What I Learned From Sharkey, Fraynd, Et Al.

Remember that panel I told you about earlier this week (here)?  Well I finally got the audio and uploaded it and looked through my notes.  The bottom line?  Jesse Sharkey is intense and funny (and stylish in his tweed cap).  Jennifer Husbands is smart and friendly and not to be messed with (in a good way).  Don Fraynd is sincere and hopeful about the turnaround efforts he's overseeing (not the emotionless robot blog commenters have led me to expect). Xian Barrett says interesting things (despite his claim that he doesn't like public speaking).

What else?  It was fascinating for me to learn that Fraynd had to ask for central control over the new schools process, and still quotes Arne Duncan ("What will your next excuse be?") on the question of under-resourced neighborhood schools.  Sharkey derided the polluted rhetoric and the salvation narratives that are out there, the fates of the older black teachers who are out of work despite having never gotten a bad evaluation, and the turnaround stick that's being used to beat teachers and administrators at other schools around the head.  Xian cited the DFC study showing schools can turn around themselves and spoke eloquently about the need for authentic parent and community voice.  Husbands questioned the DFC study's validity, and reminded everyone that nonprofit does not equal corporate and that the CCSR report shows that AUSL is serving the same kids.  All of them urged reporters to spend enough time to get the nuance of struggling schools and schools undergoing turnarounds, and to avoid the "________ messed up again" formula.  "We are also working our tails off until midnight," said Fraynd. "We don't have to be caricatures trying to strangle each other,"said Barrett. "Moving the need a little, that has to be ok," said Sharkey.

Listen to it all here: CPS Turnaround 032412.  What jumps out at you (besides the poor audio quality)?  It's about an hour long.



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  • Heard Don Fraynd left CPS. Can anyone confirm?

  • confirmed -- here's the email he sent out wednesday:

    "Subject: the next evolution of OSI and thank you

    Dear Colleagues: I cannot tell you how proud I am of what OSI has become. Many of you have heard me tell the stories of the early years when Arne and Barbara asked me to leave my principalship to build out the turnaround model and to implement it at our first high school. I assembled a team at OSI and selected an awesome principal and APs – all of whom I consider some of the best minds in education. And, boy o boy, did we gave it our all! Over the years, we added more schools with stellar administrative teams and I took over the whole office and we slowly added more and more OSI folks to round out our expertise. We always placed a high premium on talent as evidenced by the collective strength of this team. We have come a long ways from that big piece of butcher paper sketched over buckets of beers! Whether you joined up as a member of the original “rag tag” crew or if you joined up later to help us become a mature and scalable entity, you have and will continue to make a huge difference in the lives of some of the nation’s most under-served students. Noemi, JC, and Steve value OSI tremendously and have indicated that they need OSI to help impact more and more schools and departments throughout the district in the future, both turnaround and non-turnaround. OSI is evolving in just the way it was intended; it was always supposed to infiltrate and influence the districts way of doing business.

    It is with a heavy heart as well as a sense of excitement that I announce to you that I will be leaving CPS to serve as CEO of a new start company called TeacherMatch. You may know that I consider myself a builder at heart and it is time for me to go and build again. We have been working on our business plan on evenings and weekends for almost a year. Two weeks ago, we met with our investors, and they indicated that we are ready to go. I have the pleasure of working with some extremely talented people in my new venture. Ron Huberman will be our executive Board chair, Matt Curtis will be our Chief Product Officer, and Krystal Rogers will be our Senior Field Research / Project Manager.

    In closing, thank you -- for being a part of the *highlight* of my career. I don’t regret one minute of my time at CPS largely because of being so proud of our team and the work we do."

    thanks to the person who passed this along

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Ron Huberman will be our Board Chair!! What a joke!!! Run from TeacherMatch!

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Don Fraynd is a coward. He ran away once researchers were looking at his performance. Real scrutiny means the BS CPS is giving out is being exposed. Coward! These clowns are about building up their resumes and not CPS.

    How about CEO Match and Supterintendent Match. The problem starts at the top. Let us be real, the problem starts at the top! Rahm hiring totally incompetent head administrators to run CPS just shows they need help!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Teacher ”Match” as in “Fire”

    Sounds much like last summer’s TeacherFit by Polaris, only with Don Fraynd at the helm, he can go all the way with Lunch Room Staff “Match”, School Engineer “Match” Janitor “Match” School Nurse “Match”…

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    April Fools!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The website is funny, but not subtle enough. April Fools jokes can't be so obvious.

    Chief Psychometrician!?! hahahahaha. You're funny Alex.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Fraynd needs to move on! (Doubt if he can/) Alexander--if this is a Fool's joke--I will never forgive you and would give you an Elaine two-handed push-Get Out! You gave us only a moment of hapiness. As if Arne 'pulled' him from Jones CP! IF Hubie did take him--well not surprised by that either. Jokes on us.

  • Boy does this smell funny. So we are making hiring teachers a commodity now? "predictive analytics" LOL

    Just another way we can de-value the teaching profession. All this will do is take more $ away from where it should go and put it into the hands of a large company who's upper members were key parts in the privatization of MANY schools in CHI who I am sure will us TeacherMatch to hire their teachers.

    Please keep an eye on this one Alex, would love to know how many schools in CHI use them next year.

  • It is very height of hypocrisy that Fraynd dismisses the issue of under resourced schools ("What will your next excuse be?") when his pet turnaround process hinges on infusing schools with funds while at the same time reducing enrollment. Given that his only real CPS experience was at over resourced Jones and his only time spent teaching was at a Jesuit school it displays a great deal of ignorance and arrogance for him to make such smarmy statements regarding those of us at schools which lack such basics as working computers and toner.

  • Robert M. Healey

  • Incredible . . . CTU wants a 24% increase this year and a 5% increase next year. . .

    The lowest paid CPS teacher already makes $50,576 for only working 203, 6.25 days (and with only 170 days in front of kids, the rest are paid vacation, holidays and in-service days). That's the equivalent of $82,915 if the teacher worked a full year schedule. With a 24% increase that would be the equivalent of a salary of $102,815 this year and with ano ther 5% next year it would be $107,956.00. Not bad for someone with a Bachelor's degree and no experience.

    And then there's the top of the scale which makes $94887.60 now for 203 6.25 hour days or the equivalent of $155,559 for a full schedule. A 24% increase this year would make that $192,894 and another 5% would make that an equivalent of $202,538.00. At least we'd be paying for a PhD.

    I am kinda hoping they do strike so that the entire corrupt and poorly performing system can be scrapped and be replaced with a voucher system.

    This is just insane.

  • Headache299
    Compensation for an additional 90 min. each day is not an increase…it’s just getting paid for the extra hours. If your workday increases by 21% and the CTU is asking for 24%, then you have a 3% increase. But really, after losing the 4% last year, they are essentially asking for a 1% decrease. Never-mind that from February 2011 to February 2012, the food index increased 3.4% and, prices for gasoline rose 8.1%; electricity rose 2.9%. Doesn’t sound like that good of a deal for the teachers, no matter what you read in the papers, saw on TV, or overheard the voice in your head say.

    And by the way, teachers do not get paid vacation…it’s called ‘deferred compensation’…you see, the pay is withheld from the employee, invested in the public ‘bashing of teachers’ slush fund, and paid later at the pre-specified point.

    I once read that most people only use 2% of their brainpower. Peal that scab off your ass and you might unlock the potential within you.

  • Sharkey Fraynd and Duncan on SIG 'What will your next excuse be if you have enough money?' | MLive.com http://ow.ly/a1wRA

  • Teachers, I love the good ones dearly, you are already paid for a 7 hour day. How can you say it is an additional 90 minutes when you get an hour of prep each day in the new schedule? Many teachers put in more hours than the 5.75 that the students receive. But, when you move your lunch back to the middle of the day and redirect the 1/2 hour before school to the students, you are at 7 hours. Even the CTU pointed this out in the Tribune article about Lab school comparison several months back (except they said you work 7.25 hours already). So while I truly truly love the good teachers, I don't see how your math adds up to demanding 90 minutes when you are only really being asked to work an additional 1/2 hour. Your union needs to lift up the teaching profession to where it should be and deserves to be. The silly games do nothing to build trust with parents and the general public. Good teachers are being forced to work like factory workers who punch a clock (and literally do). Let's let the good teachers rise above the childish games (that both ctu and cps are playing). Bad teachers, please find another line of work and let the gems of the school system help our kids succeed.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    While you did not get 4% last year, teachers did receive at least a 4% raise the prior 4 years. Those were the dark days of the depression/recession where people were lucky to have a job and keep it. During those 4 years teachers silently enjoyed an annual increase of at least 4%. Your union lawyers did good for you despite the economy. So it is hard to be sympathetic when you were denied only one year of 4% increase. Sorry, but there is a whole world out there suffering economically. Don't tell me because it was in the contract, contracts got renegotiated during the global economic meltdown---at least the union attorneys earned there keep with this one.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I may only get paid for 7 hours a day, but I can guarantee you that I work 60 hours per week, even on days when there are holidays spring break and winter break I work around 30 hours per week). I send my kids to daycare on holidays so I can differentiate, plan, purchase materials (which schools do not reimburse), grade, research, examine data, and more.
    So while I agree that when you look at the breakdown of current prep time of 310 minutes per week (4 preps @40 minutes + 5, 30 minute morning preps) versus 350 minutes per week(5 preps @60 minutes + 5, 10 minute morning preps) and figure instead of 100 minutes of lunch time per week we'll actually get 225 minutes of lunch, it can look like not that much more time. And I agree that it is not a full 90 minutes more per day of work in the building. But given that my instructional time will increase by nearly 60 minutes per week, and I will put in at least another hour per day on top of that it is a lot. I already put in 60 hours a week as is. Including weeks with holidays. My own kids are in daycare on holidays so I can work at home. The longest day schedule now means I will regularly work 70 hour weeks.

    When you say we are getting an hour prep time (if we really do get that) in the new schedule. But you have to compare that to what we currently get. We are not getting an additional hour. That hour is instead of the 4, 40 minute preps. Don't get me wrong, 5, 60 minute preps are better. But it isn't so great when you look at losing 66% of our morning prep time.

    And the 4% raises don't amount to much when one spend that entire amount funding one's own classrooms. You know, for books and such. Or pencils. Or toilet paper. Or scissors or science materials or coats for kids who don't have them. Yes, I SILENTLY DONATED 4-6% of my paycheck last year and every year since I started teaching to my classroom because the BOE doesn't do their job and the city, to be frank, doesn't care. When every single item I need in my room is paid for by someone other than me, and I do own virtually every single thing other than the furniture, then I might stop asking for a raise. Without it, my students would have nothing to learn with. No leveled readers, no paper, nothing.

  • Excuse my typos. There should have been another parenthesis in the first paragraph and the last paragraph should have read "one spends".

  • This is a running argument in my house between my husband and I. He thinks I should spend none of my money on school related items. He says he never had to pay for his bullets, etc when he was a police officer so why are teachers expected to spend thousands of dollars to fund CPS? He is right but it is hard not to want to teach well and materials do help. By the way you forgot field trip money for children whose parents can not afford it and my biggest expense lately, printer ink to run off articles for student projects.

  • Oh yes, printer ink. I had to purchase my own copy machine to use at home because our school limits copies too. Thousands of dollars every year for other people's children. If every single teacher in the city removed every item that they purchased and refused to purchase any more, I guarantee test scores would drop by 20 percentage points in one year. But, like you, I have that same dilemma. I want my students to succeed. I want to be awesome instructionally. It isn't possible for kids to do well or teachers to teach well without supplies. I just met with my tax guy whose mouth dropped when he saw the size of the "school supply" file of receipts I handed to him. He was in complete and utter shock.

  • I am hoping that the union negotiates the stipend of $100.00 for instructional supplies to at least $500.00 per teacher. I spend a $100.00 in the month of September on name tags for the desks, a supply of pencils, dry erase markers, cleaning supplies because we eat lunch in the room and ant/roach traps. It is ridiculous and now we are limited to a case of copy paper a year.

  • Alex: Come on, time to fess up on your failed April Fool's joke. In the mean time enjoy this bizarre video:


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