No Reshuffling At CPS, Says CPS

Rumors and curious emails have been swirling for weeks and increased steeply this week, but Noemi Donoso is still the chief education officer for CPS, according to CPS.  There’s been no change in the former Denver Public Schools administrator’s portfolio of responsibilities. Her last day wasn’t earlier this week.  There wasn’t an epic behind the scenes fight over senior staffing and who’s really in control of things.  Rumors about a reshuffling in Brizard’s top staff are apparently no more than that.


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  • As a CPS Principal, I have heard the rumors, but there is no way this can be true. Even though I don't like the extended day strategy or all the focus on testing, this is the first time in years my school is actually getting support from my "Chief" and the central office. I have had four area administrators in seven years as principal and this one is the first to do anything but sit around the network office and tell us do better or we're fired. Donoso and Gehring have both been to my school THIS YEAR and several others in my network. None of us EVER saw anyone from Eason-Watkins team. The rest of 125 S Clark may need shaking up (budget/HR) but for once not Education.

  • In reply to educator4evr:

    This is good to hear and I have heard similar info from other principals. It seems like all the past turnover and poorly defined jobs of area officers was horrible for principals. As a parent the vibe is also much better. While there is still work to be done downtown, there are finally some very qualified and engaged people making decisions.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Bullocks, I guess you must be the new PR people hired by CPS. Nice try rookie!

  • In reply to educator4evr:

    As a CPS Principal, I have never seen the system so discombobulated as it is currently....that is a nice word. Our Network Chief is from out of town and out of touch. I have sat with Ms. Dinoso a few times. She is unimpressive, poorly informed, and quite a lightweight. All of the top brass have been invited to our school a number of times- via letters, via appearances at the Board, phone calls, etc.....none have deigned to drop by.

    The obvious problem with many of these new 'leaders' is that they don't know what they don't know....and they don't think it is important to find out.

    I did not expect any of them to remain for a long time, but I am surprised at how quickly they are leaving. Additionally, the damage that this 'churn' causes to schools and to kids is very significant. I do not expect JC to last much big wondering is when/if the people at the top will take a moment to reflect and review before they launch more poorly planned initiatives that do not address the needs of the students.

  • In reply to educator4evr:

    Let's not lose focus everyone. We all know Brizard is a wannabe politician posing as an educator. He is also establishing a track record of pushing out women of color (4 senior leaders in 2 months, and previous track record from Rochester). Eventually, he will fall on that sword. We have much bigger problems. NOTICE FROM SUBSTANCE: Brizard gave private budget briefing same time as this drops on Friday, seems like all of this is a smoke screen (supported by lack of budget article by Tribune or SunTimes (who were both in the briefing)). I would guess Becky Carroll is forcing an embargo from what I expect will be a decimating budget at the school level. The way I see it, priorities are 1. new contract; 2. fight budget cuts at school level; 3. get new CEO and an elected board. We can only win if we are united and not let the Carroll team distract us.

  • If true, who would shuffle to top? "You must call me Doctor Cheatham" seems like only prospect unless Brizzard brings in another charter wunderkind. I wish he or Rahmbo would pick Cheatham. It would guarantee a strike vote. Maybe CTU should take down Donoso to make that happen.

  • In reply to turkellives:

    I immediately distrust the educational capabilities of anyone in CPS who is called doctor. Usually, it is "all puff and no stuff" and anyone with any class knows that in lower level academia (non college level) a doctorate designation follows your name in written correspondence. CPS seems to have plethora of "doctors" running around with online type degrees from schools like NOVA.
    I'm afraid that this is the type of administrator we are stuck with because of the limits placed by the ridiculous residency rule which discourages experienced administrators from elsewhere from applying. Why would anyone uproot his or her family to m one to Chicago only to have an LSC not renew your contract four years later? Yes, the "toilet bowl theory" is alive and well in Chicago because there is only one toilet.

  • C'mon, this is CPS there will eventually be yet another massive overhaul. None of these educrats have any stamina. I doubt Cheatham and Donoso will be around this time next year.

    We should start placing bets on the longevity of these goofs at 125. Sort of like a death pool minus the focus on morbidity.

    No wonder these 30 something know-it-alls have such "impressive" resumes- they flip-flop jobs every two or three years.

  • Substance notes Donoso's absence at 4/25 board meeting -- with picture!! @substancenews

  • @sethlavin has this to say

    "I see all this as an acknowledgment from Team Rahm that they’ve messed some things up on schools and are attempting to hit the reset button... Look for Robert Boik, new CPS Chief of Staff, to fill some of the leadership vacuum."

  • reliable sources are telling me that donoso's been gone for longer than just this week & that jen cheatham may not be able to step up into donoso's spot because of internal conflicts/damages done.

    thinking back, it's always seemed like donoso was a weak link, which reflects poorly on JCB's eye for talent (she wasn't a city hall assignment).

    anyone think that jose torres would come back to be JCB's #2 and eventual replacement? if not, then who gets / takes the job?

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Torres would be great and seems like a better fit for JCB, plus Chicago will never tolerate an all white cabinet. People in Austin have already been talking. Three months ago JCBs cabinet had three women of color (Donoso, Saenz and Rose). If this is true and Boik replaced Saenz, I think cabinet is now all white. Can anyone confirm?

  • In reply to westofwestern:

    U46 would feel used if Torres came in- -and why he--not CEO? Both egos would be difficult to function.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Russo, frankly do you have any evidence that any of these CPS top administrators have a clue? Show me where any of these folks are highly regarded in any peer reviewed research on educational policy.

    One, two, three, four, five... I don't think so!

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    The problem is that Dicatator Anti-Transparency Rahm keeps clowns running CPS in sucn an incompetent manner that Rahm can easily say CPS does not work. Rahm can then call an emergancey and say it is all going to be privatized.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:



    You seem to have the ‘inside’ and ‘reliable’ scoop on Donoso. Be more specific about what you mean when you write ‘internal conflict/damages’. Why was Donoso considered a ‘weak link’ and exactly what internal conflict is obstructing Jen Cheatham from assuming her position?

  • Shame wasn't given a real chance to show her full talent before people immediately began with snapshot, negative judgements (... chuckle, chuckle from one of many of the principal's whose school she did a 40 minute walkthrough of and then reamed the instructional vision and leadership in school).

  • Donoso is out! CPS is just waiting for the right time to announce it!

  • Let's hope for Cheatham! This would give CTU everything we need to galvanize the ranks. RP, got any insight or influence? You seem to be in the vault on S. Clark?

  • Hey RP- Are you Ed Klunk?

  • Dear Tool Of The Ruling Class, I am not Ed Klunk! I do know Ed Klunk and he used to have a picture in his office where I was one of the people in the picture. Alex Russo, Karen Lewis and Rod Estavan know who I am. Thanking you in advance.

  • fb_avatar

    You share a name with a famous athlete?

  • In reply to Xian Barrett:

    Xian--I do not think RP is Jordan--good guess.

  • In reply to Xian Barrett:

    Xian, not to my knowledge. Xian, I have spoken to you several times in person. When I see you again, I will reintroduce myself.

  • its dr klunk to you!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    der retired klunk has done very well by CPS. Must know many skeltons buried at 125.
    RP-I am a big fan. (Unless you are Bob from RTAC>)
    Keep up the great work. One day I hope to get your autograph.
    We could write abook togther.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader, no I am not Bob from RTAC. I do know Bob and I meet with him once a month.

  • I expect you do. IYDM-Single? Once I leave CPS, I wish to meet you and thank you. I think we should write a book about CPS, stanger than fiction.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I would never call someone "dr." who is wrong over 50% of the time. How about I call you the "Klunkster"?

  • rate job performance of
    Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools


  • In reply to district299reader:

    Cheat-em must have guarenteed Brizzys way to his bonus, her harvard connection pays off on Common Core.
    She solidifies all reasons to strike. And she has insulted parent too. Sweet.

  • Cheat-em's people spreading this rumor for a month now. No need for chief ed officer AND a chief instruction officer-saves $ to drop one. Cheatham there first (but not very long,) more dedicated people under her and she has more positions who answer to HER not Dr. ND. (Even though ND is at the top--she is alone, no 'friends', support, and really, no talent for this type of big job--look at the resume.)Cheatham's been around/in want of chief ed since Huberman cold shouldered Eason-Watkins. Harvard cache, and HARVARD will now 'help' CPS with Common Core, Cheat-em has a type 75, in charge of common core and new teacher eval--lots o'power-which beats Dr. ND. Watch for her for possible stay-put (save Rahm and Brizzy embarassment) but be only figurehead/face or they have her run a charter, ausl or something such...
    ND just does nto have 'it.' Shame to put her through this--yet, they would fire a teacher of principal who was likr this-fast.

  • another annoucement on a friday night, interesting--will NOT miss her lame newsletters or emails.

  • actually there's still be no official announcement or confirmation that i know of -- not in the tribune story, not in any communications i've had with CPS.

  • from CTU -- is this really necessary?

    “Donoso’s departure is an unwelcome signal of instability on the education side and yet another example of the chaos on Clark Street,” Lewis said. “It appears that anyone who knows anything about teaching and learning has a short shelf life at CPS."

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Yes it is necessary. It says what many teachers and administrators are thinking.

  • fb_avatar

    Are you asking if the comment is necessary or the dance of the lemons at Central Office which makes those of us putting in the long days actually instructing kids constantly compromise our real works of teaching to the whims of people who won't be here in years, or even months?

  • In reply to Xian Barrett:

    Hi Xian, I know you, and next time I see you I'll be sure to tell you it's me that left this comment. Please stop insulting people that work in Central Office by making generalizations. I worked in Central Office before I returned to a school. People in Central Office work very hard. Not everyone, but then not EVERYONE in schools work very hard either. It would benefit the CTU is you stopped making these false generalizations and encouraging this fake dichotomy between teachers and administrators. It's annoying, insulting, and childish. I've told our CTU field rep that they need to learn to work with administrators. Everyone from Principals to Central Office folks have been stripped of benefits and many are very angry. Insulting them doesn't help you and only makes you look like a jerk.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    People in central office work very hard.”

    Just ask them what they are working on downtown. For all
    The hard work these pampered leeches do how come it doesn’t
    change conditions in the field?
    For all the effect they have on the school s they might as well be
    on the planet Mongo. Most are useless blood suckers who take
    money from the classrooms, a place they avoid with a passion.
    For example in 1976 all the board painters were tasked with
    painting a red, white, and blue stripe on the safe door of every school.
    What was suppose to be a bi-centennial project was in reality
    A way to identify the door central office people were to use
    When entering a building in the off chance they had to
    Visit the great unwashed.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    "Most are useless blood suckers who take
    money from the classrooms, a place they avoid with a passion." So if the CPS Board proposed a radical reduction of the central and network level administrations and handed over a proportional pot of money to each school in return for expected performance results would that be ok?

    Because all of you out there that our howling about the central administration may get just that. There is a vision for the CPS central and network apparatus among some associated with the Civic Committee that would do just that. Effectively each traditional CPS school would be treated like a charter school. Overall rules would exist but there would be virtually no staff to attempt to enforce those rules on local schools. Most central office staff would be eliminated and replaced by contracts with outside management groups which would issue reports to the CPS Board. Only the bottom line would be test scores and other metrics, schools could be closed even faster than now based on those measurements.

    Schools would be given really no help other than their budget and all reform efforts would have to be driven out of the school's pot of money. Is that where you want to go?

    Rod Estvan

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    In reply to Rodestvan:

    I think it's a poor model Rod, but it's similar to the situation that we see with the federal government. The danger of pushing so hard top down with your own agenda that you fail to support grassroots level work, is that people who should be the largest proponents of supporting structures say, "While I believe in the role of the upper administration, they are doing more harm than good."

    Speaking personally, when the far right-wing arguments of "abolish the board of _______" start to sound remotely reasonable, it's a really bad sign.

    For example, with the current RTTT reforms, is the net impact of the DoEd positive or negative on struggling schools? This is something we really need to consider. I don't believe the answer is to abolish central office or the DoEd, but it is to assess and reform.

    In many cases it's the systems that drive the dysfunction, not the classrooms, so let's reform appropriately.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Any monies sent to the schools will be spent on mandates
    in the name of reform. Everything not forbidden will be
    compulsory .That is how I See the future. The technocrats
    downtown and in the Elizabeth Street bunker will just become part of the new suppliers of whatever services are left to buy
    after the money is spent on the new flavor of the year
    magic pill. We both know the classroom will lose in
    the long run.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    This is very true. There is talk that CPS will turn 100 schools into charters in the next few years.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Oh, god. Rod: What's going to happen soon in OSS? I worry that the good people will be shifted out and our students with disabilities will suffer even more.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:


    I think your scenario of Rahm's end game is accurate. He may even take part of the "blame" as a public official and say public education has failed and we might as well just bring in private contractors. Thus, Rahm makes good with the promises to the Chicago Civic Club. Rahm is for corporate interests over our Chicago Students! We knew that!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    As a teach, I agree with you. We are not and should not be against each other. Hopefully we ALL are doing it for the children.

  • It’s so different, one wonders about Brizard’s management style. Perhaps the former Rochester superintendent truly believed in large class sizes and limited electives. The only other explanation is he was incompetent, evil or lacked creativity. Brizard created chaos.

    The truth hurts. Broad and Harvard mantra is chaos so they can steal money acting as saviors. you should know alex you are a Harvard grad too.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    And this guy is in charge of the budgets and teacher positions counts that are way overdo! Brizzard promised to get this out to princpals in a timely manner when he spoke to all principals his first time. what a mess you are making!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Brizard is a joke hired as Rahm's Minstral Act. Rahm bet on a Broadie! No one is buying the staged appearances by Brizard and Rahm. The key is that their practice undermines their BS. Can't hide the lie about last years CPS 500 million surplus of money and no support for neighborhood schools to promote your corporate grab for power!

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    And by the way, to wonderful people who do outstanding work at central office every day with the true best needs of the children in mind, I want to be clear, I'm not intending to tar everyone with the same brush. It's the top down terrors who waltz in, spin us into chaos and run off that I'm referring to.

  • In reply to Xian Barrett:

    Ah, didn't see this post before I pointed out how much of your eariler one is jerky. My semi-apologies, but there is little excuse for making such simple-minded generalizations.

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    In reply to district299reader:

    I would love to pick up this conversation in person. This is a good example of the clunkiness of the platform losing the discourse (if you look, my two comments were timed to be together).

    What I will say is this: The accountability for central office in a meaningful way is completely non-existent. I'm not saying that central office employees are not subject to punishment or correction for mistakes. I'm saying that it's not thoughtfully and consistently connected to its impact on students.

    I should be evaluated thoroughly for my FULL impact on students. That means all of it, not just whether I made a couple of overseers happy. When I am, I feel treated fairly and the outcomes are better.

    Central office employees deserve the same, and don't seem to ever get it. At the end of the day, we all have our impact on children. I'm quite convinced there are individuals in central office who do far more in the whole for children than an individual teacher. That makes sense because they have the ability to impact 400,000 young people.

    Sadly--due not to individual failings, but massive systemic dysfunction--a large number of central office employees, especially certain non-learning oriented departments do a large net negative. Everyday we pay them resources that should be going to children to lie about what's going on at central office, or litigate and hide public information, etc. Again, this is not a judge on the individual. It's a simple accountability measurement--does this work help or hurt young people.

    Where it comes out as frustration (which is probably what you were reading in the above comment) is when it's clear that this has gone so wrong that the central office becomes more of a "gotcha" institution that has a net hindering impact on effective instruction.

    You may disagree whether this is the trend or not. But I ask you, when was the last time you heard a majority of instructors in a building say, "Hurray, central office is coming, now we can show them everything and get the support we need?"

    That's what I would ask for. I would ask that the considerable effort and sacrifice I put into changing the trajectory of young people's lives for the long-term better be supported not hindered. To those in the central office who make it their life mission to fight against the deadly tide and perform this sacred duty, you have my deepest admiration.

    For those who do not, again, I am not casting you are lazy. I don't think you as an individual, are evil. I've said many times, I'm impressed but saddened by the number of people I truly like when I get to know them from central office. It's too bad they aren't allowed to do what they set out to do.

    But I sincerely mean what I wrote above. There is no such thing as the "dance of the lemons" when it comes to Chicago classrooms. That policy doesn't exist. However, it's been wielded against me multiple times in policy debate.

    Usually, it's a lemon education so-called reformer or a lemon figurehead representing the governance of Chicago Public Schools that is doing it.

  • In reply to Xian Barrett:

    I just have a hard time reading the opinions of people that have never worked in Central Office. Its like when a teacher thinks they know how to be a principal but has never done it. Teachers hate when non-educators become principals, why do teachers think they can judge central office folks when they've never worked there?

  • CTU is correct on instibility, but knowing about teaching and learning? Really. 17 charters for ND in Colorado does not make her ready for a 400000 high poverty student population. Who chose her?--this is what CTU should be bringing forward. Brizzard is an educator remember? --any better teaching and learning in CPS since his selection? No. And Rahm picked him.
    CTU, think twice before you speak--you keep missing great opportunities to comment about the instruction of children adn the faling of 125 and Rahm.

  • Disaster Capitalism - the free market policies of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman have risen to prominence in some countries because they were pushed through while the citizens were reacting to disasters or upheavals. It is implied that some man-made crises, such as the Falklands war, may have been created with the intention of pushing through these unpopular reforms in their wake.

    The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Capitalism - the world's worst economic system, unless of course compared to socialism, communism, and everything else. It's funny how greed has fed so many people all over the world, while forced altruism has led to nothing but famine and want. Hate capitalism? Ask the North Koreans, Cubans, and even the rural Chinese how the alternative is working out? (Too bad that our kids are being taught by so many people who have nothing but contempt and hate for our own country- God help us.)

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Um, we don't live in the country of Capitalism. You are confused and probably rather uneducated if you confuse COUNTRY with a type ECONOMIC SYSTEM. in fact, you and the person you attempt to slander as being unpatriotic are both wrong. The US has a mixed economy of capitalism and socialism. You need both for some stability. North Korea, Cuba, and China had mixed economies, also, and didn't fair well in part because countries like the US used political and military force to punish them for not being capitalist and opening their markets to us. If we had played fair, they might have done better, although most economists agree that elements of capitalism are needed in any economy. But that requires us to consider too many details and nuances, it's easier to just see black/white, right/wrong, friend/foe.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "The US used political and military force to punish them for not being capitalist and opening their markets to us. If we had played fair, they might have done better. . ." You're right, nothing but patriotism in those remarks! I really must be rather uneducated. Thank you for enlightening me. Btw, thanks to "educated" teachers as the original poster who don't understand market economies, count on the benevolence of government, and see everything through the prism of a Marxist dialectic - we seem to be well on our way to unfettered socialism and an institutionalized dependent under-class. As to your original point- America used to be synonymous with capitalism; woefully it no longer is.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    When was America synonymous with capitalism? Before the New Deal? We live in a much more complicated world. If you really think Ayn Rand's theories are the solution, go find a country that has implemented them with fidelity. There isn't a single one. It doesn't work, just as much as pure socialism doesn't work. And is your comment about patriotism sarcastic? Because most historians on the left and right acknowledge our country has used the military to create new economic markets. If you don't realize that, you've been blinded by your patriotism. I served in the military, have you?

  • No noise on the release of budgets to schools? Did nothing get cut? What is going on? I heard the high schools got their budgets. It was messy information. But no news on actual cuts?

  • There will be cuts. Longer school day-LSD not paid for by CPS, but school still have to do it. More experienced and educated teachers will be too expensive to keep. Class sizes will grow. Elementary School budgets next week--maybe.

  • Cuts at CO are coming - more departmental consolidations and closures.

  • Other than the huge law and special education departments, where in CPS will there be cuts?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Every little thing is "stuck in legal" for weeks. A cut to legal might break their hold on everything and allow for progress. It also might transform them from a bottleneck to a pinch point so that everyone upstream (anyone trying to change the status quo) can be fired with no impact on productivity.

  • So it was true that Donoso is out. I heard it earlier in the week and now it has been formally announced. Is the Rahm ship sinking? Who will fill the void? I hope it's the right person for the right reasons. There is a lot more to come. Central office will be decimated further with reductions and retirements. The sad thing is the people in charge lack comprehensive knowledge, which means problems won't be solved. The district including schools and students will suffer. So sad.

  • schools and students are already suffering--all that is left between this devil is the CTU's 75%
    Watch for Cheatham to move in for the kill.

  • Donoso was just another puppet in the mayor & JC's run of the city. True, she was in schools and visible, but she hadn't a clue watch she had gotten in to or whose mission she was carrying out. If it's not her, it will be someone else fulfilling the same duty. The old saying held true in the Chicago feeling of "this too will pass."

  • rahm and breezy moved her here, paid her a top salary + expenses to send her packing. WASTE of money that CPS says they do not have. A very expensive puppet? Incompetence rules here.
    Where is the OIG on this and Cawley NOT living in the city?

  • Cheatham definitely won't be any better.... at all. Let's face it, these transplants cannot handle this CPS monster. It's not as simple as having a rubber stamp board and people from out of town to solve problems. The mayor and the leadership are too arrogant to respect the experts in the various areas. The sad thing is the folks in chare have no answers, and no comprehensive knowledge. If the mayor was really smart, the experts in the various areas would be relied on. This will get worse with reductions and retirements. There is less knowledge at CPS now than ever. By the way, Alexander you are out of the loop. Your article today couldn't be further off.

  • In reply to sammy:

    Um, I think Cheatham is from Chicago, or at least the suburbs. Besides, to suggest you have to be from Chicago to be successful in our City insults the thousands of people that move here every year, and insults the thousands of people that move out of the city (see ya, buddy, but you're gonna suck at your new job since you're a "transplant" in another town!). Try to be a bit more open-minded, it might hurt at first, but after a while it's a pleasurable experience.

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    In reply to district299reader:

    The phrasing was less than ideal, but your response takes it too far. Having knowledge of the schools and neighborhoods of Chicago is a basic prerequisite to having any possibility of designing system-wide successful programs and initiatives.

    This doesn't mean outsiders shouldn't ever be hired, but it does mean that they need to show the humility to surround themselves with people who have that knowledge and listen to them rather than dictate.

    The lack of open-mindedness you refer to is more evident in the utter refusal to acknowledge that the communities we are attempting to serve possess some knowledge of use and deserve basic voice and respect in the process.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    No Cheatham is from California, has no clue about the staff, students, and parents who live and work here. Doesn't care only wants to push through her commands!

  • In reply to AmdQ:

    She worked in California but is originally from Chicago or the suburbs.

  • Cheatham definitely won't be any better.... at all. Let's face it, these transplants cannot handle this CPS monster. It's not as simple as having a rubber stamp board and people from out of town to solve problems. The mayor and the leadership are too arrogant to respect the experts in the various areas. The sad thing is the folks in charge have no answers, and no comprehensive knowledge. If the mayor was really smart, the experts in the various areas would be relied on. This will get worse with reductions and retirements. There is less knowledge at CPS now than ever. By the way, Alexander you are out of the loop. Your article today couldn't be further off.

  • With this latest exodus from CPS ( Daniel Fraynd, Jameka Rose, Noemi Denoso) , it is proof that these people and their decisions are not to be taken seriously. They came, got their money , did their damage, and now leave for greener pastures with one more star on their resumes. They leave behind schools and communities that are being destroyed by their decisions. It goes to show that importing people who lack commitment to the children of Chicago does no one good, and a great deal of harm is left in their wake. Less than 1 month ago, Denoso was in Springfield backing up Brizard and his lies about the schools like Piccolo and Casals and why they deserved to be turned around. Now she'll be gone, but those schools and the others are still going to be suffering from her deeds. Let's hope this adds some fuel to the State Legislature that this CPS administration does not have a clue what it is doing and that they need to pass the Moratorium bill.

  • It is really very sad that CPS essentially gave out false information to Alexander about Noemi Donoso only 48 hours before all major news outlets confirm that she had either been removed or forced to resign. I met with Ms. Donoso in a very small group setting about three weeks after she was appointed.

    Because of her charter school background I wanted to push our discussion in the direction of the systemic impact of charter schools as they relate to the over all school district in relation to special education. I called it potential ghettoization of disabled children into surviving neighborhood schools. I used the exact same phrase in a recent interview with Catalyst where I said that the failure of some charter schools, CPS selective schools, some magnets to admit reasonable number of students with IEPs combined with school closures were concentrating these students.

    Ms. Donoso wanted to divert the discussion into a sharing practices discussion, i.e. charters and traditional schools have to learn from each other. I thought I was having a face-to-face discussion with a sound byte, very strange. I have never felt like that when I have had a discussion face-to-face with either Mr. Brizard or Ms. Cheatham, regardless whether we agreed or disagreed during our discussions. I did have the same experience of talking with a sound byte when I was in face-to-face discussions with Mr. Duncan however. But the context of those discussions with Mr. Duncan were let us say very confrontational.

    So I would say that it seems that there was something wrong with the appointment of Ms. Donoso in relation to the scope of her position that was apparent relatively early on.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    With Cheatham, my experience on several occasions has been her listening really intently and agreeing with everything I have ever said (with big smiles and nodding appropriately), then turning around and doing the opposite. She is the most fake, insincere person I have worked with at CPS. At least most snakes hisssssssss. Not this one, she is a silent killer! Next she'll be going for Brizard. Brizard, beware the fable about the farmer and the snake.

    The Farmer and the Snake

    One winter day, a farmer found a snake by the roadside, stiff and motionless with cold.

    "If you put me inside your shirt," the snake said, "your body will make me warm and I won't freeze to death."

    "Oh, I know your kind," replied the farmer. "If I pick you up, you will bite me."

    "Oh no," the snake objected. "Why would I do such a thing, if you are good enough to help me?"

    So the farmer had compassion on the snake, and taking it up, he put it inside his shirt. The warmth quickly revived the snake, and resuming its natural instincts, it bit its benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound. "Oh," cried the farmer with his last breath, "why did you bite me? You promised you wouldn't."

    "Ah," said the snake. "So I did. But you knew I was a snake when you picked me up."

  • In reply to turkellives:

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    My question is: If CPS favors a charter school model - then make us all charter schools. Give us autonomy over the calendar and time at the local school level; allow parents a modicum of school choice between neighborhood schools; require that ALL schools have a % of special education and ELL students; and stop suffocating us with ill-timed and poorly conceived notions of school improvement such as REACH, the LSD, CCSS tests, unnecessary union strife, and the countless other requirements and initiatives that we have had to fret and endure. I agree with you about Brizard he seems to care - Where's Alicia Winckler in all of this?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    CPS did not want to have a balanced number of disabled students in each school, actually the rule requires a percentage range. This rule was initially imposed on CPS by a Court decision that CPS opposed, a decision that I personally was in part responsible for when I worked as part of a special master team for the US District Court. The rule also applies to charter schools and is in their contracts.

    The rule is not being enforced to a high degree and the case which created the mandate is ending. I would urge CPS to keep such a rule and enforce it because, crowding students with disabilities into a limited number of schools will lower the ability of those schools to effectively educate all children because of the stress on resources high percentages of disabled students place on a school. I know of no such rule relating to ELL students, please provide me with a reference to that rule.

    Some of the other rules and testing requirements you are citing are based on state law and charter schools are only exempted from some of these rules. As to union strife, charter schools are not exempted from that either, there is an AFT charter school union in Chicago which has organized some charter schools.

    I support charter school teachers right to organize and create contracts that relate to their organizational and fiscal realities.

    Lastly in relation to CPS leadership agreeing with people only to ignore them raised by the poster turkellives. Anyone who lobbies for a living experiences public officials who agree with them to simply get them out of their faces. That is normal and sometimes happens. I have had CPS leaders disagree with me and in certain cases agree but not act on a area of apparent agreement. I have also seen them act on certain things too.

    That seems to me to be normal and to be honest I expect it. I don't get too upset by it either. Really if I did I would not be able to function at all in Springfield as a lobbyist and if I called out every member of the Assembly who has agreed and then not acted or acted in the opposite way I honestly would not get through too many doors anymore.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Rod-ELL- hurts each regular school's budget since state requires no more than 25 students in a bilingual classroom, but CPS formula is 31+ students in per class. Schools are forced to spend poverty funds on English speaking classrooms or tolerate 33+ students in each English only speaking class. This is unfair to the whole school since CPS should pay for these teachers, now the $ comes from the school's precious poverty funds. Another example, neighborhood schools are forced to take in more special ed students, but the supports are not given--required aides and case managers have to be bought from school's poverty funds as well--so more precious $ are forced to be spent on special ed students instead again, to benefit all students in the school.
    Some of these special needs student really belong in a day program, but are placed in the neiborhood school to save CPS $$. Also, special ed students have much poorer attendance which is counted against the school. We love our ELL and special ed children-the public does not realize how CPS rips them off and the neighborhood schools. Charters just kick them out or do not accept them-or UNO-there is no ELL at all.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    As a special Ed teacher in a neighborhood which "ranks" in the 20 worst of the 667 illinois high schools, you hit a good point here. Our school currently has 29% sped enrollment, (0 of which are exempt from state testing) and we enroll 20-40 new special Ed students each quarter from magnet Md charter schools. We have 15+ students who have ieps requiring full time aides but only employ 3. The system is broke holding down the lowest while limiting the resources of the highest.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    The reality is that Donoso fought with everyone in Central Office all the time. The biggest rumors of the last few month is that she and Becky Carroll would get into yelling matches on a regular basis. Carroll now moves into the position of the person no one wants to work with.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Actually I can understand why Donoso would yell at Becky Carroll. Becky Carroll has made some odd choices in her communications staff. Some of them don't write very well, and some don't have a good grasp of the basic rules of grammer. Probably Donoso was upset that she needed to proof and edit their work, and it's likely that sometimes communications she didn't check in advanced ended up embarrassing her.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Get Real, Donoso was dumb to believe the pitch she was given to recruit her to run join the Rahm's Ren 2010 version of the Titanic! Hire folks who would then take the fall for failure. Then again, we all knew Brizard would fail. Brizard has a less than stellar history. Hmm who would want to hire Donoso? Michelle Rhee, who's test scores, sunk her!

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    "I did have the same experience of talking with a sound byte when I was in face-to-face discussions with Mr. Duncan however." And look at him now. :o

  • "Chicago Public Schools Chief Education Officer, Dr. Noemi Donoso, has indicated her intention to resign to
    pursue national projects that will support the next generation of leaders in urban education. Her resignation
    will be effective May 31st. CPS will announce an interim Chief Education Officer prior to Dr. Donoso’s
    departure to ensure a smooth transition.

    Statement from CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard: “Noemi’s commitment to improving the academic success of children is unmatched by most I have worked
    with in my 25 years as an educator. Her passion and expertise helped drive the instructional foundation we
    are creating to provide a high quality education for every student in our district. We wish her the very best in all of her future pursuits and thank her for her tireless efforts on behalf of Chicago Public School students.”

    Statement from Dr. Noemi Donoso: “It is with profound respect and appreciation for this district’s commitment to young people and a sense of
    optimism about the future of this city that I announce I am leaving the District. It has been a great honor to
    serve the children of Chicago Public Schools

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    What a load of bunk!

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    ND has fallen on her poorly crafted sword. Does anyone else see how this is taking the story off LSD-longer school day, the fact that Rahm was forced to reduce it by 30 minutes and that there is no budget to pay for it? Plus, the CTU is taking strike polls--All this is well timed media ploy so Gen. Rahm can regroup and rearm. If I lived outside of the city, this would be an entertaining reality show. Iinstead, every Chicagoan must suffer this fool.

  • Thanks Xiam, you made my point with courtesy. Sorry D299 reader. I haven't made kind comments but Becky Carroll is similar to Donoso. No people skills or knowledge, but wants to be a boss. I can see why two warped personalities clashed. That's why Ziegler is doing most of the talking for communications now. Carroll can't last either.

  • There is a teacher,Maria Roman, at Nathan Davis Elementary School. This teacher is a bully to her students, specifically to one in particular. The girl has been bullied by this teacher all school year, because the girl needed more academic support than other students. The teacher slammed a dictionary on the girls hand in front of all her classmates. The teacher frequently flips the desk over on the students' legs, and throws the desk on the ground in a way that all the materials in/on the desk fall out. The teacher then continues to humiliate the student by yelling at her to pick everything up. The student has been recently placed in another classroom, after being physically and mentally abused by her teacher all year long. The principal is also aware of the abuse, and has done absolutely nothing about it. DCFS has done nothing, just like it has done with many previous cases.We talk about kids bullying other kids all the time, but what about this horrible teacher??? This teacher should be held accountable for her actions, and the principal should be held accountable for allowing this unethical behavior to go on for as long as it has. But who will hold them accountable???

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Teachers and principals like this are a disgrace, not to mention they make those of us who actually do our jobs and care about the children look bad. How can a principal allow this to go on???? Shame on CPS for not making principals and teachers like this responsible for their actions. Any other field and the Teacher would be fired immediately and prosecuted, and the principal as well!!! This principal is the Joe Paterno of CPS!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to district299reader:

    This is not the first time this has happened at Davis. The principal is fully aware of this teacher doings and as far as I am concerned, is equally guilty of abuse. How does an administrator allow this to continue year after year? How many more children have to be tormented for this principal to act. It is a disgrace.

  • Dist 299 reader.
    Are you on dope? If not I sure hope you can prove what
    You have written. Personally if I ever observed a teacher
    acting in like manner there would be a dent in the wall
    where I bounced their head, or a genital nudge to seek
    professional help.
    This is not the place to accuse a person unless you
    observed the vile acts you describe. If you did see
    What you describe I hope you called 911 and filled out
    a report. Any police officer should make an arrest
    in that case.
    Calm down and go to re-hab or take your medication.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Obviously I know this is not the place for that, but there's a lot more to it...and if you knew this child or of this child you would want to tell anyone who will listen.

    Sometimes CPS is like the Catholic Church. Cover up, move to another school, and everyone will be happy.....until it happens again.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The AP at my school is a total lecher, both students and teachers are victims of his sexual harassment. It has been reported numerous times, but nothing ever happens.

    The commenter above is dead-on with the comparison between CPS and the Catholic Church.

  • Sounds like the OIG is not doing their job. Political connections gentlemen? Where is your 'ruling' on why you allow Cawley to live outside the city? Rahm got your tongue?

  • Sticking your neck out
    In reality the only thing they can do is fire you or
    Excommunicate you. In either case it is much better to be true
    to yourself and your students than be intimidated by others.
    It would be hard to cover up an assistant principal holding his nuts
    In agony after he got kneed in the ball sack for suggesting an
    inappropriate tryst .Waiting to get suspended, or fired, after
    impressing on a fellow teacher the consequences of hitting
    another kid for nothing still brings pleasure to my old soul.
    Stop waiting for somebody else to act.

  • Rahm is Coriolanus Snow. Denoso had to eat the nightlock berries with a side of severance package. CPS is a mess and Rahm wants it this way. Nothing causes more confusion than confusion; scattering media on a path to 'know' where. Keeps them off Rham's back; from asking deep questions, from noticing what is going on and how much it's costing. Creates a scapegoat too--do not think for 1 moment that Rahm does not know what he does as he gathers more in his pocket.

  • Rahm must go!

  • RP-recall? You can say Rahm must go all you want, but how?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader, a group that I am working with is currently raising money for the next mayoral election and will be conducting voter registration drives to defeat Rahm in the next election. You must start early.

  • The chaos of those leaving in central office will not compare to what is about to happen in the schools. Anytime I speak with a colleague from another school I hear, "Principal X is retiring from School Y". It's not limited to veteran administrators, but the newest "new leaders" and Tier 1 schools. Recently I was told Neil, McDade,King,Dixon...etc, etc
    If this is true....Rahm has a serious problem on his hands!! Massive loss of talent and experience, was this his intention?

  • Brizard created chaos in Rochester -- It’s so different, one wonders about Brizard’s management style. Perhaps the former Rochester superintendent truly believed in large class sizes and limited electives. The only other explanation is he was incompetent, evil or lacked creativity.

    Brizard is trained stooge to destroy pubic education so profiteers can walk in a '"save the day" Then there is Rahm the puppet of the ruling calls as can be seen with his experience and complicity in the real estate melt down that caused the current economic collapse.

    Disaster Capitalism - the free market policies of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman have risen to prominence in some countries because they were pushed through while the citizens were reacting to disasters or upheavals. It is implied that some man-made crises, such as the Falklands war, may have been created with the intention of pushing through these unpopular reforms in their wake.

    The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

  • In reply to district299reader:

    How are the lawsuits against Brizzard doing? lots of ladies left...

  • Everyone has been suspiciously quiet about the 100 plus principals, not counting APs that are retiring. What is going on? Who will fill these vacancies? Any thoughts Retired Principal? Russo, what have you heard? Anyone?

  • In reply to JustTeach:

    142 Principals and APs, not counting any who may die in office or run away from how bad Brizzy and Ram have made the position.
    The plan--interims it will be with 'You’re fired' hanging over them. Alderman can make promises to King by having input on who runs their schools. Cheat-em should have to be a principal at a level 3 school for 1 school year--at least. Now there is reality TV.

  • Everyone has been suspiciously quiet about the 100 plus principals, not counting APs who are retiring June 30th What is going on? Who will fill these vacancies? Any thoughts Retired Principal? Russo, what have you heard? Anyone?

  • In reply to JustTeach:

    Dear justTeach, there are over 150 principals and assistant principals who will be retiring on June 30th. There are a large number of principals and assistant principals who will not be retiring but will be leaving CPS on June 30th. The CPS leadership will then fill these principal positions with interim principals who can be removed for any reason at any time. This makes sure that they will do what CPS tells them to do. CPS will then pick the people they want to be principals. P.S.- This is not a good time to be a principal. STAY IN THE CLASSROOM, it's safer.

  • The HR/Talent shop is s-o-o-o-o... screwed up that they have not established a principal's list. All the retirements will place the district in trouble for sure. I think those with a Type 75 should be respected as they are in every other district. 299 is the only place requiring extra hoops for administrators to hula. If they let these qualified folks work as admin, they will have half the problem solved.

  • In reply to sammy:

    Funny thing is, ND had her nose deeply into the principal list and haulted the filling of at least 4 principal positions this year. Positins which are in the process of being filled by out of towners from New Orleans, New York and New Leaders. If I could say names, I would but lets just say the $25,000 importation of principals not on the principal list has been in full motion since September.

  • In reply to sammy:

    HR has been destroyed by Alicia Winckler. She is negotiating a contract with teachers? Hey Karen, get rid of her now, before she does more damage to your members.

  • HR is screwed up-true and that starts with the top. Good HR employees are actually NOT allowed to answer questions for principals in fear of getting in trouble from Ms. Winkler.
    Fear will kill a system. Could this be the goal?
    The guy running OPPD, which is not PTA (can you believe this acronym!) is from out of town too--no CPS experience.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    If I had to pick one CO department to be rebuilt from the ground up it would be HR.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    That is an amazing thought. With nearly every other department in CPS dedicated to inhibiting the functioning of schools and doing little but promoting the pointless careers of overpaid ex-failed-teachers in denial, there are people who would pick HR to rebuild! Blows me away.

  • There's not enough imports. It looks like Cheatham and Winkler will have to open the door to fill the principals void with locals who have type 75s. A number of my veteran CPS educator-colleagues always say the CPS system will implode this summer. Too much going on and a mayor who thinks he can change everything at once. The problem is leadership with no knowledge. Coming in new, there's no way to know all you need to. Intelligent folks know this. You can't truly know what you don't know until you experience it. Intelligent folks might know but Dictators might not.

  • It should occur to us that Rahm wants the system to implode. His own lawyers will be there soon. The OIG seems to support him with the Cawley issue. Rahm is a master manipulator and ther is no Michele Obama here to keep him in check.

  • If I had to speculate on who would be the new No. 2, it would have to be someone who was into self-directed work teams or empowerment. It would have to be someone who was able to work well with CTU, get along with all the stakeholders, and, of course, get results. This means respected educator, unless a non educator admits she is there just to allow the educators to do their jobs effectively.
    I say this because we've gone through Management by Objective (SIPAA/CIWP) not too successfully, and Management by Walking Around (Danielson) rather in fits and starts. Empowerment is next, and is very General Electric.
    The hard part may be what constitutes "results". It's easy for the corporate folks to look at financial results, but are test scores planned now and the future really going to make it plain to see if reform is working?

  • I am glad the reader posted the horrible information about the abusive teacher. It is next to impossible to get rid of a bad teacher and it is obvious that this is a desperate situation. Shame on the CTU for protecting the worst and subjecting the best to the low standards. Shame on the coutless principals who ignore abusive behavior. Shame on teachers and other adults who sit by and watch.

    Students, parents and good teachers should use their I-Phones or other recording devices and record the abuse. It worked for the poor autistic boy out east. There are so many stories like this it is sickening. There are so many bully adults in schools that prey on the students. Time to hold them accountable to social media. No need for an evaluation system, get the horrible ones away from the children!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    It is not difficult to get rid of a teacher who is abusing students. In fact, it is quick and easy. Still, if a teacher like that is not removed it is a failure of administration not a problem set at the feet of the CTU whose job is merely to enforce due process as outlined in the CBA.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Give me a break! It is the CTU and as always, when a valid argument comes up, they wash their hands of any responsibility and blame everyone and anyone else. It is really pathetic that good teachers put up with the sham the CTU perpetuates.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    One more thing, I have first hand experience of trying to get rid of a teacher who is abusing students and it did not happen. The union stepped in and the principal blamed the parents and students bringing it to the forefront. There are stories like this in EVERY CPS school. Different degrees of abuse, but still plenty of teachers who should not be with our children. I thank God for the good teachers and feel horrible for them because they are subject to a sub-par union that defends the worst in the system.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The Union's responsibility is to secure due process for all employees just as it is a public defender's responsibility to secure due process for the accused. The fairness of that process is paramount, not the outcome of that process.

    You say the principal blamed parents and students? So, who is culpable here in a cover up? Administration.

    The CTU does not defend horrible teachers. It defends the rights of those (potentially horrible) teachers to be treated and dismissed, if necessary, according to the procedures mutually agreed upon between the Board and its employees.

    I understand emotions can run high in situations surrounding abuse but that does not necessitate ignoring simple, rational, factual realities.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    More mumbo-jumbo ctu jargon. Tell that to the hundreds of parents shafted by principals and bad teachers and the thousands of students who are abused or are robbed of an entire year of their education which is hard to make up. It is completely within the CTU control to make the process for removing bad teachers more fluid and attainable. Above is a complete cop out excuse. Don't pass the buck CTU, take ownership, take responsibility, earn your keep that teachers pay. It is completely with the power of the CTU to make firing abusive teachers easier.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I'm confused. How is the CTU responsible for principals and bad system-wide education policy? Isn't that the domain of the Chicago Public Schools?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Enough with "the shaft". I CHOOSE to work with children everyday. I do not benefit from their suffering. As for your "thousands of students who are abused or are robbed" you are skittering towards insane Glen Beck hyperbole there.

    CTU would have no problem easing the termination of BAD teachers if CPS didn't "honorably terminate" so many good teachers.

    You are naive if you trust principals to retain the best teachers and fire the worst. From the Emanuel Administration on down, clout matters in Chicago more than merit. If it were not for CTU, you would see far fewer quality educators in Chicago.

  • Sorry, no, it is not a cop out or an excuse.

    It is the employer's responsibility to hire, fire, and discipline employees. The Union does not hire, fire, or discipline its members. You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of am employer's function vs. a union's function.

    The collective bargaining agreement, Illinois School Code, and other laws stipulate the procedures that must be followed to terminate an horrible or abusive teacher. Interestingly, the CBA between CPS and the Union is one of the weakest in the state.

    It would be irresponsible, unethical, (and perhaps illegal), for the CTU to abrogate its responsibility in protecting its members through the just and proper enforcement of current law, code, and contract.

  • Less than one business day after revealing that Chief Education Officer Noemi Donoso is leaving, CPS officials announced that she will be succeeded by Barbara Byrd Bennett, a veteran educator who ran Cleveland schools for seven years.

    Though Donoso’s resignation is not effective until May 31, Bennett will be in town working in an advisory role for a month, spokeswoman Becky Carroll says. Bennett will then serve as interim chief education officer.

    CPS officials also announced that CEO Jean-Claude Brizard was bringing Beth Mascitti-Miller, a former colleague from Rochester, NY, to fill the role of early childhood chief officer. Last week, legendary early childhood expert Barbara T. Bowman retired.

    In many ways, Bennett seems the opposite of Donoso, who was relatively inexperienced when Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Brizard plucked her from Colorado.

    “Bennett is a seasoned and respected leader with depth and expertise across a broad spectrum of education issues,” Brizard said in a press release.

    As the first mayoral appointed chief education officer in Cleveland, Bennett focused on teacher quality, says Charlise L. Lyles, co-founder and former editor of Catalyst Cleveland, the now-defunct sister publication of Catalyst Chicago. Her passion for quality professional development and training for teachers earned her a good relationship with the teachers union.

    “She improved the teacher union’s relationship with the district so that there was respect and considerable trust,” Lyles said.

    Lyles also said Bennett also concentrated on improving the principals in Cleveland. “She cleaned house and got rid of quite a few principals,” Lyles says.
    After leaving Cleveland, Bennett worked as a consultant for a number of districts, most recently as Detroit schools chief academic and accountability auditor..
    Bennett is also a trustee for an organization called Common Core, a non-profit research and advocacy organization that pushes for a broad liberal education as opposed to a narrow focus on tested subjects.

    Carroll says that Bennett has also worked on teacher union contracts, implemented a longer school day and new teacher evaluations. “Given where we are as a district, she is a good fit,” Carroll says.

    Brizard was able to tap Bennett quickly because he knew her professionally, Carroll says.
    Brizard turned to Mascitti-Miller as someone he knew and trusted. Before leaving Rochester, he hired her as his deputy superintendent of teaching and learning. In that role, she helped write curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

    Mascitti-Miller also led World of Inquiry School No. 58, Rochester’s first K-12 school.
    A year ago, Mascitti-Miller had applied for – but did not become – interim superintendent of Rochester City School District. Some speculated that her closeness to Brizard, who had fallen out of favor with the Rochester school board, hurt her candidacy.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Some interesting stuff that you should know about Barbara Byrd-Bennett from Susan

  • CEdO Miller--be very careful of Dr. Cheatham

  • Yet another Broadie imported from outside the city. Given her track record- New York, DC, Cleveland, and Detroit I give her two years before she moves on.

    It is clear that slapdash Emanuel is in over his head, but he is such a know-it-all there is nothing you could possibly say to convince him otherwise. The personification of "truthiness", he thinks he is right even though the evidence points to the contrary.

  • Beware of Triple B. She may be a nice lady, but it looks like she is just more of the Obama/Dncan/Emanuel/Rhee/Brizard et. al. status quo.-

    "Byrd-Bennett wants to apply that model to Detroit. She and Bobb are proposing to create a “high priority district” within the larger district for the city’s chronically failing schools.

    The high priority district’s success largely rides on securing a special teachers’ contract, as it did in New York. Byrd-Bennett wants failing schools’ staffs to be hired based on performance, not just seniority"

  • An interim replacement for chief education officer -

  • Brizzy is busy. Donoso set-up, so someone can watch his back? he needs it--CPS is a mess.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Regardless of who is charge of each department, if this many mistakes have been made on a system wide level, there is a big problem with the leader.

    The people who participated in developing the budget - including principals, department heads, and grant monitors - were poorly trained. When the budget office made changes to the budget, it didn't always let the affected principals know about it. The district didn't adequately track employee benefits or absences.

    If indeed accountability is important, then we must measure the Sup't on the basic management issues presented in these audits. J.C. moved the Chief of Diversity into the role of Human Capital Director. Those inside the RCSD knew that she had no knowledge or experience that would qualify her for such an important role.

    It is under this administration that we purchased expensive upgrades in technological systems without anyway to integrate the old systems so that there would be a smooth transition.

    In School Suspension, public transportation for high school students, late start high schools, school closures; blanket fire/rehire schemes for teachers; bad food service contractors; 3 changes to the date for placement day; indoctrinating principals into a "cult-like" mental state; purposefully infusing disequilibrium into the system climate as a strategy (Broad Institute); K-8 designs; single gender groupings; Equitable Student Funding (ESF); autonomous schools have all turned out badly because of poor leadership.

    For each of these possibly viable ideas, under this administration, the conceptualization was in isolation, there was not staff buy-in; the implementation was not thought out and therefore led to internal power struggles, the management and monitoring of these ideas was haphazard, and progress reports and program reviews were never scheduled or followed up on.

  • As you watch listen to Superintendent Brizard's choice of words. He starts early on with a reference to "Those of us in the trenches". He frequently, as you will see uses references to warfare. Here I thought we were in the business of education. He states that we are being watched by others outside of the city. By whom? and who is he really trying to impress? He should be wanting to impress us. He refers to the push back on school based budgeting and he admits it hasn't worked in a number of places. Then why are we trying it? He refers to the fact that ESF hasn't worked in Seattle because the "haves did not want to equalize with the have nots." I personally don't see any millionaires enrolling their kids in the RCSD, so who are the haves? This is a classic bit of pitting one group versus another for control over what? Underfunded City Schools?. He states "it is the battle you have in poor urban centers" Again a reference to Warfare?. So who is the enemy but we better circle up the wagons. Principals are not happy with ESF because they don't want control or autonomy? So why did they become principals unless they wanted to be a leader? He makes a reference to "the new battlefront" - Again warfare - everyone gear up we must be going to war- against who or whom? In regards to the 5% rate of college readiness he says it is a joke and meaningless, because the way the data was analyzed. So if another District scored at 80% that was a joke as well and that Superintendent is telling his staff it was a joke. But then he states that OK maybe we're not doing great with Black and Latino males (roughly about half of the District's students). Then he makes a comment that we don't try to explain anything in the media? So how are parents or the community at large supposed to learn anything. He discusses network teams - and why are we hiring people while we are laying off people - hiring more administrator's 3 more administrators for each school chief. So we are getting rid of teachers but hiring more administrators. If we have less staff who are they going to supervise? He states that the principal's top job is to train their teachers - I thought it was to be a leader and a CFO? He states that we can't cut central office anymore - but as he already said we are adding 9 more administrators. Nine administrators with salary and benefits equals how many teachers? He again makes a reference to the battle. So to summarize its Central Office staff versus everyone else in the District and in the community.

  • Well, we would only be surprised if a Chicagoan was tapped to fill either of these positions, right? The replacements sure came quick. Record setting quick! One retired on Wed., another resigned on Friday and both are replaced on Monday. Was it planned? Whatever the case these jobs are no picnic and there are no simple answers. Will Cheatham, Craven and Loudon still fit into the CEDO chain of command? Give me the truth.

  • Headache299
    More good stuff about this blog, District299, from Substance at

  • In reply to district299reader:

    i should have figured that schmidt would miss the sarcasm and disbelief in my original post.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Substance has its own, um, issues, of course, but your response above has now confused me. Which part of your post is sarcastic? Which part expresses disbelief? I don't see either present. Help me out.

    "Rumors and curious emails have been swirling for weeks and increased steeply this week, but Noemi Donoso is still the chief education officer for CPS, according to CPS. There's been no change in the former Denver Public Schools administrator's portfolio of responsibilities. Her last day wasn't earlier this week. There wasn't an epic behind the scenes fight over senior staffing and who's really in control of things. Rumors about a reshuffling in Brizard's top staff are apparently no more than that."

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    I missed it too. So did the teacher next door to me. So did a a lot of us. It really and truly seemed like you were dispelling myth and rumors. There was nothing there to hint at anything less than sincerity. Now, if you'd said, "CPS claims...., but I don't buy it. Time will tell," you'd have a case. Sadly, you didn't.

    Either you got snowed or you failed to properly inform your readers. Neither is good. Best to apologize and be more clear or more diligent in the future. Whichever applies.

    Claiming sarcasm after the fact is pretty lame.

  • Headache299
    You are referring to your title, “No Reshuffling at CPS, Says CPS” The problem may have been that your second sentence, “There’s been no change in the former Denver ….” reads as if you, not CPS, was contesting the rumors.

  • Humor is in the reporting of the denials. Think "I'm shocked, shocked..." a la Casablanca. Schmidt's complaint is really about Russo's remote outpost.

  • I am do sick of George and his soapbox. Seriously, George at least this site has 142 comments. Your site does not have this many comments in a month. And we get it, CPS fired you and blacklisted you and blah blah blah. Why don't you cry about it and start your own "newspaper" to cry about it. Oh wait you did. It is idiots like you that move our union so far to the left that we look like idiots in the media. And yes I am a teacher writing anonymously, and you can call me a coward and I won't cry one tear about it, but it won't stop me and others like me from speaking in a forum that allows us to speak our minds in a safe manor.

    Substance news, the counter weight of Fox news, except substance makes no money, has terrible headlines, and doesn't pay reporters not named Kugler.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    If you’re sick of George and his soapbox, don’t read him. And by the way, bandwagon queen, 142 comments does not make for quality.

    Many of the comments on this blog are brilliant; others are completely stupid!

    Personally, I like to read George, and I like to read Alex; I like to read the blog comments, – basically, I just like to read…but if it makes you feel comfortable to limit yourself, then limit yourself

  • City Life
    For about a year I used the name 10.4 to blog both here and
    At two of my students got murdered in a week
    so I thought Fuck it and began using my real name. It doesn’t hurt
    one bit.
    I have never met George but you are confused about a couple of
    facts. Substance was published long before he got fired. Both this
    blog and Substance are important sources of information about
    education. But each is also different in their own way.
    Watching kids die right before your eyes has a sobering effect
    On a person. It creates a rage unlike anything else and when that
    Rage is transferred into a passion we have people like George, and Me
    Who are on a mission. People like you are just dust on a boot very
    Easy to brush off.

  • Rage on Bob. And take the tinfoil off of George's head will you. And teach him how to write a headline, report, and not sound like a bunker building freak.

  • Just dust on a boot

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