Archive for August 2012

First The Sun Times ...

What do you think?  Here, Jackson Potter talks to Eddie Aruzza about the state of contract talks as of Thursday afternoon. Though unable (or unwilling) to send someone out to the Chicago Tonight studios, CPS has apparently offered 8 percent over 4 years. CTU wants 22 — sort of.  Aruzza asks Potter about the Sun... Read more »

If Doctors Can Do It...?

Last week I tweeted out the arrival of Atul Gawande’s recent New Yorker article about what the medical industry could learn from the restaurant chain called the Cheesecake Factory, suggesting that maybe there were things that the education industry could learn from the article as well.  If you’re anything like me you’ll experience recognition, rage, and some sense of what the education debate is missing when you read the full piece -- some of which is below.
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Inching Closer... Still Not There

The House of Delegates voted (symbolically).  The budget got passed (sort of).  CTU and CPS are making contingency plans in case this thing blows up.  New test scores came in (and were largely ignored).  What not to say to Latino colleagues who aren't ELL teachers.  Can someone send in a picture of this Placencia character or is she imaginary (which would be sort of cool)? Plus lots more -- and other things I'm sure I missed.  More to come as the day continues.  ...
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Obama, Poverty, & The HCZ

I'm away until Thursday -- feel free to post news links and comments for your fellow readers in my absence -- but will leave you with a couple of things to read and lots of opportunities to comment. First and foremost, you should check out Paul Tough's NYT Sunday Magazine look at Roseland and at young Barack Obama's notion that he could do more to alleviate poverty as a politician than as a community organizer  -- which at least so far hasn't happened. Also not to be missed -- and directly related -- is a recent Atlantic Cities blog post about why the Harlem Children's Zone, Geoff Canada's much-vaunted effort to provide wraparound services (including education), hasn't been replicated.  Tough wrote about the Harlem Children's Zone in several magazine articles and his 2008 book, Whatever It Takes.  The Obama administration -- and the school reform community -- invited Canada to all its conferences but supported expansion of the initiative only minimally.   Helen Zelon and I wrote about some of the gaps in the HCZ's accomplishments that were usually missed by the press.  Last but not least, Tough is appearing at the first of Catalyst's policy luncheons, on 9/27 -- see schedule below...

Calling AUSL

Today's news includes a long look at AUSL's teacher training program from the WSJ, plus updates on shootings (yes, already), a new school locator gizmo from CPS, an overview of philanthropy in Chicago , and a few other things.  Oh, and a new blog about Los Angeles schools that I've been helping get launched is now officially open for business.  It's called LA School Report, and it's got a real reporter and everything. ...

The "Track E" Effect

While CPS and CTU are still negotiating away (and I don't have any specific inside information), it seems to me like a strike is less and less likely.  Here are four reasons why, including among them the dynamics that are being created by Chicago's staggered school start schedule (Track E v. Track R). Take a look and let us know what you think about my reasoning and the likely outcome...
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Draining CPS Reserves

Elected school boards, a reserve-draining budget plan, selling former school buildings, iPads, uniforms, junk food.  That's the news of the day that I can find.  Word is that the CTU and CPS are still negotiating.  Track E schools are finishing their first week back in school.  Arne Duncan is doing a national back to school bus trip, but he's going to St. Louis and Kansas City rather than coming to Chicago...

DREAM For CPS Kids

Young folks -- including some current and former CPS students -- are lining up at Navy Pier for the deportation deferral program.  CPS teacher Ray Salazar has some of the details. Plus:  Oak Park is going IB for its middle schools.  Klonsky, CPSObsessed (she's back!) and Zorn have things to say about longer day, the contract talks, etc.  ...

Google @ CPS (Almost) Here

After years and years of complaints, rage, and frustrated tears at the limits of the old email system, CPS is finally getting gMail.  Well, almost...
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Back To ... Recess

Recess is back.  Track E is back.  CVCS is back.  EpiPens are back.  Plus Brizard's optimism about a contract agreement, and the interviews he and Karen Lewis did on WTTW last night (see previous post).  That's it...