Council Stalls On TIFF, Elected Board

Council Stalls On TIFF, Elected Board

Today's education news roundup includes an NPR story about the success (so far) of Safe Passages and an update on yesterday's City Council TIF debate.  Meanwhile, Minneapolis is getting its own teacher residency program, school violence is down nationally, the Washington Post editorial page is worried that the new NYC mayor will undo education improvements, and courts in CA and FL are going to allow newspapers to publish teachers' value-added ratings.

CITYWIDE

Chicago Public Schools Safety Program's Working, But For How Long? NPR: In Chicago, the mayor and school officials say they're making good on a promise to keep students safe after closing down nearly 50 schools over the summer. When the closures were announced, parents worried about children having to cross rival gang territories to attend new schools. Now, two months into the school year, the district says its program called Safe Passage is working.

Vote on the school calendar in this survey (need your kid’s ID#) CPSObsessed: But if you’d like to vote on whether we should start the school year before or after Labor Day, please make your voice known! Also, as a reminder, the Neighborhood School Fair (sponsored by parents) is this Saturday.  This is turning into quite a fun event.

TIF TIFF

Some aldermen challenge Emanuel's police, TIF spending priorities Tribune: Self-styled independent aldermen challenged key portions of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2014 spending plan Wednesday, but if the pushback to their ideas is any indication, they may have a hard time gaining traction.

Aldermen Clash Over Allowing Votes on Electing a CPS Board, Using TIF Cash DNAI: Aldermen largely debated TIFs instead of a procedural issue involving the Rules Committee.

Chicago Aldermen Fail To Discharge TIF Surplus, Elected School Board Proposals From Rules Committee Progress Illinois:  Following more than an hour of heated debate on the topic of TIFs, Chicago City Council members voted 11-36 against bringing the surplus ordinance out from committee for a vote. The resolution for an elected school board referendum, introduced by Ald. John Arena (45th) in September, had little discussion and also failed to be discharged from the committee by a 15-32 vote.

SCHOOL NEWS

Ames Military School Issue Put to Vote DNAI: The Ames Middle School LSC set up a voting booth Tuesday to let parents weigh in on the issue.

Kenwood Academy Principal Says School Might Need to Turn Away Students Soon DNAI: Principal Gregory Jones suggested capping enrollment as one way to halt the influx of students.

Taft High School Principal Resigns Due to Illness DNAI: Principal Mary Kay Cappitelli's last day is Friday after two years in the top job at Taft.

Dad: Son was victim of bullies, CPS principal didn’t take it seriously Sun Times (Mary Mitchell): Although Docilla Pollard, the principal at Andrew Carnegie Elementary School, did not return phone calls about this matter, a Chicago Public Schools source described the incident as involving only “two students running in the hallway and one of the students tripped and fell.”

How Finland makes its schools work for all Sun Times (Kate Grossman):  If Finland can do it, why can’t we? I went to a fascinating lecture on Saturday by Finnish educator and researcher Pasi Sahlberg, who explained how Finland has dramatically improved all its schools. Sahlberg spoke at the Chicago Humanities Festival.

OTHER DISTRICTS

$15000 Worth Of iPads Stolen From Oak Park School District CBS2 Chicago: Oak Park police are investigating the theft of 47 Apple iPad Minis from the Oak Park Elementary School District 97 administrative offices during a two-month period over the summer.
New Teacher Residency Program Puts Seattle on the Map Seattle Times: Seattle’s public schools are in their first year of a new teacher residency program called the Seattle Teacher Residency. It’s one of 18 programs across the country belonging to a network of residency programs called Urban Teacher Residency United.

MPS school-board meeting erupts in chaos after Noor's election MinnPost: The source of the frustration: After hearing 11th-hour pitches from supporters of two of the candidates, Monserrate announced the board would choose via ranked-choice voting on paper ballots to be tallied by MPS’ general counsel.

Bill de Blasio faces a test on school reform Washington Post (editorial page): Lest anyone forget just how rotten the city’s schools were when Mr. Bloomberg took office and won mayoral control of the system, read the thoughtful analysis Paul Hill, founder of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, wrote last month for the Atlantic.

Bloomberg Issues Final Letter Grades for New York Schools NYT: The announcement was accompanied by a sense of acquiescence as the city prepares to hand over the school system to Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who has pledged to do away with the ratings.

Apps look to reduce the pain felt when NYC students apply to high school Pando Daily: Next year, around 80,000 New York City eighth graders will thumb through a giant book of 400 schools to choose which high school they will attend in the Fall. Students select up to 12 desired locations and are accepted based on a number of possible factors, from the school’s proximity to the student’s home to test scores and interviews.

NATIONAL

Newspapers in Calif., Fla. Can Access Teachers' Value-Added Data, Courts Rule TeacherBeat: In two new rulings both decided earlier this month, state appeals courts in California and Florida have agreed to grant access to "value-added" information on individual teachers.

USDE to Scale Back Key Waiver-Renewal Mandates PoliticsK12: They plan to develop a 50-state strategy that is not limited to the 42 states plus the District of Columbia that have waivers. By the end of January, department officials say, they will have begun a process of putting teeth into existing Title I and Title II laws.

Special Education Budget Cuts, Sequestration, Hurt America's Most Vulnerable Students HuffPost: For American students with disabilities, class sizes are increasing, services are waning and providers are disappearing. More than half of parents who have children with disabilities and responded to a survey say their schools have altered special education services because of declining funding since last year -- in some cases, because of federal budget cuts known as sequestration, according to survey results released Thursday.

Schools That Separate the Child From the Trauma NYT (opinion): Punishing children for misbehavior they don’t know how to control only adds to their suffering.

Schools safe as ever despite spate of shootings, scares USA Today: In the 11 months since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., another school attack or safety scare seems to unfold almost weekly.

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