Comings and goings

MOVING IN/ON Joanne Howard, formerly an administrator at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, has been named deputy director of Designs for Change. She succeeds Suzanne Davenport, who will remain at Designs as director of the Learning Path Institute, a new program to train parents and community leaders to impact public policy. … Sarah Vanderwicken, former co-director of the Small Schools Coalition, has been named director of the Children’s Health and Education Project at the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. … Allison Jack, a former CPS teacher, has been named director of the Charter School Resource Center at Leadership for Quality Education. Machea Ashton, a special education teacher from Washington, D.C., is the center’s coordinator. … Fausto Ramos Gomez has joined the Joyce Foundation as a program officer for education initiatives. Gomez previously worked as an organizer with Latino groups and campaigns in Denver.

AT CLARK STREET CPS has merged its early childhood and language and culture departments. Armando Almandarez, previously head of language and culture, has been named chief of the newly formed Office of Language, Culture and Early Childhood Education. Flavia Hernandez, previously director of early childhood, is now a school-based budget officer. Former longtime early childhood director Velma Thomas has been named senior executive assistant to Almandarez.

DALEY APPOINTMENT Mayor Richard M. Daley has been named to the board of directors of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which grants national certification to teachers who achieve its high standards. He is the first mayor serve on the board. CPS has seven nationally-certified teachers but expects to see more than 200 seek certification this school year. The School Board, the Chicago Teachers Union, the Chicago Public Education Fund and Chicago United each have projects supporting teachers going through the year-long process.

PRINCIPAL APPOINTMENTS The following assistant principals have received principal contracts: Charles McGehee, Sherwood; Gino Pesce, Sayre; Pauline Tarvardian, Amundsen High. The following principals had their contracts renewed: Weldon A. Beverly, Hyde Park Academy and Kenneth M. Staral, Ogden.

SCHOOL FINANCE REFORM The Metropolitan Planning Council has convened a coalition of organizations to study options and lobby legislators for school finance reforms. Members of Network 21: Quality Schools and Stronger Communities Coalition include former State Senator Arthur Berman, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Chicago Urban League and Illinois Association of School Boards.

SCHMIDT LEADS ‘RESISTANCE’ Fired for publishing questions from the Chicago Academic Standards Exam (CASE), veteran teacher George Schmidt is now organizing teachers and others to protest the use of standardized tests in CPS by picketing meetings of the School Board and Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates. He calls the protest effort “The Resistance.”

Schmidt, a longtime critic of board policy and a former opposition candidate for the CTU presidency, was fired from his teaching job at Bowen High School on Aug. 23. He published portions of the CASE in the January 1999 issue of Substance, a teacher-produced newspaper that he edits.The board filed a $1 million copyright-infringement lawsuit against him for publishing the test, then pulled him from the classroom and started termination proceedings. On July 14 of this year, hearing officer Michael Gerstein recommended Schmidt’s firing, finding that in publishing the test, Schmidt had violated board policy and used board property without authorization. Schmidt has said he will appeal the board’s decision in Cook County Circuit Court. The board’s suit against Schmidt is still pending.

EVENTS Chicago Public Library celebrates books and reading during Chicago Book Week, Oct. 9 through Oct. 15. Chicago authors will be on-hand for workshops and special programs for children will be held at bookstores, libraries, museums and community centers across the city. For information, visit the library’s website at www.chipublib.org.

WORKSHOP CPS is offering a free training for parents of students with disabilities. The workshops will teach parents how to become actively involved in their child’s education. Sessions will be held at various locations through January 2001. For more information on dates and times, call the Office of Specialized Services at (773) 553-6706 or (773) 553-3364.

CLARIFICATION A chart in the September 2000 issue was misleading about when the Chicago Academic Standards Exams are given in various areas of science. CASE science exams are given to high school students in whatever year they take a science course.