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The race for City Hall

Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

In the News: CPS names accountability chief

John Barker, chief of staff in Memphis City Schools, has been named chief of accountability in Chicago Public Schools. Barker, 45, will oversee all testing, research and accountability issues for the district and will report to CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and serve in her cabinet. He will start in early January. (The Commerical Appeal)

Subtsance News offers a play by play of last week's Chicago School Board meeting, during which the expansion of charter schools was one of the main agenda items. After an Executive Session, the board voted to approve two of the four new charter schools that had been on the agenda, and two were deferred after Barbara Byrd Bennett said she wanted to further check, the Board voted unanimously to approve "Intrinsic" and "Chicago Collegiate" charter schools. A total of 11 new charter schools and campuses are opening in September 2013, at a time when CPS says it has a hundred thousand "underutilized seats" across the system.

Teachers in West Chicago Elementary District 33 delivered an intent to strike notice to school district offices Friday — a procedure that allows them to legally strike as early as Jan. 7. That would be the first scheduled day back from winter break, which started Friday afternoon after classes were dismissed. (The Daily Herald)

While Head Start participation benefited children's learning and development during their time in the federally funded preschool program, those advantages had mostly vanished by the end of 3rd grade, a new federal study finds. (Education Week)

One of the nation’s premier medical schools, New York University, and a few others around the United States are challenging offering a small percentage of students the chance to finish early, in three years instead of the traditional four. (The New York Times)


northside teacher wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago


Ok..Rambo says he loves chicago? Yet he never , every hires ANY of its own citizens to executive positions at CPS ... he is a snob!!

andy wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

J Barker

We will miss Mr. Barker. CPS you are lucky to get such a great educator and community member.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago


He made a big mistake coming here. Cps will scapegoat him out of here

Anonymous wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

As it has with other accountability chiefs

he will miss Memphis--beside Chicago winter and all our hot air. he should have researched what he was getting into--if he did, he would have politely said no.

JV wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Is this guy another Broad flunky?

Just wondering if this fellow is a Broad scholar?

And has anyone noticed that former failures Hubermann and Frynd (former head of OSI) are now running an organization getting millions from CPS. Follow the money and look up conflict of interest. Talk about set for life!

Anonymous wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago
Johnny Moss wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago


Cps needs someone to monitor accountability at the school system. Inside jobs have had a hand in some of the schools being in the shape of low performance that they are in. Lot of the Principals who went out in the school systems recently; used to either work downtown; or have relatives or parents that worked downtown. So downtown looked out for them at their schools ; or covered up for their low performance and under utilization numbers. Now there is someone placed in accountability with BBB and team that will steer these schools in the right direction. I question; if these schools are in such bad shape; then why were so many teachers and Principals given superior and excellent ratings. More Principals and teachers should have had satisfactory and unsatisfactory ratings. Their school's Progress Report showed poor testing scores; no AYP; poor ratings by parents; and under utilization. So for the small few that lost their jobs because the schools were there; needed to be more. It is a shame that these schools fared so poorly. This only shows that the ones with the outstanding ratings and applaused were friends and family and the ones in the click. Now it is in the open. A lot of those top dogs were the ones who have sunk the schools. They need to be replaced so that these students can get a better education in a better environment.So yes; the correct screening on accountability at Cps and at schools is long over due. It is about time.BBB and your new team; go for it.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago


I heard she isnt all that clean. Hired her son in law for big job in det and cleveland. Also, accepted 30k in moving expenses while students and teachers grovel for textbooks and supplies....also chosen by rahm...come on......nothing changes

Anonymous wrote 2 years 1 week ago

CPS Accountability is not responsible for what you ask for

this responsiblity belongs to the OIG. looking forward to their annual report to be released in January. Note--even if the OIG does have evidence and supportive findings, it is up to CPS law to follow through with discipline. Rahm and the CPS CEO/CEdO have influence on what, how and to whom discipline is given to.

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