Archive for February 2012

Don't Rate Individual Teachers Publicly

It's one thing to try and score teachers based on their effectiveness helping kids learn using test scores and statistical models controlling for poverty with the intention of using the data to try and target training, support improvement, or assess policies surrounding assignment and distribution of teachers across a district.  It's quite another thing to release those scores to the public or go to court to get them and publish them.  Rating teachers individually and releasing those numbers to the public seems to me like an invasion of privacy, like sharing someone's cholesterol level or credit rating, or annual review.  ...

Tech Companies To The Rescue?

The announcement that 5 CPS high schools are going to partner with various tech companies dominates today’s news coverage, but I’m not sure what the big fuss is all about.  We’ve seen school-tech company partnerships before, many times, and I’m not sure that many of them have turned into resounding long term successes.  This much... Read more »

National Education News One Click Away

See the new “National Ed News” box at the top of this page?  It shows you how to get national school reform news and commentary via Facebook, Twitter, or the old fashioned World Wide Web.  The new button joins the other permanent information pages up there, which include showing how to comment anonymously, ask questions... Read more »
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States Bring Back "Social Promotion" Bans

A few weeks ago former Tribune reporter Stephanie Banchero had a Wall Street Journal story out about a handful of states returning to the idea of making schools hold kids back if they can’t read by the end of 3rd grade (Bills Prod Schools to Hold Back Third-Graders). The story notes that Chicago’s ban on... Read more »

Congrats To 94 CPS Schools

Today’s education news:  Honors for 94 schools (congrats!), acceptance letters for SE schools, Brizard speaks downtown.  That’s today’s news roundup.  Let us know if you get your acceptance letters, or if there’s anything else missing, or what you think of the 94 schools identified by the state. ‘High achievement’ test puts 94 CPS schools on... Read more »

Watch The Board Mtg (If You Dare)

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Click play to watch. Over the weekend CPS posted video of last week’s Board meeting(part 2 here, part 3 here).  Looks like they’ve been doing this since at least November — I’d heard this long-promised was coming but hadn’t realized that it was already available.  Let us know if you notice anything interesting or untoward.
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Brizard Goes To Church

Happy Monday.  Today’s education news focuses mostly on Jean-Claude Brizard’s Sunday sermon about the district’s closing/ turnaround initiative, plus some coverage and commentary about the looming longer day (LLD) and turnarounds. Anyone see video or audio of the Brizard speech?  Did Duncan or Huberman or Vallas ever give a Sunday sermon like this? Brizard: No... Read more »

What Are They Saying / Thinking?

Caption contest:  What’s Rev. Jackson saying in this WBEZ Linda Lutton picture, do you think, and what’s Karen Lewis thinking?  

Did Schools Coverage Doom CNC?

There's an interesting conspiracy theory out there, courtesy of former Chi-Town Daily head Geoff Dougherty, who tells media watchdog Jim Romenesko that the reason the MacArthur Foundation declined to continue funding Chicago News Cooperative is that CNC was writing stories that were too critical of CPS and CHA.  There are several City Hall connected folks on the MacArthur board. You get the idea.  Both CNC and MacArthur have denied there's anything to the story, and thus far neither Dougherty nor anyone else has provided any real evidence that MacArthur had problems with CNC's coverage or defunded CNC over it. There are at least three things worth noting, however, beyond the inherent delights of contemplating a new conspiracy.  ...
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Overcrowded, Under-Enrolled, Or Both?*

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Chicago Public Schools’ enrollment keeps going down, but reports about overcrowding like this one from WTTW’s Eddie Arruza suggest that at least in some places the problem remains a serious one.  How can CPS be both overcrowded and under-enrolled at the same time?  The obvious answer is that the kids and the schools aren’t necessarily... Read more »