List of new 'Networks' and 'Network Chiefs' released... Configurations remain a mystery to the public and parents

The latest version of an organizational structure in the nation's third largest school system became available, sort of, to the public late on October 31, 2013, with the release of the new 13 "Networks" and the names of their "chiefs" to some. As usual, CPS continues the exotic re-designation of the city's communities based on some secret formula that seems designed more to confuse people than to fulfill the "transparency" that Chicago's mayor repeatedly promises.

Under the latest configuration of Chicago's administration, Denise Little (above center at the October 23, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education) remains the Chief Chief. Little is the only person in the above photograph, showing some of the administrators and "cabinet members" of Barbara Byrd Bennett, who has any teaching or administrative experience in Chicago. John Barker (left) was hired from Memphis last December, and Tracy Martin, right, came from Cleveland thanks to Barbara Byrd Bennett. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The networks as of November 1, 2013 are as follows:

Network Network Network Number New Name Chief

1. Sauganash, Reed-Dunning, Anna Alvarado

Albany Irving

2. Ravenswood Craig Benes

3. Austin, Belmont-Craigin Randel Josserand

4. Logan, Lincoln Park John Price

5. Humboldt Park, Garfield, Wanda Washington

West Humboldt, North Lawndale

6. Near North, Near West, Loop, Herald Chip Johnson

Bridgeport, Chinatown

7. Pilsen, Little Village Theresa Plascencia

8. McKinley Park Luis Soria

9. Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Harrison Peters


10. Beverly, Midway, Chicago Rhonda Saegert

Lawn, Ashburn

11. Englewood, Auburn-Gresham Elizabeth Kirby

12. Chatham, South Shore LaTanya McDade

13. Far South, Far East Karen Saffold


November 1, 2013 at 2:16 PM

By: James Patrick

Network Changes

George thanks!

November 1, 2013 at 5:58 PM

By: Amy Gooden


I truly believe that the reason the CPS is in such disarray is not only do to politics or the workings of a vast, typical bureaucracy but simple fear.

With all of the recent mass layoffs of personnel, there is absolutely no reason anyone should be surprised that the Network Chiefs came under fire. The members of this level of administration have very robust salaries. However, with the massive school closings,why wouldn't the Chiefs be eliminated. This is literally an example of the saying "too many Chiefs and not enough... you guessed it. There was absolutely no reason to have that level of salary paid out when there were not enough schools to support it.But nobody dared to say the truth and act on it.

George, maybe you can explain after this latest shuffle of mid level administrators and several articles in Substance, why Elizabeth Kirby' s name appears on the roster of Network Chiefs?

There have been at least 5 articles written in Substance that show that were and are some very serious issues and one name shows up consistently.ISsues with Union delegates, a toxic school environment, manipulation of a parent election,attempts to block grades,letters to the Mayor from a former PAC C officer that would not pass a budget when she discovered discrepancies with her figures and that of Kirby.

Fear is what kept teachers from speaking out at Kenwood sooner about a lack of student discipline under her watch,the comments about their personal lives, the students being privy to whether a teacher was going to be fired or telling teachers that they knew of a list of teachers who would get fired.

It is not that she did not want or not want students to learn, but about poorly she has treated many professionals who supported her enthusiastically when she became Principal at Kenwood.

I can only hope this trend will not continue.

November 1, 2013 at 7:44 PM

By: George N. Schmidt

Zombies like Kirby, Soria survive because nobody fights them

Elizabeth Kirby ("Liz" to her fans) is not the first nor will she be the last Network Chieftain who keeps her job, albeit temporarily, through the nastiest of bullyings. Since her days as the controversial principal of Kenwood, Kirby has practiced the philosophy of many less competent bosses: If you can push them, and they don't push back -- PUSH HARDER, THAN EVEN HARDER THAN THAT! In the old days, there were a handful of principals who were allowed by CPS to get away with murderous attacks on teachers, the contract, common decency, and common sense. Today, most top administrators don't know the (significant) different between "West Chicago Avenue" and "South Chicago Avenue." They have been imported from such massively successful attacks on real public schools as Detroit, Cleveland and Memphis... The handful of administrators who actually know a little about Chicago and a lot about bullying and bullshit can get away with nearly murder. (The last principal in our book who got away with murder was Eduardo Guerra, of Farragut, who, as we reported in Substance, drove English teacher Joe Hillebrand to suicide ten years ago). Bullying principals and "chiefs" are nothing new. Think about Janie Ortega, who came to us before Brizard and Byrd Bennett and the next six "Broadies" Rahm has waiting to take over.

The key to the survival of all Zombies -- and this includes Zombie Administrators -- is having victims who don't fight back. That's why we at CORE do "Hard CORE delegate training" and provide delegates and teachers with templates for grievances. Zombies can easily be fought -- from The Nigh of the Living Dead to the Night of the Living Dead Network Chiefs...

But only if we fight them.

Happy Day of the Dead.

And Happy Halloween.

November 2, 2013 at 7:59 AM

By: Bob Busch



Do you or your readers know if she is in charge of the network that includes bogan ?

November 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

By: George Schmidt

Bogan unlisted -- like many others?

Thanks for asking, Bob.

"Bogan? What Bogan? You mean Bowen, or Brownell, don't you..."

"Wow! Chicago has a Bogan and a Bowen! Who would have thought!?"

If Chicago weren't wasting millions of dollars (pay and "performance bonuses", plus "relocation expenses") on Barbara Byrd Bennett and her poseurs and prattlers, this would be a joke worth of the Second City Main Stage. Or a scene from "Clueless -- the public schools version..."

So... I went back and forth through the list we got from CPS sources, and -- NO BOGAN.

Bogan High School doesn't seem to be on the master list CPS created yesterday. That's what you get when we allow the city's schools to be run by people from Cleveland and Detroit (Byrd Bennett), Detroit (Boik and others), Cincinnati, Rochester, and Memphis -- to name a few of the places Rahm Emanuel and his "team" have gone to hire their mercenaries for the Barbara Byrd Bennett "cabinet."

Why hire people who know Chicago and care about the Chicago public schools when the objective of Rahm Emanuel's Board of Education and administration is the elimination of Chicago's public schools?

November 2, 2013 at 3:21 PM

By: Bob Busch

thank you

Thanks George I will see if I can find out.

Once the director of the libraries and our

regional librarian were suppose to tour Bogan's

Library.The regional lady was CPS for decades

the new boss was not.Infact she was so new she went to E 79th and called us from South Shore.

November 2, 2013 at 8:00 PM

By: George Schmidt

East Side! West Side? Who Cares?... Rahm's world

That's another delightful anecdote to add to the list of why all of these out-of-town mercenaries are a very bad investment for Chicago. But since Rahm takes his education experts from the Broad Foundation, and Eli Broad doesn't like Chicago teachers or administrators, we get six figure bureaucrats who don't know the difference between West Chicago Avenue and South Chicago Avenue -- or East 79th St. from West 79th Street. After all, what's 79th Street among friends?

This is why I'm planning to present the Board of Education members with a detailed report about their hiring hypocrisy at the December Board meeting (I announced it when I spoke at the September Board meeting).

At one place in town, you will find Board members prattling about how we have to "hire locally..." (and hire WMBE qualified vendors). Less than a mile away, you have these same individuals existentially accountable Chicagoans voting, month after month, to hire some guy from Memphis (John Barker, last December, to bring "accountability" to Chicago) or some lady from Ohio (most recently, Rhonda Saegert from Cleveland, who's now been slipped into a "Chief of Schools" office out there on the Southwest Side).

So anyone who wants the hypocrisy tour can go to the December Chicago Teachers Pension Fund meeting and watch Andrea ("Andy") Zopp preaching, I assume on behalf of the Urban League, about how we've got to be locovores when hiring investments and Carlos Azcoitia nodding in agreement with her.

A week later, you can go to the Chicago Board of Education meeting and if you wait long enough, Zopp and Azcoitia will be voting for the latest Barker or Boik, Byrd-Bennett or Brizard, Mascatti-Miller or ...

To come to Chicago from out of town and help "save" Chicago's public schools from all this bad stuff that the Broad Foundation has trained these mercenaries to save us all from.

Like, as they have done from New Orleans to Detroit -- save Chicago from public school by privatizing so fast it will leave you breathless, and prattling so lengthily that if their words were feed, you'd be stuffed and screaming until you were vomiting.

It's 2013 in Chicago. And it's continuing right to today and as long as we have Rahm and his billionaire buddies in charge, and David Vitale, Jesse Ruiz and their millionaire minions genuflecting before the altar of Rahm in the cathedral of greed.

November 27, 2013 at 12:27 PM

By: Elisa Lupovitch

Contact information for Network Chief Officers


Do you know if they have published contact information for Network Chief Officers yet? If not, is it available anywhere? Thanks,

December 2, 2013 at 10:17 AM

By: Elisa Lupovitch

Contact information for Network Chief Officers


Do you know if they have published contact information for Network Chief Officers yet? If not, is it available anywhere? Thanks,

December 2, 2013 at 12:11 PM

By: George N. Schmidt

CPS secrecy and lies are now the rule

There is no public listing of the "new" CPS "Networks" anywhere on the CPS websites (there are at least two of them). Nor did the multi-million dollars CPS "Office of Communications" issue a press release outlining the new "Networks", where they are, and who their chieftains may be for the next few months. I suspect that the reason is that CPS officials do not want to outline a standard organizational chart or even publish a current listing of the city's remaining real public schools.


The most reasonable explanation is the simplest. The current administration of CPS is not a "public education" administration, but an ANTI PUBLIC EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION. Barbara Byrd Bennett was brought to Chicago by Rahm Emanuel from Detroit to destroy Chicago's public schools, not to make them work in any sense that history would make clear.

As a result, every monthly meeting of the seven-member Chicago Board of Education (which is really the Chicago Board of Rubber Stamps) is an orgy of lies, dissembling, and charter school apologetics. We were told that CPS was going to "reduce" the number of "Networks" by a reliable source before the October Board meeting, and reported that the Board would get to vote on that proposal.

We were wrong.

The Board met in October and was not told anything about reframing the "Networks" by Barbara Byrd Bennett of anyone on her "cabinet" or "team."

A week later, without going before the Board for a vote, she announced the most radical reorganization of the "Networks" in a couple of years.

The chaos and confusion are deliberate. The mercenaries who now constitute Byrd Bennett's cabinet are mostly out of towners hired at six-figure salaries to finish off Chicago's public schools under a variety of pretexts, while massive privatization pushes forward.

The most dramatic example of this recently comes in the "Networks." Last summer, CPS hired, at $150,000 per year, a principal from Cleveland named Rhonda Saegert. In October, Saegert became a "Network Chief" under the latest reorganization.

Chicago experience is devalued by Rahm Emanuel's school board and the current administration. They want out of town mercenaries whose agenda is to sabotage the remaining public schools here.

Saegert is just the latest example among dozens since Rahm took over in May 2011.

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