How I Work

Every once in a while I like to explain how this site works, where I get things to post, and how I decide what to include. It's pretty simple, really.  The blog hasn't changed that much in terms of what I do and why I do it since I left town.  I'm including some pictures for your entertainment.  MORNING NEWS:  In general, there's a news roundup every morning, based on a scan of the various mainstream and trade news outlets that are out there, with a quick summation at the top.   For a look at these, check the link in the right column "Daily News Roundup."  Items that are editorials or opeds are usually indicated as such (apologies for the occasional oversight.) There's usually an image for each post, though the images aren't always directly related to the day's news or even the topic of education.

AFTERNOON UPDATES:  Then, later on in the day, as more news items appear via email or otherwise, I tweet items out at @district299 and copy and paste them in comments.  They also appear in the right column.

BIG POST OF THE DAY:  There's usually a second post every day, either on a theme or issue that seems timely and interesting.  Yesterday's was the new state charter school commission.  Today's is, well, this post.  These vary widely in tone and substance.

WHAT ELSE?  During the rest of the day, I write posts for my other blog, write freelance education articles, and work on longer projects (my second book, for example).  I get an email each time someone posts a comment, and read it to make sure nobody's gone crazy. I spend a lot of time reading and writing, and talking on the telephone (call me!).

READER COMMENTS:  The rest is up to you, dear readers.  Comments, complaints, new items that I have missed. As you might have noticed, there are three main times when people post comments -- in the morning, right after school, and then before bed.  You can find comments after each individual blog post and also top right on the page under "Recent Comments"

TAKING SIDES:  I love education. I love Chicago.  My goal is to find and share the best news coverage and commentary about Chicago schools that I can find, whether I agree with it or not, and to write commentary that makes you think.  I'm not for one side or the other, at least not in any regular or consistent way.  I'm against everyone -- CPS, City Hall, CTU -- pretty regularly; have a little patience - it'll be the other side's turn for me to mock or criticize them tomorrow.  There's been absolutely no interference from Chicago Now or the Tribune.

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  • Tweets, twits, comment monitoring, hipster tacos... whatev... none of this explains how you came up with that monumentally dumb post about teachers striking against youth violence. Just issue a retraction saying that it was a silly statement meant to do nothing more than provoke and then we can move on.

  • Being from the East Coast now, I would ask that you bring in more info on the shenanigans of the Broadies and corporate goons not only in Chicago but outside of Illinois.

    A great resource is Schools Matter http://www.schoolsmatter.info/
    ----

    I am a former NJ DOE employee who resigned recently because I could no longer be a part of the extortion and fraud that is taking part there under the Broad Administration of Chris Cerf, Penny MacCormack, Peter Shulman, Bing Howell, ad nauseum.

    Cerf first tried to get rid of the County Exec Superintendents offices, but was stopped when the legislature reminded him that they were created by statute. How inconvenient! So he hired a Broad Intern (for $90,000 named Rochelle Sinclair) who came up with the idea to overlay the state with 7 Regional Achievement Centers (RACs) staffed with "Education Rockstars" from around the country (read Broad Academy grads) who would go in to schools that were failing, assess them, replace the principals and hire new teachers (Teacher 4 America, anyone?). The problem was the cost.

    Enter Arne Duncan and the NCLB waiver, plus the Race to the Top funding. Now Penny MacCormack is trying to divert the SES money we still have ($56 million)., to pay for the RACs. Oh, and we have thrown out the NCLB report cards and replaced them with our own in-house "measures of proficiency" which is a lot of speculative data manipulated by another bunch of Broad interns since none of the in-house data people would go along with this scheme. They have all been "rubber roomed" in other departments for not being "team players."

    So far, so good. Now, armed with his new proficiency data, Cerf has swooped down on a bunch of "underperforming" charter schools, presenting them with two options: we pull your charter, close you down, and your kids are on the street OR you select from this DOE-approved list of Charter Management Organizations (more Broad buddies) who will TAKE OVER YOUR CHARTER. This is extortion. The first to fall will be Paul Robeson Charter in Trenton which has a fund balance of $1.6 million. They are even forcing them to change the name of the school to Scholars Academy!!!

    Save us from the pirates of education reform. I know you guys are not really fond of charters, but Cerf is after the public schools, too. (See Newark, Paterson, Jersey City, and Camden). First he comes for the charters, then he comes for the public schools.

    http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2012/05/administration_to_resign_to_ke.html

    http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012305010023

    http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/12/0517/2208/

  • Didn't CPS hire a Broadie and paying her big bucks from the public till, recently. Claude the Fraud is a Broadie.. and he hired a few under him on Clark St. hmmm seems they are failures! Rahm may need to look elsewhere to move his corporate take over of CPS! They are looking awful weak!

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