4 Already Banned from Board Meetings - You Could Be Next!

4 Already Banned from Board Meetings - You Could Be Next!

The Board has banned 4 people from monthly meetings, says DNA. Karen Lewis coverage continues -- including Jay Travis campaign leadership role. It's Kindergarten application time for all yo CPS newbie parents. Arne Duncan declaims Ray Lewis and other NFL players with domestic abuse allegations against them. Plus:  Lots of comments about Parent Power and IL RYH from yesterday, and national news.

BOARD ACTIONS

As Lewis ponders mayoral run, CPS warns employees against improper political activity Chicago Sun-Times: That's according to a letter, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday, from Barbara Byrd-Bennett to officials and employees of the Board of Education. 

 

CPS Blacklist: Meet the Activists Banned From Board of Education Meetings DNA Info: Since December 2013, four people have been banned from attending the monthly meetings.

POLITICS

Karen Lewis Meets With Voters: 'I'm Qualified To Be Mayor' Progress Illinois: Lewis, who has donated $40,000 of her own money to her campaign fund, has to gather 12,500 signatures of registered voters in order to get on the ballot. Nomination petition sheets for the February election could begin circulating as early as August 26 and have to be filed no later than November 24.

Potential Karen Lewis Platform? Participatory Budgeting at CPS, City Hall DNAinfo: Karen Lewis stopped short of making any big announcements at a Southwest Side stop on her "Conversations with Karen" tour.

Jay Travis heading Karen Lewis' mayoral exploratory committee Hyde Park Herald: Bronzeville resident Jay Travis, who challenged state Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-26) in the Democratic primary earlier this year, has signed on as coordinator for CTU President Karen Lewis' mayoral exploratory committee.

MISC

New parent group holds fair for all schools: public, private, charter Catalyst: CPS has endorsed the Oct. 4 fair and is requiring all district-run high schools to have a display. In the past, the district has run a high school fair and there was something called a New Schools Expo, which featured mostly charter schools. However, mostly the different types of schools, especially Catholic and other private schools, recruit students at different times and places.

Fall 2014 – Applying to Kindergarten / Elementary School CPS Obsessed: Bye mommy! Now you can look at Facebook all day long! Kindergarten/Elementary application time here! Welcome! After the long wait from infanthood, it is now time to being charting the waters of CPS elementary school.   Applying has never been easier, now that it’s all online. Applications will be accepted starting October 1st.

Via Facebook: "Substance is finally back on line after being "down" for more than a week. It will take us a couple of days to get up all the stories that have lined up in the queue. But with this exciting year now in process, it will be fun. In 2015, Substance will be celebrating our 40th anniversary. Not bad."

NATIONAL

New Study: Adequate Yearly Progress Not So Bad PK12: Some of AYP's sanctions actually proved beneficial. Leadership and management changes associated with school restructuring— one of the most onerous sanctions for schools that chronically failed to meet AYP— yielded the most positive impact from schools.

New report reveals surprising facts about Hispanic children and teens WPost: Hispanic children, the largest minority group in public schools as well as the fastest growing, are increasingly showing up in preschool programs,  have made significant gains on national math tests, and are posting record high school graduation rates, according to a new study released Wednesday. But they still lagged behind their white peers in academic achievement and were more likely to live in poverty and not finish college.

Academic Skills on Web Are Tied to Income Level NYT: A new study indicates that the higher the income level of a student’s family, the more adept the student will be on how to use the web.

Arne Duncan says Ray Rice, NFL send 'terrible message' Chicago Sun-Times: Education Secretary Arne Duncan has one message for Ray Rice and the NFL. And it's that they're both sending a "terrible message" to America's youth. “These folks are so interested in making money, they've lost a sense of values."

OTHER CITIES

Camden Public School Activists Up in Arms WNYC: The bill, backed by the Christie Administration and passed 32-1 by the Democratic-controlled State Senate, loosens the restrictions on so-called "Renaissance Schools" in Camden, as well as in Newark and Trenton. Camden already has three "Renaissance Schools," charter schools which work more closely with the district on enrollment and receive more funding than traditional charters.

Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Eric Williams WAMU: Kojo sits down with Eric Williams, Loudoun County's new superintendent, to talk about about the issues facing one of the area's fastest-growing school systems.

 

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    The nfl is sending the wrong message to our youth and hurting wives, daughters, sisters and children...
    The NFL players in the article below (except Greg Hardy) are still playing even after being arrested for domestic violence... What does this say to our women and children?...What does it say about American morals? http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/nfl-controversy/s... It is time to tell the nfl that placing greed before the welfare of women and children will not be tolerated in our society (nor will covering up such dispicable acts) ... Boycott the nfl by boycotting all corporations that advertise during nfl games... Do it for your wives... do it for your sisters... do it for your daughters...do it for your children... do it for the morality of America. The NFL is a disgrace to the fabric of american morals and the human race... A money hungry morally corrupt monopoly played by millionaire wife/ child / animal abusers, rapist, steroid users, murderers and pretty boys who have hung up their jock straps for dresses while trying not to damage their million dollar peticures.The NFL (National Felons League) is damaging to the reputation of America and a shameful role model for our youth. It is time for a new football league to emerge so that we can end this corruption of American morals... called the NFL.

  • Those banned protesters were all fighting for CPS schools which have high amounts of minority students and CPS wasn't allocating enough funds for them for programs or to keep the schools open. But, it seems CPS has enough money to pour into 'white' schools, especially when it comes to CPS employees with connections.

    Here's two things which will make you scratch your head and wonder who's watching the money at CPS and Taft High School and who has the most clout:

    #1: Taft employs an attendance clerk, Gary Longo, who made $90,697 in 2013 according to the BGA. Longo has been employed at Taft under the position of Resource/Collaborative or Regular Teacher since the 2012-13 school year. Longo has never has taught at Taft, instead he's been working in clerical type positions with this current and last years as an attendance clerk.

    Longo's salary link:

    http://www.bettergov.org/payroll/?PensionCode=202&F_FirstName='Gary'&F_LastName='longo'

    Plus, Longo gets paid as a regular teacher and earns all the benefit perks of being a regular teacher, including: teacher sick and business days, pension and medical benefits, years towards his teaching experience, and salary step increase for having an advanced degree (Masters).

    Longo replaced Tod McFarlin as one of Taft's attendance clerks for the 2013-14 school year after McFarlin worked the position for two years and was also paid under the position title of 'Resource/Collaborative teacher'. McFarlin made $57.917 in 2013. So, Longo was brought in at a increase in salary of $32,780 (37%) to work the same position when another clerk (like McFarlin) could have been hired at a lower salary.

    McFarlin's salary link:

    http://www.bettergov.org/payroll/?PensionCode=202&F_FirstName='tod'&F_LastName='McFarlin'

    Taft's other 'current' attendance clerk (Maria Kaczmarski) made $52,307.53 in 2013 in the position of School Clerk I, a position which pays $38,690 (43%) less than Longo's salary.

    Kaczmarski's salary link:

    http://www.bettergov.org/payroll/?PensionCode=202&F_FirstName='Maria'&F_LastName='Kaczmarski'

    Who Longo knows is anyone's guess. But, prior to Longo being hired at Taft for the 2012-13 school year, he worked three years as a 'Resource/Collaborative Teacher' at Amundsen HS from the 2009-10 to the 2011-12 as an attendance clerk and disciplinarian.

    Longo was brought into Taft under former Principal Arthur Tarvardian and Longo worked as a Drafting Teacher under Arthur's wife (Pauilne) when she was principal at Amundsen. And, another former Taft Principal (Mary Kay Cappitelli) and a Taft assistant principal (Carol Garai), who were both at Taft the last two years, worked with Longo at Amundsen

    #2: Recently the Taft LSC approved the opening of a Security Manager Position and the pay is $118,435. The position went to Katherine 'Kat' Hindmand. Hindmand most recently was employed by CPS as a Network Safety Manger and her 2013 salary was $78,700. So, Hindmand received a new position with a $39,735 increase in pay. This at a time when CPS teaching and staff positions are being cut.

    http://www.bettergov.org/payroll/?PensionCode=202&F_LastName='Hindmand'

    via Taft's LSC August, 2014 meeting:

    http://www.tafths.org/ourpages/auto/2007/10/12/1192197239841/2014-08a.pdf

    Motion: L. Plewa: Approve the following:

    -Opening of Security Manager Position-$118,435

    -Transfer funds from 2013-2014 rollover to purchase school/office furniture-$9500

    -Transfer funds from Internal Accounts student fee to pay agenda books, classroom materials, for English dept & student locks-$119,550

    -Transfer funds to offset negative lines in salaries & benefits-$1200

    -Closing teacher position#475401

    -Closing teacher position#506071

    Second: G. Wilson

    Vote: Unanimously approved

    Resolution: Transfers, closures, and openings approved

    http://www.tafths.org/ourpages/auto/2007/10/12/1192197239841/2014-08a.pdf

  • Karen Lewis and Chicago’s Illiteracy Problem | Union Watch http://ow.ly/BSdjF @unionwatch @CTULocal1

  • Dyett High should not be closed despite its 12 students, according to @dianeravitch and @mikeklonsky http://ow.ly/BSpB8 #srsly?

    Reading through the comments it seems like not even DR's readers were entirely convinced about this one.

    Hi, ChiTownRes!

  • Here's two things which will make you scratch your head and wonder who's watching the money at CPS and Taft High School and who has the most clout, while money is being withheld from Dyett HS and other south/west side schools:

    #1: Taft employs an attendance clerk, Gary Longo, who made $90,697 in 2013 according to the BGA. Longo has been employed at Taft under the position of Resource/Collaborative or Regular Teacher since the 2012-13 school year. Longo has never has taught at Taft, instead he's been working in clerical type positions with this current and last years as an attendance clerk.

    Who Longo knows is anyone's guess. But, prior to Longo being hired at Taft for the 2012-13 school year, he worked three years as a 'Resource/Collaborative Teacher' at Amundsen HS from the 2009-10 to the 2011-12 as an attendance clerk and disciplinarian.

    Longo was brought into Taft under former Principal Arthur Tarvardian and Longo worked as a Drafting Teacher under Arthur's wife (Pauilne) when she was principal at Amundsen. And, another former Taft Principal (Mary Kay Cappitelli) and a Taft assistant principal (Carol Garai), who were both at Taft the last two years, worked with Longo at Amundsen

    #2: Recently the Taft LSC approved the opening of a Security Manager Position and the pay is $118,435. The position went to Katherine 'Kat' Hindmand. Hindmand most recently was employed by CPS as a Network Safety Manger and her 2013 salary was $78,700. So, Hindmand received a new position with a $39,735 increase in pay. This at a time when CPS teaching and staff positions are being cut.
    via Taft's LSC August, 2014 meeting:

    Motion: L. Plewa: Approve the following:
    -Opening of Security Manager Position-$118,435

    http://www.tafths.org/ourpages/auto/2007/10/12/1192197239841/2014-08a.pdf

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Interesting? Have there been any strange discrepancies with attendance at Amundsen or Taft during Longo's tenure? I'm not accusing him of attendance manipulation, but it is not an uncommon practice in CPS high schools.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I'm not sure if there are major discrepancies at Taft and Amundsen with their attendance numbers, but, I would like to see a 'numbers cruncher' find this out for everyone. However, I do know Taft has a high dropout rate (25% in 2013, 30% in 2012), high student and teacher absentee rate (close to 7%), and they have problems with student tardies (see the article on the link below), which Taft's new principal (Mark Grishaber) is trying to fix.

    http://www.tafths.org/ourpages/auto/2009/4/21/37887229/Taft%20Today%202013-14%20Issue%2004.pdf

    Taft's attendance clerk Gary Longo did work with some highly 'connected' principals in Arthur Tarvardian at Taft and Pauline Tarvardian/Carlos Munoz at Amundsen.

    The Tarvardians (both retired) and Munoz were all Daley loyalist. And, Munoz is the brother of Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) and son of 'convicted ID fraud felon' Elias Munoz. Elias Munoz. (Elias Muñoz was charged with conspiracy to produce false identification documents and aiding and abetting in an investigation dubbed 'Operation Paper Tiger'.)

    Carlos Munoz retired as principal at Amundsen in 2012, but, unretired and took a position as an administrator at Infinity, Math, and Science academy in the Pilsen neighborhood.

  • 14 Lessons Learned in Englewood: 8 years of reflections from a CPS teacher | Dave Stieber http://ow.ly/BSrSN @d_stieber

  • Programming note: I'm looking Fall interns & contributors for TWIE & District299 - Pass it along or ping me at alexanderrusso at gmail if you're interested

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Do interns have to live in NYC, or can they be actual Chicagoans?

  • Who is Gary Longo's clout?

    It's Dominic Longo and here’s some info. from an online bio of Longo, a former captain in Dick Mell’s 33rd Ward Organization and the guy who helped elevate a “rinky-dink attorney” to the governor’s office:

    # Vote Fraud–Longo was charged with vote fraud (stuffing ballot boxes) in 1984 while working as a precinct captain for 33rd Alderman Dick Mell.

    # Licenses for bribes–In 1995, the Illinois Secretary of State busted a testing operation run by Longo crony Guy Dettio, and Teamsters Local 726 member / boss Thomas Clair. The operation involved handing out Illinois trucking licensees to people not eligible to take the test. Clair eventually told a reporter, Dave Savini from NBC 5, that Longo himself had ordered the union leader to pass whoever the airport manager sent in for testing (the City of Chicago had ‘licensing authority’). Sixteen trucking licenses were revoked as a result of the investigation. For three months, Longo’s department was not allowed to administer the tests.

    # Extortion–In November 1995, the City of Chicago Inspector General’s office was investigating allegations that Longo may have solicited truck drivers assigned to snow removal and other season work at O’Hare “to pay a couple thousand dollars” in exchange for year round jobs with full time benefits. Allegations also surfaced that Longo was selling jobs, extorting money out of city employees and forcing them to work on campaigns while on city time. He was forced out of his position and moved to another department.

    # Ethics violations–In September 1998, a team of city lawyers was attempting to determine if City Department of Revenue chief Ron Calicchio was breaking city laws by raising political cash from city businesses that are regulated by his department. These businesses were being ‘asked’ to contribute to The Coalition of Better Government, run by Calicchio and his partner, Dominic Longo.

    # Ghost payrolling–In October 2000, the Chicago Inspector General’s Office, during a investigation of Longo, documents him going to Ultimate Exposure Tanning, Bally’s Total Fitness, Café Cappucino, Caputo’s Food Market, Dei Giovanni’s Men’s wear, and City One apparel on city time. Longo resigns his position with the city in November 2000.

  • The security position at Taft is inclusive of benefits which typically are about 1/3 of the salary. That puts salary at about 87K.

  • In reply to Johnny:

    Two things here:

    One, is the CPS Position Files listed the 'school security manger' position at Taft as paying $118,435 (salary) + 26,427 in annual benefits costs. So, this position is really paying $144,862 not $118,435. Basically, two teacher or a little more than three teacher aide salaries with benefits.

    Two, even if the position was ONLY paying $118,435 total, it's still a unneeded expense to pay for a security position at a school which is in 'Copland' on the Far Northwest side of Chicago and a mile or so from Niles, Park Ridge, and Norridge. And, at a school populated by the children of police officers, firemen, and other city workers and at school where 80% of the security detail is active or current Chicago Police officers.

    WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY PERIOD!!!!!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Definitely, NOT a waste of money. Having a school security position is not an unneeded expense even is "Copland" as you call the neighborhood. How many times have we seen schools in very good communities and neighborhoods have issues that required a good security team. Too many I'm afraid. Crimes and security issues even happen in Disneyland (good neighborhoods and good schools).

  • In reply to teachervoice:

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But, the only two security problems at Taft in recent years was the illegal strip search of student by Taft's security and an asst. principal based on anonymous tip given to one guard hooked up to the old HDO and some student overdosing on marijuana brownies last year. Other than that, Taft's security has flushed out the gangbangers and Taft's deans have helped by having 100 expulsion hearings a year or so ago.

    What Taft needs to do to control future problems is to narrow their school boundaries which have students from outside Taft's area traveling 4-5 miles to get to Taft.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    If you understand how CPS works, you would know that narrowing the school's boundaries is not something they have control over.

  • And, if you looked at the Taft LSC link (above) from August, 2014, you'll see two teaching positions were closed at Taft to accommodate this school security manager position. If this Hindmand person is truly the real deal, she should be working at other northside schools which truly needs her expertise, schools like Kelvyn Park, Foreman, Steinmetz, Schurz, Prosser, Sullivan, or Senn and not at a suburban-type CPS school in Taft.

  • Can you link the CPS position file you are referencing?

  • In reply to Johnny:

    I don't have the link, but, a Taft teacher assures me the CPS Position Files are posted on the CPS or the City of Chicago websites. I guess you just have to look as the salary info. was given to me by this teacher. This teacher and other Taft teachers are ticked off about losing two teacher positions at Taft as they think this is a way Rahm's people have figured how to get rid of teachers there by closing positions.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Closing positions to get rid of teachers is not new, this is the way is has been done for decades.

  • In reply to teachervoice:

    That's funny as Taft former AP Susan Gross help to do that exact thing 4-5 years ago when Taft stopped allowing west and south Blacks into Taft. Taft's Black student enrollment went from 15%-18% to 2.3% which it is now.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    That's not narrowing boundaries. Those areas were not in the "neighborhood". Desegregation..

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Great.
    It looks like Taft really takes care of the neighborhood.
    You will see achievement numbers going up as well.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Position files are posted, but they are not current.

    I would be very, very, very surprised if the position pays what you say it does. This is more than most assistant principals in Chicago.

  • Yes, Taft takes care of the 'white' neighborhood by profiling minority students and then getting rid of them to make it one big Whiteville. In fact, the profiling of students is what got their former AP Susan Gross in trouble and put her on the outs. Gross allowed one of the profiled 'minority' students to get illegally strip searched by Taft's security with her watching in a boys bathroom two years ago. I guess Gross figured she was above the law because her husband (retired Chicago Police Commander Frank Gross) is hooked up with Richie Daley

    Watch the report here:

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/12/05/parents-of-teen-strip-searched-at-school-sue-assistant-principal-police/

    Also, on the topic of profiling,Taft had over 100 expulsion hearings during the same 2012-13 school year as the strip search, under the direction of Taft disciplinarian Samuel Duarte (has ties to the old HDO). And, of the Taft student expelled, 87% of them were minority students.

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