At the CPS Delegates Meeting tonight there were debates for President and Vice-President. Both were pretty lopsided victories for the CORE slate as the Salvation Caucus seemed to lack any sort of coherent plan for the future of the union beyond picking away at their current leadership. It was clear that it was going to be a long night for the Salvation Caucus when vice-presidential candidate Mark Ochoa consistently ran out of things to say before coming anywhere close to the two minutes he was allocated to answer questions.
Jesse Sharkey seemed much more capable in response, focusing on how he believed the union could best prepare to combat Mayor Emanuel in the future. Sharkey, as usual, had great enthusiasm for the task at hand. Ochoa, on the other hand, seemed to be hoping that once we explained to the Board that we didn’t like things like overtesting, they would simply end the offending practices.
The second debate between Karen Lewis and challenger Tanya Saunders-Wolfe was even testier. The conflict began with Ms. Saunders-Wolfe’s opening statement, but it seemed to only intensify as the night went on. When Saunders-Wolfe threw out accusations, Lewis was ready to defend herself and the union. When Saunders-Wolfe said that CTU was never serious about negotiating before the strike, Lewis reminded Ms. Saunders-Wolfe that she herself was at many of the 54 meetings they had before the strike.
The most amusing moment for me, was after Ms. Saunders-Wolfe made a rambling and incoherent statement about how she would have handled the strike differently, Ms. Lewis seemed genuinely confused and tried to make sense of just what Saunders-Wolfe said.
I truly wish the entire CTU membership could have witnessed the Brawl in the Electricians’ Hall because it seemed to leave little doubt in the minds of most of those in attendance just who was best to lead the union going forward.
[Note: I was going to try and write this down the middle, but I couldn't. It seemed like a total blowout for Karen Lewis, Jesse Sharkey, and CORE. I don't pretend the above analysis is impartial. However, it's my honest opinion as an observer of the debates.]
CPS Says Hearing Officers Exceeded their Role in Opposing Closing of 14 Schools
“Bebley responded in his written response, “Rather than evaluate whether the draft transition plan identifies the items required by the statute, the Report forms an opinion regarding the sufficiency of safety and security and academic supports, which is outside the scope of the Hearing Officer’s statutory role and expertise.”
Mayor isn’t Promising to Follow Hearing Officers’ School-Closing Recommendations
“On Wednesday, dozens of parents, students and community members stood on the second floor of City Hall to ask Emanuel to join in walking the new routes, in hopes of convincing him to keep the doors open at schools slated for closing. Since April, groups of parents have walked the new routes to point out problems along the way.”
What’s the Plan for Chicago Public Schools? Look no further than Detroit
“Chicago’s current schools CEO, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, worked in the Emergency Manager Office in Detroit from 2009 to 2011. During her tenure, DPS closed 59 schools and cut 30 percent of the workforce. Toward the end of Byrd-Bennett’s tenure in Detroit as “Chief Academic and Accountability officer,” DPS announced its “Renaissance Plan 2012,” which included creating 41 charters, making 29 percent of district run by private interests.”
The Solution to a Bad Guy with a Test is a Good Guy with a Test
“With this pronouncement we see the utter disregard for the intelligence of the audience that day. Just moments before, the Secretary cited a law of social dynamics that warns of the dangers of certain types of social indicators being used for decision-making. He then indicts those who have been corrupted by the very law his administration created. This is beyond any reasonable person’s ability to swallow. It is a new level of twisted logic – and a dangerous one as well. If the focus is on the “cheaters” then the focus is off the policy. It is a most insidious political gambit that the Secretary is taking in hopes that the noise around high stakes testing will diminish in the din created by the cheating scandals.”
Chicago will Close Some of Arne Duncan’s “Turnaround Schools” as Failures
“Fast forward to 2008, when President-elect Obama announced that he had picked Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education.
The event was held at Dodge Renaissance Academy, which the President praised as a “perfect example” of a turnaround school, an exemplar of Duncan’s great success.
Sadly, Chicago Public Schools is now closing Dodge Renaissance Academy as a failing school, along with Williams, another of Duncan’s “turnaround” schools.”
Robert Redford, CNN Join Forces for a Chicago-Centric Series
“”The vibrant culture and opportunities inherent in this 21st century, world-class city run alongside profound daily challenges,” he adds. “Much of it falls on the shoulders of its tough, visionary mayor, his team and people doing heroic work in neighborhoods throughout the city.”"
New CPS Board Member Vows Not to Rubber Stamp School Closings
““Unlike some of the business men on this board, he has actually been involved in public education,” says Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union. Sharkey adds that while CTU would really like to see teachers and parents on the board, a former public school principal is a good step forward.”