Union Agitates Against Testing

Union Agitates Against Testing

Today's news includes a call from CTU for parents to opt their kids out of many of the tests given in schools -- despite the CPS rollback this year. What do you think? There's also going to be a new Montessori public school in Humboldt Park, and Diane Ravitch has had to concel her trip to Chicago due to health reasons.  National news includes reading and math tests showed mild improvements over two years ago, plus an NPR story about schools restoring recess. 

CTU / OVERTESTING

Chicago Teachers Union urges parents to oppose standardized tests for young kids Sun Times: The Chicago Teachers Union Thursday urged its members and parents to take a stand against standardized tests. CTU President Karen Lewis announced the “Let us Teach” campaign in Chicago as similar measures were rolled out in cities across the country.

Testing under fire from teachers union Catalyst: This is the first time that the union has participated in the National Day of Action On Testing, a campaign led by public school teachers in six major cities, including New York and Los Angeles, who want to limit the time spent on high-stakes testing.

CHARTERS

Ziegler Closes $20 Million Noble Network of Charter Schools Financing PRWeb: Ziegler, a specialty investment bank, is pleased to announce the successful closing of the $20,000,000 fixed-rate Noble Network of Charter Schools (Noble) 2013 Bond issue. Noble is a public charter high school system in Chicago, Illinois with multiple campuses throughout the city.

MONEY

Chicago’s finances among the worst after 2008 recession: study Sun Times: Chicago weathered the storm of the 2008 recession in worse financial shape than all but two major cities — Boston and bankrupt Detroit — because spending, debt and unfunded pension liabilities rose faster than revenues, according to a new study.

How To Save Chicago Schools? Fix the Flat Tax, Say Community Members In These Times: Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett, meanwhile, say that they are addressing long-festering budget problems caused by their predecessors in public office.

MISC

Parents Work to Bring Montessori Education to Humboldt Park DNAI: A group of parents has worked for nearly three years to create the Humboldt Park Montessori School.

Comings & Goings: Grumman, Gettride, Crisler Catalyst: Cornelia Grumman has been named director of policy and strategic communications at the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute. Frank Gettridge, the former principal at Barton Elementary, is now a program officer at the Kellogg Foundation.

VIOLENCE

School violence lowers test scores, not grades Science Daily: A new study finds that while violent crime has a negative impact on standardized test scores, it doesn’t have the same effect on grades.

NATIONAL

US Students Make Slight Progress on Test Scores WSJ: U.S. Students Make Slight Progress on Test Scores. By Stephanie Banchero. Elementary-school students made modest progress on three of four national math and reading exams this year, but proficiency rates are still stubbornly below 50% on every test.

U.S. Reading and Math Scores Show Incremental Gains NYT: Fourth and eighth graders scored somewhat better on evaluations this year, but racial and economic disparities persist.

Washington DC and Tennessee post huge gains in math and reading in 2013 while nation shows small improvement Hechinger Report: Still, Washington DC’s test scores remain the worst in the nation. It ranks dead last behind every state in the Union in 4th grade and 8th grade math and reading tests. Similarly, Tennessee is among the bottom half of the states, below the national average.

D.C. posts significant gains on national test, outpacing nearly every state Washington Post: The District’s fourth- and eighth-graders made significant gains on math and reading tests administered by the federal government this year, posting increases that were among the city’s largest in the history of the exam.

Top Academics but Little Diversity at New Charters Texas Tribune: Unlike many Texas charters, particularly KIPP and IDEA public schools — which both formed with a mission to reach economically disadvantaged communities — Basis and Great Hearts tend to end up with student bodies that are disproportionately affluent and white.

Trim Recess? Some Schools Hold On To Child's Play NPR: Schools nationwide are under growing pressure to add instructional time, and recess is often one of the first things to get squeezed — particularly in low-income districts. But some schools are pushing back, embracing play time and physical activity as central to learning.

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  • Absences went down after Chicago contract changed dismissal rules but dismissals remained uncommon - HBR http://ht.ly/qDcW9

  • Quinn Picks Paul Vallas As 2014 Running Mate « CBS Chicago http://ht.ly/qDwh8

    ps -- report above was from last year, not this.

  • From the story Alexander links to in first comment: "Nevertheless, principals were reluctant to enforce the policy: 40% of schools, including many that were low-performing, didn’t dismiss any teachers."

    Perhaps those principals weren't looking to scapegoat teachers for the many intractable problems in the schools. It's entirely possible that many of those principals decided there was no reason to dismiss any of their teachers.

  • Phillip Jackson - Parents, families and communities have to all assist in the education of students - chicagotribune.com http://ht.ly/qH5lM

  • What rollback in testing? I have seen an increase in tests mandated by the networks since last year. I used to think teachers who complained about too much testing were afraid of the results. Now I realize they are afraid of too much instructional time being wasted. CPS is a nightmare when it comes to testing. The teacher who stood up at the BOE last year and said CPS should be charged with child abuse was absolutely correct. We test kids to death. Its horrible.

  • Junk school standardized tests - Dennis Byrne http://ht.ly/qM4PA

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