Huge protests as Mazany takes over as CEO of Chicago Public Schools

After street protests that began before 8:00 a.m. and involved between 30 and 50 people, more than 500 people tried to get into the Chicago Board of Education's headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. on December 15, 2010, but were blocked by security, then bottled up in a "holding room" on the 15th floor while the Board met on the fifth floor (see holding room photo below). Above, the hallways waiting to go through metal detectors at 125 S. Clark St. at 10:00 a.m. on December 15, 2010. The vast majority of the protesters, opposing charter schools and other Board policies and proposals, were African American parents and children. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.City of Chicago police officers could be seen in the lobby of the Chicago Board of Education at 125 S. Clark Street on Wednesday, December 15, 2010, assisting the Board of Education in keeping control over the groups of parents and others, some of whom disapproved of the new charter schools that were on the agenda at December's Board meeting. Upstairs, in the fifth floor chambers, there wasn't room for all the people who came, so some were sent to the over-flow room upstairs and the rest had to wait downstairs in the corridor between the Radio Shack store and the lobby of the Chicago Board Education.

In addition, the introduction of the new Chief Executive Officer, Terry Mazany, drew those who were curious about the individual who was taking the place of Ron Huberman, former Chief Executive Officer, who left office earlier than he originally said he would, after Mayor Richard M. Daley announced he would not run for another term as mayor of Chicago.

Perhaps it was just irony, or perhaps political correctness run amock, but the Curie High School mixed chorus showed up for the holiday meeting of the Chicago Board of Education on December 15 on orders not to sing any religious songs. Perhaps anticipating the charter school protests that had rung out all morning (and continued after the music ended), the main song that greeted Terry Mazany at his first meeting as Chief Executive Officer of Chicago's public schools was "Feel like I'm walking on broken glass." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The meeting began, after the scheduled 10:30 a.m. start, with the usual "Good News" portion. Taylor Brown, Honorary Board Student Member, was introduced to those gathered in the fifth floor chambers

Next, Mr. Dexter Cheney, a teacher at Ryerson Elementary School, at 646 N. Lawndale, was acknowledged for receiving the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. Mr. Cheney said, "This is my passion. I don't ever plan to leave." Mr. Russell, principal of Ryerson, added, "One of my goals is to put Ryerson on the map."

Ms. Nickel, a teacher of fifth-graders at Dever Elementary, was accompanied by her Principal, Ms. Ortiz. Ms. Nickel's students wrote and published their own magazine. In the future, Ms. Nickel wants her students to assume all aspects of producing a magazine and to encourage their curiosity. Principal Ortiz thanked the Board for recent improvements to the school which have brought about a safe and secure building.

By 10:30 a.m. more than 100 people who had come downtown for the Board meeting were confined to the "holding room" on the 15th floor while the Board began its meeting on the 5th floor, in chambers where the seats had been filled with CPS bureaucrats (see next photo) in seats marked "Reserved." Many of the people who were confined to the holding room were never able to join their speakers, either because they weren't allowed to the fifth floor where the actual meeting was taking place, or because the meeting was stalled for so long that they had to leave before their issue was aired. The drama in the holding room and the manipulation of the seats for Board meetings is never reported in Chicago's corporate media. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.A choral group of students from Curie High School created a background of melodic sound to accompany a soloist, as the group performed "Walking on Broken Glass." The group also sang the Beatles song " Let It Be."

At 11:10, the roll call of Board members was taken, indicating the absence of Dr. Tariq Butt and Mr. Norman Bobins. Later, Dr. Butt arrived before Mr. Bobins who arrived at 12:20.

Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Terry Mazany, who was appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley at no remuneration was introduced to the assemblage. After President Mary Richardson-Lowry mentioned that she was thrilled by his presence, Mr. Mazany thanked Mayor Daley and told about his background. Mazany spoke without using Power Point, which had been a feature of the previous CEO. He began a role in education after "A Nation at Risk" was published in 1983 and mentioned the 1988 reform legislation whose passage led to Chicago being a model for the nation. In addition to citing the controversial "A Nation at Risk", Mazany cited the infamous statement by former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett that Chicago's schools were "America's worst." He spoke of his work in California and then his move to Chicago ten years ago to begin work in philanthropy. [Substance is trying to get a complete copy of Mazany's remarks and will publish them when available].

When challenged about why nearly a quarter of the available seats in the Board chambers are marked "Reserved" and kept from members of the public before the meetings begin, Board President Mary Richardson Lowry claimed that the people occupying the "Reserved" seats were "staff" who might be called upon during the meeting. Actually, there are numerous places within a few feet of the Board chambers where staff members could wait until needed, but the fact is that virtually none of the executives holding down the "Reserved" seats (above) are ever called upon for any reason during Board meetings. In fact, they are assigned seats and told to dress for the TV cameras, which then show a diverse group of smiling well-dressed people when the Board meetings are broadcast on Cable TV. Above (in red), the Board's "Chief Officer for External Affairs" Barbara Lumpkin was reading her PDA while Terry Mazany outlined his experience and his vision for CPS at the beginning of the meeting. More than a dozen of the executives at the meeting were ignoring the pleas of teachers and other members of the public, using their Blackberries, i-phones, and Androids while the meeting went on. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. At 11:30, public participation began with Lisa Angonese, of the Whittier Parent Committee who spoke of a series of (mis)communications that took place prior to a meeting that was held without the Whittier parents or Mr. Mazany.

Gema Gaete, one of the leaders of the protests for a school library at Whittier Elementary School (see Substance since September 2010 in "Back Issues" above) reminded the Board that CPS still hadn't kept the promises made by former CEO Ron Huberman to the Whittier Moms. The Moms ended their 43-day occupation of "La Casita" after the Board promised to get the school a library. But as of December 15, the promises had not been kept, and meetings with the parents (some of whom are in the photograph above) had been unproductive or offensive, according to Gaete. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Joining her was Gema Gaete, also a member of the Parent Committee at Whittier School. She told Mr. Mazany, "We have good faith in you," and stressed the urgency of the situation at Whittier. She acknowledged that Mr. Mazany had "a lot on his plate," but urged him to make Whittier's needs a priority. Mr. Mazany replied that the staff had kept him fully apprised of this. He added that this does not depend on me; it depends on the process.

Wilfredo Camacho, of Stowe Elementary, said that Stowe is a gem in the heart of Humboldt Park and that test scores do not tell the true story of a school's progress. He added that Stowe needs a three-story connector, a state of the art library, science labs, a multi-purpose room,

and an elevator.

Shirlene Small, CFO of Kwame Nkrumah Academy, said the school has been in existence for three years and asked that it be converted to a charter school, which would have a pension plan.

Monique Whittington, the principal of Kwame Nkrumah, also wants it to be a charter school with an African-centered curriculum, small class size, a longer school day, and a staff who will work extended hours for less pay. She quoted from another person, saying, "We will move forward ever, backward never."

Sam Finkelstein wants Legal Prep in Alderman Walter Burnett's 27th Ward to be a charter school where students will learn from legal professionals. Sheila Maloney, a former Teach for America classroom teacher and now a law professor at Northwestern, agreed with Mr. Finkelstein. Both have been working on developing the plans for Legal Prep charter school.

Fifth Ward Alderman, Leslie Hairston spoke for herself and Alderwomen Sandi Jackson and Michelle Harris, who all represent South Shore, in objecting to a chance in plans for the replacement school for the current small schools now at South Shore. She was joined by Robert Starks (of the Black Fund and a political science professor at Northeastern Illinois University), who is a resident of South Shore, "as are you," he added to President Richardson-Lowry. He said said that 93 percent of the school's students from nine feeder schools, who perform at or above their grade level, choose to go to a high school outside of South Shore High School. Joining Starks was Joe McCord, who would like a new school in South Shore that would begin with an entering freshman class, not a regular school that would join three small schools in a replacement building that the Board apparently wants. He asked for a school that would have an International Baccalaureate (IB) program, college prep for 60 percent of the students, general admission for South Shore residents only, and would begin with freshman only. All of the speakers from this group wanted the current community school South Shore to be replaced by a selective enrollment high school. President Richardson-Lowry replied that the plans for South Shore are not on the agenda; it is not before the Board. January is when it will be on the agenda.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis (above) spoke to the Board about the issues the union was most concerned about. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), talked of needed solutions. Schools should be funded adequately, with TIF funds, have lower class sizes, nourish teachers through high quality induction programs, involve parents, and get out of leasing charter schools. She added, "Let's turnaround CPS and have an elected school board. Stop funding charters and starving the neighborhoods and schools." She also mentioned that of the one hundred persons at the Legal Prep meeting previously mentioned, ninety were protesters.

President Richardson-Lowry advocated a collaborative approach between President Lewis and CEO Terry Mazany, when she said, "We know there's common ground." President Lewis replied, "Building trust is important."

After that, Pamela Jernigan of Wadsworth Elementary in the Woodlawn community spoke of the school's being on the academic warning list for six years. John Kennedy, a parent at Wadsworth Elementary, joined her in telling how space has been taken from the school, the maximum class size is thirty-five, and there is no assistance in the classroom. He asked the Board to keep the remaining space intact and bring in specialty teachers in Reading and Math. He added that there are 305 students in the school, but only twenty-five students in the after-school program. He finished by saying, "When educating a student becomes second to profit..." everyone loses. Wadsworth has been taken over slowly from the inside by the University of Chicago charter schools for the past five years.

CPS Interm Chief Executive Officer Terry Mazany smiled throughout the presentation by the President of the Chicago Teachers Union. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Next, Michael Bryant, a parent at Andrew Jackson Academy, which he said is in a world-class neighborhood, asked that Smyth Magnet School not be a charter school.

Robert Buono, of Christopher House in the Belmont-Cragin Community, said he wants support for the charter school application. Jessica Castaneda, who said she lives at Grand and Marmora, is looking for a good school for her five-year old. She said neighborhood schools are not good enough for her, and that she supported plans for the Christopher House charter school.

The Christopher House charter school plan had immediate opposition. Speaking next were Principal of Northwest Middle School, Marilyn Strojny, and Diana Molina, a parent at Northwest, who has lived in the area for more than ten years. Ms. Molina said that another charter school does not create harmony. She said "We need social services."

A large group that stood in support of these the people from Northwest Middle School and against the expansion of the charter schools, chanted as they left the Board chambers: "Our children are not for sale." Board President Richardson Lowry signaled security to try and silence the protesters.

Patricia Hamilton, of Schmid School, continued the critique of the proposed charter schools. She said "You're going to close our school and set up a charter school" (Kwame Nkrumah, down the hill from Schmid). She said she was going to testify about other matters pertaining to Schmid, but when she heard the speakers from the charter school a lot of the problems at Schmid came into focus for her. "They didn't invite our students to attend [the cahrter]" She added angrily, " After four years, I now see what you're doing! You don't give a damn!"

When Mary Richardson Lowry tried to correct Hamilton's use of the word "damn!" Hamilton replied that she was a preacher and was aware precisely of the language she was using.

Darryl Iveril, who said he was an LSC member, spoke in support of the Montessori School of Englewood Charter School. He complained of the slowness in getting Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for his son and daughter and that general education teachers are teaching special education students. He was told Richard Smith, who now heads special education at CPS, would meet with him.

At the one hour mark, Norma Brown, told the Board that she was let go from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) after thirty-two years, shortly before she was eligible to retire. She complained that she had to take a day off without pay to attend this meeting because it is scheduled during the teachers' work day. She had wanted to end her career with dignity. She added, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and "Whatever a man sows, so shall he reap."

Mary Pat Gerard reminded the Board members that the Educator Jobs Act (summer 2010) passed by the U.S. Congress added $104 million that was supposed to be used to rehire the teachers who had been fired earlier in the summer, supposedly because of the CPS budget problems. Noting that the Chicago Teachers Union had hosted a press conference featuring three Congressmen (Danny Davis, Luis Gutierrez, and Bobby Rush) who said that the purpose of the law was to rehire teachers, Gerard demanded to know why CPS officials still had not done so. Board President Mary Richardson Lowry continue to utilize her repertoire of lawyerly evasions, claiming that the issue wasn't what the Congress intended, but what CPS decided to do with the more than $100 million. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Mary Pat Gerard, spoke of the Federal Education Jobs Bill, which provided $104 million to rehire illegally laid off teachers and to reduce class size. Even though Chicago's Congressmen told CPS that the money was to rehire the teachers who were fired in June, July and August, under Ron Huberman CPS simply took the money and did with it what it wanted. Gerard, who has been talking to all the members of the Chicago Congressional Delegation, asked for a meeting with CEO Mazany. CEO Mazany said that there are many other factors involved in this.

President Richardson-Lowry added that this is part of what she called "Bargaining" and claimed that the legal process needs to move forward. Throughout the meeting, Richardson Lowry was being told by her staff whenever a speaker brought up a topic that Richardson Lowry could claim was in "litigation," subject to "collective bargaining," or under a claim for "workers compensation." She repeatedly claimed that these matters were out of her hands because of the pending litigation, while observers noted that she knew, as a lawyer, that the Board had the power to bring these matters to a conclusion on behalf of the people who were bringing the facts before it.

Chicago Teachers Union organizing coordinator Norine Gutekanst, above in black outfit, was sandwiched between two larger male security guards when teachers and parents began chanting against the expansion of charter schools during the December 15, 2010 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. The security guards slowly moved Gutekanst out of the Board chambers while the TV cameras were made to look the other way. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.In the case of the Educator Jobs Act, Richardson Lowry was trying to cover up the fact that she, the Board, and former CEO Ron Huberman had clearly defied Congress by using the money in violation of Congressional intent. A press conference held at the Chicago Teachers Union in September and featuring Congressmen Danny Davis, Luis Gutierrez, and Bobby Rush had made that clear, but Richardson Lowry continued, in December, acting as if she had never been told by the lawmakers themselves what the law was intended to do.

Matthew Johnson, a parent at John Hope, referred to an incompetent CAO and children sitting without heat for four weeks. He said that the area officer was simply ignoring most of the problems being faced.

Michael Bildner, a CTU delegate, spoke against Christopher House near Hanson Park and asked that the Board table the proposal for Christopher House.

Dr. Elizabeth Purvus, of Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS), with fourteen campuses, cited the high graduation rate and level of college enrollment she claimed CICS has had. She added that the Gates Foundation supports the schools she administers. Sybil Madison-Boyd, who will be the director of education and leadership if the charter is improved, joined her in support of Chicago International Charter Schools, adding that the New York Quest is the sister school of the Chicago Quest.

Adrienne Leonard, of a group called "Parents for Choice," wanted to thank CPS for its support. She mentioned that we need new schools and safety measures in the Altgeld community; opening new charter schools has given them hope.

Robert Schuberth, a teacher of sixth-grade Language Arts, at Marquette Elementary, said that Area 11 wants to replace the staff at Marquette. President Richardson-Lowry told him Marquette was not on the agenda.

Nancy Serrano, a teacher at Marquette Elementary School, added to the litany of professional criticisms of Area 11 CAO Janie Ortega. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Nancy Serrano, a teacher at Marquette in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, also mentioned being told the staff was going to be replaced. She added there was no parent or community input and that the KLT tests were defective. Both she and Schuberth was highly critical of Area 11 CAO Janie Ortega.

Nightingale school teacher Maria Moreno (above at microphone) joined other teachers from Area 11 to let the members of the Board know about the dictatorial policies and absurd practices of Area 11 Chief Area Officer Janie Ortega. Ortega, who has no Chicago experience, was one of more than a dozen outsiders who were imported to Chicago by former CEO Ron Huberman. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Maria Moreno, an Area 11 teacher at Nightingale, talked of excessive testing. She added full access to the curriculum is denied when so much time is devoted to testing. She complained about testing practices, such as having text in one language and answers in another, and that sometimes there is no correct answer. She also said Dr. Ortega, the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) of Area 11, is going after teachers about the number of days they are absent and telling the teachers that Nightingale is not worth the renovation money; Nightingale teachers should be blown out.

Rita Nolan, a representative of the Montessori School of Englewood Charter School in Area 14, spoke in support of the school scheduled to be housed in the former St. Benedict the African West School. She added that Maria Montessori's method has had great effect on children regardless of ability or economic level. Then Thomas Hale , President of the Board of the Montessori network, read a letter from Jacqueline Ward at Stagg Elementary.

Catherine Cunningham-Yel (above in glasses at microphone) spoke on behalf of Monticello Neighbors about the tricks that the Board used to give both the new public school and control over Jensen Park to the Aspira organization for a charter school following promises to the community that the new school would be to relieve overcrowding at nearby Haugan Elementary School. She noted that when her husband, a Chicago police officer, tried to join the Aspira Haugan charter school local school council they learned that Aspira, like all Chicago charter schools, didn't welcome community members in that manner. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Catherine Cunningham-Yel, a CPS teacher and a parent who lives in Albany Park down the street from the Aspira-Haugan Charter School, spoke against charter proliferation. Her husband, who is a Chicago Police Officer, was told he could not be an Local School Council (LSC) member at the Aspira charter school, because there is no LSC.

Rosita Chatonda said she was here to talk about the importance of the community voice and the lack of respect in regard to the expansion of unwanted charter schools which pull the students of parents most involved in the education process. She remarked that this creates "haves and have-nots" and this creates violence and animosity with a lack of respect for the community.

Cynthia Thompson, of Horace Mann Elementary at 8050 S. Chappell, also spoke against charters. They were told the school would be closed. Last year, there were forty-five in a class, mold and mildew were present, and there were holes in the walls. She asked that funds be applied to improve schools. She also spoke of teachers teaching in coats in (cold) classrooms, teachers spending their own money to paint their classrooms, and too much testing. President Richardson-Lowry replied, "I understand your statements in regard to testing."

Cielo Munoz, a special education teacher at Penn Elementary School, spoke against charter schools. She commented that all of Finland's teachers are unionized. She remarked that charter school teachers are overworked and underpaid, that public schools have to follow guidelines that charter schools don't have to, the media is bashing teachers, and ended by asking "How many charters are on probation?"

Gage Park High School teacher Debby Pope (above at microphone) told the Board that the community did not want a planned UNO charter school, which is promising racial segregation and ignoring the needs of the students served by Gage Park and other neighborhood schools. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.At the fifteen minute mark, Debby Pope, a teacher of History, Psychology, and English as a Second Language (ESL) at Gage Park High School, asked the Board "Why are we being compared to those given advantages, (such as) money and being able to push students out. It's unfair to judge us in comparison to them. We are doing well with less" She turned in 1000 signatures opposed to the UNO charter especially.

Andrew Martinek, also of Gage Park, said that he wanted to honor Victor Harbison, a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) and recipient of the Oppenheimer Award. Martinek cited numerous achievements of Gage Park teachers, who are working against the odds while CPS plans to put resources into a soon-to-be-created UNO charter school.

Earl Brakes was laid off over the summer. He said the teacher who replaced him was hired before he got his lay-off letter. He asked, "Am I on the Do-Not-Hire List? He said a "Recommended with Reservations" for hiring form was placed in his file.

Next, Heather Wasilew of Coonley Elementary, whose son Jacob was being denied enrollment in Kindergarten because of his age, asked for a waiver. She said her child meets the expectations of a Kindergarten enrollee and said she wants him to attend Kindergarten in 2011. She added that the Board can issue a waiver.

Misty Brown (above in pink) continued to demand to know why the Board of Education was trying to remove the principal of Dougalss High School despite the wishes of the parents, students and teachers. For the third or fourth time, the answer from Board President Mary Richardson Lowry was evasive. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Misty Brown, of the Douglass High School LSC, asked that the current principal of Douglass remain and not be removed. She added that the school is off probation now, that a large number of students go on to college after entering Douglass at a fifth-grade reading level, and that some students have babies or probation officers. She said Rick Mills is trying to replace the principal. She added that the children at Douglass are saying that the principal's last day is Friday. President Richardson-Lowry replied that you don't know the details regarding the principal.

Eric Wagner, CTU delegate at Kelvyn Park High School, spoke for another teacher who was considered Absent Without Leave (AWOL) when he did not return after brain surgery because he had stitches in his head and had a mother with cancer who needed care. Mr. Wagner also requested that in the future, you will let the public sit in the reserved seats in front in the Board chambers and not let the Board employees sit there.

Maria Huerta, of Peck Elementary, said the school was promised 10 million additional dollars by Daley because of lots of defects in the school. Sixteen hundred students is the projected fall enrollment.

Estee Kelly and Jonas Cleaves spoke in support of the Nobel Street Charter Schools getting more expansions approved.

Evelyn McGuire who was among the many teachers let go last summer and who has since been rehired, told of a secret database of applications scored by National Board Certified Teachers at $5 an application, which the principal was able to see before her interview with the principal. The database graded her as if she were a new teacher based on the answers to four questions. Teachers were then sorted into four categories: Not Recommended, Recommended with Reservations, Recommended, or Highly Recommended.

Lourdes Guerro, who had been a teacher of Art at Von Steuben High School until the Board let her go during the summer of 2010, said that she went back to school in her late 40's and spoke of her students' love for learning. She mentioned a December 14th article in the Huffington Post- "How Teachers Are Treated Elsewhere" and said "Those who can teach, those who can't sit on the Board."

Chicago Teachers Union Quest Center co-coordinator Carol Caref gave each member of the Board and CEO Mazany a holiday present, a book on teaching. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Carol Caref, who is presently working at the Chicago Teachers Unon QUEST Center, told the Board she constantly hears of unsound practices, such as Area 11 teachers being forced to adhere to mandates that they know are not best for children. She added that, in Area 11, teachers face over-testing and staff harassment. Ms. Caref gave each member of the BOE a book, "The Teaching Gap," which is based on international research and advocates for empowerment of teachers. She remarked, "That's our gift to you." President Richardson-Lowry asked that the book be given to teachers.

Jose Ramirez, of McKinley Park School, said that last year when his son participated in a program, we saw great progress. He added that we want the BOE to give us back that program. Miriam Gonzalez, another parent at McKinley Park School, who said her son was in the same program and showed great advances, also wanted the same program next year. She was asked to speak to Barbara Bowman.

Richard Gray, a retired principal who retired in June 2010, had retirement savings transferred to Great West against his wishes. President Richardson-Lowry said Human Capital will have a person speak with him.

Jacqueline Johnson, of Neil Elementary, spoke of a violation of BOE policy and mentioned that things have not been cleared up since the previous meeting. Chief Counsel Patrick Rocks told her there was no merit to the claim and that Jacqueline Johnson should contact the Human Capital Department to seek a vacancy. President Richardson-Lowry added "Talk to Human Capital to begin with." and "You are nothing if not persistent."

Burt Murrell, who spoke of the Deneen feeder school, one of the worst in the system, wants the problem solved.

Christopher Adaodeuom said Mrs. Adaodeuom taught at Tilden High School since 1998 and had a grievance denied. He said her position number had never been closed and has been redefined as Math. He said she was laid off because of economic reasons but the position was still being funded in the SIPPA. President Richardson-Lowry told him that Human Capital will review this.

After the public participation portion of the meeting ended, the Board went into closed session.

When the Board emerged from executive session, it voted quickly, and in a number of surprising moves voted not to approve ten items on the agenda expanding the city's charter schools. [See report elsewhere in this Substance].


December 16, 2010 at 10:59 PM

By: Sam Finkelstein

The Truth About Legal Prep's Community Forum

Ms. Lewis' comments completely misrepresented Legal Prep's community forum. She stated that "90 of the 100 people in attendance were protesting the school." While she is correct about the large number of people in attendance, the reality is that not a single protester attended Legal Prep's community forum. Approximately 70 attendees were clearly in favor of Legal Prep as they were wearing Legal Prep T-Shirts. Another 20 people were there to get additional information and seemed very excited about the school. A small handful of people asked questions that indicated concern. Overall, the event was an overwhelming outpouring of support for Legal Prep. Ms. Lewis was privately made aware of her misstatement, so hopefully she will not misrepresent this event in the future. While we may disagree on this particular issue, my hope is that there can be a constructive dialogue, since we all want what is best for Chicago's students.

December 17, 2010 at 7:12 AM

By: Maria Rosa

next schools chief

Why Mr. Mazany chosen? and at no extra pay? What is his title now? Formerly from California, ten years in chicago? What is his background in education. What credentials he have?

December 17, 2010 at 2:13 PM

By: Cynthia L. Thompson

the summary of my comment at the board meeting

I spoke against how Horace Mann had great teachers who were fired: Ms. Cooper, Mr. Jabri, Ms. Butler and Mrs. Finnley. This was the beginning of the process to close Mann School. Instead of firing teachers and closing the school to remodel the school, just to reopen the school as a charter school or a turnaround school does not make since. Re-allocate the funds to the schools now so the teachers and students can appreciate the improvements and learn in a warm environment and teachers could teach without their coats on and student could learn without their coats on. Clean the building up remove the mold and mildew, fix the holes in the walls and the windows.

December 17, 2010 at 7:26 PM

By: The Retired Principal (RP)

South Shore Campus Dissolved!

The four small schools on the South Shore Campus are no more!

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