Layoffs, Ames, Blended Learning

Layoffs, Ames, Blended Learning

Today's news includes more about the 100 layoffs and the Ames / Marine Academy controversy, plus stories about "blended" learning in CPS and elsewhere. There's also lots of national news including a new dropout prevention plan in Denver and a new effort in Broward County to limit school arrests.

LAYOFFS

CPS issues nearly 100 pink slips WBEZ: In all, 94 teachers and support staff were eliminated, according to CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll, of which 33 were due to decreases in state and federal poverty funds that follow students. Eleven positions were technically cut over the summer, but staffed temporarily due to transition work and 10 early childhood or other specialists were eliminated.

Child-parent centers post higher attendance: study Catalyst: The findings from a new study of the district’s pioneering child-parent center program are striking, with daily attendance up and chronic absenteeism among preschoolers down as much as 40 percent in some schools. Along with the positive findings, however, a question looms: Six of the centers that were located in schools that shut down this fall moved to welcoming schools, but it’s not clear how many of the preschoolers who were part of the study last year at those centers came back this fall.

Poverty and the Brain WTTW: Researchers at two local universities are looking into how poverty impacts young minds. We have the story.

Study: Choice would help failing Chicago schools IL Watchdog: Dwyer’s report, “Trapped in Chicago’s Worst Schools,” published Oct. 30, details the abysmal data from the schools. At the lowest-performing elementary schools, 75 percent of students failed to meet standards on state standardized tests. Among juniors at the lowest-performing high schools, 95 percent didn’t meet state standards in math and reading.

AMES / MARINE ACADEMY

Parents, activists try to keep Ames from becoming military academy Sun Times: About 100 parents and community members Tuesday continued their efforts to save Ames Middle School from becoming a military academy. Last week, Chicago Public Schools officials said a military program will be put in place at the Logan Square school, which will be extended to include high school as well as middle school. That was the windup several days after Mayor Rahm Emanuel initially announced Ames would merge with Marine Military Math and Science Academy and move into Ames’ current building. Since then, officials said the schools would not merge. “We are tired of trying to fight a battle [with] …

Ames Middle School Officials, Parents Demand Meeting With CPS Over Military School Plan Progress IL: Logan Square parents, residents and the Local School Council (LSC) at Ames Middle School say they want Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials to meet with them about the district's plan to affiliate their neighborhood school with the Marine Corps next year.  Ames LSC members stressed at their meeting Tuesday morning that those from nearby feeder schools should also have an opportunity to weigh in about the decision to convert Ames, located at 1920 N. Hamlin Ave., into a military academy.

Ames LSC Still Against Change to Military School, Could Seek Referendum DNAI: Local school council member Emma Segura said they "will do whatever we have to" to overturn change.

SCHOOLS

Antheus to ease Harte traffic Hyde Park Herald: In 2008, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) approved a land transfer agreement with Antheus that included upgrades to Bret Harte, 1556 E. 56th St.

Diehards fight for Canter Hyde Park Herald: The CAC would then take its plan to the Chicago Public Schools Board. If the school board approves the council, the CAC would meet monthly to help guide the

Why Schools Are 'Blending' Learning EdSurge: The Chicago Virtual Charter School which enrolls 680 students withinChicago Public Schools only requires 2 ¼ hours of “seat time” within the bricks and mortar...

New charter school welcomes community Austin Weekly News: The school opened inside the former Banner Academy West High School in August after undergoing a $100,000 renovation, said Principal Serdar Kartal. Updates included new paint, furniture, lighting and electrical work.

COMMENTARY

What's so scary about our nation's public schools? South Side Parent: Despite this, our Department of Education, education reform philanthropies, and a huge growing sector of our economy--education-reform related products and marketing--are all based in and driven by fear of and anxiety about failure. Failure on a global scale.

Chicago under Rahm is becoming a second-rate city Mike Klonsky: The mass black out-migration (nearly 200,000 in the past decade) is Chicago's loss -- economically, culturally, politically and in many other ways. Ironically this push-out of a large section of the black community is being used as the rationale ("under-utilization") for the closing of even more schools, the firing of even more teachers and professionals, and the cutting of services.

NATIONAL

Colorado Rejects Move for Schools as Casino Fails in Massachusetts NYT: Colorado rejected sweeping school-reform measures while voters in Massachusetts rejected a proposal that sought to bring a $1 billion resort casino to East Boston.

Bill De Blasio's Schools Chancellor Remains Unknown Even As Victory Takes Shape HuffPost: Earlier this week, Page Six of the New York Post ran an item saying that de Blasio was "considering hiring teachers' union boss Randi Weingarten as the next NYC schools chancellor." A source told columnist Richard Johnson that "she wants the job."

LAUSD school board signals intent to move forward with iPad plan LA Daily News: After taking a second, deeper look at Los Angeles Unified's controversial iPad project, school board members reiterated their support Tuesday for the plan to equip all 600,000 students with tablet computers while hearing about lessons learned during the first phase of the $1 billion effort to transform kids into "global...

Denver to roll out new system for tracking student performance EdNewsCO: The new plan, outlined in an internal document acquired by EdNews Colorado, establishes so-called “gateways” for students, benchmarks at certain grade levels that can help predict whether a student will be college-ready. The gateways will not be used to hold schools or teachers accountable for their performance, said Susana Cordova, DPS’s chief academic officer and head of the team leading the design. Instead, the question is “what are some key places in a student’s career where we need to make sure we support?”

Fla. School District Trying To Curb School-To-Prison Pipeline WNYC: In Florida, one of the nation's largest school districts has overhauled its discipline policies with a single purpose in mind — to reduce the number of children going into the juvenile justice system.

In New Orleans and nationally, a growing number of charter schools aspire to be ‘diverse by design’ Hechinger Report: At Morris Jeff, now in its fourth year, 60 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch, just over half are African-American, and 42 percent are white. And this school year, two other new charter schools with similarly diverse demographics opened: Homer A. Plessy in the 9th Ward and Bricolage Academy Uptown. Across the country, the number of charter schools that are diverse by design has been steadily rising in recent years, in cities including New York, Denver, and Washington D.C.

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  • The School of Leadership lost six positions on November 1, 2014.

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