Lots of UNO-related coverage and commentary (WTTW, Mark Brown). More on the utilization hearing at Bridgeport. A little bit on how they're reacting to Cheatham. Got any good news, anyone?
ALL EYES ON UNO
UNO Charter Schools' Insider Deals Questioned WTTW: Charges of insider contracts surface in building and maintaining a $25 million UNO charter school. Carol Marin talks with the Chicago Sun-Times reporters who uncovered the story.
Brown: UNO gearing up its own political machine involving charter schools Sun Times: My first encounter with the political machinery of the United Neighborhood Organization Charter Schools network came last spring when I was poking around in an Illinois House race on the Southwest Side. I was curious as to why a certain Misty Gillian of Auburn, Ind., had donated $1,500 to Silvana Tabares, a Democratic legislative candidate being backed by UNO CEO Juan Rangel and other charter school advocates.
For Insiders, Community Group UNO’s Charter Schools Pay Sun Times: More than one-fifth of the taxpayer money spent on the Soccer Academy Elementary project went to four contractors owned by family members of UNO’s political allies and a top executive of the group, records show.
CLOSINGS AND CONSOLIDATIONS
Parents react to CPS' plan to downsize WGNtv: CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has already said she will not consider closing Level 1 rated schools or any high schools, but that still leaves hundreds of schools on the chopping block. CPS says about half of its schools are below full capacity so those ...
Bridgeport Parents Plan Rally Before CPS Utilization Forum DNAI: Parents, activists planned to gather prior to start of CPS forum for Pershing Network schools.
Top-Notch Cather School Won't Close But Could See Big Changes This Fall DNAI:Despite being half empty, West Side school could be in line for more resources and students.
Labor Beat Coverage at Truman School Tech Connect: Last year, for example, the good people at Crane made an excellent case for their school. Really, it was one of the best efforts I've seen--- and what an institution, Crane High School. It's been a part of the fabric of the city forever. And they had two alderman turn out to defend their school--- which is something elementary schools have difficulty doing, particularly up here in Joe Moore territory. But what did Crane get for its efforts? A one-day reprieve, and then the mayor announced that he was turning it into a selective enrollment.
A Brief Overview of Teacher Evaluation Controversies PBS: At times, as in the recent case of the Chicago Teachers Union strike, negotiations have become so disruptive that thousands of students are left out of the classroom as the grownups try to reach a deal.
West Chicago school strike idles 4,000 students WBEZ: More than 280 teachers in the suburban Chicago school district decided to begin their strike Monday after 16 months of negotiations failed to reach a contract agreement. The walk-out comes after an 11-hour negotiation session Sunday stretched into early Monday but concluded with no deal.
Jennifer Cheatham fought for big changes in Chicago schools Wisconsin State Journal: "She's very knowledgeable and well educated and familiar with issues in education, which can't be said for some of the CPS administrators who are business people," said Carol Caref, head of research for the Chicago Teachers Union.
First reaction: Madison superintendent candidates underwhelm observers Capital Times: Several readers suggested that Cheatham's association with the Chicago Public Schoolsis a poor reference for the job of heading up Madison's schools. “Oh yeah — because the Chicago schools are such beacons of great education …” said one commenter.
Students Petition to Save Latin American, African-American Lit Classes DNAinfo: "Integrating these very important teachings into our classrooms is a priority for [CPS] Chief Executive Officer [Barbara] Byrd-Bennett. She is working on a plan to address this with our Office of Teaching & Learning."
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