Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chicagoist: Emanuel Looking Outside Chicago for CPS CEO

So we know who the Mayor-elect wants to lead CPS:
Emanuel is looking to bring stability to a position that has seen three men fill the role in the past three years, who can address the major issues facing the school system - balancing a $750 million budget deficit; improving test scores; improve its own morale problems and be able to deftly negotiate a new contract with a teachers union that didn't back any mayoral candidate in the February general election. Emanuel prefers someone with experience in handling any or all of these issues and high on his list is Baltimore City schools CEO Andrés Alonso.

Alonso and Emanuel have similar ideas about reforming troubled school systems. Before Alonso's 2007 arrival in Baltimore, that city's school system was in a state of decay so bad the state of Maryland was poised to take over parts of it. Alonso diverted millions of dollars in education funds from the system's administration offices directly to the schools, slashed the central office staff by a third, closed schools that were failing and replaced ineffective principals, gave principals at other schools more fiscal autonomy, and the dropout rate decreased by fifty percent. Alonso's sweeping reforms for a school district that was graduating less than half of its students was the subject of a detailed New York Times article last December.

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