Who Is In Charge

Wartgow named interim UCD chancellor

Auraria Higher Education Center

Jerry Wartgow, a familiar figure in state education circles, Thursday was named interim chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver.

Although Wartgow served as superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, he has a more extensive background in higher education, including 12 years as president of the Colorado Community College System and five years in senior positions at the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. Wartgow also was director of the Auraria Higher Education Center, of which UCD’s Denver campus is a part, for eight years starting in 1978.

His previous temporary job was as acting dean of the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education in 2008-09. More recently he’s been working in Hong Kong on a Fulbright award, advising universities there on restructuring.

Jerry Wartgow

“Jerry Wartgow has the experience, management skills and Colorado connections to help the University of Colorado Denver address the significant challenges facing the campus, and will also help us take advantage of opportunities to move UCD forward,” CU President Bruce Benson said.

Wartgow starts Aug. 3 and replaces Dr. M. Roy Wilson, who is assuming different duties for CU.

Benson also announced that Lilly Marks, senior associate dean for finance and administration at the CU School of Medicine and executive director of University Physicians Inc., will become vice president for health affairs and executive vice chancellor at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

No decisions about a search for a permanent chancellor will be made until after completion of a national accreditation process, which starts this autumn and continues into 2011. Accreditation of the CU medical school has been in question because of concerns about student diversity, a problem that officials have linked partly to low state financial support for the school.

CU, like the rest of the state’s colleges and universities, faces serious financial challenges in the coming years as the state struggles with tight revenues and the end of federal stimulus funds for higher education.

In addition to his extensive resume of education jobs and civic involvement, Wartgow in 2008 published “Why School Reform is Failing and What We Need to Do About it: 10 Lessons from the Trenches,” a critique of faddishness in education.

meet the candidates

These candidates are running for Detroit school board. Watch them introduce themselves.

Nine candidates are vying for two seats on Detroit's school board in November. Seven submitted photos.

One candidate tells of a childhood in a house without heat.

Another describes the two-hour commute he made to high school every day to build a future that would one day enable him to give back to Detroit.

A third says her work as a student activist inspired her to run for school board as a recent high school grad.

These candidates are among nine people vying for two seats up for grabs on Detroit’s seven-member school board on Nov. 6. That includes one incumbent and many graduates of the district.

Chalkbeat is partnering with Citizen Detroit to present a school board candidate forum Thursday, Sept. 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at IBEW Local 58, 1358 Abbott St., Detroit.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet each candidate and ask questions in a speed-dating format.

In anticipation of that event, Citizen Detroit invited each of the candidates to make a short video introducing themselves to voters. Seven candidates made videos.

Watch them here:

School safety

Report lists litany of failings over police in Chicago schools

PHOTO: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Police officers stand alongside Lake Shore Drive in August as protesters decry violence and lack of investment in African-American neighborhoods and schools

The Chicago Police Department doesn’t adequately screen and train the officers it assigns to Chicago Public Schools, and their roles in schools are poorly defined, according to a sharply critical report released today by the Office of Inspector General Joseph Ferguson.

The report lists a litany of failings, including basic administration: There is no current agreement between the police department and the district governing the deployment of school resource officers, or SROs, and neither the schools nor the police even have a current list of the officers working in schools this year.

The inspector general’s report also mentions several sets of SRO resources and best practices created and endorsed by the federal government, then notes that Chicago hasn’t adopted any of them. “CPD’s current lack of guidance and structure for SROs amplifies community concerns and underscores the high probability that students are unnecessarily becoming involved in the criminal justice system, despite the availability of alternate solutions,” says the report.

Chalkbeat reported in August about incidents in which SROs used batons and tasers on students while intervening in routine disciplinary matters.

Scrutiny of SROs is nothing new, and is part of the broader CPD consent decree brokered this week between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. That agreement calls for better training and vetting of SROs, as well as a clearer delineation of their roles on campuses—including a prohibition against participating in routine school discipline — beginning with the 2019-20 school year.

Read more: How the police consent decree could impact Chicago schools

But the report from Ferguson’s office says that the consent decree doesn’t go far enough. It chastises police for not pledging to include the community in the creation of its agreement with the school district, nor in the establishment of hiring guidelines; and for not creating a plan for evaluating SROs’ performance, among other recommendations. In addition, the report criticizes the police department for delaying the reforms until the 2019-20 school year. A draft of the inspector general’s report was given to the police department in early August in hopes that some of the issues could be resolved in time for the school year that began last week. The police department asked for an extension for its reply.