Today's news? Well there's not much of it, really. Illinois got some leftover Early Learning funding from the Obama administration. Catalyst's comings and goings doesn't include anyone you've ever heard of. Linda Lutton seems to be off on some sort of deep dive project. There's a New Schools Expo and a CTU event tomorrow. Deadlines? Decisions? Changes of heart? Let us know in comments below or on Twitter (@district299).
Vocabulary skills: More poor kids at loss for words Sun Times: Most of Illinois’ fourth-graders know the meaning of the words “suggested” and “underestimated” when they read them in stories, but not “prestigious” and “barren.” Eighth-graders for the most part recognize the meaning of “motivate” and “specialty” but few understand “permeated.” And the vocabulary of Illinois’ young readers is right on par with the rest of the nation.
Parents unhappy that school tracks kids’ weight Sun Times: Parents of Naperville District 203 students are objecting to a phys ed program that tracks junior high school kids’ weight. Parents of Lincoln Junior High School students contacted administrators in September, objecting to the fitness unit program that asks students to weigh in and record their weight. District officials say the matter has been discussed with those who have raised concerns about it. “I said, ‘You are creating a generation of eating disorders. You should focus on wellness, not weight,’ ” said Karen Smith, mother of a sixth-grader. School officials assured Smith that her child could opt out of the …
Illinois awarded Early Learning Challenge funds Catalyst: The money is just half what the state originally hoped to win in the first round of the contest. The money will go to improving quality, coordinating efforts, and increasing access to programs – rather than expanding slots. Illinois was one of five runners-up selected to apply, and all were awarded funds.
Comings & Goings: Wyatt, Kohl Teacher Awards Catalyst: Shelby Wyatt, a counselor at Hyde Park’s Kenwood Academy, Felipa Mena, a Community Organizing and Family Issues parent leader, received national recognition for her work at the Wells High School Peace Center, The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy is opening a field office at the Beasley Academic Center.
Activists Say Poor Neighborhoods Will Bear Brunt of School Closings DNAinfo: CPS recently won a delay in the General Assembly to announce school closings for the fall by the end of March, and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett has promised a five-year moratorium on additional closings — after next year.