Should IL Make "Opting Out" Easier (Like CA & Utah)?

Should IL Make "Opting Out" Easier (Like CA & Utah)?
While CPS remains unsure/unclear what it's going to do next with the Common Core tests, suburban parents are pressing the state for an opt-out waiver that parents can sign a form. (See the WBEZ story below, and then check out this new roundup of state laws or #EWAcore for Tweets from yesterday's education writers workshop in Denver.) Meanwhile, a new report suggests that Common Core standards are actually leading to an increase in teacher-written curricula (wonder if that's true in CPS). In other places, UTLA teachers rallied and threatened to strike over pay and class size -- CTU is their model, though there are some key differences and dynamics -- and New York's Andrew Cuomo and Bill De Blasio continue to beef over school turnarounds, charters, and mayoral control...

Runoffs, Common Core Confusion, DeBlasio Against Elected School Board, & Discipline Complaints

Runoffs, Common Core Confusion, DeBlasio Against Elected School Board, & Discipline Complaints
Today's news includes lots about the coming runoffs for City Hall and City Council seats, plus more immediate concerns like WTF is going on with CPS and the Common Core assessment, and how are teachers supposed to keep order with the new discipline policy but no new resources to go with?  Also, Hancock isn't even open but it's already #6 on the SE HS applications list, and NYC's liberal mayor just proposed making mayoral control permanent...

Runoffs Galore, Plus Common Core Testing Decision

Runoffs Galore, Plus Common Core Testing Decision
Wow -- impressive. CTU and its allied forced a runoff for City Hall and a bunch of city council seats, and the referendum on an elected school board prevailed by a wide margin.  Meantime, CPS has apparently decided to stick with its plan to "pilot" the new PARCC Common Core assessment rather than administer it citywide as ISBE and USDE demand. Testing starts next week, according to the CBS Chicago story. ...
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Election Day (Finally!)

Election Day (Finally!)
Election day -- finally.  Always an interesting day for schools since so many buildings serve as voting sites, but all the more so since CTU and some parent and community groups have generated so much opposition to Rahm (along with some self-inflicted wounds). Last night on social media it was all about the idea of an elected school board -- but will that be enough to force a runoff (and what, really, does a runoff accomplish other than embarrassing the Mayor)?  In other news, Second City Teacher rails against CTU support for a "racist" alderman, and Chicago Magazine's Top 100 listing is out. Nationally, folks are gearing up for a House ESEA reauthorization debate on Friday, and trying to figure out how and why so many black and brown kids are being suspended (at district as well as charter schools)...

School Breakfast Slower/More Controversial In NY, LA

School Breakfast Slower/More Controversial In NY, LA
School breakfasts for low income students -- especially those proposed by unpopular district leaders and provided in student classrooms -- can be controversial, even though it's not that new.  (The newer thing is school dinner.) One place school breakfast hasn't been especially controversial has been Chicago. Yep, Chicago, where pretty much anything and everything is disputed these days...

2 More Charters Might Get Unionized

2 More Charters Might Get Unionized
Welcome back! Big news of the last few days (other than the campaign stuff) is that two more groups of charter school teachers are seeking to unionize (though they haven't formally voted yet). If they succeed, they'll make Chicago the town with the highest percentage of charter teachers unionized (though still very much not the charter hotbed that places like LA, NYC, and DC are). And apparently Rahm is OK with that. Are you? Elsewhere, schools are beginning to take Common Core tests, and trying to keep student data private...
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Frigid Friday Education Mixtape

Frigid Friday Education Mixtape
Today's news roundup: School's back after yesterday's break for cold. Obama appeared in town to help Emanuel and bash Rauner. Folks are all over the place on the Rauner budget. Pedro Martinez (remember him?) is up for the top job in Boston. There's a new report from UIC around claiming that mayoral control isn't the way to go.  Charter advocates and critics debated at a City Club debate (see video below)...

Closed For Cold, Piling On Rauner Budget

Closed For Cold, Piling On Rauner Budget
Today's education news: School's closed (it's cold!). Alternative programs fueling spike in graduation rate may not be high-quality. Everybody hates the Rauner budget -- Rahm and CTU agree for once. Emanuel's winning (Obama's coming). Als0: Los Angeles may be heading towards a Chicago-style teachers strike. All this and more below. ...

Acceptance Letters, Possible Strike

Acceptance Letters, Possible Strike
The big news of the day for some parents is that selective enrollment letters are coming out this Friday. For the rest of us, it's probably the news that Chuy Garcia says a strike is likely if Rahm is re-elected (which polls say is increasingly likely), that the Rauner budget might include a school funding increase, and that Illinois is thinking about tightening vaccination requirements for teachers as well as kids. All of this and more is below, and throughout the day at @district299 and on Facebook...
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CPS Reconsidering Testing Boycott*

CPS Reconsidering Testing Boycott*
The big news of the day is that CPS is reconsidering its Common Core testing boycott -- apparently because of threatened federal funding losses (or maybe because Rahm's campaign is going better?). Common Core testing begins in Ohio this week. Also:  A [DC area] parent wishes more white parents sent their kids to her son's school, and more about the Jackie Robinson West fiasco. [Original version said the parent was from CPS.]...