Today's big news is the CPS and media reaction to the news that the hearing officers rejected or disagreed with the closing recommendations in a handful of cases, further eroding confidence in the vote that the Board will take on May 22. Be sure to check out the Tribune and Sun Times editorials. There's also meningitis at Lindblom, and a followup rant from CPS Chatter about Teacher Appreciation Week. What else? Let us know.
Hearing officers oppose 10 planned CPS closures, have reservations about others Sun Times: Hearing officers appointed to review the school district’s plan to close underutilized schools across the city are opposing 10 of the slated school closures at the end of this school year and have reservations about several others, according to reports released by CPS. CPS said hearing officers either misinterpreted the requirements of state law or exceeded the scope of their authority in issuing their findings.
Hearing officers criticize CPS plans Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel's push to shut 53 city elementary schools ran into an unexpected buzz saw of criticism Tuesday from hearing officers hired to vet the process, with several raising doubts about the wisdom of the proposals and recommending against 13 of the closures set for this year.
Independent hearing officers oppose 14 CPS proposals to close, shake-up schools WBEZ: School district spokeswoman Becky Carroll said the hearing officers who had found the district out of compliance were overstepping their role “by opining or creating or adding their own opinion to criteria that would determine, for example, what is a higher performing school.” Or, they had simply “misinterpreted” the state law, Carroll said. The board is slated to vote on the school closings May 22.
CPS won't take recommendations against closings Catalyst: Otis Taylor, principal of Buckingham Special Education School, says he didn’t know what to expect when he went to the hearing. He and parents told the hearing officer that the commute is too long from Buckingham, on the far South Side, to Montefiore School on the Near West Side.
CPS, Get It Right Tribune (editorial): The hearing officers weren't required to take into account the most critical factor facing CPS: The school system is in a deep economic hole. This is urgent. The system can't afford to operate scores of underused buildings that must be heated and lighted and maintained, draining dollars that should go to educating 400,000 kids.
Listen to the judges Sun Times (editorial): A closer look at the 10, plus the others where officers raised concerns, is required before deciding all should be spared. Technically speaking, personal opinion is not supposed to creep into these reports. But it clearly has. As it should. We only wish more officers had stuck their necks out. Two closures we strongly oppose — Lafayette and Garvey — may meet the legal requirements, even if their closures would cause more harm than good. These judges listened to the evidence and then rendered clear-eyed opinions. They should not be ignored.
Lindblom Academy Closed Wednesday After Student Dies From Meningitis CBS2: “We were deeply saddened to learn that a 16 year old student at Lindblom Math & Science Academy High School passed away yesterday from a non-contagious form of bacterial meningitis,” CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett said.
CPS goes to new assessment The Beverly Review: After months of outreach to parents, teachers, students, principals and researchers, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barbara Byrd-Bennett recently announced a common-sense restructuring of the way CPS administers ...
Teacher Appreciation Week Part II CPS Chatter: I really feel obligated to explain further why I have such problem with Teacher Appreciation Week. Yesterday, a pension deal was negotiated for suburban and downstate teachers that would have them either give up medical care or cost of living increases on their pension despite such reduction in pensions being unconstitutional in Illinois. Sure, it was collectively bargained, but it was done at gunpoint with Madigan’s bill hanging over the teachers’ heads like a sword of Damocles.
The school model that's good enough for President Obama and Mayor Emanuel Reader: I think we should pause to appreciate the irony that Mayor Emanuel sends his children to a unionized private school while working overtime to break the public school teachers' union in Chicago.
Teacher evaluation panel audio segment White Rhinoceros: Click on the clip above to listen to an audio excerpt from the Education Writers Association National Seminar panel on teacher evaluation May 3, 2013.