Brizard Unveils "New" Structure

AM News:  More details about the new CPS reorganization are trickling out, as well as coverage of discipline and other policy changes out of yesterday's Board meeting. I'm not sure how you add four more cabinet positions without increasing the size of the senior staff, or if the reorganization makes sense at the central office level or in the areas, er, networks, but I'm sure you'll help me figure it out.

Board updates student rules, responds to fired teachers Catalyst:  Revisions to the CPS Student Code of Conduct passed at Wednesday’s board meeting did not satisfy advocates for reforming school discipline procedures, though some said they were a step in the right direction.

CPS introduces new student code of conduct WBEZ:  Chicago Public School students will have a new set of disciplinary rules to follow when they start school this year. The Chicago Board of Education voted Wednesday to pass a substantial amount of changes, additions and deletions to the student code of conduct.

CPS chief promises more magnet, all-day kindergarten programs: With money freed up in part from cuts in the central office, the Chicago Public Schools is investing an additional $20 million in the priority areas of all-day kindergarten and magnet programming, according to new Schools Chief Jean-Claude Brizard.

CPS Giving More Money to Magnet Schools Fox  CPS is putting more money into magnet schools and all-day kindergarten. New Schools Chief Jean-Claude Brizard announced the move at Wednesday's board meeting. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that $5 million will go to ...

CPS reorganization spurs questions Tribune: Representatives of CPS' newly created community-based groups asked whether the changes would mean a disbanding of their councils.

CPS Unveils District Reorganization, Adds Cabinet Posts CNC: Brizard created four new cabinet-level positions. District spokeswoman Becky Carroll said the new positions will not increase the size of the central office staff.

Principal, assistant principal removed Tribune:  The principal and assistant principal of a high school on Chicago's Northwest Side face disciplinary charges after a yearlong investigation by Chicago Public Schools' inspector general revealed abuses ranging from ...

Charter schools press CPS for more money Tribune:  Charter school advocates are asking Chicago Public Schools to give more money to charter schools in the upcoming school year. With the district cutting per-pupil allocation by 4 percent last year and deciding ...


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  • cpsobsessed says that the idea of a parent engagement officer sounds promising

  • I notice there is no longer a Chief Performance Office. I hear the dying squeals of PM, and nothing could make me happier. Though I kind of miss the dog-and-pony shows which were the PM sessions - watching those self-righteous morons did keep me entertained during the dark times of Huberman and Kremsner.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I hate to burst your bubble especially since 95% of these employees should be gone but the Office of Performance is actually hiring. Really why are these directors still employed? Does any organization really need a director for every two employees? and actually their is a director in charge of no one and who does nothing. Come on Rahm shake up this department like your going to do the city. And before any of you correct me I know "Rahm" isnt in charge of CPS, right.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Thanks for raining on my parade. Yes, I agree that everyone in PM (barring one or two) should be summarily fired because they are a waste of space and resources. Their salaries are beyond excessive, and they certainly do have a bunch of useless directors who don't direct anything, but manage to pretend they're incredibly important. I noticed that many of the 'PM consultants' (or whatever they ended up calling themselves) have moved into other equally well-paid positions in other departments. My only joy is in the complete and utter failure of PM at CPS. It was a mindless, punitive system, and I'm thrilled to see that it won't continue.

  • NPR's brief article about changes to the Student Code of Conduct does not at all seem promising. The gist is that suspensions cause drop outs and that the schools are being too harsh. This is just another example of idiots finding correlations and claiming causation. I'm not surprised to see that protestors are blaming the system and not the actions of the offenders. If kids are frequently suspended, then the problems go much deeper than the suspensions, like, I don't know, maybe to the causes of the suspensions. You can't bring a knife or pot to school and then blame the Student Code of Conduct for your disillusionment with education. Other kids have rights, too. The kids not representing gangs, playing with weapons, and causing major disruptions have a right to a normal school experience in something resembling an educational, academic environment.

    "Community activists are already speaking out over one new rule that advises schools to only use out-of-school suspensions as a "last resort.""
    The last resort is really expulsion. I'd love to see how many "communtiy activists" have kids in CPS and of those, how many have kids that have become victims of theft, gang intimidation, violence, extortion, and general disruptions to the learning environment. You'd have to guess that number to be insignificant.

  • The devil is in the details. We have gone through the dog and pony shows so many times. Rip a page out of text book and then try to implement through mandates. This is how the top leaders in CPS roll. They see some article in a text book or see some product at a "resources" fair, where they are wined and dined, and then we get bullocks.

    Brizard is smart of enough to note certain critical needs of CPS in terms of leadership. New fancy titles but folks with no hard won successful work experience that go with that fancy title. That is why it is smoke and mirrors again.

    I wish there was a way to aggregate these folks performance as they fly by the seat of their pants with text book page in one hand and a blunt instrument in the other.

  • From Catalyst: ...The changes to the Student Code of Conduct were meant to comply with a state requirement that district’s implement Response to Intervention, a system that requires struggling students be provided academic and behavioral support and that the interventions are documented. Response to Intervention emphasizes providing students with positive behavior expectations and consequences.

    But students took issue with the fact that the code still requires that some students, those who commit the most serious offenses, be suspended or expelled. They say the requirement is, essentially, zero tolerance.

    However, the code of conduct now notes that administrators can use restorative justice processes, such as peace circles, to help reintegrate students back into a school after a period of suspension or expulsion.

    Jasmine Sarmiento, a Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) leader from Logan Square Neighborhood Association who will be a junior at Kelvyn Park High School in the fall, says the policy was short on details...

    --- RTI? How do sped teachers think this will play out? In reality? Rod?

  • "Bouchet" --- now to be Bouchet International Academy: IB Primary Years Programme and Middle Years Programme. Now, where do I recognize that name Bouchet from?

    According to news report: It'll be "part of the creation of an International Baccalaureate continuum between Bouchet and South Shore College Prep." Also, "South Shore International College Prep High School — will offer three separate tracks to meet a wide range of student needs, including an International Baccalaureate and a Career and Technical Education program."

  • Chief Talent Officer? My guess would be renaming Human Capital? Where’s Special Ed?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    CPS Human Resources Department became CPS Human Capital Department. Now the Human Capital Department is called the Talent Management Department.

  • People complained when Human *Resources* became Human *Capital*.

    It just got worse. Alicia Winckler is now the "Chief Talent Officer."

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    We already suspect Brizard has a bad eye for real talent. Giving Winckler a new title doesn't change her arrogant unprofessional way she is directing "Human Capital" CPS got clowned again!

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    If Brizard keeps Winckler and trusts her with negotiations--he will fail and be gone by August, 2012. She is a liability and a Huberman holdover who will sabotage his efforts. Get rid of her now!!!!!

  • I could write forever on the failure of CPS to implement RtI. This process costs money to implement effectively and CPS does not have the resources to implement it at very high poverty schools where there are so many students eligible for intervention it is overwhelming. By the way the Illinois General Assembly only approved $1 for RtI implementation statewide, so it is hard to blame CPS completely. But I want to focus my comments on what Schoolspam posted, because the comments were disturbing.

    Schoolspam questions the research basis for expulsions increasing dropouts, that research is pretty old and pretty deep. Moreover, there is also research showing the link between expulsions ultimately leading to prison. The basic idea of restorative justice operates on a principle that considers crime, wrongdoing, or rules violations to be an offense against an individual or community of people rather than the state or the state's representative the school district.

    The CPS has gone through phases of expulsion mania. In the 1960s and up to the early 1970s CPS was suspending and expelling plenty of students. In the late 1980s and early 1990s CPS dramatically reduced these actions, and then under Vallas CPS returned to increased suspensions and explusions.

    So there is a history here. When I was a CPS elementary student 1959 to 1967 children in grades 4 and up could effectively be placed in CPS disciplinary schools. Chicago's historic Moses Montefiore school was once upon a time not a school that required students to be formally identified as disabled, but rather students could also be placed in the school for being "socially maladjusted." A label that was effectively given to chronic disrupters who the CPS Bureau of Child Study did not consider to be mentally ill, but messed up generally because of the overall poverty of a community and dysfunctional parenting. Not surprisingly most socially maladjusted students were black.

    A few were not black or Hispanic, but white. In my elementary school, Lincoln Elementary, which was probably back then 90% white the socially maladjusted children were mostly "hillbillies" from Kentucky, and Tennessee whose parents had migrated to Chicago for work. These children were treated with distain by teachers who repeatedly disciplined them and sent them to the PE teacher who would in these students words "whoop" them with a "yard stick."
    As a second grader I recalled living in terror that I too would get sent for visit with the yard stick. While not qualifying as a "hillbilly," I certainly qualified as coming from a dysfunctional family because my mother was a chronic alcoholic who died when I was only 16 and whose alcoholism was well known to Lincoln school staff because I confessed to a teacher I had been beaten by my mother in a drunken rage. This confession remained in my records until I graduated from high school. In fact CPS conducted a social work investigation of my family, no doubt with an eye to placing me in a more moral environment, or classifying me as "socially maladjusted." My social record blocked me from admission to Lane Tech because the Lincoln School principal would not recommend me because I was "a problem." Yes this all took place at what is now a lovely upper income elementary school.

    In my work with students with very real psychiatric problems I see children as young as six years old repeatedly suspended until they are formally identified as disabled and the suspensions are effectively capped at 10 full days a school year. I do not think that anyone supporting restorative justice concepts at the last Board meeting is advocating for schools to have no control over children. But they are asking for schools to seek out alternatives to suspensions which are not controlling the behaviors of these students.

    The problem is CPS as a system provides local schools, and for that matter charters schools also, with no real additional supports for children who are falling apart, disruptive, and exhibiting incipient criminal behaviors especially if they are not identified as disabled. So schools left on their own put the kids out in order to keep order and control in place. It is a vicious circle and passing fine Board resolutions has not changed the situation. In fact in a few places the much decried culture of calm program was the only attempt to address the problem, but then it was done at the high school level after patterns of behavior had been well established for these children.

    I lived as a child with CPS zero tolerance policies and I do not wish those policies on the current generation of children. These policies did not help me, in fact it was a small miracle I graduated from high school at all and went on to college. Some of the Appalachian children I went to elementary school with were not so lucky.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    RTI, no one is against it. It is necessary. Most agree. Implementation and support is where CPS fails again! Again, for the district to say they implement RTI and mandate RTI in the schools and supporting RTI are two very things. It is telling where Brizard has his heart. He will give money to the magnet schools and not to the neighborhood schools where the money to get more skilled support personnel to support teachers and students to even try to do decent RTI interventions.

    Brizard is getting an F in my book! Not a good start. Reshuffling the decks with the same kind of soulless robots whether from here or afar, will not bring change. Not putting resources in the neighborhood schools is a sin! Brizard, you are not ethical. Watch, the charters are crying for more money and Brizard will give it to them.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    I can truly empathize with your experiences. So much of what is done, or better said, not done at CPS for students is truly disheartening at times. There are no real resources for troubled students. The counselors at elementary schools have no time for counseling, the social workers are overloaded, and as a teacher with 30 or 31 other students sitting in front of me, I have limited time to work with the student. What is the answer? I can't allow one, sometimes 2 students to cause total chaos in my classroom and deny the other the kind of environment that is conducive for learning. I spend so much energy on the one or two students, that I have little left to give the others. So, yes, in the end I want them out simply because there is no alternative available.

  • from a reader: "Any word on when Chicago Public Schools will be opening the Substitute Pool for new applicants? It hasn't been open since January of this year."

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Alex, the substitute pool so far, is only open to displaced teachers.

  • CPS says it's only added two cabinet positions, and reduced direct reports to JCB down to 9

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    To support the new Network Structure, the Chief Education Office has established two new offices. 1. The new Chief of Instruction office will design and implementation of a coherent instructional program that will align PreK-12 curriculum and teaching to the state core education standards. 2. The new Chief of Leadership Development office will support professional development of principals, School Chiefs, instructional coaches and school-based leadership teams.

  • At a near by neighborhood school, they lost 2 positions. Same number of kids as last year. No money for an AP and discretionary money is used to buy adequate instructional personnel on a already extremely strapped school organization. There is no relief for these kind of neighborhood schools. Taking away personnel does not make sense.

    Brizard is setting up the neighborhood schools to fail. Just watch.

  • These departments are not new. The Chief of Instruction used to be Kay Volk and before that Javier Botana, just a different name. The Chief of Leadership Development is not new either-that was Leadership Development and Support which was headed by Monica Rosen who has left CPS.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Dear Anonymous, that's according to CPS. Nothing is ever new in CPS.

  • In the 1970's, CPS had 27 sub-districts. In cost-cutting moves over the following decades, the number first were reduced to 23, then to 11 and then, to six regions. Since 1995, when then Mayor Richard M. Daley took control of the Chicago Public School system, the number and names of administrative offices across the city has varied widely. Paul Valles, the first CEO appointed under mayoral control, created six regions led by regional education officers (REO's). When U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan replaced Paul Vallas as CEO, Arne changed the name from regions to areas and expanded to 26 area offices led by area instructional officers (AIO's). Then when Ron Huberman replaced Arne Duncan as CEO, Ron reshuffled the area offices, creating more high school area offices and less elementary school offices for a total of 24 area offices led by chief area officers (CAO's). Now that Jean-Claude Brizard is the new CEO, Jean-Claude will eliminate 5 area offices from 24 to 19 and rename them school network offices. There will be 14 elementary school network offices and 5 high school network offices led by chiefs of schools (COS's).

  • Charters crying for more money? Ben J. from the Chicago Reader asks a pivotal question Chicago, how do the charters spend the millions they get from the state and the Chicago Public Schools. 22 line form is what they fill out for the millions gotten. Accountability? Don't think so. University of Chicago Charters do not want to even release their data! No good! Arrogance? Wake up Chicago!

  • Obviously, charters are not using the money for teacher salaries. A colleague with almost ten years experience was offered by a charter school 24K.

  • Harrison Peters is my new chief. What's he like?

  • Mr. Peters is arrogant and I believe from out of state. Not very supportive either. Leaves a brand new AP alone when principal takes a new job and the other ap with her. She gets to hire 17 new teachers while the LSC can't pick a candidate, open the school then possible get let go by the next principal selected. No interim no help.

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