Firefighters & Safe Passages

Firefighters & Safe Passages

Today's education news: Firefighters aren't sure about helping out with Safe Passages. UChicago is going to evaluate MATCH tutoring and BAM. Argie Johnson has some things to say about the closings. CTU is planning marches and has an election. Shanahan on Common Core in Indiana (RIP).


UChicago to evaluate effects of increased math tutoring in Chicago Public Schools UChicago News:  Initial findings from a pilot program this year at Harper High School in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood showed that Becoming A Man, a local group counseling intervention, and Match-style tutoring together could dramatically reduce the risk of youth violence in some of the most dangerous Chicago neighborhoods.

Chicago firefighters to help kids walking to new schools, unions concerned Sun Times: Chicago firefighters will have a “strong physical presence” on each of Chicago Public Schools’ new Safe Passage routes for the first three weeks of school, according to a memo sent to firefighters. With dozens of public schools slated for closing this fall, CPS has been working on creating safety routes for kids traveling to different schools next school year. CPS and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office ...

Firefighters union wary of expanded school security role Chicago Tribune: "We help them across the street, we show a presence on the routes that they travel. It kind of puts them at ease."


In Bronzeville: school closings, violence, Wal-Mart, and TIFs CMW: Two actions protested the closing of Overton Elementary in Bronzeville today — a morning rally highlighting safety issues (and much more), and an afternoon action, which raised larger issues of resources by drawing the connection to a Walmart being built nearby with TIF funds.

Math teacher challenges logic of closing an 'average' school WBEZ: Michael Colwell teaches math to 7th and 8th graders at Leif Ericson Elementary Scholastic Academy in Garfield Park, one of 53 grammar schools the district wants to shut down in its effort to right size.

Former CPS head: Closures flawed Hyde Park Herald: Former CPS head: Closures flawed - Hyde Park HeraldHyde Park HeraldHyde Park resident Argie Johnson, former superintendent of Chicago Public Schools, said while she is not opposed to school closings...


Mayor Emanuel's FOIA policy: Don't ask because we won't tell Reader: Chicago ReaderMayor Emanuel's FOIA policy: Don't ask because we won't tellChicago ReaderAs you may recall from the first time I wrote about his case, Krell sought records from the Chicago Public Schools related to Mayor

CPS High Schools Suffer Odd Dip in Junior Enrollment DNAI: Voices of Youth in Chicago Education claimed some Gage Park juniors were demoted to boost test scores.

UNO charter-school scandal has Wall Street worried Sun Times:  THE WATCHDOGS: Now under investigation by two state agencies, the United Neighborhood Organization is also facing tough questions on Wall Street from the investors who lent tens of millions of dollars to help pay for the rapid expansion of UNO’s charter-school network. The questions were prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reports on state grant money paid to companies owned by two brothers of Miguel d’Escoto, a top executive of the politically well-connected group.

Dirty Tricks in CTU Campaign
 CPS Chatter: I just got off the phone with a friend of mine who was not happy about what happened at his school today.  He said that he got a call from CORE on Sunday that they wanted to bring somebody out to the school to speak.   Sunday night he set it up with the principal, he put up posters, and informed teachers.   He arrived early at his school to meet the CORE representative.
Editorial: An independent set of eyes on mayor's plans Tribune:  For too long, aldermen have depended on the mayor's office to provide guidance about the wisdom of mayoral initiatives.
Indiana Backs Down on Common Core Tim Shanahan: Indiana is the first state to withdraw from the common core state standards. Previously, there were four states that had not adopted the standards, but of those that had done so, Indiana is the first to back down. Technically, they have only “suspended” their CCSS efforts for further study so it is possible that this will just be a delay and not an actual withdrawal, but the politics around this in Indiana suggest that this may be the beginning of the end of CCSS there.

Guns, drugs found at former Kozminksi VP's home Hyde Park Herald: A former vice principal at Kozminski Community was arrested Saturday night after Chicago Police Department discovered a cache of assault weapons and drugs in his home.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • "The CORE representative would speak first and then the Salvation candidate. Supposedly, things went smoothly at first, but soon developed into a shouting match after some serious false accusations by the Salvation Caucus that my friend had direct knowledge was untrue.

    "I don’t know what Saunders-Wolff and Ochoa believed they would accomplish with that behavior, but it definitely strengthens my confidence in voting against them."

    Class act, Salvation. Not.

  • From Catalyst:

    UTILIZATION OUT, RESOURCES IN: The rhetoric around school closings is now about focusing resources, writes Curtis Black of This shift in communication strategy is dictated by the fact that school closings turn out not to be about deficits or utilization — given they won’t save money for several years, if ever, and since the “utilization crisis,” caused by adding 50,000 charter seats during a decade when CPS lost 30,000 students, is being addressed by adding more charters. CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett now says closing schools will allow CPS to provide libraries, air conditioning, iPads and “learning gardens” at a small group of receiving schools.

  • Teachers union plans to file civil rights suits to stop school closings -

  • from bbb "We have a shared responsibility to do everything we can to ensure a bright future for every child. And, yet these lawsuits demonstrate that union leadership is committed to a status quo that is failing too many of our kids. Thousands of children in underutilized schools are being cheated out of the resources they need to succeed. It's time to give these children the opportunity to attend higher-performing welcoming schools and put them on a path to thrive."

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    The real status quo is BBB, Emanuel, Carroll, and the rest repeating the "status quo" talking point ad infinitum. The starving of neighborhood schools is the status quo. The constant support of crummy and criminal charters is the status quo. The unelected school board is the status quo. Decisions made by people who have little or no experience with children is the status quo. Wasting time and funds on the next big education trend is the status quo.

  • Watch, we have the CPD on Safe Passage next it will be Streets and Sanitation. You will have Fireman who are trained to put out fires and recue people from burning buildings watching our kids walk to school. His Highness can give away 100 million to De Paul for 17 home games but screw the kids of Chicago. Shame on you Rhaminator Shame!

  • In reply to 30 years:

    CFD is more "emergency responder/paramedic" than only fire-fighters these days, it appears.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    It is still a Fireman who will run into a burning building to save you.

  • In reply to 30 years:

    38 years

    Yes, it is and it would be a travesty if a fireman was injured or killed trying to get out a child with special needs who ran back into the building, or the 200 lb child with autism who decided to hide under a table and the teacher was not able to physically drag/coax him out because she had to leave with the other students, or the class with the teacher who was stuck in the windowless room next to the fire.

    CPS has students sharing paras-paras cannot be in two rooms/buildings the same time, windowless rooms with one egress is
    a horrible situation and housing students with disabilities in self-contained rooms on the third floor in 100 year old buildings is an accident waiting to happen. Come on CFD help us out with these fire code violations-we complain and nothing changes ....and when taht slick talking principal tells you that the closet next to the boiler room is not a classroom ask him why there are coats, desks and back packs in there-question the old BS, it's not a classroom we use it for tutoring once in a while.....come back unannounced....

  • History says closings and relocation of students on a much smaller scale causes violence and ongoing safety issues. Not mention displaced teachers and many out of work. What will be different this time? Well, you will have 54 disrupted school communities with safety situations to monitor instead of 7 or 8.
    The status quo is continuing with closings which have not worked previously. A dictator only wants what he wants and he hires folks who do only what he says. Bennett is a cold blooded hired gun who does what's necessary to make her money. There's no caring about kids, teachers or other staff.

  • The CFD needs to write up/cite schools on the southwest side who are so overcrowded that safety is an issue. They need to check schools where classes are held in windowless rooms with only one exit, rooms so crowded as to restrict mobility and rooms too close to the furnace. They need to do unannounced fire drills so that adults are not sent to assist non-ambulatory students out of the building. We have non ambulatory students sitting in gen Ed rooms without paras who would not be able to get out in case of a fire and could jeopardize the safety of the class. Fire doors would prevent adults from getting to theses children during a real fire. It is very sad that adults in power think that a gen Ed teacher can push out a child in a wheelchair or walker AND get 33 students out in a real fire.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Non-ambulatory children should never share paras-wonder how this is addressed on the IEP and how does it get approved downtown?

  • And don't forget some kids with autism who freeze when there's a fire alarm (drill or not).

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Please, go to Kelly HS during any lunch period-
    If one teen did something stupid--the carnage would be horrific--
    CFD knows.

  • Is BBB AKA?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Your point?--if she is--she got hers, so why would she care?

  • No negative point. Why do you assume so?

  • because the pink/green or is black/red has/had interesting influence in CPS--esp. when which sister was in charge.

  • Ah!

  • Everyone remember a little fire that happened one December afternoon a few decades ago, Queen of Angles? I may have the name incorrect but if I remember correctly more than 90 students lost their lives in the fire. There were several factors that lead to the loss of life, for one glass transoms over the classroom doors, another lack of a sprinkler system, finally issues with the fire alarm system it's self.

    Tomorrow when you go into your schools look above your classroom doors, then look to the ceiling then know your building might have been "grandfathered in" and a fat lot of good that will do you in a fire. Lastly can every room in your building hear the fire alarm? There is one school on the north side where the PK and several first floor rooms have no fire alarms. Unless the new principal has fixed this ten year old issue.

    CPS is a hairs breath away from disaster.

  • You are so right-I think it was Lady of Angels-not sure though.
    How about the 100+ year old schools with tile covering the hardwood floors? The parents are not aware of how dangerous this is. How about schools with the youngest children on the third floor or the children with disabilities on the third floor. Common sense dictates that the youngest/those likely to panic in a fire be closest to the exit doors but common sense is often lacking in CPS. I've worked in schools with windows nailed shut, chains on doors and non-working fire alarms.

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