AT CLARK STREET Cozette Buckney, former chief education officer who is serving as the CEO’s special liaison to the School Board, retired May 31 after 33 years at CPS. She will teach in the College of Education at Roosevelt University as the Distinguished Professor of Urban Education. … Ascensión Juarez, previously director of salary administration and employee records, has been tapped to head the CPS human resources department. He replaces Carlos Ponce, who resigned.
ANDERSEN DUMPED In May, the School Board dropped beleaguered Arthur Andersen as its external auditor and switched to Deloitte & Touche. However, it still has a $3.5 million, two-year contract with Andersen for information systems consulting, which it approved in January.
PRINCIPALS Two assistant principals have been awarded principal contracts at their schools: Brenda Browder, Kellman, and William E. Johnson, Carver Military Academy. Karen Koegler, assistant principal at Edgebrook, is now contract principal at Onahan. She replaces Peter Hastings, who retired. … Dushon Brown, acting principal at Curtis, is now contract principal. … Jane McDonald, interim principal at Mt. Greenwood, is contract principal. … Robert C. Miller, director of driver’s education in the physical education department at central office, was named contract principal at Bogan High. He replaces Ronn L. Gibbs, who was interim. … Sherman Chambers, principal at Reavis, had his contract renewed. … Principal Alice Butler Collins has retired from Spalding elementary and high schools; Bertha Buchanan has been named interim.
MOVING IN/ON Spencer Foundation President Ellen Condliffe Lagemann has been named dean of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University; she will step down July 1. Paul Goren, vice president of Spencer, will serve as interim president. … Warren Chapman, education program officer at the Joyce Foundation, was named vice-president of corporate giving for Bank One Corp. He will oversee contributions in 14 states, and a budget of $55 million. Reginald Jones, an education and culture program officer at Joyce, will assume many of Chapman’s duties. … Faye Terrell-Perkins, principal at Tilton High, was named executive director of Leadership Academy and Urban Network for Chicago (LAUNCH). She replaces Ingrid Carney, who moved up to senior executive director of the Chicago Leadership Academies for Supporting Success (CLASS), of which LAUNCH is a part. That position previously was held by Al Bertani, who now oversees professional development at CPS. … David Gardner has become manager of transition/middle schools; he replaces Joyce Bristow, now education officer of Region Seven. … Teacher activist George Schmidt, publisher of Substance newspaper, has been retained as a consultant by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) to do budget research. … Connee Fitch-Blank, assistant director of the CTU Quest Center, will be on loan to serve as dean of CTU’s new Jacqueline B. Vaughn Graduate School of Teacher Leadership, which is expected to open in January 2003.
CTU JOINS TURN On May 4, the CTU officially joined the Teacher Union Reform Network (TURN), a national group of reform-minded union locals from both the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. CTU President Deborah Lynch had expressed interest in joining TURN just days after she was elected last spring. (CATALYST September 2001). “She has a perspective on teacher unionism that is compatible with that of most TURN members,” says Adam Urbanski, co-director of TURN, which promotes collaboration between teachers unions and school districts to improve teaching and learning. CTU is one of four new members of TURN, which now has 30 members.
PARENTS UNION The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 is petitioning state labor officials to organize as many as 1,500 parents who work for CPS and receive stipends, but are classified as volunteers and receive no benefits. SEIU now represents about 4,000 security officers, business office attendants and other non-education CPS employees. If state officials approve the petition, parent workers may vote on the measure in early August.
CHARTER SCHOOLS Three proposals are being considered to fill the charter school vacancy created by the closure of Nuestra America. KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), a national non-profit based in San Francisco, applied to open a charter middle school at 9035 S. Langley for 320 students; Aspira of Illinois, a Latino youth organization, proposes to open a computer science high school at 2435 N. Western for 400 students; and DePaul University would partner with Alliance for Community Change to open a K-8 charter at 4831 S. Hermitage for 415 students. The School Board will decide at its June meeting. The new charter school will open in fall 2002 or 2003.
In late May, Illinois legislators backed away from a proposal to create an additional 15 charter schools in Chicago. The Illinois Manufacturers Association objected to provisions requiring some teachers to be certified and limiting the role of for-profit companies—measures backed by the Chicago Teachers Union and Leadership for Quality Education, a business-backed school reform group. A similar measure failed last year, when Republican leaders soured on such restrictions. This year, LQE had hired high-profile lobbyists Michael McClain (whose clients include Bank One, Walgreens and Sears) and James Fletcher (whose firm represents the Bears, Commonwealth Edison, and Arlington Park racetrack) to smooth the way.
AWARDS Sixteen principals and four assistant principals will be honored as exemplary leaders by the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. Winners were chosen by a panel of former educators, business leaders and community members. Gains in student test scores were foremost among the criteria. Each will receive $5,000 at a June 7 banquet.
Principal winners are: Jaqueline Taylor Anderson, Young; Cynthia Barron, Jones College Preparatory High; Sharon G. Bean, Hinton; Mary L. Cavey, Spry; Analilia Chico, Healy; Jo L. Eastering-Hood, McDowell; Richard Morris, Burroughs; Mary Neely, Lawndale; Donald R. Pittman, Marshall High; John P. Reilly, Portage Park; Amanda Rivera, Ames Middle; Kenneth M. Staral, Ogden; Thelma K. Sylvester, Johns; Florecita P. Valignota, Cameron; Melovee Williamson, Hayt; and Beverly L. Williamson-Ashford, Ruiz. Assistant principal winners are: Marie C. Dora, LaSalle; Odette Langer, Barry; Marcia L. Sullivan, Brighton Park; and Diann Wright, Haines.
LSC LAWSUIT Local school councils at Marquette and Dulles elementaries have sued the School Board for voiding the councils’ recent principal selection decisions. The board contends that some LSC members’ votes do not count because they were not eligible to serve on the council. But council members cite a state judicial precedent that says a council member’s vote counts until he or she is legally removed. Dulles’ LSC seeks to reinstate its decision not to renew its principal’s contract; the LSC at Marquette seeks to award a contract to its approved candidate for principal.
SMALL SCHOOLS Betty Despenza-Green, a Small Schools Workshop consultant and former principal of Chicago Vocational High, is working to transform an Oakland, Calif., high school into four smaller learning communities, part of a $15.7 million Gates Foundation-funded small schools project there.