Symbolic Votes

Not much education news today:  Catalyst reports that supporters of an elected school board can't agree on whether to push for a task force to study the situation or to go straight ahead towards changing the law.  The Tribune agrees with me that delaying the closing process won't really help and actually might hurt. (Then again, going back to the December 1 date would also signal disarray.) The Daily Herald notes that there have been eight teacher strikes since the passage of SB 7 (though I'm guessing the recession had something to do with them, too).Elected school board on Nov. 6 ballot Catalyst: Within the coalition behind the referendum, however, there is disagreement about the best way to get there. Pauline Lipman, a University of Illinois education professor and member of Communities Organized for Democracy in Education (CODE), is opposed to the task force and argues that “all the research has already been done” and favors an elected board. Dwayne Truss, of the Progressive Action Coalition for Education, on the other hand, believes a task force will make the process more transparent and ensure support from a broad cross-section of politicians.

CPS, level with parents now Tribune (editorial): Yes, the district needs to build trust with parents. But the best way to do that is to tell parents right now that they may face the disruption of a school closing next year. Keeping this news a secret until March 31 will not create trust, respect or transparency. It will create anxiety and suspicion. CPS knows which schools are the prime candidates for closing. CPS knows which schools have empty classrooms and are too expensive to operate. Springing the list as late as possible will not defuse or deflect community anger.

CTA unions trade work-rule changes for no-layoff guarantee Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday cut a five-year deal with CTA construction and maintenance unions that trades cost-cutting work-rule changes for a no-layoff guarantee, setting the stage for a similar agreement with bus drivers and motormen.

Emanuel shrugs off defeat in political hardball game with Quinn Sun-Times:  The mayor favored Diana Ferguson, former chief financial officer for the Chicago Public Schools and an Emanuel appointee to the board overseeing the mayor's Infrastructure Trust.

Altgeld Gardens: Four years later WBEZ: Altgeld Gardens is a sprawling public housing development, as far south as you can go and still be in Chicago. It’s surrounded by landfills, a sewage treatment plant and the polluted Little Calumet River. It’s home to nearly 4,000 people, and the place where Barack Obama honed his chops as a community organizer. Four years ago today, we drove to Altgeld Gardens to talk with people at dawn--right after the election.  Everyone wanted to talk; there was exuberance, and hope.  We've gone back each year since, and this year, we wanted to hear how people from Altgeld think the president has done, and how the country, and their community, have changed.

Why so many teachers unions threaten to strike  Daily Herald: When Gov. Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 7 into law in 2011, it updated regulations on teacher strikes, specifically making it more difficult to strike and requiring greater transparency on the part of negotiating teams. But less than three months into the 2012 school year, eight teachers unions in the state filed intent to strike notices, five of which resulted in teachers walking out.

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  • DO NOT change the December 1st date for announcing school actions! Anyone that does, is a traitor and/or sell-out. P.S.- More to follow.

  • Editorial: An elected school board isn’t answer, but changes needed - Chicago Sun-Times http://ow.ly/fe9IX

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