Rahm’s Education Advisory Team

March 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm 22 comments

I read a blurb from Rahm that was something like “people, fixing these schools is not going to f-ing happen overnight, so be patient.”    OK, that might have been biased by my obsessive following of the fake Twitter Rahm, but he did imply it and I have to respect him for that.  At least he speaks the truth (easier to do once you’re voted in, I imagine.)

I just ran across this list of his advisors in Crains Chicago Business.  I haven’t really heard of any of them and I do wonder how he decided which CPS principals to include.  Man, a lot of different types of schools in that mix, so it seems.  I would love to be a fly on the wall as they try to solve an incredibly challenging problem  on an incredibly small budget.

The 17 members of his government and budget team and the 14 members of his education team are all community, business or non-profit leaders. The teams will make recommendations to Mr. Emanuel on how to improve Chicago’s financial standing and its schools.

Ellen Alberding, President of the Joyce Foundation.

Rev. Byron Brazier of the Apostolic Church of God.

Don Feinstein, Executive Director, Academy for Urban School Leadership.

Sharrod Gordon of the Target Area Development Corp.

Zipporah Hightower, Principal of Bethune School of Excellence.

Liz Kirby, Principal, Kenwood Academy High School.

Tim Knowles, Director, University of Chicago Urban Education Institute.

Mike Milkie, Superintendent and CEO, Noble Street Charter School.

Natalie Neris-Guereca, teacher, Dr. Jorge Prieto Elementary School.

John Price, Principal, John J. Audubon Elementary School.

Diana Rauner, President, Ounce of Prevention Fund.

Celena Roldan, Executive Director, Erie Neighborhood House.

Monica Sims, teacher, John J. Pershing West Middle School.

Elizabeth Swanson, Executive Director, Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation.

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22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Patty  |  March 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    This should be interesting. I am not sure why Bishop Byron Brazier is on this list, especially if it is regarding Chicago Public Schools improvement. I attended his church twice and it just seemed like it was all about money, money and more money. I really believe that the only people that should be allowed on this advisory board sould be educational officials, etc. With that being said, I think that Liz Kirby (Principal) is an excellen addition to Rahm educational advisory team. She is a really good principal and her high school and academic center is equal, in offerrings, to many SE high schools. I just wish that she would add a 9-12th grade IB program to her school.

  • 2. Curious George  |  March 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Some on the committee will get the top jobs at CPS. Wonder who?

  • 3. Grace  |  March 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Thought the lively crowd her might be interested in this. Catalyst magazine is running a survey. They want to know who you think should be the next CEO of CPS and why.


  • 4. RL Julia  |  March 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Generally speaking people on the advisory committees do not get jobs at the organizations they are in charge of re-formatting – it would sort of be a conflict of interest. Maybe the people already at CPS might do better position-wise, but I don’t necessarily think so – I think that they will be rewarded in other ways. The purpose of an advisory committee is to advise- not to self promote.

  • 5. klm  |  March 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I can’t wait to see where Rham’s kids go to school. He’s against giving low-income people vouchers for decent educational options, but he’ll most likely go private (as he did in Chicago before and does in D.C.). I guess low-achieving CPS schools are good enough for poor people in Chicago, but not for his kids.

  • 6. cpsteacher  |  March 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    In theory, of course we would love to see the Mayor send his children to public schools. But, if you could afford to do so, wouldn’t you send your child to THE BEST possible place you could afford? With the level of dedication to their childrens’ educations, my guess is that most parents who comment on this blog would jump at the chance of giving their kids a private school education. We want the best for our kids, why shouldn’t he? I worked for 2 years in a high school where I would NEVER send my children. No matter what Rahm chooses, his priorities will be questioned. SE School? Unfair that his kids get in. Neighborhood School? Where are his priorities? He isn’t putting the education of his children first. Private School? Public schools are not good enough.

  • 7. cpsobsessed  |  March 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    He (Rahm) attended the school where his kids are enrolled so there’s a legacy/religion factor involved.
    Also, I think I said this in another thread: he didn’t play a role in establising the current state of CPS, so he should feel no guilt in rejecting it for his own kids. In the past, he may not have even considered CPS for his high school child, so that’s a step in the right direction.

  • 8. Patty  |  March 17, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    @CPSTeacher- I totally agree with your statement. I would definitely put my two kids in Univ. of Chicago Lab School or Latin, if I could swing the tuition/fees. The most my hubby and I can do is a catholic high school but many of them don’t offer diversity, few AP courses and limited sports/activities, etc. Additionally, we discovered that you have to pay extra if your kid want to play a sport so instead of that route we are choosing SEHS. On the other hand, I would totally jump on a seat at Lab or Latin. For now, we will have to deal with CPS. I don’t blame Rahm or anyone else for choosing the very best option for their kid(s)elementary/high school education.

  • 9. Patty  |  March 17, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    @cpsobessed- I agree with your statement. Rahm had nothing to do with CPS current state. But with that being said, people should remember that CPS has made some improvements in the last 15 years. Will CPS ever be perfect? Will everyone be totally happy with what is offered? No, not at all.

  • 10. Patty  |  March 17, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    @Grace, I visited the Catalyst survey and added my “two cents” to it. I am leaning toward John White (I think that’s his name). I believe he is from NYC and has taught at various levels, while being a leader of his district.

  • 11. Hawthorne mom  |  March 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Do people really believe an education at U of C lab or Latin (or anywhere for that matter) is THAT much better, if at all, than a really good public?
    From my perspective, I seriously would never send my kids to any of those schools. I think the cost is foolish. But then again, I’m someone who very seriously does not view Northwestern U. as being worth the cost when someone can easily get the same courses at community college for a tenth of the cost. Or buying a BMW when a Toyota gets the same job done of getting from A to B.
    I really hope my kids will go to community college for two years and then to some dinky state school…..as cheap as they can get it. (unless they are able to get a free ride) Maybe I am just weird like that, but I truly don’t get it.

  • 12. KGB  |  March 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    I should have clarified my point: I don’t have any problem with Rahm or anybody else sending their kids to the best possible school(s) public or private. EDUCATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD. Who cares what other people say –one’s kids are more important! I’m in total agreement. I was just pointing out that Rahm opposed giving low-income Chicagoans that have few/any options other than low-performing/failing CPS schools a “voucher” that could cover parochial or other schools that do a pretty good job with inner-city kids. I know that it’s controversial, but the “Abandoned” inner-city poor so often have no other options than send their kids to schools that neither Rahm, nor I or any other middle-class parent in the North Side would dream of sending their kids in a million years. Just saying. BTW, it’s not like anybody who’s willing/able to send their kids to Lab, Latin, Parker, City Day, etc., can just do so. SOO many peole apply to these schools. We applied to 7 private schools (Lab, Parker, Latin, Sacred Heart, City Day, Catherine Cook, FXW) with my youngest child and were not accepted to a single one (I hate wait-lists!). They all sent nice letters saying we love your kid, but there’s just not enough space after admitting siblings, faculty kids, legacies, diversity apllicants, etc. The same happend with my oldest –now at a RGC (thank-you CPS!). Oh well, their loss. It makes me appreciate public education all the more.

  • 13. cps Mom  |  March 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Hawthorne Mom – I’m with you. There is a certain mindset that private means something in the way of social status.

    @12 – There are also plenty of kids at Latin and Parker that want to get into Northside and Payton that can’t.

  • 14. dada_cps  |  March 17, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    John Price, the principal of Audobon, is pretty amazing. Very well regarded at his school, trained in differentiated literacy, and a very professional guy. I’ve been on the tour at his school twice and wished I could get my kid in there, but they haven’t taken out of ‘hood for 2 years bc he’s made it such a good option for the neighborhood. I always got the sense he was a mover n shaker (he spoke of knowing Arne Duncan) and his attempts at opening a new HS have been admirable, if somewhat quixotic. I’m heartened to see him on the list. He’s turned that school around the right way – through curriculum and teacher and parent involvement.

  • 15. hat is going on elsewhere besides Madison  |  March 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Duncan silent on Florida’s education mess
    By Valerie Strauss

    It’s no wonder that many teachers, students and parents feel that public education is under assault in Florida.

    Despite a growing chorus of opposition from teachers, students and even school superintendents, the Republican-dominated state Legislature is intent on passing a bill that would make eliminate teacher tenure, link teacher pay to student standardized test scores, and add a heap more tests on already test-plagued students.

    Each one of those items will negatively impact every student in a Florida public school. But that’s not all.

    Citing terrible budget constraints, legislators are trying to pull back on a decision voters made in a state referendum in 2002 that limited class size. Voters approved a plan for gradual reductions in class size until they reach no more than 18 for grades pre-K-3, 22 for grades 4-8, and 25 in high school.

    But that’s not all.

    Even though money is so tight, the Republican legislators somehow found money for private schools through tax-credit scholarships, and that bill is moving swiftly too.

    With all this work to do, you might think the Florida legislators don’t have any more time to deal with lesser education issues. But you’d be wrong.

    There is also a bill being considered that would prohibit “district school boards, administrative personnel, and instructional personnel from discouraging or inhibiting student delivery of inspirational message at noncompulsory high school activity.” This is apparently an issue worthy of legislative time in the Sunshine State.

    You also might think that the Democratic administration of President Obama would say something about all of this. But so far, there has been silence.

    I asked the Education Department if Secretary Arne Duncan had taken a position on any of this, and the answer came back today. It was simple: “No.”

    The most egregious of the bills was passed Wednesday by the Senate, and a companion bill was approved by a House committee Thursday.

    According to the Miami Herald, sergeants-at-arms had to form a barrier when the panel ended because they were afraid of the wrath of angry educators who had come to protest. Republicans ignored amendments and cut off public testimony to force a vote on the bill.

    The bill, like Senate Bill 6, requires school systems to evaluate and pay teachers primarily on the basis of student test scores, which assessment experts say is an ineffective evaluation method.

    In addition, no longer could experience in the classroom, or professional credentials, or advanced degrees, have any value in a teacher’s salary. That’s a great way to tell students that education is valuable, don’t you think?

    It also orders the creation of more tests for kids in subjects not already annually assessed by some standardized exam.

    There is an Orwellian cast to the words of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who said that the bill “focuses on trying to help children and encouraging better teachers,” when, in fact, it will, without a doubt, do the opposite.

    Any teacher could tell that to Crist, but I’m betting he doesn’t talk to any.

    I wish Secretary Duncan would call up the governor and tell him that if he signs this bill, the state will have a hard time keeping and recruiting good teachers. Who would want to work there?

    You can see the effect that all of this is having on teachers and parents by going to a page on Facebook called “testing is not teaching,” at http://www.facebook.com/testingisnotteaching

    Here’s what one teacher wrote on the day the Senate passed its version of the bill. It’s enough to make you cry:

    What a devastating day for teachers…and the teaching professionals state-wide. Not in all my 17 years as a special education teacher have I been so disheartened! I just can’t make ends meet…and it’s going to come a time, as my mom says, to “fish or cut bait”. I think I’ll be leaving this profession.


    Follow my blog all day, every day by bookmarking washingtonpost.com/answersheet And for admissions advice, college news and links to campus papers, please check out our new Higher Education page at washingtonpost.com/higher-ed Bookmark it!


    By Valerie Strauss | March 26, 2010; 10:39 AM ET
    Categories: Education Secretary Duncan, No Child Left Behind | Tags: Arne Duncan, Florida, NCLB
    Save & Share: Send E-mail Facebook Twitter Digg Yahoo Buzz Del.icio.us StumbleUpon Technorati Google Buzz Previous: Why students get rejected from college
    Next: More on Duncan’s VIP list in Chicago

  • 16. Grace  |  March 19, 2011 at 8:53 am

    cps obsessed — would you be interested in guiding readers to district 299 and pure blogs if they want to read about candidates?

  • 17. Should we care?  |  March 24, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Even though Terry Mazany said he wanted a moratorium on new charter until CPS had determined which were high-performing, Rahm has had him announced the consolidation of 20 schools to make room for the 35 new charters Rahm will push through this year.

  • 18. Patty  |  March 24, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    @17- Honestly, I don’t want to see 35 new charters enter the CPS system. It is so sad and kind of pathetic that CPS can’t even run their own schools. 35 new charters??? Ugh! While there are few charter schools that are successful, there are a lot of charters that are NOT performing well. It is a myth to think that charter schools is the solution to low performing schools. So many parents are being misled.

  • 19. rahms kids  |  March 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Word on the street is that Rahm’s eighth grade son will attend Northside next year. Two of Rahm’s nieces (Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel’s kids) attended Norhtside and both went onto Ivies. One then received a Rhodes scholarship to attend Oxford University.

    The younger two children will return to Anshe Emet.

  • 20. ed policy student  |  March 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    CPS Obsessed, some of these people are from foundations that fund education projects (e.g., Joyce Foundation). Tim Knowles is a well-respected education guy who runs the U of C’s Urban Ed Institute. He is a straight talker who knows loads about education (and is a really down-to-earth person, in my experience meeting him). Rumor has it Rahm wants him for CEO, but Knowles supposedly isn’t interested. Liz Kirby, principal of Kenwood, was a whiz-kid CPS student, if I recall correctly, and became principal at Kenwood at a relatively young age. Mike Milkie is the founder of Noble Street charters, one of Chicago’s most successful charter networks. Monica Sims is, I think, a TFA alum who’s also a Teach Plus policy fellow (www.teachplus.org).

  • 21. cpsobsessed  |  March 29, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks @20! It certainly sounds like a group who could come up with some good ideas… although CPS is a tough problem to “fix.” I’m curious to see what they advise him to do.

  • 22. ed policy student  |  March 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Any urban ed system is tough to fix, and it won’t happen overnight. That said, Daley had it in his hands for 22 years and, in my opinion, didn’t make enough strides.

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