Protesting CPS School Closings in Suburban Winnetka

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How brave of these protesters to foray into the ritzy suburban enclave of Winnetka this morning to protest Chicago school closings right at the door of powerful CPS stakes holder Tim Cawley, the Chief Administration Officer of CPS.

What the WBEZ piece about the protesters failed to mention: Tim Cawley comes to Chicago Public Schools from the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) in Chicago – this is the same nonprofit organization that will profit indeed from closed schools by receiving the funds to manage them as turnaround schools. (AUSL is a nonprofit organization that partners with Chicago Public Schools to manage and turnaround chronically failing public schools.)

FYI, at AUSL Cawley was the Managing Director of Finance and Administration. What a ‘coincidence’ (wink, wink) he now holds the purse strings at CPS. Cawley, who makes $215,000 a year, oversees the district’s day-to-day operation of finances, among other duties. He has been a prominent figure in the district, tackling a recent budget crisis by pushing for a proposal to raise taxes, cutting hundreds of jobs and slashing costs to close a $712 million deficit.

Come on, Crawley is merely a pencil counting businessman – not an educator. The top ten highest performing educational systems in the world are not managed by business man politicians, they are managed by experienced educators. You see, other countries promote exceptional educators to positions of power because they know what they are doing – it’s not all about the pencils counted, or the cronyism, it’s about excellence in teaching!

Yep, the hiring of Cawley is merely one cog in Chicago’s political machine at the CPS level – hire your conies, those who can help you accomplish your hidden goals once in office. It’s obvious, Mayor Emmanuel has no inclination to involve communities or parents in his one-way conversation about education in Chicago.

Emmanuel retains Cawley as his financial hatchet man and has tried to prevent protests in Chicago communities, so protesters have taken to WInnetka streets where Cawley lives instead! It’s Political Econ 101, the parents of most CPS students could not afford to give donations for Emmanuel’s mayoral campaign, and they certainly do not have the economic might of his hand picked, non-elected members of the Chicago board of education. Therefore, their opinions concerning school closings in their own neighborhoods carry little credence in the mayor’s long term CPS school closure plans: close ‘em up and bus ‘em out until the AUSL is ready to turn ‘em around!

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