Whitney Teachers Doubted First Lady

Whitney Teachers Doubted First Lady

Today's news includes lots of second-day stories about Vallas getting the nod from Quinn, and WBEZ says CPS is going to get a smidgen of TIF money. Perhaps the most interesting bit is from First Lady Michelle Obama, who recounted in a speech on Tuesday that she was repeatedly told to lower her expectations at Whitney Young about getting into a top notch Ivy League school. Hard to imagine -- who would do that? National news includes longer days in other districts around the country and a new $30B preschool expansion proposal being debated in Congress that will likely never pass.


Unions likely to endorse Quinn again Morris Daily Herald: In fact, Karen Lewis, who heads the Chicago Teachers Union, is not too happy about Quinn's choice in a running mate. She was quoted in the Examiner newspapers condemning Vallas for his penchant for standardized tests and charter schools.

Returning Vallas defends school record in Connecticut Sun Times: Chile. Haiti. New Orleans. When there is devastation, Paul Vallas says he’s drawn to serving. His latest stop? Illinois. As Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday lauded his new lieutenant governor pick, he painted Vallas, a former Chicago schools chief, as a white knight — a school reform champion — who now would help focus his expertise on fixing the state’s pension crisis.

Vallas says he's OK playing 'second fiddle' WBEZ: Former Chicago schools CEO Paul Vallas says he'll have no trouble playing "second fiddle" to Gov. Pat Quinn as his 2014 running mate.Vallas and Quinn appeared together Tuesday for the first time since the governor announced last week that Vallas was his pick for lieutenant governor.

Vallas says he's comfortable being 'second banana' to Quinn Tribune: When he was Chicago Public Schools CEO, Paul Vallas developed a reputation as a control freak who thought he was the smartest guy in the room while he sometimes upstaged his boss, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley. On Tuesday, the new Democratic lieutenant...

Paul Vallas Introduced as Quinn's Running Mate Chicago Tonight: Gov. Pat Quinn introduces Paul Vallas to be his "second banana." Paris Schutz has the story.

WEEKEND VALLAS QUOTABLES Klonksy rounds up anti-Vallas quotes from the daily papers.


First lady recalls teachers doubting her Princeton ambitions NBC News: First lady Michelle Obama talks about her high school education and the challenges that she faced. Obama made the remarks while speaking to students at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.  See also First Lady Takes Up a New Education Initiative NYT and First lady kicks off education advocacy efforts Washington Post.See full video here.


Chicago Public Schools to get TIF surplus, but impact for schools unclear WBEZ: Chicago schools are in line to get a small infusion of cash from City Hall that parents and activists say could help offset significant school budget cuts made over the summer. But it remains unclear how much individual schools will see.

Lincoln Elementary Annex Defended by Rahm DNAI: Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that, even with limited resources, the decision to expand Lincoln was clear.

A better goal for CPS Reader: The Chicago Public Schools system is often disparaged, but there's little evidence that the district is worse than others at educating schoolchildren. What CPS struggles with is educating poor kids. As does everyone else. CPS just has many more of them.

CPS shuffles local chiefs Hyde Park Herald: Area networks have been pared down from 19 offices to 13 offices that are now neighborhood networks. The number of CPS staff members working in each network office has also decreased to about 16 employees, which means 79 jobs will be eliminated. According to CPS, this change has been made to foster more comprehensive and streamlined delivery of instruction for students. The changes will also save money for the cash-strapped school district.


Universal preschool bill to be introduced in Congress KPCC: The first significant legislation on early childhood education in more than a decade will be introduced in Congress Wednesday and the announcement is causing waves of excitement among preschool advocates.

Schools Still See Surges in Homeless Students EdWeek: If added together, homeless students now would make up the largest school district in the country—at nearly 1.17 million, considerably more than the entire student population of New York City public schools. Their numbers have grown 24 percent in the last three years, and 10 percent in the last year alone, according to a new federal analysis released by the National Center for Homeless Education, part of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Forty states have seen a rise in their homeless-student populations in 2011-12, and 10 of those faced a jump of 20 percent or more.

House and Senate Preschool Bills: A Guide to the Latest Proposal PoliticsK12: The measure has bipartisan backing--it's being put forth by the top Democrats in both chambers on education issues, along with one Republican, Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y. But it would cost more than $30 billion over its first five years and faces some major hurdles in a Congress consumed with trimming spending.


Longer school days in store for some in 5 states AP: The 11 districts adding schools to the program are Boulder Valley and Denver in Colorado; Bridgeport, Meriden and Windham in Connecticut; Boston and Salem in Massachusetts; Rochester and Syracuse in New York; and Knox County and Metro Nashville, Tenn.

Square Feet: Philadelphia Schools See Cash in Old Classrooms NYT: The Philadelphia school district is putting 27 buildings, some over 100 years old, on the market. One company is willing to pay $100 million for them all.

Two Thirds of Streets in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx Near Schools WNYC: In the wake of several recent pedestrian deaths, momentum is building to restrict speeds near schools.  WNYC/Transportation Nation mapped every zone within a quarter mile of a school, and found that 75 percent of streets in Manhattan, 71 percent in Brooklyn, and 64 percent in the Bronx could be subject to a 20 mph speed limit with no state approval necessary.

LAUSD moving to next phase of iPad program LA Daily News: Los Angeles Unified moved forward Tuesday with the second phase of its plan to equip students with iPads, but added a pilot test of laptops - a signal that the district's ambitious technology project may extend beyond tablet computers.

L.A. Unified schools to move forward with trimmed-down iPad plan LA Times: A divided Board of Education agreed Tuesday to move ahead with a trimmed-down plan to provide iPads to Los Angeles students, but an evaluation will look at whether the project should proceed.

Teacher accused of writing on student's forehead NBC News: A Houston teacher is accused of using a marker to write reminder notes on the foreheads of students who forget their school materials. KPRC's Andy Cerota reports.

America's First Publicly Out Transgender High School Coach Is Opening Minds HuffPost: Alexander was a standout baller for the Chieftans in the mid-‘90s. He won four straight state championships playing for the school. He was voted MVP of tournaments and was named to the All-State Basketball First Team. He loved basketball and the fans loved him. And yes, he scored more than a thousand career points. Yet his name isn't on that banner. In its place is another name, one given to him at birth by his parents. It's a name to which he feels no connection.


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  • "Perhaps the most interesting bit is from First Lady Michelle Obama, who recounted in a speech on Tuesday that she was repeatedly told to lower her expectations at Whitney Young about getting into a top notch Ivy League school. Hard to imagine -- who would do that?"

    That is odd. Prior to Michelle's graduation, WY had already established a track record of having a good number of low-income URM students be admitted into Ivy and other most-selective schools. There would have been very little "discouragement" from teachers or counselors unless the student had low grades or ACT/SAT scores with no ECs. Michelle was in the NHS, so her grades were decent, you'd think. Perhaps the idea was to add a few "safeties" to her list? Very odd.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    More kids in CPS need to lower their expectations. More graduates from my school drop out out with massive student loan debt than actually earn a college degree.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    That's the criticism I'm hearing from colleges. It's not the "under-matched" - high-ability black and brown students not applying for selective colleges, but rather black and brown (and all the colors of the rainbow) arriving at colleges of all levels of selectivity who are unprepared for college-level work.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    meh... colleges are complicit. They accept kids they know don't qualify. Free money for them. Offering a full slate of remedial classes should not be allowed.

  • Took a look at the video above.

    Oh, please.

    Back when Michelle Obama was prepping for college, students didn't do big "college tours" or test-prep courses or heavy consultation with guidance counselors --- especially compared to today's middle-class kids. And, at WY, the GC were completely accessible and available right in the "house" you were assigned to. And WY high-GPA students supported each other and applied to the top schools and interviewed with local alumni from the Ivies. If you did well at WY back then and were college-bound, you were golden, and treated as such.

    But, guess that doesn't make such a great story for today's kids.

  • The comments about this speech at Inside Higher Ed are worth a look:

  • As an original dolphin, I was a part of the first four year graduating class. A part of what the first lady stated is true. While some of my classmates were accepted into the ivy league schools, most of us were not steered in that direction back in the late 70's or early 80's. However, the percentage of alums that are successful is extremely high. The status that WYHS has currently was built over time, so what current day Dolphins experience may be a bit different. So, to state that the first lady was not being truthful is not correct.

  • Original Dolphin - I disagree. Although WY is now an SEHS, back when you attended, it was a magnet school with students at all academic levels. However, if an URM student is getting high test scores and grades, as needed to be inducted into NHS, and that student's brother is already at Princeton, it's extremely likely that student was not repeatedly discouraged by many of her teachers to steer clear of the Ivies or other highly selective schools (which weren't even as "selective" as they are nowadays). I guess her teachers and guidance counselors would know the truth. She, however, was making it very, very bendy. Sad.

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