Summer Funding Cuts

Today's news is a hodge-podge of items, including word that funding for summer school and safety programs is going to be cut compared to previous summers.  There's also followup on the robocalls, the negotiations, and the planned IB expansion.

City schools scaling back summer programs, citing lack of federal cash Tribune:  With money tight,Chicago Public Schools'summer Safe Haven program will be scaled back and serve fewer students.

Police, CeaseFire and violent crime Tribune:  Citizens of neighborhoods plagued by guns don't see violence in Chicago as a "perception" issue. Neither does CeaseFire, which is partnering with the city.

Schools, Churches Partner Up for Summer Program NBC:  Chicago Public Schools has teamed up again with sixty local churches for their "Safe Haven, Safe Summer" summer program, CEO of CPS Jean-Claude Brizard announced Wednesday.

CPS refusing to bargain, not CTU Sun-Times (letter):  On Tuesday, June 12, the Chicago Sun-Times editorial “Time for CTU to bargain” unfairly depicts the Chicago Teachers Union in its representation of Chicago Public Schools and CTU contract negotiations.

CPS parents complain about robo calls Catalyst:  Democrats for Education Reform, Education Reform Now Advocacy Director Jake Breymaier says the phone numbers were purchased from the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association.

Zorn: Teachers' tactic turns tables on reformers Tribune:  Teachers secured a strike authorization early in talks against forces that smugly thought they'd outsmarted them. But the victory may be short-lived.

International Baccalaureate Program WTTW: A Chicago Public Schools program that gets students into better colleges and helps them stay there is expanding. Elizabeth Brackett has the story.

Civic Lab plans ‘design hack’ Newstips:  Initiated by long-time activist Tom Tresser, Civic Lab aims at operating a storefront “civic hacker space” to hold classes, conduct research projects, and create online tools for civic engagement.   It’s needed because while big money floods our elections, citizen anger and alienation is growing, Tresser said.


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  • On this blog, someone recently posted a passage from the Steve Jobs biography in which the revered, late geek-king fulminated about teachers' unions and pronounced the solution to the problems with US public schools. Now, it's not clear that we should automatically react with cynicism when someone who neither needed nor wanted to be in school demands an eleven-month school year for those condemned to rely on schools as a way to live, or when he expresses something bordering on maniacal hatred of teachers. But I did get a little perspective on Jobs' educational prescriptions from a headline about the most recent MacBook Pro (which received the equivalent of a do-not-buy warning from a major tech rating website. The headline of the report might serve as a warning to anyone who thinks that if Steve Jobs is behind it, then it must be true: "The New MacBook Pro: Unfixable, Unhackable, Untenable." I was going to write a longer article, but that will have to wait. For now, I thought I would simply put out there a question about why we do or should trust the new breed of corporate education-reformers. It does seem on the surface of it that these are people who have certain predilections for things that operate like machines--i.e., not teens with learning obstacles and not the teachers of such young people. Might it be that precisely because of the specific nature of their success in the world of machines, these are exactly the wrong people to be trusting with public education? Thinking about the glue and plastic inflexibility of the new Macbook Pro is admittedly a lark; but at the same time, it does suggest that we should look at the mistakes and weaknesses that are often overlooked when we oggle the successes of people like Steve Jobs.

    What exactly are these folks interested in? What are their qualifications? What are the obvious criticisms to be made of the new-corporate approach to education? And what are some of the less obvious problems?

  • Interesting to cogitate upon. :)

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