Best Of The Week - December 10-17

Question Of The Week: Best Principal In The City
Who's the best principal in the city? 

Write in below and let us know who you think is particularly
effective, where they are, and what they've done that makes them worthy
of consideration.

Big Compliments From The Reader
Adding to the list of mainstream and other outlets that have already
said nice things about this blog and its lively readers is the Reader's
Harold Henderson:

Next Week's Board Meeting

It'll be another week before there's an official agenda out on
next week's Board meeting, the last of the calendar year.  However, it
seems like the Board could vote on some interesting things.

Urban Education Program Being Closed
A friend sent in this email from a CPS principal about the
imminent closure of a teacher prep program on the North Side -- anyone
know anything about it?

How Big Business Benefits From The Swap
The
website Chicagoist makes fun of the Civic Committee's tax swap
proposal, noting that it would, among other things good things (like
increasing school funding for CPS), reduce taxes on corporations.

Moving The Adults, Not The Kids At Sherman
It may not make much of a difference to anyone, but I'm
guessing that CPS tries to do a little bit more of what they did with
Sherman Elementary when it comes to school closings and new schools in
the future -- changing teachers and who's in charge rather than closing
schools and having to move kids.

Charter Expansion On Tap?
"Charter school supporters in Illinois are intensifying their
push for changes to state laws governing charters,"  according to this
WBEZ story.

Comparing Illinois To Other States
According to the Education Trust's 2006 State Summary Reports, things aren't looking to great for Illinois -- much more so than in some other states with similar enrollments:

Few Schools Miss AYP By Just One Subgroup
Not
that test scores or NCLB are the best thing since sliced bread, but
there's a perception that NCLB punishes lots of schools for failing to
make AYP year after year, even when schools are almost meeting the
mark.  I don't think that's the case. 

1001 Hours A Year
Everyone's
always talking about extending learning time in CPS, but it seems like
the district may not be walking that walk when it comes to the length
of the school day and the number of days students are in school. 

Schmidt Speaks: Outside Firm Heading For Half-Million Mark
"When attorneys from the Chicago Board of Education appeared on December
8, 2006, before U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman...Kathleen Gibbons, who has long served as lead counsel for CPS in the case,
was not in court."

The Dropout Czar
Kia Gregory, the top columnist for Philadelphia Weekly, tackles the school district's truancy problem, which has garnered a lot of recent coverage .  Gregory's well-written story follows the district's truancy czar on his rounds.

TFA Chicago... They're Everywhere
Tidbits from the latest TFA News:
Largest incoming cohort ever, at 100 members.  Two more alums added to
13 current CPS school leaders with recent Ren10 announcements (Chris
Reynolds at Henry Ford Learning Institute, Tracy Kowck at Polaris
Charter Academy, the one new charter school approved this year).  Next
years corps will include 30 early childhood TFAers.

Their lunch series is also starting soon.

Lab Alums Everywhere, Including CPS & City Hall
"Known as Labbies, Labbers and Lab Scabs, alumni of the school are
particularly prominent in Chicago's political and minority-owned
business worlds, where they're known for their quick intellects,
passion for the community and intense bond, according to this Crain's article.

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