As CPS prepares to close a record number of schools, the fate of students and communities is in question.
Comings & Goings
MOVING IN/ON The creation of New Schools for Chicago by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago has prompted several personnel changes. New Schools for Chicago is the organization that will raise private funds for Renaissance 2010 schools and oversee distribution of private funds to Renaissance 2010 schools. Phyllis Lockett Martin, executive director of the Civic Committee's Financial Research and Advisory Committee (FRAC), has become executive director of New Schools for Chicago. John Ayers, executive director of Leadership for Quality Education, which focused on charter schools, has resigned but will do some consulting for the group. He has been succeeded by Senior Associate Director Pamela Clarke. ... Sarah Vanderwicken, director of the children's health and education project for the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, has resigned. The position, the last remnant of the Lawyers' School Reform Advisory Project, was eliminated due to funding cuts. The group was first launched in 1995 to provide free legal assistance to local school council members. ... Richard Friedman has been named executive director of Art Resources in Teaching (A.R.T.), a non-profit educational arts organization. Friedman, a one-time teacher, was a fundraising consultant and an independent theatre producer. He succeeds Jeanne Becker, who resigned to pursue a writing and consulting career. ... Wanda Newell, former education program director at the McCormick Tribune Foundation, has joined the Center for the Study of Social Policy, a think tank in Washington, D.C., as a senior associate. Kathleen Praznowksi, assistant director, will be acting in Newell's place until a replacement is found. ... Mary Nelson, founder and president of Bethel New Life, a community group that has been active in school improvement, will step down in July after 25 years. A successor has not been named. ... Andrea Lee, former director of the schools initiative for the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group, has joined the Grand Boulevard Federation as education and community organizer. John Paul Jones, NCBG's director of community outreach, will take on Lee's duties until a replacement is hired. ... April Ervin has been promoted to executive director of New Leaders for New Schools, an alternative principal certification program. Kathleen Weaver has taken over Ervin's previous post as deputy director. ... Craig Wacker, former program examiner for the education branch of the White House Office of Management and Budget under the Clinton and Bush administrations, has been named program officer for human and community development for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
PRINCIPAL CONTRACTS Interim principals Carlos Azcoitia at Spry and Deborah Edwards at Piccolo have been awarded contracts. ...Sonia Caban, previously a New Leaders for New Schools principal intern at Daniel Boone Elementary, is the new principal at Mozart. Caban replaces Louis Lousordo, who retired. ... Christina Gonzalez has had her contract at Emilio Zapata renewed.
AT CLARK STREET Phil Hansen, former chief accountability officer at CPS and assistant to the superintendent at the Illinois State Board of Education, has joined Princeton Review as national director for urban schools, a new position. Hansen has also joined Solomon Consulting, Inc., a new educational consulting group, as senior advisor. ... Maurice Woods, a project manager in the CPS Office of Technology Services, has been promoted to deputy chief information officer. Woods replaces James Dispensa, who is now director of the CPS School Demographics and Planning department. ... Derek Blaida, former assistant to Mayor Richard M. Daley, has been appointed director of intergovernmental affairs in the CPS Office of External Affairs
NEW LOCATION Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) has moved its office to 100 S. Morgan St. on the Near West Side. PURE has two new telephone numbers: (312) 491-9101 and toll-free (877) 491-PURE. The email address remains www.pureparents.org. PURE will host an open house on Friday, Feb. 18 from 4 to 7 p.m.
EDUCATOR'S AWARD Timuel Black, a veteran Chicago educator, civil rights activist and author, received an award for teaching excellence from the Oppenheimer Family Foundation.
COLLEGE COUNSELING Students seeking information on colleges, scholarships and financial aid can get help through March 10 at a CPS Online College & Financial Aid Center. The centers are located at 19 high schools and Gallery 37, at 66 E. Randolph St. Students can participate in online workshops and discussion groups, and improve their writing through online essay writing. For more information, go to www.postsecondary.k12.il.us or contact the Office of Postsecondary Education at (773) 553-2108.
ARTS ED STUDY A study by the 3D Group of Berkeley, Calif., found that 84 percent of students in schools with the Chicago-based Reading in Motion program were reading at or above grade level, compared to only 27 percent of students in comparable schools. The program, formerly known as Whirlwind, uses music, dance and drama to help teach reading skills.