Former Blaine principal responds to CPS allegations following sudden removal

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The ousted principal of a Lakeview elementary school is telling his side of the story. (WLS)

The ousted principal of a Lakeview elementary school is telling his side of the story.

Troy LaRaviere talked for the first time Thursday since his dismissal, which he claims was politically motivated.

READ: CPS Dismissal Charges

The ousted and outspoken principal of Blaine Elementary sounded more like the combination of a politician and preacher. LaRaviere said he believes his firing was politically motivated because he is running to lead the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association.

"When I was the lone voice, the administration tolerated it, but when faced with a prospect of organized education leaders they moved with haste and reckless abandon to prevent that from happening," LaRaviere said.

LaRaviere shared and responded to the long list of charges against him. They include failing to complete what he says are time-consuming teacher evaluations. The principal is also accused of public defiance for speaking out against PARCC tests, according to Chicago Public Schools. More than 50 percent of Blaine students opted out of the standardized tests.

LaRaviere is also charged with engaging in political activity on CPS-compensated time. LaRaviere supported Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and mayoral candidate Chuy Garcia, both big critics of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. On Thursday, the mayor tried to distance himself from the decision to fire LaRaviere.

"People obviously are allowed to express themselves, but all personnel decisions are made by CPS," Emanuel said.

LaRaviere is on paid leave but said he expects once the process plays out, the Emanuel administration will suspend him for good. The principal was asked if his future may include a run for mayor.

"I've been asked that question every day of my life for the last three years. Today, my response is I'm running for Chicago Principals and Administrators Association," he said.

LaRaviere's opponent in the race is CPA Vice President Ken Hunter. He declined an on-camera interview Thursday.

Chicago Public Schools officials released a written response to LaRaviere's press conference, saying an independent arbitrator will hear evidence concerning the charges and will make a recommendation concerning the principal's employment
"Blaine has long been one of CPS' highest performing schools. Although Mr. LaRaviere claimed that the school was 'poorly managed' in the past, Blaine has been in the top 10 percent of all CPS schools since at least 2005," the statement said.
CPS also said it "routinely" removes principals for a variety of reasons, saying six principals have been removed during this school year.
Related Topics:
educationprincipalrahm emanuelchicago public schoolsschoolChicago - Lakeview
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