There's lots of news today -- a handful of new school approvals/expansions (Jones, Orange, Foundations), plus a Crain's followup on UNO's fundraising prowess. There's also news about the new tougher ISAT is coming (it's going to be ugly). Not everyone's concerned about closings and approvals, however. Some are beating the drum on overtesting. Others are concerned about sports, and coaches.
NEW SCHOOOL APPROVALS
Chicago school officials approve new schools, but no neighborhood options WBEZ: The Board of Education also approved two new charter schools—an arts-based elementary called The Orange School and a 6th through 12th grade high school called Foundations College Prep. Both have conditional approval and will need to have a location approved. Board member Andrea Zopp said she felt strongly that new schools locate in neighborhoods where there is a need.
CPS approves new schools, but charters face tough questions Catalyst: Both Foundations College Prep, which will open in Roseland, and Orange Charter, which has not picked a neighborhood yet, were pulled from the December meeting agenda,had their openings delayed by a year, and were given additional conditions they must meet before they are given final approval to open.
Springfield Magic: Money for Schools – Some Schools Crain's: “But, in checking around, I hear that the guy who really pushed the proposed $35 million grant was House Speaker Michael Madigan, whose district has turned overwhelmingly Latino in recent years and who probably could use one of those new UNO schools in his district. Mr. Madigan — his spokesman failed to return calls — was so hot for the grant that he actually tried to add it to some other bills, multiple reliable Springfield sources say.”
Schools CEO pledges ‘respect,’ ‘nurturing and support’ she says missing in past school closings Sun Times: Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett and her aides admitted to the Board of Education Wednesday that the district has not only done a poor job of closing schools in the past, but it can’t guarantee that children who will be displaced by school closings will get to attend classes in their own neighborhoods.
CPS confident that it can tackle school closings Tribune: Chicago Public Schools officials said Wednesday the district has the resources needed to close as many schools as deemed necessary.
Board Member Worries About Student Commutes if Neighborhood Schools Closed
DNAinfo: At a board meeting, Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett laid out guidelines for school closings that exempt high schools and elementary schools that are in the process of adding more grades. Officials also don't plan to close any high .
Local schools on closure list Hyde Park Herald: After reviewing the recommendations of the Chicago Public School's Commission on School Utilization, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has announced that high schools and Level-1 high-performing schools will not be considered for the school-closing list.
CPS chief forcing coaches to set better example Tribune: Barbara Byrd-Bennett still remembers how often her daughter, Nailah, quoted coaches of every sport growing up in New York. Nowadays, Byrd-Bennett frequently hears similar reverence repeated from her twin grandsons, who just started playing football.
Byrd-Bennett to CPS coaches: Shape up or it’s game over Sun Times: In the wake of a fatal shooting that followed a scuffle at high school basketball game, Chicago Public Schools’ CEO warned all CPS coaches Wednesday that if they didn’t play by the rules of sportsmanship, their sports programs could be in jeopardy.
State says student test scores set to plummet under higher standards Catalyst: If CPS has the same projected decrease, about 50 percent of students would meet standards on the ISAT—a similar percentage as in 2005, before the state lowered cut scores. In 2006, the cut scores were recalibrated and CPS saw a 15 percentage point jump in students meeting or exceeding standards. Last year, 76.4 percent of students in CPS met standards on the ISAT.
Teacher Exposes Board’s Ridiculous Testing Policy Substance: “I am also a mandated reporter and today I want to report the child abuse that is occurring in our schools. It is called excessive, high-stakes standardized testing.”
U.S. Teachers Unions Take A Hit NBC Chicago: Public sector unions are the only unions left to attack. Which is why conservatives are trying to rally workers who have been impoverished by the destruction of the labor movement against the few remaining unionized workers, arguing that they’re beneficiaries of a “special deal” not available to ordinary chumps forced to work without health insurance or pensions.
State survey aims to offer detailed look at schools Tribune: Calling it an "X-ray" of public schools, Illinois is launching an unprecedented attempt to gather candid information on how teachers are teaching, students are learning and principals are leading.