Is This All There Is?

I wonder how we'll all remember 2012-2013.  Will it be for the school closing circus that's going on in the media, or for other things going on in schools every day -- the implementation of the Common Core, the use (or abuse) of diagnostic assessments, the closing of a handful of charters, or something else we don't even know about?  It seems clear that CTU wants us to think only about the closing issue, and that CPS is focused on its budget as much.  But I have the feeling of being led around by the nose.

ENROLLMENT

CPS releases key enrollment figures WBEZ: The percentage of students attending traditional schools dropped 17 percent, while the percentage in charter schools (many of which operate in private buildings) has increased. Today more than 50,000 students attend charter schools.

CPS updates school utilization rates, makes case for closings Catalyst: Black students make up 73 percent of enrollment in underutilized schools and 85 percent of those students in schools that are more than 50 percent underutilized, according to a Catalyst Chicago analysis of the information released by the district. Half of the schools that are under-utilized are at Level 3, the lowest rating CPS hands out.

CPS: West, South sides saw biggest drops in number of school-age kids Sun Times: Fear, confusion and anger swept across Chicago Public Schools as CPS officials released new data indicating half its schools — 330 buildings out of 681 — are “underutilized’’ but refused to say what percent underused put a school on the potential chopping block.

CPS releases list of underused schools for 2012-13 Tribune: Chicago Public Schools on Tuesday released a list of schools that are underenrolled according to this year's attendance figures, providing additional data for a commission that is studying school closings but may not weigh in on which buildings should be shuttered.

December 3 Meeting Materials School Utilization: The materials for last night's data-gathering session at House of Hope are being uploaded to the main Commission Materials page as well as the meeting-specific page. Keep checking the meeting specific page for the video recording of the meeting, which we hope to upload by the end of the week.

MISC

Ivy League proves elusive for Illinois students Tribune: Stevenson High School senior Devon Naftzger landed a coveted spot in the Ivy League when she was accepted to Princeton University last spring. But the Lincolnshire student was shocked to find out how few students from her home state would join her in the fall.

Man sues Scouts for $50M over alleged sexual abuse: For decades, a 35-year-old man lived with the years of sexual abuse he claims he suffered as a boy at the hands of serial pedophile Scoutmaster Thomas Hacker.

Citizens deserve a seat in the room: Open up collective bargaining Tribune (opinion):Chicago Teachers Union went on strike in September, taxpayers were locked out of the bargaining room as union and school officials negotiated double-digit raises and more generous perks for teachers.

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  • I don't know about you, but what I'll remember is 20,000 plus, dressed in red, flooding the downtown area, the south, north, west and east sides of this city. 20,000 plus, fighting to restore respect and dignity to this profession and fighting for the school system that our student's deserve. What I'll remember is a mayor who ducked his tail and ran for cover, cancelled appearances, snuck in the back door to meetings to avoid teachers, all in the midst of a "Red Storm". What I'll remember is a lackey, lame duck leader who purported that "rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated" only to submit and tap out less than a month later. What I'll remember is the throngs of parents, students and other common folk who came out and supported us, cooked food, donated water, made their homes available, honked their horns, waved signs and walked with me in solidarity. What I'll remember is walking back into my building on a beautiful Wednesday morning, linked arm and arm with my fellow colleagues, 50-strong, with heads held high and a peace in our spirits that we had done the right thing and that what we had accomplished was, what was "right for the children". What I'll remember is the what the mayor called a "strike of choice". And for once, we were in agreement, it was a strike of choice. We choose to stand for what every student in this great city deserves, a free and PUBLIC-world class education, a library, a playground, an art teacher, a social worker, school nurse, BOOKS, safety and security, access to technology, a teacher who is supported, encouraged and empowered to construct for the students a hope, a future. WE CHOSE to fight for that. However, for you sir (due to your lack of consideration/mention of this event), in my humble opinion, see this as something you'd rather forget.

  • Karen Lewis: Start a Charter School Illinois Citizens for Better Schools http://ow.ly/fSFzG

  • "Proud Union Home" yard signs.

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