Unsolicited Advice For The New CPS Chief

If you want to know what Barbara Radner and Steve Tozer think new CPS chief Ron Huberman should do, read this ChiTown Daily News article (Challenges ahead for next CPS chief). If you want to know what I (and your fellow readers) recommend, read on below:

Close More Schools. Given the budget crisis and the declining CPS enrollment it seems like 25 schools is too few. We need to "right-size" the district if 2009-2010 is going to be a bearable year. Develop training and support programs for displaced teachers.

Strengthen Transparency & Accountability: Do what Obama did and pledge to be more transparent and accountable at 125 S. Clark Street. Post memos and budgets online in a timely manner. Conduct an executive session in public. Hold some Saturday board meetings. Call on state legislators to make similar changes to the LSC process.

Revamp the Chicago Reading Initiative: This is perhaps the most expensive and moribund of the Duncan/BEW era programs out there -- a literacy coach in every school, plus mandatory reading programs for struggling schools. Give it a hard look. Keep what's good. Dump what isn't working -- or isn't being done.

Early Literacy For HS Students: Remedial adolescent literacy programs aren't enough for kids whose reading skills are below the 4th or 5th grade level. Bring in programs (like Language!) to help kids catch up.

I have more, but that's enough to get things started. What do you think Huberman should do?

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