Around The Blogs

It's been too long:

It's Friday -- where's my bio teacher? USA Today

New findings -- brace yourselves, kids -- suggest that the next

several Mondays and Fridays are going to be particularly popular days

to call in sick.

Con-con vote - How might it effect teachers? Teacher Excellence Network

The current

constitution guarantees that a public pension “shall be an enforceable

contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished

or impaired.” PLUS:

Is con con a ho hum? Eric Zorn.

Now presenting: The Pritzker TV Pritzker Blog

During the

2008-2009 school year, pritzkerschool.org will be launching may new

features to the site, including mapping links, in-time CTA transit

information, virtual...

CPS - an educational theme park?PURE

Having abandoned the idea of

serving all children with the education they need and deserve, CPS is

offering a hit-or-miss menu of school options that serve many children

less well, and some not at all.

A Happy October Surprise Marshfield Tattler

Junior and his mom and I went to first quarter report card pickup and

teacher conferences at Golder College Prep this afternoon. Before we

left, Junior told me he was nervous. 'What if I got bad grades?' he

wondered aloud. 'If I get bad grades my parents won't let me out for

Halloween.'

Dress Your Family in CTA's Finest Green Parent Chicago

The

CTA this week unveiled a new online gift shop with themed merchandise

and collectibles.

Renewed Push for Austin High School Newstips

Crawford said ACEN has heard from CPS that a needs assessment has been

done that supports the need for a new, general admission high school,

'but they're saying they don't have the funding to begin building' -- a

position he rejects.

Please Volunteer to be a Science Fair Judge! Drummond Site

Any and all parents and community members are welcome and no science

background is necessary. It is a fantastic way to get to know the

school, the kids and the scientific process (plus you will have a good

idea of what the expectations are for the [...]

Email From Tim King Urban Prep

“If Urban Prep hadn’t let me come back, I would’ve ended up dead before

my 18th birthday. I was already dying at that other school.” [click below for full text]

-- Let me know if there are any good CPS-related blogs or sites I'm missing.

I started

out this morning with the intention of writing to let you know about

the Chicago Board of Education decision on one of Urban Prep’s proposed

new schools. I now, however, have something more that I’d like to

share with you.

Today,

Urban Prep hosted thirty educators from London, England. These men and

women are part of a program named Future Leaders which prepares

educators to become heads of schools in the United Kingdom. I am happy

to report that they were thoroughly impressed by our work at Urban Prep

(one person commented that it was the greatest school he had ever seen

anywhere in the UK or the US!).

During

the visit, one of our guests asked a group of students to name their

most memorable experience at Urban Prep. One student stood and instead

of remarking on a single memorable experience, he told a bit of his

story. He explained how tough his life has been growing-up without

money or positive male role-models; how he never wanted to attend Urban

Prep; how his mother forced him to come to the school; and how at every

turn he rebelled by starting fights, refusing to study and disrupting

classes. He explained how eventually, he got his way and transferred

to a traditional neighborhood public school.

He

then paused—eyes welling-up—and detailed how different his experience

was at the other school; how at that school the teachers “didn’t care,

they just didn’t care.” Over this past summer, he came to Urban Prep

often to speak to administrators about transferring back to our

school. While he was a challenging student, we believe firmly in never

throwing these young men away so we allowed him to return. He has been

flourishing ever since.

He

concluded his remarks with tears streaming down his face as he said,

“If Urban Prep hadn’t let me come back, I would’ve ended up dead before

my 18th birthday. I was already dying at that other school.” Well, I

don’t need to tell you that there wasn’t a dry eye in the

room—including mine! This student told our guests and reminded me how

important our work is; our school is quite literally life and death for

these young men. We would not be able to do this transformative work

were it not for your interest and support. Thank you for being a part

of what we are doing at Urban Prep.

And

now that I’ve shared that story with you, I can get on to the original

purpose of this e-mail. I am thrilled to inform you that the Chicago

Board of Education approved our proposal for a new school! We will,

therefore, open our second school, Urban Prep Academy for Young

Men—East Garfield Park in the fall of 2009. The Board will vote on our

other proposal to open Urban Prep Academy for Young Men—South Shore

next month.

We

couldn’t be prouder of being able to expand Urban Prep into other

communities. It is our deepest hope that we will be able to continue

to provide students like the one described in this email with life

changing—and life saving—experiences at Urban Prep.

We believe.

Tim

TK Signature

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