Like Thieves in the Night: Deceptive CPS Student Service Cuts Spark Principal Uprising

Power concedes ....

CPS’ Cuts of Services for Special Education Students and the Behind-the-Scenes Principal Uprising that Stopped It (for now)

Overview: Who Sacrifices?

Whenever I try to take a break from writing about CPS to focus on other aspects of my professional and personal life, CPS officials do something so profoundly unethical, incompetent and/or corrupt that my conscience calls me to pick up the pen once more. This time, they’ve targeted special education students. Obscured in the latest round of CPS budget cuts is an unprecedented move to cut legally required special education services.   Educators are often asked if a school based budget cut will affect students. The answer is always “yes.” Each person in a school provides a service to a group of students. When CPS decides to cut the dollars that fund a school-based position they are, in effect, taking the service away from students.

One district official was quoted…

View original post 1,749 more words

A Chicago Teacher Responds to a Principal’s “Love Letter”

Power concedes ....

A couple weeks ago I posted a video of a statement I delivered at the City Club of Chicago.  The post was titled “A Love Letter to Chicago’s Teachers.”  Yesterday, a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) teacher sent me a response to that post. The teacher did not leave a name.  Her writing extended the “love letter” metaphor to places I never imagined. Despite my perceived public persona I am shy to my core; so I felt awkward and somewhat uncomfortable reading the parts of the letter that applied to me and my actions. However, the section in which the teacher applied the metaphor to her relationship to Chicago Public Schools is powerful.  She writes, “He (CPS) is abusive.  He constantly threatens to quit me. He reminds me annually that I can be easily replaced by someone younger, cheaper and less experienced.”

That section is so brutally candid, direct, and insightful that…

View original post 427 more words


So it is the first week or so of school…apple

And you are looking forward to, praying for a smooth and productive year.

When my kids were in elementary school, I liked to start the year off with a note and gift to their teachers.

Now, I have three kids and when they were all in middle school with 6 teachers a piece the gift was very simple and inexpensive.

It is not about the cost of the gift, the gift is a token of your acknowledgment of the important role that teachers play in my children’s lives.

The note was to remind myself, my student and their teacher that we were all working together to make the academic process as effective as possible.

So imagine during the start of the school year, Ms Math Teacher receives a box of sharpened pencils with a note that reads.

box of pencils

Dear Ms. Teacher,


Happy Back to School and welcome to TeamMyLastName

Our student and team captain, Childs first name is excited and happy to be in your class

As a part of the coaching staff I want you to feel free to contact me for any reason

My name home/ work/ cell #

Husbands name home/ work/ cell #

Child’s name has an allegy to peanuts and an IEP to use graph paper for all work in Math.

Thank you again

Here is to a  GREAT Year




Gift ideas

Coffee mug

Post-it notes

Box of chalk, pencils, markers,

best teacher

It is important that students have ownership of the educational process.

One way we as parents can help that develop is to start to model it when they are younger.

And then keep it up as they get older.

Teachers and Parents are not enemies.

I as a parent am concerned about the education of one student and the teacher for all students.

As a parent I am concerned about all of my children

And the teacher is concerned about all of her class

The overlap is my child in her classroom

Everything that she does that helps the students in her charge helps my child

And let’s face it Teaching is an underpaid and unappreciated profession.

Starting the year off with informed cooperation may make the year better for everyone involved.



So yesterday,  a friend reminded me that as a parent you have to stay involved. Be engaged.

It isn’t always that easy.409390_2805758636169_649842007_n

There are teachers and administrators who believe it is there job to separate you from your children, because you are holding them back.

There are perfectly normal developmental phases where children clam up to individualize.

So here is my tip.

Ask your kids to tell you about their day.

I am sure that you, like me, ask “how is your day?” and your kids says “fine” and you say “good”.

This was my story until I heard a man on TV tell a story about getting busted by his dad, a teacher, for skipping school.

His father would ask this man and siblings about each class.  So on this occasion the father asked how was English Lit, and the man related a variation of what had happened the day before.  What he didn’t know was that the English Lit teacher who was pregnant,  was planning to be away and had given the “substitute” all her lesson plans. The father was to be substitute teaching the class.

Now, I haven’t substituted in nearly 3 decades, so I don’t  have that kind of info, but I do know how to read a syllabus and reading list.

Everyday, I asked my kids… how was your day? What happened in Homeroom? How is Mr. Davis, is he still limping?

Class by class,

subject by subject,

teacher by teacher,

friend by friend

At first it was painful, but then I learned the names and stories and personalities of the people involved.

It became a conversation.

And as my children got older, the conversation became more and more two-way.

They would ask and hear about my day.

My goal as a parent is to put myself out of a job.

To raise people into adults that I would want to be friends with. Adults you love and respect me but don’t need me.