Posts in category "Uncategorized"

Dear Rahm Emanuel--Do you have any idea what's going on with special ed cuts?

CPS parent Lori Miller Barrett won the prize as first parent to be directly affected by the CPS “central office” cuts that were really special ed cuts. I quoted her in Wednesday’s post. She had written to me on Monday to say her daughter’s IEP meeting that day was indefinitely postponed because the main facilitator... Read more »

Rauner's state of the state (and the state of the schools)

Today in honor of Bruce Rauner’s annual state of the state address I bring you guest blogger Shelley Barnard, who can’t get the governor’s threat to take over CPS out of her head. Is it too much of a spoiler to tell you she doesn’t think Rauner would make a very good go of it?... Read more »

"CPS layoffs will not affect the classroom:" Another Claypool fiction

On Friday CPS announced 227 central office job cuts for a total of $30M in savings. Forrest Claypool assured us all that while these cuts are painful for central office, they won’t touch the classroom. I was happy to hear about this! Admittedly, CPS has trimmed central office religiously for years. It’s been downsized so... Read more »

No, kids, this school district isn't normal

Part of me wonders, sometimes, how I am supposed to explain CPS to my kids. I mean I write about this district a lot so they can probably read it and that’s that. We don’t even need to talk about it, really. But it isn’t so much CPS I feel I need to explain. It... Read more »

8 ways CPS is teaching the children well

I’ll admit it: I think we really have to come right out and say thank you to our school district for everything our kids are learning. I may be a grumpy bluebird of doom–I may do nothing but complain about CPS–I may have been filling you all with despair for two years straight–but, friends, I... Read more »

Who lays off librarians? CPS, that's who

Reader, I am embarrassed to write this post today, and I am ashamed for you to read it. But I am writing it anyway because it probably concerns something you don’t know about fully and I want everyone to know about this fully. Then we can decide what to do about it. I recently met... Read more »

Three results of market-based reforms in our schools

I’ve been churning out a lot of words this month about market-based reforms and the damage they have caused in our district because CPS leaders have a blind devotion to this ideology. These reforms have been picking up steam, astonishingly, despite their years of poor results, wasted money, resulting irreparable damage, and status-quo entrenchment in... Read more »

Disruption in CPS: profit or loss?

On Monday the exiting Inspector General for Chicago said that city government was so corrupt it should be blown up and started over. That was funny! Usually city officials themselves talk about blowing things up. Like, for instance, the school district. “Blowing up” is closely related to “breaking down.” These violent metaphors come from the... Read more »

Portfolio schmortfolio

Of all the terrible ideas that have come from market-based reform, the most idiotic is the “portfolio district.” You know, portfolio, like stock portfolio. You know, like a group of stocks chosen for their profitability. A collection of investments. You choose, hone, watch, keep tabs on the return on investment, sell off some, buy some... Read more »

Trapped in a failing ideology

Market-based school reform values three things above all: efficiency, profit, and economies of scale. That sentence alone right there should tell you all you need to know about why it will never work. Market-based reform will never be the basis of a successful school system. But I’ll elaborate if you don’t get it. Efficiency. Actual... Read more »