'With a heavy heart' Donald Fraynd is leaving as CPS 'turnaround' guy, being replaced by an MBA who went through the Broad program

Less than two weeks after he took part in a presentation at the Education Writers Conference in Chicago touting the work of CPS in its "turnarounds", Donald Fraynd announced on April 4, 2012 that he is leaving Chicago's public schools to take a job in the private sector of education reform. According to Fraynd's announcement, he will become "CEO of a new start company in the education human capital space..." (sic, his precise words; the company was not named).

Above, Donald Fraynd (left) reading from the CPS script at the hearing on the proposed "turnaround" of Marshall High School on February 1, 2010. With Fraynd is CPS attorney Joseph Moriarity. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Fraynd, who was put in charge of the new internal turnaround office (currently called the "Office of School Improvement," or OSI) on the eve of his being ousted as principal of Jones High School, will be replaced by Aarti Dhupelia, whose qualifications for one of the top administrative jobs in the nation's third largest school system are highlighted by the fact that (a) she has never taught; (b) holds both a BA (Northwestern) and and MBA (Harvard) from expensive universities; and (c) is a "Broadie" (Broad resident, Class of 2007 - 2009).

In February 2012, according to CPS budget documents obtained by Substance under the Freedom of Information Act, Fraynd was being paid an annual salary of $151,000, and the OSI had 39 positions budgeted for it, the largest number in history. CPS has not disclosed what Dhupelia will be paid.

One of the things Fraynd revealed in his email message is that he had been moonlighting preparing the business plan for his new private sector venture. He did not say what his new company will be called or who is bankrolling it.

In an email message distributed to the staff of the CPS "Office of School Improvement" (the internal turnaround office), Fraynd announced his departure. The complete test of Fraynd's message appears below:

Dear Office of School Improvement (OSI) Community:

I cannot tell you how proud I am of what OSI has become. Many of you have heard me tell the stories of the early years when then CEO Arne Duncan and Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason-Watkins asked me to leave my principalship to build out the turnaround model and to implement it at our first high school. I assembled a team at OSI and selected an awesome principal and APs — all of whom I consider some of the best minds in education. And, boy o boy, did we give it our all! Over the years, we added more schools with stellar administrative teams and I took over the whole office and we slowly added more and more OSI folks to round out our expertise.

OSI is evolving in just the way it was intended; it was always supposed to infiltrate and influence CPS' way of doing business. Just to mention a few tangible successes: freshmen are 68% more likely to be on-track than before turnaround, test scores at our first high school have hit double digits after decades hovering near zero, attendance has grown at several times the district average, and more students are graduating than ever before. None of this would have been possible without the patience, support, and push of families, faculty, staff, other CPS departments, senior CPS leadership, and friends of OSI.

Aarti Duphelia (above) will take Donald Fraynd's place as "Chief Officer for School Improvement" on April 9, 2011, when Fraynd leave to become and edupreneur.It is with a heavy heart as well as a sense of excitement that I announce to you that I will be leaving CPS to serve as CEO of a new start company in the education human capital space. You may know that I consider myself a builder at heart and it is time for me to go and build again. We have been working on our business plan on evenings and weekends for almost a year. Two weeks ago, we met with our investors, and they indicated that we are ready to go. Thank you so much for being a part of this adventure with me. It has been the highlight of my career.

I am also pleased to announce and welcome Aarti Dhupelia as the new head of OSI. She comes with a wealth of leadership experience most recently as head of CPS' Career and Technical Education department. She is a graduate of the Broad Residency class of 2007-2009 and has earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in Economics and Mathematical Methods from Northwestern.

Most importantly, Aarti is an advocate for ensuring that all students have an opportunity to achieve. As she explains, "I believe that education is the single greatest driver of success in life, and I believe that all children are capable of extraordinary success." Please join me in welcoming Aarti as the new Executive Director of OSI. She will start the week of April 9th. Like so many of you, I will be eager to watch the work evolve and to lend my support in whatever ways possible. In the spirit of beating the odds, (Donald J. Fraynd, PhD, Chief Officer


April 6, 2012 at 7:27 AM

By: Bob Busch

SNAFU... an a positive for Dhupelia

Personal observation

Dr.Robert Bush is a vocational teacher at the Ag. school. I am Robert Busch and was a Librarian at Bogan before I retired. Last year, I received a letter from the union

inviting me to serve on a Board-Union Career Education committee. I was familiar

with Voc.Ed. by virtue of the 26 years I served at Simeon. But to this day I wonder which

Bob Bush the union meant to ask. I went anyway.

Aarti Dhupelia represented the Board along with others. I was impressed by her. She actually listened and took notes, while the rest of the Board teem doodled

and looked at their watches. She seemed concerned, receptive, and open. If only she had spend a couple of years in a school I think the world might be a better place.

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