By Jim Vail
The talk of the town lately has been the Blaine principal who said it like it is - life under Rahm Emanuel and the 1% is horrible.
Why, of course it is. Thank God he had the kahunas to say it like it is.
One teacher, who survived brutal strikes in Mexico City back where the army literally killed teachers, told me the art of politics is eating shite, and smiling.
That seems to be the situation for principals in the Chicago Public Schools. They are told their new pupil budgets are great, and they should smile to the public and say how wonderful it is to have "more control" over school budgets. The fact that you get a lot less money, so you have to make decisions about which programs to cut or which teachers to fire, or which books you can no longer order, is a good thing they are told to tell everyone.
Being a principal these days has got to be pure hell. I can't imagine why anyone in their right mind would want to be so abused. They are basically told to fire teachers to show how strong they are, and not to listen to the parents or community because their real bosses are the network chiefs.
And don't forget they need to do Reach and evaluate like crazy because teachers are of course the "enemy."
It was interesting to read which principal spoke up on behalf of CPS after Blaine's principal's Sun Times letter was published.
None other than Patrick Baccellieri, the new principal at Bateman Elementary School. Baccellieri is from the Office of Turnaround Schools.
It case you aren't up to date, Turnaround - correct legal term is "Reconstitution" - is the method to deem a school a failure, fire everyone in the building, including the cooks and janitors, and install a new private management company that will basically do the same job, perhaps a little better as they claim, or even worse as an investigation by Catalyst proved.
CPS appears to have rigged the game when it comes to the principal selection process. Just like our politicians are first vetted by the ruling class - yes, Mr. Obama was first approved by the Goldman Sachs and Pritzkers before any money was invested in him to run for the Oval Office - the same appears to be true for principals.
Except, you can't entirely take the educator out of the dedicated ones who stay true to their teachers and communities despite the abuse they are taking from above.
So I tip my hat on behalf of so many administrators dealing with this crazy situation today, like us teachers, and hope, like the brave principal at Blaine, they won't take this sitting down.
And continue to speak up on behalf of the children we are educating in the Chicago public schools, despite the abuse from above.