July Board Meeting

There’s lots going on at the July board meeting, including a “DNH” protest.  Also, Brizard COS Andrea Saenz and the senior staff are giving a 9 am mandatory webinar presentation of the “Central and Area Office Redesign.” (Rumor has it that Coates, Esparza, and Ortega are out.  Anyone else?)  Oh, and there’s also the official agenda (PDF) which includes an item about the Google Apps thing (see below), a mention of some sort of change in the Track E schedule, and all the rest.The changes to the school security plan are here, courtesy of the Chicago schools project (who’s Judy King?).  The transfer of funds items are here.  New student code of conduct here.  Last month’s action items are here (PDF).  What’m I missing? (I propose an impromptu investigation into Emanuel clouting his kids into Lab School.)

UPDATE:  Here are the news stories that came out last night / this morning on the reorganization effort.

CPS reorganization: Brizard to realign ‘mini-superintendents’ Tribune: Two months into his new role overseeing Chicago Public Schools, CEO Jean-Claude Brizard has begun reorganizing a school system he calls “fragmented.”

CPS Planning Cuts to Area Offices CNC:  His shakeup will include the creation of a Chief Community and Family Engagement Officer position to oversee the district’s strategy for community engagement. He is also expected to eliminate five area offices — which oversee geographic clusters of schools–cutting the number of offices from 24 to 19.


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  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/07/26/cps-moving-to-fire-principal-over-fraud-in-free-lunch-program/#.Ti-GoA1qofV.facebook

    Good riddance to an absolutely terrible woman with no business in education.

  • Well does anyone know where Janie o is going?
    If so let us know, we can warn them... J, you tried to destroy Area 11, but you did not succeed! ADIOS mean one!!!

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    to hell--if this is mean, it is deserved. Hoping the next chief does NOT keep the klts and/or add another test. PLEASE LET US TEACH!!!

  • I heard that there were going to be more layoffs today - mainly in the area offices. Rumor has it that area offices are going back to regions. Any truth to this?

  • I heard the AMPS office was going to be reorganized with a lot of AMPS schools getting dropped. So many rumors swirling! I guess we'll know soon enough...

  • CPS reorganization: Brizard to realign, rename chief area officers - chicagotribune.com


    Brizard will tell Chicago Board of Education members Wednesday that the district will change the structure of its middle managers, whom some in the system call "mini-superintendents."

    The number of chief area officers will be pared from 24 to 19, renamed "schools chiefs" and grouped to include all the high school and elementary principals in a region so the chiefs can work to align curriculum.

    Brizard's changes also will include a handful of new leadership positions at the central office, some promotions and a shuffling of bureaucracy that might not equal budget savings right away, but are expected to spur staff reductions in the fall.

    Although CPS now budgets for 24 CAOs, only 16 people hold those positions because of unfilled vacancies. Half of those 16 will stay in their jobs, with the new titles and structure.

    Others will take on new roles, such as Area 9 CAO Jennifer Cheatham, who will become the head of the Office of Teaching and Learning. Some of the rest are planning to leave the district, sources said.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Donoso and Cheatum are out of their league. Donoso read from a script, said nothing of substance and is mousey. She was replaced at the table by someone named Andrea? and just disappeared. Denoso and Cheatum are charter queens and both have little experience with real public schools. Cheatum has a Harvard connection at CPS and was in area 9, but principals do not have anything to say about her accept good-bye.
    It is Brizard’s show, but having to amass MORE Chiefs is not good. There will be an instructional chief, Cheatum, but why does CPS have this when they have a CEdO? So what will Denoso do? There is a chief community and family engagement officer and then 14 ES chiefs and 5 HS chiefs. Lots of chiefs! I feel for the Indians.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I agree that 14 ES and 5 HS chiefs is a lot, but at least they are moving in the righ direction -- 24 to 19. And Cheatum's role makes sense. Because areas have been the main focus for the last 3 years, no one has taken the time to make sure the downtown departments are coordinated. There are at least three departments doing everything. I hope having one person dedicated to central office will fix that.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I think Andrea is the Chief of Staff.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    i just posted an entry about donoso's background and performance so far, plus the new org chart, over here:


    feel free to post comments on your impressions of her work here or there, especially if you've had firsthand experiences with her

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Cheatum never was a principal. She used Area 9 schools as guinea pigs without having personal experience on how to systematically improve schools on a district level. She will lie about her work in Area 9. Who hires a Performance Management person without education experience and names that person the assessment chief? Cheatham did. Not solid judgement there. Why provide cheaply built literacy assessments and impose them on her area nine schools every ten weeks. Waste of money and part of the over assessment of our children that Rahm's children will not suffer. Cheatham may talk a good game but she has only book knowledge to draw from. Look at her resume. Cheatham is closed minded and doesn't listen to her teachers. She has her program and teachers be damned. Communication was bad and late. Things promised to support her program never materialized.

    Brizard still has no clue on how to hire top managers. Sad! Chicago's students deserve better!

  • So, it returns to almost the way it was in 1996 when there was one REO in an area office and the elementary & high schools in that area were brought together for effective communication; alignment of curriculum and goals; transition services and plans, etc. However, this time the BOE still won't let go of those school chiefs as they should and have one head per area office and assistants. I know . . . some of the areas have 100 schools for one chief to supervise. So, have 4 assistants to the chief in each area office who supervise an equal number of schools! I hated the word,"Cluster", as it reminded me of grapes. I hated the word, "CAO", as it reminded me of cows. Area Education Officer(AIO)was a perfect name for the "chief" position. Smart to bring back the high schools at a local level as issues can vary due to the geography of the city.Why pay for 16 "chiefs"? Pay for 6 at a decent salary and pay for 24 assistants at a realistic salary(4 per area)with a reduced number of secretaries and other support staff. Return the power to the principals and have the area offices act as a resource center for innovative teaching techniques and trends, etc.

    Retired Area 19 Sped Administrator

  • In reply to RondaGoldman:

    The longer one is in CPS, the more you see the same BS come around every so many years. Reshuffling the deck with many of the same clowns. Window dressing as usual! Anything to show their is change!

  • the CNC story emphasizes the new family engagement office that's being created


  • Well, I certainly think it makes more sense to group the schools by geography than the current method that has Taft and Carver high schools in the same area.

    I disagree with Ronda that 6 areas/regions are sufficient, although I'm less sure that 19 isn't a bit high. Still, cutting back was a step in the right direction.

    My principal was sad to see Rick Mills go, insisting that the area cut bureaucratic red tape and sent more money to the schools than what had previously taken place. A reorganization that makes Central Office more controlling would be a bad thing.

  • from the horse's mouth:

    CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard Sets Out Vision
    For Reinventing CPS to Better Serve All Students
    Brizard discusses first phase of redesign to lay the foundation to
    provide school leaders with the supports they need from Central Office

    CHICAGO—CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard today laid out the first phase of a plan to bring coherence to and reinvent a “fragmented” system to better serve all students in the district to help improve student achievement and college readiness.
    This first phase of the redesign includes what Brizard referred to as the foundation of his plan including redefining roles of his Leadership Team to ensure accountability for every position throughout Central Office. Structuring and reporting of Central Office positions that will report to the Leadership Team will be decided in Phase II of the redesign, which is expected to be completed within the next 60 days.

    At the presentation today, Brizard cited data that underscores the demand and urgency for reinventing the system in order to give school leaders the tools and support they need to impact student achievement. Despite many reform implemented over the last several years, more than 100,000 CPS elementary students and 55,000 high school students are attending underperforming schools, the high school graduation rate is 55.8 percent and the achievement gap still hovers at more than 20 percentage points.

    “This redesign allows us to redirect our resources to support school leaders, teachers and families more directly in order to create a climate conducive for learning. Our students cannot wait any longer for change to make its way into the classroom and it is our goal to move this forward quickly, inclusively and thoughtfully,” CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said at the monthly Chicago Board of Education meeting.

    The first phase of a redesign of the Central Office that provides the foundation for reinventing CPS to serve all CPS students, creates opportunities for world class learning, and delivers the support needed for all school leaders to achieve these goals.

    At the core of the plan is a streamlined Senior Leadership Team that will be directly accountable to the CEO. Services and supports will be strategically grouped together under a single chief officer, rather than fragmented across several different departments.

    The Chief Executive Officer will move from 14 to 9 direct reports including: Chief Education Officer, Chief Communications Officer, Intergovernmental Affairs, Chief of Talent, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief of Staff and General Counsel.
    The ways in which supports are delivered will change in part as result of the feedback Brizard received during listening tour visits with teachers, principals, parents and community members. During several listening tour stops, parents and community members explained that they wanted simplified access to CPS supports and wanted these resources to work together more effectively.
    The position of Chief Community & Family Engagement Officer, another direct report to the CEO, is bring created to ensure that active outreach and services are provided strategically to parents, families and communities. This includes bringing together many different services – including Local School Council supports, Parent Engagement, External Partnerships, and Health and Wellness Partnerships – to identify the needs of schools and entire communities, then provide supports with a more holistic approach. Currently, these supports are housed under different departments at Central Office.
    The Chief Portfolio Officer, also a new position reporting to the CEO, will be tasked with developing long-term strategies to ensure that all students have multiple high-performing school options to choose from, and within a reasonable distance from their home. The Portfolio Officer will also be responsible for managing CPS relationships with our charter school networks and working with charter schools to ensure that they achieve the same rigorous standards of student achievement. Brizard noted that he expects to hire for both of these positions in the next several weeks.

    The Chief Education Office will have expanded roles to aid in streamlining access to both curriculum and professional development resources for school leaders and teachers. The office will be accountable for principal and school leadership performance, development and growth.

    “In the past, the area offices did not have a structure that promoted alignment of pre-k through high school curriculum and goals. The system was fragmented and in need of coherence across the district. Now, they will be working together in teams to achieve curriculum alignment and develop programming that aims to increase achievement for all of our students throughout their time at CPS,” said Noemi Donoso, CPS Chief Education Officer.
    Area Offices, which report directly to the Chief Education Officer, have been reduced from 24 to 19---14 elementary networks and 5 high school networks. Networks will align to neighborhood boundaries to better serve communities and families, as well as allow network leaders to partner more effectively with community organizations across schools.

    At the network level, principals and school leaders will focus on sharing best practices about instruction, teacher development and programs that drive student achievement. The new network system will pair elementary networks with high school networks to form 5 different “collaboratives” that will be accountable for student success throughout the entire PreK-12 pipeline.
    The redesign aims to build accountability throughout the district for college readiness and encourages collaboration to create a continuity of curriculum from preschool through high school graduation. School Chiefs within these collaborative will be accountable for working together to ensure that instruction and programming is driving student achievement.

    Collaboratives will also share a support center that will provide more direct access to formerly centralized services including facilities, operations, technology and compliance personnel.

    To support the new Network Structure, the Chief Education Office has established two new offices.
    The new Chief of Instruction will be led by Jennifer Cheatham. Her role will be responsible for design and implementation of a coherent instructional program that will align PreK-12 curriculum and teaching to the state core education standards.

    The new Chief of Leadership Development will support professional development of principals, school chiefs, instructional coaches and school-based leadership teams. This position is expected to be hired shortly.

    “This redesign ensures that our organization is aligned with our goal of increasing student achievement and ensuring that our organization directly supports schools in their efforts to get students both college and career ready,” Brizard added.

    / hope that helps / ar

  • What eventually happened to Ortega, Coates and Esparza? Let go or re-assigned?

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