Boardwatch Chicago Board of Education meeting August 23, 2008. Principals association chief accuses Duncan of 'Wal Mart pay plans'

For the second time in less than a year, Clarice Berry (above, left and right) left Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan (center in the photograph at the left) nearly speechless.

Berry took the floor at the August 27, 2008 Board of Education meeting and accused Duncan of proposing “Wal Mart salary ideas” for principals, assistant principals, and other administrators under a proposed plan being circulated within the school system.

Duncan’s explanation was that he needed to circulate ideas for a free exchange among people at all levels, but Berry reminded him that the CPAA (Chicago Principals and Administrators Association) was the organization of principals and that Duncan was expected to discuss such significant questions with them.

Late last year, the principals expressed their anger at Duncan when their recently retired members discovered that the administration’s payroll problems had left them with shortened pension checks.

Observers remarked that Berry, a veteran teacher and principal who spent most of her career in the schools, had showed her “classroom look” at Duncan, who was appointed “CEO” by Mayor Daley. Duncan has not teaching or administrative experience and no Illinois teaching or administrative credentials. 


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