Thursday, May 22, 2014

Principal Resignation Letter

Principal Resignation Letter

"In my vision about student achievement, a principal needs to be proactive and have autonomy in making decisions that work with her school and vision. In my four years at Inter-American, I have had four CEO’s. Each CEO has had a drastically different agenda. In all of these changes, principals have been left out of the dialogue about the work that they want us to do in our school and often left me with reacting to rapid changes and misguided directives."

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Principal Laraviere, 

As the gasps subsided and the tears rolled down my face on Saturday,  I finally realized that maybe their was nothing "wrong" with me.

 Maybe I was okay, and was in fact, doing my job everyday to the best of my ability but, the conditions were wrong. Thank you for letting me know I am okay and not crazy and not worthless in this work I love SO much but, had given up on in this system. 

You have no idea what you have done for so many of us who cannot speak out and who are frankly, afraid to do so. 

I just wanted to extend a deep heartfelt thank you. thank you. thank you. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Principal Adam Parrott-Sheffer: How CPS turns promising ideas into harmful practice

This article was released today.  It is an absolute must read.  It is a bit long for this blog so please click THIS LINK or paste the address below into your browser.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Eloquent Call to Action from Northside CPS Mother and Principal: It's time for us to organize

I've been fortunate to work as principal of a school in Network 1 where there is less micro-managing and harassment of principals than in other networks in Chicago.  I have not been subjected to as much hushing or humiliation as others have.  Yet I, too, am deeply frustrated with the state of education in our city.  

My own child will begin kindergarten this September and I have decided to enroll her in a neighborhood school. We didn't apply for magnet or lottery programs because philosophically those feel at odds with what I value in education - high quality education to EVERY child in EVERY neighborhood.  The discrepancy in funding between neighborhood and selective enrollment schools alarms me.  Eight years from now when she is ready to apply for high school I will feel torn in helping her navigate such a cut-throat system of inequity in Chicago high schools. I love living and working in Chicago, but I understand why families move to the suburbs where school systems are more equitable and more beneficial to all students (high achieving and otherwise).

The privatization of education in our city and nation wide alarms me.  Unfunded mandates (PE and Art) weigh heavily on my shoulders as I prepare to present a budget recommendation to my LSC.  My deep passion for differentiation and meeting the needs of all students is extremely difficult to make a reality with such a bare-bones budget.   

I've been part of multiple conversations about over-hauling the Chicago Principal and Administrators Association or launching a different and coordinated effort to speak out for what our students need.  Principals and the Chicago Teachers Union should be working shoulder-to-shoulder and standing together at microphones on most matters in education.  I'm ready to organize and speak out. Who will join me in organizing our principals? 

Heather Yutzy
Belding School

Saturday, May 10, 2014

CPS ADMINISTRATOR - Failed leadership from the CEO and a zero track record of education excellence from mayor

I am a [deleted] with CPS and at the beginning of my career as a school administrator. … The day to day work that the district expects of me is not only so far off from the training and experience I have to be a professional educator, but takes me away from the basic mission to prepare our children to be educated to live in and contribute to a democratic society. 

We must begin to ask for the evidence on the successes that the mayor, his CEO and the many people she has brought from Detroit and Cleveland attained as educators.  What models of excellence are they following or creating and where is the research to support these models?  How do we ignore a history of failed leadership from the CEO and zero track record of educational excellence from the mayor? The paradigm is one of compliance and empty business jargon. We work in a culture so cut-throat and anti-child that highly educated professionals are forced to scramble to complete checklists and perform data-entry rather than think, plan, and empower the children of the city.

Thank you for speaking up.  Things are more profoundly backwards than parents realize and only truth will set us free. I admire your bravery.


Great op ed piece.  You said what everyone thinks but feels too fearful and trapped to say.  This has been an awful two years! As of July, the list of CPS principals will no longer include me.  I've had enough.
The above note is from a talented principal who has twice received the mayor's principal merit award. He's driving away the people that he himself has identified as CPS's best.


For so long I have felt that I could never really be principal of my school. I have felt like a puppet. Why is there the need to treat professionals as if we work in sweat shops? The annoying micro managing and finger pointing without the slightest bit of intelligent conversation and support.

... I believe that principals and teachers are overloaded to the tipping point with non-educational activities … I just wanted to write to you and say that you have sparked a great deal of conversation in many of us and I thank you for having the courage to do so.  Thank you for being the leader and educator that you are. Thank you for speaking up and out for our children.

I am honored that you added my thoughts and feel free to put my name on your blog

-Deborah Bonner


Dear Mr. LaRaviere, I don't know if you recall, but I met you when I was the principal of ***** School prior to my retirement.  Back then we spoke about the lack of support from CPS for principals and their schools.  I just wanted to congratulate you on your fine Op-Ed.  You perfectly captured the damage that the Emmanuel administration has had on CPS.  I'm sad to say that I found his bullying culture was transferred to the CPS headquarters and had a trickle down effect. CPS not only cut their support, they became punitive and threatening.   Anyhow, just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed hearing a principal tell it like it is.  ... Again, you nailed it.   Thanks.


I am the principal of ******** on the Southwest side.  I know firsthand that in the military the lowliest of enlisted soldiers are told to speak up if they see something unethical.  You have tried to do that and CPS has been tone deaf due to the leadership of our Mayor.... There is a movement growing against the use of a corporate leadership style in our public schools which conflicts with everything schools have stood for in the past two centuries: local control by parents and the community....

I experienced the silencing of principals, but it continues, despite being called the "CEO" of our school building.  When we received our budget a Board member requested principals return to their LSCs and explain the pension crisis and that the only solution is cutting pension benefits that politicians promised.  We all know there are other solutions, including cutting networks, central office departments, and ending TIFs.  TIFs have been used to enrich the mayor’s political allies, from the Pritzker’s Hyatt hotel to the construction company building the new DePaul stadium with our tax dollars.  We are being recruited to advocate for their profit and our colleagues’ loss.  The public loses as the 1% gain.
What parents and tax payers and voters need to know is that education reform as led by Rahm Emanuel does not have the goal of helping your child or your community.  They are only interested in the bottom line, and they are the ones that will earn the profits.