News: Outside Experts, Outside Providers

The Tribune, WBEZ, and Catalyst all have stories related to Brizard's time spent with AUSL last week -- plus an interesting story about outsiders doing a review of CPS to help find ways to improve:

Brizard takes listening tour to turnaround schools Tribune: This year, AUSL's 10 turnaround elementary schools improved by an average of 8 percentage points on the state's standardized exams compared to last year, outpacing the district's average gain of 3.8 percentage points.

Outside experts put Chicago schools under microscope Tribune: A panel of education experts from across the country will delve deep into Chicago's public school system over the next two months, looking for weak links and hoping to offer the district's new leadership team advice on how to improve teaching and...

New CPS leadership likes its schools run by outside group WBEZ:  The Academy for Urban School Leadership manages 19 Chicago public schools, 7 of them teacher "training academies." Emanuel wants more. by Linda Lutton Jul. 11, 2011 A homegrown non-profit is pushing its way onto center stage in Chicago's education

ISAT vs EXPLORE Catalyst:AUSL Executive Director Don Feinstein said he understands why Brizard is pushing for the higher standards, but that asking for increases in EXPLORE might be too much too soon.

Honor student was drunk, high at time of fatal crash Sun Times:  A 16-year-old boy [from Urban Prep] drank vodka, smoked marijuana and took ecstasy before he stole a car and crashed into a 911 police dispatcher, killing her as he tried to elude officers, Cook County prosecutors said Monday.

Laid-Off Art Teachers Turn to Their Craft to Express Themselves NYT:  Ms. Barge, 28, and other former Chicago art teachers have returned to creating art as a way of coping with the derailment of their teaching careers. [see image]

Quinn signs 3 education bills Sun Times: One bill requires Illinois school districts to teach all children about preventing violence and resolving conflicts. Another bill Quinn signed requires districts to put an emphasis on math and reading during summer school if students are two grade levels behind for two consecutive years.

Mayor Emanuel cuts government credit cards from 500 to 30Chicago Sun-Times: To guard against future abuses, only five credit cards will be issued to each of six agencies: the CTA, CHA, Park District, Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges and Public Building Commission. Their use will be confined to top executives,

Noted educator Collins brings strategies to NS  Later, frustrated by what she saw as a teacher in Chicago public schools, Collins used her pension to open Westside Preparatory. Her work was groundbreaking, but she shrugs off many of the supposed keys to education reform that are touted today. ...

Teen Unemployment Crisis: Victims of Minimum Wage or Old People Reader:  The Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune blame a recent minimum-wage hike for spiraling teen unemployment. One econ blogger has a different theory: are old folks pushing the young out of the labor market?



Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • Do you think the "team of experts" will lift up the rock that is special education in CPS?

  • The experts need to examine the test scores at schools who have a statistically abnormal amount of students who take a linguistically modified ISAT. Also, please examine altered right before the ISAT, IEPs which suddenly state that the child needs a scribe when no scribe is used/needed during the school day.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    OSS can easily access all of the IEPS from downtown and need to pay particular attention to IEPs that have been amended immediately prior to the ISAT. Also, call parents and ascertain if they were at these meetings where the IEP was amended or were the IEPs sent home for signatures with little or no explanation/translation. Come on OSS act as if you give a --it!

  • from CTU:

    A sweeping bill has passed the State Senate and State House of Representatives that will give LSCs and the public a real voice in how schools are built in Chicago, which schools get repaired first, and the standards and procedures for closing a school. It is called Senate Bill 630.

    All that remains is for Governor Pat Quinn to sign Senate Bill 630. There are people who would like to see him veto Senate Bill 630.

    Urge Governor Quinn to sign Senate Bill 630. Here's how:

    Click here to open the governor's "Contact Me" page. Fill out the box entitled "Citizen Request" with a short statement asking Governor Quinn to sign Senate Bill 630—something like the following:

    Dear Governor Quinn,

    Both the House and Senate recently overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 630, which, for the first time, places specific requirements on the way that the Chicago Public Schools builds, repairs, and closes schools. As [identify yourself as an educator, classroom teacher, parent, supporter, or an LSC member at XX school name, etc], I urge you to sign SB 630 as soon as possible.

    SB 630 was actively supported by a broad coalition of groups representing parents, Local School Councils, teachers, communities, and principals. After final negotiations, both Chicago's Mayor and Board of Education supported SB 630. It is essential that steps called for in SB 630 begin immediately.

    We and hundreds of others who have worked on this issue for years, ask that you immediately sign SB 630.


    Your Name
    Your school or other affiliation

    Thank you for taking this opportunity to empower educators, parents and local school councils and to end arbitrary facilities decisions.

    In Solidarity,

    Jesse Sharkey, Vice President
    Chicago Teachers Union

  • The list of experts discussed in the news articles posted do not include all of them. I do not have a complete list, but I know there are others in addition to those listed. In terms of looking at special education it is not clear to me what will be done. I have not been asked to be in anyway involved in this process by CPS and at this time the new CEO' office has not yet responded to a request for a meeting on special education issues that Access Living made several weeks ago.

    Access Living welcomes a critical examination of CPS special education performance, especially one that examines academic outcomes for students with disabilities honestly. As always we fear that any such review will be conducted with costs in mind and avoid issues that might lead to additional costs for CPS.

    Rod Estvan

  • Wow. That is whacked. Rod Estvan is available to Brizard, and Brizard has neglected to respond. Didn't Brizard state that one of his personal job performance indicators would be ensuring that CPS "follows sped law"? Seeking insight and data from Access Living and Rod Estvan would be one of the most important first steps for the new CPS administration to make.

  • This is a Dog and Pony Show Chicago. You would think we would be tired of that dog show. Select third tier folks who are given more credit than the deserve by the CPS Public Relation machine to agree with the Charter mandate ordered by Daley and continued by Rahm. Another joke. How do these jerks get away with promoting policy that has no research to back them up? They have clout, as Mike Royko would say!

  • I'm going to meet with Mr. Brizard. We shall see, what we shall see!

  • The problem with the district is the outside consultants. They all think they know what they are doing and always have the same ideas with different semantics. Really how many deep dives does a district need? Ask the employees how to help. Do it respecting their ideas instead of finding ways to downsize them when they give you an answer you don't want to hear. Rid us of the consultants. They need real jobs.

  • What does the data show on Sherman? Wasn't Sherman the first of the AUSL turnarounds? The media needs to follow up on Sherman. They did an initial story-not in depth.

    What does OSS do as far as compliance? Special education in CPS is a disaster. Mnay of the veteran special educators who fight CPS on a daily basis to make sure the children receive services will be retiring by the end of this contract. The children will be left in charge of people who are all about cutting services no matter the need.

    How many teachers retired this year? Wouldn't these vacancies be filled by the displaced teachers?

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