Most principals in a recent survey say that privatized custodial services have left their schools dirtier than before and accuse CPS of ignoring their complaints. CPS says an independent audit found that schools are now cleaner and at a level of “ordinary tidiness.”
The $340 million privatization of the district’s custodial services has led to filthier buildings and fewer custodians, while forcing principals to take time away from instruction to make sure that their school is clean.
A few months ago, a group of CPS principals began work on what would become the Administrators Alliance for Proven Policy and Legislation in Education (AAPPLE). AAPPLE—pronounced “apple”—is a member-driven arm of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA). Since introducing AAPPLE to school leaders two weeks ago, nearly every CPS principal we’ve talked to told us CPAA is not taking a strong enough stance on behalf of principals and their schools.
Led by the two principals who wrote editorials critical of CPS administration, the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association has formed a new committee aimed at advocating for policy and amplifying principal voice.
The committee is calling itself Administrators Alliance for Proven Policy and Legislation in Education or AAPPLE.
Principals talk to Catalyst Chicago about professional development and how the $20 million spent on a contract for the controversial SUPES Academy could have yielded more benefit: By bringing in widely-respected experts to offer training instead. (Second in a series)
Having less than three full years under my belt as a principal, and at a neighborhood public school that has been on “probation” since the inception of No Child Left Behind, I’m probably not one who should speak out on the issues raised this week by my colleagues at Blaine and Peterson schools. Without getting into the politics of these issues, I do see a potential solution that could help improve the Chicago Public Schools. Principals are the primary lever tasked to implement every policy CPS devises. We are the critical link between Central Office and the classrooms. What we want is a voice and a seat at the table when policies are designed and implementations are planned.
CPS has left principals with the choice of where to fail students, rather than the choice of how to ensure each student has an education that is holistic, community-based, collaborative, evidence-based, equitable, and student-centered.