Archive for December 2012

School Safety

Lots about school security -- in fact that's pretty much all I could find.  CPS is obviously trying to make clear that schools are safe places and that there are enough resources for officers etc. in place. ...

"Man, You Better Teach Me Something."

One extremely upset CPS student has given voice to the frustrations that other students and parents may feel about the lack of changes in CPS classrooms this year following the contract negotiations and the strike. Watch the video below, tell us what school it is if you can tell -- but more importantly tell us if it's true or not.  What's different, if anything, since CTU won pay raises, freedom from lesson plan templates, etc. in September...

What's Up At King College Prep?

There was a lot going on at King College Prep last week, according to this pair of DNAInfo stories, including disciplinary action against a longtime coach (Coach Says King Sit-In Sparked by His Firing, Arrest At School ) and a sit-in against the new principal at the school on Thursday (King College Prep Students Stage Sit-In... Read more »
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One Last Week

It's the last week before the winter holiday and today's news includes lots about school safety plus of course the usual back and forth over school closings (including on the North Side) plus -- this is news to me -- a CPS plan to create a new, single schedule for CPS next year that CPS and CTU are apparently working on together.  I know, strange words to see. Check it out and get happy or angry about the possible demise of Tracks R and E. ...

Weekend Open Thread

While pretty much everyone else affiliated with schools, parents, or teachers in Washington and other big-city school districts around the country has been addressing concerns raised by the Newtown elementary school rampage and/or expressing condolences for those affected, not an official peep or reassurance from CPS or CTU or City Hall so far.  Read below for a few links then tell us what you think or what's on your mind, school shooting or otherwise.  ...

Elected Board Dysfunction

Folks including CTU say that an elected school board would be better for Chicago Public Schools -- not to mention giving CTU much more power than it currently has -- and indeed the way things are set up now you might as well get rid of the appointed board and just run CPS as a city agency like CPD or Streets and Sanitation.  But that doesn't mean that an elected school board is a realistic or reasonable alternative (or guarantees improved results), as the Los Angeles example reminds us.  Click below for video of the board members bickering earlier this week (something they frequently do), and read about the nine candidates the union has endorsed (for three spots), and the $10 million that will be spent on the race for three open seats in March (salary: $48,000). ...
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New Academic Chief For CPS?

Todays' education news includes the announcement of two more IB schools (Taft and LPHS), debate over the closing/opening process (including a helpful Catalyst explainer about the different utilization numbers flying around), and an officially unconfirmed WBEZ report that Annette Gurley is going to be the new academic second in command to Byrd-Bennett. According to her LinkedIn, she was principal at Clark Middle School until 2007, when she became AIO for Area 3 and then network chief for Austin North Lawndale Elementary Network. That's her in red (I think)...

Return To "Stand And Deliver" HS

LA's Garfield High School, has had it's ups and downs, and this latest update from the local PBS station focuses on the elimination of suspension, the use of in-school lunchtime tutoring, and the increase in parent volunteers to help with supervision.  There are no miracles, but it seems like things are on the upswing.  Pretty normal, right...

Closings +/- Openings

Today's Sun Times editorial page registers dismay that CPS is going ahead with more charter openings even as it's aiming to close down large numbers of schools -- a concern that makes emotional and political sense given the mistrust surrounding CPS's ability to oversee/implement the closings and openings successfully at the same time even if it's not objectively necessary. Read more and today's news below...
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A Calmer Kind Of Critique

How nice, amid all the finger-wagging and anger and mistrust, to read about a Chicago parent who's getting involved and apparently making a difference without going all conspiracy theory "they're out to get us!" in the process...