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. There seemed to be lots of cautiously optimistic parents, teachers, kids, and principals.
Thanks to the Sun Times and DNAI in particular for reporting some of the initial successes and good will in the schools rather than focusing predominantly on the CTU-generated CPS-bashing that seems to attract so much media attention (so much of which lacks context or balance, in my opinion).
And special thanks to Interesting Chicago for pointing out the arguments against asking parents to hold their kids out of school tomorrow, as CTU and others have been advocating.
CPS students nervous, excited on first day at new schools Sun Times: At least 12,700 children whose schools closed for good in June started at their new schoools Monday. Thousands more met an influx of new classmates. CPS said 91 percent of children whose schools closed were already re-enrolled in the district,.
Hundreds of 'Safe Passage' workers guard Chicago streets NY Post: A crop of newly hired workers in yellow reflective vests, Chicago firefighters and even the security guards from local public libraries, all of them expected to stand guard to ensure kids get to and from school safely.
CPS Students Begin New School Year Chicago Tonight: We take a closer look at the new-look Chicago Public Schools with Andrea Zopp, a Chicago Board of Education member who voted to shutter 49 schools, the former interim CPS CEO Terry Mazany, as well as Wendy Katten of Raise Your Hand, and Jitu Brown of Journey for Justice.
State: CPS Has Never Filed Required Emergency Preparedness Report NBC: "The reason these plans are not accessible to the public is because they contain sensitive information," Freedom of Information officer Cassandra Daniels said in her letter, rejecting the request. "Disclosure of these plans could jeopardize the safety of students, staff, and other members of the community, or the successful implementation of the plans."
Live blog: First day of classes for CPS Tribune: The mayor headed instead to nearby UIC College Prep High School, where he watched a geography class for a few minutes, then shook hands with students and teachers when the school day ended.
Chicago Public School's first day WBEZ: The Safe Passage program was already was in place at 35 high schools and four elementary schools — buildings district officials say have seen a 7 percent increase in attendance and a 20 percent decrease in crime since Safe Passage began.
A walk to a new school year Tribune: Walking to O'Toole Elementary in Englewood for the first day of school, fourth-grader Asharie Wesley got the Safe Passage-plus treatment Monday as she strolled past a group of firefighters helping out on the designated route along Damen Avenue.
As Chicago Public Schools open, the mayor has his own rite of passage Sun Times: The first bells rang on a new school year months after the historic closing of nearly 50 schools. If even one child is harmed on the longer walk down unfamiliar streets — sometimes through rival gang turf — Emanuel’s reputation and perhaps his political future will suffer.
Chicago children belong in school Interesting Chicago: This fight is between adults. Using children as some kind of symbols or props of oppression is despicable, detestable, deplorable, and disgusting.
I grew up near Roscoe & Halsted in the 1970s, left for college and moved back in 2000, started this blog in 2005 (first on my own, then with Catalyst, and now with ChicagoNow). My dad went to Senn. I went to Near North Montessori and Parker. Since 2006 I've been living in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn -- the Wicker Park of New York City. I have another education blog called This Week In Education that focuses on school reform trends at the national level.