Politics: Joravsky Profiles Chico (& His Wife)

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"'We took a system that was considered one of the worst in the country and we turned it around. We've lost our way since that time. We've got to get it back.' He maintains that CPS leaders following he and Vallas--including CEOs Arne Duncan and Ron Huberman--mistakenly expanded the central office bureaucracy. He says he'll shrink it and spend the savings in classrooms...His second wife, Sunny Chico, who runs a consulting firm [SPC Education Solutions] that provides tutoring services and curriculum advice for school systems."

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  • His assessment of Duncan and Huberman is accurate. The corrupt Michael Scott and Rufus Williams served under their watch. However, Chico was no friend to teachers, either. He won't get my vote.

  • Does anyone realize that in the suburbs one has to have teaching experience and an advanced degree to run a school or a district...CPS has many gradeschool people running high schools--people without HS administrative or educational background and people with no teaching experience running schools...and you wonder at the lack of success?
    Not a word about poor leadership or administration or corrupt administration in the schools?
    Why does the suburban model work? Discipline in the schools--something CPS keeps watering down...Actual texts for the students to use....not just classroom copies...Intolerance of truancy...administrators picked on educational and administrative abilities...not people who have jumped thru political hoops or have political backing...

    At CPS, a student who calls a teacher "A Fat, fucking ass bitch" is not written up...the teacher is, for poor classroom control. In the suburbs, a disruptive student is removed and if the pattern of behavior persists, is suspended..

    Students at a CPS school know there are no consequences. If you are late, so? If you miss many, many days, the teacher must give you make up work. If you fail a quarter, the teacher must give you make up work...If you don't turn in work on time, the teacher must take it late....There can be no academic rigor without discipline in an institution.
    Students commonly say "I'm telling the principal on you. I can get you fired..." And walk right out of class to find him/her...where they will get a willing ear...
    There are many good, dedicated teachers at CPS...can that be said for principals and assistant principals? Many are simply jockeying for a bigger school, a better salary, an AIO position or heaven: downtown?
    Did you ever notice that there is no career path for teachers? That your entire worklife is dependent on whomever is running the school that year? And who ever is running the school, has their own "crew--selective admission only..."

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