Is Charter Compact Comprehensive?

Today's news includes more info about the charter-district compact (noting that not all charters in the compact districts in other cities are participating), news that at least three CPS charters are being revamped or closed down,  and that other districts aren't joining CPS in extending the day.

CPS to Sign Gates Foundation Charter Deal CNC:  After Tuesday’s announcement, 12 school districts nationwide will have signed the compacts. It is not yet clear what impact the deals have had in cities that signed on when they were introduced in December 2010.

Charter schools now under the microscope Tribune:  CPS officials say the district has never revoked a charter's license. But a day after the state released the charter school data, Brizard announced CPS had begun the revocation process for two struggling charters he wouldn't name. He said CPS also was partnering with a third charter network, Chicago International Charter Schools, to overhaul that network's poor performing Basil elementary school on the South Side.

Some Indiana lawmakers work on restoring cursive writing back in schools WBEZ:  Some Indiana state lawmakers want to make sure schools still teach cursive writing. Indiana had approved new standards this year that excluded mandatory cursive instruction in the classroom.

City Sticker Design Contest Chicago Tonight: Nearly 240 high school students from 44 Chicago high schools submitted designs to this year’s contest – and now there are just 10 finalists.

Raising the bar: New teacher, principal evaluations on the horizon for Illinois schools Ottaw Times: Steve Johnson, president of the Ottawa Township High School Education Association, said the state model is incredibly complex. It consists of much more than a checklist but requires documentation, listing time and date, that specifically points out areas of praise or concern.

Suburban schools not following Chicago in quest for longer school day Chicago Daily Herald: While the debate over the length of the school day in the Chicago Public Schools continues to escalate, data produced by suburban high schools indicate that parents' resources and the way classroom time is used are equal.

School reform in the balance as talks begin on new Chicago teachers pact Crain's Chicago Business (blog): My column in the new issue of Crain's is on that very topic: just-begun negotiations betweenChicago Public Schools and CTU over a new contract that will set the limits of school reform. It's fair to say the two sides —- the union's and Mayor Rahm ...


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  • Alexander posted a link to an article by Greg Hinz and I thought the article was intellectually lazy. Here is what I mean by saying that. Mr. Hinz mentions the word strike in relation to the CTU negotiations and he mentions some of the provisions in SB7 that relate to a longer school day, but he does not discuss the prohibitory language contained in SB7 (Public Act 097-0008 )that relates to strikes by the CTU in particular. I found that very strange indeed. Maybe he does not know about them, or possibly including a discussion of them might reduce the drama of his article.

    Mr. Hinz's entire article is based on a discussions with CTU President Lewis and Phyllis Lockett, who heads the Renaissance Schools Fund. Somehow he concludes that we are headed to "World War III." Mr. Hinz totally neglects to discuss the provision in SB 7 which states that in order for CTU to go on strike "at least three-fourths of all bargaining unit members [must] have affirmatively voted to authorize the strike." How likely is that? Not one word from Mr. Hinz on that issue, a little research on his part would show that the CTU has never had three-fourths of its members vote in favor of any strike. So what are the chances that an unprecedented percentage of teachers would vote to strike given the current job market?

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    I just had this conversation with a retired teacher today. He recalled the vote for the Christmas strike ( I forget the exact year, taken at the International Ampitheater) being practically unanimous. He also stated that the1987 strike vote was also close to
    unanimous. Can you personally confirm those statements? What was even more interesting was,
    how similar the negotiation points were.

  • In reply to Maestro:

    If I recall correctly, those were votes of the members present, not the entire membership.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    For clarification, the 84, 83, 75 strike votes all had over 75% of the eligible CTU voters voting in support of a strike. This is out of the eligible voting membership, not just those voting. The 75 one was well over the threshold despite the strike votes being taken at a central location before the start of school. The 73 strike, and the 91 strike vote came very close to the 3/4th threshold. Check the newspaper (tribune) archives for confirmation.

  • brief profile of tim cawley, who was inspired to get involved in education by.... paul vallas

  • Between 2006 and 2007, under Crawly leadership, stock price at Motorola plummeted from $84.20 to $65.69. That's when he decided to quite Motorola and share his winning strategies with CPS students and teachers.

  • here's another story about the compact, this one from the tribune,0,6055489.story

  • Great! Now we're eligible to escalate unemployment, decrease wages and simultaneously pad the bill & melinda gates tax-shelter foundation. More good news for the people of chicago!

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Bill Gate's record in education is sad. Bill Gates should stick to eradicating malaria...

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    Bill Gates should stick to the Supreme Court for violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

    Blagojevich gets 14 years for trying to sell 'one' seat - meanwhile, Rahm, Brizard, Crawly & Company make millions selling 'quality' seats.

  • no charter compact for philly, says the notebook

  • Now I could be wrong about this but Stand for Children that effectively wrote SB 7 claimed to have researched CTU strike votes and came up with a high percentage in the upper 60s, I think 67 percent. I cann't recall where I learned that from, possibly a discussion in Springfield with Jessica Handy Stand for Children's lobbyist.

    I do know that the 75% number was researched by Stand for Children and believed to be not attainable by the CTU.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Jonah Edelman claimed as much in his now infamous remarks at last summer's Aspen Ideas Festival.

    Still, I'd like to know how SFC researched this. Chicago Teachers Union is a private organization and doesn't release this kind of information to the public.

  • Flash to the near future - only 100 CTU members remain! Still, only 67 vote to strike...

  • here's a PDF of the actual compact itself -- all 32 PP of it -- from CPS via @sethlavin

    what's not clear to me is exactly what has been agreed to specifically yet, and whether all of chicago's charter providers are on board.

  • nobody seems to care about this compact thing besides me but here's the list of charters that signed on -- excluding a handful of operators including the university of chicago:

    who else is missing from the list? you don't care.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    if nobody seems to care, it may be because people don't feel like their voices are being heard. Look at the outcry for Casals! How loudly do communities have to scream to be heard while a small handful of wealthy business types and bureaucrats pay for self serving legislation and push people around? School 'choice' has led us to 'no voice'.

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