SuperSecret™ School Safety Plan Still Largely SuperSecret™

Five months later and we still don't have a list of the high-risk schools, programmatic details about services, or any evidence that the plan is being implemented effectively.

spy-vs-spy.jpg

$30M CPS Program Aims For 'Culture Of Calm' CBS2
The daily show of force in Englewood and other violence-plagued
neighborhoods is one reason for a big decline in the number of Chicago
Public School students shot this school year: 102 compared to 143 at
the same point last school year.

Huberman Fleshes Out Anti-Violence Plan WBEZ
The
program is not even off the ground yet--but Huberman revealed yesterday
that half the students CPS is targeting are no longer coming to school.

Huberman finally offers details to Chicago schools safety plan Catalyst
Today's details come five months after Huberman outlined the general
sketches of the plan. Previously, Huberman said he didn't want to
reveal the schools' names
to protect them from being stigmatized.

Plus which, we're being asked to trust that principals' school safety "wish lists" are full of items that are effective and necessary -- sight unseen. 

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  • huberman lying again. thanks sarah for showing the deception of this government employee.

  • 14 years of secrecy and deception by a government agency.

    09-0722-MO7
    Motion Re: Adopt and Maintain as Confidential all Existing Closed Session Minutes (July 1995 Through June 2009)
    *Adopted
    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/The_Board_of_Education/Documents/BoardActions/2009_07/09-0722-MO7.pdf

    strange it starts when daley took over. what is still confidential after 14 years?

  • the board's pr person promises more details soon...

    meantime, roz rossi weighs in with her take on the announcement, including news that just 40 percent of the kids shot this year were on huberman's fancy-pants high risk list.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/1987964,CST-NWS-skul13.article

    what i learned? the huberman analysis is wrong more than half the time, and that all the statistical mumbo jumbo he used (and repoters lapped up) was just that -- mumbo jumbo.

    / alexander

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    office of mumbo jumbo. that's the ticket. i prefer clownism myself but huberman has not moved up to that level yet.

    what a joke and people let this man get away with this destruction of the public schools in chicago.

    what a sham.

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    Reality Check: Who hires a third rate manager to run the third largest school district. A person who has no experience in even running a small school district. A fifth grader can answer that one. You don't! Really, you cannot write this stuff! How many children will suffer due to the inadequacy of the mayor and Huberman!!!

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    I am not going to defend Mr. Huberman on the cars, or on administrative expenses related to specific positions. But here is a budget truth, in FY 2010 the CPS central and area offices costs composed about $233.7 million out of a total operating budget of $3.5 billion (excluding capital funds). The central administration and area administration form about 3.8% of the budget.

    http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Documents/0910ProposedBudget/0910_Budget.pdf

    So in order to use administrative reductions to off set ISBE's failure to make its payments to CPS the school district would have to reduce administrative costs from around $223 million down to $23 million. That I would submit would require a little bit more than wacking CAOs, and getting rid of car lease deals.

    Far more important are expenses for Ren 2010 programs, and numerous contracts CPS currently has. These costs under the budget fall under Professional Services and Tution. In FY 2010 those costs were projected to be $689.3 million in total, about $37.6 million higher than in FY 09. If blog readers want to complain about something, then that is where the complaining should be aimed. If my math is correct these costs now form 11.83% of the CPS operating budget excluding capital.

    Now, arguing closing down all the Ren 2010 programs could generate the funds necessary to off set the level of payments not being made by ISBE, around $200 million is also somewhat simplistic. Because if CPS cut charter budgets they would have to take the students back into traditional schools and that is also not free. It is unclear to me if based on economies of scale at larger traditional CPS schools, CPS can educate these students at a lower cost than the smaller less efficient Ren 2010 schools, because of higher teacher salaries at traditional schools.

    Sometimes I think teachers, parents, and community activists are afraid to look at the bigger fiscal context CPS operates in, because it makes everything a little more complex. We do not have to make excuses for Mr. Huberman or the CPS Board, but we do have to look reality in the face. Reality right now is that CPS is experiencing unstable state funding and declines in the steady increases property tax revenues the district has experienced for a number of years. This does not mean we all roll over when cuts come down from Clark Street. But it does mean that the situation is far more complex than focusing of the precieved mangerial ineptitude of Mr. Huberman can possibly explain.

    The problems faced by CPS are bigger than just who sits in the CEO's chair, they relate to the vision of the person who sits in the Mayor's chair, and the vision of what it takes to educate our students by elected officals in Springfield.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    That org. chart (p. 273) illustrates some inefficiencies that "warned against" at the Harris School. But, Rod, you're right. The problems at 125 are not all internal. And for all the hostile feelings about BEW's "demotion," what could she have done better? (and that's not rhetorical -- I'm interested in fact-based opinions).

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Retired Principal said: Here are five of the high schools that will receive extra funds and services because of Ron Huberman's anti-violence initiative; Fenger, Robeson, Corliss, Julian and Harlan.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    BEW had an opportunity to go to the mayor and air her concerns for the impovershed children of this city and yes, offer her job--which would have put her in a strong position. A hedge she would have survived and won because Daley could not afford to accept her resignation. She can retire last year! But the money talks and she let that good power some time go.

  • perfunctory coverage from the tribune, though they did send a reporter to baltimore to see how the controversial YAP program looks in action

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-daley-schools-13-jan13,0,1728056.story

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-youth-violence-12-jan12,0,5665043,full.story

  • I thoroughly enjoy the photo you've chosen to pair with this story!

  • I thoroughly enjoy the photo you've chosen to pair with this story!

  • I thoroughly enjoy the photo you've chosen to pair with this story!

  • I think that both Sarah Karp's article and Linda Lutton's radio piece show that Mr. Huberman and CPS are having great difficulty implementing the culture of calm plan. Mr. Huberman does say many of the right things, and it is refreshing to hear the CEO discuss these complex and difficult students in terms that do not criminalize them, but speaks to support and help.

    But the more progressive tone really will not mean much without implementation. It is January, and it seems not very likely very much of the unwritten plan for a culture of calm will be impmented this school year.

    The State of Illinois is falling far, far behind in payments to all school districts including CPS. Even with an increase in the income tax state funding for education will in FY2011 and probably FY2012 be very difficult. So with the real possiblity of classroom teacher layoffs, increased class sizes, retirement payment reductions, and other unknown nightmares loom whether or not CPS can fund the anti-violence program at the projected level of $60 million over two years I think has to be in question.

    Rod Estvan

  • good points, rod --

    i agree about the tone and the glimmers of honesty about the complexity of the problem -- a big contrast from the summer when huberman seemed to be saying that this was pretty simple stuff to identify the kids and serve them.

    i'm less worried about the funding, which is much of it federal, than the plan design and implementation, however.

    the whole notion that you can predict behavior down to the student level seems pretty preposterous to me -- no one else in the nation says that this an be done, and already we know that less than half of the kids shot this year were on ron's list.

    then there's the issue of implementation. i'm not even sure if the board and the schools can agree on which kids to target -- i hear that the list has changed several times over the past few months -- and it remains unclear to me if the board will be able to locate and serve these kids who are many of them not in school.

    last but not least, there's the ongoing lack of transparency. we've all asked for the list of schools, the school wish list plans, the lists of CBOs to be involved, and the contracts, only to be told that it's coming or it's in draft (and as such not FOIAble). it's pretty ridiculous that we may have to wait until CPS reports to the feds about its use of stimulus dollars to find out what CPS did.

    / alexander

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Statistical mumbo-jumbo is right. Did anyone bother to ask how large that 'final list' was? If it included 5,000 kids, then I'm not surprised that many of those shot were on it. If I gave you a list of all CPS kids, I can guarantee that 100% of the students shot will be on it. The devil's in how you calculate the numbers...and PM knows how to spin it...

    Like Alexander, I also heard that the 'final' list was changed several times, based on different models, feedback from principals, rolling dice, etc. So there's a big question of what a 'final' list would consist of.

    No one else has done this nationally, because everyone else in the nation is smart enough to realize that you can't successfully use academic variables to predict violence against students.

    -yellowdart

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    i disagree. you can predict student behavior if there are trained and experienced educators in the classroom that are are not in fear of their jobs that have institutional history and memory both of which cps is destroying to go forward with its privatization plans.

    the other issue of transparency has effects all the way down into the classroom. when students see the district in shambles run by incompetent political hacks(yes kids can see this)then they are left to fend for themselves and laugh at any "new initiative" because there is never any follow through. How can there when there are attrition rates of 50%+ in some of the most neediest schools in the system.

    in another point of on transparency when someone is engaged in illegal activity against the interests of the public they will never be honest nor transparent. huberman after one year in office has proven he is both dishonest and political lackey of the mayor.

    John Kugler
    kuglerjohn@comcast.net

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    i disagree. you can predict student behavior if there are trained and experienced educators in the classroom that are are not in fear of their jobs that have institutional history and memory both of which cps is destroying to go forward with its privatization plans.

    the other issue of transparency has effects all the way down into the classroom. when students see the district in shambles run by incompetent political hacks(yes kids can see this)then they are left to fend for themselves and laugh at any "new initiative" because there is never any follow through. How can there when there are attrition rates of 50%+ in some of the most neediest schools in the system.

    in another point of on transparency when someone is engaged in illegal activity against the interests of the public they will never be honest nor transparent. huberman after one year in office has proven he is both dishonest and political lackey of the mayor.

    John Kugler
    kuglerjohn@comcast.net

  • I donno. I have a nagging voice in my head wondering about student confidentiality in the hands of these intended community support workers. It doesn't feel right.

  • MAD Magazine: problem is Ron's Madness is real and is hurting children and taxpayers-this city. Love it Alexander--thank you for keeping the pressure on. "the huberman analysis is wrong more than half the time, and that all the statistical mumbo jumbo he used (and repoters lapped up) was just that -- mumbo jumbo."
    Do not pay attention to the man behind the curtain...
    Daley just does not care anymore or he has been snookered by Ronnie and Donnie.

  • Here is unfortunately what is happening in Illinois. School districts because of ISBE's failure to make good on payments are shifting ARRA dollars to teacher's salaries when ever and where ever they can. I sit on the Illinois Attorney General's Select Committee on Special Education and at our meeting today three school disrticts which had representatives on that body discussed how their districts were being forced to use these ARRA dollars and reserve dollars to make payrolls.

    These districts in all honesty intend on restoring the ARRA funds as soon as ISBE makes back payments. All of these districts are owed money back to October. As was posted on this blog last week from the Tribune (Jan 11) CPS has stated through its PR person it is owed $100 million in special ed and transportation dollars from ISBE and up to another $100 million for other funding.

    The school districts are simply forced to tap what ever money they have on line right now regardless of what it is earmarked for. I am not sure the general public realizes how bad things are getting. Mr. Huberman and the CPS budget deparment have a nightmare of a job on their hands right now. There is probably little doubt CPS is delaying payments to vendors as long as possible and doing lots of other things it would rather not be doing.

    Rod Estvan

  • True, Ron E.--but then why did and is Ron spending ALL of this $$ on himself-cars, his staff and CAOs? His lack of fiscal restraint and basic knowledge of budget has come to bite him in the ...

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    What you want to check out this budget season is how many dollars are going to the PM department. They have endless positions and endless resources, while other cuts are still being made to the content offices. And the stimulus dollars are all going to support school PM - so don't forget to add that into the PM budget too.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Huberman has no clue so he has to hide his inadequacy by hiring a large management department that knows little about running and supporting schools!! Pure BS! Huberman then gives CAO's the "dumb" support materials to pass to their principals on how to manager their schools. Dumb! YOU CAN'T WRITE THIS STUFF!

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