The Education Model is rooted in applied behavior analysis and social learning theory.”

REGULAR DUTIES 1. Support the implementation of interim assessments, plans for re-teaching based on interim results, and effective practices for teaching the skills assessed in the EPAS and PSAE tests

2. Provide organized individual and/or group learning opportunities for teachers as needed; as well as planning, monitoring, and feedback activities. Model effective practices through classroom demonstrations.

3. Provide organized individual and/or group learning opportunities for administrators and support staff as appropriate.

4. Analyze classroom and school level data to inform program and professional development. Generate appropriate reports and data on a consistent and ongoing basis.

5. Provide organized individual and/or group learning opportunities for teachers in data analysis/use to improve student learning. Assist staff with designing teaching and learning decisions based on assessment data.

6. Provide support for school/classroom motivation and management strategies.

7. Assist the school in developing and implementing school improvement plans. Work positively toward meeting identified school performance management objectives.

8. Keep supervisor informed of potential problems or unusual events. Attend staff meetings and training sessions


• Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university required, advanced degree preferred.

• Teaching Certification. Valid Certification in English Language Arts or Reading Specialist highly preferred.

• Ability to exercise independent judgment.

• Documented experience and proficiency in “Understanding by Design”

• Demonstrated experience in research-based educational practices.

• Demonstrated experience in data-informed decision making.

• Ability to deal effectively and courteously with students, school personnel and the general public.

• Attention to detail and exceptionally strong organization skills.

• Responds to inquires and concerns in a timely and positive manner.

• Exhibits interpersonal skills to work as an effective team member.

• Demonstrates support for the school system and its goals and priorities.

• Demonstrates initiative in identifying potential problems or opportunities for improvement.

• Demonstrate sound judgment and ethical practice.

• Receptive to feedback and committed to ongoing growth.

To apply, please follow the below instructions:

To be considered for this role, candidates possessing all of the above qualifications and appropriate certification(s) should:

1. Choose one specialty

2. Submit a letter of interest and intent that includes:

• Acknowledgement of and candidate’s agreement to meet the commitments and conditions for position.

• A detailed description of how candidate meets each of the mandatory minimum qualifications, abilities, proficiencies and experiences and description of any preferred qualifications.

• Evidence that candidate possesses all mandatory minimum qualifications.

3. Submit at least 3 references from persons with knowledge of candidate’s teaching and instructional abilities and other skills, proficiencies and experience.

4. Please include your specialty in the subject line of your submission

Please send all applications to: Krystal C. Rogers-Minter, Project Manager, CPS Office of School Turnaround,


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