Juarez Attendance Whistleblower Fired

Juarez Attendance Whistleblower Fired

Pretty much everyone's focused on the pros and cons of a Karen Lewis challenge to Mayor Rahm and the budget hearings for next year, but I'm still super curious about what's happening at Juarez (cooking the books, firing the whistleblower) and whether it's happening/happened at other CPS schools (right?). Elsewhere, Seattle is finally getting some charter schools, and a new charter school study shows that NYC charters don't under-serve SWD but those in other cities do.

JUAREZ WTF?

CPS Teacher Claims He Was Fired For Speaking Out On Alleged Wrongdoing CBS: A Chicago teacher blew the whistle on alleged wrongdoing at a Chicago high school, and now he's out of a job. He believes he ... “I know it's retaliation,” Manny Bermudez said after losing his job at Benito Juarez Community Academy High School.

Fired CPS Teacher Was One of 11 Let Go at Benito Juarez HS, Officials Say DNAinfo: ... school's staff in which Bermudez and other teachers were accused of libel after speaking to DNAinfo Chicago regarding the claims that grades had been altered at Juarez. Bermudez is currently appealing his termination to CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

POLITICS

Reps. Rush, Davis encourage Karen Lewis to run for mayor Chicago Sun-Times: U.S. Reps. Bobby Rush and Danny Davis are encouraging Chicago Teachers Union chief Karen Lewis to run against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, speaking exclusively to the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday after speeches on the House floor.

Toni Preckwinkle Isn't Running for Mayor—Now What? Chicago Magazine:  Had she decided to run, Preckwinkle would have needed to stomach a race that would almost certainly get ugly. She and the mayor have never had a cozy relationship. (When Chicago contributor Mark Bazer asked her, on a recent episode of WTTW’s My Chicago, whether the two get along, Preckwinkle paused for an awkward few seconds before muttering, “We work together.”) And the Tribune reported in May that an Emanuel aide was already feeding the paper negative stories about Preckwinkle—nine months before the election. (The aide later said his e-mail was “inappropriate” and apologized for sending it.)

'10 questions for Karen Lewis' Chicago Tribune: 1. How would you balance the city's roughly $8 billion budget? What areas would you cut and why? Remember, your proposals for increased revenue are set aside for teacher pensions, not the operating budget.

BUDGET

CPS officials grilled over local school cuts at budget hearing Sun Times: The specter of 50 closed schools haunted a budget hearing Wednesday night on the West Side as dozens of people asked Chicago Public Schools officials over and over and over: How could CPS continue to cut budgets at neighborhood schools while opening new charter and contract schools — even after shutting down a record number of schools just a year ago?

CPS traditional schools see drop in funding under plan Chicago Tribune:  While Chicago Public Schools officials maintain they do everything to keep budget cuts away from the classroom, the proposed operating budget for the coming school year decreases funding to 504 traditional neighborhood schools by $72 million.

CPS seeks input on proposed 2015 budget Hyde Park Herald: “We continue to work diligently to keep cuts away from the classroom and have been able to present a budget that increases per pupil funding,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

MISC

86 Chicago Public Schools to receive air conditioning for 2014-15 MyFox Chicago: "As we continue to elevate the quality of instruction CPS students receive in the classroom, it is imperative that we simultaneously work to improve the quality of our learning environments," said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

Finding solutions to curb chronic truancy, absenteeism in earliest grades Catalyst: One of the most important factors that's keeping many of Chicago's youngest children from learning is poor attendance. On Wednesday, educators, parents and community organizers talked about how to address the problem during a special forum that's part of our Catalyst Conversations series.

OTHER CITIES

Seven groups file charter-school proposals, judges uphold affirmative-action ruling Seattle Times: Tuesday was the deadline for the second round of charter-school applications in Washington state, and seven groups filed proposals for new schools. See also Seattle Public Radio

Impasse talks begin for Howard schools, teachers union BaltSun: Howard school officials will begin mediation with the county teachers union Wednesday, the latest step in contentious contract negotiations that lasted throughout the school year.

Summer school now a given for high achievers – but it’ll cost them KPCC: For high achieving students, summer school is the only way to stack their high school transcripts for their college applications to shine above the rest.

Three 'Secret' Ingredients for a Successful Small School WNYC: City officials have boasted for years about their success in creating hundreds of small high schools that have higher graduation rates than many of the large schools they replaced. Now, a new report has singled out what makes the best of these small schools so exceptional.

Investigators Exonerate School in Fatal Stabbing Case WNYC: An investigation released Wednesday found the teen who allegedly stabbed a classmate to death at a Bronx middle school never told anyone at the school about being bullied or harassed by the stabbing victim. Or Chalkbeat: Report: City officials knew of bullying prior to Bronx school stabbing

Beverly Hills High School principal files lawsuit against district LA Times: The principal of Beverly Hills High School filed a federal lawsuit against the school district Wednesday, alleging that officials routinely ignored his complaints of racial discrimination and retaliated against him through attacks in the media, harassment and by denying job opportunities to him.

NATIONAL

Amid Common Core debate, North Carolina opts to tweak, not abandon, standards Washington Post: The House and Senate agreed to a comprise measure that creates a commission to re-examine the Common Core standards and come up with ways to improve on them.

Researcher says city’s charter schools aren’t pushing students out, though other cities’ are ChalkbeatNY: “I can say there is definitive evidence of some cities in the U.S. of ‘pushout’ and that New York City is not one of them,” said Macke Raymond, director of Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes.

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  • Redefining positions in order to fire union delegates has been going on for years in CPS. Ed Klunk redefined 8 or 9 positions at Amundsen to get rid of George Schmidt many, many years ago.

    Yes, it is certainly going on at other CPS schools. I thought Russo was aware that this happens nearly every year. CPS allows this to occur. Much of the time the teacher gets their position back through arbitration. The only problem is that the process takes years and by that time the damage to students and teachers is already complete. The principals and other guilty parties are long gone by that time.

  • It is called malicious reassignment and it is a common practice in CPS especially for those teachers who have multiple certifications. The malicious reassignments usually happened in the grammar schools to teachers with sped certifications because they are the ones who advocate for services for their students because the parents are unwilling or unable to question the lack of follow through on an IEP. The primary sped teacher complains because her program aide is being used as security in another building so next year she is reassigned to a upper sped position. The resource teacher complains about a caseload of 24 and next year she is assigned to the autism room. Various reasons are given usually all B.S. and if the sped teacher is young he/she makes the decision to go to the suburbs where they are sought after because the suburban sped programs are so well run compared to CPS that they never complain-they leave the complaining to the 22 years old who have never experienced the sham that is called special education in CPS.
    If it is a veteran CPS teacher she/he will transfer or wait out the current principal (transiency is the norm) and hope the next principal does the right thing for the children with disabilities.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I found this statement interesting: "if the sped teacher is young he/she makes the decision to go to the suburbs where they are sought after because the suburban sped programs are so well run compared to CPS that they never complain-they leave the complaining to the 22 years old who have never experienced the sham that is called special education in CPS."

    Let's all take a deep breath here and come back to reality. Many suburban school districts are very poor and Access Living gets phone calls regularly from parents wanting to file due process cases against suburban districts. There are north shore districts, some west suburban districts, and a number in Lake County that provide good services through their cooperatives.

    But in no way are all suburban districts providing better services than does CPS. Try teaching special education in Ford Heights and CPS will not look so bad. The truth is poor children with disabilities in many districts in Illinois get really bad educations and special education teachers have bad working conditions.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    I realize that there are poor districts in Illinois BUT I will bet that the worse of their special education programs is no where near as bad as some of our programs.
    The problem in CPS is that it mislabels programs and often misdiagnoses children in order to reduce the amount of minutes/services. For example a self-contained cross cat program in CPS may have 10 children with autism and 4 students who are severely cognitively delayed with one program aide and one shared para. In the suburbs, even in the poor districts the classroom would be called severe and profound or autism and would follow the recommended guidelines of 5-8 children with the correct amount as dictated by the IEP for paras for safety/diaper-toileting.

    I have a friend who taught children with disabilities in CPS and retired and became bored so she signed up for subbing in the southeast suburbs. She was shocked to discover that none of the self-contained classrooms had enrollments of more than ten and usually had 2-3 paras who stayed with the children except when they had lunch These were not rich suburbs. The classrooms were stocked with materials and all of these were actual classrooms not reconverted closets or doubled up classrooms. Even though some of these suburbs were high poverty it seems as if the school district followed the state guidelines for staffing etc.

    CPS blatantly disregards special education law and young teachers do leave and I have yet to hear about any one of them returning to CPS because they didn't like the suburban program.

    I taught in an AMPS school with two supportive principals and we had to fight at MDC/IEP meetings for services especially for para support. CPS is not a friend of children with disabilities.
    anniesullivan

  • Nothing news.
    Do you expect union to do anything?
    There is a an assumption that such kind of malicious reassignments are supported by a union.
    In the past it happened to another delegate who criticized union for not representing members.
    His last principal receive only the 60 days budget and was forced to terminate his position.
    By the way,the principal made a false testimony in the federal court and was allowed to make personal decisions by the Board(!).
    Nobody investigated settlements with union involvements and Who really receive money.
    Subject for consideration.
    Whats the beautiful world :).

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Of course, the union does not support malicious reassignments but CPS certainly does.
    When you have a school with an incompetent/bully principal with a high teacher turnover rate and a high volume of grievances there is obviously a problem. When the CTU delegate is maliciously reassigned it is obvious that it is for union activity and sends a message to the rest of the staff that this principal is untouchable. Harrassment by a principal for union activity/other issues must be documented and sometimes the harassed may need to hire an attorney or if is racial/sexual harassment then one needs to call EEOC. CPS has paid out settlements caused by the actions of bully principals and needs to curb, not encourage these behaviors.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    BS.Please let us know about relationship between union leaders and terminated teacher.
    I am expecting that the union filed already the ILRB charges.
    People do not know internal union issues and base their judgment only on officially presented facts.
    Only Right To Work legislation could force union to leave politics and focus on members rights.So far you feed them not knowing about their true faces.

  • Has anyone been using the new CPS "taleo" website for job opportunities? Any luck with it? Does it actually work?

  • Fix the headline, he wasn't fired. He was "laid off" due to "other actions" which is most likely declining enrollment... at least that is the excuse. Bermudez is still eligible for rehire by another principal. Hopefully he'll land a job with a good principal who sees this and appreciates his courage and honesty.

  • Highly unlikely he will get a job. He is too expensive to most school's per-pupil budget - just will not be able to afford him. This is the same for other teachers, great teachers, who are being layed-off.

  • http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/07/18/332343240/the-teacher-dropout-crisis?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20140719

  • The CTU is a politically connected,self service organization.
    They allowed to give up everything what teachers were fighting for for years.
    Check their pension records:Dallas,Stewart etc.
    They gave themselves a rise and inflated their pension benefits.
    Stupid little people are loosing sleep over job security but union presidents enjoys her Hawaii vacations.
    Before she was able to afford a trip to the local park.
    Only lack of education prevents members from taking action in order to put accountability on CTU leaders.

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