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.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?