Rose Is Out (Of CPS)

Today's news includes the blockbuster revelation that Jamika Rose is no longer going to run community engagement.  You may recall first hearing about her last summer (see here).  Obviously there were issues, but there's no news on her replacement and I'm not sure that having the position vacant helps anyone though it might be satisfying for those frustrated with her work.  Bring back James Deanes?

Community engagement specialist for CPS resigns amid turmoil Tribune: Rose was criticized both inside and outside CPS for not working closely enough with parents and the community to calm concerns. Some characterized her as aloof and unfit for the position. Others simply said her efforts were not enough to overcome the turbulent times.

State overrides local school board, orders charter school opened in North Chicago WBEZ:  Illinois’s top school official has overruled the local school board in suburban North Chicago and ordered a charter school be opened there.

Cops called to St. Scholastica Academy 1 day after school closing announced Chicago News Report: Just one day after a North Side, Chicago Catholic high school made the decision to close its doors forever - cops were called to keep the peace.

West Side parents fight ‘education apartheid’ CMS:  A successful neighborhood school on the West Side is fighting “disinvestment” while a failing charter nearby gets millions of dollars worth of renovations, parents charge.

Direct Instruction Is Killing Us School Tech Connect: There's a time and a place for everything, including direct instruction.  I don't really know any successful person whose only skill is the ability to work collaboratively.

What Kind of Sauce? School Tech Connect: Suddenly everything's a secret sauce. Google "secret sauce education" and see what you get. Nobody ever goes into the high-scoring suburban schools looking for a secret sauce, even though the streets are paved with secret sauce in these communities.

Remarkable Woman: Dorene Wiese Chicago Tribune: There aren't any teachers in the Chicago Public Schools who are role models for our children. So we have the lowest college completion rate and the highest high school dropout rate in America.


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  • "What kind of Sauce?"

    "Nothing will ever change until we get kids access to books, healthcare, food, shelter, safety, and we bust ourselves free from the notion that everything needs to be measured every five minutes, and that the radix malorum in our society is something that urban teachers are or aren't doing at any given time."

    What nonsense. We know now that some children escape poverty through education. I hate it when teachers link lack of appreciation for themselves with poverty as a condition of irreducible complexity.

  • In reply to Donn:

    The author did not say that some childen won't escape poverty despite the odds; he said nothing will ever change if the barriers to learning that seem to be increasing aren't recognized and checked. There always have been, and will always be, some who can overcome poverty, but that is nothing new.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Donn clearly has a conservative tilt on many educational issues. What is particularly interesting is that Tim Furman the author of the quote that Donn picked up on is commenting on issues related to poverty and education. It is my understanding that Mr. Furman's primary classroom teaching experience was nine years teaching English and Social Studies to 8th graders at Wood Oaks Junior High School in Northbrook, Illinois. Which is part of Northbrook ESD 27, a district that in 2011 had only 2.4% students considered to be low income, is 85.1% white, and 11.4% Asian.

    So as far as I know Mr. Furman's actual pedagogical experience has not been with children in poverty, and for that matter even average income children in the State of Illinois. In 2009, Northbrook's median household income was $112,827 a year where for the state as a whole the median household income was $53,966, and Chicago's was in 2009 $45,734.

    Mr. Furman admits that he takes some shots and his comment is probably one of those shots. I however, do not disagree with him if the comment is qualified. For chidlren of the working poor and those who are just plain poor but not in deep poverty things are more complex in relation to issues relating to the lack of a material family based foundation for learning. I will not opine on that more complex issue in this post.

    But for children born or raised in the deepest poverty learning becomes secondary to survival, therefore Mr. Furman's argument is fully applicable to this subset of children. Statistically the accepted definition children in deep poverty are those living as part of families whose cash income falls below half of the poverty line, or about $11,150 for a family of four. Nationally about 20.5 million Americans, or 6.7% of the population, are living in deep poverty.

    In Chicago there are eleven neighborhoods with more than 3,000 deeply poor kids and two with more than 5,500 such kids. Forty-three percent of the city's deeply poor children are found in those eleven neighborhoods.

    About 9.3% of Chicago's households are in deep poverty, it is my opinion that a good number of these deep poverty households in Chicago are also headed by a person with an identified disability or a senior citizen. All of us who have taught in schools where deep poverty is all around us are aware of the high numbers of children being raised by grandparents or other older relatives. In fact, these older surrogate parents are often the first to admit the completely dysfunction nature of children's birth parents.

    CPS had in 2011, about 347,240 student identified as low income. A reasonable estimation of the percentage of these students who are being raised in deep poverty situations would be around 88,000 to 100,000. For these students without question Mr. Furman's argument is fully applicable.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    My conservative friends think I'm a flaming liberal. I have no home! I don't find much of what the CTU does to be liberal or progressive at all. It's smart for union warriors to attach terms like "corporate" and "privatization" to school reform advocates, but in my direct experience those labels don't hold up at all. Progressives want school reform. Smart progressives want reform policy that's based on good evidence of efficacy.

    As far as the Tim Furman article, the 'secret sauce' isn't curriculum or pedagogy, but school culture. That's likely not significantly changable in low income neighborhood schools. That's one problem with CTU conservatism.

    The second problem with CTU's inability to innovate is illustrated in Rod's poverty numbers above. There is a large "salvageable middle" of the student population. Some of those bottom 9% kids can be educationally surprises too. Current school culture and practices hasn't found a way to ask enough of the more capable middle student. Too many kids of color being prepped for city college.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Donn, I'm curious. Do you feel that aside from a very few charter schools that have produced impressive scores, that the current "reform" models are providing "good evidence of efficacy"? It very often appears that when you compare them to some of the neighborhood schools in the area, many of them really are no diffferent in terms of their achievement on ISAT and other standardized tests.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I think we're just starting the current reform model. The document in the new schools section of gives a timeline and direction of Brizards plan.
    Chicago has very little facilities money for new charters, and most of the better ones won't come here. There's little reason to expand the many little charters here that have mediocre performance. Consider UIUC has many of their students from primary school yet high school only Noble kicks their academic butts. How does that happen? UNO is a nice school, but from their population they should be producing more graduates who are solidly college ready.
    The only urban charters that I believe are proven to work are those that expertly operate the "no excuses" model. As I've said before, I do believe that students who can tolerate the discipline and workload of this type of school can overcome much of the negative inertia of poverty.
    The next contribution charters may make is successfully integrating computers into K-5. California charter Rocketship is coming to Chicago. They use fewer teachers per student.
    There don't seem to be any subtle of even moderate changes that can be implemented to significantly change outcomes for low income students. For me that the lesson of so many mediocre charters. The benefit of charters is innovation outside the norm. We have Noble because CPS teacher Milke and the other founders wanted to do a school their way.

  • In reply to Donn:

    I agree with you, but again, these "no excuses" schools (and I am a big fan of that concept) will probably not work for most of our poorest performing students - the ones that Rod Estvan calls the "deeply poor " students simply because there will be no real support from their community and/or parents. The students who rise above the poverty that they have been born in usually have some parental support, or they are simply more intelligent than their classmates. And that's great, but how do we address the needs of the not so gifted or lucky? I just don't see any reformers really doing much for them. It seems that the reformers are targeting the "salvageable middle" as you said. Are we supposed to just accept this? I get the feeling that you don't think very much of CTU teachers, but it seems to me that they are the only ones who are thinking about those who are being left behind at this point.

    Again, we are faced with the fact that unless we look at fixing the ills of society, and breaking the cycle of poverty, an unbelievable number of children are simply left out of the equation. I'm tired of reformers conveniently forgetting about those who are left behind and don't get to share in their bounty.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The status quo must be changed. We have no choice.

    Not every child deserves a good education. Every child deserves the *chance* to have a good education. The education reform movement accomplishes this important differentiation.

    Reforms create a scarce resource, education, that is only ultimately available to the wealthy (via awesome funding, small class sizes, rich and broad curricula, etc.)and the very select few in poverty who can hack a zero-tolerance, no-excuses experience (via kill-and-drill rote memorization test prep).

    The status quo of educating everyone clearly is a failure. It is time to stop throwing money down the drain and invest in helping those who are equipped to receive effective assistance.

    Mayor Emanuel wasn't so far off when he claimed that spending money educating the bottom 25% of students simply isn't worth it. It may not be politically correct, but it is accurate.

  • Alexander, Jamiko Rose resigned as chief family and community officer, yeah! CPS doesn't want the community action councils that Jamiko was suppose to be working with. CPS will replace her with an outsider and CPS will still not listen to parents, students, community residents, teachers, adminstrators or any of the stakeholders in the Chicago Public Schools. CPS will only follow the orders of Mayor Emanual.

  • Was it really better under Daley, or just quieter as Richie wound down his political career?
    Rahm does have the lesson of Michelle Rhee undoing Fenty as mayor. While Rahm will never give up the position of a true reformer, he may become more effective.
    Brizard never had authority to make changes in Rochester. Both men are in new positions of power. It's too early to tell how they will settle into these jobs.
    The lack of methodical leadership talent development in CPS is striking. I would be impressed if they would identify even a couple hundred teachers and newer admins with the goal of guiding their careers towards leadership.
    I could see proven principals being the gate keepers to a leadership program.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Dear Donn, just quieter under Daley. The only people who will lead CPS is Rahm, David Vitale and Tim Cawley.

  • couple more news items via @sethlavin:

    Training Entrepreneurs at Chicago Tech Academy |

    Jadine Chou | New CPS Security Chief to Gain Trust, Involve Community to Keep Students Safe

  • Chicago school officials got $86,000 in gifts, report says -

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