HaroldLeaks: Excerpts from the Chancellor’s (and Trustees’) Annual Review

You may recall any or all of the following:

1. It was three years ago today that Chancellor Hyman’s appointment to lead the City Colleges of Chicago began (Happy anniversary, Chancellor!).

2. It was two and a quarter years ago (ish) that the Board of the City Colleges of Chicago resolved “that the Board of Trustees expects all staff and officers of the District to advance the goals of the Reinvention of the City Colleges of Chicago and will hold staff accountable for reaching these goals” and, further, “that as the governing body of the City Colleges of Chicago, all Trustees pledge to hold themselves accountable for reaching these goals for student improvement and success.” The board resolution promised to track progress on interim benchmarks and milestones to achieving the Reinvention goals, “including but not limited to:

  • Increases in the graduation rate
  • Increases in the student retention rate
  • Increases in the credit accumulation rate
  • Increases in the employment rate
  • Increases in the percentage of students who transfer to a 4-year institution after receiving an Associate’s degree
  • Increases in the percentage of students who move through remediation and successfully challenge a college-level course
  • Increases in the percentage of upper-level adult education students who move into college-level courses”

3. It was just a little over two years ago that a faculty group put together an open letter to then Board Chair Cabrera quoting Board rule 2.2.3 (““The Board shall conduct an annual review of the performance of the Chancellor. Such review shall be conducted by such persons, designated by the Board, and in such manner, as the Board may deem appropriate”) and asking for, among other things, information about the Chancellor’s review.

4. It was about a year and a quarter ago that an article in Inside Higher Ed focused on the administrative accountability for the City Colleges’ Reinvention goals and plans, the penultimate paragraph of which reads, “After just one year, many of the plan’s recommendations are still being phased in. But it calls for regular checks on progress beginning this summer, and system officials promise that performance evaluations of administrators will be tied directly to the reinvention.”

5. It was about a year ago that CCC released news about exactly one of the seven “interim benchmarks and milestones,” highlighting the rise in graduation rates.

6. It was about 9 months ago that the CCC budget was released with the baselines for Key Performance Indicators broken out by schools and departments (Daley: p124; Harold: p141; KK: p160; MalcolmX: p182; OH: p202; Truman: p207; Wilbur: p240). (Interestingly, there is no scorecard for the Board, the Chancellor, nor the the Chief of Staff’s office, but they pick up again with the Department of Academic Affairs (p269). So you may be thinking that the Board and Chancellor get a mean score from the rest of the metrics. It’s also not clear in the budget how the scorecards work–is it Pass/Fail? And if so, on each category or on all of them? Is one ‘F’ enough to doom the leadership? Or will they do a color code (like a stoplight (red, yellow, green) or homeland security)? All fascinating questions that plead for answers…)

But perhaps, in your cynical, grinchy heart, you recall all of that and continue to think, as you have all along, that it’s a bunch of hot air and hooey–political mumbo jumbo that is founded on the dual expectation of being able to cherry pick the confirmation data points and mystify/withhold the less flattering numbers.

Is that you?

Well, prepare for your heart to grow three sizes this day! It’s Christmas in April today, my friends, and with you I shall share a gift bestowed upon me by a person in the know–a modern day Deepthroat, a local Julian Assange, an educational Aaron Swartz!

That’s right, for answers to your questions and a peek at the Board of Trustees’ frank and refreshingly transparent 360 review of the Chancellor (and their own performance) in light of the above, you’ll have to travel below the fold by clicking on the “More” button…

Did You See It?

A story on Inside Higher Ed about CCC was their third most viewed story this week. I found it through the Truman Lounge link, which reader/contributor Chris was kind enough to forward along to me by email.

Here’s the lede:

If low graduation and student transfer rates at City Colleges of Chicago don’t start improving, the system’s leaders could lose their jobs. That’s because the formal job responsibilities of the chancellor, presidents and even trustees include graduation rate goals.

The focus kind of shifts from there to Reinvention and yet more flaunting of teeth-grinding inducing statistics (though the author provides more context for them than any of our local “journalists”/press-release dictation specialists have over the last year), plus comments from Polly Hoover, and other stuff.

It’s worth reading. Check it out HERE.

h/t to Truman Lounge and Chris.

An Alternative to Completion Metrics!

From The Chronicle:

Community colleges are generally pleased with an early version of the first national accountability system for them, but collecting reliable work-force data continues to be a struggle for many institutions, officials from the American Association of Community Colleges said Monday at the group’s annual convention here.

In January, 72 colleges began pilot-testing the Voluntary Framework of Accountability, including proposed measures of college readiness, student progress and completion, and job preparation and employment. The association, along with its partners, the Association of Community College Trustees and the College Board, will use the test results to determine how feasible and useful the measures are for community-college accountability and benchmarking purposes.

“We’ve been unable to tell our story in a meaningful way,” said Joe D. May, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. “We are great at what we do, but we don’t have data to tell that story.”

Community colleges have been criticized because of their low graduation and transfer rates, and, in turn, they have criticized those commonly used measures of quality. For example, the federal graduation rate does not count what happens to part-time students. Two-year college officials have argued that broader measures are needed to gauge community colleges’ success.

Check out the rest, HERE.

Am I Reading This Right?

Did the Board basically fire all of the Presidents of the City Colleges today?

Chicago – To realize its goal of increasing student success and institution-wide accountability, the Board of Trustees of the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) voted today to redefine the role of college president at its seven colleges and called for current presidents and new candidates to apply for the revamped position. This is the next step in the ongoing effort to reinvent CCC and hold all faculty and management accountable for the success of the new Reinvention plan…

Today, the Board also approved the hiring of a professional firm to undertake a national search for candidates…

The current presidents have been encouraged to re-apply for the redefined positions. The Board of Trustees anticipates naming its president selections as early as May.

Am I misunderstanding this move? Whaa?

Does anyone have a different interpretation? I’m so confused…