From 'pioneer schools' in 2011 and 'welcoming' schools in 2013 to massive insults to dozens of veteran high school teachers, CPS continues its attacks and provocations... On April 12, 2013, CPS 'rescinded' the March 2013 appointments of veteran teachers for 'IB' programs at at least four high school

One month after dozens of Chicago high school teachers were told that their positions in the expanded "international Baccalaureate" program had been confirmed for the 2013 - 2014 school year, principals at no fewer than four high schools took back the assignments, claimed that the agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union on the assignment to the IB program did not exist, and launched another confrontation between the Chicago Teachers Union and the union's members and supporters and the regime of Barbara Byrd Bennett and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Above, one of the dozens of letters sent to teachers at at least four Chicago high schools on April 12, 2013, by means of which the previous appointment to the much ballyhooed IB program were "rescinded." According to union officials, the Board had previously agreed to the appointment of qualifying teachers already at the schools that were expanding into the IB program. The agreement, signed by CPS attorney Joseph Moriarity and CPS "Chief Talent Officer" (the current name of the Human Resources department) Alicia Winckler.In letters that virtually exploded to those who received them in their schools on April 12, 2013, the principals of at least four of the IB high schools told teachers that their appointments into the IB positions, which had been confirmed one month earlier, were rescinded. The principals that Substance confirmed (as of the morning of April 15, 2013) to have issued the rescind notices are: Marcey Sorenson (Clemente); Michael Boraz (Lincoln Park); Susan Lofton (Senn); and Mary Kay Cappitelli (Taft).

The other high schools that have been scheduled for the expansion of the IB program for the 2013 - 2014 school year are: Back of the Yards (Patricia Brekke, principal); Benito Juarez (Juan Ocon, principal); Bronzeville Scholastic Academy (Leandra Kahn, principal); Schurz (Daniel Kramer, principal); Farragut (Tonya Hammaker, principal); Hyde Park (Antonio Ross, principal); Kennedy (George Szkapiak, principal), according to CPS documents and bulletins.

The controversial expansion of the once-rigorous IB program pushed by the mayor now expands the controversy. The IB program was originally developed in Switzerland as a rigorous way of training the children of international diplomats and for years existed as an exclusive and rigorous program at a handful of Chicago public schools. Beginning more than ten years ago, under Paul G. Vallas, CPS tried to expand the IB program as community high schools demanded more special programs to attract students who were being recruited by the magnet high schools (and at times later by the charter schools). The dilution of the IB program in Chicago was supposedly approved by the international group, apparently because it provided a lucrative source of revenue to the IB international, despite the obvious fact that the expanded IB claims were not supported by evidence that the IB was really taking place. Over the years, schools that have offered what Chicago calls "IB" have generally failed to graduate the "IB students" with the actual "IB diploma", despite the public relations.

A year ago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel began talking about expanding the IB program without consulting the Chicago Teachers Union, and then announced that the schools now in turmoil would get what he called 'Wall To Wall IB" (whatever that means) in the 2013 - 2014 school year. Some skeptics (including Substance) opined that Emanuel was simply trying to give principals an additional excuse to get rid of veteran teachers and replace them with novices, whom Emanuel prefers based on his version of corporate school reform. But once the CTU and the Board's officials had supposedly agreed to the provision that would keep most incumbent teachers in the "IB" jobs at their schools, the problem seemed to have been solved. That was affirmed when the teachers received their notices in March 2013 that they would be part of the new IB programs.

And that was why the April 12 notices "rescinding" the IB appointments came as such a dramatic shock.

The action took place late on a Friday afternoon and by late that day was causing another stir across the city among teachers and others.

News of the latest attempt by CPS officials to undermine both the letter and spirit of the new contract between the Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union began coming to Substance reporters late on Friday, April 12. By early Saturday, April 13, at least four principals had been confirmed to have issued the letters supposedly "rescinding" the original offers. The contract, which was approved by a vote of the members of the CTU in September 2012 following the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012 and approved by a vote of the Chicago Board of Education at its October 2012 meeting contained additional documents including one that provided for the appointment of veteran teachers to the "Wall to wall IB" programs being promoted by the mayor's office and CPS.

CPS 'Chief of Schools' (northside high schools) sat silently during the Lincoln Park High School LSC meeting, taking notes with beaverish intensity.In mid-March 2012, principals had informed the teachers at the high schools that they would be included in the IB program beginning in September, and teachers began preparing for the summer and other training required of the program. Suddenly, late on Friday April 12, the same teachers learned they had been, effectively, unapproved. The principals who issued the rescission letters included at least the following: Clemente High School; Lincoln Park High School; Senn High School; and Taft High School. As of the deadline for this story (midnight April 14, 2013) Substance has not confirmed any other high schools at which the principals have taken such action, although some union officials suspect that the principals at all the high schools expanding into "Wall to Wall IB" for the 2013 - 2014 school year have taken the action.


April 15, 2013 at 7:52 AM

By: Jean R. Schwab

'Rescinding' and the IB program

Nothing that CPS does surprises me -- being erratic is their norm.

April 17, 2013 at 10:02 AM

By: Kimberly Bowsky


I agree with the writer above. What would external auditors say of a corporation that that claims cost-effectiveness, but borrows millions to close programs that are currently budgeted and open? Or to constantly contract and sell off our children's birthright: special and pre-school education? What is going to happen to the original IB, now that it will be standardized and generalized by District 299?

April 18, 2013 at 2:38 PM

By: Sunny Takao


Preschool is a birthright? Interesting

April 18, 2013 at 2:58 PM

By: Kimberly Bowsky

Re: erratic

Education is a right. Public education for all is a right. While pre-school and special education are options for families, the idea is to keep them available--not to privatize them or exclude people from access. A birthright...interesting...why not?

April 20, 2013 at 2:17 AM

By: Frank Thompson

Illegal Firings

So will the union be able to fight the illegal firings of the schools going wall to wall IB? What power do they have? This may be the defining moment for the CORE administration: what power, post strike, do they have to enforce a contract that has a billion dollars in CPS lawyers and just as many loopholes to get through. It will be hard pressed for me and anyone else in the new wall to wall IB schools to vote for the CORE administration if these teachers are let go, and remember, there are the high schools that PUBLICLY voted 100% yes to strike.

April 20, 2013 at 5:07 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

The fraudulent 'Frank Thompson...' Trolls using pseudonyms attacking CORE here

One of the things we do when editing Substance on line is check our comments several times a day. When we hear from a new commenter (e.g., "Frank Thompson" above) with a plausible "name," we contact them for verification -- if they are new to us.

We also check with the CPS "Position File" to verify that the "person" making the comment is actually on the CPS payroll. (The Position File is public information and includes the names of all full and part-time CPS workers by school).

There is no "Frank Thompson" working for CPS today. Not at any "IB high school" and not at any other unit.

This guy is just another troll. We're taking a little more time to track "him" back to his actual point of origin, just for the fun of it. When we meet it (anyone on line using a phony name can be a him, her, or it as careful people know), we'll publish not only its information, but a photograph. It's only fair when someone tries disinformation.

For now we'll just enjoy the amateurishness of the Salvation caucus (oh, excuse me, the "Coalition to Save Our Union"). Neither side of the Salvationsist bothered to learn much about computers, or how to use information to help the union's members. Heck, the PACT administration hired a "Director of Research" who refused to even learn how to use computers. And the NEW UPC administration played "Dumb and Dumber" across the board in the officer ranks. My favorite was the Financial Secretary who also didn't know how to use his computer. But why bother with that when you can watch TV all day while sucking nearly $200,000 a year in various ways from the union's treasury.

We expect to be tracking more and more of these, trolls and trollings over the next month. These amateurs will be posting nonsense not only here at, but elsewhere between now and May 17.

This tracking is fun, even if it's beyond the skill sets of the people trying this stuff.

But then, when you look closely at the Salvationsists the troll people posing around are puerile pontificators...

April 21, 2013 at 8:10 AM

By: John Eppolito

The truth about IB

Maybe IB is the problem.

Why IB is not a good fit for most schools

1) Compared to AP, IB will increase college costs for most students.

2) IB will not improve student performance.

3) IB's pedagogical method is one of constructivism and inquiry based learning to promote a specific ideology.

4) IB is extremely expensive.

5) Many schools drop IB. The reasons most often stated are: a) Cost, b) Lack of student improvement with IB, c) Less flexible than AP, d) Lack of participation in IB classes, e) Lack of college credit for IB.

6) Some people object to IB on religious grounds.

7) There is no record of a school ever being turned down for IB, so long as the money is available.

8) At the elementary level IB is required for all children in the school and the stated goal is to "develop attitudes," and to get students to "take action." At the middle school the IB suggests IB be implemented school wide. Children of parents who object to the IB ideology are sometimes forced into IB.

9) Many international teachers and former IB teachers are against the programme.

10) IB is an NGO of UNESCO (UN), IB’s goal is to promote the UN ideology.

11) IB has little to do with real education and more to do with ideology; specifically the UN’s ideology and Agenda 21.

12) With IB schools give up some local control. Any disputes are handled in Switzerland with Swiss law.

13) Some states and political parties are trying to eliminate IB.

14) The IB diploma required TOK class is composed entirely of questions like, "When can it be right to disobey the law? Can suicide bombers be right?"

15) AP is the best fit for gifted students.

16) For the IB diploma students must complete: six required classes in two years (three one year classes and three two year classes), a UN influenced philosophy course, write an extended essay, and complete 150 hours of community service.

17) IB is implemented in a deceitful way over and over throughout the United States. Once someone questions IB an open and honest discussion is never allowed, and the community becomes divided.

To find proof supporting all the points above,

There are numerous active IB battles going on in the US,

August 19, 2013 at 5:53 PM

By: Dr Denis P Curran

Let educators run Chicago Public Schools

Ever since The City of Chicago took control of the Chicago Public Schools the state of the schools has become deplorable. Of course efficient Principals and Teachers, as well as concerned parents run very good schools despite the blundering actions of City Hall and unenlightened lackeys at the Chicago public Schools central office together with the Chicago Board of Education.

One example of underhanded dealings: Tim Shanahan came to Chicago from Massachusetts and started the most auspicious reading program ever. It took only a couple of years for CPS to destroy the program. They did it by telling Tim Shanahan that he was being promoted. He didn't want the "promotion" they were offering, but told them he came to Chicago to launch the Reading Program and wanted to continue. CPS wanted it their way, so the University of Illinois, Chicago got a great educator.

Another example of unenlightened decisions forced on the Chicago Public School was a test constructed by Paul Vallas (bean counter from City Hall) and cronies at Central office. The test for certain was invalid and unreliable. When will the people of Chicago see the light and demand that educators take charge of The Chicago Public School and the Board of Education.

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