Monday Morning News

Grading the
school year
In late March, the week after report cards, a new calm takes over Room 206.

Early start on college credit High schools cater to cost-cutting step Tribune

John Wills is entering his senior year this fall at Naperville's Neuqua
Valley High School. But he's also becoming a college freshman at the
same time.

St. Louis: City of drive-by school chiefs... Tribune

Summer school ended Friday, but the superintendent who
mandated it wasn't around to see it through. Chicagoan Creg Williams
was pushed out of office a week earlier by the St. Louis Board of
Education, only 15 months into a five-year contract.

classroom, many classes

On a warm September morning last fall, three 8-year-old girls, each toting a
knapsack and a nervous smile, joined a swarm of kids piling into the new
University of Chicago Charter School on the gentrifying Mid-South Side.

"I'm still crossing the border." Tribune
For poor and working-class kids-almost all
the 1,500 students at Juarez are one or the other-college is too
expensive without government help, and you have to be a citizen to get
it. No Social Security number equals no financial aid equals no future
beyond the farm fields, day-labor jobs and restaurant kitchens of

The U.
of C. way
A key element of what the University of Chicago promises Donoghue parents is
instruction tailored to each kid.

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  • I thought that the Sun Times series on the U of C at Donoghue was interesting. I spent a full school day at U of C's North Kenwood Oakland (NKO) school last year and saw how hard the school worked on reading skills.

    The assistant principal I toured with left the school to go into the launch program. The big question I had at NKO was could teachers last at the school given there were no real funds for step or lane advancement, and the work load was very high.

    At least in room 2006 my question was answered, no experienced teachers like Natalie Brady can not last. From what I can see a charter school like U of C's Donoghue has to use highly motivated younger teachers and once they gain greater skills, and families, they may well move on to higher paying school districts. For example based on NKOs report card we know that the average teacher at NKO in 2005 made about $5,000 less a year than the average teacher in the state, yet the average NKO teacher had only 2 years less experience than the average teacher in the state. The average CPS non-charter teacher makes almost $11,000 more a year than does the average NKO teacher and has a little less than 2 years more experience than the average NKO teacher had in 2005.

    The interesting thing in relation to this pay issue is that U of C's lab school pays on average higher than the state average and is equal to or better than the highest paid public school teachers in the state.


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