Friday Cooldown

Today's news includes a Tribune story about Track E schools that have already started ramping up, a slew of articles about the longer day (including one from the Sun Times about what the Pioneer school experience was last year), several updates on the strike talks -- I mean contract negotiations -- and a strange item about a CPS biometrics contract (sounds very high-tech, I'm assuming it's something only used at Clark Street).  My strike prediction:  Not going to happen (August 24 deadline, says Catalyst).  My longer day assessment:  Not a dramatic difference.

TRACK E

Amid strike threat, school to start for some CPS students Tribune: Students in 243 Chicago public schools, roughly a third of the district, return to the classroom Monday at a time of transformation and uncertainty. For many parents, teachers and administrators, the usual stress that accompanies the start of a new school year ...

LONGER DAY

‘Pioneer Schools’ give a peek at what CPS’s longer school day will look like Sun Times: On Monday, when the bell rings in Chicago’s year-round public schools to launch the new year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan for a longer day becomes a reality. The Sun-Times looked at 13 participating elementary schools to get an idea of what the typical school can expect.

Chicago's longer school day -- Facts, figures and a Q & A Tribune: Part of my Q-and-A with Chicago Public Schools officials prior to writing Friday's column involved simply putting the numbers together with which to start the conversation.

Doing the math on the 'miracle' of Chicago's longer school day Tribune (Zorn): After hiring (actually rehiring) 477 teachers for an estimated $150 million to $180 million and adding an additional 512 teachers at all levels with $130 million in discretionary funds earmarked by CPS to enhance the longer school day, Chicago still anticipates starting the year with 173 fewer teachers than last year -- a staffing decrease of less than  1 percent that's tied to an anticipated lower enrollment.

Brizard: Appointed School Board Is Fine The Way It Is CBS Local: See what your friends have read on CBS Local sites. Use "Remove" or "Turn off" to disable at any time. Jean-Claude Brizard. Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard on the CBS 2 Morning News on Thursday, July 19. (Credit: CBS) ...

CPS Can't Afford a Longer Day ChicagoNow: It's no secret that Chicago Public Schools, the third largest district in the nation, is one of the lowest performing in academic achievement. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and others believe that a longer school day will improve academic outcomes—even though ...

STRIKE!?

Union chief: Teachers should prepare for strike Sun-Times: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis rattled the bargaining sabers Thursday, saying so many big issues remain on the negotiating table that teachers need to be prepared for a September strike.

With school year approaching, strike still a possibility Catalyst: If the union wants to declare a strike before the start of the regular-track school year, it would have to do so on or before Aug. 24. State law requires a 10-day notice. Lewis says there’s several outstanding issues that the union is not willing to concede, but that they haven’t been discussed for a while. Among them, compensation and step and lane salary increases, which are based on experience and education.

Duncan says CPS-union deal 'huge step' ABC7: Education Secretary Arne Duncan calls the interim deal between Chicago Public Schools and the teachers union on a longer school day a huge step in the right direction.

MISCELLANEOUS

Accurate Biometrics Awarded the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Fingerprinting ... Virtual-Strategy Magazine: Accurate Biometrics, today, announced it was awarded the Fingerprinting Services contract for the Chicago Public Schools, for a two year term, with an option to renew for one additional year. This will be the fourth consecutive award to Accurate Biometrics.

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  • Assumption about CPS biometrics, wrong! Also used at Elizabeth Street Office. Longer Day assessment: not a dramatic difference in student achievement, right! Longer Day assessment: not a dramatic difference in teacher-burnout, wrong! Strike prediction: coin toss!

  • Alexander writes: "My strike prediction: Not going to happen (August 24 deadline, says Catalyst)."

    Did you bother to *read* the Catalyst article? There's nothing about an August 24th deadline.

    Although Catalyst is making the same mistake you and others in the media make when you suggest that the only time the CTU can strike is before the first day of school (Track R) in September.

    Actually, the Union (with 10 days notice to CPS) can call a strike for any time: middle of September; October 8 (to coincide with the Columbus Day holiday the Board is taking away); November 26 (let's have a really long Thanksgiving break); or even your next birthday.

    Karen Lewis has said that *if* a strike becomes necessary, the CTU will choose the right time to do it. And that may not be when the media--relying on their CPS-fed press releases--says it will be.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Didn't Alexander also say we couldn't get the 75% approval for the strike authorization? I enjoy D299 but Alexander seems to have trouble getting facts straight and knowing what's really happening in Chicago. Brooklyn is a long way from Chicago even in the age of the internet and social media.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    thanks for clarifying the facts to others.....and for the humor attached

  • August 24th is not a deadline. There is no deadline, there is simply a 10-day window of notice required. How, after months and months of this, do you get that wrong?

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    While we are bargaining, and our members are doing the heavy lifting of putting the schools, classrooms, and lesson plans back together for Monday. CEO Brizard is at Wrigley throwing out the first pitch. Priorities? CEO Brizard practicing his pitch... He'll be throwing 1st pitch for @cubs today to promote #back2school. http://instagr.am/p/OJ67Dfvhlh/ #cpsb2s

  • In reply to JohnKugler:

    At this point union advocates would criticize anything about Brizard.

    The appearance is part of the back to school effort, which strikes me (and dare I say any fair-minded observer) as a perfectly legitimate part of being the leader of CPS.

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    In reply to district299reader:

    this dude has never been to one bargaining session he is a sham. a good superintendent would have been going to schools making sure what needed to be done and get explained to staff was happening. throwing out the first pitch has nothing to do with preparing schools to open Monday. Just a PR stunt. This guy is again abdicating his responsibility to his employees.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    he's even getting it from the COS Midway--he takes to long to answer questions. Wha-Wha?

  • Strike

    Personally I have walked the line in blistering heat 1987 and freezing
    cold 1983. The union can call a strike anytime .But there is a ten day window Between announcing a strike and walking out.
    I also think that during this waiting period the Board will show its hand.
    If they want a strike they will do nothing. If they do not want a strike
    I am sure they can find a friendly federal Judge to stop us. That is what they did In 1993.The Board got an injunction to prevent a strike based on the fact There would be no integration occurring while we were striking. Who can tell What they can come up with this time.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Bob, you're confusing 1993 with some other action.

    My first year was 1993. School started a week late--not because of any labor dispute between the Board and the Union, but because the Board didn't have a balanced budget. Back then the School Finance Authority was required under the law to keep the schools from opening until the Board presented a balanced budget.

    For high schools, the Board ended up reducing the day by one period (and thus laying off a lot of high school teachers) and eliminating study halls and the 7X and 10X classes.

    What you're thinking of must have occurred before '93.

  • You might be correct .it was in the early 90's
    We did not strike because of the injunction.

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    another report from second source that brizard almost out.

  • In reply to JohnKugler:

    where?

  • In reply to JohnKugler:

    Haven't heard that at all. This rumor started at the same time they were getting rid of Noemi... I think people got CEdO and CEO mixed up. Brizard does want to and has started brining his own people aboard.

    That said, no one knows what the new Transformation person is supposed to do... is he a Co-CEO? Or is he a buffer to deal with the other problems on five? Or is he another empty suit that sounds nice, has a nice title, but doesn't get anything done?

    Also it's clear that no one on five is getting axed until after a labor deal, which is too bad.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Is Alicia Winckler out?

  • Thank you all for introducing me to cyberbullying. I wasn't quite sure I knew what it was until I came to this site. Let me try.

    Alexander, you are such an idiot. You can't possibly know what's going in Chicago, you Rahm lover. Don't bother with this corporate reform blog until you move back, you Mom-jean wearing four eyes.

    How'd I do?

  • Headache299
    Brizard has done the damage he was paid for; he can move on; expect any replacement to be no better; possibly/probably worse.

  • “As a member of the Board of Education, it’s Penny Pritzker’s job to find money for our schools, not to take our money for her business,”

    http://truth-out.org/news/item/10851-chicago-school-board-member-benefits-from-district-budget-cut

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