CPS Won't Say What Schools Homicide Victims Attended

datingToday's news includes a WBEZ story about how CPS won't say whether a student victim was a student or not, some additional details and perspectives about the challenge to CTU's current leadership, more about school closings, and the arrival of high school letters (according to CPS Obsessed).

Anything else going on?  Let us know.  Lots of interesting comments and ideas about substitutes and special ed in the last few days.

SAFETY

Tracking student victims of gun violence no easy task WBEZ: For years, school officials deliberately collected and shared information about whether or not homicide victims also attended a public school in the city. But CPS spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus said they’re trying to protect parents and students privacy. She said the district’s legal team advises the district not to tell reporters whether shooting victims attend public schools in the city.  There may be up to eight current and former students killed already in 2013, but CPS officials will not confirm any of those victims, citing a decades-old federal privacy law to withhold the information. It’s a practice they say they’ve followed since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office.

CLOSINGS

CPS School Closings Could Harm Special Ed Students, Critics Say DNAI: CPS officials still haven't completed a "comprehensive plan" for moving disabled students to new schools.

Ruiz Gets an F, Katten an A+ on Chicago Tonight Klonsky:  I almost felt bad for Jesse Ruiz last night as I watched him play the fool to Wendy Katten on Chicago Tonight.

Genealogy of Scandal in Public Education Ramsin Canon: The point of no return was passed long ago -- and it was passed, notably, with the agreement of the previous leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union, which offered no resistance to the process (more on that in a moment).

CTU

“New” Caucus Challenges Lewis, Core Substance: Members of the “coalition” slate told reporters that many teachers and other union members weren’t in favor of the contract negotiated by the Lewis team during the seven-day strike in September, but only voted for it to get back to the classroom.

Chicago AFT Boss Karen Lewis May Pay the Price of Playing to Traditionalist Illogic Dropout Nation: The dissidents, led by Tanya Saunders-Wolffe, a teacher at Jesse Owens Elementary Community Academy on the city’s south side, complain that Lewis wasn’t tough enough at the negotiating table. They are annoyed that Lewis didn’t do enough to stop Emanuel from launching the latest round of school shutdowns that will lead to more AFT rank-and-file members losing jobs.

MISC

2013 High School Letters being mailed this week CPSObsessed:  Can the cutoffs for the top schools possibly get any higher?  Will any previously off-the-radar schools be at the top of people’s lists this year?  Will we have the threat of a fist fight like we did last year between readers?

South Side Group Still Waiting for Meeting Over Black History Curriculum DNAinfo: "I am not aware of any dates as to when we could meet with Barbara Byrd-Bennett," Cox said. "We are tired of meeting with representatives from CPS. We need to meet with decision makers." And while CPS spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus confirmed no ...

Michelle Obama in Chicago Next Week for 'Lets Move!' DNAI: The first lady will return to her hometown as part of her healthy kids tour, the White House said.

Comments

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  • If a CPS student or former Student is shot outside of the school then what does it matter what school he/she attended? Isn't the more relevant question what can the police and community do to stop the violence? The focus needs to be finding solutions.

  • Often times there are very real concerns about retaliation and the need for witnesses to feel safe to come forward - don't second guess the police on this just for the sake of news coverage.

  • If they're claiming FERPA as the rationale to keep school secret, that's bogus. FERPA permits public sharing of "directory information" including enrollment.

    Re: "There may be up to eight current and former students killed already in 2013, but CPS officials will not confirm any of those victims, citing a decades-old federal privacy law to withhold the information. It’s a practice they say they’ve followed since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office."

  • Two things. First for all special ed teachers and regular ed teachers. Yesterday I went to Springfield in a real big hurry to try to stop something very bad from starting to happen. ISBE yesterday approved for what is called initial review a rule change that could make teaching much more difficult for many teachers including both general education and special education teachers.

    I also want to say the Illinois Federation of Teacher, the Illinois Education Association, the Chicago Teachers Union, and every advocacy organization that works on special education is opposed to to the complete elimination of class size rules for students with disabilities. Yesterday at the ISBE Board meeting Kristine Mayle from the CTU spoke eloquently in defense of students with disabilities and their teachers as did the parents who managed to get to this meeting on relatively short notice.

    The rules that ISBE is proposing to eliminate are Administrative rules 226.731 and 226.730. Rule 226.731 is dated so its elimination is not of great importance. But section 226.730 established the legal size limits for both general education rooms and what are normally called self contained classrooms. Here is what ISBE said in relation to the elimination of these rules: "It is the responsibility of the IEP team to make a determination of placement that provides the identified academic and other services that are necessary for the students to be successful. Additionally, a student's placement in a self-contained special education classroom should not be restricted based on the child's disability or the percentage of time that the student spends outside of the classroom, as determined by the State. Instead, school districts, rather than the State Board, should determine the personnel needed to effectively respond to the needs expressed in each student's IEP."

    So in Chicago, CPS will decide how many students can be in a self contained autism classroom, CPS or a principal will decided whether one 3rd grade classroom has only 5% students with disabilities, but the 3rd grade room next door has 45%. This is what this means and teachers and parents have to fight this change or we are in really big trouble.

    Second, Mike Klonsky's take on the WTTW show with Jesse Ruiz and Wendy Katten was totally on the money. Wendy cleaned Ruiz's clock and Jesse Ruiz was totally unprepared to discuss in any depth the reality of school closings.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Dear Rod,
    Your knowledge about these issues always amazes me. You are well informed and often give me more guidance than all of the administrators I worked for! You dedication and energy to the cause of special education students keeps my hope alive.

    Yes, this is an important legality, but it's already happened/happening in CPS. I don't want to give too many details away, but most of our general education classes are crammed with special education students (more than 30%). It's not like CPS follows these laws anyway. This will just allow them to fill the room up with 75% special education students and not hire a special education teacher (but that scenario is also too common at CPS).

  • In reply to displacedteach:

    I know this happens and parents that watch their children's education process know this too. Violations of existing rules can help those parents who do go to due process, but in so many cases parents just go along with the educational program their child is given.

    These rule changes will be used to reduce special education teachers statewide. Districts will still be required to meet the fiscal requirements of federal law, but those requirements will allow for reductions in staff even if there is no drop in the disabled child count. On a federal level many states want all fiscal requirements of IDEA to be removed and if that happens in addition to the elimination of rules in Illinois we are heading back to 1950s style education for students with disabilities. Which was just putting them somewhere and calling it an education.

    We have to fight this, we have no choice the very lives and futures of these children are at risk. I am leaving town for a week and will be in and out of internet access so I may not be posting often during that time. Teachers look up the members of Illinois General Assembly body called JCAR (you can find a list by searching JCAR and the IL General Assembly) tell them what eliminating these rules will mean for our children. The formal comment period will start in about 2 weeks and only written comments will be accepted. I will be posting about this then.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    How can sped parents/guardians help, Rod?

  • this USDE response about giving out student's names and school information seems to indicate that there's no FERPA problem with answering WBEZ's questions.

    "FERPA would permit a school to disclose appropriately designated directory information unless the parent or eligible student (student 18 years of age or entered college at any age) opt out of the disclosure of directory information. A student’s name is generally considered directory information. Schools may disclose directory information if it has given public notice to parents of students in attendance and eligible students in attendance concerning the school’s directory information policy. "

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    here's what CPS has to say -- basically that the BOE hasn't given public notice about disclosure of directory information (and apparently isn't going to) -- which makes what was done under vallas, duncan, and huberman unlawful, right?

    "Section 99.37 of FERPA and Section 375.80(c) of the Illinois Administrative Code allows the disclosure of directory information if the district has given public notice to parents and students of the types of directory information we may disclose and allow the parent a certain amount of time to opt out of this disclosure. Centrally, the district has not given parents notice that we may disclose their directory information to newspapers and allow for them to opt out of the disclosure. Consequently, the district is unable to disclose directory information, i.e. confirm the school status of victims of violence. In addition, the assertation that confidentiality is null and void when a person is deceased is incorrect, this is not the case with a student as their right to privacy belongs to their parent or guardian – who is still alive."

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Is that true? I think they're REQUIRED to alert parents/guardians about FERPA. So, they're breaking the law one way or the other, it seems. I believe all families with an IEP child get a FERPA alert.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    This info could be FOIAed.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Ha! FOIA? CPS does not answer FOIAs.

  • Announcing the CPS student death toll was all the ghoulish rage 3 or 4 years ago. What gives?

    Anybody notice that the Trib is now consolidating crime stories as "Overnight Crime Report"? Emanuel mustn't be happy with such a visceral daily reminder of his continued failure.

  • FYI:

    MORGAN PARK WELCOMES DR. CAROLYN D. EPPS, PRINCIPAL
    On February 20, 2013, the Morgan Park High School Local School Council entered into a four year Principal Contract with Dr. Carolyn D. Epps. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Epps to Morgan Park and look forward to working with her in continuing the Tradition of Excellence that IS Morgan Park. Thank you to the entire Morgan Park Community for your support. We anticipate Dr. Epps joining us at Morgan Park within the next few weeks.

  • I received this information from the Chicago Police Department this month. There are 68 traditional street gangs in Chicago. There are over 650 factions of these street gangs in Chicago. In the 2012 calendar year there were 693 junveniles shot with 428 being CPS students. In the calendar year 2012 there were 89 junveniles killed. The top five CPS schools with the most CPS students killed in the calendar year of 2012 were, Hyde Park HS-20 students, Harper HS-13 students, South Shore HS-12 students and Prologue HS's- 10 students.

  • This information I received from Kenneth Boudreau, Chicago Police Department at the 56th Annual Education Conference of the Chicago Principals & Administrators Association on Thursday, February 7,2013 at the Fairmont Hotel, Chicago, Illinois in Breakout Session I from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm in Chancellor Meeting Room, Level 3 on "Gangs and Social Media". Thanking you in advance!

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