Archive for June 2012

Debriefing With Citizen Journalist Seth Lavin

The end of the year is so hard -- all those bittersweet goodbyes and uncertain prospects for the future.  Fridays seem particularly empty without a weekly update from Chicago Schools Wonks' Seth Lavin. Having recently announced his decision to quit the newsletter business and re-enter the classroom, Lavin ("Lah-vin"), is the citizen journalist extraordinaire of 2011-2012 who at times seemed to be doing a better job at covering Chicago education news than everyone else. [My good friend Dan Weissmann recently asked me, "So how much did you pay Seth to stop publishing?"]...

Change Didn't Ban StudentsFirst

As objectionable as the word reform may be to some traditional educators on the left, it seems similarly funny and ironic that Change.org is a for profit company has a name that seems so 2008 and is supported by people who many of them are opposed to commercial enterprises and President Obama, whose 2008 was all about "change." In any case, it's time for a little bit of an update on last week's story about how Change.org was banning Stand For Children and StudentsFirst...

Heat For Raising $41M In Taxes

Morning.  Today's news:  The Mayor is taking some heat for the $41M increase in taxes the Board voted on yesterday.  Rocks and Resnick are leaving the Board.  Some students go to school for 13 years without kids of any other race.  Brizard was in New York yesterday joining other big city superintendents to pressure publishers to provide better, cheaper materials.  ...
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CeaseFire Gets The Call

The increasingly desperate Chicago Police Department has reversed course and decided to partner with CeaseFire — WTTW has a segment about the organization and the change of heart:

Hot Hot Hot*

Today's news includes coverage of the heatwave closings (schools without AZC), yesterday's board meeting decisions (nothing too surprising there though I hadn't known that 800 teachers were already laid off), and a pair of big picture stories from Catalyst  WBEZ (segregation) and Chicago Magazine (violence and school performance) that are both work a look at.  Anything I missed?  Let me know in the comments. *Corrected:  The segregation package is from WBEZ not Catalyst...

Pro-Union TFA For Office

Meet Jeremy Ly, the TFA alumni and charter school teacher running for IL house who’s not anti-union.  He’s among the handful of TFA alums running for office this year (and every year for the next 100 years). He claims to have helped the charter school he worked at organize (which one?). Not all of the TFA alums win... Read more »
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June Board Meeting Day

Today's education news is a grab bag of stories and commentary about the violence levels reported on Monday, the revised discipline code that's being proposed, and the contract talks.  I'll add updates and commentary as today's Board meeting begins to generate coverage...

What's Chicago's 2012 ISAT Score?

There’s nothing better than a conspiracy theory to help make it through the week so you can imagine my ears pricked up when this email about the mysterious lack of information about the spring ISAT scores came in the other day from an anonymous reader: “Only a handful of scores were handed out in the... Read more »

School Discipline & Gun Violence

Today’s news includes lots about the proposed new discipline policy and the still high levels of gun violence surrounding Chicago school students’ lives. VIOLENCE Spike in CPS students struck by gun violence this school year Tribune: Twenty-four students were fatally shot during the school year that ended June 15, four fewer than in the 2010-11 year. But... Read more »
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June Board Meeting

None of the things that I want to know about — the contract negotiations, the IB expansion, the budget (!!!) — appear to be on the official Board agenda for the June meeting that’s taking place this Wednesday. The official agenda includes the usual resolutions (including one honoring Rachel Garza Resnick), an agreement with CPD... Read more »