Free The Schools: A Cliffs Notes Version Of The February Catalyst

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Things I learned from a quick skim through the new Catalyst, out on Monday: About 5,525 students have been displaced from elementary schools closed under Renaissance since 2002.(Comings and Goings)...New York City has LOTS more autonomous but not charter schools than CPS, and is adding more (Big changes in the Big Apple)...The new all-boys Providence Englewood is having conflicts with CPS about following district rules and policies (New schools on chopping block)...Several charters in Chicago (like Noble and Perspectives) pay teachers bonuses for student attendance, parent participation, and improvement (District amps up autonomy)...CPS has changed the way it decides who can be an AMPS school for next year (Comings and Goings).

Things I already knew but needed to be reminded about: Charters in Chicago are generally much LESS autonomous from the Board than charters in other cities (Q&A with Greg Richmond
)...Forty-three new schools
have opened so far, and another 19 have been approved to open this fall
or next year (Comings and Goings)...Disney gets lots of Disney money (Principals get creative within the bounds of district bureaucracy).

Last but not least, Catalyst editor Veronica Anderson takes a surprisingly strong pro-autonomy stance in her monthly Letter From The Editor (Performance, not perks, is what autonomy should be about).  "Mayor Daley and Schools CEO Arne Duncan talk a good game about
empowering principals to do what it takes to improve student
performance. But youve got to wonder whether they really believe
school autonomy is a remedy for struggling schools."

Filed under: Media Watch

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