The big story of the week so far seems to be complaints expressed by the IEA at a recent ISBE meeting about the new(ish) TAP test for teacher candidates, which is much higher and whose adoption has led to a decrease in overall and race-specific pass rates.
The WBEZ story about the new test's impact focuses largely on the impact of the test on teacher diversity, and about the emotional plight of minority candidates who want to teach but can't pass the test.
There's much less attention on the reality that teachers can take the test multiple times, or submit ACT or other scores, and that the WBEZ reporter who took the test appeared to have no problem passing it.
"Do we need teachers who look like our students?" asks CPS teacher and blogger Ray Salazar. "Only if they know their content, only if they can teach and engage students, only if they have the social skills to maneuver through class and generational differences, only if they’re focused on students and not on themselves. Being brown and college-degreed and passionate is not enough."
Push for teacher quality in Illinois takes toll on minority candidates WBEZ: Sixty percent of African-Americans used to pass the TAP; now it’s 17 percent. For Hispanics, the pass rate has dropped from 70 percent, to 22 percent.
Testing teachers causes unexpected racial division WBEZ: We discuss how entrance exams for teachers is sparking a debate about whether or not these exams are ruining diversity among teachers.
Emanuel promotes new Whole Foods in Englewood Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel sought Wednesday to reshape the debate over his efforts to shrink the city's so-called food deserts by announcing plans to open a Whole Foods Market in the impoverished Englewood neighborhood three years from now.
Untangling TIFs WBEZ: Many Chicagoans have heard the word TIF, but few people understand how they work, and they may even have trouble untangling all the threads related to this complicated economic development tool. Armed with our experts and some Sharpies (and inspired by RSA Animates videos), we made a whiteboard explainer ... sans the whiteboard.
Public hearings begin for CPS master plan Tribune: Chicago Public Schools has started a series of public hearings to get input from parents, educators and community members on a 10-year facilities master plan mandated by a new state law. A draft version of the plan was released in May and a final plan..
I'm Sticking with Chicago Public Schools ChicagoNow: I made the decision to short sell my place in part because of theChicago Public Schools' elementary school assigned to my address. After all, West Rogers Park is a bit…. economically challenged.
Chicago's Next Education Crisis Isn't Limited to Chicago -- Here's Why Huffington Post: This time last year, my hometown of Chicago was poised to make headlines across the country as Chicago Public Schools (CPS) was on the verge of one of its ...
Readin', Writin' And The Rhythm Method: CPS To Teach Sex Ed In ...Chicagoist: The Chicago Public Schools just aren't getting enough press these days -- what with the closing of 50 schools this past spring, the Safe Passage Zones ...
Study: Poverty increases fast in Chicago suburbs WBEZ: Chicago’s suburbs have nearly as many poor people as the city does, according to a report out Thursday. The number of suburbanites living in poverty had grown to 629,564 by 2011, according to a review of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Heartland Alliance, a nonprofit group that fights poverty.
Duncan: Later Start in School Day Could Help Teens AP: A later start to the school day could help teenagers get the most from their classroom time and local districts should consider delaying the first bell ...
Oakland Schools Work to Transform Experience for African-American Boys PBS: We start our series with a report from Oakland, Calif., on a different approach to the dropout problem, where young black men are more likely to miss school, get suspended, or end up in jail than other students, statistics that have alarmed school officials.