Friday, August 5, 2016

School 'reform' Chicago-style. 1,000 teachers/staff laid-off.

CEO Forrest Claypool, left, with CPS general counsel and former Jenner & Block pal Ronald Marmer 
Last week, we learned that CPS chief Forrest Claypool was funneling big contracts to his Jenner & Block law firm pals.

On Wednesday, CPS announced it was maintaining and expanding it's network of high-paid, mid-level regional managers called network chiefs. They're the enforcers who give school principals marching orders and ride herd over clusters of neighborhood schools.

On Thursday, we learned that more privately run charter schools will be opening, including a new $27 million charter that's part of the development around the newly-planned Obama Library in Kenwood. The goal is to give a boost to the real estate market and promote gentrification on the city's south side.

Today, Rahm/Claypool pulled the trigger on nearly 1,000 CPS teachers and staff. That includes 494 teachers — including 256 tenured teachers. The layoffs broke down this way: 302 high school teachers and 192 elementary school teachers for a total of 494; and 352 high school support personnel and 140 elementary school support personnel, for a total of 492.

All this, while Gov. Rauner continues to hold hostage the state education budget, city residents are being hit with record massive property tax increases and a myriad of regressive fees and hidden taxes, and at the start of a new round contract negotiations between the board and the CTU. Teachers have been working without a contract for more than a year,

 All affected teachers are from district schools, none from charter schools. I haven't seen all the numbers yet but previous CPS mass layoffs and school closings have resulted in dramatic reductions in the numbers of African-American teachers to a record low. 

Budget cuts and staff reductions have also led to a mass exodus of CPS principals. 

Even though laid-off teachers can re-apply to get jobs back in the fall, this is obviously a way to gut the system of veteran, higher-paid teachers. Look for an influx of unskilled newbies and TFAers to fill some of those slots. Also, watch class size explode in the fall.

Reform, Chicago-style. Get the picture?


  1. Horrific. Wrong, immoral, and should not be legal. Just horrific.

  2. I'd love to see a group called Students Lives Matter. Where is the outrage from Chicagoans? Too busy on vacay or going to concerts in the park? Too tired of running from violence in their school-less neighborhoods? Great teachers and support folks gone and it is given passing mention on the local newscasts. Most will be rehired, we are told. No. That won't happen for the reasons Mike just stated. Kids will be crammed into 45+ student classrooms. Special programs like art and music are gone. rahm and forrest need to leave. They cannot be allowed to continue destroying public education in Chicago.


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