Daley Slams Longer Day

Hoping to regain footing with a quick replacement of Donoso, CPS and City Hall instead are getting slammed by former Mayor Daley on the school length of day issue.  Guess he was sick of being reminded that his CTU contracts were so wimpy.


Daley: Longer school day isn’t the answer Sun Times:   Lengthening the school day at Chicago public schools is a key part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s agenda, but his predecessor doesn’t think it’s the answer to providing a better education. “At first I thought it was, but I don’t think so,” former Mayor Richard M. Daley said in an interview Monday night on WLS-Channel 7 News.


CPS names interim chief education officer Sun Times:  A national education consultant who helped lead reform efforts in Detroit, Cleveland and New York City has been tapped as “interim” chief education officer in Chicago, officials said Monday. Barbara Byrd-Bennett will serve as “chief education advisor” until May 31, when she will take over as “interim’’ chief education officer for Noemi Donoso, officials said.

CPS names an interim to replace Noemi Donoso Tribune:  Chicago Public Schools announced Monday that Barbara Byrd Bennett, a national education consultant, will take over as the district's chief education officer on an interim basis. Bennett, who is not based in Chicago, will replace Noemi Donoso, who..

Former Cleveland schools leader named interim chief ed officer Catalyst: Brizard was able to tap Bennett quickly because he knew her professionally, Carroll says. Brizard turned to Mascitti-Miller as someone he knew and trusted. Before leaving Rochester, he hired her as his deputy superintendent of teaching and learning. In that role, she helped write curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards.


Is Illinois still a 'union-friendly' state? WBEZ: While Illinois is considered a union-friendly state, unions have been taking it to the chin lately, sometimes from the very Democrats who they helped get elected.

Chicago's Kennedy-King College among winners of federal grants WBEZ: A City College of Chicago campus is among 14 winners nationwide of a federal education grant to improve science and engineering.Kennedy-King College on Chicago's South Side will receive $250,000.The money comes from the U.S.

Lawsuit: School Failed To Stop Violent Bully CBS:  A local elementary school student’s father is suing Chicago Public Schools because, he says, faculty failed to keep his son safe from a bully.

Chicago-Area Schoolkids are the Second-Most Economically Segregated in the Country Chicago Magazine:  A new study looks at housing, income, zoning and school performance across the country's biggest metropolitan areas. Chicago isn't much of an outlier, except when it comes to one category in particular.

Guess the picture and win a free subscription.


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  • Byrd Bennett is going to be the heavy with the union. Colleagues close to Winkler's team said Donoso was being too "friendly" to CTU in negotiations. Hence the swap out for Byrd Bennett, with her track record of union busting in Detroit. She was likely brought in to be Rham's enforcer, since Brizard doesn't want to get his hands dirty. I put the over/under on BBB tenure at 6 months, just enough to screw the CTU, force a strike, and then disappear all while King Rham and Queen Brizard cast her off for being too mean.

    Oh and thank you Daley for reminder us what a real mayor looks like.

  • In reply to BabyRhamaDrama:

    BRD, I agree. Rham Retooling for War with CTU? This seems like the real story here. Too bad the Trib and Sun Times lack real journalists.

    It is all starting to be clear to me. Donoso and Saenz are replaced within weeks of each other by Byrd Bennet and Boik who were Robert Bobb's right and left hand when he, paid by Eli Broad, pillaged the Detroit Public Schools the past few years. Then Jamiko Rose (an actual Chicagoan) disappears after 3 months on the job. Probably because she saw the carnage coming. Then Bowman (Valerie Jarrett's momma) is replaced by Rochester stooge loyal to Brizard. Probably because Obama wants to distance himself in an election year. It looks like Rahm is closing the ranks to gear up for war. Is everybody ready?

  • In reply to Inside125:

    Will Brydy get a $500K salary like in Detroit. Substance says she earned $200K per year for TWO days a week in Detroit!


  • In reply to BabyRhamaDrama:

    I have not heard that Ms. Donoso has been present at CTU negotiations. What I have heard is that the leading team representing CPS has been Ms. Winkler, Mr. Cawley, and Mr. Franczek from Franczek Radelet. Do your sources tell you on what topics they believe Ms. Donoso was too "friendly" and how many CTU/CPS negotiation sessions she attended?

    Rod Estvan

  • Daley is talking now when he had control of the schools for 15 years. If his picks Vallas, and especially Duncan (whose only policy seemed to be to mix gangs by closing schools and transporting students cross town, and playing basketball with a certain resident of Kenwood) had done their jobs, we wouldn't have the problems now.

    Not to mention all the Daley TIFs that diverted tax money from the schools.

    For any of the politicians who took over the schools and just about everything else in the city, get back to us when the system as a whole performs at, say, 75% of the rates at the selective enrollment schools.

    You are probably right that Daley is wincing at the wimpy contracts.

  • It seems Rahm the paranoid has been getting a little more nervous. He was trying to remake his image on CNN by having Piers Morgan come to Von Stuben and conduct a well scripted interview there. Rather than be Rahm the Bulldozer, he tried to cultivate the image of Emanuel the Visionary, in a Netanyahu manner. Perhaps, the SB7 security wall is not working as well as planned.

  • Beth Mascitti-Miller lacks the required credentials and does not fit the "role model" critieria. JC Brizard really made a mockery of this by appointing almost all un-qualified and un-deserving "outsiders" to various posts throughout his administration.

    Here are just a few examples:

    1. Leslie Anne Boozer - Chief of HCI - outsider - No NYS credentials

    2. Laura I Kelley - Asst to Superintendent - from parts unknown - No NYS credentials

    3. James Fenton - Chief of Strategic Planning - from parts unknown - No NYS credentials

    4. Elizabeth Mascitti-Miller - Deputy Superintendent of Teaching & Learning - internal - No District-wide Admin credentials

    5. John Scanlan - Deputy Superintendent of Administration - Oklahoma City or somewhere - No NYS credentials despite reportedly being a "Broad School" graduate.

    6. Jerome Underwood - Sr. Director of Operations - outsider - No NYS credentials

    7. Shaun Nelms - School Chief - outsider - received his SDL certification 02/2011

    8. Mary Doyle - Chief of School Innovation - outsider/from Rochester - No NYS credentials

    9. Gladys Pedraza-Burgos - Chief of Youth & Family Services - outsider/from Rochester - No NYS credentials

    Now these folks would have you to believe that the SEG employees do not need to be certified and that somehow they are a special "breed" like none other. The reality is that they are just regular folks who got their jobs through politics, nepotism, and chronyism. There is nothing special about these folks and they certainly have not demonstrated any extra-ordinary talents under Brizard's leadership.

    In fact, these appointments are a direct violation of the Federal Education Law of 2004 that clearly states that no employee can be appointed to a district-wide administrative post without possessing a NYS SDA or SDL certification.

  • Union Busting Expert

    Barbara Byrd-Bennett, an African-American career educator, seems to be Donoso's complete opposite. She has been able to walk the line between the traditional superintendent's role as manager of under-resourced urban districts in Cleveland and Detroit and the new push towards dismantling and privatizing these districts. For example, she's an executive coach for the Broad Superintendents' Academy, of which Brizard is an alumnus. She also works for New Leaders for New Schools, which has become a trainer for charter school principals.

    Someone of Byrd-Bennett's stature doesn't just drop everything on a few day's notice to come work on autocrat Rahm's plantation. This must have been in the works for a while. The internal crisis at CPS must be pretty deep and the deal must be pretty sweet.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader you are right! CPS has been wanting to get rid of Donoso for a while. Once Byrd-Bennett agreed to come, Donoso decided to pursue other career opportunities. That's the way it works in the world of CPS.

  • Rahm Emanuel may close 100 Chicago public schools, a source with close ties to Chicago's public education establishment has confirmed that. Along with the closures will come a vast expansion of charter schools. Emanuel has 150 half empty public schools that are a drain on tax dollars. With Chicago, having lost 200,000 people in the last Census: change is in the air.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader, true. I reported on this months ago. Thanks for bringing it back up again.

  • Headache299

    “Maybe he was sick of being reminded that his CTU contracts were so wimpy” reads more like speculative gossip than accuracy in reporting. It might be possible that Daley fundamentally understood that longer school hours would not necessarily translate into greater academic gains. And by the way, he’s right! A longer school day is not the answer!

  • If there is any criticism to be made of Daley, it would be the numerous ways that he wasted resources and money as he held a power monopoly that most benefited those closely connected to him. However, for union contracts, he simply "got along to get along". I don't think that's wimpy, I think that is politically savvy. Daley needed union member support to win elections handily and keep things quiet, and for the most part, I saw Daley as corrupt, but fair. Rahm doesn't see working with unions as necessary -- in fact, he seems to be deliberately working against them.
    Having worked for CPS over the past four contracts, the last one finally made up for some of the widening salary gaps between city teachers and teachers in surrounding districts that were the result of the past two very poorly negotiated contracts in terms of salaries. That wasn't "wimpy", it was simply "fair".

  • rumors in SF are that emanuel is going to announce plans to close and convert 100 schools to charters, making CPS 35 percent charter in six years, and that -- this is totally unconfirmed but widespread -- he may replace JCB with a Fortune 500 CEO type leader for CPS.

    or, i'm being punked.

  • WTH??!!! Can anyone stop this idiot? I'm very serious... over 140 Principals and Ap's leaving, numerous veteran teachers "outta here" in June... what can be done? This will not work well for our children. I'm willing to bet this will affect the lower income (south/west side) students the hardest.
    I'm asking because I do not have enough years to retire, but really do not want to leave the system/my students. This is awful... charters have had a horrible track record in Chicago. It's time the media steps up and expose this.......

  • In reply to unknown teacher:

    I bet you won't hear a peep out of the media except to endorse the move to charters. Most their kids are in the SE and other elite (or mostly white) schools, if they're even in CPS.

  • Because Daley slammed Rahm over longer days, Crimanuel responds with an accusation about Dick's six figure pension. We CTU members can just sit back, watch and enjoy!

  • I heard through a friend that there is over 5000 teachers in CPS leaving/retiring this June! That is alot of teachers. I am hoping that the CTU and all of it's members take a stand and vote YES to a strike. I hear there is going to be a mock strike vote coming up soon....

  • In reply to fedup:

    If that number of teachers leave/retire at the end of the year that would be alot. In 2011 according to the ISBE there were 22,257 CPS teachers, so if 5,000 go that would be around 22.5% of the teaching force.

    Rod Estvan

  • 5,000 is not true, not even close.

  • This is just what I heard, I am not positive on the numbers. But I can say that I have a friend that works in a suburban school and she said they recieved over 800 applications for teaching positions and they were all from current CPS teachers. I am telling you, there is grand exudus of techers leaving CPS. Not only teachers are leaving, but also administrators as well. The environment is too hostile and unpredictible. They took the tenure away from the teachers and this made it even easier to leave, I mean they figured what do they have to lose?? The grass is greener on the other side of the fence at this point. It is terrible. We are going to lose some of the best teachers to other districts due to how teachers here are being treated.

  • How does CPS replace so many at once? TFA?

  • The real reason many principals and teachers are leaving is because the rediculous stockpiling of vacation time is being updated. Retiring or leaving this year allows you to take your accumulated days before the rules change. It was an antiquated rule that should have been changed 20 years ago. Now it is changing to mirror more of the real world, but those in the system for a while under the old rules are just maximizing their dollars. I would do the same thing in their situatioin. Sure there is a lot of frustration, I am not denying that, but many that I know leaving are doing so to cash out before the rules change.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You may be correct for those who are retirement eligible. But veteran teachers who are unable to retire are leaving the system, too.

    I'm one of them. I'm 40 years old and after 8 years in CPS I find the instability debilitating (constant school closures and mass terminations), the education policy scattered (what's the education initiative flavor-of-the-month?), and the administrative professionalism, or lack thereof, offensive.

    Add the incredible hostility shown by the mayor and CPS leadership towards veteran teachers and I've seen and had enough. It's a shame. Chicago needs outstanding educators, but CPS and the mayor have done nearly everything they can do to drive them off.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    One report from the "real world" (not my favored term): I can easily take off days when I or my kids are sick, can come in late, leave early, switch my lunch around, take a vacation pretty much anytime of year I wish. I can't imagine a teacher in front of a class could do that in CPS. So, I understand how paid time off gets banked by CPS teachers.

  • I am a Counselor/Case Manager and at my meeting recently it was mentioned by one of the SSAs that 3,000 people are retiring this year.

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