Uh, Oh! Some Parents Oppose Long Day

Coverage of yesterday's Board meeting includes reporting on community protest against closing and turnaround plans, parents who don't want such a long day as CPS is proposing, and a fainting incident. The paid protesters are being investigated, too.

Anger Over Closures at School Board Meeting CNC: Community members and parents from seven of the schools affected—Crane, Dyett, Price, Fuller, Woodson South, Piccolo, Casals, Nash and Stagg—spoke Wednesday, pleading with the board to keep their schools open.

Board member Hines: School actions not "done deal" Catalyst: Board member Mahalia Hines told the group that “we are looking at your plan.”“It’s not a done deal, what is happening,” Hines said. “This is not a cookie-cutter board.”

State legislators shouldn't interfere with Chicago school closings Tribune (editorial):  We understand the impulse to save a neighborhood school. But lawmakers in Springfield don't know best about which Chicago schools should be closed or spared. That's rightly a local decision.

Crane teachers, activists unveil turnaround plan Chicago Journal:  To improve Crane, they said, programs need to be added to make it more appealing. Add an International Baccalaureate program, add trade-focused classes like cosmetology and video game programming, and reach out more to Crane’s feeder schools.

New CPS health chief goes to work — before she even got the job Sun Times: Before she was even hired, Chicago Schools’ new chief health officer addressed a health problem Wednesday — by rushing to the side of a woman who collapsed during a school board meeting.

School watchdog probes reports of paid protesters Sun Times:  News of the probe came as Mayor Rahm Emanuel sloughed off questions about whether the practice was appropriate.

Some CPS Parents Do Not Want Longer Day Fox: Mental exhaustion and time away from "family" activities: that's why some parents on Chicago’s southwest side are saying "no" to a longer school day at their kids’ elementary schools.

Supporters of 6½-hour school day submit petitions Tribune: Chicago parents supporting a longer school day — but one that's an hour shorter than the one planned for all Chicago Public Schools next fall — submitted petitions with more than 1,450 signatures to the Board of Education on Wednesday.

New law requires more details on school report cards Sun Times:  The law mandates that the state keep track of certain information about every school in Illinois — including teacher performance, standardized test scores and curriculum details — and make the information available to the public on school “report cards” beginning in 2013.

Lunch staffers to CPS: We want to cook WBEZ:  Chicago schools are serving more healthy food than they were a couple years ago, but many kitchen workers seem to think the district still has a long way to go.

Childhood Obesity and the New School Lunches Chicago Magazine:  The USDA released new school-lunch guidelines today, which define how much tomato paste on a slice of pizza is equivalent to a vegetable, and doesn't restrict potatoes... though the National Potato Council is still concerned that their prize product is considered a "second-class" vegetable.

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  • A member of the CTU bargaining team descried current negotiations as abysmal and it seems the board wants us to strike. The board's condescending attitude during negotiations will only further unify teachers. Rod thought 75% will be difficult to obtain. If the board continues with its current obstinacy, 95% will be an easy threshold to reach.

  • In reply to FrontRow:

    I have little doubt that FronRow's perspective on the situation is reasonably accurate. As we know in negotiations where you start out and end up are usually pretty different places. It goes without saying because of what is called bargaining in bad faith public communications on the process has to be contained by both CPS and CTU. Good faith bargaining requires the employer to recognize the union as bargaining agent. There is also a further requirement on both parties to engage in a full and rational discussion of their bargaining differences. SB7 may be contradictory to having a full and rational discussion if CPS prohibits bargaining related to working conditions and reduces the discussion only to monetary impact relating to changes in working conditions.

    But SB7 also makes striking more complex than just the vote, there can be issues that were effectively issues that the union could call a legal strike over prior to SB7 that depending on the position of CPS may no longer trigger a legal strike. Almost all of these issues will be related to working conditions if CPS uses its permissive option in the law that I have cited before on this blog.

    We have a completely new law in place that has never been tested legally for its inherent contradictions to the bargaining process. As I have said before the CTU is in a very complex situation given the new law. I am sure Mr. Franczek for the CPS and the CTU lawyers are feeling there way through this new law while in negotiations as I write.

    Rod Estvan

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