I received a call this afternoon from a teacher at a South Side elementary school. I can’t verify everything she told me. The reason that I can’t verify it is that the program that allows you to track teacher credentials in CPS (ELIS) has been down for maintenance since the CPS budget cuts were announced over a month ago. Coincidence?
Anyway, I’ve known this teacher for awhile and she is not one to engage in idle speculation. She told me that one of the school’s absolute best teachers received a pink slip after 10 years of service at the school.
Last year, the principal redefined their upper grade special education teacher position as bilingual/special education. There are maybe a handful of people in the state who have these two credentials. For one thing, bilingual has sort of been pushed out in favor of ESL.
Now the principal has a second year TFA teacher who by seniority should be gone. Before joining TFA, she taught in Japan for a year. The principal has decided that this gives her the bilingual qualification to teach the school’s population of Spanish speaking bilingual students. She placed the TFAer into the special education position and bumped the current special education teacher who has taught special education for 19 years and assigned the special education teacher to 3rd grade, where she never taught before. In doing so, she was able to pink slip the third grade teacher.
TFA swears that they aren’t taking the job of laid off Chicago Public School teachers. it is very clear, that they are.
“The formula for privatizing districts is the same all over the country: Open charters operated by private organizations. Simultaneously defund neighborhood schools, declare them “failing,” and then close them. Fire certified professional teachers and replace them with temporary, unskilled TFA recruits.”
“This is not some conspiracy there is historical precedent for the actions of limiting educational opportunities in lower income communities of color around the world. What this city is attempting to do is a human rights violation. If what was going on here in Chicago was happening in a different country we would easily classify the actions of this city as a human rights travesty.”
““A $20 million no-bid contract … is a questionable use of funds at a time when our students have 94 less art positions, 58 less [physical education] positions, and 54 less music positions for the fall, and CEO Byrd-Bennett is in the press discussing online courses for these programs,” she says. “We have to ask where the priorities of this district are right now.”
“CPS did have a teacher shortage about a decade ago, but that’s no longer the case, although some school principals have noted a shortage specifically in special education and substitute teachers.”
“Now we learn that Moody’s and S&P didn’t just lower the state’s bond rating. They were pressured to do so by Rahm’s patrons over at the Civic Committee. In Chicago, the mayor runs the schools. But the mayor doesn’t say, “boo” without a nod from the powerful Civic Committee.”