Breaking: CPS and CTU have agreed to apply for the district version of Race to the Top, according to a news story LA School Report, a new LA-based education site I am helping get launched.
As you may recall, Arne Duncan announced the district-focused version of Race to the Top in August, aiming to provide access to the competition for districts whose states had not won or even applied for the state-based competition. There wasn't much discussion of the grant competition during the following weeks, which included the strike and the departure of Brizard. But now, with the deadline fast approaching, teachers in Chicago have agreed to sign the support letter "after much back-and-forth with the district," according to Stephanie Gadlin, a CTU representative quoted in the LASR story.
The agreement is a sharp contrast to events unfolding in LA and several other California school districts, where the teachers unions have adamantly refused to sign onto the district applications. However, it is not yet clear whether the as yet-unannounced Chicago agreement resembles the Los Angeles proposal in all its key details. According to one highly-placed union official, the final Chicago agreement focuses on individualized services for middle school students rather than performance pay or other controversial approaches.