Huberman's Empty Promise... If the Chicago schools "CEO" were in Pinocchio, his nose would stretch from the Loop to Rogers Park

When Sunny Neater-DuBow spoke to the Board of Education last month at the Board's meeting on August 25, 2010, to ask why a National Certified Teacher would be layed off due to budget reasons when the schools got the money to hire back teachers, schools chief Ron Huberman told her they would talk to her "in the next 24 hours" and get her placed.

Sunny Neater-DuBow (at microphone) spoke to the August 15, 2010, meeting of the Chicago Board of Education about how she was closed out of her job at the Multicultural Arts High School (a small school in Little Village HS), and was promised by Ron Huberman that the situation would be taken care of. Standing in support of the teacher were (left to right, beginning with Neater DuBow) Rosital Chatonda, Suzanne Dunn, Carol Caref, Xian Barrett, Danielle Ciesielski, and Norine Gutekanst. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Not only has Neater-DuBow not gotten a teaching job despite Huberman's promise, she no longer has benefits to support her baby and cannot afford COBRA or her mortgage payments.

"The response I received from CPS following my appearance at the board meeting was minimal," Neater told Substancenews. "About a week later HC (Human Capital) contacted me to let me know that a 'recruiter' would be in touch with me the next day."

The CPS recruiter called her and said that all they usually do is offer people feedback as to how to improve their resumes, Neater said.

"She said that my resume looked good, but to change the font size to a smaller size," she said. "When I pressed her for help in actually getting me interviews (as recruiters generally do) she said that the most she would be able to do would be to forward my resume on to a few principals, which she did and cc'd me on. I received no calls from anyone."

Neater- Dubow was one of eight teachers layed off at the Little Village High School School of Multicultural Arts after working for two years as a grant-winning art teacher who set up projects with the School of the Art Institute and her students.

Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Ron Huberman (above center) promised Sunny Neater Dubow that he would take are of her problem during the August 25 Board of Education meeting while Board members Tariq Butt and Alberto Carrero looked on. As usual, Huberman lied. By the end of the first week of school, Neater was still out of a job, despite credentials that Huberman claimed every school wanted, including National Board Certification. A growing legion of critics notes that Huberman's claim to want the "best" teachers has been belied by the fact that he has promoted the hiring of the least expensive teachers, while he has fired, laid off, or otherwise dumped more than 1,000 veteran teachers with fine ratings and decades of classroom experience. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt."An elite board of expert educators from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards has carefully reviewed my work and found that I'm one of those teachers, one of those highly-trained, high-quality teachers, that deserves the Master Certificate that comes with National Board Certification," Neater said. "But then my first year principal Patty Gonzalez, who only stopped by to observe my teaching practice for less than 30 minutes all of last year, then she and CPS somehow decided otherwise. Apparently my principal at CPS decided that I was a teacher they could and should let go."

While the mainstream media has parroted Huberman's line that he is firing the "unsatisfactory" teachers, the truth is only 26 of the 426 teachers layed off in the Track E schools that started school a month earlier than regular schools were rated unsatisfactory.

Neither Neater-DuBow, nor any of her laid off colleagues, save one, had ever been rated unsatisfactory in the past and that one unsatisfactory rating came to a teacher who'd been rated excelllent before Gonzalez's arrival, for most of the last 31 years, Neater said.

It appears that principals at schools throughout the city have been using the budgetary chaos and the extraordinary firing powers granted to Huberman by the School Board as a result to clean house and terminate the services of higher paid veteran teachers, or teachers they want to get rid of rather than go through the due process to terminate teachers who they deem ineffective or unsatisfactory.

Interestingly enough, the new principal at MAS who fired Neater and her colleagues, was herself rated "unsatisfactory" by the school after her first year. One teacher recounted how MAS principal Patty Gonzalez over-reacted to a tradition of Senior Ditch Day, when she cracked down on all the students who stayed away from school on that day.

"The way she reacted, she alienated the parents and students," said former MAS English teacher Daniel Lopez, who was likewise honorably terminated due to redefinement of his position. "This was supposed to be a celebratory time, in which the kids were getting ready for prom. But she never graduated from high school, so she didn't even understand this tradition."

According to Neater-DuBow, a woman at HC connected her to Nancy Cortes, who used to work in the Office of Fine Arts until it was dissolved. She emailed Neater a list of all the schools with art postings.

"Which is kind of weird," Neater wrote in an email, "because anyone can access the e-bulletin. Maybe this was a special list, I don't know. I'm going to call schools tomorrow to see if they really do have art openings, as some just post the opening to collect resumes in case of an emergency, as a colleague at another school told me is their practice. It feels like a lame attempt on the part of Huberman/HC to connect Nationally Board Certified teachers with positions, as they said was their priority."

While the numbers are not known, the Chicago Teachers Union is trying to determine how many teachers who lost their jobs have been able to return now that a federal teacher jobs bill passed that will provide about $100 million to Chicago to keep teachers in their classrooms.

The status of the CTU's lawsuit against the Board of Ed that contests the massive firings of teachers this school year is still pending.


September 15, 2010 at 12:28 PM

By: Kathy Jacobs

Seriously, "Human Capital?"

Any recruiter supposedly being paid to offer feedback to people on how to improve their resumes who, with a straight face, advises a displaced teacher to CHANGE THE FONT SIZE on her resume should be fired immediately. Karen Lewis should add the "Department of Human Capital" to her list of get-rid-ofs when she talks budget with CPS in the future.

September 16, 2010 at 12:23 PM

By: Lourdes S. Guerrero

Human Resources vs Human Capital

Just the change of name from Human Resources to Human Capital indicate how humans are treated at the Chicago Public Schools. As resources, teachers are viewed are having something of worth that is valuable to access. In this view, our education and experience can be tapped to support the TRUE bottom line-- the inspiration, development and growth of our students.

But the term capital denotes economic worth and, as always, the Board sees that teachers are not worth the expense to educate our nation's children.

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