Friday, September 18, 2015

Good riddance, Tim Cawley. Champion of privatization and disinvestment in neighborhood schools.

Fred Klonsky

Good riddance to Tim Cawley, the very worst of Rahm's army of CPS bureaucrats who's gone from Number 2 honcho under Byrd-Bennett, to under the bus. I hope readers won't remember that I predicted his demise two years ago. Wishful thinking, I suppose. He's even outlasted the guy I thought would replace him back in 2013 -- Marine Col. Tim Tyrrell, who engineered the mass school closings.

It was Rahm who allowed Cawley to skirt the residency requirement, much to the chagrin of the CPS Inspector General. He commutes from Winnetka and was somehow given a special waiver while other staffers and teachers were fired for violating the residency rule.

More importantly, he was the architect of the privatization of school janitorial services, a scheme that has left hundreds of CPS staff without jobs and many buildings ankle-deep in trash and principals screaming for mercy (Where were you, SEIU?).

Thanks, Tim Cawley
It was Cawley's mismanagement of the Aramark privatization deal that left the district on the hook for some $20 million more to Aramark than promised, essentially wiping out the $18 million Cawley said the district would save in the deal's first year. A bad deal all around.

It was Cawley who became the main cheerleader for disinvestment in neighborhood schools and replacing them with privately-run charters. These were the very policies that led to the closing of Dyett High School and the current hunger strike by parents and Bronzeville community activists.

Back in 2011 he told the Tribune:
 "If we think there's a chance that a building is going to be closed in the next five to 10 years, if we think it's unlikely it's going to continue to be a school, we're not going to invest in that building... We believe that we get more bang for our capital investment buck when we couple it with a program change in the building."
Cawley also came up with the brilliant idea of having CPS borrow $500 million from the Teachers Retirement Fund in order to pay the fund the billions it still owes because of pension holidays.

He's an old AUSL guy which makes this story timely indeed. Wednesday, it was announced that the group is once again the target of lawsuits over its "ongoing pattern and practice of systemic race discrimination".

It seems Cawley's problem at CPS is -- he's not part of Forrest Claypool's trusted inner circle, especially now that Rahm's new schools boss has brought over his loyalists from the CTA like old pal Ronald DeNard, who's pulling down $225,000-a-year from our broke-on-purpose school system.

BTW, DeNard lives in suburban Flossmoor.

Remember, this is all about the kids.

Hey Tim -- Don't let the revolving door hit you in the ass on the way out.


  1. He's out but, unfortunately & probably, off to some cushier 6-figure job. Won't have to pay (literally, as well) for all the misery he's caused on a grand scale.
    Yet another in a long line of those with no conscience & no heart (& does anyone find it ironic that his excuse for staying in Winnetka was so that his adopted child would not have her/his education "disrupted?") Lesson learned (repeatedly): educational disruption (as well as Deform corruption) is only for "other people's children," & then its given the euphemism "creative" disruption.
    His name should be TIn Man Cawley: if he'd only had a heart...

  2. Sorry, what is AUSL?

  3. Sorry, Anon. It's the Academy for Urban School Leadership.


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