Students Re-Focus School Discipline Debate

Today's news includes an update from VOYCE, focusing on broader school discipline issues not just Noble Street (a distraction, IMO), a Kimberly Lightford push for smaller class sizes (making nice with CTU?), and a call from Catalyst's Lorraine Forte for some serious mending of fences. Also -- Emanuel's principal bonus program (separate blog post).

VIOLENCE

Students call on Emanuel to back discipline reform CMW:  New research by students in VOYCE, reviewing tens of thousands of disiplinary actions at CPS over the past year, shows the vast majority were for offenses that did not pose serioius and immediate safety threats, according to the group.

Are overlaps between school closings and youth violence a coincidence? Chicago Reporter: Twenty-two communities on Chicago's South, Southwest and West sides--where the school turnarounds and closures are based--saw nearly 80 percent of the city's youth homicides, according to a recent Reporter investigation.

Teen charged with killing another teen at school denied bond Sun Times: Christian Gonzalez, of the 4000 block of South Talman, was charged as an adult with one count each of murder and attempted murder in the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Chris Wormely at 7:30 a.m. Thursday inside AMIkids Infinity Chicago High School at 10211 S. Crandon, authorities said.

MISC

CPS Class Size Reduction a Top Priority for State Lawmaker ChicagoTalks: State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), vice-chairperson of the Education Committee, has proposed a law that would force Chicago schools to cap classroom sizes.

CPS students to meet Nobel Peace Prize laureates Tribune:Since November, some Chicago Public Schools students have been learning about the efforts of Nobel Peace Prize laureates as part of a larger social justice initiative to introduce them to human rights heroes.

Symposium details child poverty effects, school funding disparities Catalyst: Speakers at Friday's “Illinois Kids Count” symposium, put on by Voices for Illinois Children, touched on issues as wide-ranging as immigration policy and the state's school funding system.

Does Coke market to kids? You decide Tribune:  After reading my recent blog item about a study that suggested kids who play sports eat more junk food, Kevin Morris, Coca-Cola's vice president of Public Affairs and Communications, wrote to "set the record straight."

Interview on SE High Schools with OAE CPS Obsessed:  Ok, here is my write-up of the interview.  Some of the comments are paraphrased, based on my recollection and messy notes. Feel free to comment or share your conspiracy theories.

Mend Fences, Build Better Schools for Chicago Loraine Forte (Catalyst): While Mayor Emanuel has a point when he says the protests are "noise associated with change," that's not the whole story. The angst runs deeper than that, as communities and parents see long-standing institutions shut down, trusted teachers sent packing and an outside group (the non-profit Academy for Urban School Leadership) brought in to take over.

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  • Inequalities persist for minority students in large, urban school districts, including CPS - http://ow.ly/9ty5c

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