Week 1 Plus Dem Convention

Today's news includes updates from the Democratic convention, coverage of the first day of school and the strike possibility, and well that's about it. Some great blog posts and comments about how the first day went -- and last week's prep sessions, too.  Keep letting us know how it's going -- bad, ok, or (it's ok you're anonymous!) even good.  CONVENTION

Emanuel praises Obama's leadership as problems loom back in Chicago Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised President Barack Obama’s leadership skills on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, focusing on how his former boss tried to address the “deep and dangerous” crises of an economic implosion, auto industry meltdown and two wars after taking office.

Rahm's labor problem for liberals WBEZ: Rahm's union stance and the DNC, remembering David Foster Wallace, and the worst box office opening ever

National union head: Chicago teachers, Democrats need to find ‘common ground’ Sun Times: The head of a national teachers union told a group of Illinois delegates meeting at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday that “the teachers of Chicago feel deeply disrespected and deeply disenfranchised.” But he said, “We need to find common ground. We are Democrats.”

Julian Castro or Michelle Obama--who succeeded? White Rhino: Some people get excited by the Super Bowl.  I hoot and holler and jump on my couch during key speeches such as tonight’s at the Democratic National Convention.

Obama, Are You Listening? Tim Furman: I've worked at seven different schools over the years, and what I've found is that all over the land, teachers are in there pitching every day. They're doing the best they can with the resources that they have and the kids they face.

The 'Elephant in the Room' at the DNC Mike Klonsky: As you might expect, IEA leaders were nowhere to be found, either speaking out at the DNC or at yesterday's solidarity rally.

Back to School Observations Sept 2012 cpsobsessed: My son is NOT happy about his new FULLER day. Can’t say I’m thrilled about the earlier start time as we are not morning people. I told him to be thankful it wasn’t 7.5 hours, but that didn’t appease him. Our school will be adding Drama (yay!) and extending the time of our specials a bit. I’d still like a little more time on The Basics – making sure every kid knows their math facts and other things like that. But we will see.
Chicago public schools back in session--for now WBEZ: It’s the first day of school for thousands of Chicago public school students.But it may not last.That’s because the Chicago Teachers Union set a strike date for next Monday and still hasn't reached a contract agreement with the school district.

When Chicago teachers struck in '73 Mike Klonsky: This from a yellowed copy of The Call I found, from back in March, 1973:

With CPS strike looming, parents in the dark Tribune: Contract talks between the district and the Chicago Teachers Union are scheduled through Friday, and a breakthrough remains possible. But parents were preparing for the worst, with some saying they were considering taking leaves from their jobs to care ...

High school seniors speak out about potential teacher’s strike Fox:  The first day of school at Chicago Public Schools feels a bit different, especially for seniors.

Parents voice their support for Chicago teachers Fox: As Chicago schools opened their doors for the first day of classes, parents outside a school where Mayor Rahm Emanuel was appearing voiced their support for teachers who are poised to strike next week if contract talks break...

‘I need to finish this,’ CPS’ Brizard says of teacher contract talks Sun Times: As the threat of a Sept. 10 teachers strike hung in the background, Chicago Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard beamed broadly Tuesday as he rang the school bell at Roberto Clemente High School and declared “we made national news” with the system’s move to a longer school day and year.


Don Moore, Executive Director of Chicago's Designs for Change, has died. Moore, who received a doctorate in education from Harvard, devoted more than 30 years to researching urban schools. His work also included one of the first major studies exposing the dropout scandal in Chicago, the necessity of more parental involvement in the schools (which helped give rise to the Local School Councils), and alternative programs for teenagers (which helped inspire "Metro High School"), according to Substance News.

Don Moore: reform leader, LSC champion Catalyst: In reporting for her insightful and engaging account of the birth of local school councils, Mary O’Connell asked her interviewees whom they thought was most responsible for the historic legislation that created them. Don Moore and Designs for Change, the research and advocacy organization he founded in 1977, easily took first place.


Rich Township H.S. district appoints lawyer to investigate coach who wrote racy book Sun Times: The Rich Township High School District 227 Board held a special meeting Tuesday but postponed any decision regarding the status of a school guidance counselor who has authored a racy book with graphic sexual references.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • African-American teachers in CPS now down below 20 percent, according to CAUSE in this AustinTalks article http://ow.ly/duvof

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    The ISBE 2011 CPS district report card listed black teachers as being 19.5% of teachers down from 39.4% in 2002 and 29.6% in 2010. But there is a problem with the 2011 data and that is unlike in prior years ISBE added under the race catagory two new catagories "two or more races" and "unknown."

    Before teachers were required to make a forced choice and now they are not. The catagory "unknown" composed 18.6% of CPS teachers and "two or more races" composed 1.8% of CPS teachers. The number of black teachers has dropped, but by how much is now unclear because ISBE changed the racial catagories and we do not know how many teachers who chose black simply changed their choice and how many are gone from the school system.

    Rod Estvan

  • Expansion of School Advisory Councils: Popular idea, but devil is in the details | Philadelphia Public School Notebook http://ow.ly/duCJ9

    Suits Challenge Classrooms That Segregate Boys, Girls - WSJ.com http://ow.ly/duCBB

  • Brizard may be a human shield, like John Kass says here http://ow.ly/duHTK but this is still a mess largely of Rahm's making -- and JCB's departure won't really change or improve any of that.

  • But... especially because the CPS CEO is seen as Rahm's creature, the choice of a different person with greater perceived integrity and some people skills to boot would be seen as a statement by Rahm that he wants this to work. Whereas Brizard is regarded by teachers and a good many parents as a statement that Rahm does not want CPS to work, but wants to drive it to the point of a crisis so it can be privatized more palatably.

  • In reply to chicago:

    Perhaps Rahm thought his temperamental opposite would strike a good balance. And Brizard is good with the general public. Compare his Chicago Tonight performances with Lewis.

    Rahm has little operational management experience. It's not surprising he would have trouble selecting the right person for an extremely difficult position. There are many principals in the district who would do a good job with the operational aspects of running the central office. Rahm now knows some of these people. But perhaps he's showing mercy not hiring locals who might need to be sacrificed in short order.

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