NIX THE NETWORKS: Claypool's lies based on obfuscation of how he has shifted 'central office' expenses into the ever-growing so-called 'Networks'... or how A $150,000-per-year administrators who has never taught in Chicago becomes a 'local school instructional' person...

If readers were to believe the pie chart (above) from the Proposed Budget presented to the public in August 2016 by Forrest Claypool, there are only 160 people working in the "networks" of the entire school system. A review of the position files, however, shows that the total number of people working in the networks is at least triple the number presented to the public by Claypool. The obfuscation is deliberate, designed to understate the number of patronage bureaucrats working in the nation's third largest school system.One of the clumsiest lies told by the latest "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago Public Schools, Forrest Claypool, can be found by anyone who takes the time to read the lengthy "Proposed Budget" finally released by CPS just prior to the annual budget hearings in August 2016. The "Proposed Budget" for the 2016 - 2017 school year puts in writing the claim, once again, that top administrators at the nation's third largest school system have "reduced administration" and are operating a supposedly lean leadership at the "top" of CPS.

Specifically, Forrest Claypool states that more than 400 "positions" have been cut by CPS.

It's an annual event that relies on the willingness of the city's daily newspapers to ignore the facts about CPS finances and substitute quotations from whomever is in charge this year or so. As we reported in Substance nearly a decade ago, noting that the same claims were being made every year by Arne Duncan (who left CPS to become U.S. Secretary of Education in January 2009) to the point where during Duncan's final year at CEO of CPS anyone who was actually tallying up the claims and comparing what Duncan said to what was in the budget would have seen that according to the claims CPS had a negative number of "administrators" by the first year of the Obama administration. That was the year that the Chicago Plan for public school "reform" was exported to the entire country and became "Race To The Top."

In addition to simply lying about top administration at CPS a little more than a year after he became CEO of CPS, Forrest Claypool had also continued adding to the central bureaucracy -- and the massive patronage platoons staffing it -- by the simple ploy of putting more dollars and people into the so-called "Networks" and then claiming that the "Networks" were "instructional" (like schools) rather than administrative (like Claypool's latest group of cronies working downtown).

The numbers are of course a bit difficult, but not impossible, to tease out of public CPS information. According to the most recent "Position File", there are more people working in the "Networks" this year than at any time during the previous five years. The "Position File" for CPS is the document that lists ever person working at CPS for CPS -- and hence does not include charter school people or the growing number of privatized workers working for the growing number of contractors -- along with information about how much each is paid, their job title, and other important and public information.

How many people are currently working in Chicago's "Networks"? That question is difficult to answer, for several reasons. There are a total of 289 positions currently included in the "Network" and "Network Support" categories in the current Position File (August 2016). But a closer look reveals that there are a much larger number of people working in each "network office" than can be located by simply trying to tease the information out of either the Proposed Budget or out of the Position File.

Not only that, but there are at least two networks that are not really networks. The Military and Alternative Schools thingies (I don't know what else to call them) are actually networks, each with its $151,000-per-year "Chief of Schools" and with various people working there with titles similar to those in the listed networks. But these two entities are not found if you search "Network" in CPS.


August 31, 2016 at 4:53 AM

By: John Donohue

Being suspended

Mr. Schmidt interesting article. Solid reporting.

Thanks for your work.

Mr.John Donohue

2016 suspended teacher

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