National Views On Contract Talks

Today's news includes some more coverage of the contract negotiations (including a national NPR story) plus a handful of stories about a small new reform venture.  Later this week, I'm hoping to have an exit interview with newly-retired Chicago Schools Wonks' author Seth Lavin and a few other tidbits.


A New Union Battle As Chicago Teachers, Mayor Clash NPR: Both the union and the school board say they're looking for common ground as the negotiations continue. And, says CTU's Karen Lewis, that 90 percent strike authorization vote is making those negotiations just a little bit easier.

Chicago's School Showdown WSJ:  Labor leaders believe that last week's vote will give them more leverage in negotiations over the summer. However, the district could also use the vote to cast teaches as militant and uncompromising, thereby undercutting the union's public support.

Emanuel and Brizard’s First Year Catalyst: Brizard ended his speech by referencing the ongoing contract negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union. Pointing to his two-year-old son in the audience, Brizard said, “All he wants to do is learn to read and write. A strike does not serve anyone.”


New venture capital fund to support education reform efforts Tribune: even as the group, which includes Sonya Anderson of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Paul Bauerschmidt of CME Group and Gillian Darlow, a principal at the Civic Consulting Alliance, announced the proposed $10 million nonprofit at a downtown event Tuesday at the InterContinental Chicago hotel, the Chicago Teachers Union passed out leaflets outside the hotel protesting the venture.

Civic group unveils plan to help schools Sun Times: The group hopes to receive hundreds of ideas, select 20 to 30 to fund at $50,000 to $250,000 each, and emerge with two to three winners that will “move the needle.’’ Rather than focus on proven reforms, the group hopes to develop “the new, yet-to-be-proven reform,’’ said class member Gillian Darlow, a principal at Civic Consulting Alliance.


Youth Advocate Programs supporters call for funding to be restored for summer programs Tribune: The social service agency saw a $2 million funding cut in its programs this year, and it now is being offered $50,000 to serve up to 170 students this summer.

Mom Claims School Covered for Molester Courthouse News Service: ... and would drive Minor Doe in his motor vehicle to Ashburn track meets and track practices, in violation of CPS [Chicago Public Schools] and Ashburn policies ...

‘Crowns’ speaks to inner-city youth Sun Times:  Seventeen-year-old Yolanda is from violence-plagued Englewood, street tough and hardened. Her brother was gunned down in the South Side neighborhood. And her mother, in an effort to save her, sent her to the South. Amidst escalating violence now rocking Chicago’s inner city, the plot in the Goodman Theater’s reprisal of the play “Crowns” seems more real than theater.

Jill Biden checks out Chicago’s college-to-career program Sun Times: In 2008, Michele Miller found herself out of a job, and so enrolled full-time in community college classes. After graduating and working closely with City Colleges of Chicago staff to practice mock interviews, participate in resume workshops and attend job information sessions, Miller landed a job with Chicago-based Allscripts Heathcare Solutions Inc. She shared her story Tuesday with Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife.

Charity tied to Maggie Daley gets new leader in Mary Ellen Caron ... Tribune: From there, Caron worked for then-Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan for two years before then-Mayor Daley appointed her commissioner of the ...

“Citizen Teachers” Needed for Project Exploration Chicagotalks: These volunteers – Citizen Schools calls them “Citizen Teachers” – will teach “apprenticeship” courses to small groups of low-income middle school students once a week for ten weeks.

Question for parents and teachers Zorn: Should public school officials (and private school administrators) require that all teachers post all classroom assignments on the Internet on the same day they make the assignments to students?

Freakonomics Teaches Us the Right Way to Bribe Kids Yahoo: This paper's clever conclusion is that we can manipulate lessons from economics and psychology to trick/bribe/nudge students toward spending more from their attention budget on these tests.




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  • some of you will be very happy to hear about this: Drops Michelle Rhee Group Under Pressure From Progressives

    Huffington Post

  • This description tells us all we need to know about why Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst and Stand on Children were dropped:

    ", the progressive online powerhouse that channels grassroots energy into petition-based activism..."

    StudentsFirst and Stand on Children have nothing to do with progressive grassroots style initiatives. They have everything to do with a small number of conservative wealthy funders and corporate sponsors.

  • Dear CPS parents, teachers, students and Chicagoland community, please beware of a new CPS reform group ELP Ventures. The new fund, ELP Ventures would join the ranks of other education reform groups that are built on the venture fund model of philanthropy. The Chicago Public Educational Fund, created in 2000, focuses on improving teacher quality in Chicago Public Schools and New Schools for Chicago, by being the lead funder in creating more charter schools in the city and closing more traditional neighborhood schools. Bruce Rauner, venture capitalist and chairman of GTCR Golder Rauner and a key force behind the state's latest education reform bill (SB7), spoke to the Chicago Council on Global Affair's Emerging Leaders Class of 2010. Bruce Rauner, who has helped fund many charter schools, including the Noble Network of Charter Schools, on whose board he sits. One of Noble Network Charter Schools is named after him. In its report, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs says the fund was conceived "in the spirit of Mayor Emanuel's vision for change in Chicago education." Bruce Rauner is a mentor for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Bruce Rauner, an investor in Wrapports LLC, which owns the Chicago Sun-Times, Bruce has provided $20 million for school reform. ELP Venture's has raise $10 million for their school reform.

  • I read the ELP report. It seems the authors are horrified at how present American students compare poorly to their peers around the world. We all know this, of course, but the users of the products of the public school system are insisting that something be done about it with some urgency.
    So what's changed in our educational system in the past decade or two - teachers, students, curriculum? It couldn't have been that bad to begin with because everybody was chasing the US. So what changed?
    I have a hypothesis. It's been the change from an emphasis on individual work to group work. If I were a student today, I would surely be below grade level, because I wouldn't be able to articulate on something I've just learned. The turn-and-talk approach has turned our children into passive pretenders. Just look at PD's to see how effective they are with teachers, with its emphasis on group work.
    Would common core address this. I don't know.
    But industry certainly seems to want people who could do both individual work and group work. I would think getting our kids to be independently adept would be a higher priority than getting them to work together on a team.

  • "Harrison Peters, chief of schools for CPS, applying to head Reno schools" -

  • Paying [Chicago] Students Cash Can Improve Academic Performance

  • from @ryhIL

    CPS Public Meeting Cancelled

    CPS has cancelled the meeting at Gage Park HS for next Monday 6/25. Sorry for the confusion on this, but we received an email from them with this message that they are giving to parents:

    “After thoughtful consideration, Chicago Public Schools has decided to postpone the collective bargaining meetings until after the fact finding report is released on July 16th. In order to respect the bargaining process and the high sensitivity of this issue, CPS will wait until after the findings are released to host these meetings. We apologize for any inconvenience and would like to have the opportunity to call you back in the next coming weeks about information on the meetings.”

  • Chicago Teachers Union Takes the Upper Hand with Overwhelming Strike Vote - Working In These Times

  • District postpones parent meeting on bargaining |

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    JCB also cancelled his eagerly anticipated Tele-Town Hall. Wassup? Is CPS restrategizing? Are big changes in the works?

  • Chicago Board of Ed clashes with Ald. Fioretti over Loop school - Blogs On Politics - Crain's Chicago Business


    Although it's not news this is a great article about the language people use when writing about education. I thought it was something people here (and anyone writing about education) could use.

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