It is the same, I am finding, when it comes to this huge Chicago Public Schools debate.
CEO Jean-Claude Brizard is highly qualified and very versed in education, yet every step he takes to alter this school system’s failing trajectory has been met with combat.
It is a known fact that Chicago is the best city for debate and discussion so CEO Brizard was seemingly excited and definitely ready to answer an onslaught of questions. We all love our children, and it is very evident that he loves our children as well. It is safe to say that collectively we all want Chicago students to be the best of the best.
If only the City of Chicago could send out copies of Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D. to get people to settle down and get focused. Additionally, a reminder that every one is due respect couldn’t hurt as well. After all, it must be remembered that change is a process.
In most instances, where reform is needed most, it takes trying this and that more than once. Change takes time.
40 years of no reform cannot be undone over night.
THAT said, as one of the participants in CPS’s Social Media Outreach, a sort of “Roundtable with CEO Brizard”, I have learned the facts behind the ingredients being used in the big bowl of change to better our Chicago Public Schools.
While our conversation was long, and in no way did we cover every pertinent issue, we did learn solid answers to a few key points:
- talks with Chicago Teacher’s Union have not broken down.
- process that was outlined by law is in play
- there are arbitrators from both sides working to establish a good outcome
- there is no push for merit pay
- qualitative research is being utilized to reformat
- career ladder, in terms of accurate pay scales, is being examined
Many parents have been practically jumping up and down about the longer school day and it being funded properly. The Chicago Moms heard this cry and asked specifically about the funding process. Many parents also clamored about the day simply being too long for their children. The $130 million that is now in play has been given to each school to leverage autonomy.
- instructional improvement is the bottom line for the entire Chicago Public School System
- national examples are part of the consideration as we move forward
- there will be a single form for high school enrollment next year (it will be available online and in print)
- Illinois ranks last in education funding
- this fight is being taken to Springfield in a sort of “Give Us Our Fair Share”
- College Ready Fund is a financial contributor; an all one lump sum to be used at the schools’ discretion
- Recess Providers can also be contributors
- A guide has been provided by CPS Administration to assist schools in supplementing their programs
- Schools can utilize having new staff and new equipment
- Elementary schools’ recess and lunch coverage is now discretionary
- Principal/Teacher prep times have been increased
- if schools want to, they can hire more teachers
There is a lot of misinformation out there as Chicago parents are not getting the most accurate initiative background. This may be the cause of so much unrest.
The $130 million in funding has afforded schools the freedom to expand and have their needs met. The distribution between High Schools and Elementary Schools was figured with lower grades getting more funding as their need-base was slightly more. The other funding issues are being taken up with legislators and a legal team downstate.
The reallocation of the day will get Chicago’s school children college ready. It will also open doors for Chicago’s most needy students, like those in Alternative Schooling, who are now simply drop-outs. This reform will lesson the likelihood of developing these children into potential community misfits.
As this school year wraps up, let us all remain hopeful, and supportive, of change. Let us roll up our sleeves and dig in to keep this momentum toward the best evidence-based practices that will benefit all of Chicago’s kids and their learning.
A round of Thank-You’s:
Jean-Claude Brizard, CEO
Monica Lee, Director of New Initiatives
Marielle Sainvilus, Press Secretary
Alex Soble, (Our Trusty) Social Media Guy
Category: New Posts