View Full Version : Local News Emanuel may go outside city for new Chicago Public Schools CEO

03-18-2011, 10:29 AM
This from the Chicago Tribune (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-mayor-emanuel-cps-20110317,0,4669246.story) by Joel Hood, Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah and Kristen Mack:
While his handpicked education team met this week to begin figuring out how to implement Rahm Emanuel's campaign promises to fix city schools, the mayor-elect is forging ahead to find the beleaguered school district's next top executive.

It's a critical decision for Emanuel, who needs to bring stability to a district that has seen three CEOs in three years. The new mayor is looking for a leader to improve test scores, creatively fill a $750 million budget gap and negotiate what's expected to be a contentious contract with a teachers union that did not support Emanuel or any other mayoral candidate during the campaign.

Those close to Emanuel say he's looking for someone with experience facing challenges prevalent at Chicago Public Schools. That means an educator with management know-how who has addressed high dropout rates, encouraged more parental involvement, and found ways to expand the school day and school year, with a focus on afterschool programs.

More than anything, educators say, Emanuel is looking for someone to craft a new vision for urban education in the 21st century, taking the best ideas from districts outside Chicago outside Illinois, even and finding ways to make them work here.

"I'm thinking across the waterfront of issues and department heads. And I'm thinking of what's essential to achieve the policy objectives I laid out during the campaign," Emanuel said this week. "There's no doubt the CEO of the school is important, top of the list."

CPS' student performance has inched upward under Richard M. Daley during the last 15 years. But the system Emanuel inherits from the outgoing mayor is a hodge-podge of ideas and reform measures: magnet schools, selective enrollment, charters and turn-arounds. Some worry about what reform will look like under Emanuel.

"It's too depressing to speculate," said Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education. "Everything that he has said points to his wanting to move even more aggressively into corporate-style school closures and punishing-teacher-type of reforms that haven't been working."

Emanuel is looking at a handful of potential candidates inside Chicago. But many believe he wants to nab a proven leader or education innovator from outside Illinois.

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