Weekend Open Discussion

There are always so many school-related things going on that don't make it into the news or get commented on by me or other people, so here's a place to say what's going on at your school, in your classroom, or office -- how things are going this year so far, how the new Common Core training is going, what you think of the new Tiers, what it's like being in a new school/teaching a new grade, whether you're sensing any difference in the post-strike, post-Brizard era.  As always, feel free to sign in using your own name or anonymously.


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  • Anyone else hearing about 8th grade students finding out that their 7th grade ISAT scores were "lost" or that there were
    "irregularities" with them?

    I've heard of this happening at two schools - at one school they found out a few weeks ago and the students had to take a make-up ISAT test. The students at the other school, however, just found out last week and the make-up ISAT date has already passed.

    What are these kids supposed to do about applying to high school? Will they lose out on a chance to get into a desirable high school through no fault of their own? The high school application deadline is less than a month away and these students cannot even sign up to test for selective enrollment due to this error. I'm concerned that parents at these schools may not know how to advocate for their students and I'm not convinced that the administration at their schools are helping to find a solution for these students.

  • I have not heard of this and am unsure how it can even happen. I have overseen the ISAT testing at my school for many years and the system is very tight in regards to who has tested, who has not tested, and if there are any tests submitted with confusing identifying information. We as a school are provided by May with lists of students who were on our roster in March (test time) for whom there are scores missing and we have to explain why they didn't test OR we track the scores down by reviewing "unclaimed" type lists, etc.

    By summer we have the ISAT scores for the school and we check to make sure everyone's is there. We as a school are also provided with a list early in the year of those students for whom there is no ISAT score - be it because they didn't take it or it's missing - and we have time to either track it down or schedule for retesting.

    Often times there are errors on the state end. For example we just last week got a letter saying please explain why Student X didn't take the ACCESS test. Well, we went into IMPACT and there were the student's scores so we contacted them and directed them to where they would find them.

    Administration will ALWAYS help in finding a solution, even if it's not solely for the student. They get judged, blamed, rewarded etc by test scores just as much as students do.

    What schools had this missing 7th grade scores error? It should be brought to the attention of the Network and CPS if it hasn't already.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    What you are saying makes absolute sense which is why I cannot understand how this is happening...
    Kilmer School

  • Charter’s Big Lie

  • via email from about a week ago -- unconfirmed:

    This past Monday, Harlan Community Academy High School was placed on Lockdown. Two students arrived at the school in the morning late with loaded guns in their purses.

    When they went through the metal detectors located at the school's main entrance, the entrance late students go through, the metal detectors went off. But the security guard just waved them through and told them to go to class anyway because it was too inconvenient for him to get up and inspect the purses. This was captured on the security camera.

    The students were in school classrooms all day until around the seventh period when the students had been found out. The school was put on lockdown, the guns were found in a search, and a check of the security cameras revealed how they got in the building with guns when the security guard blew off searching them.

    The girls had brought the guns to school because they planned on confronting other students who they were engaged in a dispute with.

    The Interim Principal at Harlan is Reginald Evans.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Everything in this post is true according to someone I know who works at Harlan.

  • I do not know about Harlan but i do know Reggie Evans.
    He is one of three or four former Simeon students who are
    now principals in Chicago. If it did happen he will take action.

  • Waving kids through when metal detectors beep is standard procedure at my school. Security is understaffed and principals instruct them to first get kids to class. Students are notoriously late to first period. If every beep was investigated it would take hours to get kids into school.

    Cell phones are primarily responsible for the metal detectors working overtime but CPS has stated it will not support schools with the confiscation and processing of improperly used cell phones.

    Checking a mere 5% of students who set off the metal detectors would be a deterrent but even that is not happening. CPS is pressuring schools make it appear that student code of conduct violations are decreasing when they are in fact on the rise.

  • via email: Try to get your hand on a cps 1st grade report card. It is maddening, sad and, most importantly, developmentally undignified.

  • How true you are.I know of one high school in chaos,fights
    occur every day.Yet only a fraction gets reported.It seems that
    unless the cops arrest someone it never happened.
    The amount of girls now brawling is almost the same as the boys.

  • Mayor appoints Carlos Azcoitia to Chicago Board of Education CBS Chicago http://ow.ly/fo1x5 - Carlos Ponce moves over to Housing

  • Testing critic grates at having to take GRE in order to pursue PhD research on negative effects of testing http://ow.ly/fo2bu

  • Emanuel met with Brizard just nine times during 2012 according to official schedule Tribune obtained http://ow.ly/fo2Do

  • Carlos is good appointment. The Mayor needs to use others with expertise in the system. Chicagoans. There are a few central office people left who have years of expertise and are being managed by those with no expertise. B3 needs to address this first as she re-structures central office.

  • Congratulations to Dr. Azcoitia. He is missed in Midway Network.

  • I know nothing about Dr. Azcoitia, but I must be skeptical about anybody chosen by Duncan and Emanuel. Please, please tell me he is not a corporate tool and actually wants to improve CPS through sound means.

  • Rogers Park Is Awake from the
    School TechConnect

  • Dr. Azcoitia is one of the really good guys in Chicago education. Everyone I know who knows him thinks highly of him. I do as well. He was a visionary principal and always worked on behalf of kids and community. This is a great appointment!

  • Why is Peter Cunningham returning to Chicago?

  • Hopefully to clean up the mess that is CPS.

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