Three Closing Options

In today's education news you'll see that there are basically three options being discussed right now: Should CPS delay the school closing process this year -- the CPS-favored option; continue the process but declare a moratorium on opening new charter schools -- some aldermen seem to like this idea; or, call the whole thing off for this year at least -- CTU's current position?

CLOSINGS HEARING

Aldermen take CPS to task over school closings Catalyst: At one point, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd Ward) asked CPS officials if they would commit to putting off the opening of charter schools for at least a year, as they try to “right-size” the district. Babbitz said he was not in a position to make that promise. CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett was not in attendance at the hearing.

Aldermen question CPS ‘right-sizing,’ opening charters in ‘haphazard’ way Sun Times: Aldermen upset about the prospect of massive school closings amid an expected charter expansion Tuesday got a lot of reassurances but not as many specifics from Chicago Public School officials.

LEWIS SPEECH

Teachers union chief slams 'top-down' reform Tribune: Showing the same combativeness that was on display during the recent strike, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said Tuesday that the wealthy backers of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's efforts to overhaul the city's troubled schools should donate money to support public education but otherwise butt out.

Chicago Teachers Union president takes her message to City Club of Chicago Crain's: Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, took swipes at her critics and used dramatic hyperbole to get her message across during Tuesday's regular meeting of the City Club of Chicago.

CTU head to lobby against extending school closing deadline WBEZ: Lewis, who spoke to reporters after delivering remarks at a City Club luncheon, said she still wants to "see a whole plan" from school officials.

CTU chief Karen Lewis rips 'corporate meddling' in schools Chicago Sun-Times: An emotional Karen Lewis, the feisty president of the Chicago Teachers Union, denounced many school reforms as “corporate meddling,” Tuesday and told civic and business leaders not to discount poverty in how Chicago's children learn.

MISC

Chicago Schools CEO Vows To Address Truancy Problem CBS2 Chicago: See what your friends have read on CBS Local sites. Use "Remove" or "Turn off" to disable at any time. Barbara Byrd-Bennett discusses her appointment as chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools, replacing Jean-Claude Brizard.

Diane Ravitch on Education Reform WTTW: She was one of the strongest voices in the school reform movement, but less than a decade ago, Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education under President George H. W. Bush, had a change of heart.

The Best (and Worst) Education News of 2012 Huffington Post (Larry Ferlazzo): *The courage and success of the Chicago Teachers Union in their seven-day strike.

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  • Everyone should contact their state senators and state representatives and tell them to not approve the changing of the deadline from December 1, 2012 to March 31, 2012 for CPS to announce their school actions!

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    The Retired Principal, what is your rationale for not extending the deadline? Just curious. I have been reading both sides of the argument, and I'm not sure where I stand. Initially, I thought the extension would be a good thing. One of the things that CPS has done very poorly, over the past decade, has been engaging the community. If community voice will increase, during this extended period, I thought that might be a great thing. Your thoughts?

  • In reply to TheChicagoSkoop:

    REASONS WHY THE ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHOULD NOT CHANGE THE DEADLINE FOR CPS SCHOOL ACTIONS: 1. CPS wants to undercut the power of the Chicago Facilities Task Force (CEFTF) by establishing their own independent commission to sell CPS's vision for further community destabilization and increase school privatization thru charter schools. 2. School closing do not result in major savings. Even if CPS closes 100 schools, the annual savings would be $50 million to $80 million, which constitute only 1% to 1.5% of CPS's operating budget. Those savings do not relect increased costs for transporting students, emergency response costs associated with increased violence. 3. CPS created this crisis through its aggressive for-profit charter operation expansion campaign and the acquisation of other school buildings. 4. CPS's leadership team is in disarray. School actions team members have never taught or previously worked in public schools. School action planning and public disclosure is haphazard and violates the spirit of Illinois school law. 5. Mulitiple research studies demonstrate that student mobility negatively impacts student achievement. Forcing students to change schools ensures that educational outcomes will be worse. 6. For-Profit Charter Operations enroll fewer special education students, fewer English language learners, and fewer hard-to-educate students. Charter schools produce results that are indistinguishable from CPS traditional schools. 7. CPS has ignored impassioned testimony by hundreds of members of school communities over the past ten years. These parents, students, administrators, faculties, staffs, LSC's, CAC's and communities have opposed school actions taken against their schools and these school closures have shown no real improvement.

  • good question -- the only reason i can think of to oppose the extension would be to try and make sure there are no closings this year -- to leave CPS with fewer options -- which assumes that there's no such thing as a school that's underutilized

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    RP’s response illustrates the limitation of your 'thinking'

  • Event: Thurs 11/29 @ILRaiseYourHand forum on testing 7-9pm

  • Assume no underutilized? I beg to differ. CPS has been aware of this deadline. Are there individuals out there that really think that strong community voice to fight closures has leverage? Has it worked up until now? How about the paid protestors? Has our memory failed? How about this, I would like to move the ISAT assessments to June. Gives me more time to prepare a year's curriculum that you know is measured in MARCH. WTF!

  • News from the front is so interesting:

    "I actually really like Danielson’s framework. However, I do agree that this system can’t possibly last. We have half or more of our staff who are non-tenured. Our principal must observe each of those 25 teachers 4 times this year. With the pre and post conferences taking nearly an hour together and another hour of observation time, that’s 8 hours per teacher and that doesn’t include the hours and hours principals must spend uploading data and other paperwork requirements. That also doesn’t include the observations of the tenured teachers.

    "Plus, now that we have recess (which is a great thing and hopefully over the years will resolve itself), our disciplinary issues that we expected to drop due to recess have skyrocketed in frequency and severity. There’s been a nearly 400% increase in discipline referrals due to behaviors on the playground. So this means our principals spend way more time calling parents, dealing with fights and injuries.

    "So not sure how, humanly, the framework will be doable."

    --- a comment from the cpsobsessed.com blog

  • My principal stated she's evaluating all 19 components of Danielson for all teachers not rated E or Sup last year. I agree w above post I don't see how this can be done in a meaningful way for all those who require it . Also she seemed to intimate that there was still local criteria being included in evals is this true? I am confused and anxious, and l think CD isn't really showing evolution from the old metric, just complicating it. CD herself said urban districts are incorrectly using her system.

  • C. Danielson is correct in thinking this. CPS is incorrectly using and abusing her system. What is she doing about it?

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