Principal evaluations go insane in Chicago... How about this 'Principal Evaluation Placemat'?! that explains how principals will be evaluated for running Chicago schools -- without mentioning children's education or children ONCE!

Anyone who has ever tried to understand educationese -- the technobabble of some "educators" -- was stunned by how jargon filled and vacuous it is. But educationese has nothing on corporateedreformese -- which is now what Chicago is getting courtesy of Barbara Byrd Bennett, Rahm Emanuel, and the Broad Foundation. During the past four months, the Chicago Public Schools "Talent Office" (that's the latest name for Personnel) has inundated elementary and high school principals with a bunch of information about how they are going to be "evaluated" by their "Chiefs" (as in "Network Chiefs").

The "Talent Office" of the nation's third largest school system distributed a two-page "Placemat" to principals so that they could read about how to be GREAT!!! while they ate. Above is the first page of those two pages. In case you missed it, there is no mention of children or their education on this first of two pages. Nor is children's learning mentioned on the second page, either. But since Chicago's "Chief Talent Officer" -- Alicia Winckler -- was brought to the nation's third largest school system after she worked as an executive at Sears Holdings, are you really surprised?There have been dozens of documents sprayed around like fertilizer on a warm Spring field, and over the next couple of weeks Substance will be sharing and analyzing them. For today, we reprint here the "Placemat" (honest, that's what they are calling it) which purports to explain what makes a great principal in Chicago.

While Chicago teachers have some protection against this kind of nonsense through the Chicago Teachers Union and the union contract, principals are virtually at the mercy of the "Talent" crew under the current "CEO" of CPS, Barbara Byrd Bennett. And the principals don't have a union to protect them from insanities like these -- and the corporate hacks who impose them. (Barbara Byrd Bennett came to Chicago from Detroit and the Broad Foundation; Chief Talent Officer Alicia Winkler learned all she needed to know about educating children during her years working for Sears Holdings, etc....). It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for the women and men who are trying to hold on to their salaries (which range from roughly $130,000 to $150,000 per year for Chicago principals) as "Talent" drives corporate jargon into a world that even Franz Kafka would have found beyond satire.


April 21, 2014 at 5:51 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

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April 25, 2014 at 9:59 PM

By: Theresa D. Daniels

The next mission statement for principals

Now that the principals have a placemat to as a learning tool for greatness, the next step is toilet paper. It can have mission statements for the principals, rote items they need to master, names they must learn and know how to spell, etc. Any other ideas about how common everyday items that can be of help? Messages on ties? Charts for office walls?

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