"The Daley Shuffle" (CPS Year In Review)

What were the highs and lows of 2009 for Chicago Public Schools?  Here’s an excerpt from the Sun Times’ review of Mayor Daley’s pretty awful year reminding us about how the Mayor ignored Arne Duncan’s public support for Barbara Eason-Watkins:


“The Daley shuffle continued with the appointment of CTA President Ron
Huberman to replace Arne Duncan to head the city’s schools. Before
departing to become President Obama’s secretary of education, Duncan
had recommended his chief education officer, Barbara Eason-Watkins, as
his replacement. Daley ignored the advice and picked Huberman, who had
endeared himself to the mayor as the City Hall chief of staff who
cleaned house after the Hired Truck and city hiring scandals.”

The murder of Darrian Albert has to be a low point, along with the botched magnet school application proposal process.  The rejection of the Avondale Montessori charter proposal.  The district’s low ratings on NAEP compared to other big cities.  Bright moments?  I’m not sure I can think of any right off the bat.  But then again my brain doesn’t work that way.

Filed under: Events & Deadlines


Leave a comment
  • Closing of schools--good, caring schools and the proof that students who transfered from closed schools, only suffered more pain and loss because of the Board's slavery to Daley.

  • How there is no oneof worth to run against Daley; he will win again and again.

  • Michael Scott having to give-up his life for the old man. It was NEVER worth it. Learn from this Ron, Bob and David. RIP MS.

  • Here is the problem: Chicago

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    "Maybe we need to tell the truth, education has value in itself, it may not bring even most urban children out of relative poverty as adults. But educated adults do make better choices in life even if they do not ascend to the middle class."

    So true. But not even the President is coping to that.

  • Rod Estvan for CPS Board President-now!

  • Retired Principal said: I personally talked to Barbara Eason-Watkins and told her she should be CEO (she could actually be a superintendent) of the Chicago Public Schools and not Mr. Huberman, however, Barbara refused to comment on my suggestion!

  • Why should BEW do more? She makes big money and will retire fat! No reason to NOT just sit there and watch Ron crash and burn. BEW is only a place holder, keeping the AA community in its place!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    It's too bad BEW doesn't have a high quality education. She started off okay -- not Ivy League, but the U. of Michigan is fine. Then she did only one master's at CS, which is not laudable. And, unfortunately, doctorates in education from other than the holy trinity (TC, Harvard, Stanford) are, at best, second rate.

    She is the embodiment of the Peter Principle.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Wall Street had plenty of those Holy Trinity folks and we saw where Wall Street took us!

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    Not from "schools of education," Vin...although, even the Ivy ones are pretty worthless.

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    Schools of Education

    Dear district 299

    I was just wondering from what school of law did
    Abraham Lincoln graduate?

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Bob, if you're talking about 19th century teachers and methodologies, only then to you have a valid point. But I'm referencing best practices now.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Oh please...enough with the "best practices" pitch. Do a Google search using key words "best practices education" and you will come up with 101,000,000 wildly varying ideas on what that means. It is just one more of those annoying new education buzz phrases that serve no other purpose than to make people feel like they know what they are talking about.
    What Abe Lincoln had in the 19th Century is just as valuable today, but sadly ignored. It is called common sense.

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    You wouldn't say that if you had gone to a good school.

    That said, even the best schools of education pale in comparison with other "professional" schools. And, until that changes, performance managers will reign.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Schools of Education are guilty of cowardice for bowing generally to CPS and not calling Daley and CPS top administration out on their BS. They are accomplices as well to the debacle. The
    Consortium on Chicago School Research at U of C gets a hefty contract and never really call Daley and his top administration or measure their performance. Why do top administrators at CPS do not get evaluated by the teachers. The Teacher Survey never asks questions regarding how they feel regarding support from the top administrators. Why do schools of education protect these clowns from evaluation.

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    You're right, Vin...Schools of education are guilty of cowardice. In large part, they don't thoroughly evaluate district activity because they are beholden to districts for jobs for their graduates. And the local schools of ed are really diploma mills, churning out students who wanted an increase in salary in exchange for the piece of paper.

    of course, the U of C got rid of its school of ed because they thought it hurt the university's prestige (the SSA, were it not such a cash cow, would be gone, too -- most prestigious universities do not have schools of social work or education). The CCSR produces marketing material in the guise of legitimate research. A few of the PM team continue to support CCSR at the expense of transparency and actionable results.

    The teachers should put together their own survey of CPS administration. Why are they waiting for permission?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    This reminds me of a major study produced by CCSR last year. They concluded that there would be fewer drop outs if freshman went to school more often and didn't fail so many classes. Didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this expensive and banal observation of the obvious.

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    QO, was that the study that was associated with the Network for College Success? The NCS is a sad joke, staffed by several people who mismanaged CPS schools, charter and otherwise. It's a holding pen for people who lost their jobs, like Sarah Howard, until they can find a legitimate gig.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Here is the link. As you will see in their conclusions, any high school staffer could have given them the same answers had they bothered to ask. I daresay the janitors in the building could have come up with the same conclusions.


  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    Thanks, QO. It's a study that states the obvious in a very glossy format. I worry about the US DoEd when I see amateurish research like this, and see the people who are involved.

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    My concern is that there are two many splinter groups running against Marilyn. The odds of one group getting enough to win the election are slim. I keep urging that the groups find a common ground and just run one slate against Marilyn. If that happens, we would stand a good chance of getting Marilyn out.

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    Two Dollars

    Seems some people are really convinced where a person
    Went to school is more important than what they learned.
    One person even bragged that his sister was by definition
    Smart because she received several scholarships to what he
    considers acceptable schools. This same person seems to think
    that some schools of education , specifically Chicago State
    University , are a joke.

    In some ways this is true, no college can make someone a teacher.
    Since you have the ability to teach or you don

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    Apples and oranges, Bob. CSU graduates will produce students who can attend CSU. Harvard grads produce students who can go to Harvard. If we set the bar low enough, and we have, then CSU is an adequate school.

    That said, your hypothetical U of C grad would know how to legally get the coffee for free regardless of what the counterperson told him or her. The CSU grad would just cop an attitude and/or pay.

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    I have to guess that those who believe quality professionals come only from "top tier" educational institutions just straight-out don't know a lot of educators from all the "tiers" of institutions. If they did, they'd know that some Harvard grads are ignorant and ineffective and some CSU grads are brilliant and effective. And visa versa, too. At least, that's been my experience with degreed folk in school, work and social settings over the past four decades.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Actually, I do know people from different tiers. But I'm talking about the bosses, not the teachers. More important than either of our anecdotal experiences is what the research shows. No surprise, the people who graduate from top tier schools do top tier work, but part of that, of course, is people who get into top tier schools have higher qualifications to begin with.

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    district299 (1:56) said: Harvard grads produce students who can go to Harvard.

    Now that is one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time. Thank you for the laugh! I've been stressed out this weekend - the humor helps bring me back a bit of peace to my world.

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    The real two dollar test

    Actually I was being nice. In a real life situation this is how it
    would play out.

    Instead of this

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    The UC grad would be taught NOT to go anywhere near a CPS classroom. However, they would be the PD leader and/or UC researcher to tell CPS where they are going wrong with students. The CSU graduate would be in the classroom, sleeves rolled up, using their back, long hours and funds to make a better day for their CPS students. There is your big difference!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    And nothing makes for more inspirational PD then a leader who has never been anywhere near a CPS classroom. Wonks are all over the place, they're just not terribly useful for anything other than writing books for other wonks.

  • In reply to CPSJoe:

    In general, if a person is so far from a classroom and doesn't have a real connection to what is happening in classrooms, then I have serious reservations about them. Clear example, Huberman, who has no idea nor experience, is making decisions that negatively affect the school system. Add his boss Daley and the Civic Committee of the Chicago Commercial Club who gave us Ren 2010, the smoke and mirrors non-sustainable program based on fantasy not on strong research and the needs of school as they exist. Advance Illinois and other astroturf groups, who are just full of political hacks. CAO's who have never been a principal or have been successful as a teacher cannot lead since teachers see through their decision making process that they are the faithful messenger of Huberman and not interested in what the people in the classrooms have to say. The Huberman Agenda trumps good ideas coming from schools. How about the contracting of professional development services of people who are politically connected and have no idea what happens in our classrooms.

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    who at CO has recent multi-year classroom experience in a receiving or closed school and holds a valid Illinois teaching or administrative certificate?

    Psst this is a trick question.

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    I don't know. But I do know that Barbara is one of the most ignorant people I've ever met. And she holds a certificate.

  • In reply to EdMentor:

    Recent Classroom experience! when is the last time she was in a classroom? other unions and districts have everyone go back and do classroom work so it does not get to a point like in cps where practically, if not all the CO administrators, have no recent classroom experience [in many cases none]. For some like huberman and his PM team it would be illegal for them to teach a class. it is even legal for them to walk into any classroom with students during the day? they have no credentials to be in a room with minors nor can they observe a teacher as far as i learned when i was in teacher school.

    John Kugler

  • In reply to QuietObserver:

    I do blame Mayor Daley and CPS for the problems in the school system. They, along with our current Union administration, are out to destroy public education and make it a private/charter school system with little or anything for SPED students as well as those at greatest risk. Unfortunately, the president seems to support the agenda so things are not going to change anytime soon. African Americans are beginning to complain that they are being left out of the president's agenda and this is being shown by his turning his back on his commitment to work towards a quality education for all.

    I agree that there is no strong democratic candidate to challenge Daley in the primary and a republican won't win in this city so we will have Daley for a long time to come.

  • In reply to freeisrael3:

    Teachers and the public need to talk with teachers on voting out Marilyn Stewart. Spread the word. That election is in February. Out with the clowns who support the status quo in so many ways.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    John, it does matter what degree and experience a person has if they are interested in doing the best work. You don't want to confuse the low standards of CPS with the 'right thing to do and to be.'

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    My problem with the Schools of Education administrators and most professors is for not being prophetic at this time or anytime. That is the sad part. We have some excellent and very good graduates coming out of our schools education. I have seen a variety of student teachers choose to go to the suburbs since they know what to expect teaching in a Chicago Public school. They see the nonsense coming out of Huberman's office and how it will be played out. The real problem is lack of true leadership on the part of the schools of education and calling Huberman and his cronies on their BS. If you want improve, we need to do what other high performing school districts are doing and not doing Daley/Huberman's Ren 2010 roadmap to ruin.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    So the mark of true intelligence in choosing a school of education is the willingness to pay $50,000 a year to get the credentials for a job paying $35,000 a year? My time studying at Oxford really isn't helping me to understand this logic.

  • In reply to CPSJoe:

    My sister went to both Columbia and Harvard's GSE on scholarships and fellowships ... THAT'S the sign of true intelligence.

    Schools of ed are a joke. Both the US DoEd and CPS are talking about ranking schools and factoring that ranking into pay and promotions. That would certainly be better than giving someone a raise for a degree from CSU, although that still doesn't address how horrible schools of education are overall.

    And Oxford is only "reputable" in the States, unless you're a Rhodes scholar.

  • In reply to SPAlexander:

    Bright people don't have to pay for the education, that is true. And the brightest can get into the best schools. Those are the people we should want teaching our children.

    It's quite telling that someone would reduce education to a salary cost/benefit analysis. No wonder the "profession" of teaching is so derided and schools of education set such a low bar overall.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I'm always surprised when I hear people pay to attend a doctoral program.

    There's no system of checks and balances at CO. It will take a decade to repair the damage done over the last few years, assuming the damage can be fixed.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    it does not matter what degree or experience one has, what matters if you will tow the party line and keep your mouth shut while looking the other way.

    Just name 10 educators that have both the classroom experience(over 5 years) and academic background (certification & degree)that have been hired by huberman or the CO in the past year. Better yet name 10 people coming from a CPS classroom now working in CO as an administrator with any sort of influence at all.

    as far as teachers and administrators cps is only looking for the greenest graduates or scared veterans looking to pay off their student loans[will be quite] and build their resumes[will do anything] to be indoctrinated into the ways of corrupt crony city politics(now national)that have no institutional memory or guts to question operating procedures.

    It going to be a fun year i can feel it!

    John Kugler

  • Huberman does not have impressive academic credentials, nor was he hired because he is well-educated (he's an errand boy). Nor was he hired by an educated person. So it all makes sense to me.

  • One of the things that seems to be happening here is that different people are talking about different practice arenas. Some are talking about the classrooms and some are talking about the central office.

    I think an Ivy League-educated teacher wouldn't last long at CPS because, in large part, he or she would have other options to help the kids and would leave the classroom (and the frustration of dealing with inept administrators) to do it. CPS doesn't keep well-educated administrators. They all leave (or, recently, were laid off) and go on to do bigger things.

    So, ultimately, talking about the CPS system and well-educated people is pointless. The brightest people just don't stay.

  • From Sam:
    I went to CSU. I have been teaching for 16 years. I would never pay 2 dollars for a cup of coffee. I am smart enough to brew my own! I have stretched money that has been given to me and I have gotten textbooks for free. I went to CSU because I could not afford anything else. I have taught with people who payed over $50,000 in tuition fees. Some are good teachers and some are bad. Say what you want about CSU, but I learned what I needed to learn to prepare me to be a teacher.

  • I'm sorry you took offense, but you just proved the point about low quality. And your morale is low because you have no real options because of this low quality.

    The US is a tiered society.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    As long as teacher pay is tied to "degrees" regardless of quality, teaching will remain a second-class job and not a real profession. I would hope the change would come from within, but the teachers themselves benefit from diploma mills -- and these diploma mills are at 'accredited' universities. Universities use schools of education to finance the rest of their operations. Too many of the posts on this blog from graduates of schools of education read as if they were written by eighth graders.

Leave a comment