Questions About Clemente IB Program

Today's news includes questions about the Clemente IB program proposal, plus questions about community schools and the summer safe haven program.  In an interview over the weekend, Brizard blandly slammed his predecessors' efforts as incoherent and misleading. Which is funny because that's what Arne Duncan says everyone else has been doing under NCLB:

Emanuel promises new IB schools will get kids to college, but many could end up on vocational track WBEZ:  What the mayor and schools CEO have not said is that a good percentage of students in Chicago’s new wall-to-wall IB schools could actually end up in a new and untested International Baccalaureate technical education track.

Community schools funding in question Catalyst: CPS spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler says that the budget is not final, and would not confirm or deny whether organizations are receiving word about cuts. The budget must be approved at the August school board meeting.

CPS Launches Summer Safe Haven Program CBS:  The Chicago Public Schools and 60 area churches are partnering up to try to keep kids safe this summer.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Brizard: Predecessors efforts were 'incoherent' ABC: "We in many ways were lying to parents and to kids about proficiency," Brizard said. "We have kids that are graduating out of elementary school going to high school being told they're proficient and they're not."

Madigan: Downstate, suburbs, need to pay up Sun Times: In Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools funds its teacher pensions without help from the state based on money it collects from taxes on Chicago property owners ...

Making more than symbolic change in our schools Boston Globe (blog post): As Mayor Emanuel begins his fight with the Chicago teachers union over lengthening the school day, he certainly appreciates reporters who pitch the battle in ...


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  • Thus far we have received a handful of nominees for "Worst Principal of CPS." You still have time to nominate that principal who has earned the right to bear the title. Please include principal name, school are reasons why this administrator is the worst.

    Please do not nominate Retired Principal. ;)

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    Dear FrontRow, you have a nice day.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    Teachers don't want test scores made public and rightly so but a few trolls like Frontrow will do anything to drag someone through the mud. What you don't understand is this childish contest you are leading doesn't hurt principals. The principal of Marquette landed a nice job at a nice school and good for her. What did all that name calling and infighting lead to? All the teachers displaced. Bravo. Continue your childishness, troll.

    Right now there is an opportune moment for administrators and teachers to support one another since both are losing out from the current mayor. The union has isolated themselves so much by pushing away principals and constantly insutling central office folks many who used to be teachers. I hope you saved money for the strike. You can play all the childish games you want on the picket line.

    For once try to be the professional most of your colleagues actually are. Try raising the esteem of being a teacher instead of bringing it down to the level of playground antics. Where is your list for the ugliest girl/boy in the class?

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    Thanks for making the rest of us, who actually are professionals, look bad!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Good principals have nothing to fear. I have even considered after this contest to offer a "Best Principal of CPS." However, some administrators are not good and are antagonistic and this must be exposed. We are mere highlighting "Unsatisfactory" principals whether Alex and you find it annoying or not. Teachers are now blacklisted, lowered in ratings unfairly and harassed daily. We are responding and are close to choosing a winner. This administrator has scolded teachers over the public address system, chided teachers in front of students and fired staff mid-year for the most whimsical of reasons. Is this right or fair? No, this person should be fired. But only those who have been unfairly rifted, given an unsatisfactory despite doing their jobs and are continually targeted for abuse understand why we are handing out "The Worst Principal Award." Those who oppose this have never been a victim of oppression at their job and have a Pollyannic view of the CPS environment.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    Your problem frontrow is, since there truely are by observation and documentation, unsatisfactory teachers, then they too should be named--why not make that list? Of course not; it would be unprofessional and just plain wrong. Your words reveal an ax to grind with a specific principal--stop throwing one bad apple with all the good ones. Face this: there are postions closing due to enrollment decline--easy to see and total, since the population of Chicago has been going down. Not all teachers are unfairly rifted. Now if CTU can get CPS to lower class size--thatwould help! But alas, CPS will hold the carrot of trying to keep rifted teachers employed over class size. Which half of the baby will CTU be forced to take?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    And frontrow--I and others I admire, have been victims of the oppression that exists within CPS and have no pollyanic view of the company I work for nor do the professionals I keep company with. However, I will give you this: you may be a creation of what is wrong with CPS--this happens too oftne in this system. CPS has a way of pushing you to the dark side.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    It is Riffed-reduction in force. Yes, there are unsatisfactory teachers. When the unsatisfactory teacher is assigned a consulting teacher it is akin to wearing the Scarlet Letter "A" The walk of shame down the school hallway while school staff gawks at the consulting teacher and parents ask "who is that" with Ms. "Unsatisfactory Teacher" is an eye opener for new teachers.

    When is a principal held to the same standards? Principals can exhibit the most bizarre behaviors I have ever seen in human beings who are supposed to supervise other adults and there are no consequences. None! If anything the bizarre behaviors are rewarded, usually with a promotion to central office.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    No one knew this at our school when it happened. The e3 teacher was treated with dignity. We thought the consultant teacher was a part of our faculty. CTU has a respobsiblity to educate new teachers on this system. There eyes shoud be opened, esp. since their university profs. did not do this with them.
    Principals are evaluated by an LSC, with 3 teachers and staff on it, a network chief, central office chiefs and the CEO. Principals have no tenure rights, no union and no raise or step increases for years. Although I have seen some fail as principals only to be promotesd 'up.' That is wrong, but it is who you know too.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The consulting teacher only comes in once a week maybe for a half a day so how/why would anyone think he/she was part of the faculty? There are two teachers on the LSC and one person who represents the rest of the school's employees-a non-teacher.
    We have/had some very abusive principals in what was AREA 11-almost sociopathic in their behaviors and no one above them does anything about it. When you have schools with 30-40 staff members leaving it is more than a philosophical deference between staff and principal.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Thanks for the thoughtful response. I have no ax to grind with a specific principal. But I do have an ax to grind against hostility and incompetence. I have seen teachers at others schools who have designed rigorous lesson plans, took home papers to grade and tried to educate every child in their classroom only to be met with evil, hostility and vengeance. I watched a teacher lose her job because the student in her room, that did no work at all, had a mother who had access to politicians was threatened by the principal to change a grade because the administrator was worried about her career. I saw an administrator threaten unemployment to two teachers who were dating. I was run out of a building for requesting help for students with special needs. If we were to poll various public school teachers, these examples of administration malfeasance would be mild.
    But at this time I will ask for nominations for "Best Principal of CPS." I think it is important to find a role model for other administrators. I do not believe everyone with a type 75 suffers from stupidity, arrogance, and an inferiority complex. But these great administrators are never championed or showcased. There is no Golden Apple for principals. Perhaps we need a new award, such as the Golden Office, Golden Hallway or Golden Pastry. Whatever it is, I would like to find that administrator that mitigates problems rather than inflames them, the one that is not a micro-manager but sees the bigger picture and galvanizes staff rather than bullies and undermines teachers and staff. Believe or not, I know what a good administrator looks like: I work with one.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    In 41 years i worked for 17 principals.only two
    were real leaders.The rest were dust on a boot.
    Both Linda Perchalski and Ned McCray were in a league
    of their own.Considering what he was up against Ned
    would win,but it would be a photo finish.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Linda didnt leave Bogan in good hands did she? Being great is selecting, grooming, preparing and mentoring you replacement.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The principals after Linda were average at best.
    I was not an insider and cannot tell you how her
    initial replacement was selected.But blame the Bogan
    LSC for the rest..

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Say what! Our retiring principal wouldn't even allow the new principal in the school building until July 1.
    It was ridiculous but so was the retiring principal. Then the retired principal waits until the new principal is on vacation and sneaks into his office with the A.P. (the new principal was too nice in keeping the A.P.) This little 15 minute foray was documented by the security camera. Thank God the new principal was sharp enough to withstand the undermining by the
    minions of the retired principal.

  • Here's the official press announcement about Clemente from City Hall last week, with some details

  • Jim Stergios' Boston Globe post on the question of a longer school day in relation to academic performance was well worth reading and I am glad Alexander posted a link to it. It provided some national and international information that was of value. But as is common in relation to this discussion on the length of the school day the elephant in the room not discussed is the social economic performance outcomes in societies. Frankly, I am just plain tired of reading about Finland's educational performance relative to a school district like CPS. But since this can of worms is opened yet again on this blog let discuss it.

    According to the Organization for Economic Development (OECD) Finland has only a 4.4 percent child poverty rate whereas the US as a whole has a child poverty rate of 22.4 percent. It goes without saying that the child poverty rate in CPS is around 86%. In lower income households, which in Chicago also correlate with a lower educational level of parents, children's linguistic interaction with adults is significantly less complex than it is for higher income children. The issue of increasing reading and math time to offset the deficits of families in poverty has been studied and at scale. Its effects are limited for poorer children, one 1986 study that appeared in the Economics of Education Review found on a cost benefit basis it was not worth it because the impact of a longer day had its limits [see].

    There is probably no evidence that a longer day hurts poor students, at least none I saw. But given the general fiscal crisis we are facing in Illinois and in Chicago there is little evidence that we should right now be spending anything at all on a longer school day. But here in Chicago this issue is not up for debate, because it has been decided politically due to Mayoral control of CPS.

    The responsibility for the insertion of the longer day into the Mayor's campaign platform really lies with Stand for Children, Advance Illinois, and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago which pressed Mr. Emanuel on this issue. Over and over again we heard the story of how much better students attending Houston Public Schools had it than CPS students did because of Houston's much longer school day. Never once did these proponents of the longer day disclose that wealthy and middle class parents in Houston overwhelmingly chose to send their children to one of the seventy-nine Houston Area Independent Schools, unless they can get into Houston's gifted programs.

    One example of an excellent private shool is the Kinkaid School in Houston which enrolls about 1,300 students in grades pre-kindergarten through twelve. Kinkaid has over 363,000 square feet of facilities, half of which is new since 2001. In grades 9-12 the tuition is $20,530, just over $16,00 for kindergarten. In fact if you look at the size of the Houston Public Schools including charter schools, which about one half the size of CPS, you realize proportionally Houston as a city has more students attending private schools than does Chicago.

    From 1999 to 2009 the number of white students attending public school in the larger Houston metropolitan area declined by about 18%. In the Houston ISD there are only 8.1% white students left and just from 2007 to 2011 the school district lost 2.1% of its white enrollment. More than 26% of Houston students in gifted and talented programs are white. About 43.8% of all the remaining white students left in Houston are in gifted and talented programs. Isn't it odd that those advising the Mayor didn't tell him about that? Apparently the Houston longer school day has not really done much to draw in non-minoirty parents and if they don't think it is much of a draw how much value does it really have?

    Rod Estvan

  • IB

    The program is a real .That's why those in charge better
    remember every IB program requires a lengthy application
    process and a on site evaluation.I have gone through both
    At Bogan.Once for the diploma program and twice for the middle year
    counterpart.Those in charge better be ready for objective evaluation
    by professional educators.

  • Front Row is a teacher who got a job through his uncle.
    Those of us at a far SW side HS know who he is.

  • fb_avatar


    Oh yeah, IB is "real" alright ... a real waste of taxpayer money. It is nothing but a UN sponsored scam of a "programme". There is absolutely no evidence of a single American school being denied IB authorization .... as long as the checks are good.

  • In reply to Katie Bell:

    Well if that is true why was Bogan turned down twice?
    We made it on the third try.
    The application is so daunting most schools do not
    get that far.
    I do not know anything about it being associated with the UN.

    What i do know is that it works for the students in the program.

  • In reply to Katie Bell:

    Katie- Your IB conspiracy website in INSANE. rbusch is right, Bogan was denied twice. IB has many flaws, but when former IB students return to visit as college freshmen almost all say it is invaluable.

  • I would be suspicious of anything stamped with IB or Montessori in CPS.
    No more experiments for my child. Just try and get your kid in a decent Magnet school and don't fall for the gimmicks!

  • Dear Guatemom

    You are very wise to be suspicious and your advice is sound.
    But let me say that IB is not an experimental program.One
    reason for its success can be the fact that IB programs are
    closely monitored by IB themselves.Students who find out it is not for
    them have the option to quit the program.
    Far from being a gimmick,or a scam ,the program allows
    kids to nurture and grow .the amount of work
    required is significant and the curriculum rigorous.But it produces
    confident,competent students completely able to handle college or life. It is what we used to call Liberal Education since the students are exposed to a wide range of subjects.

    If a student can go to a selective enrollment school Like Payton
    I would be the last one to say take IB.But all the IB programs will
    provide a sound education. ..

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