People: Who's Really In Charge At Your School?

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The question of the week is who's the most important person at your school, in terms of knowing what's really going on and being able to get things done? Be brave and tell us what school (you're anonymous, remember).  Cartoon is from this week's New Yorker.


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  • In Charge
    Well if the pep assemblies are any help each class thinks they can shout
    Louder than the others that most civil of chants

  • Issues.

    If you bothered to read what I wrote perhaps you would realize that
    The lady in question was phenomenal. I do have issues with people who
    Pass judgment on others without knowing what they are talking about
    Like the slang expression

  • About 15 (or so) years ago, the CTU's Quest Center brought in Deborah Meier to speak. Before going on to NYC to start a successful teacher-run school, Meier began her teaching career in Chicago. When asked why she left our city, she responded that it was the realization that the school clerk had more authority than teachers in what materials could be purchased and matters of teaching and learning in the classroom.

  • The clerk at my school has way more power than she should. She is a smart organized administative assistant who goes above and beyond the call of duty. She's a really great clerk! However, she has no education or leadership training.

    Along with the clerk, a small group of overachieving teachers (2-4 teachers) manage all the initiatives and cover the principals back. They are in control of the education side of it. The one person at our school who is not in charge is the principal. He spins yarns and tries to cover up the fact that no one is in charge and most of the teachers have him wrapped around their fingers. Principal reform is badly needed.

    This all points to the union. The teachers union (which I am a huge fan of) must step up and realize that we need to set policy to get rid of poorly performing teachers who are givng the public fuel for the fight to break the union. We need to stand up to the slackers, call them out, and negotiate a contract that does not protect them. We cannot protect teachers on the backs of children. 2 years of a slacker teacher can destroy a child's education. Principals need to stop protecting them and teachers need to speak up!

    No one else is going to fix it. Get rid of puppet principals and slacker teachers. Set a standard of quality that will bring respect back to our profession.

  • That is an absolute truth at CPS. However, it is the principal who gives them this power. Right?

  • I've heard rumors of the clerk manipulating in and out times for teachers who show up late daily.

  • Except for the fact that they have no formal training in education, business management or leadership. Sarcascasm is not going to fix it. Letting clerks run the schools is a huge part of our systemic problem. It's not funny.

  • I agree with all you say. Keep speaking up, and find a way to let your area office and LSC know what is going on. Get on the LSC if you can. These people are destroying the schools and abusing children. Clean up our system and save our union. We work too hard to let these criminals get away with this.

  • Safe

    It comes as no surprise to those in the system for a while that the clerks and janitors
    Have a lot more power than they should. However the reason why has not been addressed
    In this thread.
    Janitors, engineers, firemen, and clerks all had a political sponsor in order to get the
    Job in the first place. They are considered safe and one of us by those who run the city.
    Teachers and other academic types have always been considered egg-heads and not to be

  • Slackers teachers come in all sizes. The term does not imply tenure. Teachers who don't plan, don't grade papers, don't collaborate, and don't employ best practices can be any age or senority level. They are going to destroy our union if we keep protecting them. Do your job or get out.

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