Friday, May 13, 2011

Report of Yesterday's CCC Board Meeting & the Reinvention

Below we reproduce a report from one attendee to yesterday's CCC Meeting. We would like to highlight two major issues addressed in this report.

1. It confirms the analysis presented in the first posting of this blog (back in March) that the major aim of the Reinvention is to rearrange the CCC's priorities and programs to track students into terminal associate degrees and certificates to make them "job ready." This is in direct conflict with having these students transfer to four-year colleges and universities—unless you can split their bodies and send one part to their new low-pay job and the other to the university.

2. It describes how Vice-Chancellor Bisarya misrepresents the degree of the sense of inclusion and support that the Reinvention has amongst faculty, students, staff and the community. He failed to report that during last week's presentation by the Reinvention Task Forces at Malcolm X, the faculty explicitly stated that they mistrust the administration and expressed a desire to be allowed to vote on the recommendations. Something which Bisarya dismissed as unrealistic.


About 50 people attended the board meeting today. The board itself had about 22 board members and guests sitting together at tables while the audience sat together as a separate group--the old royalty vs. commoners model.  4 CCC security guards stood in 3 different areas of the room and 2 police officers stood by their squad car at the entrance of the building.

The board was in full public relations mode. [Wright College student Viviana Arrieta] and Rev. [Paul] Jakes skillfully defended the rights of the students, teachers and community in the two minutes they were given to speak. Rev. Jakes challenged the administration to actually meet with the community as scheduled on May 21 at Malcolm X college. Ashley Turner, a newly-elected student trustee from Kennedy-King was the only student representative from the entire 7 city colleges. In contrast, Michael Mutz, Vice Chancellor of Client Services and Student Engagement, (no kidding), was given probably 1/2 an hour to show slides and talk about a juried art exhibit from the 7 city colleges.

Chancellor Hyman gave an update on how reinvention is going in the district. She mentioned that her remarks were on the website The real detailed analysis of how reinvention is progressing came in the "CCC Reinvention Update", by Alvin Bisarya,Vice Chancellor of Strategy and Institutional Intelligence. My take on this report was that it was an attempt to refute some of the criticisms that we and, undoubtedly others, have raised.

According to Bisarya,the driving force behind reinvention began over two years ago when Mayor Daley asked for, "A higher turnout of taxpayer money invested in education". Other pressures came from the white house and the for-profit industry wanting to lower the default rate on student loans. He spent a great deal of time talking about producing students who were "job ready" and even citing private schools which partnered with businesses to design curriculums matched to their employment needs. He also spoke about partnering with Workforce Development. I think this gets into the real economics behind reinvention. He referred to a "CCC Whitepaper", which is probably on the CCC website. Other people may have read it and can report on it and other information they may have.

Bisarya used alot of statistics to claim that a Reinvention Task Force had been working for several months with 60 faculty and students to come up with ways to raise the retention and graduation rate of students at CCC. He said new Reinvention Task Forces would be set up now and throughout the Summer to gather more ideas from faculty and students. He also went to some length to emphasize that the CCC board had already met with diverse communities. The one community he cited several times was a meeting with the 15  community organizations called the Chinese-American League. He claimed over I00 people attended the meeting. The main concern the attendees raised, according to Bisarya, was that current and future students at CCC would be able to get jobs.

Finally, Bisarya said the Reinvention Task Force was working with Chicago Public Schools on building the developmental skills of high school students before they entered CCC.

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