'Making the system more efficient...' means expanding patronage, cutting services... 'Huberman Purges' hammering CPS high schools, citywide services, while City Hall and Huberman patronage expand

In one way, they make a nice couple.

Both from the Police Department.

Both seasoned professionals. Both at the peak of their careers in one of the most dynamic cities in the USA — Chicago.

May 27, 2009. Chicago Board of Education meeting. Standing in the rear of the meeting during the shortened "public participation" portion of the already scarce monthly meetings of the seven-member Chicago Board of Education, the new CPS Communications Director Monique Bond (arms folded, left) and the new CPS Chief Officer of Security and Safety Michael Shields (beside Bond) watch over the members of the public, a large number of whom were not allowed to speak because Board President Michael Scott shortened the public participation to the lest time possible. The Board has not yet approved the appointment of Shields, but his title is now "Officer, Department of Security and Safety." Bond was approved by the Board at its February 25, 2009, meeting with the title of "Officer, Department of Communications" at a salary of $130,000 per year. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The only question is what the former spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, Monique Bond, and the former Deputy Superintendent of Police (Bureau of Strategic Deployment), Michael Shields, are doing working in two of the highest paid executive jobs in Chicago's public school system.

But since the latest supposed shakeup at the Chicago Board of Education and across the city's more than 600 public schools, Bond and Shields have become (a) two of the highest paid educators in Chicago (despite the fact that neither of them is qualified to teacher or administer a public school anywhere else in Illinois) and (b) two of the most powerful people determining the fate of thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of school children in the third largest public school system in the USA.

They are also part of the largest expansion of administrative and executive posts at the top tiers of the Chicago Public Schools in history, an expansion under the new CEO Ron Huberman that will add more than $3 million in position costs to the Chicago Board of Education's budget by the end of June 2009.

But, supposedly, the new administration, like every administration before it, is adding patronage in order to "reduce waste" (see the press release below).

How 'management efficiency' works in Chicago... Shortening the meetings of the Board of Education. Next stop? Zero


Monique Bond and Michael Shields at least bothered to listen to the outpouring of anger, grief, and criticism at the aborted May 27 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education.

The man who brought them both to the headquarters of Chicago Public Schools at 125 S. Clark St. in Chicago, the system's third "Chief Executive Officer" (CEO) Ron Huberman didn't even bother to listen to the public participation portion of the May meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. But Huberman was busy across the city in late May and early June -- expanding a new layer of patronage and bureaucracy under his own "people" at CPS, while gutting many of the city's remaining general high schools and destroying lives and careers at every level of the school system.

Ron Huberman was appointed "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools in January 2009 by Richard M. Daley, shortly after President Barack Obama appointed former CPS CEO Arne Duncan to be U.S. Secretary of Education.

Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott always brings his $100,000 per year aide Greg Minniefield (above, left, front) with him when he returns to CPS. Scott returned as President of the Chicago Board of Education at the Board's February 24, 2009, meeting, and by the time of the Board's May 27, 2009 meeting, Minniefield was going chores for Scott and collecting a salary of more than $100,000 per year (not yet approved by the Board) while sitting with the executives at the Board meeting. One of the ironies of the above photograph is that by the time it is being published, two of the people in it have been purged by the Scott - Huberman administration, while those remaining have distinguished themselves either through massive failures or general blandness. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. At the same time he appointed Huberman, Daley removed Chicago Board of Education President Rufus Williams from his post and restored former Board President Michael Scott to the position. In Chicago, all members of the seven-member school board, including the President of the Board, are appointed by the mayor, period. The Chicago public school system is the only public school system in Illinois presided over by a "Chief Executive Officer" who doesn't have to be a certified Illinois schools superintendent. The CEO of CPS is also appointed by the mayor.

Largest 'new administrative team' in CPS history. Also, least qualified for working in public education

The longer story about the latest round of patronage appointments and purges at the Chicago Public Schools will take years to tell, but the main lines of the argument that will be made by those who rule Chicago was laid out on June 9 in a lengthy press release issued by the CPS Office of Communications, under the direction of Monique Bond. On a continuing basis, CPS is avoiding press conferences featuring CEO Ron Huberman or Board President Michael Scott, so there was not public questioning of the following:

CPS Headline followed by the complete text of the CPS press release: Announcement lays groundwork for reorganization and Central Office budget cuts... The announcement will lead to a more efficient, results-oriented organizational structure at CPS.

June 9, 2009

Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman today announced the establishment of an executive team that heralds the beginning of a larger streamlining in the management of the nation’s third largest-school system.

Huberman stressed that the announcement was the start of the process he said would lead to a more efficient, results-oriented organizational structure at CPS.

Huberman named 16 administrators who will oversee the reorganization and budget cuts which will roll out over the coming weeks and months. The new executive team will receive the portfolios of a number of existing CPS departments with a mandate to streamline operations and eliminate duplication and overlap, while preserving the classroom programs and services critical to CPS’ core educational mission.

In February, District officials announced that they were committed to better managing administrative costs associated with worker’s compensation, substitute teachers and Central Office operations. Huberman added that some realignment of responsibilities and staffing adjustments would yield expense savings at the District’s downtown headquarters.

Huberman also stressed that by operating more efficiently the District will further strengthen its long term plans to support schools, students, teachers, and education programs.

“Today’s announcements are a result of sound management practices and meeting CPS’ budget deficit will require some tough choices and sacrifices from all of us,” said Board President Michael Scott. “I know that this new team of leaders and our existing leadership is capable of delivering as we collectively ensure that Central Office operations become as efficient as possible,” he added.

“A few months ago we promised to look at every department and program, and to drill into each of our varied operations and facilities for greater efficiencies and cost-saving measures,” Huberman said. “We said we would not be bound by a mindset that holds to past practices and that all ideas must be considered. Today, by putting in place a new executive team, we are doing exactly that.”

Members of the executive team announced include:

Acting Chief Administrative Officer

Robert Runcie will be named Acting Chief Administrative Officer. Prior to serving as CPS’ Chief Information Officer, Bob was as the president and founder of a Chicago-based management consulting and technology services company specializing in project management and systems implementation. Bob is a graduate of Harvard University and earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Bob is also a member of the current class of The Broad Superintendents Academy. He is replacing Hill Hammock.

Acting Chief Information Officer

Arshele Stevens will assume the role of Acting Chief Information Officer. During her five-year tenure in Information and Technology Services (ITS), Arshele has worked as Project Manager on IMPACT for Specialized Services Management, Director of Infrastructure Services, and Deputy Chief Information Officer. Prior to joining CPS, she led merger and acquisition efforts for the Securities Division of Wachovia Bank and managed the Configuration Management Department for CNA Insurance. Arshele is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Economics and Computer Science.

Chief Performance Officer

Sarah Kremsner has been named Chief Performance Officer, a newly created role. Sarah will be responsible for creating a comprehensive performance management system. She will also be the lead on the strategic changes that we expect to implement over the coming school year. Sarah served as Vice President for Performance Management at CTA. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago’s Irving B. Harris School for Public Policy. Before joining CTA, Sarah served as senior policy staff in several positions at the City of Chicago, including the Office of Budget and Management and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Sarah also worked as a legislative assistant and community organizer in Washington, D.C. Deputy for Performance Management Technology

Antonio Ruiz will serve as the Deputy for Performance Management Technology. Tony previously served as the Chief Technology Operations Officer for the City of Chicago, where he oversaw the coordination of citywide operational processes to ensure technological uniformity across 40 City departments. He also served as Executive Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Streets and Sanitation. He is a graduate of the DeVry Institute of Technology.

Acting Chief of Staff to Board President Michael Scott

David Pickens will be transitioning to a new role as Chief of Staff to Board President Michael Scott. David has played a critical role in CPS’ school closing and turnaround strategy and will continue to be a key asset to the district. Pickens is a former teacher and assistant principal. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and holds a master’s of Business from Roosevelt University.

Acting Chief of Staff

Adam Case will serve as Acting Chief of Staff to the CEO. Adam previously served as Chief of Customer Communications overseeing the Customer Information, Customer Service, and Marketing and Advertising Departments at CTA. Prior to joining CTA, Adam served as Assistant to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Adam is a graduate of Northwestern University and is currently enrolled at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Communications Officer

Monique Bond will serve as the CPS Communications Officer. Monique brings to CPS extensive experience in communications strategy and media relations. Most recently, she served as Director of News Affairs for the Chicago Police Department. She has also served as Director of Communications at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and Assistant Commissioner for Media Relations for the Chicago Airport System. Monique is a graduate of Howard University.

Acting Safety and Security Officer

Michael Shields, a 23-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, will serve as the new Acting Safety and Security Officer. Mike rose through the leadership ranks of the police department from Patrol District Commander to Deputy Superintendent in the Bureau of Strategic Deployment. Mike holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Criminal and Social Justice from Lewis University, where he is an adjunct professor. Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

Eduardo Garza is being named Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Eduardo currently serves as the Senior Policy Advisor for the CPS Office of the Board. Previously, he served as Budget Director and as a Policy Analyst for the City of Chicago’s Committee on Finance. He received his Sociology degree and master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently completing his doctorate work in Educational Leadership at DePaul University. Acting Deputy CEO for Human Capital

Alan Anderson will function as the Acting Deputy CEO for Human Capital, with specific responsibility for the recruiting, training, placement, and retention of effective teachers and principals. Alan has been at CPS since 2007, and is currently the Executive Director of the Office of School Turnaround in the Chief Education Office. Prior to coming to CPS, Alan worked in a number of management positions at Motorola. Alan is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has master’s degrees from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and McCormick School of Engineering. Acting Executive Director of the Office of School Turnaround

Dr. Donald Fraynd will serve as the Acting Executive Director of the Office of School Turnaround. Don was an accomplished teacher, administrator and principal. During his tenure as principal of Jones College Prep, the school was recognized as one of U.S. News & World Report’s Top 100 high schools as well as a Blue Ribbon School, the first such honor to be awarded to a Chicago high school. Don now serves as the High School Turnaround Officer. He earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Deputy for Community Relations

Sean Harden is being named the Deputy for Community Relations. Sean previously served as the Deputy Commissioner for Interfaith/Community Affairs for the City’s Commission on Human Relations where, in addition to working with the religious community, he managed a staff that investigated, mediated, and adjudicated cases of discrimination. Prior to joining the Commission, Sean served as the Community/Interfaith Liaison and Executive Assistant to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Sean attended Morehouse College and received a bachelor’s degree in Theological Education from the Theological Institute of Houston.

Acting Budget and Management Director

Christina Herzog will assume the role of Acting Budget and Management Director. Christina has been with CPS in the Office of Budget and Management since 2004. She has been a Senior Manager for Schools and Instructional Programs, a Manager for the School Support Unit, and, since 2007, Deputy Budget Director. Prior to coming to CPS, she worked at both KPMG and Deloitte & Touche. Christine graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with a degree in Business Management and Organizational Administration and holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s Irving B. Harris School for Public Policy. Acting Chief Property Officer

Pat Taylor will become Acting Chief Property Officer. Pat previously served as Vice President of the CTA’s Facilities Maintenance, Construction and Engineering group. Prior to working at the CTA, Pat worked for 17 years for the City of Chicago, including as an Assistant Budget Director. Pat has her Associate’s Arts Degree in Business Management from Northeastern Illinois University.

Acting Officer for College and Career Preparation

Jerusha Rodgers will serve as Acting Officer for College and Career Preparation. Jerusha worked at the Chicago Transit Authority as the Deputy Chief Mechanical Officer, where she oversaw the transformation of rail maintenance, using performance management to greatly improve the operations of CTA’s rail fleet. Prior to her work at CTA, Jerusha was a consultant for McKinsey & Company. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College.

Director of Career and Technical Education

Aarti Dhupelia will serve as the Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE). Aarti joined CPS as a Broad Resident, working in the Office of Autonomous Schools, the Office of Specialized Services, and the Office of High Schools and High School Programs. Before working at CPS, Aarti spent five years as a strategy consultant. Aarti holds a dual bachelor’s of arts degree in Economics and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences from Northwestern University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

“The Chicago Public Schools has many outstanding professionals. Since I assumed the position of CEO earlier this year, I have been impressed on a daily basis with the commitment and dedication of our employees to providing the best education system possible for our more than 400,000 students,” Huberman said.

“At the same time, we have identified areas where we can operate more efficiently to ensure that our most valued assets, our classrooms and education programs, are not compromised. The economic realities facing public and private sector entities today are formidable,” he added.

Huberman stressed that the District’s top priority is to preserve core educational and classroom services and student safety. The team announced today has been tasked with finding ways to operate more efficiently citywide and in the Central Office.

No public discussion of massive overhaul... "Trust me" is the watchword...

Because the announcement was not followed by a press conference or even a so-called 'media availability,' reporters did not have the opportunity to question either CEO Huberman or Board President Michael Scott about the handout reproduced in full above. And because the agendas of the meetings of the Chicago Board of Education are not required to post publicly the proposed expansions of executive level positions such as those indicated above, the agenda for the June 24, 2009, Chicago Board of Education meeting which becomes available on Monday, June 22, will not tell the public how much each of the newly appointed "officers," "chief officers" and others will be paid. Nor has CPS advertised any of those jobs for competitive bidding. The public is left to assume that the Huberman/ Scott administration knew the best people for the jobs -- as well as what positions need to exist -- and created them without public input.


Substance Editor George N. Schmidt has been analyzing the Chicago Board of Education's budgets and studying the relationship between central office activities and the delivery of educational services to the schools and classrooms of Chicago since 1979, when the first 'School Financial Crisis' and subsequent creation of the Chicago School Finance Authority forced a number of concerned teachers and others to begin trying to understand the massive CPS budget, which for the next fiscal year (FY 2010, the 2009-2010 school year) will exceed $6 billion. In June, July and August 1989, he was appointed by Mayor Daley's first "School Reform Board of Education" (under James Compton and William Singer) to serve as a paid staff member on the "Budget Transition Team." The budget transition team of 1989 re-wrote the Board of Education's FY 1990 budget (which was more than $2 billion at the time) to conform to the decentralized model then coming in as state law following the passage of the School Reform Act of 1988. Since then he has continued to study and analyze CPS finances as a writer and editor for Substance and as a staff employee for the Chicago Teachers Union (2002-2004) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 (2006-2007). He is currently helping to facilitate a study group on the current CPS budget and related financial questions in conjunction with the Caucus Of Rank and file Educators (CORE) of the Chicago Teachers Union.


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