Schools across Chicago 'ready to explode' as lack of security and substitute services combine to create a perfect storm of chaos at at least 100 of Chicago's real public schools (and at many of the charters as well)...

Under the Amendatory Act of 1995, Chicago's mayor has the power to continue to appoint unqualified clout-heavy politicians and cronies to the top positions overseeing Chicago's public school system, the third largest in the USA. Hence, by the February 24, 2016 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Forrest Claypool (above left) could go from being "Chief of Staff" to Mayor Rahm Emanuel to being "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago Public Schools -- despite the fact that Claypool was almost completely ignorant of the city's complex and massive school system (his previous expertise was in public transit, as head of the CTA). Virtually as soon as he took office in July 2015, Claypool began lying about the massive ($6 billion) CPS budget and bringing in a small army of expensive cronies from the old days when he was in charge of the Chicago Transit Authority. Above, Claypool crony Robert Marmer became the school system's General Counsel despite the fact that Marmer, like Claypool, knew almost nothing about the city's public schools. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Thanks to a combination of "austerity" budgeting (often based on false claims about the size of a Chicago school budget "shortfall"), police cutbacks (and retirements), a bankrupt ideology of corporate "school reform," and mismanagement of local Chicago Public Schools security resources, at least 100 of Chicago's nearly 600 real public schools are facing a crisis caused by centralized factors but landing in the halls and classrooms of the schools themselves. Gang violence in and around many schools -- not only on the south and west sides as proclaimed by certain ignorant analyses by a faction of the leadership of the city's teachers union -- has escalated to a degree not seen since the late 1990s and early 2000s. And the failure of the Claypool administration to even recognize that schools need substitute teachers has escalated the problems where they are worst for other reasons.

A small number of simultaneous causes are conspiring to make things dangerous during the Spring of 2016, the most serious is the complete cluelessness of the top administration at the nation's third largest school system. Having replaced experienced educators with corporate and City Hall hacks (Barbara Byrd Bennett and Jean-Claude Brizard are best described as "corporate hacks," courtesy of the Broad Foundation; Forrest Claypool is a City Hall Hack; none of them knows much -- if anything -- about the complexity of Chicago's public schools...), Mayor Rahm Emamuel then encourages the "head in the sand" approach to real problems. This is done by substituting lurid fetishes for reality. The most obvious of the fetishes is "data", and the fallacy of so-called "data driven management."


April 13, 2016 at 7:46 AM

By: bob busch

to sub in chicago

To sub in Chicago.

December 28 , 2010 the emergency room doctor tells me I have to

Have a quadruple by-pass operation. January 2, 2011 operation successful.

February 2, 2011 I retired after 41 years as a Chicago Public school teacher.

By July 2011 I felt better than I had in years decided to sub. But the Board is not

Hiring subs, or taking applications finally in March 2012 the board web site

opens for online sub applications. By March 12, 2012 everything the web site

requires is submitted and accepted. One would think a world class organization

like CPS would reply , or reject this application as of today January 18, 2013

not one word. What has occurred since September leaves me wondering just

how screwed up is the Board?

First I called sub center where they gave me a e-mail to write, no reply

Then a young man told me I would hear something that was a month ago.

Now I want you to realize only two of the many calls I have made resulted in

Talking to a human most result in voice mail, several times the voice mail was full.

This week I tried Monday and got a human who gave me a number to something

Called the Talent Bureau who are now in charge of hiring, I guess.

Low and behold I got the voice mail of a student parent lady nothing from her yet.

Yesterday I tried a sub center again because a sub told me to punch option 4

Low and behold it told me to apply on line .Finally I called Human resources

where after four minutes of busy signals somebody hung up the phone.

In December I went to Clark Street where the hiring lady was “Not iN”

But the receptionist pulled up my application on line and said I would get a letter

in a couple of days. Now I am reading about sub fairs? Why the hell did I fill out the official

application on line almost a year ago?

Are other potential subs experiencing this problem? If they don’t want me just say so.

April 13, 2016 at 8:12 AM

By: bob Busch

sub update


Finally in February 2013 I was called to a sub fair and hired on the spot.

During the 2013-2014 year I subbed at Gage Park, Bogan, the Stem Academy

and Kennedy High Schools. During the winter of 2015 I got sick again and required minor

surgery. Twice during that time the boards new sub system cancelled two confirmed sub jobs one on the morning I was to sub. The board has a 90 day rule,which I violated because of my illness and the cancellations so I got suspended as a sub.

In the fall of 2015 my wife and I started the process over again.We were called to interviews in the basement that serves as CPS headquarters. I got hired again, but my wife never got called

after chasing people for an hour she seems to have landed on the Do Not Hire List, that is another sorry tale for another day. I had to repeat the drug test,fill out the paperwork and submit another background test.After two weeks of waiting for the Background test form,I down loaded

the official form from the Board website and paid to have it done.Another two weeks and no answer. Finally after playing phone tag I was told the official form was not the sub form,so there is where we sit. If the board wants subs it is hard to imagine how it could make the process any more fucked up.

April 13, 2016 at 10:45 AM

By: Susan Hickey, LCSW

my sub saga

I retired as a social worker in June 2015 and had no desire to be a sub. but at one of the schools I worked at last year, the counselor/ case manager was expecting a baby in April 2016 and we thought- what a great idea- I will apply to be a sub. The process for me went very quickly and I got the email to finish the process BUT I was told since that counselors do not get subs and therefore I would not be able to do it! What a joke! Here I am willing to go back and help a school with their IEP meetings etc., but cannot do it. Now the special education teachers and clinicians will have to scramble to do the work and take away from their actual role of working with children.

Penny wise, pound foolish!

April 13, 2016 at 12:10 PM

By: jcairo


I am a cadre sub, I am only allowed to be placed in certain schools. The problem is I do not receive a sub folder at the majority of these schools, No lesson plan, No class lists of students names, no teachers schedules basically NOTHING.

Sometimes you will get support from security, but more than likely you will receive support from the Seca's and TA's but I don't understand How you are suppose to go into a class room for an absent teacher and you don't know what going on. I've been physically, verbally assulted, threatened. The administration does NOTHING, some of those at the CTU do Nothing

How many CTU subs are there? That number has never been published and there is more every year.

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