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Principal at Top CPS Elementary School, a Staunch Rahm Critic, Resigns

Troy LaRaviere says goodbye to Blaine Elementary, which Chicago recently rated the best neighborhood elementary school in Chicago, amid efforts to remove him from the position.

Troy LaRaviere with supporters after a May press conference where he decried CPS’s moves to discipline him   Photo: Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune

A top Chicago Public Schools principal who has publicly sparred with CPS administration and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, used a blog post today to announce his resignation.

Troy LaRaviere, formerly principal of Blaine Elementary and now the president of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, has faced scrutiny due to his outspoken criticism of CPS policies and the Emanuel administration. The school board issued a “warning resolution” against him last year, then reassigned him in May, pending hearings that would consider suspending him without pay.

Though CPS has held that the district’s actions were due to “alleged acts of misconduct” and violations of the warning resolution, LaRaviere and his supporters say he is being targeted for political reasons.

In his blog, LaRaviere touted that Blaine was recently rated by Chicago as the third best public elementary school in Chicago (and the top non-selective, non-magnet school in that bracket). 

After being hired to lead Blaine in the fall of 2011, I told my Local School Council (LSC) I had a “six-year plan” to turn Blaine into the #1 neighborhood school in Chicago.

I have the pleasure of informing you that I lived up to my promise to the Blaine LSC, and I did so a year earlier than promised.

[snip]

One might think that after witnessing the unprecedented academic gains of Blaine students, you and your appointees might call on my school leadership team to help you understand how we improved at such an incredible rate.  Instead, at your direction, your appointees are pushing forward with efforts to terminate my employment. It is clear that I am being punished for my advocacy, and that this retribution is more important to you than effective public education for Chicago’s children.

Speaking with Chicago in May, before he was reassigned, LaRaviere signaled that the repercussions for his actions have only helped to further his advocacy for school policies such as opposing the longer school day, dispensing of intraschool “tracking,” and reliance on standardized tests for student and teacher assessments.

 The warning resolution widens the scope of Chicagoans [who] are going to pay attention. So it just gave me a wider platform from which to highlight the impact of their mismanagement and recklessness.

With these high-profile moves, could LaRaviere be eyeing an even higher position—mayor of Chicago? When we asked this May, LaRaviere said he had no current plans, but he didn’t say he’d ruled it out, either.

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