Grenades & Scissors

Today's education news is a grab-bag -- grenades in schools, scissors stabbing, longer day forums, a new head for the Chicago Public Education Fund:

Student brings grenade to North Aurora middle school Sun Times: A 12-year-old suburban North Aurora student was charged Tuesday with bringing a hand grenade into Jewel Middle School.

Teen girl stabbed with scissors in South Side high school classroom Sun Times: A teenage girl was stabbed in the neck by another student during a fight in a classroom at a Grand Crossing neighborhood high school Tuesday morning on the South Side. NBC: Teen Girl Stabbed at Chicago High School

Chicago Public Education Fund names a new CEO Tribune:  Heather Anichini, a vice president at Teach For America, has been named CEO of the fund, which was created in 2000. She replaces Janet Knupp who resigned last summer for personal reasons.

Dueling longer school day forums on Thursday Tribune" Parents in Beverly and Mount Greenwood announced a community forum for 7 p.m. Thursday that is being organized and hosted by Ald. Matt O'Shea, 19th. Meanwhile, the advocacy group Stand for Children will be hosting a forum of its own.

Principal Discretion Part 3 CPSObsessed: The PD handbook was supposed to have posted last night on cpsmagnet.org.  The application period will run March 9-23. Lake View High School is still taking applications this week and is having a community info session Weds 3/7 at 6:30.

Grading Schools, Failing Schools Huffington Post (Tim King): We need to move past the point where closing schools in and of itself is seen as a measure of progress.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup

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  • Saw this over at Substancenews [dot] net in a comment by Rod Estvan:

    By: Rod Estvan
    Chris Wormely's private placement

    I found the Substance article on the killing of Chris Wormely to be a little confusing. Chris never attended La Casas, prior to his placement at AMIkids Infinity he was privately placed by the Chicago Public Schools at another school on the north side, Lawrence Hall. When Chris’s family moved south the CPS placed him in a closer private school. Chris's mother could have stopped that placement by filing for due process and getting legal representation, but I doubt she understood that.

    Chris’s mother in a Chicago Sun Times article (March 1, 2012) indicated that she did not support his placement at Infinity and wanted him placed back at Lawrence Hall. Generally I do not support placement at either of these schools and recommend to parents that they consider litigating for a better placement when given these types of choices. Chris had a primary diagnosis of a learning disability with associated ADD according to his mother. If that was the case neither of these schools were the best private placements for the student.

    In general students who have better legal representation would have likely sought placement at either Cove School in Wilmette or Hyde Park Day School. But if Chris’s mother's understanding of his disabling condition is incorrect and his primary condition was emotional disturbance then neither of those two schools would have accepted him. But even in that situation there are better placements that could have been gotten for this student if the family had been more aware of their litigation rights.

    Chicago has been placing children in private special education schools long before the closing of La Casas and if I had been representing Chris even when that school was open I would have probably opposed having that him placed there and would have fought for a better private placement.

    In relation to the closing of La Casas, representing Access Living I opposed the outright closing of the school. We asked CPS to reform and locate this school inside a vocational high school, specifically the new Westinghouse school. These students desperately need vocational options, but CPS would not even consider this option.

    Effectively students with serious emotional disturbance who legally require to be placed in a special school just mark time until they are graduate or age out of the system. Huge numbers of these students end up in jail. The need for a serious vocational option for these students is critical, but the staffing requirements to run an effective vocational program for these students would be very high so effectively we throw them away.

    Rod Estvan (posted from Substancenews [dot] net)

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