New Schools / Easier Ratings

New Schools / Easier Ratings

Two notable stories of the day include the new school construction announced on Monday and the new (easier) ratings that ISBE adopted to make schools look better.

After questions about new SE Side school, mayor’s office fills in blanks Sun Times: On the day after Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s amorphous announcement to build a new Southeast Side school on a polluted parcel of land — once owned by the relative of a disgraced former alderman, City Hall scrambled to fill in the blanks.

Mayor Announces Plans for $15 Million Annex for Wildwood Elementary DNAI: Parents at the Edgebrook school have sought an expansion of the school to ease overcrowding.

Springfield magic: $100 million appears to build CPS schools Crain's Chicago Business: build the rumored three new schools that are on his plate, this at a time when Chicago Public Schools has been shutting dozens of facilities, pleading poverty.

State revamps formulas to help schools pass even when students fall short Tribune: Unknown to many local officials, the Illinois State Board of Education revamped the complicated calculations used to determine whether schools pass or fail.

How 1 school went from failing to passing Tribune: Huntley High didn't meet old benchmarks, but it showed enough improvement under new state rules.

Rahm, Comcast to Offer Internet Centers Near Some CPS SchoolsNBC Chicago (blog)  with the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, will provide “learning zones,” which will be centered around five Chicago Public Schools “welcoming” schools.

Teachers pension fund attacks largest charter operator Chicago Tribune: The Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund on Monday complained that ..

Report: UNO Fails To Report All Educators To Teachers’ Pension Fund Progress IL: The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) charter school system has not made pension contributions to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) on behalf of more than 90 certified teachers who are required to participate under state law, a CTPF independent review shows. The UNO system, CTPF’s second-largest employer, includes more than 700 teachers and administrators.

Former Chicago schools CEO outlines education 'essential practices' Tribune: Paul Vallas, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools and current superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut, shared his views of education at Elmhurst College, laying out his vision of the elements critical to high-performing schools and...

TIFS won't rescue schools Tribune (editorial): Could more be squeezed out? If so, it would be a modest amount when compared with CPS' massive structural budget deficit, largely a byproduct of the district's grossly underfunded pension system. Raiding the TIFs wouldn't solve a crisis that grave.

Inhumane Working Conditions are Inhumane Learning Conditions Chicago Teacher (Sarah Chambers): At my large elementary school on Chicago's southwest side, the mercury on the thermometer soars to a scorching 90 degrees. Sweat drips down the students' little round faces, their hair plastered to their foreheads. It's only 9am, not even at the peak of the day's heat.
Low's Rihanna Cover to Benefit Music Programs at Chicago Public Schools DNAI: The band Low is donating all iTunes sales of its cover song to the Chicago nonprofit Rock for Kids.
What we have isn’t working, Common Core advocates tell educators Statehouse News:Like a baseball bat to the side of the head, the latest sales pitch for Common Core in Illinois is blunt and painful. Half the students in Illinois high schools cannot read, write or add at a high school level.
West Chicago Dist. 33 partnerships help low-income students succeed Arlington Heights Daily Herald: Faced with a growing number of low-income and at-risk students, West Chicago Elementary District 33 eight years ago received a multimillion-dollar federal grant that paid for a variety of services, including extra tutoring and social workers for students. While that grant money has long since been spent, the coordinated system of care it helped create remains.
Brown not backing away from decision to suspend state standardized tests EdSource: “I feel that a test based on a different curriculum does not make a lot of sense,” he said during a news conference in Oakland. “We are investing $1 billion to adopt Common Core.”

Duncan to biz leaders: Step up Politico: Education Secretary Arne Duncan plans to appeal both to altruism and to naked self-interest when he argues that CEOs at today’s Business Roundtable meeting should step up and promote the Obama administration’s education agenda.

Understanding The Wild Child, Or 'Nonconformist' Kid NPR: We all knew the "wild child" in school, the one who couldn't sit still during story time, or raise her hand to speak in class. Elizabeth Weil has written a piece for the New Republic, asking if it's the child's fault, or the education system's. She talks with host Michel Martin.

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  • You owe Illinois pensions $61,000 | The Barbershop: Dennis Byrne, Proprietor

  • ALERT!

    "From Bev Johns at the Illinois Special Education Coalition:

    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will be voting to eliminate ALL special education class size limits, AND the 30 percent limit of students with IEPs in general education classes on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 201 Broadway Street in Normal (across the street from the AMTRAK Station).

    Public comment is to begin after 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 19. For those wishing to testify you would need to register by 8:30 a.m.

    What Can You Do?

    1. Send an email to the Chairman of the State Board of Education, Gery Chico, at saying you oppose this elimination - and why you oppose it.

    2. Come and testify at the meeting. We need the personal testimony of PARENTS and TEACHERS and anyone else opposed. Retired teachers, help our colleagues out who are working during the day and can't attend.

    3. If you know any of the other ISBE Board members, contact them to discuss this issue: Steven Gilford--Evanston, James Baumann--Lake Bluff, Andrea Brown-- Marion, David Fields--Danville, Melinda LaBarre--Springfield, Curt Bradshaw--Naperville, Vinni Hall--Chicago.

    Of the 5,523 written comments ISBE has received, 5,158 were OPPOSED to the elimination of these State rules on special education class size.

    ISBE itself stated this number of comments was "unprecedented" and that the "overwhelming majority" of the comments were opposed.

    When 93.4 percent are OPPOSED, and only 6.6 percent want to eliminate these rules, the Board of ISBE should vote NO - otherwise why get comments from the public if you are going to completely ignore the public?

    We must all act. If we don't there will be serious harm to students with disabilities.

    Bev Johns, Chair
    ISELA - Illinois Special Education Coalition"

  • Emanuel confident Springfield will solve pension crisis @fspielman

  • Emanuel defends school additions, improvements after CPS closures - Chicago Sun-Times @fspielman

  • City unveils Chicago Tech Plan -

  • Payton College Prep to get $17 million annex, room for up to 400 more students - Chicago Sun-Times @fspielman

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