Today's education news includes a new Pew Charitable Trust report showing that Chicago already has a bunch of empty school buildings on top of those scheduled to be closed at the end of this year. Plus more hearings, a preliminary closings list supposed to come out tomorrow, a bit more on UNO, a possible change in the universal attendance requirement (statewide). What else?
Parents rally against closings in Logan Square Catalyst: As CPS prepares to start a second round of community meetings on Wednesday, hundreds of parents showed up to a community meeting Monday and voiced their opposition to school closings. Because of the large crowds being drawn for these community meetings, the one planned for Wednesday is being moved to a bigger location—House of Prayer Church of God in Christ, 3535 W. Roosevelt Road.
CPS to lead new round of hearings on school closings Tribune: Another round of community meetings on public school closings in Chicago will begin Wednesday after the district releases a preliminary list of schools that could be shut down.
As CPS mulls school closings, study finds city already has plenty of vacant school buildings Sun Times: Chicago will announce a preliminary list of schools it could close on Wednesday, and its official list by the end of March. The mayor is said to be targeting about 50, though district officials refuse to say so far how many it could shut down, adding to CPS’ sales portfolio.
Report: Cities Have Hundreds of Empty Schools Yahoo News: Cities have hundreds of empty schools for sale, often sell for far less than value
School Closings a Civil-Rights Issue, Activist Jitu Brown Tells Feds DNAinfo: CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have insisted they're taking community involvement seriously in deciding which schools should be closed. (DNAinfo/Ted Cox).
Board of Ed Truant from Hearings Substance: As the hearings continued, not one member of the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education had attended any of the hearings, nor had Barbara Byrd Bennett. Byrd Bennett had became “Chief Executive Officer” (at an annual salary of $250,000 per year) in October following the ouster by Mayor Rahm Emanuel of the first Emanuel-appointed CEO of CPS, Jean-Claude Brizard, after the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012.
McClellan School Waits for Word on CPS Closings DNAI: Faculty and parents are concerned about the school's future.
UNO / CITY HALL
The Heat is On Capitol Fax: Windy City Electric, which has ties to Ald. Edward Burke (14th) and was banned from working on City Hall contracts after city officials determined that brothers Anthony and John McMahon operated the company in their wives’ names to obtain millions of dollars from city contracts set aside for businesses owned and operated by women. Windy City was paid $1.67 million for work on the Soccer Academy Elementary’s construction.
Chicago Charter Operator in Corporate Pockets Huffington Post (opinion): I am a first-generation American whose Mexican immigrant parents instilled a very different sense of citizenship than that espoused by the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) and its network of charter schools. For me, civic responsibility includes speaking truth to power.
The pitfalls of school projects Tribune: Urban education In the Feb. 4 editorial "All they want is a choice," you praised the bill sponsored by state Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, that would take $6 million of lottery money and use it to fund scholarships for private schools. A smarter...
Rahm Stops By Chinatown's St. Therese for Lunar New Year Celebration DNAI: The mayor credited principal, teachers and parents for the academic success of the private school.
VIOLENCE / SAFETY
Chicago Public Schools get federal grant to deal with aftermath of shootings The Republic: Chicago Public Schools have received a federal grant to provide counseling and other assistance to students traumatized by neighborhood shootings. The U.S. Department of Education announced the grant of nearly $50,000 Monday.
Illinois achievement exams to pose tougher challenges for students, schools Tribune: A stellar rise in state test scores has won accolades for Mount Prospect's John Jay Elementary School, including an Illinois "Academic Improvement Award" and a recent congratulatory visit from the state school superintendent.
UNCF Brings Education and Civic Chicago Leaders Together to Help Chicago ...
DigitalJournal.com (press release): The discussion will be moderated by UNCF president and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax, and includes Chicago Public School CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Chicago Urban League president Andrea Zopp, AT&T Illinois President Paul La Schiazza.
GUEST COLUMN: Speaker's math doesn't equal fairness
Journal Gazette and Times-Courier: Of all students in elementary and secondary public schools across the state, Speaker Madigan'sChicago Public Schools (CPS) enroll approximately 19% of Illinois' public school children.
Jim Franczek Jr. Chicagomag: Once you've been pegged as Rahm's guy on labor relations, every other agency wants to hire you. Even Karen Lewis (No. 24) says nice things about him. The List: Chicago's Power 100
CPS officials can’t find the longer-school-day documents you’re looking for Reader: CPS officials can’t find the longer-school-day documents you’re looking for by Ben Joravsky As Mayor Rahm Emanuel inches toward announcing which of Chicago's public schools he wants to close, it's as good a time as ever to examine the details of his last big education decision. If only we could.…
Mandatory school age could fall from 7 to 5 in Illinois Tribune: In a move aimed at countering Chicago's crisis in K-8 truancy and absenteeism, state Sen. Kimberly Lightford has introduced legislation to lower Illinois' compulsory school age from 7 to 5. Experts say it is critical to establish the habit of attendance...