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?

CPS schools show improvement Tribune: Although fewer students passed the Illinois Standards Achievement Test this year because of higher benchmarks, Chicago Public Schools said Friday that 28 elementary schools were removed from probation and the number of schools ranked in the district's..

Most CPS elementary schools dip in students meeting state standards Chicago Sun-Times: CPS Chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett saw the numbers in the report as the glass half full. “While more work remains to be done, I'm pleased that many of our schools are moving in the right direction, and applaud our principals and staff for the dedication ...

 School performance ratings released Catalyst: Under the school performance ratings released today, CPS neighborhood high schools made dramatic improvements, with the percentage of students at the lowest level dropping from 60 percent to 49 percent. Among others, Chicago Vocational Career Academy, Roosevelt, Manley and Clemente are all now Level 2 schools in a three- level system.  Many of these schools had been stuck in the lowest level—level 3—since the current rating system’s inception in 2008.


Board of Education OKs master plan for school buildings Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis was the first of many to ask the board to consider taking more time before voting. She said the plan is still vague, should be easier for ordinary people to use and doesn't yet spell out a clear process for .

CPS building repurposing committee faces large task WBEZ: Attucks is one of eight shuttered CPS schools still on the books from years past. That’s not counting the additional 42 empty buildings from the latest round of school closures last spring.  That’s such a large and varied collection that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has appointed a committee to help determine what to do with those structures. But if the city’s past success with selling unused school buildings is any sign, the mayor’s committee has a big job on its hands.
Emanuel's infrastructure trust off to slow start Chicago Tribune: One aspect of that initiative has raised questions about the agency's role because it is seeking private financing for construction projects that have already been completed and paid for by Chicago Public Schools.

Report: Majority of Chicago Public Schools' 'Safe Passage' route near registered ...The Tribune: The vast majority of the walking routes Chicago Public School officials set up for children going to new schools after around 50 were closed are located near registered sex offenders, according to a report published Sunday.

Principal and Teacher, a Complex Duet New York Times: Some of the bad feeling in Chicago is a hangover from last year's acrimonious teachers' strike, which itself was partly a product of bad blood between the mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and the leader of the teachers' union, Karen Lewis.

Chicago needs more than another world HQ to be a global capital Crain's Chicago Business: But to fully enjoy that world-class status, City Hall must make tough decisions on such intractable issues as solving the state's pension crisis, fixingChicago's pitiful schools and curbing the insane murder rate.


Guns at School? If There’s a Will, There Are Ways NYT: In an effort to protect students should a shooting occur, some school districts are using a patchwork of concealed-carry laws, special regulations and local policies to arm staff members.

Fear permeates young lives of Newtown witnesses AP: A few nights after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, David Posey heard a strange noise in his house and went upstairs to check on his son. The little boy, who had just seen his teacher and a first-grade classmate gunned down, was pounding on the floor.

The Obama administration funds police officers in schools MSNBC: As part of the Obama administration’s effort to ramp up school security after last year’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, the Justice Department plans to award $125 million in grants nationally, which includes about $45 million for 356 new school resource officer positions.


Teacher-training schools under pressure to prepare for Common Core Hechinger Report: Across the country, most teacher-preparation programs scarcely mention the Common Core in recent course syllabi, said Julie Greenberg, a senior policy analyst at the National Council on Teacher Quality. “In half the programs we see not a smidgeon of reference, direct or indirect, to anything Common Core related.”

Game on! USA Today: Announced in 2010 by President Obama as part of his "Educate to Innovate" initiative, the National STEM Video Game Challenge has introduced thousands of middle- and high-schoolers to game design over the past three years— this year alone, more than 5,000 students from 40 states enrolled. It'll soon see its first games debut on Apple's App store.

LAUSD reports 71 iPads are missing LA Daily News: At least 71 iPads, including 69 from a single campus, went missing last year as the Los Angeles Unified School District tested a program intended to equip every student with one of the Apple tablets, officials said. The lost devices are among iPads used in a 13-school trial run, the Los Angeles Times...

Is the power of parent talk enough to close the school readiness divide? Every week, a young child in a participating family would spend a day wearing a small electronic device in a shirt pocket to record the number of words heard and spoken, plus the number of “turns” in a conversation—the amount of back-and-forth between parent and child. Words heard on television did not count. The full results haven’t been published yet, but individual participants’ data show dramatic increases in parent-child interaction.


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