Last week was a watershed week for CPS principals. On Monday, principals organized against cuts to services for special education students. On Friday, another CPS principal directly challenged the mayor and schools CEO on teacher cuts and privatizing schools.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool were on hand at LaSalle Language Academy’s Celebration of their 2015 National Blue Ribbon School Award. LaSalle’s retiring principal, Elisabeth Heurtefeu, used the occasion to deliver a message to the mayor and CEO.
Heutefeu aimed her initial remarks directly at Forrest Claypool asking him “not to cut any more language positions in the future” while looking directly at Claypool and extending her hand to get him to shake hands and commit to stop cutting foreign language teacher positions for Chicago’s students. Herteufeu then looked at Mayor Emanuel and said, “I’m free now so I can help you” as she discussed making reforms to the way teachers are hired. She continued, “We need to do a 180 [degree turn] to stop the privatization.” She then looked toward Mayor Emanuel and said, “Sorry” as the audience exploded in applause. Heurtefeu suggested privatization was short sighted and concluded by affirming, “We have to look further and value public education.”
See the video of her remarks below.