Archive for December 2012

Lack Of Choice For Parents

Teachers and others opposed to charter schools might feel like there’s too much focus on non-neighborhood schools in CPS, but Chicago parents feel just as strong that there’s not enough choice in CPS — of any kind.  On that topic, the Washington DC-based Brookings Institute has just put out a report on district choice in... Read more »

Why'd Rogers Get Downgraded?

Not much news to share today, though there are links to the utilization hearings, and a note from Catalyst about the rush to use the online signup for Board meetings.  The Tribune editorial page wonders where "right to work" shows up next after Michigan. NewSchools shares all the coverage of the EXPO. A parent wonders why his neighborhood school (Rogers) was downgraded to Level 2 - especially when charters with lower scores (UNO-Paz and Rowe-Clark) have higher rankings...

Overstating Charters?

While CPS is being accused of overstating enrollment declines and under-utilization levels at city schools, charter opponents (and perhaps even the media) can be accused of overstating the level of "privatization" in the form of charter and contract schools.  Day after day, all we hear about is charter schools and charter expansion.  It's presented as if they're EVERYWHERE.  But that's not the case...
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Overselling Underenrollment?

Today's news includes a pair of WBEZ stories about how CPS has been portraying enrollment drops and the likely increase in the percentage of schools run by nonprofits or for profit organizations, a CPSobsessed report from the EXPO, plus coverage of the CTU cartoon/coloring book mocking City Hall and CPS...

Did UTLA Beat CTU?

Under court order to include student achievement -- and without a strike -- the United Teachers of Los Angeles announced a deal last week that doesn't include any value-added measurements of teachers as part of the new teacher evaluation system.  Instead, a mix of schoolwide scores and raw scores will be used -- specifics to be determined at a later date.  The Los Angeles Times describes it as a major victory for the union, bucking a trend seen in other districts (including Chicago)...

Does "Diplomas Now" Work?

There are three Chicago schools -- Talent Development High School, Gage Park High School,  and John Hope College Preparatory -- doing Diplomas Now, a Johns Hopkins University social support program that uses City Year, Communities in Schools, and other approaches to help 6th-10th grade kids stay in school. There are now 44 schools participating, including this one featured on PBS last week, plus another 20 to come. Anybody familiar with the approach, or know how it's different or better (worse) than other approaches? Video below...
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Countdown To Xmas

What a strange juxtaposition of events we're having these last  two weeks before the holiday break. On Friday, CPS announced it was recommending six additional homegrown charter and district schools to open next year -- including Disney II #2 (hearing on Thurdsday!) On Saturday, CPS held an expo to promote charter schools, some of which aren't high performing, and CTU held an event to protest closings (hearing today and Friday!). ...

Weekend Open Thread

Want to talk about the new schools expo, or the CTU thing, or something entirely different?  This is the place to get it off your chest.  WBEZ’s Linda Lutton has a pretty vivid description of how hard CPS and charter advocates are pushing the new schools EXPO despite the fact that a third of the... Read more »

Principal Residency Update

EdWeek checks in with Chicago's UIC school leadership program and similar programs around the country where the emphasis is on school-based experience rather than classroom learning (More Principals Learn the Job in Real Schools).  The story features Rituparna "Rita" Raichoudhuri, a principal in residence at Wells, who's working with a graduate of the UIC program, Principal Ernesto Matias.  ...
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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)...