AIOs may be asked to apply for new posts

Print More

Schools CEO Ron Huberman will meet with the district’s principals today at 2 pm to layout his performance management plan and budget concerns.

It’s unclear what else is on the agenda, but Clarice Berry, president of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, is not expecting any bombshells.

Also in the works, according to Berry, is a district plan to replace area instructional officers with the new position of chief area officer, and drop the number of elementary school area offices from 23 to 15, and increase the number of high school areas from three to six.

Schools CEO Ron Huberman will meet with the district’s principals today at 2 p.m. to layout his performance management plan and budget concerns.

It’s unclear what else is on the agenda, but Clarice Berry, president of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, is not expecting any bombshells.

Also in the works, according to Berry, is a district plan to replace area instructional officers with the new position of chief area officer, and drop the number of elementary school area offices from 23 to 15, and increase the number of high school areas from three to six.

Berry says she has been assured by Huberman that the new CAOs will be educators. She also says the change in the number of areas points to a closer relationship the districts wants to cultivate between high schools and their feeder elementary schools. 

AIOs must apply for the new positions. There are five fewer slots overall, however, Berry says at least four AIOs are planning to retire this year. 

Interestingly, the title change suggests that the district will now view its second-tier managers as regional superintendents, a clearer description of the scope of their work. That has not been the case with AIOs. According to some district administrators, the role of AIOs has been unclear, with some seeing them as instructional leaders and other viewing them as accountability czars.

Regarding the district’s record $500 million budget hole, Huberman has maintained that he will not make any classroom cuts. However, Berry notes that enrollment projections for next year are down and teacher and staffing cuts will be made accordingly. Still, Berry says these cuts are in line with what’s been done in recent years as the district’s student population shrinks.

Huberman is expected to spend time explaining his performance management system and his plans for improving how data is collected and used. But Berry says the district is planning to use its new data systems for instructional purposes rather than for accountability.

Time will tell.