Archive for September 2013

Nobody Keeps Xian Down

Nobody Keeps Xian Down
Whatever happened to Xian Barrett, the teacher activist whose picture was on the front page of the Sun Times when he was laid off earlier this year? He’s now the national director for something called New Voice Strategies, according to a blog entry (My Transition from the Classroom to Amplifying Teacher Voice) posted on reform-friendly... Read more »

Performance Ratings Out

Performance Ratings Out
Happy Monday -- welcome back.  In today's news: The dailies cover the new performance report somewhat differently. What's going to happen with the empty school buildings? Will it make a difference if parents talk to their kids more during their earliest years...

Feeling Good About "ObamaCore"?

Feeling Good About "ObamaCore"?
The folks at Slate asked me to explain what the Common Core is (and isn’t), summarize the increasingly intense objections coming from left and right, and predict what’s going to happen next.  Lots of Facebook comments, comments, and Twitter action followed. But who cares what I say or think — what’s your experience been so... Read more »
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Should "Low" Schools Keep Funding?

Should "Low" Schools Keep Funding?
So a kid got robbed and shot near Roosevelt, and a security guard died at Thornwood.  CPS is holding schools harmless for roughly $50 million in students who didn’t show up — but obviously taking that money from somewhere else (what do you think?). There’s a new (to me) app showing you the CPS Tiers... Read more »

Board Approves Building Plan

Board Approves Building Plan
Emanuel trying to buy time as city’s pension crisis escalates Tribune: More than a year ago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel traveled to Springfield and told state lawmakers that Chicago’s “day of reckoning” had arrived as he unsuccessfully sought changes to the financially shaky government worker pension system he inherited. On… Urban Prep junior charged with bringing gun to school Tribune:... Read more »

Enrollment Dip

Enrollment Dip
Oh, great.  As if dwindling enrollment wasn't already a problem in the past, now we've got even fewer kids registered for CPS this year than in the past (albeit by just 3,000).  Hmm.  I wonder why that's happening --  could it be two years of flub-ups by CPS and relentless acrimony from CTU (plus underlying demographic shifts)?  Get it together, folks.  More of the same is NOT in order for 2013-2014...
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$20M Relief For Under-Enrolled Schools

$20M Relief For Under-Enrolled Schools
The big news of the day (or yesterday, if you follow me @district299 on Twitter) is that CPS announced that it was going to give a $20 million break to schools where enrollment wasn't likely to meet expectations, and was also pushing the official headcount day back to the 20th day from the 10th.  Schools that exceeded projections get to keep their additional dollars, however...

Video: CTU's Credibility Problem

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Much has been made of the credibility problems that CPS and City Hall have created for themselves over the past two years (if not longer) thanks to limits on information, misrepresentation of information, and wildly misleading ways of talking about things (budget cuts = enhancements, for example). At the same time, behind the scenes mostly,... Read more »

Violence, Construction, & Budgets

Violence, Construction, & Budgets
CPS won’t say if or where he went to school, but 14 year old Tommy McNeal was killed in Manor Park on Friday, presumably marking this school year’s first death of a CPS student.  (No, it didn’t happen at school or during Safe Passage.) Meantime, lots of discussion about Emanuel’s school construction announcement blitz, and... Read more »
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Special Ed, REACH, & TFA

Special Ed, REACH, & TFA
Here’s today’s education news (so far — I’ll add more on Twitter and in comments throughout the day).  Be sure to check out the piece about the special ed cap size debate.  There are also some updates and additions to the REACH report two posts down.  But the most interesting story to me at least... Read more »