Layoffs For Unionized Charter Teachers

As you may have seen yesterday afternoon, today's education news includes Youth Connections' decision to close one of its campuses right after the teachers there voted to join the union (press conference this afternoon). Other news includes the possibility of pension reform, the city's ongoing violence problems, a new report from the Consortium and a new article from Tim Shanahan. Layoffs in Gary, sagging Aldermen, it goes on and on.YOUTH CONNECTIONS

Youth Connection charter set to fire teachers, union cries foul Catalyst:  Three other Youth Connection campuses – Rudy Lozano Leadership Academy, Latino Youth High School, and Howard Area Leadership Academy – were the most recent charter school campuses to join Chicago ACTS, and they did so about a year and a half ago.

Charter school teachers file unfair labor complaint against network Tribune:  Teachers and staff at a Chicago charter school for troubled youths have filed an unfair labor complaint that claims the network that runs the school announced plans to close it a day after teachers voted to form a union.

PENSION REFORM

Madigan announces possible pension reform deal in Springfield Sun Times:  House Speaker Michael Madigan announced a possible breakthrough late Wednesday on a pension reform deal just hours after facing bitter GOP accusations of slashing juvenile diabetes funding to punish two Republican leaders with diabetic children.

Madigan makes room for deal Chicago Tribune: Madigan and others view it as an unfair state subsidy while suburban lawmakers note that Chicago Public Schools get a disproportionate share of state operating funds.

VIOLENCE

Violence in Chicago WTTW:  Chicago's homicide rate is up nearly 50 percent from last year at this time. What can be done to deter the escalating violence? Elizabeth Brackett and her guests discuss the issue.

Emanuel's Misguided Street Gangs Initiative Southwest News-Herald:  The Chicago Public Schools are a mess. Public Transportation is a frightfest of fear. People who ride the CTA buses and trains spend more time worrying about being mugged or shot than enjoying the commutes to and from work.

SAGGY PANTS AND WALDORF

Aldermen: Saggy pants disrupt schools Tribune:  Most Chicago Public Schools already require uniforms or have dress codes, but that didn't stop aldermen Wednesday from pressing district officials to make sure the rules bar the wearing of saggy pants, a behavior that has increased in recent years.

In this first grade, knitting and stories are the focus, not phonics WBEZ:  In a sunny classroom, first graders at the Chicago Waldorf School are not picking up books.  Instead, in every student’s hands are two wooden knitting needles.

THE REST

Emanuel, firefighters union clash over new contract Tribune:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday that a new contract for Chicago firefighters will need to include cost-cutting reforms to the way the department operates, but the union is vowing to fight the administration’s proposal.

Illinois joins push against for-profit colleges WBEZ:  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has joined counterparts from 20 other states in pressing Congress to stop what they say is the exploitation of military veterans by for-profit colleges.

Can TV make kids better readers? North Country Public Radio: Shanahan  has been a reading teacher and professor for 40 years and was the former Director of Reading for Chicago Public Schools. He says there've been studies on things like children's educational television, and they find it to be somewhat effective, ...

Education “Reformer” Makes Pitch in Madison The Progressive:  Paul Vallas has been “saving schools” since 1995 when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley appointed him CEO of Chicago Public Schools. His tenure was marked by a dramatic increase in charter schools, including the addition of six military ...

Report sheds light on graduation rates for English learners Catalyst:  Researchers also found that learning English is critical. Even among Latino students who were on-track as freshmen, those who didn’t master English by the time they got to high school were less likely to graduate.  That finding was true for both new ELLs and those who had been in CPS since elementary school.

New York Times College Life Fair Time Out Chicago Kids: In conjunction with the Illinois Association for College Admissions Counseling (IACAC) and Chicago Public Schools, the College Life Fair features guests speakers such as Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of financial aid resources FinAid.org.

Gary Schools To Lay Off 169 Teachers CBS2:  Severe cuts are coming to schools in Gary, Ind. The Gary Community Schools district is getting ready to lay off 169 teachers.

Obama plans rare trip to Kenwood home this weekend Tribune:  President Barack Obama, who recently lamented that he couldn’t sleep in his own bed during the NATO summit in Chicago, will have the chance Friday when he returns for three fundraisers.

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