The Huberman disinformation campaign revisited... Even as Huberman was halfway out the door, Board refused to provide list of all the schools and each of the areas despite a $58 million increase in area office budgets this year... Try and find it at Board's website(s)

A few good questions as the semester drones on. Who are this year's CAOs. Where are this year's CAOs? What schools are in each area under each CAO? That should be public "transparent" information, especially in a system that prides itself on "accountability" and "data driven management" and "performance management." But..

On Wednesday, November 19, 2010, Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Ron Huberman delivered his final report to the Chicago Board of Education. In the report, among other things, he said that management needed robust accountability tools to monitor what he called "performance" at the school, classroom and student levels. Those tools were needed so that what he called "accountability" is able to take hold — and be what he calls meaningful. As those who've followed Huberman's career (see, for example, "Numbers Man" in the August 2009 edition of Chicago magazine), Huberman is supposedly the technocrat who knows his numbers and handles "data" very very very very well.

Despite the fact that he had been in office less than two years and knew as little about public school teaching and learning as he was leaving as he did when he came into office in January 2009, outgoing Chicago schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman (above) delivered an arrogant final report to the Board, attacking teachers and unions, promoting charter school lies, and covering up the major mistakes of his own administration. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Actually, not. With Huberman, more than with any other chief Chicago's public schools have ever had, what he says and claims to be are in fact the opposite of what he is and can do. The Huberman mystique was almost completely the creation of the clout of Mayor Richard M. Daley and a supine corporate media, which over time simply recycled uncritically Huberman's own press clippings and publicity version of himself.

Consider Hubeman's public claims that he was making everything at CPS more "transparent." Nobody in the media except Substance ever tried to hold Huberman himself accountable for that. And as his time went on, Huberman worked overtime to keep as much information as possible from the public. Administrators were warned repeatedly not to talk to the media or release information that should have been public, and eventually everything was channeled through Huberman's propaganda chief, former Police Public Affairs chieftan Monique Bond.

Monique Bond rarely answered e-mails, never answered her phone, routinely promised to provide information and then later refused to do so, and scheduled secret press "briefings" for select reporters with Huberman, excluding virtually everyone else who covered the Board (especially Substance).

His final meeting with the Board of Education was just one example. Nothing of Substance was discussed at the public meeting. His rant about how Chicago needed more "accountability" and more charter schools was just part of that show. The Board recessed into executive session, as usual, and then emerged a couple of hours later to rush through (ion a record ten minutes) the entire agenda, spending millions of dollars in the process. Oh, at the time the Board also approved the appointment of a new "Chicago Area Officer" recommended by Huberman. No discussion of the appointee was held during either end of the public Board meeting (either during the first part, which includes public participation; or during the brief ten-minute time after executive session when the Board voted to approve all but one of the items on the agenda).

In fact, anyone who tries to find out even the simplest information from the current public website of the Chicago Board of Education can see just how poorly Ron Huberman has performed as a public service. Take the area offices and schools under their domains. This year, Huberman claimed that CPS would have a "billion dollar" deficit if the Illinois General Assembly didn't allow him to raid the teachers' pension fund, and the Chicago Teachers Union didn't allow him to cut $100 million from teacher raises or jobs. At the same time, buried in the 2,000 pages of budget documents, Huberman had an extra $58 million he gave to the so-called "Chief Area Officers".

But trying to find out who those are, and where they are, and what schools they oversee, is more difficult than trying to find the Wiz down the Yellow Brick Road, thanks to Huberman's destruction of the integrity of the CPS data systems, especially the CPS public website.

On November 22, 2010, I spent more than two hours trying to get the answers to two simple questions: Where are the areas and who are the CAOs today? What schools are in each area? And where does the public find that information on the Board of Education's websites now that we've completed nearly two years of "accountability" courtesy of Ron Huberman and so-called "Performance Management."

CPS couldn't give me the answer to either of those questions. Thanks to Mr. Numbers, the data are confused, obfuscated, and covered up — while the data guy pretentiously lectures the Board and public about "accountability..." Below is an e-mail I sent to the last guy I was sent to trying to get an answer to this $100 million question (who provided an answer, but the information still was nowhere to be found on the Web).

November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving _____,

I just finished a 35 minutes odyssey [actually, I checked my notes and it was 75 minutes] trying to get an answer to the simplest of questions:

What schools are in each of the current areas and where can I find that information -- current -- on the CPS website?

Simple enough, that, should be in this era of transparency and performance management and data driven management and all that good stuff...


As you know, this information is not available at (Nor is a current up to date list of the areas; check that out for an archeological wonder; it's from before BEW took her $154,000 annual pension and left for Benton Harbor or wherever). So I began my odyssey at No luck.

Then I called the "Office of the Chief Executive Officer" (773-553-1500) where a very nice lady told me that the information was in Flavia's office (773-553-2150).

I spent five minutes on hold with Flavia's answerer, only to be cut off. When I called back, a nice lady named "Rosa" kept me on hold for another five minutes, but at least didn't dump me. Her final unequivocal answer was: "We're sorry, Mr. Schmidt. This office does not handle that information anymore. You really have to go to the office of the Chief Executive Officer..."

ME: "That's where I began."

SHE: "I'm so sorry. Would you like me to transfer you back there?"

ME: Sure. CEO's FEMALE VOICE (no identification): "Wow! Really. Hold on..."


"Mr. Schmidt, we do not handle that... I don't know why they told you that... Maybe you should try the Office of Demographics and Planning..."

ME: "But I'm only trying to find it on"

SHE: "Their number is 553-3270... Would you like me to connect you?"

ME: Sure.

After going through the mess with Sarai (very nice lady; very polite; very efficient)... I was told I had to leave her my number and e-mail you for the information. In the course of our conversation I noted to her that Ron Huberman increased the area office budgets for this year by $58 million over last year, and so it would be nice for the public to be able to find a list of (a) the actual area offices (and officers) as of today (as opposed to as of March 2010, which is the "current" list) and (b) a list of all the schools in each of the areas (again, digitally, of course, and on the Web, naturally).

Hence this message to you.

God bless and God speed and all that holiday stuff.

George N. Schmidt


November 27, 2010 at 5:28 PM

By: 'George'


If you want that data contact Ryan Crosby in Accountabilty and Peter Godard in PM Data Management. He should be able to give you a list. Forget the website; it hasn't been updated in two years because of these two guys, part of PM management. PS half the people with working numbers listed on the web are not working for the board most have been replaced with Huberman's cronies.

November 29, 2010 at 8:33 AM

By: A

Yes, a complete list should be on the web.

I was easily able to find under the frequently called numbers page the phone numbers of area offices. The area offices should be able to tell you the name of the officer and the schools in the area.

December 2, 2010 at 4:44 PM

By: Mike


To: Principals & Chief Area Officers

From: Ron Huberman

Date: August 4, 2010 Re: School Area Assignments & Area Leadership

School area assignments As part of our ongoing effort to decentralize and push decision-making and control of resources closer to schools, we’re making a few adjustments to our school area assignments this year. Below you’ll find a list of changes for the upcoming school year. All other schools and areas will remain the same as last year.


Former Area

New Area (CAO)

Bowen Campus

Area 23

Area 24 (Harrison Peters)

Bradwell Elementary

Area 17

Area 28 (Melissa Megliola-Zaikos)

Bronzeville High School

Area 54

Area 19 (Akeshia Craven)

Cesar E. Chavez Multicultural Academic Center

Area 9

Area 13 (Shawn Smith)

Curtis Elementary

Area 16

Area 28 (Melissa Megliola-Zaikos)

Deneen Elementary

Area 14

Area 28 (Melissa Megliola-Zaikos)

Marshall Metropolitan High School

Area 19

Area 29 (Don Fraynd)

Multicultural Arts High School

Area 54

Area 26 (Rick Mills)

Phillips Academy High School

Area 19

Area 28 (Melissa Megliola-Zaikos)

Roosevelt High School

Area 54

Area 21 (Rick Mills)

South Shore Campus

Area 24

Area 23 (John Thomas)

Velma F. Thomas Early Childhood Center

Area 10

Area 27 (Shaheena Khan – interim)

All Area 25 and 26 Schools

Area 25 or 26

Area 26 (Rick Mills)

Leadership roles Please welcome three new officers who have recently joined our team:

Harrison Peters is the Chief Area Officer for Area 24. Prior to joining CPS, Harrison held multiple turnaround roles in both elementary and high schools in North Carolina and Florida. Harrison holds a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Amy Mims is the Chief Area Officer for Area 1. Amy served as the Deputy Officer of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment within the AMPs Office for the last year. Prior to joining CPS, she held multiple principal roles in turnaround schools in South Carolina. She holds a Master of Arts in Education Administration from Converse College, and she is currently completing an education specialist degree in educational administration from the University of South Carolina.

Terence Patterson will be the Acting Officer of New Schools. Terence currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff. Terence holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Harvard, a MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and a JD from Northwestern University School of Law, where he is an adjunct professor. Prior to joining CPS, Terence served as a corporate associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and a senior financial analyst at The Walt Disney Company. He has also advised

several Chicago-based not-for-profit organizations which specialize in educational services and youth mentorship.

Five chief area officers are retiring or moving on to new roles.

 Dick Smith was promoted recently to Chief Officer of Special Education and Supports.

 Jerryelyn Jones has retired after 33 years of service and we wish her well.

 Emil Dejulio is planning his retirement, which will commence in September.

 Jaime Guzman left CPS to pursue a senior role within City Colleges and we look forward to working with him in his new capacity.

 Joe Kallas has decided to return to a principal position at Norwood Park Elementary.

 Geraldine Middleton has left CPS and we wish her the best in her new endeavors.

While we are finalizing selection decisions for the open roles, we have identified interim support for those areas without a current Chief Area Officer:

 Annette Gurley will provide support to Area 6

 Karen Saffold will provide support to Area 17

 Shaheena Khan will provide support to Area 27

Thanks to all of you for your continued strong leadership. I look forward to a successful new school year. As always, the principal hotline—(773) 553-4444—is always available in the event you have questions or concerns.

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