Archive for October 2011

Testing Results & Grad Rates, Oh My!

It’s test score time, the annual ritual in which the state finally releases school by school test score results and everyone pays attention for a moment.  The scores don’t look great, on the whole — we already knew that — and they may not even mean much, reports Linda Lutton.  Oh, and newly accurate (lower)... Read more »

Cheating, Policing, Biking, & More

Today’s news (other than the test scores discussed in the other post) is a hodge-podge that includes school safety, student bike riding, the coming end of NCLB tutoring, and a few other things. Citing safety, most high schools keeping police Catalyst: This summer, CPS officials announced a cost-cutting move that they hoped would save $13 million: Offer... Read more »

"This American Life" Goes To School

NPR’s Ira Glass started out as an education reporter in Chicago, you may know, and he’s always had a soft spot for education stories. This week, his TAL show is focusing on a middle school:  ”This week, at the suggestion of a 14-year-old listener, we bring you stories from the awkward, confusing, hormonally charged world of... Read more »
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Soul-Crushing (And Expensive)

Today’s a PD day for Chicago teachers, and Catalyst has some ideas about how to make them more useful for teachers (Teachers suggest five steps to better professional development ).  They’re also really expensive.  Last I remember, the days cost CPS and taxpayers some crazy amount of money — $7 or $8 million in payroll alone... Read more »

Extended Day Not Magic (Or Poison)

Today’s news includes a bit more coverage of the school closing plan and some followup on the extended day story (CPS will fight back, not all charter schools will get the extra money). Complicated Formula Will Help Determine Fate of Some Chicago Schools CNC/NYT:  Chicago Public Schools officials are giving the public an early look at... Read more »

It's A Civil War, Not A Partisan One

Things almost always go awry when the national media get involved in local news stories, and that was the case earlier this week when MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell weighed in on the much-discussed Denver school board race taking place next week. Following up on recent coverage in The Nation and on Salon, O’Donnell did a segment with Denver school board... Read more »
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Get Ready For More Closings

Today’s news includes word that CPS will be closing schools again at the end of the year for both performance and utilization reasons, plus the approval of the charter school extended day incentive program ($800 per teacher). CPS Lays Groundwork for School Closings CNC:  CPS officials said they will rely on school performance as the primary... Read more »

Boston Debate Echoes Chicago

“Fifteen months into contract talks, the Boston Public Schools and the Boston Teachers Union still have not come to an agreement on extending the length of the teacher work day,” notes NCTQ, a Washington DC-based teacher ;  Their report finds that “Boston teachers have one of the shortest on-site required days around the country.”

Test Irregularities At 9 CPS Schools

Today’s news includes reports on ISBE’s investigation into testing irregularities — a handful of self-reported incidents and a massive look at 2011 answer sheets ISBE has taken in response to cheating scandals in other states.  There’s also coverage of the longer day debate. State investigating ‘test irregularities’ at 33 public schools Sun Times: The Illinois State Board... Read more »
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Stop Beating Up On SB7!

Here’s another report on new state teacher evaluation initiatives that suggests IL’s much-hyped SB 7 isn’t as strong or likely to succeed as others passed in other states, if at all. Whether this is good news or bad depends on your point of view.  Called “Built To Succeed” (PDF), the report was funded by DFER... Read more »