Female Custodian Sues Principal

Here's that story I was telling you about yesterday in comments, plus some other legal and related news including the NPR story about a Youth Connections kid and some back to school coverage.  Back to school?  Back to school.

Janitor Can Sue Chicago Schools for Retaliation Courthouse News:  The 7th Circuit revived a retaliation lawsuit by one of the first female custodians hired by Chicago Public Schools who claimed that a principal tried to force her out.

Schools Told to Stay on Point for Disabled Kids Courthouse News:  A federal judge slammed Chicago public schools for needlessly delaying a settlement that mandates proper education for children with disabilities, insisting that the parties wrap up nearly two decades of litigation as ..

From Drug Dealing To Diploma, A Teen's Struggle NPR: For a kid who's been hustling and gang-banging on the streets of South Chicago for much of his life, 19-year-old Patrick Lundvick doesn't look menacing at all.

Advocates: Back to School Push Missing Key Piece CNC:  or nearly a decade, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless has tried to convince the Chicago Transit Authority to provide free rides for CPS students’ first day of school—going so far as to coin the yet-to-be-used slogan: “Catch a ride to your future.”

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  • I disagree with CPS contention that all is well in special education at high performing schools. I am at an AMPS school and my workload/caseload is so high that I am unable to meet my students' minutes. Everyone is aware of this situation including the SSA assigned to our school. We are all overloaded and this is the third year with no end in sight.

    How does CPS get away with non-compliance with J-car which would prevent these gross abuses?

    Judge Gettelman and monitor Kyannis are absolutely right-CPS is blatantly disregarding SPED law and not just in the court monitored schools. CTU and CPS were supposed to address J-Car as other school system in Illinois did. This is nothing but arrogance on CPS' part. Of course, they want Corey H. gone so the monies will be freed up for...?

    Rod Estvan has addressed CPS' refusal to address J-Car many times on this blog going back to 2008.

    Mr Brizard has stated that he will be monitoring SPED. Well, here is his chance...look at the numbers assigned to each provider-when I tell our number to suburban teachers they are shocked but it is SOP in CPS. Yet we wonder why AYP is not being met and why so many of our SPED students drop out of high school.

    Also, our service delivery models need to be examined-CPS likes to shout out "we do inclusion." What is inclusion? Is it dumping 20 children with disabilities into six different rooms and one teacher trying to service all of them in the gen ed rooms regardless of need because the misguided administrator says there is no place in the building to do pull out.

    When I started in SPED 20 years ago my MLD resource students who were generally only two or less years behind received more minutes/support than SLD students who are 3, 4, and 5 years behind do now. This is why we are losing positions.

    Stop drinking the inclusion Kool-aid and ask, "How do you define inclusion ?" at every OSS inservice....

  • Good advice: "Stop drinking the inclusion Kool-aid and ask, "How do you define inclusion ?" at every OSS inservice...."

    And, teachers, make sure to tell parents how to call CPS on this one. When parents let you know the student doesn't seem to be getting his/her minutes, don't hem and haw. Tell them the truth: They're NOT getting any minutes.

  • Bloggers here,
    Go to the blog which has to do with revamping this site and scroll down on the comments. Rod has written something about special ed; I asked him about Corey H; and he responded. Again, I am so sad about what has happened in the five years since I retired. True inclusion takes a lot of thought; joint IEP decisions; creativity in how it is implemented; and support in many ways. I believe that it is more difficult to implement at an elementary school(although it can be done)than at a high school due to the scheduling issue. When I worked I supervised both elementary and high schools and then moved strictly to high schools. I know what it takes to create a viable sped program for each student. As a consultant in LRE , I get the impression that the bottom line is "saving money" in the school system and I know that CPS wants out of the Corey H Settlement Agreement. Things are not all that wonderful in the suburbs, either. One school district near where I live was forced by ISBE to begin to implement inclusion this coming year. Imagine that! All of the sped children were segregated in separate classes including their high school until this new school year. So much for IDEA and that the first placement to be considered at an IEP conference is in the general ed setting with or without support!

    Wish I could help frustrated teachers, principals, angry parents, and advocate for the students the way I did for more than ten years in the field but that is a pipe dream on my part.

  • CPS Law thinks CoreyH is over. Some say there will be a CoreyH2. Judge G wants to retire. What will happen in 2012?

  • Re: Students First Principal you are amazingly on target. In fact at one point at a hearing last year Judge Gettleman explictly stated that if CPS non-compliance existed there well could a new class action case against CPS. But we should all be clear about this, those of us in the advocacy community have reservations about another class action case due to costs even with CPS paying the plaintiffs for court approved costs and the ability of CPS to effectively kill the clock.

    What do I mean by killing the clock? At a certain point in a case like Corey H or any class action settlement agreement there comes a time where the defendent can drag things out with very formal legal appeals, etc. etc. Then there is the big problem, even if CPS were found in contempt of court, what Judge in their right mind would want the responsibility for CPS special education if it were put in recievership?

    The ISBE avoids major conflicts with CPS over special education simply because if they were to take control over CPS special education they would effectively own it. Then the CPS Board of Education could sit back and criticize ISBE's management of these services because it would have lost responsibility for these services.

    Believe me CPS special education recievership was discussed behind closed doors during the life span of the Corey H case several times. I advocated for it internally and more rational and mature minds than my own opposed me on this issue. Really could you imagine the appeals CPS would have filed possibly going all the way to the US Supreme Court if the monitors had seized control and ordered CPS to spend more money on special ed, carefully monitored services being delievered, etc. etc.

    I actually did a cost estimation of monitoring and control over CPS special education in a recership situation when I was in the Monitors Office. I did it free of charge and outside of work time. My cost estimates were in the many millions a year. The court would have been attacked by CPS for eating up money that should go to the kids, the situation would have been very bad.

    Rod Estvan

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