Peering Into Summertime

Welcome back -- hope you had a good weekend.  Today's news (and some from over the weekend) include coverage of a new CPS outreach and information initiative, as well as a CTU meetings on the strike negotiations.  There's also a smattering a coverage about what parents and kids (and teachers) are going to do with their summers.  Are you getting calls and emails from CPS and or CTU?  Are you worried about the summer?


CPS taking position on contract negotiations to public Catalyst:   Now that teachers overwhelmingly approved the strike authorization, district leadership decided to reach out to the public. Parents received robo calls on Thursday night from Brizard and the district has already scheduled the first informational meeting. It will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gage Park High School on the southwest side.

Two Events in Chicago School Tech Connect: CTU is having a public meeting about contract negotiations on June 25th at Gage Park High School, 6:30 PM. (I posted the wrong date earlier.)

School Reform Group Pushing For More Charter Schools CBS2 Chicago: One of the speakers was Godfrey Lawson, who said he's not taking sides in the contract dispute between CPS and theChicago Teachers Union. “Teachers ...

How Much Do Chicago Public School Teachers Make? CBS Local: But, according to the Chicago Teachers Union's calculations, Chicago teachers would rank second behind New York City.

Editorial: The hard truth behind teachers’ laments  Sun Times: Labor con­tracts are about pay, benefits and core working conditions — spending dollars the school system has, not dollars it wishes it had. They are labor negotiations, not school reform negotiations. But it would be a mistake for Brizard and Emanuel to ignore these cries as they move forward with their chosen reforms, many of which we support.

Contract talks should include classroom issues, parents say CMW:  A parent group is calling on Mayor Emanuel to expand negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union to include class size and other issues which CPS has so far refused to consider.

Chicago officials say schools have long way to go WHBF:  The head of Chicago Public Schools says the nation's third largest district has a long way to go, even after the district's projected graduation rate is the highest on record.


Parents’ summer break worry: Will strike delay school start? Sun Times:  Thousands of kids burst out of Chicago schoolhouses to begin summer vacation Friday — leaving many of their parents to wonder if they will be returning on time when school is scheduled to begin this fall.

What's Next For Chicago Teachers Union After Strike Authorization ... Chicagoist: A new state law requires an independent fact finder file a report by mid-July. Both sides will get 15 days to review the report and decide whether or not to accept its recommendations. If CTU rejects it, then that will open the door further towards a strike.

End-of-school rally calls for peace on streets ABC: Friday is the last day of school for thousands of Chicago Public Schools students.



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  • here's a blog post from the annenberg institute for education reform on extended day -- not in particular about Chicago but in general

    The Time to Succeed Coalition: Making Expanded Learning Time a Priority

    June 18, 2012
    In mid-May, education and civic leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds launched Time to Succeed, a national coalition to encourage an educational shift that could change the way American children learn. The coalition’s mission is simple: to inspire and motivate communities across the country to add more learning time to a redesigned school day and year, enabling children everywhere – but especially in disadvantaged schools – to obtain the learning opportunities they need to achieve success. AISR’s Executive Director, Warren Simmons, one of the more than 100 Coalition founders, underscores that simply adding hours isn’t enough to solve the core problem.

  • Headache299
    What is all of this ‘predicted’ summer graduation-rate that cps is bragging about? it hasn’t even happened yet! And, this morning, on WBBM, they were attributing the success of higher predicted graduation rate to the Longer School Day, and that also hasn’t happened yet!

  • good question about the predicted rates -- mayors and boards in other cities like NY are trying the same tactic, using numbers based on projections that make them look better. then again, schools sometimes count kids going to summer school as graduates (or even let them walk) even though they haven't passed the class or classes they need and might not even show.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    CPS should launch their new website at

  • The reform movement hasn't created any education solutions, just improved marketing and bank-like, creative data manipulations.

    Heachache, there were 13 schools on a longer day this year. That surely contributed to the improved projected graduation rates this year. No matter that the 13 schools were all elementary schools!

  • Alexander-there are less students going to summer 3-6-8th grade bridge this year and there was NO LONGER SCHOOL DAY! How will CPS spin this?

  • No mention of your illustrious award from substancenews Alex? I only just saw it because their site has been down for a week. How can you be a scab if you are not in the union? Anyhow, at least your website works. He is convinced that his site is under attack by Rahm, which means George Schmidt gets Kook of the Month! That man at the union meetings with tinfoil on his head? That's George! Watch as he tries to take credit for the union voting 90%! Hopefully he and Kuler don't lead Karen down the path of nonsense and we go on strike because of A. Their hubris and B. they just really want to march. It's easy to strike when your income doesn't come from teaching.

  • George has his right to speak and write. You are foolish if you think CTU is influenced by or follows him. Karen et al is smarter and connected to the heart beat of who they represent. Go to a meeting sometime foolish one. Karen has been clear on this: it is NOT easy to strike. Their income is from teachers and they honor that. They are by teachers, for teachers and about teachers and their members as well as for what is best for the children their members serve- nothing else. BTW-I am NOT a CTU member.

  • On robo calls to parents- It is plausible that CPS-CO did allow phone numbers to be used. Recent CO emails have been pushing principals to assure student phone numbers are correct in IMPACT--more so this year than ever. CPS made principals send out a new form to get parents to write down this info, even though schools do this already--in case CPS has to call parents for an emergency, (strike?) It is about control of the information and who OWNs it-CPS wants power over parents. Are calls to Brizard that you dial into to hear him captured? Do people know this? Remember, Brizard's team does not know what it does not know-plausible they released phone numbers without knowing they were breaking privacy acts. This is no excuse however-desperate times bring stupid mistakes.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    As a publicity stunt Brizard did a stint calling parents to tell them about the first day of school this year. He likely learned then that CPS doesn't have the right phone numbers for most of the students. At least there is an effort to fix SOMETHING.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    This will not be 'fix' this since many parents change numbers all the time. Why do you think CPS has the wrong numbers in the first place--the parents dont give the schools the right number?
    Love the calls that place you on hold to raps about how I wanna be your whore and to jump on my beep!

  • Maybe this is something the Inspector General should look at! It was said publicly that CPS could NOT drop the Dibels (Murdoch Owned Company) because CPS did not own the data. That was the information told to principals! This does not even take into consideration that Dibels has been thoroughly thrashed by research and books. Chicago taxpayer, that means a waste of your tax money by Rahm and Brizard, who inherited that cost! It begs the question, why are paying so much for lawyers if they can't read a contract correctly for loopholes... just asking!

  • You give too much credit to the IG. They still have not released their 'thoughts' on why Rahm's Cawley lives out of the city.

  • The IG did release their thoughts, which were resoundingly ignored by the Board. See p. 32 of the 2011 IG Annual Report.. Namely:
    " FY 11 the OIG also objected to a
    proposed residency waiver for a high ranking CPS administrator. In June 2011, the OIG learned
    of a proposal before the Board that would grant an exemption from the requirements of the
    residency policy for the official. The OIG strongly advised the Board that the exemption not be
    granted for the official’s benefit. In a memorandum to the Board, the OIG advised that granting
    an exemption or modification to the residency policy for such a high-ranking and publicly-visible
    officer would create a materially unfair situation that would fundamentally challenge whether the
    Board’s policy was consistent, equitable and enforceable. In addition, the OIG advised the Board
    that the proposed residency exemption for the official imperiled the viability of the residency
    policy as a legally enforceable requirement and created an inconsistent “tone at the top” regarding
    Board rules and policies. The OIG, in its June 2011 memorandum to the Board, strongly urged
    the Board to not grant the proposed residency exemption. In its June meeting the Board granted a
    residency waiver to the high ranking official. In FY 12, the OIG continued to research the issue
    and filed an additional report concerning the residency waiver. That research and the results of
    further OIG recommendations will be discussed in the OIG’s FY 12 Annual Report. (00785)"

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