Annual Misdeeds

The annual IG report on CPS is out, and it's full of the usual problems -- fun reading and reporting for local news outlets.  There's also a New York Times story about CPS and disabled students. 

IG REPORT

Two CPS vendors too big to ban for ethical lapses, inspector general says Sun Times:  Two of the Chicago Public Schools’ largest vendors investigated by the inspector general for significant ethical lapses may be too big to ban from district business, yet CPS fails to even monitor them adequately, the schools’ watchdog said in an annual report released Monday.

Watchdog: CPS too lax on ethics oversight of vendors Tribune:  Despite a scandal last year that cost the district's top food executive her job, Chicago Public Schools has not done enough to stop vendors from skirting the rules to win contracts, CPS' inspector general said in an annual report released Monday.

More reports of fraud, mismanagement at Chicago Public Schools in 2012 WBEZ: Two of the most notable cases involve former Chief Area Officer Deborah Esparza and former Chief of Food Services Louise Esaian. According to the report, Esparza accepted more than $16,900 from three different education vendors and inappropriately used CPS money to furnish her office and throw parties.

Report: CPS employees involved in 'widespread fraud' in lunch program Tribune: A report from the Inspector General's office of Chicago Public Schools released Monday raises concerns that district employees were encouraged to make fraudulent applications ...

Nude Teacher Photos, Free Lunch Abuse Detailed in CPS Watchdog Report DNAI: The CPS inspector general fielded 15 percent more complaints of fraud and ethical misconduct this year.

Chicago Public Schools staffers canned for living outside the lines RedEye Chicago: The Chicago Public Schools Inspector General's Office is questioning whether it can justify investigating future residency violations.

DISABILITY LAWSUIT

Chicago Public Schools Faulted on Assessing Learning Disabilities NYT: In a complaint filed on Monday, a group said that the Chicago Public Schools have repeatedly failed to evaluate children with disabilities and move them into special education preschool programs.

SUCCESS STORIES

Mexican Native at Home After 16 Years at Edgewater High School DNAI: Senn Spanish teacher's students earned highest AP, IB test scores in all of Chicago Public Schools.

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  • Walton announces $3.8M charter expansion grant to Chicago http://ow.ly/gDltM

  • Unfortunately the summary of the NY Times article on the administrative complaint filed by Health & Disability Advocates made it appear as if the issue related to Learning Disabilities specifically, it does not. The primary disabling condition not being identified would be developmental delay that applies children aged three through nine, but these young children could also be identified with other disabling conditions if their attributes are clearly defied at such an early age. It is unfortunate that this complaint had to be filed, advocates for young children with disabilities have been attempting for years to get this situation corrected via discussions with CPS.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    IMHO, here is a more accurate summary: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1004309

  • here's the walton announcement, FYI:

    Walton Family Foundation Surpasses $300 Million in Startup Investments; Expands
    Parental Choice through New, High-Quality Charter Schools
    Demand for high-quality school options leads largest private funder of charter school startups
    to support the creation of 1,437 schools since 1997
    BENTONVILLE, ARK., January 8, 2013 – Today the largest private funder of charter school startups announced
    that it has surpassed $300 million invested to expand parent choice by increasing the number of new, highquality school options. Investments by the Walton Family Foundation have supported the creation of 1,437
    schools since 1997. This milestone is driven by nearly $29 million in startup investments in 2012, supporting 111
    new schools that will open in the coming years. The foundation invests in programs and organizations that
    expand parental choice and equal opportunity in education.
    Startup grants have helped the charter school movement grow to serve more than two million students in 5,600
    schools across the United States. There are an additional 610,000 students on waiting lists to attend the charter
    school of their choice. The majority of recent startup grants are focused in the foundation’s 16 investment sites,
    specifically in school districts that serve a large percentage of underserved communities with a sizeable number
    of low-performing schools. The foundation also provides start-up funding to private schools that are serving
    students on publicly funded vouchers and tax credit scholarships across those 16 investment sites.
    “High-performing public charter schools are growing rapidly to meet the demands of families across the United
    States,” said Ed Kirby, deputy director of the foundation’s K-12 Education Reform Focus Area. “The charter
    school movement is a dramatic example of how we can redefine American public education as a choice-based
    system in which parents are directly empowered to choose from a growing field of new, high-quality school
    options. Much like publicly funded vouchers, digital learning options and traditional school system choice
    programs, charter schools are helping set the standard for choice-based education reform. ”
    According to a 2012 foundation analysis of student proficiency rates in the foundation’s 16 investment sites,
    students in foundation-funded public charter schools had higher average levels of achievement than traditional
    public schools in 14 regions. Students in foundation-funded public charter schools also had levels of
    achievement that were the same as or higher than students in public charter schools that were not funded by
    the foundation in 13 sites. The comparison of foundation-funded charter schools to charter schools not funded
    by the foundation cannot be made in the Albany, NY investment site because the foundation has provided
    funding to every public charter school with data available.
    The foundation invests directly in both the Charter School Growth Fund and KIPP to help their affiliated charter
    management organizations replicate schools. In 2012, the foundation invested $40 million and $12.6 million to
    expand successful CSGF and KIPP schools, respectively. In addition to supporting successful charter management

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Walton's money for CPS of $3.8 million is not significant. Let me give you two examples of what I mean. For FY 13 the budget alone for just Urban Prep Academy Charter School Englewood campus was projected to be $4.7 million. Noble St Charter High School Rowe Clark campus is projected to cost $5.9 million for FY 13. It's relatively easy to expand, it's not so easy to sustain these schools once opened.

    Each and every year the costs for charter schools just like traditional school rise, opening more relatively small charter schools will not change that reality. The only really cost effective manner for charter schools to expand is to increase the enrollment capacity of existing charter schools. If one goes through the list of CPS charter schools that are operating at all the grade levels their charter is approved for and examine their school space utilization reports you will find charter schools that are currently underutilized based on their buildings. Before more charters are opened the ones that exist should be filled or reasonably close to filled.

    Walton is effectively promoting inefficiency by its pathetic grant. Let put it this way would Walmart open a store if its nearby stores were generating relatively low traffic and sales? Answer- no of course not. They do very extensive feasibility studies using lots of Information from the government census, chamber of Commerce, local government and an analysis of traffic patterns and study existing local competitors as well as studies of how many local residents shop at Walmarts in nearby areas with similar demographics. Walmart also uses a Spatial-Allocation Modeling system that makes use of geocoded databases and powerful computers to evaluate numerous location options and select the site that best fits corporate objectives, for. market share and projected profit rate.

    CPS currently does not even know how real wait lists are at some charter schools or whether many of the same children appear on different charter school wait lists. If anything the Walton Family Foundation should be providing CPS with funding to understand why some of its charter schools are currently underutilized.

    Rod Estvan

  • Why are so many of those CPS employees who violated residency found to live in south suburbs?

    Why is Crawley moving to Chicago next year? Doesn't his adopted daughter need to stay at her school and not have her life disrupted? ;)

  • They live in the south suburbs because we do not make enough money to live in the north suburbs! Have you looked at the cost of homes in the north suburbs? how about the cost of living in the city?We need to attract the best and the brightest and open the candidate pool not limit it. Who else has a residency requirement?

  • It must be hard being James M. Sullivan, Inspector General et al. Been reading these reports for years and it only gets worse. CPS and the two mayors ignore it and wirh residency-cause it. Shame. CPS also harrass honest people who do their jobs. Where is the groundswell of citizens saying 'enough'? Can't rely on politicians. CPS motto is not children first--it's corruption first.

  • Proof: These twenty-nine investigations concerned the actions of nine principals (two of whom have since been promoted), ... and three CPS employees who have since been promoted to assistant principals. In twenty-one cases, the investigations showed that a principal, assistant principal or recently-promoted assistant principal was either partially or wholly culpable for falsifications made to their children’s meal applications.

  • the promotion thing is very bad-that's a central office issue--, but there are 600 princials in CPS and over 800? APs, a heck of honest ones out there.

  • bet theLSC member will NOT be removed: OIG investigation revealed that domestic partners, an elementary school teacher and
    an LSC member, falsified Free and Reduced-Price Meal Applications for their three children for four consecutive years

  • hey oig, what happend to this legislator? :In another message book, the OIG found two back-to-back phone messages from the
    legislator to the principal which were received the day before the student’s father, the coach, was interviewed by the OIG in this matter and one week before the student’s mother appeared for her pre-scheduled interview with the OIG.
    If nothing happens to them, they continue to call principals to get their favorites in these schools-

  • So does Rep Monique Davis have to pay rent, or restitution or ? for the board property she 'leased" ?

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