Weekend Open Discussion

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Sorry about the lack of roundup this morning -- not that it's kept you from commenting and adding information about topics already being discussed (inequities among schools, principal replacements, Huberman's house/appearance, investment advice [that's a new one]).  Use this "open discussion" post to bring up anything that's not already being talked about -- a new topic, a question, a concern, something going on at your school that isn't being caught or talked about here or in the mainstream press.  And have a great weekend.  

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • no coverage of union election.

  • I was under the impression that teachers don't qualify for UIB because you can sub. Can someone clarify whether teachers can receive UIB. I'm curious as well.

  • Everyone -- send Huberman a housewarming gift. One suggestion: toilet paper. Others??

  • In reply to kathyparker:

    Sorry, but all of my extra toilet paper money is used for stocking the restrooms in my school (neighborhood South Side school, naturally).

  • In reply to kathyparker:

    In relation to the idea that come August CPS may be handed money and all will be well with the budget. I believe that is only really possible under two conditions, that the Federal Government passes another funding bailout for school districts. Such a bill in now in Congress and I have no way of knowing if it has a real chance to pass in time to help.

    Second, now having had a chance to more carefully look at the budget package for education that the IL Senate sent to the IL House, I have to conclude that CPS can only be fully funded compared to last year under the condition that we accept illusion as a reality. Many members of the General Assembly are running around telling people that if only the House approves everything before it all will be well. That is simply not true, the current appropriations bill sent to the House uses Governor Quinn's $1.3 billion education cuts figures. What members of the House are being told is that these numbers will be fixed up by giving the Governor power to move money around, borrow, and implement a few other little sales related taxes.

    If CPS accepts this fiction, and everything falls apart after the November election, i.e. no income tax increase that the state can borrow against, then CPS would have to do middle of the year layoffs. This is because the state will not be able to fund much of anything beyond that point given the current revenue situation.

    Given this situation it is important that teachers and parents at least ask the Board and Mayor to raise proprerty taxes to the max to generate what revenue they can. The Mayor wants no property tax increase at all. Summer school should be called off except for those who are legally required to recieve it and about $40 million saved. By doing these two things about $80 million can be generated for the next school year. This does not fix the problem, but it does limit the impact. The future is not bright, but it was not bright in 1929 either. CPS survived and educated children even with massive cuts, my own father was one of those children.

    What needs to be done is for everyone, Ron Huberman, the CTU, the general assembly, the Mayor, and parents is to stop grandstanding. This calls for a honest look at the current state of CPS funding and a serious public discussion of what can be cut and what cannot be cut.

    Let us get a little honest here, I know I am 57 years old, but when I went to a CPS elementary school I got zero foreign language. It was not provided until I was in high school. There was no full day kindergarten at all, there was no public pre-school at all. There were zero magnet elementary schools, and zero busing. Was this good, no it was not, in fact most disabled children were not educated much at all back then. But I and thousands of my peers survived, some of us graduated from college, some us died in wars, a few of us became rich, some of us became poor particulary disabled undereducated people, and most became working class.

    The school district will survive this and it will most likely not be pretty. But if people fight to create a rational budget that focuses on the core functions of education, excludes grand ideas for reform at least during this crisis, education in this city can continue.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Will these coming cuts hurt special ed even more? I'm particularly concerned about those "disabled undereducated people" in sped in CPS now. How low can we go?

  • In reply to kathyparker:

    How about used toilet paper, after I've eaten a CPS lunch!!

  • To Science Teacher:
    You sound like a flunky for Huberman! I am sure you will be the first to volunteer being cut when it comes to your school! I can't wait to see you at a hearing to say, "Yes it was my fault. Cut me!"

    Teachers that are bad can be cut if the principal does evaluations. Schools on probabation have nothing to do with seniority.

  • Using that logic then the cuts should focus on first and second grade teachers, because most of the students in the upper grades are behind when they enter their classrooms. So the first and 2nd grade teachers clearly a. didn't teach them or b. passed them on when they were failing.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    Hurray!!! I'm totally with you on that. Just last week, I saw 6 request for failure notices that came out of the same 3rd grade class. It's ridiculous. How the heck did they make it that far???

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    Yes, it was snark. Riffing on the theme of let's look for the easiest answer and then run with that. It has the kernel of truth (most behind students in upper grades arrive there behind) but ignores vast swathes of subtlety and nuance.

  • I am certain that if PACT is elected, CTU will be on the ball with public relations. The current union leadership has allowed the Tribune and the Sun-Times to define teachers. Their attacks are weak and late. They continue to contribute to politicians that are not friendly to teachers. Time for all that to end!

  • no coverage of union election.

  • CPS pays displaced tenured teachers in the reassigned teacher pool. A 2nd year teacher does not have tenure and will not be able to work for salary as a reassigned/displaced teacher.

  • Geez, talk about someone who entirely misses the point! How often when people are telling jokes do you fail to "get it?"

  • KPG

    The most important years a student, especially the damaged children of Chicago,
    spend in school are the KPG years. Those sainted teachers deserve more than the rest of us
    because they are charged with turning the kids on to education.
    We talk a lot about America being the land of opportunity where everyone is equal
    and start out with a clean slate. It is our KPG teachers who author that slate. After 41 years in the
    Public High Schools of Chicago I know more than most about the preparation our
    grade schools provide. The kids who have fun learning, who know they can do it,
    who see the prize all have one thing in common, real education at the beginning.
    Personally I would give up a percentage of my pay if I knew it went directly into
    the KPG classrooms because that would make all our lives a lot easier.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Well, I don't know about giving up pay, but...

    Higher class sizes in the upper grades would be a pill made easier to swallow by lower class sizes in grades 1-3 if it meant kids really learned to read.

    And while I'm wishing, I wish that every child grow up in a home with two parents who read for information and entertainment and encourage their children to do so as well.

  • dedteacher, I suppose I didn't find any humor in your calling someone "ignorant" when you failed to get his point.

  • Several school on the westside, Area 8, will also be joining the pilot program. I've said ti once and I'll say it again, there's a serious movement down at 125 to close a certain number of schools on the south and west side. I REALLy hope the parents at those schools stand up and let their voices be heard. Heck, wake the white kids up at 6am and make them attend school from 7am to 2:45.

  • People!!! Check the facts!! At least 10 schools on the list will be closed. Turnaround schools are not eligible for grant money. 125 wants you to believe so much is being done to help the high schools, it's all hogwash!!

  • Hooterman will NEVER be Mayor. Althoug big, CPS is a small fish in a big pond. He may smooth things over with certain CPS communities, but he still has to answer to CTA and CPD employees and supporters. I think Hooterman's trying to smooth things over becuase he's a little man who can't stand criticism......plan and simple.

  • The one thing I have noticed is that most 1st and 2nd grade teachers do not have a backbone. sad, but true. They see the kids who are stuggling but promote them anyway. Now I'm not saying all primary teachers are like that, I'm speaking of the few that I know. They tend to be new teachers who don't want to rock the boat. It's kind of a catch 22, but I agree with cermackrd on this one.

  • In reply to SickandTired:

    According to CPS policy, children are not to be retained in first or second grade...only 3rd, 6th and 8th. So if 1st grade teachers promote children who are failing, they are only following company policy.

  • It's okay. People kill me when they bring up grammatical error. Hell there are more things to worry about than "teachers" and "because." WordGirl, get a life and come back when you're not so sensitive!!

  • Are you talking about the one on State Street where the Principal's dog roams the hall???

  • I agree. The worst thing CPS did was eliminate standardized testing in grades 1 and 2. Yes, DIBELS is used but the bar is very low and children in the red zone still pass in the primary grades.

    As a special education teacher who is responsible for SBPS I am always amazed by the extremely high grades in the primary grades. Children should not be on the honor roll in the primary and a candidate for special education in the intermediate grades. It is hard to explain this idiocy to a parent and a child who does not read well may suffer from self-esteem issues. Maybe, if they had been taught to read and read well, retained if necessary especially if it is a maturation issue and made to work for their grades we would not have non/poor-readers in our upper grades. Teachers in the primary need to be diagnosticians and have had coursework in the teaching of reading.

    I have taught grades in primary, intermediate and upper as a general education teacher and now am teaching in special education. If a child can not read, and by that I mean comprehend by third grade it is unlikely that the child will be successful academically unless he/she has parents who have the resources to hire a private tutor. Not all children who can not read are children with disabilities.

    I understand the frustration of teachers who teach well, have about children, who are so far behind that they can not catch up to their peers. Then, these children are sent to Summer Bridge in Grade 3 and the parents who have report cards with inflated grades from the primary start to distrust all teachers because they have been misled. It is a sad situation when the primary teacher is asked about a particular child who is now failing and the response is, "I dunno, he could read for me" I have yet to meet a child who "forgets" how to read.

    CPS needs to hold all teachers accountable and now that all grades are online there is really no excuse.

  • In reply to anniesullivan:

    i am a first grade teacher, and retention at that level is still up to the principal.... no matter what!

  • Aarti Dhupelia is a harvard mba that helps CPS divert Perkins money to other departments and use, in possible violation of the funding parameters (vocational education). She is just like huberman smoke and mirrors and no practical industry or education experience. I have plenty of documentation of her activities already, just waiting for the right time to send her and the rest of the career education crew down the river. It was david gilligan who set up the who process up to destroy the neighbourhood shop classes and he was rewarded by huberman with a hidden office job somewhere in CPS.

    aarti where is my FOIA request your are manipulating since February?

    John Kugler

  • To the 4 posts above: Please be sure to cite your source for what you are posting. I just read all of this on First Class and unless you are the Florida teacher that wrote it, I suggest you find out who he is and cite the source. Plagiarism is a dirty word.

  • And, you are the reason our kids think it is okay to just cut and paste on assignments. When one writes something like this for the world to see, it is as if he or she wrote it. Even though the poster is anonymous, he or she is NOT the original writer. I understand that the point is the same REGARDLESS of who wrote the piece. People in high places have been fired for plagiarism. I was not "bashing" or "trashing" anyone. I was just offering a reminder.

  • In reply to judgejury81:

    Here is the citation:

    Written by Jamee Cagle Miller
    2009 Seminole County Teacher of the Year

    Also, the anonymous poster changed the wording from, "I am a Florida teacher", to "I am a teacher".

  • Thank you ...non teacher after reading this my only comment is "Where is the LOVE?"

    teachers NEED to come together... teaching seems to have become a culture of competing, rather than colaboraton! What' s up with that?

  • Do you believe in Karma?

  • Well, NoBS to some degree I agree with you. When I read teachers agonizing and crying over layoffs, I think where were you these past few years while all this was going down in corporate America.

    On the other hand, I don't consider what I do to be nearly as important as educating tomorrow's America. I help a corporation make money. Useful by itself, it helps to build up the economy; but it does not have any real world impact. If my company went belly up tomorrow, some other company would step in and make and sell the very same or similar widgets.

    I am also danged grateful that I do not have to work with some of the half-reared students that some CPS teachers do. I work with adults who behave professionally. I have never been threatened by a co-worker, and if I were there's an established protocol on what to do.

  • Very well said, 11:29. I am with you from your first thought to your last.

  • Tell me where there is a job and I will transfer in a heart beat!

  • But shouldn't we hold each other to the same standards that we hold the students? It is wrong to post anything that is not yours as your own. Whether your are anonymous or not giving credit to the original writer or speaker is always the right thing to do. Why is that so hard to support?
    Here's the APA citation.
    Cagle-Miller, J. (2010). Mom2Mom Forum. Retrieved May 17, 2010, from Moms Miami: http://www.momsmiami.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=117&t=4915

  • The media did publish them. Someone in Florida wrote this.

    Cagle-Miller, J. (2010). Mom2Mom Forum. Retrieved May 17, 2010, from Moms Miami: http://www.momsmiami.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=117&t=4915

  • one time, on the westside, i was forced to sit before a panel with my school principal to explain why our school refused to adopt some scripted program. I asked why i would need a script to teach algebra? The one nice gentleman on the panel told me that he believed that i could teach algebra, but that there were many other teachers who have trouble with the content.

    I asked the whole panel if it was really a curriculum problem that they couldn't find people qualified to teach 9th grade math, or a human resources problem. It didn't go over too well.

    This is the exact reason that many very good teachers either won't come to, or leave CPS. There is little room for excellence in CPS.

  • really? it is that hard to preface the statement with 'a teacher of the year in Florida said'?

  • 3rd graders take the ISAT, and 2nd graders are beginning to take the new SCANTRON test. Currently there is nothing for 1st graders others than DIBELS and TRC.

  • Hahahahahahaha, I guess I can't win. Why yes, yes I am a teacher.

    When I am "belaboring" a point and trying to teach someone something I am a bad teacher. But, if I don't bother to teach something I am a bad teacher too. Hmmmm, which is it? Yes, I expect my students to learn how to cite properly. Why is that wrong? Why are they "poor" students? Is it because I expect them to LEARN something? Wow. LOL My students don't complain as much as the adults do. LOL

  • Sure thing.

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