Data Driven Drivel in the long tradition of dictatorships: Ron Huberman's first presentation to Chicago's public school teachers

Although 142 of Chicago's public schools had been open more or less since August 10 or so under the so-called "Year-Round" program of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and his handpicked Board of Education and handpicked "Chief Executive Officer" of the school system over which he has had dictatorial control since 1995, most of the city's public school teachers were finally back at work on September 2, with the majority of kids scheduled to arrive September 8.

But first, a question. Why does every teacher have to learn the Chicago meaning of the following vocabulary words? Immediately. Now. Or else!

Key Vocabulary, Chicago Public Schools, 2009 - 2010 School Year...


Brutal Truth




Deep Dive

Read along, and the answer will become clear.

Appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley to be the third "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools in January 2009, CEO Ron Huberman (above right at the Board of Education's August 26, 2009 meeting) greeted the school system's teachers and principals with what many described as an "Alice in Wonderland" Power Point Presentation on the first teacher day of school (September 2, 2009). Huberman has ordered the teachers to master his jargon filled lexicon, what he insists is "data driven management" and warned that teachers who aren't ready to descend to the "granular" level with his "metrics," to "deep dive" into the "quantitative" (as defined by the Huberman administration) will face negative "outcomes" and had better be ready to face the BRUTAL FACTS. Chicago's ostensible "Chief Education Officer" Barbara Eason-Watkins, who has loyally served the last two CEOs, was not a significant presence on the opening day of Chicago's 2009-2010 school year. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.During the three days before the kids arrived, all Chicago teachers and principals were supposed to be treated to a Power Point rant from their latest "CEO" that went something like this:

"Be sure to get granular about your metrics before you deep dive into those outcomes and be sure you don't avoid those brutal facts' qualitiatives... Got that?" Chicago Schools CEO Ron Huberman, told everybody, more or less. Huberman, who has never taught a week in a public school classroom anywhere in the United States, is now in charge of the third largest school system in the United States. This is thanks to to a corporate thing called "mayoral control," which has failed as massively as the other experiments of the last decade, from the "Dot Com" stock bubble to the risk free investments invented by Wall Street in the form of CDOs, CDSs, and a dozen other jargon filled bits of get-rich-quick nonsense. With Chicago's corporate media taking dictation from Huberman's propaganda department about the basic narrative about the city's public schools, Huberman's agenda is the central agenda the public receives. The disconnect between the reality in 600 public schools and the deafening roar of propaganda has never been more vast in Chicago, but on the first day of school there was still confusion.

Without that roar of propaganda, what Ron Huberman has been saying and doing since school began (and preparing to do since he was appointed CEO on January 30) would be more carefully scrutinized — and possibly driven or laughed out of town.

An in-your-face Power Point consisting of technobabble and Orwellian incoherence

Beginning in early August (for the 142 "Track E" schools) and continuing during the first week of September (for the remaining 450 or so public schools left in Chicago), Ron Huberman — who has never taught a day in a public school and who knows next to nothing about teaching real children in the real world — ordered all the city's teachers and principals to enter his "Alice in Wonderland" world. This is the world he calls "data driven management." His weapon of choice to attack the city's teachers, principals, and public school families is the Power Point presentation something he is inordinately proud of. Many who have observed him in power in the past say the Power Point presentation and so-called "performance management" are his favorite public activities.

During the opening days of the 2009 - 2010 school year, Huberman had ordered that all teachers would get his version of reality via a universal Power Point presentation that the city's 20,000 teachers and 600 principals had to endure. The presentation, which Substance has requested under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, speaks for itself, and will be published here as soon as possible. As of September 3, it was not available on the Board of Education's Web site for public scrutiny. Based on notes from several teachers and principals who were forced to sit through the event on September 2 and earlier, it's possible to offer a few clues.

The second most powerful person in America's third largest school system knows even less about educating human children than Ron Huberman. Huberman was appointed the 'CEO' of CPS by Mayor Richard M. Daley in January 2009. He immediately brought in a number of people (at six figure salaries) from outside education to do work in the main areas he would try to dominate — with complete support from Daley and corporate Chicago. Sarah Kremsner (above, at the Board of Education's August 26, 2009 meeting) was appointed "Chief Officer" of the Board's new "Office of Performance Management" in March 2009 at a salary of $150,000 per year. Like many of the new executives brought in by Huberman, Kremsner's experience came at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the last place Huberman worked for Mayor Richard M. Daley. While Huberman was gutting the budget after claiming that CPS faced a $475 million 'deficit' between February and July, Huberman established the hitherto non-existent "Office of Performance Management," made Kremsner "Chief Officer of Performance Management" for the nation's third largest school system, and gave her a budget of more than $4 million to run the office which will manage the data driven managements of Chicago's 600 public schools, 600 principals, and more than 20,000 teachers. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Nothing in the corporate management style that Huberman had announced will ever mention living children — especially not their individual reality in some of the grittiest places in the USA. By the first days of the school year, Huberman had slipped into the habit of talking about dead children, those murdered in gang violence, as if that were an unforeseen trauma of his job, but without ever making the connection between the policies of the city and mayor he serves and the vast poverty and hopelessness Chicago breeds. Huberman is going to try to force the people who actually teach the children every day to talk his way, view the world his way, and conform to reality his version -- OR ELSE. Buzzwords of Chicago's Brave New World of corporate school reform

Huberman's presentation emphasizes a jargon filled demi-monde where children, books, play, thinking and the normal activities of real schools never interfere with the control, domination, and exercise of power that are the underlying theme of urban public schools under mayoral control. Huberman's Power Point insists that all Chicago teachers learn a list of key "vocabulary" words in order to continue to survive in what he intends to be an era of "performance management."

Pedro Martinez (above, hands folded in the foreground) was still officially the Chicago Board of Education's "Chief Financial Officer" when he signed off on the Board Report making him the new "Area 4" "Chief Area Officer" (at a salary of $174,0o0 per year). On August 26, 2009, Martinez signed off on his last Board Report as CFO and after the Board voted became one of Chicago's new Chief Area Officers to help implement Ron Huberman's "data driven management" system. The change from the "Area Instructional Officers" (AIOs) to the "Chief Area Officers" was further deregulation of Chicago's Public Schools, since the new CAOs are not, according to the Chicago Board of Education, required to have any educational experience, teaching experience, or Illinois administrative credentials. Martinez was sitting at his seat as CFO for the last time when the above photo was taken during the July meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. Behind Martinez are three of the new executives of the Huberman team, Robert Runcie, Adam Case, and Arshelle Stevens. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. The Huberjargon consists of the following six terms, along with a multi-million dollars structure designed to deploy a top down system for ensuring that they become the obsession of every public school teacher and principal.

The Huberman Lexicon, in fiction ("The Wire") and fact ("Data Driven Management")

Fans of the now completed HBO series "The Wire" have already recognized Ron Huberman, live and not fictional, and his perverse pretensions to "data driven management." By summer's end, some teachers were re-watching the third season of "The Wire" in which data driven management at Baltimore's police department drove one police district to legalize drugs in a section of its beat, leading to a radical drop in crime statistics — and a subsequent scandal that went national. By summer's end in Chicago, a growing number of teachers were watching "The Wire" — especially the third season, with its hilarious portrayal of "data driven management" — for both a laugh and a look into the future. The character most resembling Ron Huberman in "The Wire" was the corrupt Deputy Chief of Police, Chief of Operations, Bill Rawls, and the role of the "data driven" tyrant is played with zest all the way through "The Wire." But "The Wire" and Deputy for Operations "Bill Rawls" are fiction. When Ron Huberman appointed Monique Bond (above, at the April 22, 2009 Board meeting) to head the Chicago Board of Education's Office of Communications, Bond took over a department that was already the largest public relations operation in America's public schools. Added on top of the already existing layers of publicity people was Bond's unprecedented salary. Prior to Bond, no regular employee in the publicity office had been paid more than $105,000 per year. Bond immediately went to work at a salary of $140,000 per year. One of her first jobs was to repeat over and over the twin themes of the first six months of the Huberman regime. One, that CPS was facing a $475 million "deficit" which was never outlined with real numbers by Huberman or any of his staff, either in press conferences or during public meetings of the Board. The second theme in the narrative was the claim that Huberman was an efficiency expert who was cutting so-called "fat" from the school systems executive ranks. In part because Chicago's media corporations are committed to the same narrative as the school system's leaders, and in part because of cutbacks in reporting staffs at both the print and electronic media, the narrative was often repeated as "news" across the city. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Ron Huberman's performance on the opening day of school is fact in Chicago as the 2009-2010 school year dawns.

"The Department of Performance Management"

Prior to Mayor Daley's appointment of Ron Huberman, Chicago could have had a field day making jokes about the meaning of the term "performance." Within a few months after the arrival of Huberman at CPS, however, the jokes had become very very expensive.

Take the $5 million department Chicago still doesn't know about (and which nobody knew Chicago's schools needed until Ron Huberman took over. The department is called "Performance Management" and its "Chief Officer" is a person named Sarah Kremsner. Kremsner, who came to Chicago's schools from the Chicago Transit Authority, will soon be widely known to CPS principals and teachers. Chicago has not created an award-winning HBO fictional series out of Huberman's data driven perversities, but is playing this melodrama in real time, with 420,000 school children and more than 20,000 teachers in bit roles. Huberman has already established his record at the Chicago Transit Authority, where Mayor Daley placed him after Daley's protegé (and one time favorite) Frank Krseusi failed because of Daley's budget cuts. Those cuts left the CTA with the appearance of mismanagement at the agency itself, when the real problem was the way the city's budget had been manipulated by the city's Chief Executive, Mayor Richard M. Daley. By the beginning of the 21st Century, Daley's policies — including deferred maintenance that resulted in a growing number of track slowdowns and derailments — created the need for a scapegoat at CTA. Hence, Kreusi took the fall. Then the narrative required a her, and Daley put in Huberman and his troupe of Power Point and propaganda experts. With the help of Sarah Kremsner and a dozen other highly paid loyalists, Huberman crafted a narrative out of the CTA that enabled him to move into power at CPS. Back to CPS, however.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Rick Mills (above, between Mayor Daley and Alderman Thompson) was brought into Chicago by former CEO Paul Vallas and Mayor Daley to oversee the expansion of the military and JROTC programs in Chicago's public schools. Prior to the Huberman era, Mills was confined to overseeing the military high schools and the JROTC program as "Area Instructional Officer" of what was called the "Military Area Office." In September 2009, following his appointment by Ron Huberman as Chief Area Officer (CEO) of "Area 26", Mills was also in charge of several Chicago high schools, including Farraguet, Taft, Steinmetz, and Kelyn Park. When he begins to boss around Chicago's principals and teachers utilizing Ron Huberman's matrices and data driven management systems and jargon, Mills will become the first superintendent in Illinois who is not eligible to replace the newest substitute teacher in the classrooms of the schools he is now charged with supervising. Unless Chicago's expanded deregulation is successfully challenged, more and more supervisory positions in Chicago will become completely patronage jobs, beholden only to the mayor and his appointed CEO, at the present time Ron Huberman. The photo above was taken on October 15, 2007, at the dedication of the 'Marine Military Academy' at the former Grant Elementary School on Chicago's West Side. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.In the Huberman Power Point, six terms are emphasized, but none is defined in a way that most Americans would recognize. These terms, which most teachers and principals have heard in their new context for the first time in the past couple of months, are: granular, brutal facts, metric, quantitative data, outcomes, and brutal facts. As the 2009 - 2010 school year begins in Chicago, each is being defined in a new way under the pseudo-revolution being ordered up at Chicago's public schools as the 14th year of "school reform" under mayoral control begins. In each of the years since Richard M. Daley was given dictatorial power over Chicago's massive public school system, there have been new terms and new hoops for teachers and principals to jump through.

But 2009 - 2010 might be unique. As a growing number of critics have pointed out, despite the claims that created the Arne Duncan reign at the U.S. Department of Education, Chicago's mayoral control version of "school reform" has failed as miserably as the "reforms" of George W. Bush's education secretary, Rod Paige, failed in Texas. Before the first full year of Ron Huberman, Chicago has had mayoral control during 14 full school years and under two other "Chief Executive Officer": 1995 - 96 (Paul Vallas); 1996 - 97 (Paul Vallas); 1997 - 98 (Paul Vallas); 1998 - 99 (Paul Vallas); 1999 - 2000 (Paul Vallas); 2000 - 01 (Paul Vallas); 2001 - 02 (Arne Duncan); 2002 - 03 (Arne Duncan); 2003 - 04 (Arne Duncan); 2004 - 05 (Arne Duncan); 2005 - 06 (Arne Duncan); 2006 - 07 (Arne Duncan); 2007 - 08 (Arne Duncan); and 2008 - 09 (Arne Duncan).

Every year, under each of the CEO's, Chicago announced that the school reforms had been a success. Yet when Huberman arrived, he immediately began acting and talking like everything before him had been a complete failure, while the Board of Education approved sweeping reorganizations that indicated it agreed with that.

As the 2009 - 2010 school year begins, mayoral control is under fire in New York and other cities because it has failed, and because it has been an insult to democracy. At the same time, the propagandists for corporate school reform are still demanding the expansion of mayoral control in other cities. And with Arne Duncan now working with his Chicago Boys at U.S. Secretary of Education, every state in the union and every school district in the USA. Ron Huberman was appointed the third non-teacher CEO of Chicago's public schools with orders to bring on a new version of school reform. The muscle is greater than ever against teachers and principals. First, the jargon that will be echoing in thousands of teachers heads and hundreds of principals' heads if Huberman succeeds — are:

granular, brutal facts, metric, quantitative data, outcomes, and brutal facts.

"Granular" isn't referring to some new kind of organic food, but to the nitty gritty of classrooms and students. But classrooms and students do not figure in Huberman's granularity.

"Brutal Facts" are not the lives of children who are increasingly living in extreme poverty, including complete homelessness, but the spreadsheets and charts that Huberman's staff will be preparing to terrorize teachers and principals.

"Metric" is some kind of exclusive jargon that was launched at the Pentagon when Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense, probably meaning to protect Chicago's Green Zone at the ongoing expense of the rest of the city. "Quantitative Data" — as opposed to children learning in a city at the beginning of the 21st Century — means only the numbers that Huberman's staff can rub people's faces in.

"Outcomes" are probably what most people mean "results." But in Huberworld, "outcomes" ignore and forbid context, since everything has to be sanitized into data sets, but restricting data to what the CEO says are important data — and nothing else.

"Deep Dive" is the last obscure term. Aside from its erotic potential in Huberworld, it will evolve across the year as more and more principals and teachers are ordered to dive deeply into the world according to Ron Huberman.

Expanding the Huberman bureaucracy

In order to enforce the new regime, the Board of Education has given Ron Huberman the most expensive expansion of bureaucracy in the history of Chicago's public schools, while publicly proclaiming that its finances were in peril. The trick was breathtaking as it was being executed, even by Chicago standards.

Between February and August 2009, Ron Huberman managed to manipulate Chicago's media in a way that would have been impossible when Paul Vallas was CEO and the Sun-Times and Tribune were still covering education as a serious beat. Those days ended long before the Sun-Times and Tribune went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In February 2009, Ron Huberman announced that CPS was facing what he called a $475 million 'deficit,' and the rest of Chicago's press dutifully reported it. The 'deficit' became fixed in the public mind.

During the same months when the common knowledge was that CPS had a massive 'deficit', Huberman, without public criticism, went into a massive expansion of the CPS bureaucracy, putting his own people into some of the most expensive positions ever created.

Ron Huberman left out any discussion of the cost of Ron Huberman, or the subsequent cost of Huberman's senior executive staff.

It began on January 28, 2009, when the Chicago Board of Education returned from executive session to vote on its huge agenda. Almost lost in the pile of paper more than 200 pages long was a simple resolution, one of the shortest in the pile:

Ron Huberman. "RESOLUTION TO APPOINT RON HUBERMAN TO THE POSITION OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER was the title. The Board Report read: Resolved. The Board of Education of the City of Chicago hereby appoints Ron Huberman to the position of Chief Executive Office, effective January 30, 2009, on the following terms… Basic Salary, $230,000 per year. .."

The people appointed by Huberman were being awarded the highest salaries in CPS history. Monique Bond. On February 25, 2009, the Chicago Board of Education voted unanimously and without debate on the recommendation of Ron Huberman that Monique Bond, a new employee, be appointed to the position of "Officer, Department of Communications" at a salary of $130,380 per year, according to the Board Report (09-0225-EX40) signed by Ron Huberman. Sarah Kremsner. On February 25, 2009, the Chicago Board of Education voted unanimously and without debate on the recommendation of Ron Huberman that Sarah Kremsner, a new employee, be appointed to the position of "Performance Management Officer, Department of Strategy and Planning" at a salary of $149,874 per year, according to the Board Report (09-0225-EX41) signed by Ron Huberman. Appointments continue without public comment

Crony capitalism and kleptocracy are as widespread in Chicago as in any dictatorship, but the trick to their success are to keep most of the corporate media calm with soothing narratives and to keep the facts from ever coming to light. While Ron Huberman was assembling a cadre of executives the total cost of which will be in excess of $20 million per year, while telling the public that the school system faced an unprecedented 'deficit' of $475 million. In order to ensure that the narrative had no holes, Huberman didn't object to some budget busting moves by members of the Chicago Board of Education. In March 2009, the seven members of the Board raised their "expenses" to $24,000 per person per year, more than thousands of Board employees are paid for a year's work. The President of the Board, Michael Scott, now receives "expenses" of $36,000 per year. Scott also got an expanded staff, including his long-time aide Gregory Minniefield, whose annual salary is currently above $100,000. But Minniefield is not the only person on Scott's staff, and it will not be until the Board of Education provides Substance with the latest "Position File" (a listing of all employees with their job titles, departments, and pay) that Substance will be able to report on the whole list. For eight months, the expansion of Ron Huberman's new bureaucracy continued, at each point the new hires costing more than any of their predecessors. There was nothing in the rest of Chicago's media. Finally, on August 26, 2009, the Board of Education voted to make the process complete. Without discussion or debate, the Board of Education of the third largest school system in the USA voted to place into line supervisory positions people who had no training, experience, or other knowledge of public school teaching. Huberman abolished the position of "Area Instructional Officer" and created the new position of "Chief Area Officer." Whereas the "AIOs" had to have administrative credentials under Illinois law, the CAOs under Huberman's new rules do not.

While most of the new "CAOs" were paid at an annual salary of $151,131 per year, one, the system's former Chief Financial Officer, Pedro Martinez, was listed at a salary of $174,285 per year. In an irony not noted anywhere else, Martinez signed the Board Report promoting Martinez. In one part of the report, Martinez was listed for transfer and appointment to the position of Chief Area Officer, Area 4. The report was signed by Pedro Martinez, Chief Financial Officer, along with Ron Huberman and others.

Pedro Martinez was not the only newly appointed CAO who had no Illinois Type 75 administrative credential, just the most visible to CPS insiders. Others included retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Rick Mills, who went from overseeing the "Military Area Office" to overseeing a newly created office the included several Chicago high schools. Like Martinez, Mills has no teaching or principal experience in Chicago. Three of the new Chief Area Officers came from within the system, but not from the top ranks of administrators. One of those, Akeshia Craven, went from a salary of $105,000 per year (as "Senior Manager, Instruction Design and Assessment") to CAO of Area 19 (at $151,131.43 per year). Five of the new CAOs came from outside the system, like Monique Bond and Sarah Kremsner, "new employees."

Immediately, the CAO structure went into effect. Principals were warned that they had to follow the jargon and rhetoric of Ron Huberman's revolution.

Department budgets and staffs

While Huberman was telling the rest of Chicago's media and the world that CPS was facing that $475 million 'deficit,' he was also preparing his budget, and his priorities, for the 2009 - 2010 school year.

Contrary to what he was saying publicly, Huberman did not cut every unit and department in the school system's central office. To the contrary, he expanded some and created new ones.

One of the biggest departments was something that didn't exist before. In the Proposed CPS Budget, Huberman established the "Office of Performance Management" with a new budget of $4,755,212 and a staff of 33 people (proposed budget, page 282). Sarah Kremsner had her department, and Huberman was ready to deliver his Power Point warnings to the staff of Chicago's public schools.

Daley's totalitarian model of governance and Ron Huberman's commissars

The surprising appointments of the latest number of executives — the most expensive in Chicago history — at CPS comes as a surprise only to those observers who believed the general propaganda that Chicago's public schools are being operated as public schools elsewhere.

In fact, what Ron Huberman is installing across the city's cast public school system is based on an older model that was never before attempted in Chicago (or most of the USA), but which has existed for centuries.

Depending upon the era and the form of dictatorship under which people were living, the "Chief Area Officers" and "Performance Management Officers" in other countries and at other times had different names. In German in the 1930s they were "Gauleiters" -- representatives of the ruling Nazi party in every corner of the nation. In Soviet Russia they were called "commissars." And in various other regimes that eliminated democracy as completely as it has been eradicated in Chicago's public schools, they had other names.

Usually, regimes like Chicago's also invent a complex and Orwellian jargon which has to be mastered by those who wish to rise in its service. In that context, the Huberman Power Points are a part of a larger historical context. On would think, in a city where the majority of school children face poverty, and where many face extreme poverty and homelessness, that the top officials of the public schools system — the one committed to serving all children, regardless of race, rank, or family wealth — would begin and end their first-day of-school work with a discussion of the schooling of those children. But Ron Huberman is not a teacher, and his job is not to make the schools better for children and their teachers. When Huberman defines terms in a corporate way, ignoring the harsh realities faced by children, teachers, and principals every day in Chicago's schools, he is simply being frank about his mission. He is in power to preserve and extend corporate rule, using corporate tools, with no regard for the wisdom and knowledge of the people who have worked in the schools for decades.

Were the uniformed services subject to the same kind of leadership appointments as Chicago's teachers and principals, there would undoubtedly be a political social uproar. Tradition holds that the Secretary of Defense should be a civilian (and civilian control over the military be in the hands of the President and Congress), but it would be inconceivable in the USA for callow computer jockeys and glib Mission Statement writers to be placed in command of soldiers and Marines in combat. After 15 years of a corporate model of school governance in Chicago, Chicago's leaders were confident in 2009 that they could get away with Ron Huberman and his data driven nonsense without paying any serious political price. How many Chicago teachers and principals bend to the sheer stupidity and irrelevance of the new regime remains to be seen. During the past year, there has been more resistance in Chicago to the Daley regime than at any time since 1995, when the Illinois General Assembly made Richard M. Daley dictator of Chicago's public schools. 

Final edited version of this article posted at September 3, 2009, 10:00 a.m. CDT. If you choose to reproduce this article in whole or in part, or any of the graphical material included with it, please give full credit to SubstanceNews as follows: Copyright © 2009 Substance, Inc., Please provide Substance with a copy of any reproductions of this material and we will let you know our terms — or you can take out a subscription to Substance (see red button to the right) and make a donation. We are asking all of our readers to either subscribe to the print edition of Substance (a bargain at $16 per year) or make a donation. Both options are available on the right side of our Home Page. For further information, feel free to call us at our office at 773-725-7502.


September 2, 2009 at 10:47 PM

By: Always a Crook

Once a Crook

F.O.P. On Huberman's Pension Claim: Um, No

The Fraternal Order of Police is making a move to block CTA President Ron Huberman from claiming his police pension. The Ron, who makes $198,000 a year, claims that he's entitled to it since part of his job at the CTA is managing security. He had previously worked for the CPD for 13 years, serving as both a patrol officer and then an assistant deputy superintendent, focusing on technology; he last worked for the CPD in 2004. In an interview a few weeks ago with the Sun-Times, The Ron had said, "Part of my responsibility is security at the CTA. I'm not saying I'm a police officer because I'm not. But the law says if you're involved in security work and that's part of your responsibility, you have the right to pay in if you're on leave of absence."

This does not make Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue a happy camper. In a letter to the Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago last week, Donahue said, "At a time when we serve on a commission attempting to address the under-funding of Chicago's Pension Funds, to now take an extremely liberal perspective of the law without making legislative changes to it borders on irresponsible." Donahue also implied that strange things were afoot since similar requests in the past had always been opposed. "To have only one active representative on the board...take a stand against such consideration is disturbing." Strange shenanigans in Chicago City Politics? Noooooo! We have to side with Donahue on this one. With the budget clusterfuck meaning fewer police officers, somehow we think The Ron won't exactly be hurting for money if they say, "No."


By Marcus Gilmer in News on October 17, 2008 10:35 AM

September 3, 2009 at 10:23 AM

By: truth seeker

materials/enterprise resource planning from Germany is the source for data driven gobbledigook

Noting that many of the corporates associated with domination of CPS are of the kind that fell into the SAP/BAAN/Peoplesoft trap of the "Reengineering the Corporation" Champy/Hammer CSC/Index(who infested CPS at one time) mentality, one should find no surprise at what has befallen our schools. Oh wait, CPS fell into the Peoplesoft trap too.

The underlying assumption of MRP/ERP centralized packaged business software is that all corporations are essentially the same, in terms of their core processing requirements. The height of arrogance in this characterization, most professionally promulgated by the German software firm SAP, is that the process models and operational reengineering assumptions and consultant racketeering inherent in the software represent the outcome of a 'race to the top' of best practices in corporate management.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Ask Waste Management, according to Infoworld's report:

"In a March 20 lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in Texas, Waste Management said that SAP had licensed its Waste Management and Recycling software to a limited number of small, European waste companies prior to its contract. SAP assured the company, however, that its software would work in "the considerably more complex competitive environment" created by the U.S.'s open pricing system for waste hauling, which is very different from Europe's government-controlled pricing system.

Waste Management claims it was a ruse, starting in 2005 with demonstrations in both the U.S. and Germany, involving high-level SAP executives such as SAP Americas President Bill McDermott and former president of technology, Shai Agassi, of what SAP said was mature, industry standard software for the waste industry that did not require customization. Waste Management claimed it later learned the demos were of "fake , mock-up simulations" of software with "false functionality."

Waste Management said it signed a contract for an 18-month project for a system, built on SAP R/3, which handled the order-to-cash process, including billing, collections, pricing, and customer setup. Its goal was to streamline operations and improve revenues and customer satisfaction. Waste Management said the system was core to a broader company strategy called Customer First for expanding and retaining market share.

While Waste Management didn't provide details of its legacy systems, it appears some were developed by Oracle (NSDQ: ORCL)-owned companies. Waste Management used the services of SAP's TomorrowNow, a company that provides third-party support for Oracle software such as Siebel and JD Edwards, and is the subject of a lawsuit Oracle filed against SAP last year.

During the initial pilot project in New Mexico, Waste Management discovered the software was "unable to run [our] most basic revenue management operation." Waste Management alleges that SAP tried to solve the problem by rewriting tens of thousands of lines of core code during the implementation process. But that only caused further failures and made the system incompatible with future upgrades, Waste Management claims. That pilot, originally scheduled for completion in December 2006, is "not even close to being completed today," Waste Management said.

It appears that Waste Management is looking to kill the SAP project. SAP proposed a new development project to fix the problems that would result in completing the project in 2010 "without any assurance off success," Waste Management said. But that would require the company to "once again act as SAP's guinea pig by agreeing to convert what was supposed to be an 18-month out-of-the-box implementation into an even more expensive, longer and highly risky software development project."

The suit accuses SAP of fraudulent inducement, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract and seeks compensatory and punitive damages. SAP decline comment on the suit."

The biblical Book of Proverbs has an aphorism, "Educate a child according to his way; even when he is old he will not turn from it.". This is generally understood to mean working with a child's unique traits that form the basis of their learning approach. Test-dominated teacher-bashing manufactured classroom methods, smacking of the worst arrogance of SAP's approach to business management software, hardly fills the bill.

September 3, 2009 at 11:18 AM

By: The joke is on Chicago

Why didn't we read this in the Chicago Sun-Times?

It seems that this story developed over several months, from the day Ron Huberman replaced Arne Duncan to this week, when Huberman's ridiculous Power Point filled principals and teachers with dread, like the arrival of Voldemort at Hogwarts. It shouldn't have come as a surprise, though. Day after day and month after month, Huberman was purging Chicago of veteran principals and educators, carefuly purging them (often humiliating them in the process), and then replacing them with data heads whose method of operation resembles the Deatheaster of Harry Potter fame. This might be funny if it were fiction, but it's now fact for every child who has to attend a Chicago public school and every self-respecting principal or teacher who will try to work in one while being bossed around by a tribe of people who shouldn't be allowed in the door without adult supervision, let alone given power over the lives and careers of thousands of adults and hundreds of thousands of children.

How many Paul Zeitlers, David Gilligans, and others with classroom and leadership experience have been purged so that room could be made for the Sarah Kremsners of the planet? And how many more are waiting in line with their MBA degrees, now that their dreams of million dollar bonuses have died on Wall Street and La Salle street?

September 3, 2009 at 4:12 PM

By: Feeling Queasy

Leave Us Alone

I'm sure that President Obama will explain Ron Huberman's presentation when he takes over as Principal-in Chief on September 8 and "talks" to the children. Hmmm. What countries make it a practice to line up the children and have the leader of the country "talk" to them?

September 16, 2009 at 9:06 AM

By: truth seeker

student readiness assessment

Perhaps it's time for primary grade teachers to fight back with a data-driven assessment and program implementation regime of their own- student readiness assessment.

If teachers are going to be evaluated based on student performance on tests, it seems only fair that the teachers and the school system fully understand what their clientele is like, in a clear and unambiguous manner.

Students should be assessed for:

1. proper nutrition

2. proper sleep habits

3. appropriate dress for school and learning

4. entry competence in skills and content as determined by teachers to be of importance

5. parental compliance with teacher/school rules and recommendations

6. deportment/temperment

This might not be the best list, but it might be very telling.

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