Should CPS Sit Out The Common Core Assessment?

Should CPS Sit Out The Common Core Assessment?
Happy Friday! The CPS effort to get out of administering Common Core assessments this year, while unlikely to prevail, is making national news.  So it looks like CPS kids will have to take NWEA, ACT, and Common Core assessments this spring. Yay? Boo? Meantime, NY Governor Cuomo has disavowed the standards and endorsed a five-year delay in using any results -- a sop to critics and teachers who oppose them as he approaches his re-election day. (The state teachers union isn't endorsing Cuomo or his challengers.) All this and more below the fold.  What do you think...

What To Make Of CPS Enrollment Figures?

What To Make Of CPS Enrollment Figures?
Enrollment is down over all, which we already knew but IB, STEM, and alternative schools are on the rise, says Catalyst, and NW Side schools remain overcrowded according to DNA Info. What do you make of that? Meantime, CPS reiterated its desire to delay a new test (but was already told no).  And the first of the closed buildings (Peabody) is being sold, along with the CPS headquarters. In These Times has a profile of CTU's Jesse Sharkey. EdWeek notes that teachers unions and reform organizations sometimes support Republican candidates and even support the same candidates in midterm races that are projected to generate record political spending.  ...

October Board Meeting Day

October Board Meeting Day
Happy Wednesday.  Today's a Board meeting day, and the big announcement seems to be that Hancock HS is going to become selective.  In other news, CTU is selling a Gold Coast apartment tower it owns (who knew?), CPS enrollment is now below 400K (final numbers are in), and Catalyst wonders whether the Mayor's preschool plan is good enough. All that plus national news and news from other cities is below the fold. ...
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A Charter Moratorium For IL?

A Charter Moratorium For IL?
Two weeks ahead of the midterm elections, the big issues between Quinn and Rauner seem to be charter schools and education funding.  Quinn thinks there should be a moratorium on new charters in the state, and argues that he's increased funding by half a million since 2009.  Rauner opposes a moratorium on charters and claims that Quinn's budgets have seen education funding drop. Would you support Rauner (or Quinn) based on the charter moratorium idea? Nationally, all eyes are on the California state superintendent's race, which pits a reform Democrat against a union-allied one, and on LAUSD's new superintendent of the moment, Ramon Cortines...

Will Lewis' Impact Continue?

Will Lewis' Impact Continue?
It's a grab-bag of news today, including In These Times' reflections on the impact of Karen Lewis, a belated Tribune story on the departure of Winkler (or maybe just an errant RSS feed), and a Sun Times' piece on clout contractors getting CPS contracts despite a ban. That documentary about school closings is premiering. Nationally, the teachers unions are making a big $60 million play on the November midterm elections, and opinions vary on why Deasy left LAUSD. What else? Let us know in comments below or on Twitter at @district299 or Facebook...

Researcher Neglected To Disclose CTU Funded Charter Study - Reporters Neglected To Ask

Researcher Neglected To Disclose CTU Funded Charter Study - Reporters Neglected To Ask
That charter school study from a couple of days ago was apparently funded in large part by the Chicago Teachers Union -- something that wasn't disclosed in the report and wasn't picked up on by any of the media outlets who passed on its results until now.  The funding source doesn't necessarily undermine the results (though INCS and others have raised questions about the methodology), and Chicago's charters did better using Orfield's methodology than charters in New Orleans and Minneapolis.  But given all the scrutiny given to funding sources and disclosure in the media and by reform critics, disclosing the results -- and checking about the funding source -- would have made a lot of sense. Did anyone else but Hinz catch it...
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Report: CPS Leads Way On Testing Transparency

Report: CPS Leads Way On Testing Transparency
There's no shortage of things going wrong in CPS, and writing about even occasional or partial successes seems like it's gone out of style among education reporters in town, but a new report from a Hillary Clinton-affiliated DC think tank has the gall to single out CPS for praise when it comes to transparency and information provided to parents and the public around -- yes! -- district testing practices...

Lewis Home, Sharkey Takes Over

Lewis Home, Sharkey Takes Over
Today's news includes word from the Tribune that Lewis is now home, along with the Sun-Times' coverage of her thanks to supporters during her hospital stay. Crain's has a profile of Jesse Sharkey, the CTU deputy now in charge of the union. In non-CTU news, the state's new tracking data is coming out this month. In non-CPS news, LA's Deasy is expected to announce his departure today, and state chiefs and big-city superintendents announced their intention to reduce overtesting in schools...

"What Next?" For CTU, City

"What Next?" For CTU, City
The main news story of the day seems to be "what next?"  What next for CTU and the contract negotiations?  What next for the political campaign (where do teachers and other Rahm-haters go)? But that's not the only story.  Spring 2014 ISAT scores are out.  A new report on charter schools is out - is it accurate? Plus national news and news from other cities, and the never-ending debate over Lane PE teachers (in comments, they're finally getting down to individual names). What else?  Let us know...
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Lewis Won't Run For Mayor, May Have Brain Tumor

Lewis Won't Run For Mayor, May Have Brain Tumor
News outlets are reporting that Karen Lewis, whose exploratory committee spokesperson yesterday announced she would not be running for mayor, has a brain tumor of some kind. That's frankly much more immediately serious in medical terms than I had hoped, though I had always thought that she wouldn't run and that if she did it wouldn't go particularly well. Meantime, a new study from Myron Orfield (any relation to Gary?) says that Chicago charter schools aren't high-performing. Nationally, some teacher preparation programs are emphasizing clinical practice, and Maryland schools have seen improvements after their focus on 9th grade passing rates...