Archive for October 2012

School Closing Sprint

The Chicago Teachers Union didn't waste any time rallying its allies against the coming school closing process following the end of the strike, and today CPS responded with its own effort to reconnect with communities and parents about the difficult decisions that are coming. It released draft guidelines for school closing decisions to the public (see below), and sent Byrd-Bennett out to talk about rebuilding trust and a transparent process...

Does UDL Work?

My latest article from the Harvard Education Letter, Bringing UDL into the Mainstream, is now up online -- aided as was my previous article by Access Living's Rod Estvan. Several of you went to trainings about this over the summer, and a few of you are no doubt being urged to give it a try by your network chiefs and principals...

Skinner North Joins Elite

Today's big news is the release of the 2012 school report card data, which according to Chicago includes the emergence of Skinner North Classical as a new top performing school in the city.  There are also some new details about the severance agreement for Jean Claude Brizard, and some non-news about the coming closings...
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First Quarter Grading

It’s report card pickup time — Tuesday and Wednesday — and the end of the first quarter.  It’s also the deadline for publishing last year’s state test scores for individual schools from last spring.  On Tuesday, Mayor Emanuel held another press conference, this time touting gift cards for parents who come to school to pick up... Read more »

Sun-Times' Newish Face

Last weekend at a conference in Minneapolis I finally had the chance to meet Lauren FitzPatrick, the Sun-Times reporter who's been working on education along with Rosalind Rossi for the past few months. Some links and background about her are below. Any thoughts about her work, or the combined work of Rossi, FitzPatrick, and Speilman at the Sun-Times, this would be the time and place.   Me, I'm just glad that there's someplace that's adding education reporters rather than taking them away. ...

Bonuses For 82 Principals

Today's big story is the news that on Monday 82 Chicago principals were awarded bonuses from $5,000 to $20,000 for school improvement on various measures.  Take a look at the list and the methodology and let us know what you think...
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Basketball, Gangs, & Guns

If you haven't seen it already you might want to watch this new ESPN documentary about Benji Wilson, the Simeon High School basketball star who was raised in Chatham, played for Robert "Hope" Reid in Ida B. Wells, and shot in a freak 1984 accident. There's great archival footage, some surprise appearances, and an amazing interview with Wilson's killer...

Stormy Monday

Lots of schools and government offices are closed down on the East Coast, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, but the news of the day in Chicago includes none of that -- just more about closings, Lincoln Elementary, ISBE's smaller Race to the Top application, and a look at Air Force Academy High School...

CTU Can't Count

Kudos to Heather Momyer at the Medill Report for fact-checking the oft-repeated Karen Lewis claim about 14 tests for kindergartners, which turns out to include optional tests not required by the district, brief on-the-fly diagnostics that most of us wouldn’t consider tests, and options provided to give different teachers and schools choices about which measures to... Read more »
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Board Budget Do-Over

So Byrd-Bennett is approved, and the contract agreement, too.  but  no one's exactly sure how CPS is going to pay for it.  And the Board had to hold off on approving the revised budget when it became clear that there hadn't been sufficient notice ahead of time (oops!). Concerns about closings and consolidations are building, and curiosity about IB expansion is growing.  TGIF...