The Azcoitia Difference?

Today's news includes the (to me) surprise appointment of longtime CPSer Carlos Azcoitia to the Board.  Why'd City Hall appoint the former Central Office, network chief, and Spry principal -- on a Sunday?  Will his presence make any real difference? Other news includes more about whether CPS is under-enrolled or overcrowded (or both).  And there's a new Rhodes Scholar recipient from Englewood.AZCOITIA

Emanuel appoints former principal to school board, moves Sierra to CHA Sun TimesMayor Rahm Emanuel on Sunday tapped former Chicago Public Schools Principal Carlos Azcoitia to serve as a Chicago School Board member, replacing Rodrigo Sierra, who is moving to the Chicago Housing Authority Board.

Mayor Makes Board of Education, Chicago Housing Authority Appointments CBS2:
From 2011-2012, he oversaw and supported thirty-six schools in his role as Interim Chief of Midway Network in Chicago Public Schools. Previously, from 2003-2007, Azcoitia served as the founding principal of John Spry Elementary Community School.

Emanuel names Azcoitia to Board of Education ABC:Mayor Rahm Emanuel Sunday named Dr. Carlos Azcoitia to serve as a member of the Chicago Board of Education. A former teacher, principal and administrator, Azcoitia brings over 30 years of experience in schools to the role.

Why your alderman (and mine) always votes yes on the Chicago city budget Reader: Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a keen observation after the City Council voted 46-3 to approve his 2013 city budget on Thursday: "Reform never ends." It's true—the reform process has been under way in Chicago for decades, yet somehow things just never seem to get fixed. Take the city's $8.3 billion budget as an example.…


Rogers Park Is Awake Tim Furman: The people of the city, and soon the legislature too, are about to be bombarded with messages about half-empty schools, as if that phenomenon were not part of a planned strategy to privatize the schools. They won't mention the other half of the equation, which is that the "half empty" schools are populated with overcrowded classrooms. 

The Evil Empire Strikes Back Wall Street Journal: Chicago Public Schools have some 600,000 seats but only 400,000 kids, while the district faces a $1 billion deficit next year and over $300 million of pension payments.

Chicago public schools: A tale of two schools reflects our economic woes Washington Times: The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class is on the endangered species list. Wealth becomes more concentrated in the upper echelon, seeing very little reason to share. Why should they? We all had the ...


Involving parents Chicago Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, left, pose with parents at Eugene Field Elementary School. Starting this month, in 70 Chicago public schools, parents who pick up their children's report cards and join in teacher conferences...

CPS tier system update changes chances of getting into selective school Chicago Sun-Times: Now, with the area classified as Tier 4, it will take an estimated minimum of 789 points to get into the highly selective high school, according to the Chicago Public Schools. Software engineer Matthew Bosch, who has two preschool daughters and lives in a ...

Charter Schools, Neighborhood Schools, and Public Education in Chicago WBEZ: Charter schools are a major point of contention in Chicago and across the country. In Chicago, there are 96 charter school campuses, 14 percent of the CPS total, and officials have pledged to open another 60 in coming years. These issues and more are discussed by the panel, which includes: Andrew Broy, Illinois Network of Charter Schools; Charles Payne, University of Chicago, SSA; and Jackson Potter, CTU, Local 1. The panel is moderated by Linda Lenz, publisher of Catalyst Chicago.


Students from Englewood, Winnetka named Rhodes Scholars WGN News: The Rhodes Scholars has been called the world's most prestigious scholarship.  Only 32 are selected from the U.S.  and two of them this year are from the Chicago area.

Simeon tops Morgan Park for Public League footall crown SouthtownStar: The Public League powers played one of the stranger games of the regular season in September, a contest that was suspended because of an altercation in the stands and finished two days later, hours before the Chicago Public Schools teachers strike ...


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  • And what did Rod Sierra bring to the BOE? What is hoped that he'll bring to the housing board?

  • Julia Goralka's Washington Times article comparing Lincoln Elementary School with Salazar Elementary was fascinating. I don't know when exactly Lincoln School was a diverse welcoming school for out of intake area students as Julia implied in her article. For years Lincoln School accepted out of area students particularly from "good parents" who likely would support fund raising efforts, the school was forced to reduce this in flow once it began to be over crowded. But that aside her comparison between Salazar and Lincoln was stunning and she raised the social class implications involved in all of this.

    Probably what is most interesting is that Ms. Goralka's essay appears in such a very conservative paper such as the Washington Times that has a history of cultural coverage based on traditional values linked with a particular Christan perspective. Clearly Goralka's essay pushes the envelope towards greater social equality and less on individual initiative.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Nah, as far as I'm concerned, that was feelgood piece, considering I thought the upshot to Lincoln's overcrowding was going to be to demand that the Salazar kids decamp and give them the building, as Payton Prep did for years, in spite of the fact that they could have built 4-5 outbuildings the size of Salazar on Payton's playing fields.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The playing fields belong to Moody Bible. Under some sort of arrangement Payton has access to the baseball field only (soccer and football is done off campus) but CPS cannot build on them.

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    CPS Parent above is correct. The soccer fields and tennis courts are not Payton's. From what I understand, CPS ran out of money to build or acquire fields to accompany the high school, which is a sad state of affairs given that high school sports are often the pinnacle of people's organized sports experiences. If CPS had excess funds, which they do not, a good use of those funds would be to create an athletic complex that many of the CPS high schools near downtown could access and use as their home fields. Payton students never have a home game, and often have to travel an hour to play soccer or football games, which is absurd. However, Latin has a downtown soccer field right in public Lincoln Park on North Avenue. It would be nice if the public school students had the same access to quality sports facilites. However, as the article referenced above points out, those with connections get more, those without get less.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I don't think it was an issue of money - Moody just did not want to give up their fields. Moody has offered to sell their athletic center building to CPS with the fields if the city can cause a parcel of land which Moody does not own (and is in the middle of what would be a contiguous Moody owned parcel) to be sold to Moody which is where they would build their new athletic facilities.

  • off topic: Principal at anonymous Midwestern high school asks the Internet to ask him anything -- 995 comments Could this be CPS?

  • “The people of the city, and soon the legislature too, are about to be bombarded with messages about half-empty schools, as if that phenomenon were not part of a planned strategy to privatize the schools. They won't mention the other half of the equation, which is that the "half empty" schools are populated with overcrowded classrooms”

  • Viya con Dios miastro Azciotia. Echamos de menos, desesperadamente, en network Midway.

  • Not to take anything away from our local Rhodes scholar, but she attended the state's science & math boarding school and her family does not live in Englewood. Still, from humble beginnings...

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Did she go to a CPS elementary school, I could find nothing that indicated she did.

    Rod Estvan

  • According to the Sun-Times, she went to Lenart Regional Gifted Center. Impressive story.

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