SUBSCRIPT: Mazany 'hiring freeze' memo was not an April Fool's joke but simply part of the ongoing cover up of the expansion of patronage in the CPS central and area offices

When Substance first received from a usually reliable source a memo signed by Terry Mazany outlining supposedly new procedures for central and area office hirings, we thought it had to be an April Fool's joke. The memo, dated April 1, 2011, read as follows:

One of the slides from Terry Mazany's Power Point presentation on organizing CPS for "world class" ness...MAZANY APRIL FOOL'S MEMO ON CENTRAL AND AREA OFFICE 'HIRING FREEZE'

From: Mazany, Terry

Sent: Fri 4/1/2011 4:37 PM


Subject: Hiring Review Process for Central Office and Area Office Positions

As part of our ongoing efforts to carefully manage our resources in tight budget times, I have asked the senior leadership team to institute a process so that we can review all hiring requests and ensure they are consistent with our vision and plans for the district. Starting now, a cross-functional committee that includes representatives from my office, Human Capital, Finance and Law will review all requests for filling a vacant position. I ask that you complete the following process to submit any hiring requests, promotions or position reclassifications:

Mazany's Central and Area Office 'Hiring Committee Review Form' is really part of a cover up, since Mazany has not even tried to review the massive bureaucratic hirings that followed Mayor Daley's appointment of Ron Huberman as CEO of CPS in January 2009. The vast expansion of area officers and others in the "Area Offices" under Huberman included dozens of people who had no teaching or administrative certification of experience in Chicago or Illinois. In 2010, the CPS administration expanded the budgets of the areas offices by more than $60 million while firing more than 1,200 teachers, most of them veterans with more experience and credentials than the majority of the system's $154,000-per-year "Chief Area Officers."Step one: Only officers may request a new position, reclassify an existing position or fill/recruit for a vacant position in their units. The officer must complete the Hiring Request Form (attached) and send it to Compensation and Benefits Management.

Step two: Once every two to three weeks, the Hiring Review Committee will meet to review all requests.

Step three: If the request is approved, Compensation and Benefits Management will issue a letter of approval to the department and the job posting can be initiated or the existing position reclassified.

This process requires that officers document the strategic need for recruiting an external hire or a change of an existing position (promotion or interdepartmental transfer).

If you have already submitted a position request to Compensation and Benefits Management and the request is still outstanding, the team will complete the attached form on your behalf and send it back to you for verification before it goes before the committee.

Chicago schools CEO Terry Mazany proposed on April Fool's Day 2011 a hiring freeze (sort of) by demanding that all new proposed hirings for the central and area offices be reviewed and approved by a newly established committee. What Mazany didn't do was review the tens of millions of dollars of patronage hiring between 2009 and 2011 by Ron Huberman (hiring that continued under Mazany this year) because that would have exposed, among other things, how Huberman's claims that he had "reduced central office expenditures" during last year's budget crisis was a lie. Above, Mazany greets one of the many Huberman hires at his first Board of Education meeting in February 2011.If you have any questions, please contact Dale Moyer at 3-1210.


Mazany must have known, by the time he issued the April Fool's memo, that his office had already approved millions of dollars in area office hirings since he began work at CPS following Ron Huberman's abrupt departure last year. The simple reason was that the hirings for the area offices, to spend the more than $60 million added to the area office budgets by Huberman during the summer of 2010, had been continuing from the summer of 2010 into the winter of 2010 - 2011. The summer of 2010 was when Huberman was going around telling the world that CPS was facing that "billion dollar deficit" and lying to the Illinois senators and reps about how CPS would go broke unless the General Assembly stole more money from the teachers' pension fund for Huberman to play with.

Specifically, what happened was that Huberman and his cronies (most of whom Mazany has still surrounded himself with) loaded up all their budgets with extra "positions" — especially for the area offices, which expanded their staffs while more than 1,000 teachers were being fired — throughout the 2010 - 2011 school year. Now, three months before the end of the 2010 - 2011 school year, Mazany wakes up an realizes that there has been an orgy (the right word, readers) of patronage hirings in all of the 25 or 26 area offices and under all of the area officers.

We don't get the joke, and we don't think it's an April Fool's funny. For Mazany to claim simultaneously that he's going a "hiring freeze" for central and area office positions while allowing all those hired during the past 12 months for central and area office positions to keep their jobs is simply another Big Lie from the Board's office of Big, Bigger and Biggest lies.

If Mazany were serious about cutting back the central and areas offices (and the greatest increase in patronage the past year has been in the area offices), he'd order a complete review and audit of all the positions and people created since Ron Huberman walked into CPS in January 2009, following Arne Duncan's departure for Washington, D.C. Then Mazany could ask what qualifications each of those people had for the $100,000-and-up jobs many of them are now holding (and for the $50,000 to $100,000 jobs the rest of them are holding). The list Mazany would be looking at would number, by the way, in the hundreds, as Mazany got a precise look, a "bottom line" kind of thing, at the Huberman orgies of patronage and corruption.

Mazany won't do that. He can't. So he's going to parade around in public telling the public that he has instituted a "hiring freeze" for the central and area offices as he begins to squeeze the union and close schools again.

Hypocrisy in this is an understatement.


April 6, 2011 at 8:42 PM

By: jordan

Rumor that a CAO

has shared and discussed the OPPD test questions with an area group she is helping to get on the CPS principal list. That others who have taken the test are discussing the answers with this group too before they take the test. True?

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