|(Left to right:) Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale, Board Member Andrea Zopp, Board Member
Carlos Azcoitia. Photo courtesy of Substance News.
Department of Education, asking them to investigate the relationships among CPS
board members and the Academy of Urban School Leadership (AUSL). Of immediate
concern is the vote at the April meeting of the Chicago Board of Education to
turn 3 schools over to AUSL for turnaround. Dr. Carlos Azcoitia voted to turn the schools over to AUSL for a turnaround, but recused himself from voting on the underlying contracts. Dr. Azcoitia currently serves as Distinguished Professor of Practice in Educational Leadership at National Louis University. According to the University’s website, “National Louis is AUSL’s exclusive teacher preparation partner. Through the ‘urban teacher residency’ approach, the National Louis University and AUSL program structure teacher preparation more like the clinical model used to train doctors. For a full year, the teaching residents spend four days a week in an AUSL classroom in training with a mentor teacher, while also taking graduate courses at National Louis.”
Academy, and McNair, and 5-0 to turn around Gresham.
minority vendors. “There are no other contractors that do this work for CPS, when there are several vendors approved by the State to implement school improvement grants”, Ms. Gaete said. There are no minority or women-owned vendors of record doing turnarounds for CPS. Nor is there any process for the management contracts to be awarded by competitive bid.
President of the Board of Education, are formerly affiliated with AUSL. “Why is it that Clara Barton, the only school that was rescued from AUSL’s grip last year, has not received the necessary funding to implement school improvement, while all the AUSL schools that were turned around received their funds on a timely basis? We hope the Inspectors General can ferret this out,” Ms.Gaete said.
is the best alternative for school improvement for Chicago students, given the fact that a number of their schools continue to under-perform district averages, even after several years of intervention. The Dvorak LSC presented an alternative approach to school improvement utilizing the school transformation model. This evidence-based model has been approved by the US Department of Education, and has been shown to be more cost effective than the AUSL model. Even so, the Board of Education voted to turn the school over to AUSL for a turnaround. “Why is it the Board is willing to pour tons of money into AUSL when they produce mediocre results at best?”, Leonard asked. “Why can’t they try alternative models– that have been proven to have some success–that may be implemented at a lower cost? Hopefully, the Inspectors General will be able to get to the bottom of this during their investigation.”
Chicago Citizens United to Preserve Education is a coalition of grassroots community based organizations and individuals, including Blocks Together, Educational Village Keepers Parent Teacher Student Association; Valerie F. Leonard, Co-Founder, the Lawndale Alliance; Dr. Pauline Lipman, Teachers for Social Justice; Dr. Grady Jordan, Retired Chicago Public Schools Administrator; Yvette Moyo, Co-Founder, Real Men Charities, Inc. and Real Men Cook; Dr. Carmen Palmer, President, Educational Village Keepers Parent Teacher Student Association; Dwayne Truss, PACE; Julie Woestehoff, Executive Director, Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE).