Archive for August 2013

Weekend Reality Check, 2013-14

Weekend Reality Check, 2013-14
With the week’s theatrics finally passed, let’s take a look at what’s really going on in schools and classrooms so far this year.  It’s only the first week of class but already some things are probably taking shape: leadership, scheduling, staffing, new procedures and policies, the teacher evaluation system.  Tell us what’s new or different... Read more »

Parent Engagement Wasn't Strong Enough, Says Brizard

Parent Engagement Wasn't Strong Enough, Says Brizard
So after about a year of careful silence (and a move to Washington DC where he now works for the College Board), the mild-mannered former CPS schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard did an interview with Andy Smarick last week that garnered some attention for its critique of the Emanuel administration’s education agenda and strategy.
What if anything can we learn from Brizard's version of events...

Budget, Eval System Approved - School!

Budget, Eval System Approved - School!
Lots of action from yesterday's Board meeting -- including the approval of the budget and the new evaluation system, plus the boycott/protest (and access limitations) -- but there's also news from the schools about how the first week is going, including an interesting Becky Vevea update from a school receiving 100 new kids...
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Budget, Heat, Boycott?

Budget, Heat, Boycott?
Today's big news is discussion about whether calls for parents to pull their kids out of class are appropriate or effective, as well as the CPS Board meeting and budget consideration (Access Living opposes), the heat, the Mayor's response to Brizard criticism, and more. There was also some heated comment and Twitter discussion last night following an anonymous reader comment suggesting that CTU and ILRYH were being too critical of CPS when they should be contributing to the start of the school year. ...

So Far So Good

So Far So Good
Some of you might not know it (or want to admit it) but school started yesterday and it all seemed to go pretty well. There were no incidents of violence along the Safe Passages routes (that I know of). Two thirds of the laid off CPS teachers got rehired and are in new CPS classrooms.... Read more »

Good/Bad First Day Back?

Good/Bad First Day Back?
Thanks for all the comments last week.  I hope the first day back is going well.  There's lots of coverage of the Safe Passages program and the school closures in the media-- understandably, I guess.  Assuming nothing untoward happens at those schools today, what else is going on around CPS, in terms of new programs, policies, changed staffing, or other complaints or compliments you might have...
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What's New? What's Not?

What's New? What's Not?
I’m off for the rest of the week but will be back on Monday. In between now and then, you might be able to find glimpses of me on Twitter orFacebook. I’m dying to hear what’s new and what’s the same at your schools this week. I’ll leave comments open and maybe some of you will write... Read more »

Last Week Before School

Last Week Before School
Editorial: Ring the bell at CPS Tribune:  week from Monday, 403,000 Chicago Public Schools students — every last one of them, we hope — will fill classrooms across the city. Unlike past years, all students will start on the same day. They’ll benefit from a longer school day and… Whittier fieldhouse razed, protesters arrested Sun Times: Police arrested a... Read more »

Ramping Up For School

Ramping Up For School
CLOSINGS LAWSUIT Judge allows CPS to continue school closing plan Tribune: A federal judge has denied a request for a preliminary injunction to halt Chicago Public Schools from closing almost 50 schools this year. The injunction request was made in lawsuits filed by parents and backed by the Chicago Teachers Union that sought… Lawsuit to Keep 49 Chicago... Read more »
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Wait, What? Higher Grad Rate.

Wait, What? Higher Grad Rate.
CPS posts this year’s graduation rates Sun Times: Chicago Public Schools announced Wednesday that 19,905 of the 30,449 students who entered ninth grade in fall 2008 and completed graduation requirements by this summer are now high school graduates. CPS Calls for New Charter Schools Chicago Tonight: Chicago Public Schools officials are calling for new charter schools despite massive neighborhood school... Read more »