BRIZARD'S BUREAUCRACY: Veteran real public school teachers and principals are not welcome as charter school princesses and princes rule new 'Networks'... Donoso touts Lynda Williams in latest bulletin

As the size, shape, and biases of the new "team" running Chicago's public schools comes into focus between today (September 25, 2011) and the final unveiling at the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday (September 28), one of the things that becomes clear is that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard are not concerned about giving every veteran Chicago public school teacher and principal a slap in the face.

Chicago Public Schools "Chief Education Officer" Noemi Donoso came to Chicago from Denver, where she was a charter schools princess. Above, she is seen during the August 24, 2011 meeting. In the background are Board of Education members Penny Pritzker (left) and Rodrigo Sierra (right). As schools being in September 2011, Donoso is completing the purge of veteran Chicago teachers and principals from administrative positions, replacing them with failed charter schools executives like Lynda Williams and dozens of others. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.On September 26, CPS "Chief Education Officer" Noemi Donoso will issue her latest bulletin. Donoso, as regular readers of Substance knows, has never spent a day teaching in a Chicago public schools classroom, having been picked by the Rahm Emanuel team from Denver, where most of her experience was in promoting union busting charter schools. Donoso, in turn, along with Brizard, has now picked the "Chiefs of Schools" (formerly "Chief Area Officers," formerly "Area Instructional Officers," formerly "Region Education Officers") for the new so-called "Networks" that Brizard has created to replace the "Areas" (which replaced the "Regions" which replaced the sub-districts).

The corporate "branding" of Chicago's public schools is Orwellian in its linguistic creativity, but more precise in its actual praxis. Consider the latest Personality Profile Donoso is publishing in her lengthy bulletin, this one on the "Chief of Schools" for the "Fullerton Network." Readers need to know some facts before cheering on this abject failure, despite the Brizard appointment. First, American Quality Schools was the outfit (run by former state schools chief Michael Bakalis) that parlayed clout into the Austin High School "entrepreneuership" thingy small schools that helped ruin Austin High School. AQS was a complete failure in Chicago's schools, but helped in the racist destruction of Austin High School and the destabilization of the entire Austin community. The Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS) "Washington Park Campus" was the most dramatic failure of CICS, and is finally getting the closer look it deserves from its owners, Chicago Public Schools.

In this context, the qualifications for Lydia Williams as a CAO and now "Chief of Schools" may read like this. "After refusing to teach in a real public school and helping to privatize as much as possible in Chicago, she became a serial failure by affiliating her career with American Quality Schools and then the Chicago International Charter Schools Washington Park Campus. Both enterprises were characterized by general lack of discipline and security, a high staff turnover, and abysmally low test scores, even by the low standards of Chicago's charter schools. As a result of her serial failures in charter schools administration, she was deemed qualified to become a Chief Area Officer under former Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman, remain one under Interim CEO Terry Mazany, and the get a promotion and a raise under Jean-Calude Brizard."

Here is the official version thanks to Noemi Donoso:

GETTING TO KNOW... Lynda W. Williams Chief of Schools Fullerton Network.. Lynda W. Williams has been the CAO of Area 18 since August, 2009. Prior to joining Chicago Public Schools, she spent 9 years at American Quality Schools, a charter school management organization in Chicago where she served as the Regional Manager. In this capacity, she was in charge of supervising and mentoring multiple elementary school leaders. Prior to that, she served as Director of Academic Programs, and the principal of Chicago International Charter School- Washington Park. Before joining American Quality Schools, Lynda taught at the elementary school level for 15 years, and the community college for 7 years. Lynda is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Change at Roosevelt University and obtained her Master’s Degree from Xavier University in Louisiana.


September 26, 2011 at 4:04 PM

By: Keith Myles, Sr.

Another perspective about AQS, CICS Washington Park & Lynda Williams.

As a former employee at CICS Washington Park under the Directorship of Lynda Williams, I would like to offer another perspective concerning the academic climate and environment at the school. In 2002 I was hired at the newly acquired AQS campus and served as a Fine Arts instructor, library aide and lunchroom coordinator. When not in the classroom or helping to organize the soon-to-be established library, I assisted in 'kid wrangling' if you will, in the school's cafeteria and on the playground. I was responsible for outside duties with the children not only at lunchtime, but also, before and after school. Being added to a very capable security team at Washington Park I can say that fights and other incidents of mischief and misbehavior were few and far between. We,in addition,ably assisted the Dean of Students in dispensing discipline tolerating NO disrespect from students and even assisting by providing counsel where it was needed and appropriate.

Even after Mrs.Williams left for her Regional Manager position in 2004, CICS Washington Park remained safe,secure, and family-like with minimal incidents and misadventures.

While I am no fan of Michael Bakalis and how he ran his EMO's, I humbly suggest that you re-evaluate your facts as they pertain to Mrs.Williams and the job she did as it relates to the educational climate at her school. And maybe you should check your facts as they relate to the test scores as well.

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