Archive for May 2012

Watch Last Week's Board Meeting

Click below to watch video from last week's Board meeting, which was just posted yesterday by CPS.  It's in several parts, and looks to be complete, but let us know if you see anything left out. Forgotten what last weeks' Board meeting was all about?  Click here. My memory is vague but I seem to recall there was also a protest of some kind.  ...

How I Work

Train stop near my apartment
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.  ...

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...
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Network Appeals To Charter Commission

One of the changes to state education law that you may not have paid much attention to is the creation of a new state charter school commission, which has the authority to hear appeals from charter applicants that have been denied and to approve new charters that may not be wanted by the districts in which they are to operate. One such applicant in Chicago is Eunoia, who is appealing to the state charter commission after having been turned down by CPS in its effort to open two schools.  Previously, applicants could re-apply the next year (like the Avondale Montessori folks did, successfully) but couldn't appeal to another agency for immediate approval.  ...

Waiting For The Strike Vote To Begin

Today's education news is a little bit of everything -- charter changes, Dyett die-off, results of an opinion poll about Rahm and a pre-negotiation strike, and a bit of followup on the violence over the weekend and so far in the current year. You can also see in the post below that IL was denied an NCLB waiver in the second round, but will try again.  Meantime, I think most of us are waiting for the official beginning of the strike vote.  The clock is ticking, right...

IL Rejected For NCLB Waiver

Today in Connecticut Secretary Duncan announced that another eight states were being granted NCLB "waivers" that allow them to come up with alternative school rating systems for the current AYP and to clump NCLB's accountability subgroups into so-called "super subgroups."  Alas, Illinois was not among them (see full press release below). So far, 18 states have been waived.  No word yet on whether the state knows why it didn't get approved or whether it's going to go through another round of applying.  In case you don't remember what the state was proposing to do, here's a Tribune piece about the proposal, which was approved by ISBE and sent along to Washington earlier this year.  Do you care?  Maybe.  The waiver would implement a five-star rating system instead of AYP pass/fail, among other changes...
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Something To Strike About

There have been 107 Chicago kids killed in the last year, according to the Black Star project, including two in just the last couple of weeks (pictured).  Check out the list below.  Just this past weekend, a seven year old girl shot was outside her home during a drive-by, according to the Sun Times (Ten dead, 41 wounded in weekend shootings). If Chicago teachers want to protest something and even go out on strike, why can't it be something like the youth violence problem that continues to plague the city?   This is something parents and teachers could strike over together, rather than over something that's going to be perceived as focusing on teachers' interests, inconveniencing parents, and interrupting students' learning...

School Closing Lawsuit Denied

Welcome back. Hope you managed to stay cool over the long weekend and that the air conditioning at work is as good or better than it is at home.  Today's education news includes an update on the lawsuit to stop CPS from closing schools (denied), a story about another wayward item on a standardized test (outrage!), an update on Fenger High School (things are somewhat better), a look at a rookie teacher at Marshall (struggling!), and lots of shootings...

Mixed Feelings About Lightford

Thumbnail image for 'Mixed Feelings About Lightford'
The guy at School Tech Connect has a couple of posts about Senator Lightford and some video illustrating his (and many others’) mixed feelings about the legislator who was central to the enactment of SB7. In the first post (Meanwhile, Down In Springfield) he admires Lightford (and Steans, who follows) for fighting for a restoration... Read more »
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Strike Vote Pro / Con

Today's education news include more about the big rally on Wednesday and the possibility of a strike vote being taken next month (which starts a week from today). Principal hirings are starting to trickle in -- got anyone new named at your school let us know. But it's hard to concentrate on anything other than the possibility of a strike vote, and comments this week have including an understandable mix of views pro and con about the strike vote and the possibility of a real strike...