Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

Emanuel announces bonus plan to bring top principals to Chicago

Ohanian Comment: What a collection of teacher abusers: Bloomberg, Emanuel, Villaraigosa, AND Duncan. And with Andrea Mitchell hosting with the usual soundbites of education being to blame for unemployement, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Note to these people: Education is NOT the economic issue of our time. ECONOMICS is the economic issue of our time.

Chicago doesn't have to search far for what they're looking for. Don't they already have the Broad Foundation on speed-dial?

Rahm takes Chicago's Big Lie version of history and reality on the road to a Washington D.C. forum featuring Arne Duncan and the mayors of Los Angeles and New York City, but Bloomberg may have had the arrogant quote of the day: "In God we trust. Everyone else has to bring data." It's hard to say whether he should get the prize because as host who pretended to know something about public schools, Andrea Mitchell was at least as disgusting as the mayors, again bringing home the prize for teacher bashing to NBC. Someone please tell her to go home and read some more Ayn Rand with her hubby.

Substance News

by George N. Schmidt

While most of Chicago was reeling from the news that a student had been shanked and killed while waiting to enter a South Side "alternative" high school and others in the city were contemplating how the city's richest family (the Pritzkers) were dodging the local property taxes that fund Chicago's schools, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spent Friday, March 2, 2012, in Washington D.C. spinning the usual Chicago lies for a national audience.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been showing his opinion of Chicago democracy since he took office. The event was a panel on education reform at American University featuring New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Los Angeles Mayor Anton Villagloriosa, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was also on the stage to mouth the usual talking points and platitudes.

A complete viewing of the video of the event is necessary for anyone who wants to learn more about how in Rahm's World fact becomes what he wants it to be.

Take this example, from an early moment in the discussion.

According to Rahm Emanuel, Chicago parents have "never" had access to school report cards until he became mayor. As close observers remember, just prior to the November 2011 Report Card Pickup, Rahm Emanuel staged a media event at Chicago's Perez Elementary School to announced that CPS and the City of Chicago were putting on line a new version of the schools' "Performance" reports. So, Rahm told the national audience (no questions allowed), this was the "first time" Chicago parents had the chance to actually learn the information. And as a result of this, according to Rahm, principals, for the first time, are signing up to learn more about how to do their jobs.

While the rest of the lengthy video is equally interesting, Chicago critics of the nonsense that is passing for education policy in Chicago under the Reign of Rahm should consider having Chicago's mayor video taped every time be begins speaking about what he's doing to the city's public schools.

By Ian Duncan


Chicago will search the country for 50 new school principals this year and hand each of them a $25,000 bonus if they agree to come and take over a failing school, another move toward rewarding high-performing educators in the city with cash.

"From now on if we get a principal, top of the class, reaching academic standards, we're going to pay him a $25,000 signing bonus to come in and be a principal in taking over a school," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel, describing the plan at a public appearance in Washington on Friday.

The mayor spoke at a panel discussion on education reform at American University with Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools.

The privately funded plan is intended to build on the merit-pay system for principals in Chicago public schools implemented last year, Emanuel said. The mayor's office also announced a plan to partner with universities to train and mentor new principals.

Much of the event was spent discussing familiar education reform issues. The three mayors, who run cities with a total of almost 2.5 million public school students, broadly agreed on the approach to big-city schools. They stressed accountability on the part of principals and the importance of being able to fire poorly performing teachers, ideas that face resistance from unions.

"A principal that's ready to be held accountable, a teacher that's motivated to teach in the classroom and involved parent -- I don't care where you are, you get those three things and a kid's going to succeed," Emanuel said.

Duncan said that the federal government will do more to help school districts. Much of the $550 million allotted to the next round of Race to the Top, a competitive grant program Emanuel helped design when he was White House chief of staff, will be awarded on a district-by-district basis. Previously, funding had been awarded to states.

"Whatever we can do in LA, New York, Chicago, we just want to be good partners," Duncan said. "We want to hear what the challenges are. Whatever we can do to help, money to turn around schools, we want to do it."

The idea of measuring results was hammered home by all three mayors, who support monitoring pupils and teachers alike and giving parents information to make decisions about where to send their children.

"For years in our system principals were getting a report card on their school's performance, it was never shared with parents. We've now made the report card not only available to parents, but online for parents," Emanuel said. "Ever since we've done that, we've had increasing role in training programs by principals."

Summing up the approach, Bloomberg said, "In God we trust. Everyone else has to bring data."


— Ian Duncan and George Schmidt
Chicago Tribune and Substance News





This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.