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.

VIOLENCE

Students Shot This School Year Highest Since 2008 Huffington Post: The number of young people shot during the 2011-12 academic year is up nearly 22 percent from last year, the highest number of students wounded by firearms in the last four years.

‘Somebody wanted that boy dead’ Sun Times: Antonio was to begin his freshman year at Leo in August and had enrolled in our summer bridge program for reading and math classes to help ease his transition to high school.

Violence in Chicago Tribune (Marilyn Katz): According to a 2011 report commissioned by the Chicago-based Alternative Schools Network, 15 percent of male dropouts in Illinois who are age 18 to 34 were incarcerated, compared with 3 percent of high school graduates.

Record number of Chicago students shot during last school year Sun Times: Chicago police officials report the number of students shot in the city during the past school year is up nearly 22 percent.The Chicago Tribune reports that 319 students were shot — the highest number in four years.

DISCIPLINE

Chicago School Code Of Conduct Lightens Up On Suspensions ... Huffington Post: The Chicago Public Schools board will vote Wednesday on a new code of conduct that includes big changes to the district's suspension policies, and a ...

Roll back suspensions at Chicago Public Schools Sun Times (editorial):   The revised code would begin to move CPS away from strict punishment and toward a school system that, at least on paper, is committed to changing student behavior, not just punishing it. The board should approve the new code, while acknowledging that the attempt to build more peaceful, constructive environments in CPS’ toughest schools has only just begun.

CPS awarded grants to "transform" four high schools Catalyst: At its meeting Thursday, the Illinois State Board of Education approved school improvement grants to do transformation for Clemente Community Academy, Bowen High School, Bogan High and Al Raby High. Outside of Chicago, East St. Louis Senior High and Cahokia High also are up for grants. Washington High School was originally on the list to be transformed, but was pulled at the last minute, according to ISBE spokeswoman Mary Fergus.

MISC

Superintendent candidate Martinez explains his vision for improving ... Newsworks: An accountant who also served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Chicago Public Schools, he was pressed by educators concerned about his lack of teaching ...

How can the Chicago Teachers Union win? Socialist Worker Online: Chicago teachers have authorized a strike by an overwhelming margin--and they will need solidarity to win their battle with the city.

Putting The Whole Thing Together Tim Furman: As I've said before, I think that in some ways the Rachel Maddow show is linked directly (through its silence on the issue, and the explicit education agenda of its advertiser, Exxon) to the promotion of corporate ed "reform,"  but there's nobody better in the world right now at explaining issues related to free speech.

 

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  • Will someone please ask about this at the Board meeting:

    What is going on with the recent Personnel Bulletins from CPS? There are zero teaching opportunities listed in the most recent, despite a huge number of retirees. Is it the result of the number of principal vacancies? Is CPS trying to send a message of dissatisfaction to teachers for the strike authorization vote?

    There are positions listed for OSI and AUSL -- but this again seems another way of expressing the threat that CPS has been making to teachers in neighborhood and magnet schools. Feel lucky you have a job; don't think you'll be getting another one unless it's at a charter school.

    My favorite position they have listed at Central Office (and a cursory count suggests there are maybe 80 positions they're currently hiring for) is for a Crisis Coordinators. This person will " plan and organize a crisis with
    the Crisis Manager and school administrators for the next day." Not a response to a crisis. Just plan a crisis with the principal so each school can be sure to have one.

    This year is going to be a blast!

  • In reply to ChiTeach:

    Dear Chi,
    I believe it says on the ebulletins that they are no longer posting positions there. You have to log in on the "Candidate Gateway" to look at jobs. To actively apply for positions, you have to go through their application process. I've checked it out a few times and I don't know how accurate these positions are. I know for a fact at a certain school, there are a few open positions, but the ones posted are not it. These open positions change almost everyday. I don't know if the principals have control over them or not. As with anything CPS their systems are NEVER accurate. Good luck to you! I agree this year is going to be a blast! Get ready to scramble!!

  • In reply to ChiTeach:

    They are waiting for displaced teachers to find out their status before allowing principals to hire. I would imagine teaching positions will be in next week's E-bulletin.

  • If you look closely at the bulletin it says that you now have to fill in the online application before you can view open positions. And I believe AUSL and OSI have a different hiring process all together.

  • from stand:

    Dear Alexander,

    I'm really frustrated.

    Last week, our parent petition asking both CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union to settle ongoing contract disputes was publicly criticized and called "unacceptable." I was shocked that people would want to silence the voices of parents, especially since a breakdown in negotiations could mean that 400,000 of our kids - including my son Daniel - could be locked out of their classrooms this fall.

    This is not about taking sides. We are fighting for what's best for our kids - and that starts with ensuring they can actually attend school.

    I'm going to deliver the petition in person at the school board meeting on Wednesday morning. I need your support so I can ensure our voices are heard loud and clear. Can you take 30 seconds sign the petition?

    http://cl.s4.exct.net/?qs=dc82ddfa7e37ec55025fa52f08ebbaf543a9fcac977850c015770517611ba933

    Since my son Daniel entered CPS three years ago, I've been fighting for his right to a quality public education. My son loves his school, his friends, and his teachers. The thought that he could miss out on days or even weeks of valuable education time because the adults who are charged with keeping him in school are not able to arrive at an agreement is not acceptable to me.

    I believe strongly in the institution of public education; I believe teachers have the right to be paid appropriately for working longer hours... but I also believe that parents should be given the right to speak up when our children's education is at stake. If you think parents should be able to speak up - no matter where their opinion may lie so that all voices are heard - take a moment to sign the petition and share it on your social networks.

    http://cl.s4.exct.net/?qs=dc82ddfa7e37ec55025fa52f08ebbaf543a9fcac977850c015770517611ba933

    Standing with you,
    Michael R. Butz
    Stand for Children Parent and Member

    P.S. Did you pick up today's Tribune? Check out page 11 and the open letter from myself and other parent leaders of Stand urging people to sign the petition: http://cl.s4.exct.net/?qs=dc82ddfa7e37ec55fb3e266d67b8bd858be69f97387f889f37134a0e5b5e1c12

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Stand for Corporate Dollars. Deformers not Reformers. The agenda has changed once they got the big bucks and started talking privatization, anti-union bs and more. They are not too bright here in Illinois, since the mayor and CEO run the show in CPS. Stand.. you need to tell Mayor Rahm and CEO Brizard, they are failing, not the teachers. Reality check!

    An Open Letter from Former Stand for Children Activists about Ballot Measure

    http://www.citizensforpublicschools.org/editions-of-the-backpack/spring-2012-backpack/an-open-letter-from-former-stand-for-children-activists-about-ballot-measure/

    For or Against Children?
    The problematic history of stand for children
    http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/26_01/26_01_sanchez.shtml
    Stand for Children is an Astro-Turf Machine
    http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2011/07/stand-for-children-is-astro-turf.html

    Stand for Children Stands for the Rich and the Powerful…
    http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/stand-for-children-stands-for-the-rich-and-the-powerful/

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    My favorite response to Michael Butz ...

    http://www.southbronxschool.com/2011/09/see-more-of-michael-r-butz-of-chicago.html

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Mr. Butz, it would appear that you are all about silencing voices. Your leader Jonah explored this topic in great detail (video) suggesting how he and your organization had successfully silenced the voice of teachers, paraprofessionals and clinicians with SB7... now it is about your voice?

  • The question that needs to be asked is if the stand for children parent voice is a legitimate voice or one that is merely a mouthpiece for the corporate horde that funded stand for children. There's a strong argument that the stand for children parent voice is illegitimate just because it is connected with that corporate funded shell of an organization. If Stand for Children really stood for children and not corporations, it would not have destroyed the negotiating process between the CPS and the CTU through its sponsorship of SB7. If Stand for Children truly wanted a legitimate parental voice, it would be pushing for an elected school board in Chicago.

  • "Parents, Teachers Rally For Fair Contract, Better School Conditions At Board Of Ed Meeting" | Progress Illinois http://ow.ly/bScrl

  • "The Geography of Chicago Schools, Homicides, and Poverty" - The 312 - June 2012 - Chicago http://ow.ly/bScxi

  • "Teachers, parents protest outside CPS board mtg". | abc7chicago.com http://ow.ly/bScC4

  • Headache299
    Thanks for posting Linda Yu at: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=8716502

    while others have reported that ‘teacher are fighting for a pay increase’, Linda Yu is one of the few that bothers to mention one often neglected fact: “to reflect the increased time that will be spent at work”

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