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 viaEXTENSION/ MORATORIUM

After this year, Chicago schools could be safe from closure for 5 years WBEZ:  A five-year moratorium after this year may only serve to soften the blow that could be large-scale school closings at the end of this school year. Rumors have been swirling for months that dozens of schools will be shut down—anywhere between 80 and 120.

CPS: School closures could halt after this round Catalyst: If the extension bill gets the support of Martinez and Soto, it likely it will be approved. However, Martinez said that there will probably be many amendments to the bill that put more stipulations on CPS, such as requiring that students in targeted schools get to apply to magnet, selective enrollments and charter schools once the decisions are announced.

CPS offer escalates school closing fears Tribune: House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, who is sponsoring the bill to push back the school closing announcement, said it will be taken up in the House Executive Committee on Tuesday, the first day of the fall session. Byrd-Bennett also plans to be there to lobby lawmakers.

Chicago proposes moratorium on school closings after 2013 Reuters: Chicago now has 103 charter or "contract" schools, some run by philanthropists, which account for 12 percent of students. There are plans by supporters for 60 more charter schools over the next five years, according to the district and the union.

Byrd-Bennett proposes 5-year ban on CPS closures after this year Sun Times: Chicago Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett Monday announced plans to try to “right-size” a district with about 100,000 excess seats by fall and then declare a five-year moratorium on school closures. The plan is contingent on the Legislature allowing the district to extend its deadline for producing a proposed school action list from Dec. 1 to Mar. 31, Byrd-Bennett told the City Club in prepared remarks.

Byrd-Bennett answers questions from the media PAWJB: Bennett said there is no specific number now as to the number of schools they want to close. The plans for charter schools don’t enter into these utilization plans, she said. A nine member commission will make recommendations on March 31, 2013, if the proposed legislation is passed this week, for CPS closings, then there will be a five year moratorium on further closings.

Fake Offer In A Zero-Trust Climate Tim Furman: The facilities law is designed to protect people from the instability of CPS upper management, not facilitate it. Legislators should ask BBB to name even ten schools she's in charge of and then laugh her out of the room, politely.

MISC

Promise Neighborhood dollars could boost early childhood in Roseland Catalyst:  By the end of the year, a social service agency in Roseland will know if it has won funding to implement its Promise Neighborhood plans, part of a federal strategy to coordinate and strengthen services in the poorest communities.

Governor's State transitions to four year university Catalyst: The university sees transformation to a four-year university as an opportunity to try something new – even in the campus dorms.The university is building residence halls on campus that will be available to all levels of unmarried students.

More standardized tests, more Chicago parents looking for ways out WBEZ: CPS has no official opt out policy and many administrators will tell parents it’s simply not allowed.  A CPS spokeswoman says parents need to know that tests are critical—because they measure progress and help teachers and administrators know when a student might be struggling.

CPS stretches curriculum to include violence counseling Tribune: In response, Chicago Public Schools officials in recent years have launched more efforts to counsel students who are victims of violence and those who are troubled by the violence.

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  • Tribune editorial page says extension/moratorium configuration doesn't build trust or seem likely to work http://ow.ly/fCdZ3

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