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The [Tuesday] Papers

The Beachwood will return on Wednesday in all its friggin' glory.

The [Monday] Papers
"Chicago Public Schools chief Terry Mazany will complete his 100th day in office this week, a milestone that has him reflecting on the school district's troubles and promoting a new vision to help fix what he considers the chaotic and fractious reign of his predecessor, Ron Huberman," the Tribune reports.

"'The system was in free fall,' Mazany said of the district after Huberman's departure in November. "There was plunging morale. Vacancies in key leadership positions. A balkanized organization structure where each unit was doing their own thing. And there was a loss in a unifying vision for education.'"

Heckuva job, Ronnie.


"It would be a good idea for whoever is coming in to have a road map, somewhere to start, because it's a colossal mess right now," Clarice Berry, president of the Chicago Principals Association, told the Trib. "Right now, CPS is all over the place. It's in a major state of dysfunction."

Heckuva job, Richie.


"Upon his appointment, Huberman immediately hired a string of cronies to top positions in the school system," Substance News reported last fall. "In every major case, Huberman's appointees received significant pay raises in comparison with the pay of their predecessors in the same jobs. One of the main distinctions of the Huberman bureaucracy was that Huberman's appointees didn't even pretend to know anything about Chicago's public schools or the work they would be required to do in them."

See also Ben Joravsky's "A Raise By Any Other Name."


"By the time Huberman was appointed by Daley, Chicago's media had long ago surrendered its reporting on the public schools to the Board of Education's 'Office of Communications,'" Substance continues. "Under Huberman, the Office of Communications was placed under the command of former Chicago Police Department spokesman Monique Bond, whose $130,000 per year salary topped that of her highest paid predecessor (Peter Cunningham) by more than $10,000 (when benefits are included, since Cunningham was a 'consultant' for most of his career at CPS, the costs of Bond are even greater). Bond supplied Chicago's dwindling number of education reporters with a steady supply of press releases and carefully scripted media events, which then were recycled uncritically as 'news' in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times."

See also Michael Miner's "The Bulldog At The Gate."


"Within a few months after Huberman's appointment," Substance continues, "the Chicago Board of Education wasn't even reporting all of the executive level appointments Huberman was making. At the same time, Huberman continually told the press that he was opening up a new era of what he called 'transparency.' Despite Board of Education policies requiring the Huberman report all of his expensive executive level appointments on the public agendas of the Board of Education, by June 2009 a large number of those appointments were never brought before the public. Not that it would have mattered: During Huberman's term in office the Board of Education, under Michael Scott and Scott's successor, Mary Richardson Lowry, never discussed Huberman's proposals in public, and always voted unanimously for everything Huberman proposed."

See also Joravsky's "Do As We Say, Not As We Do."


"For the 'Chief Officer Security and Safety.' Huberman brought in Michael Shields at a salary of $150,000 per year," Substance continues. "Although Shields had police experience, his main qualifications were reportedly political connections to those now in Washington, D.C. Shields's $150,000 per year salary was $35,000 more than that of his predecessor, Andres Durbak, who had had extensive experience in the Chicago Police Department's Youth Division before retiring and taking the CPS job at a final salary (in 2008) of $115,000 per year."

That would be the Michael Shields who is Michelle Obama's cousin - and a possible candidate to become to the new police chief despite being demoted by Jody Weis.

(He's not the Michael Shields who just became president of the FOP.)


A knowing Gery Chico on Huberman last fall: "I thank [him] for his very strong work ethic and dedication to working on the Chicago public school system, and I'll leave it at that."


And let's not forget these goodies, which merely came at the end of a long line of such weirdness at CPS:

- "CPS Funds Were Spent On Bug Sweeps, Booze: Report"

- "Schools Make Up Own Rules On Grading; Sun-Times Analysis Shows Grading System Recommended By Officials Largely Ignored"

And perhaps most importantly:

- "UIC Professors: Daley's CPS 'Miracle' Smoke and Mirrors"

Unless you want to believe this.

It Doesn't Get Better
"llinois' prepaid tuition program, a 12-year-old financial plan enabling children to attend state colleges at today's prices when they have grown up, has the deepest shortfall of any such fund in the United States and is plowing money into unconventional - and some financial experts say high-risk - investments to close the gap," Crain's reports.

"The deficit of the College Illinois Prepaid Tuition Program also is far larger than the fund is declaring. Administrators recently adopted new calculations that mask its size."

Not Signing LeBron Pays Off
Bulls get dream team anyway.

Beachwood Celebrity Death Watch
Sheen, Daley, Corgan, Cutler.

New Official U.S. Language
Incomprehensible shouting.

The Weekend in Chicago Rock
They played at a venue near you.

Programming Note
Pulaski Day specials tonight at the Beachwood Inn, where I'm back behind the bar for Monday night festivities once again. Old Style for $2.50; $1 off bottom shelf; free pizza, Chicago Code from 8 p.m to 9 p.m.; jukebox loud and clear the rest of the time. Stop by and tell me I sent you.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Make it so.


Posted on March 8, 2011

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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