BOARDWATCH JANUARY 2013. Groundhog Day at CPS during RAHM 2.0... From Paradigm Shifting and Portofolioing with 'J.C.' to Innovatiioning and Incubationing with 'BBBB'...

Anyone who thought that a lot of what was being passed off as reality during the latest year of the Reign of Mayor Rahm Emanuel was being carefully scripted, Hollywood-style, would have had an interesting time at the January 23, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. During the first year of Rahm's Reign, CPS was run by a CEO nicknamed (almost George W. Bush style) by the Mayor as "J.C." As the second year of Rahm's Reign ripened as 2013 began, the nickname bestowed from on high on the newest CEO was "BBB."

In November 2011, CPS announced the most innovative and incubational plan for training principals in the USA when Steve Gering presented the Board of Education with a Power Point (still available on line, until it's deleted) about the Chicago Leadership Collaborative. By the January 2013 Board meeting, 14 months after Gering was leading the Leadership, his seat during the Board meeting (January 23, 2013) was empty, although his sign remains, at least for one more month. This year's innovative and Best In Show plan to train and evaluate principals was Power Pointed by CPS "Talent" chief, former Chief Human Capital Officer Alicia Winckler. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.But if there were other differences between the administration of Jean-Claude Brizard, who was appointed to head the nation's third largest school system by Chicago's mayor from Rochester New York and the administration of Barbara Byrd Bennett, who got the job following a stint fixing things in Detroit after Brizard crashed and burned (at least in Rahm's eyes), those differences were minimal. And no more was the minimalism more evident than during the presentations by the administration on key policies than at the monthly meeting of the city's school board (also appointed by Rahm) on January 23, 2013.

Instead of a Power Point presentation about why Chicago needed lots of 'turnarounds' by the guy in charge of what in 2011 was dubbed "Portfolio," Chicago in 2013 got a presentation from a guy now known as chief of Transformation about why Chicago needed to right size its real estate footprint.

And instead of a Power Point presentation by the Novelty guy about how Chicago was going to do a nationally innovative and groundbreaking program to select and train principals courtesy of the JC Team, as the Board did in November 2011, by January 2013, a mere 14 months later, Chicago was getting a new novel and noteworthy principal training and evaluation program, courtesy of the BBB Team. And although five of the six members of the Board of Education had heard all this before, not one mentioned it as the Power Points droned on for more than an hour prior to the beginning of the newly innovated version of Public Participation at the monthly Board meeting for the nation's third largest school system. If it were Hollywood, the script was more Groundhog Day than anything else. But the protagonists smiled serenely without ever fussing about their roles.


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