AM News: Emanuel Softens Charter Stance

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Emanuel visits south-side charter school WBEZ: Chicago International Charter Schools, which runs Ralph Ellison, runs other schools that are not beating out nearby neighborhood comparison schools.... Emanuel visits South Side charter school Clout St: Rahm Emanuel continued his victory lap around Chicago today with a visit to a South Side charter school. . Ex-state rep quits Emanuel team over ethics violation Sun Times:  Former state Rep. Judy Erwin used her state-issued cell phone and e-mail account to work on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign while serving as executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education... Emanuel Has a Tough Row to Hoe, but Far From an Impossible One CNC:  Some may think Rahm Emanuel has an impossible job ahead of him, but he has connections and time and a very different city from the one his immediate predecessor inherited... MORE BELOW

Cook County Board marathon session on Preckwinkle budget Clout St:  County Board still meeting on budget. The Cook County Board met into the early morning hours today in marathon session as it sought to pass an austerity budget proposed by board President Toni...Interactive Map Let's You Analyze TIF Projects ChicagoTalks:  Interactive map shows TIF districts, projects, by Ward, Date... Rallying around fired teacher fighting cancer Sun Times:  Francisco Mendoza wants two things: to beat cancer and to get his job back as a Chicago Public Schools art teacher in Pilsen. Mendoza, a painter, muralist and pillar of Pilsen's art community, tried not to cry Sunday night as hundreds of friends showed up to support him at an ...

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  • Mr. Emanuel praised Ralph Ellison charter high school for "instilling hope in students and helping them get to college." WBEZ in its report admits "Ellison has quickly become the best-scoring high school in this needy part of town, where test scores are dismal." WBEZ looked at PSAE and ISAT scores and did not look at ACT scores. Since Mr. Emanuel believes the school is helping its students get into to college it is of critical importance to look at these students ACT scores. In 2010, Ellison's average composite ACT score was just 16.8 down dramatically from 2009 when it was 18.3.

    There are CPS non selective high schools with comparable composite ACT scores, although not the high schools in immediate proximity to where Ellison is located. About 21% of Ellison students have a composite ACT score of 20 or higher which is the college readiness benchmark standard. This by comparison is relatively high compared to all but a few public high schools in Chicago, be they charter, contract, or traditional.

    But the truth is that about 79% of Ellison graduates will be struggling to survive in college, some of these students will make it and others will not. No one path in life is set by a test score of course, but they do have predictive power in terms of likeliness of college completion. If Ellison is doing a really great job, then there simply needs to be a vocational opition for these students, because many will not make it through college or it they do it will have to be a marginal college program that may in the current economy not yeild much for these students.

    But let's all get serious here, Mr. Emanuel would not enroll his own children in a high school with an average composite ACT score of 16.8, given that his family has options. In fact most CPS teachers would not enroll their children in high schools with that type of average ACT scores if they had other options. Ellison is an option for low income students, it is not an option for a family worth millions of dollars. As Mr. Emanuel stated: "Amy and I are going to make this decision (public school vs. private school) as parents. If it comes with political price, I am willing to pay it

  • a slew of bills introduced so far downstate, according to jim broadway -- i'm not sure if an updated version of the january reform bill is tucked in there somewhere

    The Senate panel will consider SB 1799, which gives the Illinois State Board of Education the authority to "sanction" university teacher preparation programs (criteria undefined), to maintain a standards-aligned "system of certification testing" and to "establish a code of ethics for all educators."

    Steans is also championing SB 79, to establish an "independent" commission that could authorize any charter school without regard to votes cast by local school boards or even the State Board of Education.

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