Arts Education !?

Today's news is the Mayor's new (but unfunded) arts education plan for CPS, Diane Ravitch's City Club speech, some tidbits on pensions (who gets blamed) and evaluations (in the NYT), plus charter schools in Rogers Park and a Track E scramble for substitutes.

ARTS EDUCATION

The arts to get more emphasis under Emanuel school plan Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago Public Schools would elevate the arts to the level of a “core subject” — with 120 minutes of dedicated weekly instruction for elementary students and “at least one certified, full-time employee” at every school, under a mayoral plan unveiled Monday.

Culture plan emphasizes arts in schools Chicago Tribune: In an emailed statement Monday, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis called the proposed 120-minute art requirement "an excellent start."

PENSIONS

Poll: Most voters blame pols, not unions, for pension mess Chicago Tribune: Emanuel has pushed the cost-shift proposal, arguing that Chicago property tax payers already are responsible for the tab for pension benefits to retired Chicago Public Schoolsteachers.

EVALUATIONS

Seeking Aid, School Districts Change Teacher Evaluations New York Times: Anger over the use of test results exploded during the strike by the Chicago Teachers' Union last month. But most of the new state policies also include a component based on classroom observations by principals, peers or outside evaluators. Advocates

RAVITCH

Ex-U.S education official knocks school closings as ‘destabilizing’ Sun Times:  Closings public schools to reopen new ones destroys communities and does nothing to better educate children, education historian and New York University professor Diane Ravitch told the City Club of Chicago Monday.

Ravitch criticizes school closings, charter expansion Catalyst: After the speech, Ravitch conceded that Chicago, where 86 percent of students are Latino or African-American, is a long way from being able to desegregate its schools. But, she suggested, high-quality, non-selective magnet schools – which presumably would select students by lottery – could attract more middle-class families to the system.

Expert: Can new CPS chief stand up to Emanuel? WBEZ: Ravitch served on the board of the Common Core with Byrd-Bennett and says she’s a smart woman who can be successful if she’s able to take on Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Ravitch Says CTU Strike Was Galvanizing Moment For Teachers Progress Illinois: Now a professor at New York University, Ravitch told reporters at the Chicago Teachers Union headquarters Monday that the strike gave “vicarious exhilaration” to teachers across the nation that were “beaten down” by evaluations based on standardized tests.

MISC

Two teen girls hit by vehicle after they leave Lane Tech High Sun Times:  Two teen girls were injured — one critically — after being hit by a vehicle Monday night as they left Lane Tech High School on the North Side, officials said. The girls attend Whitney Young High School, police said.

Chicago Public Schools Shake-Up WTTW: After 17 months, Jean-Claude Brizard has stepped down as CEO of Chicago Public Schools. On Friday, the mayor announced Barbara Byrd-Bennett as his replacement. Who is the new head of CPS, and what obstacles does she face? Carol Marin and her guests have the latest.

What's Next for Jean-Claude Brizard? ChicagoMag: The outgoing CPS CEO once described the negative effect of “revolving door superintendencies” on school districts. The average, Brizard said, was 18 months. He lasted only 17. What's next for him?

Scramble for substitute teachers at CPS year-round 'Track E ... ABC7Chicago:  In a statement from Chicago Public Schools tonight, officials say they understand the strike caused disruption to CPS students and that they are actively addressing the calendar issues, putting students first and trying to be fair to teachers.

Rogers Park Is Getting Organized [Against Charters]: School Tech Connect: I attended a local meeting on Sunday of a core group that's ready to stand up to the charter invasion up here. It's always encouraging to go to a meeting where other people are more versed in the issues than you are. We had people aware of the troubles up at the new UNO, and people aware of the Gulen connection at our other local charter.

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    Vitale was quoted in one of these articles as saying that he was schoked that his poor daughter couldn't get course credit for her drama class - so he decided to do something about it. Laughable. So this is his plug into the needs of the children of Chicago - his over priveledged daughter? Maybe we need to hire her as a lobbyist into her own father - we could maybe get somewhere with this board.

    ....or we elect our own board that represent the more average parent.

  • Really great idea - this can only benefit the kids enormously. However, like everything else with CPS, we'll have to see how it is actually implemented. These sort of programs need resources.... I was hired this year as a 2nd music teacher for the Full School Day. Since I've built several successful band programs over my career, I am trying to build one at this school. No fault with my administrators (they both have music backgrounds, so they knew very well what they were hiring), but basically I am starting a band program with 3 school instruments (for almost 100 kids)! When the school actually figures out if they have a few extra $$, I have been promised some help, but in the meantime..... My parents are really scraping to come up with the cash for rentals, etc. I know that is really tough as this is definitely not a more affluent neighborhood (actually far from it 80+% free/reduced lunch). I know how to stretch a $ by finding good on used horns, etc., so a small amount of money could be a huge help. I also know that I am really good at what I do, so I am positive the results will be well worth the effort. 25% of one year's salary of one of these know-nothing/do-nothing CO or area office types could make a HUGE impact on my program. But I guess CPS's money is better spent on lots of new hires for the Human Capital Dept. Why actually do something right by the students for a change? Lip service about an exciting new initiative is more par for the course.

  • In reply to anonymous:

    Give em hell.I remember one day years ago when the Band teacher at Simeon had a problem.Despite all the elements of a ghetto school,
    and the fact the building was a true dump,he had developed a real band
    They were the pride of the school and band members were respected
    just like sports team members..Well the room he had was very small
    so one fine day the room next door disappeared
    The entire school helped.Auto shop led the demolition kids
    climbed ladders up 16 feet to the top of the cinder block wall
    and knocked it down block by block.The rest of the shops formed
    a human chain and passed the debris down three flights of stairs
    hand over hand.the stuff was dumped out by the loading dock.
    That is an absolutely true story. The principal,engineer,and everybody
    else just shut up. I hope you are up to those who have come before you.

  • Each CPS school needs a robust and professional arts education program. Are we there yet?

  • The KILLER quote here--this will KILL programs and close other teacher positions--there is NO new MONEY here--watch!
    "Ultimately, the city’s goal is to have every school maintain a minimum percentage of its budget for arts education. The funding floor, which has yet to be set, would be based on the school’s overall budget and per-pupil funding formula, officials said." This = death!

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