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Chicago Public Schools top bureaucrats continue imbecilic and insulting talking points as principals continue exodus from America's third largest school system... Rahm's minions blame Chicago teacher pensions rather than Rahm's erratic and incompetent bureaucrats for the massive exodus...

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (at podium) announced the appointment of his four "Chief Executive Officer" in four years to head Chicago's public school system. Forrest Claypool, who had been serving at Chicago's City Hall as the mayor's "Chief of Staff", because CEO of CPS in July 2015 (above). Also appointed to replace the disgraced former leaders of the system (CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett had pleaded guilty on federal corruption charges) were Frank Clark (who was appointed President of the Board) and Janice Jackson (who was appointed "Chief Education Officer." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The summer vacation for Chicago's nearly 400,000 public school children (disclosure: including two of this reporter's three sons) when top officials of the nation's third largest public school district continued their imbecilic (that's truly the only word) to explain the reasons for the unprecedented departure of the mean and women theory claims make all the difference in improving the schools -- especially those serving the majority of the city's children, who are living in poverty and who are African American or Latino.

On July 4 (on line) and on July 5 (print edition), the Chicago Sun-Times elaborated on the exodus of principals, and unlike the Chicago Tribune, the Sun-Times education reporter asked the key question when the city's "Chief Education Officer" repeated a mendacious talking point:

-- CEdO Janice Jackson (who is doing the talking about this issue because she actually was once briefly a CPS principal, while the "Chief Executive Officer" Forrest Claypool had no experience in education until he was given the top job by Mayor Rahm Emanuel a year ago) keeps claiming, against all the evidence, that principals are leaving because Chicago has to pay too much into the teachers pension fund (which also, by the way, covers retired principals)...

-- But the principals who have been leaving, whose names CPS officials refuse to provide to the press, tell a very different story: They say the incompetent administration and constant churning are what have been making their jobs nearly impossible.

Jackson's "message discipline" (something treasured by Emanuel no matter how mendacious the message), however, was not allowed to go unanswered. In the July 5 page two story (print edition), Lauren Fitzpatrick quoted Jackson first: "CPS’ chief education officer Janice Jackson acknowledged the financial pressures, saying, 'Our principals and teachers are leaving for jobs where their district doesn’t have to take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the classroom to fund their pensions.'”

But unlike an earlier story about the problem in the Chicago Tribune, Fitzpatrick and the Sun-Times actually asked a principal, who contradicted Jackson's talking point. "Ousted CPS principal Troy LaRaviere, who recently took office as head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, said the pressure has been building for years," the Sun-Times reports. 'It’s the cumulative effects of being consistently under the weight of a district that finds one way after another to undermine the efforts [principals] put forth on behalf of their students,' he said. 'Our ability to do our job depends on resources, and they take more of them away every year impairing our ability to do our job more and more.'"

LaRaviere has long been mentioning the outsourcing of key jobs (such as janitorial work) to politically connected corporations, and the ongoing churning of local mandates and regulations, which are often forced on principals by imported executives with no knowledge or experience in Chicago's schools. Many of these are currently serving "above" princpals in the systems chain of command as "Chiefs of Schools" or "Network Chiefs" in the cities sub-districts, which are currently called "Networks" in Chicago

Since the election in the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA) two months ago, the principals themselves finally have a powerful voice. And Troy LaRaviere, the new CPAA principal whose term begins in July, contradicted Jackson's prattle. The national reporting on this story has barely begun, but since there are many more principals planning to resign or retire during the coming months, the story will continue to grow, despite the refusal (according to the Sun-Times) of CPS officials to release an accurate listing of those.

FIRST, THE SUN TIMES...

And so in a July 5, 2016, article, the Sun-Times again gave Ms. Jackson the megaphone to lie. COMPLETE SUN-TIMES REPORT FOLLOWS HERE:

CHICAGO 07/04/2016, Principal resignations rise under Rahm; 42 in past school year

by Lauren FitzPatrick

Forty-two Chicago Public Schools principals resigned this year, the most since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office.

And 23 principals, out of about 515 total, decided to retire, a number somewhat higher than the last several years. The 65 school leaders departing this past school year saw more budget cuts, including unprecedented cuts midyear. Since 2011, the next highest number was 37 resignations in 2014. In 2012, only 13 departed, but 96 retired that year.

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Two of the most recent resignations happened at Pulaski International Elementary School, 2230 W. McLean Ave., and Hamline Elementary School, 4747 S. Bishop St. in the Back of the Yards.

Principals in high-profile schools have already stepped down, including D’Andre Weaver, credited with leading a turnaround at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy High School; Lake View High School’s Scott Grens; brand-new Lane Tech High School principal Kathryn Anderson; and Isamar Vargas Colón from Maria Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy in Little Village. CPS declined to provide a full list.

Some moved out of state. Some landed big promotions in the suburbs.

CPS’ chief education officer Janice Jackson acknowledged the financial pressures, saying, “Our principals and teachers are leaving for jobs where their district doesn’t have to take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the classroom to fund their pensions.”

Ousted CPS principal Troy LaRaviere, who recently took office as head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, said the pressure has been building for years.

“It’s the cumulative effects of being consistently under the weight of a district that finds one way after another to undermine the efforts [principals] put forth on behalf of their students,” he said. “Our ability to do our job depends on resources, and they take more of them away every year impairing our ability to do our job more and more.”

Until Thursday, when a temporary state budget was finally approved, principals were bracing themselves for cuts to their school budget of 26 percent on average. That was on top of cuts earlier in the school year to special education and warnings to stockpile cash so CPS could afford $676 million toward teacher pensions. They still don’t have budgets for September — and won’t for at least another week.

In recent years, the district privatized school cleaning, taking away principals’ power to manage janitors in their buildings. CPS shuttered a record 50 neighborhood schools. Budgets were cut sharply the same summer that former CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett pushed a $20 million no-bid contract for principal training that participants immediately denounced as shoddy.

Troy LaRaviere, president of the Chicago Principal and Administrators Association, said principal departures are a result of CPS undermining those administrators. | Lou Foglia / Sun-Times

Troy LaRaviere, president of the Chicago Principal and Administrators Association, said principal departures are a result of CPS undermining those administrators. | Lou Foglia / Sun-Times

“We stood there as they justified these cuts and then watched as they spent lavishly on SUPES,” said LaRaviere, principal of Blaine Elementary School at that time.

The not-for-profit Chicago Public Education Fund has studied principal retention and invested private dollars into discerning how to keep good school leaders.

“For each one of those schools, the retention conversation starts the minute the principals leave,” executive director Heather Anichini told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Fund is paying attention to this year’s exodus — and surveying principals about why they’re going — but Anichini isn’t yet troubled by the numbers because 70 to 100 principal jobs tend to open up every year.

“While certainly it is true there are mitigating circumstances this year that haven’t existed in years past, it’s important that we not lose sight: This is an ongoing challenge for us,” she said.

Chicago Public Schools chief education officer Janice Jackson

CPS chief education officer Janice Jackson isn’t surprised that some principals would leave for districts without Chicago’s financial challenges. | Sun-Times file photo

Fund research suggests that principals want things like autonomy; training tailored to their individual needs; and a sharp reduction in required paperwork more than raises.

This spring, CPS doubled the number to 54 principals who are free from the more cumbersome aspects of district oversight in the Independent Schools Program.

And officials hope that the stopgap budget passed late last week — which kicks an additional $600 million into CPS coffers — also ought to staunch the tide, though the schools system still has to find an additional $300 million to plug its $1 billion projected budget deficit.

“With the education funding compromise from Springfield this week, CPS will be able to prevent disruptions to classrooms and continue to help principals build on the academic gains their students are making — and that gives our principals a strong reason to stay,” CPS spokesman Michael Passman said in an email.

And plenty of candidates wait in the wings for consideration by Local School Councils, CPS said. About 1,000 people are considered eligible for the job, about 475 of whom already serve as CPS principals.

THEN, THE NATIONAL BLOG COMMENT BY DIANE RAVITCH...

Diane Ravitch noted the Chicago situation in her national blog, but as usual avoided the most accurate Chicago sources and relied on her buddies who blog:

Chicago: Principals Leaving Due to Budget Cuts, Loss of Authority Under Rahm Emanuel

by dianeravitch....

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Chicago is experiencing an exodus of experienced principals.

Forty-two Chicago Public Schools principals resigned this year, the most since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office.

And 23 principals, out of about 515 total, decided to retire, a number somewhat higher than the last several years. The 65 school leaders departing this past school year saw more budget cuts, including unprecedented cuts midyear. Since 2011, the next highest number was 37 resignations in 2014. In 2012, only 13 departed, but 96 retired that year.

Mayor Emanuel has made his contempt for public schools clear, as well as his preference for privately managed, non-union charter schools.

CPS’ chief education officer Janice Jackson acknowledged the financial pressures, saying, “Our principals and teachers are leaving for jobs where their district doesn’t have to take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the classroom to fund their pensions.”

Ousted CPS principal Troy LaRaviere, who recently took office as head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, said the pressure has been building for years.

“It’s the cumulative effects of being consistently under the weight of a district that finds one way after another to undermine the efforts [principals] put forth on behalf of their students,” he said. “Our ability to do our job depends on resources, and they take more of them away every year impairing our ability to do our job more and more.”

Until Thursday, when a temporary state budget was finally approved, principals were bracing themselves for cuts to their school budget of 26 percent on average. That was on top of cuts earlier in the school year to special education and warnings to stockpile cash so CPS could afford $676 million toward teacher pensions. They still don’t have budgets for September — and won’t for at least another week.

In recent years, the district privatized school cleaning, taking away principals’ power to manage janitors in their buildings. CPS shuttered a record 50 neighborhood schools. Budgets were cut sharply the same summer that former CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett pushed a $20 million no-bid contract for principal training that participants immediately denounced as shoddy.

Mayor Emanuel is effectively driving the public schools and their personnel into the ground. He is a poor steward of public education. What public responsibility is greater than the education of the city's children?



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