CPS sabotage of real public schools moves forward with 'Talent Office' program for frustrating substitutes for 2013 - 2014 while displaced teachers are going to face ridiculous hurdles on the way to finding jobs that are out there

If you want the city's real public schools to succeed, you provide the schools and principals with the cleanest ways to get the most teachers by the opening day of school and keep classrooms purring from that day onward. If, on the other hand, the real program of those currently in charge of the public schools is to destroy the public schools so that privatization and charterization move rapidly ahead in the nation's third largest schools system, then you follow Barbara Byrd Bennett's real 2013 - 2014 plan for the schools.

Alicia Winckler, above during the June 26 Board of Education meeting, came to leadership in public education after a corporate career that last saw her working for Sears Holdings. One of her specialties has been rebranding. Since she began with CPS in 2010, her office has gone from being the "Office of Human Resources" to the "Human Capital Office" to the (current) "Talent Office." Having served as "Chief Human Resources Officer" and then as "Chief Human Capital Officer," Winckler, at an annual salary of more than $200,000 per year, is currently "Chief Talent Officer." Her office has been working carefully to sabotage the city's real public schools and undermine the city's veteran union teachers. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The people currently in power over Chicago's public schools are working in ways large and small to sabotage our schools as quickly as possible in time for the new school year's opening in August. And while the massive school closings and budget cuts are the most dramatic "macro" examples of the policies, the sabotage is also being carried out on the "micro" level. Take for example how the Board is making it difficult for displaced teachers to get to jobs and for principals to find the teachers they will be needing by the last week of August. Ignore what Byrd Bennet and her Power Point avatars are putting out, and the claims in their press releases. What they are doing, month after month on every level, shows their real plan, and that plan is to sabotage Chicago's real public schools as massively and quickly as possible. Fresh from her triumphant destruction of the Detroit Public Schools, Byrd Bennett is carrying on the same here.

Most readers of Substance have by now realized that the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education and Barbara Byrd Bennett's executive "team" (most of whom arrived from outside Chicago within the past ten months, all coming in at salaries above $150,000 per year) are here in Chicago to avoid the press conference that were typical in days past and to slavishly implement Rahm Emanuel's massive privatization attacks on the city's real public schools. Sabotage is the only word for their program, and each iteration of it proves that.

Some of their sabotages, however, pre-date the Byrd Bennett (and even Rahm Emanuel) iteration of privatization and charterization. One of those is the way in which the so-called "Talent Office" under "Chief Talent Officer" Alicia Winckler (brought to Chicago after a brief seasoning at the Civic Committee from Sears Holdings; check out the videos by Googling her...) makes it more and more difficult for the city's real public schools to operate. And next year things will get even worse, as Winckler's "Talent" people continue to refuse to answer phones, continue to provide misinformation to teachers and principals, and continue with their program of sabotaging the city's public schools.

What will demonstrate this next wave of nonsense to everyone who is paying attention will be the soon-to-come unveiling of the Power Point explaining how subs and others are to operate for next school year.

"The new talent mangement system for displaced teachers is going to be terrible and nightmare," one executive who got a preview recently warned us. "Even subs will all need to reapply, even though schools may have their lists and want to keep calling the subs who have been successful and know their schools."

Additionally, according to another source, "Everyone will need two letters of reference.." and all displaced PATs will have to reapply to be on the CPS list -- even if principals want them as a PAT."

CPS officials are telling principals at workshops that that CTU did not negotiate this, and that therefore the "Talent" office can decide what to do. Ignoring the fact that the contract repeatedly talks about working together in good faith to make the system better for the children, Winckler's people, aided and abetted by the Law Department and the latest arrivals from Barbara Byrd Bennet's mercenaries from out of town, are basically telling principals to sabotage everything and to work against the CTU. Winckler and the others are claiming that "PATs were hung out to dry..." by the union.

As a result, PATs and subs will have to go through the "new" process even if they may completed the old and have good teacher evaluations.

One other rumor: The new teacher advertising system cannot list that a position advertised is a TAT position for a leave. As a result, "Talent" is forcing veteran teachers -- the displaced tenured teachers -- to apply for jobs that Winckler's office knows are only temporary.

So far, principals have been silent, except off the record, on these sabotages by people who have never served a day in a Chicago classroom or principal's office. The past couple of Board of Education meetings have witnessed principals complain about severe overcrowding while Byrd Bennet and her "team" focus attention on their phony "underutilization crisis" and the Board members nod bypocritically in agreement with everything presented in Power Point by Byrd Bennett and her minions. The president of the principal's association delivered a powerful rebuke to the Board at its May 22 meeting, but unless groups of principals step out of the shadows and call this sabotage sabotage and these out-of-town mercenaries the saboteurs they are, it's predictable that by October there will be a "subs crisis" and several "security crises" (when you don't get subs, the schools collapse fast) that someone will bring to public attention.

Even if Barbara Byrd Bennett is still around and the latest fantasy schoolball Power Point is trying to focus public attention on the latest official version of reality from City Hall and Rahm Emanuel's public schools team. 


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