Comings & Goings

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MOVING IN/ON Former state Sen. Arthur Berman has been appointed to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s Education Accountability Task Force, which will have input into restructuring the state Board of Education. Berman is a legislative policy advisor for CPS. Click here for a complete list of task force members. … The International Reading Association has elected University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) family literacy expert Timothy Shanahan as its vice president. Shanahan, professor of urban education at UIC, will serve as the association’s president-elect in 2005, and as president in 2006. … Karen G. Foley, formerly the executive vice president of corporate development at CNA Insurance Co., was named president of Scholarship Chicago, a local nonprofit that provides grants and other resources to high school students. Foley succeeds John Mitola, who had held the post as a volunteer. Mitola, CEO of Electric City Corp. and chair of the Illinois Tollway Authority, will remain on Scholarship Chicago’s board. … George Schmidt, former teacher and editor of Substance newspaper, was named director of the Chicago Teachers Union’s department on safety and security.

PRINCIPALS Former Acting Principal Georgette Watson of Brentano Math & Science Academy has been awarded a four-year contract. … Former Assistant Principal Maria Pheifer of Boone Elementary School has been named acting principal. She replaces Karen G. Carlson, who is now associate superintendent for bilingual and special education for Waukegan district public schools.

LSC ELECTIONS A total of 6,970 candidates ran in elections to fill approximately 5,800 slots for local school council members. Elections were held on Apr. 21 and 22.

SCIENCE FAIR WINNERS Fifteen winners of the CPS student science fair will compete against others from across the state in the Illinois Junior Academy of Science Symposium. The top three students are Lasun Oladeji, Schar Gafoor and Daniel Blumenthal, all from Lincoln Park High. Other schools that will be represented include Lane Tech High and Walter Payton College Prep.

ARTS PARTNERSHIP The Redmoon Theater selected Audubon Elementary for a year-long arts integration partnership to begin next fall. The theater group will work collaboratively with teachers to create a curriculum for each grade level. Audubon was chosen from among 30 CPS schools that applied.

AWARDS The American Educational Research Association has awarded the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the curriculum field to William Schubert, professor and chair of curriculum and instruction in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Education. The award recognizes “outstanding scholars with a strong continuous record of accomplishment” in curriculum studies. The American Educational Research Association represents approximately 22,000 professionals who conduct research and evaluation in education.

Comings & Goings

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AT CLARK STREET Jill Wine-Banks, a former Watergate prosecutor and general counsel for the U.S. Army, was named director of the CPS Office of Education to Careers. She will be responsible for aligning district programs to job market needs. She succeeds Creg Williams, who left last summer to become deputy chief academic officer for the School District of Philadelphia. … The exodus of top managers at CPS continues. Chief Fiscal Officer Kenneth Gotsch resigned and accepted a position as chief financial officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District, and CPS director of intergovernmental affairs Robin Black has been named chief of staff at the Illinois Department of Transportation. No replacements have been named for either position.

MOVING IN/ON Kris Torkelson, previously of Urban Gateways, was named director of operations for Project Exploration, a nonprofit science education group.

PRINCIPAL RETIREMENTS Linda McCarthy, Hale; Ida G. Simmons, Deneen. … Anna Correa is acting principal at Hale; Carolyn Palmer is acting principal at Deneen.

BARGAINING RIGHTS The Illinois General Assembly approved in March a bill that restores some bargaining rights to the Chicago Teachers Union. The measure, which has Mayor Daley’s support, requires the School Board to negotiate the impact of workplace decisions, such as layoffs or class size, with the union. Passage of the bill paves the way for contract negotiations to begin. Gov. Blagojevich is expected to sign the bill this spring. (See CATALYST, October 2002)

SCHOOL FUNDING CEO Arne Duncan and board President Michael Scott traveled to Springfield to lobby lawmakers to allocate an additional $250 million for CPS. In early March, Duncan ordered central office departments to trim budgets by 15 percent, savings that would amount to $30 million. The district is also looking to save another $800,000 in busing costs by shifting drop-off and pick-up service for 7th and 8th grade magnet students to designated locations. … CPS expects to get an extra $600,000 in federal funding for after-school programs and enhanced reading instruction.

MORE SMALL SCHOOLS Four new small schools will open this fall at Bowen, Orr and South Shore high schools, all of which began the process of breaking up into smaller units this year. Last fall, these schools created five small schools with grants from the Chicago High School Redesign Initiative, which is funded by local foundations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Curricula at the schools, slated to open in September, will be based on the following four themes: leadership, technology, foreign languages and international studies and the Paideia program, which uses Socratic seminars to teach analytical thinking.

SCHOLARSHIPS The University of Chicago announced it would provide full-tuition scholarships every year to five CPS graduates, beginning with this year’s graduating class. University tuition is $27,324 a year. The university also launched Collegiate Scholars, a summer school and year-round academic enrichment program for 50 CPS 9th-grade students.

GOLDEN APPLE AWARDS Four CPS teachers were among 10 in the Chicago area who received a Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The teachers are Mary Bianchi, 5th-grade special education at Christopher; Elizabeth Giesen, 4th grade at Oscar Mayer; Carolyn Grantham, pre-kindergarten at Woodson South; and Paula Ann Sprecher, kindergarten and 1st grade at Farnsworth.