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Welcome back! Today's education news includes an update on not many teachers getting rehired, shots fired at a school bus, and a tidbit about CPS saving money using better procurement.  There's also lots of national news -- about deferred applications affecting schools, Sandy Hook Elementary recovery (and guns in schools in general), and happenings in other places like Newark and Cleveland.  What have I missed? What's going on at your school?

JOBS

Mostly art, music teachers added for longer Chicago school day WBEZ:  As of the end of October, just 104 displaced teachers had been hired under the longer day agreement and the rest, about 70 percent of them, were non-tenured or new employees. The positions added under the agreement were also temporary and only guaranteed through the first semester. That means in January, principals could let go of the “full school day” teachers. However, CPS spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus said the positions are budgeted through the end of the year.

Bachelor’s degree requirement to hit Head Start next year Catalyst: The city expects that 14 percent won’t meet the requirement, and could potentially lose their jobs or be demoted.Assistants, too, will be required to have an associate’s degree or a CDA (Child Development Associate) credential. The city estimates that 8.5 percent of these staff might not meet the requirement.

TEACHERS

Raise the bar Tribune (editorial): American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten is promoting a terrific idea — a rigorous national exam that teachers must pass before they are fully qualified to lead a class.

3 teachers, union sue CPS, allege racial bias Tribune: Three Chicago Public Schools teachers who lost their jobs this year said in a lawsuit that the district's process for "turnaround" schools is racially discriminatory because it targets West and South side campuses.

SAVINGS

Let’s make a deal: CPS has saved $23 million since April Sun Times: Operating on a budget of about $5.1 billion, CPS is staring down an expected $1 billion deficit by summer. The nation’s third largest district of 403,000 students is expected to close or consolidate dozens of schools by year’s end.

MISC

High school basketball player hurt when shots fired at bus Tribune: An 18-year-old Dunbar High School basketball player was hurt Monday evening in a burst of gunfire while he and teammates were boarding a school bus, police said. About 7:50 p.m. three or four people started shooting in the direction of the bus, which...

Schools embrace graphic novels as learning tool Tribune: In honors English class at Alan B. Shepard High School, sophomores are analyzing Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" with the help of another book filled with drawings and dialogue that appears in bubbles above characters' heads.

Charters Ring Up Fines Along With Additional Public Funding DNAI: Chicago Bulls College Prep student paid $2,000 in fines, fees even as school got big public-funding hike.

NATIONAL

Mixed Reaction to Call for Armed Guards in Schools NYT:  “It’s not that they’re simply there if something terrible happens,” said Martin Miller, a math teacher at Hyde Park High School in Chicago, which has three armed police officers assigned to the building. "As a whole, just having a police officer or an armed guard or someone with a gun is not going to stop the violence. I think it’s a lot more complicated than that.”

Texas among 10 states facing lawsuits over education funding Washington Posts: But school-funding advocates have found that winning a lawsuit doesn’t necessarily improve the quality of education — or even boost funding over the long term, as funding formula changes and budget cuts can eat into court-mandated increases.

How 'Deferred Action' Will Affect Classrooms NPR:  The new year could bring new challenges to the nation's schools and students. Host Michel Martin discusses what's ahead with NPR Education Correspondent, Claudio Sanchez. He says immigration policy and the demand for Pell Grants could have a huge effect on American education in 2013.

Philadelphia Plans to Close Some Schools NYT: The strapped school district has proposed an unprecedented downsizing that would close 37 schools by June.

Booker, Facebook Emails About $100 Million Schools Gift Released WSJ: The worries come across starkly in the e-mails, which Mayor Cory Booker fought to keep private after a public records law request. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey sued in August 2011 after the city denied the request, and a judge ruled against the city last week.

Open house being held for Sandy Hook students AP: An open house is being held at a repurposed school for students who attended Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown..

 

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