AM News: Should Consolidation Proceed Or No?

image from webmedia.newseum.orgTask force wants CPS school consolidations halted:  A legislative task force agreed late Monday to ask Interim Schools CEO Terry Mazany to halt all proposed school consolidations until the panel presents its recommendations on school facility decisions in bill form to the Legislature...6th Ward: Lyle vs. Sawyer a choice of political style Sun Times:  Of the 16 Chicago public schools in its boundaries, 14 are on academic probation. And while a recent report said the ward in the last decade bucked the trend of declining jobs -- actually seeing a 9 percent increase -- business corridors like those on ... Underreporting Hides Violence Philly Inquirer:  The incidents only came to light - weeks or months later - when city police issued arrest reports on the incidents, prompting district officials to ask principals about them... Rush Limbaugh Mistakes Educator Eleanor Kaye Wilson for the Obamas' Nanny ChicagoMag: Limbaugh seemed to want to leave the impression that the president is somehow diminished and distracted by all these women and all this fashion. And the mention of the nanny? Makes the Obamas look spoiled.

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  • Should the consolidation of schools proceed? NO!

  • For all to see, notice some of the other links in the article deal with an investigation in Georgia about the same issue.

  • I agree with the Retired Principal, in the short run these consoldations will not save much money. In the long run, it is far better that CPS follow a clear policy on school closings and capital issues. Which is exactly what the Task Force is supposed to do, create legislation that will allow for such a clear policy. But things will get more complex rather fast once the bill is drafted.

    CPS may oppose what ever the Task Force proposes and attempt to block any such bill in the General Assembly. The tried and true tactic here is to argue school districts need maximum flexability to make fiscal decisions given that the State cannot pay what it owes schools on a timely basis. As of February 28, CPS was owed $263,771,989 in State education programs distributed by ISBE. CPS will likely be backed up by the Education Management Alliance lobbying group on this issue. It is unclear what the thinking of the new Mayor is on this issue, and his thinking will be critical in relation to votes for recommendations of the Task Force in the Assembly.

    CPS and other school districts in Illinois are opposed to most new mandates or controls over their actions in the current fiscal crisis of the state. I run into this all the time in Springfield in relation to my work as a lobbyist. The failure of the State to pay the school districts in a timely fashion gives power to school districts arguments even when the legislation may be the best thing for children. Members of the Assembly are effectively feeling guilty over their own appropriations not being paid to school districts because their approved budget was not based on adequate revenue.

    Rod Estvan

  • I agree CPS needs to consoldidate schools, but really waiting to see if the General Assembly can create an orderly process based on public planning will not hurt. Right now we do not have a master plan, it is all being done piece by piece.

    But I have my doubts if any bill the Task Force proposes will pass the Assembly unless the Task Force gets agreement from CPS and Education Management Alliance to be at least neutral on any bill coming out of the Task Force. I also agree closed buildings should not just be handed over to charters for operating costs, there are far higher costs involved than just those.

    Rod Estvan

  • comment moved to following post -- all comments about the court decision should go there:

    sorry for the confusion or inconvenience


  • i run a second blog about national education issues and used to cross post national stuff here but folks didn't seem interested. anyway, you can find lots of rhee / testing stuff there including video of tavis smiley asking her about the story from this morning:

    or one of my favorite posts about rhee, titled "maybe she didn't eat the bee, either."

    i'm not as harsh on her as some of you but i'm certainly not avoiding the topic


  • Anti-charter union shills? What a load of nonsense!

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