Once head of language and culture, Armando Almendarez was not so long ago on Catalyst's short list to replace Paul Vallas -- along with Arne Duncan.
Until recently, Almendarez was one of the few Vallas-era senior staff to survive in the Duncan era, as Deputy Chief Education Officer in charge of of curriculum and instruction. His portfolio was never that clear, and over time some of the curriculum folks started going around him, but he knew everyone, and knew how to get things done.
So where is he -- and where are all the other senior-level brown (Hispanic/Latino) faces at CPS?
Just a few weeks ago, he left the Board (the position is still not filled, and now he's set up shop as -- you guessed it -- a consultant. Check it out here: Almendarez Consulting | Shaping Ideas for Success in Education. (There's also a great but strange picture here where he appears to be flashing gang signs with his crew of Asian elementary school students.)
With Almendarez gone, and Azcoitia long before him, it feels like
there's barely any senior-level Hispanic talent left in the building.
Ascencion, Amanda, Pedro, Xavier -- is that it? [UPDATE:
Fernando and Rosa in OLCA, too.] Amazing, if you think of it,
considering what's happening demographically and politically in this
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