July Board Meeting Protests

Today's big news is the Board meeting and related protests from yesterday, including questions about how CPS will pay for the longer day deal they made earlier this week.  A couple of stories about going back to an elected board.

Teachers, charters rally at School Board meeting Catalyst: “You got the board to climb out of their bulldozer,” Sharkey said. In exchange for having additional art, music and enrichment teachers hired, the CTU said it would accept the longer school day that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing—though the mayor and the board have the right to impose a longer day in any case.

Teachers picket outside CPS headquarters Tribune:  During Wednesday's demonstration by union supporters, a crowd of about 100 charter school backers carried their own signs nearby. That group and the union teachers traded insults across Clark Street. Union teachers chanted, "We teach all kids," aimed at charter schools' reputation for removing poorly performing students or those with discipline problems.

How will Chicago pay for plan to hire 477 teachers? ABC7:  "It's unclear how CPS plans to continue funding the teacher pensions, funding everything else the district's responsible for when its revenue keeps declining and the costs keep going up," said Rebecca Harris ofCatalyst Chicago

Mayor: Money to hire new teachers won’t come from charter school budget Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday refused to say where he will find the $40 to $50 million needed to hire 477 teachers to staff his longer school day, but said it will not be at the expense of charter schools.

Aldermen, community groups call again for elected school board WBEZ: Chicago hasn’t had an elected school board since 1995 when the state put the mayor in charge of schools.

The Fight for an Elected School Board WTTW:  Aldermen and activists are stepping up the fight for an elected school board. Paris Schutz has the story.

Rep. Burke's scholarship records subpoenaed by feds Tribune:  Federal grand jurors have sought records of legislative scholarships handed out by Democratic state Rep. Dan Burke of Chicago, a sign that authorities kept up a probe of the tuition waiver program even as legislators were moving to end it this spring.

Fleeing Public Schools FrontPage Magazine:  In Chicago Public Schools, twenty-four students were fatally shot during the 2011-12 school year, with the overall shooting toll at 319, the highest in four years and a nearly 22 percent increase from the previous school year.

Man claims defamation after his face, name put in 2012 ‘Gang Book’ Sun Times: Edward Arroyo claims he is not a member of a gang and has never been affiliated with one, though the book lists him as the leader of the Spanish Gangster Disciples based out of Roselle, according to the suit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.




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  • Headache299
    Is alderman Joe Moore full of it? You decide


  • I know who is full of it... Rahm's straight-faced response that by not having an elected school board is the way we keep "politics" out of education. Uhm... spoken like a true "politician".

  • In reply to urbanteach:

    Down-ballot, low-turnout political offices tend to give special interests outsize control. I am fine having political accountability at the mayoral level. Committee control is a recipe for indecision and half measures.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Agree 100%

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    Disagree 100%. I'm not afraid of democracy. Emanuel has already created a board that is a rubber stamp for charter school special interests. As far as being "down ballot" the school board is not exactly "drain commissioner".

    I'm quite surprised a "CPS parent" would be willing to cede their voice to the mayor for something as important as the school board. I can't say I've met any parent who so gladly gives up their right to participate in the democratic management of their schools.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    May 16, 2011, Rahm Emanuel assumes office as the 55th Mayor or Chicago
    February 14, 2012, Chicago cited as “the most corrupt city in the country”

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You may be fine with it; other may not; let the people decide

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You could say that about anything. The people do decide, through their legislators.

    I am also of the view that direct democracy tends to be a bad idea. Witness California.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Referendum is not technically a form of direct democracy; it one of three forms of ‘limited direct democracy’ permitted in a representative democracy. Those three forms of limited direct democracy are referendum, recall, and initiative.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Should we put teacher salaries to a referendum?

    Arguments for the elected school board seem to boil down to "I don't like the Mayor's policies."

  • In reply to district299reader:

    versus the rubber stamp voting approval of the current board... not ONE dissenting vote? Not ONE? EVER?

  • Zorn: Even CPS data shows reason to reject pension cost-shift http://ow.ly/cwlfL State School News Service @ericzorn

  • Just read this from a news link on the CPS web site. WTF? They are still creating new departments and exec positions? Can anyone translate this?

    "The Chicago Board of Education yesterday approved the appointment of Todd Babbitz as Chief Transformation Officer for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to oversee the newly created Office of Strategy Management (OSM). The highly anticipated position and office is critical to ensuring the District remains focused on its long-term vision for improving the quality of education for CPS students."
    "Through the new OSM, Babbitz will work across all CPS departments guiding day-to-day execution to ensure alignment with overall District strategies. He will serve as a strategic thought partner for senior leadership and drive the organization to implement effectively the initiatives laid out by the administration."

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "thought partner"? ok. I'm laughing.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Hiring and paying big dollars to corporate dead heads to fill a chair! Rahm who are you trying to impress? Your high paid slackers are busy about doing nothing but ruin the district. That is the plan! CPS is an educational organization not a business. The Chicago Mayor Status Quo does not work. Kick the corporate schtick and send them to the private sector... ohhhh no jobs due to the Ivy League folks ruining the banking sector! Rahm you are packing your own office with high priced corporate types... get real educator leaders and you hire these corporate dead heads.

  • I just feel we have veteran talent and experience here in Chicago that is not being used or respected. Given a chance certain professionals can make a significant difference. What's the deal with top level admin always being selected from out of town? Voters have to feel this is not right. Who says Broad grads/residents can solve problems? No one I know. They have been involved for 6-8 years and I don't see a difference. It's getting old.

  • Crazy thing is - I actually made the mistake of voting for Rahm. I suppose I was thinking an autocrat like Daley would get things done. But I forgot the big difference between the two: with Daley you really could feel it was alway ultimately about Chicago, with Rahm, it's all about Rahm.... I will not make the same mistake of voting for him again. I'll even vote for a Republican (gag me with a fork) before I'll vote for Rahm ever again. You hear me Rahm?

  • In reply to anonymous:

    I did not vote for Emanuel; he seemed like he was a lot-o-bit crazy.

    After all, declaring your enemies ‘dead’ while stabbing a steak-knife into a table might trigger a ‘no-hire’ on Brizard’s TeacherFit.

    Let a teacher stab a steak-knife into his or her desk while screaming, “Nat Landow! Dead! Cliff Jackson! Dead!” or deliver a dead fish to the principal after a lowered evaluation and then count the seconds before the men in little white coats come take you away.

  • It doesn't look right to add another layer with the Chief Nagging (Transformation) Officer. "Your plan said you were going to this. Please help me understand why you didn't get around to doing it. Can I help you think through your excuses?"

    It seems it is part of jc's job function to hold his direct reports accountable. Doesn't the chief of staff do that type of thing, nag?

  • In Chicago, longer school day for students, but not for teachers – Schools of Thought - CNN.com Blogs http://ow.ly/cy8yr

  • How did Hightower do it at Bethune?

    "When New Leader Zipporah Hightower came to Bethune School of Excellence in 2009, 36 percent of the students were proficient in math. Two years later, 68 percent are proficient, making the school the fourth highest gainer in Chicago. This year alone proficiency increased by 21 percentage points." New Leaders

    "Zipporah Hightower has been named managing director of programs for the Chicago team at New Leaders. Hightower is a former principal of Kellogg Elementary and of Bethune Elementary, an Academy for Urban School Leadership turnaround school." Catalyst

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Possible answer.
    One of the programs that consults my school arranged a collaborative PD session at Bethune about a year ago. During the teacher share session we were enlightened as to the methods of instruction given at Bethune. A team of their teachers presented (quite enthusiastically) what amounted to glorified test prep and drill practices covering tested subjects.

    Overloaded test prep- good for test scores (sometimes), bad for students (always).

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