Brizard announces plans to open Scab Schools in August 20 letter to parents and teachers

No sooner had the Board of Education prepared the agenda for its August 22, 2012, meeting — including a secret agenda item that will reveal CPS plans to open between 100 and 150 schools under various pretexts, but basically as what union people will call "Scab Schools" — than "Chief Executive Officer" Jean-Claude Brizard distributed a letter, in print and on the Web, for parents and teachers.

CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard has spent most of his 15 months in Chicago smiling while utilizing every teacher bashing and union busting plan and talking points he rehearses, with a smile, after receiving the lines from the Mayor's Press Office and the CPS ever-expanding "Office of Communications." Substance photo November 2011 Board meeting by George N. Schmidt.While the letter supposedly celebrated the opening of the second week of the 241 "Track E" schools, it also continued the vacuous divide-and-conquer tactic Brizard began using one year earlier. During August 2011, Mayor Rahm Emanuel began paying off preachers to deliver sermons in favor of his version of the "Longer School Day," while Brizard tried to bribe schools that "volunteered" to join his "Longer School Day" campaign in September 2011. Those 11 schools — half of which were later mortified by having succumbed to the trickery — wound up with the Orwellian name "Pioneers..." as Substance reported then.

Brizard's August 20, 2012, letter follows (the key paragraph about Brizard's Scab Schools is in italics):

Dear Colleagues and Parents:

Today marks one week into the Full School Day for School Year 2012-2013, and I want to take a moment to recognize all the hard work on the part of our principals, teachers and school staff to make this launch successful. They have done an amazing job in ensuring that our students start the year off on the right foot. Thank you.

Now that we've launched the school year, I want to take this opportunity to recap some important work that is being done, including implementation of reforms that will be critical to driving student achievement and supporting our principals and teachers in that work.

Full School Day: Just a few weeks ago, we reached a landmark agreement with the CTU that allowed us to launch the Full School Day at the start of the new school year, hire approximately 500 more teachers in areas like art, music and PE, enable elementary school teachers to maintain their 7-hour work day, and give students the additional, quality time they need in the classroom. I’ve visited several schools over the last week to observe how each is implementing their full day, and I’ve been awed and humbled by the care and planning taken on the part of school leadership and staff. I look forward to visiting many more schools in the coming weeks.

Teacher Evaluation: This year also marks the launch of REACH Students (Recognizing Educators Advancing CHicago’s Students)—a new, comprehensive teacher evaluation system that state law requires CPS implement by the 2012-2013 school year. The basis of REACH Students was grounded in feedback from more than 2,300 CPS teachers who participated in focus groups to help guide the development of this initiative. This was followed by one year of planning and 90 hours of meetings with the CTU. We made many changes to the plan due to CTU’s input – from how much student growth would be included to staggering the implementation over the course of five years. We believe this will give teachers the kind of meaningful feedback they have asked for to help support them and their craft. For more details on REACH Students, please visit

Protecting and Investing in Programs that Support Student Achievement: At Wednesday’s Board meeting, we will present our proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2013. We are required to submit a budget by the August Board meeting, but will have to submit amendments or revisions at a later date to reflect the ultimate agreement reached with the CTU. Regardless of any adjustments, our commitments in this budget remain unchanged, including:

— Protecting and maintaining class size despite a projected deficit of nearly $3 billion over the next three years.

— Directing more than $130 million in new discretionary funding to give principals and school communities flexibility to create a quality, Full School Day that best meets the unique academic needs of their students.

— Protecting investments in early childhood education and full day kindergarten.

— Expanding high-quality school options for parents to create nearly 6,600 new seats in high-quality magnet, selective enrollment, charter, International Baccalaureate (IB), and Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.

At Wednesday’s board meeting we will also be introducing a resolution that would authorize the development and implementation of a plan to provide supports to students and families in the event that the CTU chooses to strike. This resolution is simply a precautionary measure. We remain confident, especially given the recent progress at the bargaining table, that we will reach a fair contract agreement and avoid a strike. Just as we were able to reach an agreement around the Full School Day by a commitment to negotiate in good faith, we’re confident we can reach agreement on the other issues that remain on the table.

While we still have work to do, the tone in negotiations has been positive and progress is being made. We all must remain committed to working hard and communicating every day in order to reach a fair contract as a strike would only hurt our kids and school communities. Our children cannot afford for that to happen and neither can we as a District.

We recognize that many of you are being asked to help us execute a lot of important reforms for our students this year and want you to know we’re very grateful for all you do. I want to start the school year off in a positive and meaningful way and hope that we will soon reach the resolution we need to move forward as a District to help our children receive the very best opportunities they deserve. Thank you, Jean-Claude Brizard, Chicago Public Schools | CEO


August 21, 2012 at 12:08 AM

By: Michael Cherone

A week into the Full School Day?

Really? With a bloated communications team of 20, at a cost of at least $200,000 a month, no one caught that? Seriously?

How could we be a week into the Full School Day? We are a week into the school YEAR.

I can't wait to see what this brilliant plan is. If I had to guess, it's going to cost a fortune and someone, be it Juan Rangal, TFA, or Houghton Mifflin, is going to make a lot of money.

September 3, 2012 at 1:22 PM

By: Dean Scarpinato


Fuck you Jean Claude Brizard.

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