Delayed Closing Approval

There's lots of coverage of yesterday's Executive Committee vote for the deadline extension in today's news, which was passed by the Committee and will get a final vote tomorrow, though I'm not sure how much we learned.  Did Monday's surprise offer of a moratorium help CPS's case for a deadline extension, or just muddy the waters and look desperate?  Can't tell.  Are CTU and its lackey organizations building a strong case against closings, or are they sounding extreme and out of touch?  Can't tell. But maybe you can. Meantime, Commission hearings got scheduled for next week and beyond.

School closing delay gets first okay in Springfield, but some lawmakers have concerns WBEZ: Some Illinois lawmakers are criticizing Chicago Public School’s timetable for closing an unknown number of schools. But despite that criticism, Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett got committee support to delay announcement of which schools the district would close this year.

Legislative panels advance CPS bid for more time on school-closing list Sun Times: Despite an outcry from community activists, a plan to give Chicago Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett four more months to draw up a school-closing list unanimously advanced in both the House and Senate Tuesday. Even with that movement, an influential Senate Democrat and six Chicago aldermen appeared ready to break ranks with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration on the issue by ...

House Committee OKs CPS Plan To Delay School Closings List CBS: An Illinois House committee has endorsed a plan to give the Chicago Public Schools four more months to decide where to make cuts in the number of schools the system operates.

On school closings, a political ploy CMW:   Today CPS claims it has 100,000 “empty seats.”  A year ago the figure was 80,000; a year before that, 230,000.   It all depends where you set the “data point.”

Hot Time in House Exec SSNS:  By the end of the opponents' presentations - and based on the magnitude of the task and the chaos the CPS is inviting - any objective observer would be sure the Executive Committee would reject the bill and let the deadline lapse Saturday, as is the law. So much for witnesses' testimony. The amendment was adopted on an 11-0 vote.

Lawmakers vote to give CPS more time to decide school closings Catalyst: Burke, a stickler for order and decorum, quickly threatened to "close this hearing" if the crowd did not "discontinue this behavior." Then he asked, "Who is here to oppose this motion?" In a departure from House committee procedure - unprecedented in recent history - Burke let the Chicago citizens testify against SB 547, one after another, without having signed official witness slips. Eventually, about 15 of them were given two minutes each to have their say.

School closing bill moves to House, Senate floors Tribune: A key legislator said Tuesday that she remains undecided on whether to allow Chicago Public Schools four more months to produce a list of school closings, even as legislation on the extension moved to the House and Senate floors.

COMMISSION

Five-year ban on school closings would still allow shakeups for academic reasons Sun Times: Rev. James Meeks, an independent state senator from the 15th District and chair of the Senate Education Committee, will kick off the hearings from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, at Meeks’ Salem Baptist Church, 752 E. 114th St., according to a commission news release.

MISC

New charter turns to the law to inspire kids Tribune: Legal Prep's founders want students to excel in hopes of diversifying law firms The boarded-up storefronts and abandoned buildings hardly seem like fertile ground to harvest a bumper crop of future lawyers, yet that is exactly what two educational visionaries are trying to accomplish in one of Chicago's most despairing neighborhoods.

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  • So where is Oliver Sicat in all of this? Isn't he the Chief Portfolio Officer? Hasn't his job for the last year + been to figure out which schools we need?

  • In reply to reader:

    These duties were taken away from Portfolio a while ago. Sicat hasn't been around either and is probably on his way out. The keys were taken away from Portfolio months ago as the office is well known as being the biggest joke in CPS.

  • one thing i forgot to say is that i've asked the reform groups -- charters, advocacy -- for their take on the proposed extensio-moratorium and they have declined to say much -- a sign of disapproval, or wait and see, or .... something. otherwise, they'd be out there clamoring on behalf of the plan, no?

  • Statement by CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett on the Passage of Legislation Amending SB 630 to Allow Extended Community Engagement Around School Actions

    “I’d like to thank the sponsors of this legislation, the leaders and members of the Illinois House and Senate and in particular Senator Iris Martinez, Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and Representative Cynthia Soto for supporting our efforts to engage the community at the front end of this process to ensure we can conduct a transparent and respectful conversation with parents and school communities around this important work on behalf of our students.

    “It is essential that we have the necessary time to work with the community to identify the steps we need to take in the coming months to right-size our District and better invest our limited resources, which are currently being spread too thin. More time means we can work in true partnership with our school communities and listen to their concerns and ideas. Difficult decisions will still need to be made, but we will be able to make them with the community, not dictate them to the community.”

    Barbara Byrd-Bennett
    Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Public Schools

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    “It is essential that we have the necessary time to work with the community to identify the steps we need to take in the coming months to right-size our District and better invest our limited resources, which are currently being spread too thin."

    Amazing... they had since the last round of closings in February. They've had nearly a year to work with the community! They're all but saying that CPS is incompetent.

    Who is to blame for this mess, and don't tell me Brizard as it's clear he was marginalized a long time ago.

  • Illinois House grants extension on school closing deadline | Reuters http://ow.ly/fF2yT

    Vote was 84-28

  • Amazingly Russo has called every dozens of grassroots parent, student, and community organizations "CTU lackeys".

    Why does he hate the common folk so much?

  • "Why does he hate the common folk so much?"

    Who knows? Perhaps it's because he's the son of an "heiress to the Warburg-Schiff banking fortunes" and great-grandson "of the late publisher Conde Nast."

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1948&dat=19601123&id=mUkhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=U4AFAAAAIBAJ&pg=542,4020467

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