Posts Tagged ‘CPS CEO’

Get ’em here! Official New York State reports on Rochester grad rates

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The Real Brizard Effect

There has been so much back-and-forth about the Rochester graduation rates that I finally decided to scan the pages showing the data from 2008, 2009, and 2010 and upload them.

Eric Zorn posted 2008 and 2010 on Monday but the questions remain, and, as I mentioned in my previous post, I have net been able to link to these pages directly through the NYS department of education web site.

My chart here (not the Tribune’s) correctly shows these data and the real “Brizard Effect.”

Is Brizard honeymoon over?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Is it just me, or is it hot in here?

The Sun-Times reports this afternoon that Mayor-elect Emanuel is already on the defensive about his pick for CPS CEO:

“Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday defended his selection of Jean-Claude Brizard to head Chicago’s public schools as controversy mounted in Rochester, N.Y., about the terms of Brizard’s departure there.”

Part of that heat is over Brizard’s unsupported claim that he raised graduation rates in Rochester by 13%. Chicago media was a little slow to jump on the facts (which I posted yesterday), but they’re on it now like white on rice:

“Although Emanuel initially touted Brizard for raising the Rochester graduation rate, the only publicly available official data shows Rochester’s four-year graduation rate went down in 2009. In a news release on the Rochester School District website, Brizard cited figures indicating that by 2010, it had improved, but the 2010 figures have not yet been released by the New York State Board of Education.”

Add to that the excruciatingly thorough (yes, I loved it!) expose by Eric Zorn in his blog yesterday, followed by his print comments today:

Can Rochester, N.Y., superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard pad a payroll? Skirt the rules? Spend frivolously? Distort statistics to make himself look good? Infuriate his constituents with a high-handed style?

Check, check, check, check and check.

and his re-post of my article about Rahm’s repeated lies about our schools, under the headline,

Perhaps a clue why Emanuel didn’t care about Brizard’s slippery graduation statistics,

and you have the beginnings at the very least of a PR disaster for the master media manipulator, Rahm Emanuel.

You also don’t want to miss Curtis Black’s NewsTips story on Brizard, which includes some quotes from the new Parent Across America Guide to the Broad Academy’s Education Programs and Policies which PAA published yesterday.

My predictions

I believe that there’s a chance that Brizard will never make it as CPS CEO. And for my next prediction, I believe that Rahm Emanuel will have a very bumpy ride as mayor from the get-go, not the mostly kid-glove treatment Daley has gotten. Why? Because Rahm is a behind-the-scenes manipulator, not a front man. The classic front man (insert your favorite – mine is Arne Duncan) has that corn-fed grin that’s essential to convincing folks that a lie is not a lie, or that at least if it is a lie, the liar doesn’t mean it and really has all of our best interests at heart.

That’s not Rahm. When he smiles, you kind of want to hide your children.

Getting off on the wrong foot with Rahm?

Friday, March 18th, 2011

My comment was, of course, the only cautionary message in today’s Tribune story about the mayor-elect’s CPS CEO search:

‘It’s too depressing to speculate,’ said Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education. ‘Everything that he has said points to his wanting to move even more aggressively into corporate-style school closures and punishing-teacher-type of reforms that haven’t been working.’

There goes my invitation to the inaugural ball.

But friends around the country are already warning us about some of the folks mentioned as potential picks.

For example, John White is a short-timer who has not been in the NYC school system for long, but I’ve been told that he has already managed to alienate parents. More on him later. I’m collecting some local info on Alonso and Gorman, too.

Jerry Weast just retired after 26 years as superintendent for Montgomery County, Maryland, schools. A local parent shared this artricle with me from today’s Washington Examiner on the search for a replacement for Weast:

Gaithersburg Middle School parents want Weast’s replacement to “focus beyond test scores, to create much more well-rounded students.”

“I really worry what will happen to students who are not strong in just math or reading,” the PTA president said.

Janis Sartucci, a leader of the Parents’ Coalition of Montgomery, said she wants a superintendent “that’s present. In my experience, Jerry Weast did not show up in schools unless with an entourage, and did not meet with students unless it was an organized publicity event,” she said.

The wish-list of Joan Sabaka, co-chairwoman of the Special Education Advisory Committee, is short and simple: She says she’d like Weast’s replacement to accept a meeting with her team. “We have begged him over the years by letters to come sit down and talk about special education, and he has refused [and offered lower staffers],” Sabaka said. “We were paying for his salary — we thought he had to meet with us, but he would never.”

But at least the Montgomery County School Board respects the community enough to allow them some input into the selection of a new superintendent (UPDATE: locals say it’s a sham process. SIGH.). From Chevy Chase (MD) Patch blog:

The board members have repeatedly expressed their desire for community involvement in the search process. In late January and early February, parents and county residents were invited to attend forums  to share their thoughts on educational priorities and the desired leadership qualities of the next superintendent. Those who couldn’t make it to the meetings could participate in an online survey.

As you know, there’s a community-based superintendent search process going on here in Chicago, too. We hear they are making progress and will be reporting out soon. Rahm should welcome their input as he makes this important decision.

Support PURE!
About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.