Lesson Plan Relief?

The latest education news includes a reminder about today's school closing commission meeting at UIC, a Tribune's editorial about how mediocre Illinois schools are (via the Advance IL report I tweeted out over the weekend), and a Sun Times piece on teachers getting to do their own lesson plans now (a big applause line in the recent contract negotiations). Has the new freedom been as big (or bigger) a relief as anticipated, or changed the mood or quality at your school (for better or worse)?

Consistently mediocre Tribune (editorial):  Any kid trudging home to deliver a lackluster report card knows the first question from a parent: How will you do better next time? That's the question every teacher, principal and administrator in this state needs to answer.

Lessons Learned: CPS teachers now better tailor education plans for students Sun Times: Mr. Erik Young could try to explain the difficulties of urban migration to his AP Human Geography class. But what if he let Stevie Wonder do it? “Living for the City” popped into Young’s head once as a catchy way to introduce the complexities of mass migration of rural Americans to cities to his students at King College Prep High School. And now it’s part of a lesson.

CPS commission on school closings to meet Monday at UIC Sun Times:  The new Chicago Public Schools Commission on School Utilization looking at closing some city schools plans to meet Monday at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The group does not plan to take public input at the “data-gathering session” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road, though the public is welcome to attend. CPS officials already have heard from aldermen last week upset about the prospect of massive school closings amid an expected charter school expansion. The school district plans to ask the General Assembly to push back the Dec. 1 deadline for …

Mentor program rehabs cars, as well as young men’s lives Sun Times: Bent over a grinder, wrestling paint from the body of an ancient auto, the young men appear frozen, their goggled eyes lasered on the movement of screeching metal-on-metal that is spewing sparks like fireworks. Preaching to them was Kenneth Trotter — because although he was talking about removing old paint and rust, he was preaching, really — for the idea of restoration applied to this group of teens and 20-somethings just as much as to the hot rods in the shop.

See You Thursday Night? Tim Furman:  I personally left teaching because of the culture of testing--- I've never talked to anyone whom I would regard as an inspiring teacher who feels that standardized testing is worth all of the damage it does. But it's very popular with other people who have no day-to-day relationship to the actual teaching of actual kids.

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