Best Of The Week (March 23-27)

The Class (Or Activity) That Gets Kids To Come To School Look at that expression. For some students -- a lot of them, perhaps -- it's one particular class or activity that gets them to school nearly every day, says Will Okun in his latest blog post at the New York Times. As an example, he describes North Lawndale College Prep's "insanely popular" video journalism project "Hoops High," who covers basketball and is broadcast on CLTV every week. What's that course at your school -- or what could it be? (7) Comments

Limiting Parents' Fundraising -- Does It Work? I'd heard about this before, but have never seen it in print: "Chicago has imposed a cap on how much parents are permitted to raise to help their children -- no more than $1500 a year in schools with fewer than 1000 students." ("Unfair" Parents Helping Public Schools National Center for Policy Analysis). Is this for real? What do you think? (24) Comments

March Board Meeting You can find an agenda for tomorrow's Board meeting here. Lots of business to conduct, it looks like. Some items that jumped out at me include something about a new policy for charter school capacity and facility budgets, openings of two new schools (Sir Miles Davis and LaSalle II), designation of Kershaw and Oscar Mayer as magnet schools, something about Burroughs II, Disney II. The final report from last week's Board meeting is here. (34) Comments

LSC Elections To Watch We won't know the final tally until tomorrow, but it looks like there are going to be enough candidates running for LSCs by the time the deadline arrives (at 3 today). As of last night, CPS LSCs guy Jose Alvarez said that they were down to 25 schools lacking enough candidates to make for a quorum. (7) Comments

City Limits From a teacher who reads this blog and is struggling with the city's residency rule: "I have been a CPS teacher since 2001 and I love my job. I want to continue being a city teacher forever. However, I have a 1 year old and my wife is pregnant again. The city is so expensive and I want to live in a safe neighborhood that I can afford (which is non-existent on my salary). I would love to be able to live outside the city and I am not sure why we are mandated to live in the city." (32) Comments

Organic Expansion Of After-School Tutoring Program What to do when your little after-school writing program struggles but then gets really big? In this video sent to me by a friend, author and part-time philanthropist Dave Eggers describes the process -- and what comes next: What jumps out from the talk is the organic nature of the Eggers project, its use of humor and "found" talents and interests, its open admissions about struggles and luck, and its ad hoc growth. Such a stark contrast to some of the current crop of "mistake- free" corporate-feeling initiatives, and yet not obviously any less effective. Cross-posted from TWIE. (5) Comments

For Or Against Retaining Students? Would you rather go back to the old days? Has it gotten better or worse in the way it's implemented over the past 10 years -- in terms of who's held back and what happens to them? Does it have any effect on the kids who don't want to be retained? How has the modified system worked, with the school-based input and the appeals process? (11) Comments

PLUS: Morning News Roundup

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