Sections:

Article

With Barbara Byrd Bennett's last Ohio crony out, will Claypool and Emanuel push to continue the OODLSS stupidity... and the massive attacks by CPS against special education?...

As the rumor built inside CPS that Markay Winston, the last major out-of-town crony imported to Chicago by Barbara Byrd Bennett and Jean-Claude Brizard, was being ousted, a question remained: Would the nation's third largest school system continue to ignore the realities of what everyone else calls "Special Education"? Would Chicago continue the silly pretext that children with special needs are, in Chicago jargon, "diverse learners"?

Will OODLSS continue is a basic question in the Orwellian world of CPS jargon and "communications".

Markay Winston delivered the Power Point presenting the pretexts for the Board of Education's massive cutbacks in special education services at the Board's September 2015 meeting. After massive cuts in the professional services needed to do professional IEPs for Chicago's most needy students with disabilities, Winston and Forrest Claypool virtually guaranteed that there would not be enough staff to complete the IEPs necessary for the children most in need of those services. Above, Winston (in shadow on the left) delivers the mendacious Power Point that was one of the lowlights of the September 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. By the time of the Board's October meeting, she had been ousted. Substance photo by David Vance. Like dozens of others, Markay Winston was hired by David Vitale, Jesse Ruiz, Andrea Zopp, and the other voting members of the Chicago Board of Education on the recommendation of Barbara Byrd Bennett. Like many the others, Winston was imported from Ohio, while the members of the Board, including the current candidate for the U.S. Senate (Zopp) voted not only to hire her, but to pay her a "relocation and retention bonus."

When the Board of Education voted at its July 2012 meeting to hire Cincinnati's Markay Winston as "Officer of Learning Support -- Special Education," the vote was unanimous. Not one of the members of the Chicago school board, including Andrea Zopp of the Chicago Urban League, asked why Chicago had to go to another state (Ohio) to find someone qualified to lead its special education department. Winston was hired on the recommendation of Jean-Claude Brizard, who at the time of the hiring in July 2012 had only three months left as "Chief Executive Officer" of CPS. Already by then, Barbara Byrd Bennett was serving in Chicago as the so-called "Chief Education Advisor" to Brizard. Byrd Bennett had been quietly hired the previous March and April, first as a consultant to the Board, and then with the unprecedented title of "Chief Education Advisor." At the time Byrd Bennett was hired by Chicago, she had been working to privatize Detroit's public schools as Detroit's "Chief Accountability Officer."

When the Board of Education voted to hire Cincinnati's Markay Winston as "Officer of Learning Support -- Special Education," the vote was unanimous. Not one of the members of the Chicago school board, including Andrea Zopp of the Chicago Urban League, asked why Chicago had to go to another state (Ohio) to find someone qualified to lead its special education department. Winston was hired on the recommendation of Jean-Claude Brizard, who at the time of the hiring in July 2012 had only three months left as "Chief Executive Officer" of CPS. Already by then, Barbara Byrd Bennett was serving in Chicago as the so-called "Chief Education Advisor" to Brizard. It was as if there were nobody in Chicago -- or in Chicago's Black Community, which was supposedly being served by Zopp and the Urban League, which Zopp at the time headed -- experienced and skilled enough to do the job. Did Chicago really have to go to Cincinnati to find an executive capable of leading Chicago's services for children with special needs?

It may have been asked, but only here and in a few others places -- never at the public meetings of the Chicago Board of Education. The votes for Winston and all the others were unanimous. Nor had they appeared on the public agenda of the Board, since "personnel actions" are exemptions of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. Thus, members of the public, as they were being slowly denied their rights to speak at the Board meetings, didn't even know when others from out of town were being hired -- until a week after the Board met, when the so-called "Action Agenda" would be published.



Comments:

October 24, 2015 at 2:39 PM

By: Susan Hickey, LCSW

Clinician Cuts and Other Disasters

There has been a steady decline in the number of clinicians ( I refuse to use ODLSS's term 'related service providers which takes away from our professionalism!) and with their new workload formula this school year, they actually cut psychologists and social workers by 20 positions each! There is no way that special education students ( again refuse to use an ODLSS term- diverse learners) are receiving their therapy needed. We also are involved in KEEPING students going into special education under the category of 'emotionally disturbed' by giving 'front end' therapy! Many of us have had our clinical licenses in jeopardy by the appalling workspaces we are forced to see children - not only the two groups mentioned but nurses, speech pathologists,occupational and physical therapists. Many clinicians are leaving CPS for school districts or hospitals that value our professionalism.

Nurses have another issue with the false promises made by a private agency to staff nursing positions. There are times that schools do not have proper medical coverage.

I can go on about our plight but I know teachers, PSRPs and school administrators know how desperate the situation has become.

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at substancenews.net. We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

4 + 2 =