Archive for November 2012

No Love From Arne & Barack

If one thing's clear over the past four years, it's that Arne and Barack don't love them some Chicago Public Schools. Either that, or CPS, CTU, and ISBE just can't get their act together.  ...

Testing Talk

Technology Connection's Tim Furman went to and uploaded video from last night's RHY session on testing, which featured teachers from public and private schools talking about testing.  I'm not sure I agree with all of Furman's conclusions but that's not really the point.  Click below for Tim's description and some video...

Looking At CORE

Today's education news includes a mix of stories about hazing, MOOCs, pensions, and testing, along with a handful of pieces (3) about how CTU / CORE does what it does (and its latest fiery rhetoric).  Take a look.  Tell me what I'm missing.  TGIF...
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"Moratorium" Mess

So the House and Senate have both approved the closing extension, and the final passage votes are supposed to happen today, but we still don't know what prompted CPS and City Hall to come up with the moratorium idea, whether it was necessary, or even whether it made a difference to the lawmakers to whom it was offered. Lots of links and a little more blathering below...

Closing Bad Charters

Earlier today at the National Press Club in Washington DC, Greg Richmond's National Association of Charter School Authorizers and the heads of 2 brave state charter school associations announced a new plan to focus on charter school quality (as opposed to growth) called "One Million Lives." Was the Illinois Network of Charter Schools a participant...

Sharkey Vs. Byrd-Bennett

OK, back to closings.  Last night on WTTW Jesse Sharkey and Rebecca Harris chatted with Elizabeth Brackett about the school closing situation, with some clips from Byrd-Bennett added in for the CPS perspective. Click below for the video and then let us know:  What'd you think?  How'd they do?  Learn anything new? ...
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Surveying Students About Teachers

Sick of school closing talk?  Me, too.  So let's take a little break and talk about school and classroom surveys, which are one of several "next big things" in education circles (along with blended learning, flipped classrooms, and playground drones) and are coming to Chicago in a big way starting in January.  Are they already being used at your school or in your classroom, and do you think they could be useful to you, parents, or administrators?  Does anyone have any idea about how these new ISBE surveys will be different from the ones CPS is already using? What do you think about classroom level surveys, in particular -- not the usual learning environment stuff but ones focused on how much learning and instruction is going on?...

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...

Springfield Showdown

All eyes are on Springfield, where the Executive Committee is scheduled to hear from Byrd-Bennett and vote on the extension that CPS has been asking for. The proposed moratorium -- a policy matter, not legislative -- may reassure legislators, or it may alarm them with its implied "get it all done now" closings this year. [For previous coverage from Monday, and lots of comments pro and con, see Monday's post below.] Meantime, CPS doesn't have a testing opt-out policy like other districts, and the WBEZ story about parents opting out doesn't have any figures over just how big (or small) this "trend" is. Image via...
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Reversal On Closings

This makes no sense to me, but I guess Christmas has come early or I just don't get something.  CPS is now proposing a five year moratorium on school closings, starting in 2013, in order to do more parent engagement and promote stability. What are they going to do with all the 100,000 empty seats, and the associated costs?  Why are they doing this now, and insisting on doing the 2012 closings?   Why do they think they can do this any better than Duncan or Huberman?  CPS press release is below, along with various links. More to come, I'm sure...