“Dr.” Terrence P. Carter. Arne Duncan’s superstar. The story the Chicago press won’t touch.


“Doctor” Carter, superstar.

In 2007 the Chicago Tribune wrote:

The Chicago Public Schools system has 126 openings for principals next fall, and has only 33 current principals ready to take the jobs. That’s a problem. It’s also a phenomenal opportunity.

Vacancies in about one-fifth of the schools give CPS Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan a chance to bring in a new generation of leaders to transform city schools. Some of those schools have flailed for years under mediocre bureaucrats. That could change.

Yes, there are enough teachers and administrators within the CPS ranks to fill the spots. But Duncan recognizes that they should not simply have to compete with each other; they should compete with candidates across the nation. “I want superstars,” he said. “There is wonderful talent here, but to think that the Chicago system has a monopoly on talent is simply not the case.”

So, bring on the superstars. No one is more critical to the sustained success of a school than the person in the principal’s office. Principals set the tone for a school. They must motivate staff and communicate a clear vision, create a culture of high standards for students and keep the school on solid financial footing.

Fortunately, CPS had years to anticipate this exodus, and Duncan planned intelligently. A new recruiter will look for top candidates in other states. Good candidates will be offered financial incentives to come to the most challenging schools, with the prospect of more rewards if they sustain student improvement. Top-notch principals who are retiring will mentor the newcomers. Taking a business-like approach to this makes enormous sense.

The Trib singles out one superstar Chicago principal: Dr. Terrence P. Carter.

“Used to be, as long as the lights were on and the heat was working and teachers reported to school, your job as principal was basically done,” said Terrence Carter, principal of Clara Barton Elementary School in Chicago’s Auburn-Gresham neighborhood. “Now, in the age of more accountability, there’s a paradigm shift for what skills principals need to have.”

For Carter, who also attended that day, the training reviewed skills he already knew. Carter represents a new breed of principal, many of whom recently entered the profession from the business world through a selective principal training program called New Leaders for New Schools. In that program, prospective principals focus on becoming academic leaders and conducting rigorous evaluations of teachers, students and curricula.

That’s the challenge and the opportunity for Chicago: to draw dozens more leaders like Terrence Carter into the most challenging public schools and to help them thrive.

Carter is now the center of controversy in New London, Connecticut where his application for school superintendent is on hold while the board investigates his claims of a doctorate from among other universities, Stanford University in California.

Stanford denies he received a doctorate from them.

Prior to applying for the job in New London, Carter worked as a principal for CPS and as an executive director for the Academy for Urban School Leadership. AUSL is responsible for managing most of CPS turnaround schools.

CPS board president David Vitale and chief administrative officer Tim Cawley both come from the ranks of AUSL.

The Hartford Courant reports:

A resume that Carter used in 2005 when he was applying for the principal’s job at Clara Barton Elementary School in Chicago, obtained by The Courant, says he received a “Doctor of Philosophy,” in 1996 from Lexington University in London, England. The degree was awarded “Summa Cum Laude,” the resume says and his major concentration was in “human resources management.” His dissertation was entitled, “Economic Concepts in Organizational Management Strategy,” the resume says.

Carter got the job and worked as principal from 2005 until 2010. He didn’t need a doctorate to qualify for the position. Several teachers at the school said he insisted that staff call him “Doctor.” Although Barton won three state academic improvement awards during Carter’s tenure there, the students’ performance never improved enough to move the school out of the lowest tier, known as “academic probation.”

While the Tribune branded Carter a superstar back in 2007, they have not been too interested in reporting on “Dr.” Carter’s New London problems.

There has been no comment from Secretary Arne Duncan.

18 thoughts on ““Dr.” Terrence P. Carter. Arne Duncan’s superstar. The story the Chicago press won’t touch.

  1. “Used to be, as long as the lights were on and the heat was working and teachers reported to school, your job as principal was basically done,”

    If anyone with half a brain were in charge, that one sentence would have “Dr.” Carter looking for a job digging ditches (no offense to actual ditch diggers, who are at least qualified for their jobs). It’s patently false (and stupid) on its face. If that’s all the job entailed, you’d have lines of applicants streaming out the doors. This is what is taken as “serious” these days? No wonder this country, and especially this city, is in such deep sh– these days.

  2. I think that “Dr. Carter” should receive jail time and/or be sued by the Chicago Board of Education and the people of the City of Chicago for the fraudulent claims he has made which have enabled him to obtain a high paying position in our system of education. This position involved making decisions and managing the lives and shaping the character of young citizens of the City of Chicago.

    Let’s put some heat on this guy. If you just slap him on the wrist, he’ll just do it again. Also, other potential con artists will feel that there is no big threat if they get caught in similar games of deception.

    1. I don’t think the Chicago Board has a leg to stand on – it was their responsibility to vet him. If anything, the people of Chicago should sue “Dr.” Carter *and* the Board.

      1. Good point, Dienne. The Bd of Ed could have made a short phone call to the institutions he claims to have attended in or order to check his credentials. I’m very surprised that they didn’t. Yes, the people of Chicago should prosecute.

      2. What about ISBE’s role in this? I’d like to know on what basis they granted Carter certification. The ISBE database indicates his status changed from having a masters in 2006 – 2008 to having a doctorate in 2009 and 2010 –for which he got a salary bump in 2010, so I think both ISBE and CPS are culpable.

  3. What the hell ever happened to INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING????? Doesn’t anyone ever check anything anymore???? I guess everything now is just propaganda. Out there to push a message and nothing else!

    1. Dan Milhalopoulos probably wasn’t around at the time. Or he would have–guaranteed.
      Too bad the gut didn’t get in to the Rockford system–their determined, energetic & fearless W.E.E. (Watchdogs for Ethics in Education) would have had him ousted (they successfully rid Rockford of their extremely harmful Broadie superintendent in good time.
      And, Sig, your comment brings something else to mind. People believe/say that the Midwest is the nation’s heartland. Considering Chicago’s location, it could be viewed, perhaps, as a heart. It would be wonderful if that were a compassionate heart, a caring heart, a good heart (all kinds of metaphors here)–a heart pumping out good blood–in this case, people. Unfortunately, instead, it appears that what has always been called “the Chicago way” or “Chicago politics” has been permeating towns, cities and states (esp. the latter two) all over the country (& even the world–Arne & Paul carpetbagging Haiti–heinous!), sending “bad blood” & “Chicago-style” politics–in other words, lying, cheating & corruption…all the way to Washington, D.C., and circulating back around. Chicago-to-NOLA-to-Philadelphia-to-Brockport–& back to Illinois; Chicago-to-New London, Chicago-to-Washington, D.C. And, for certain, multiple examples of educational malpractice imported from Chicago to other parts of the country.
      It’s so bad, I can’t even think of a bad enough word to give it. Any thoughts, Linda (or Jon Awbrey–you’re good at that, too.)?

  4. Yes, please do read that article in New London Day, linked above, or the Hartford Courant’s article about the same issue. In addition to all the other issues, the application includes 10 paragraphs of plagiarized material. And this is an application that – despite all its errors and inaccuracies (and now plagiarism) made it through the vetting conducted by a consulting firm that has been involved in quite a few superintendent searches nationwide… See this list of references: http://macnjake.com/references/ I wonder what else these consultants might have ‘missed’… I’d also be SUPER curious to see how many folks associated with New Leaders, Supes Academy, etc. ended up in those Sup positions…

  5. Thank you so much for checking out the Chicago background of Terrence Carter. The whole corporate/managerial slant brought to educational administration by the likes of Paul Vallas and his disciple Arne Duncan has led to alarming developments in both public schools and (naturally!) privatized charters. When first looking over Terrence Carter’s background, I was struck by how distant Carter’s rhetoric was from any educator I’ve ever known or studied. It is the same with Paul Vallas, Arne Duncan, Steven Adamowski, Stefan Pryor, Wendy Kopp and the rest–the sense of embarking on a shared adventure with respect for the child and reverence for the great potential each child represents is completely lacking in these reformers’ talk of outcomes, stakeholders, accountability, and readiness for the dismal working world. “It is not for you to choose what they shall know, what they shall do. It is chosen and foreordained, and they only hold the key to their own secret. By your tampering and thwarting and too much governing they may be hindered from their end. Respect the child. Wait and see the new product of Nature. Nature loves analogies, but not repetitions. Respect the child. Trespass not on his or her solitude.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. It also just dawned on me–how interesting was it that Jonah Edelman (Mr. “Stand for Children”) came to ILL-Annoy to peddle their brand of teacher-bashing, public education-killing and union destruction? Do you think that it was, perhaps, due to the levels of corruption & influence in this state (of chaos!) as perpetrated by the longtime politicians?
    We were made the “poster child” for reform throughout the nation, with SB 7 sailing through Springfield. And–how about all those politicians who took advantage of that free trip to Turkey and the (unearned, of course–but it so flattered their egos!) honorifics bestowed upon them by the Niagara Foundation?
    Again, I would recommend that you view the WTTW “My Chicago” episode w/Toni Preckwinkle (only 15 min., & she’s on first) to hear what she has to say about this city, state, voting & what we, good people, need to do.

  7. Chicago folks, the application is published online: http://www.theday.com/assets/pdf/NL158231723.PDF We can all see from the resume and the public record in the press that he came up under Jarvis Sanford who went through NLNS, was principal at Dodge, seemingly Carter’s mentor/”guide on the side” (http://hepg.org/hel-home/issues/24_1/helarticle/a-guide-on-the-side_205), and then his colleague at AUSL. But he’s not listed as an official recommender. Those include some other AUSL people and a current IL superintendent… Maybe if you know any of them you can ask?

  8. I loved the impromptu meeting of BATs with Arne Duncan! http://withabrooklynaccent.blogspot.com/2014/07/arne-duncan-drops-in-unexpectedly-on.html
    I also loved BATS’ list of recommendations–or demands!– for what we should be doing in the next few years to stop the madness. So, while we’re having that moratorium on testing/evals/common core/school closings/school turnovers, why not, as a nation, read something high-quality for a change–Emerson, Dewey, maybe Plato–you know, the “classics” of pedagogical theory.

    1. Right, Mary (& good for the BATs!)–demands! Something we should have put on Obama in 2012. Frederick Douglass, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” And, adds NOLA’s
      one-woman public school powerhouse, Karren Harper Royal, “So, until the people being oppressed start demanding things, power will concede nothing.” Yes, WE WILL DEMAND!
      And WE will take back the power–for our children.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s