Ames, Lincoln, Headquarters Move

Ames, Lincoln, Headquarters Move

While most of the nation's attention was focused on new test results showing how big city school systems like Chicago compare to each other and statewide averages, most of the attention in Chicago was going towards the Board meeting in which decisions were made over Ames, the Lincoln Elementary annex, and the proposed change to the location of CPS HQ downtown. Oh, and it's less than a week until Christmas -- hang in there!

BOARD MEETING

Board of Ed meets to talk CPS headquarters move  WBEZ: The Chicago Board of Education met for their monthly meeting Wednesday and discussed the district moving its headquarters, and the new requirement for fingerprints from parents hoping to volunteer at kids’ schools. Catalyst Chicago’s Sarah Karp has details from the meeting.

Logan Square school will become military academy Sun Times: Logan Square’s Ames Middle School will become a military academy, officials said.

Board members approve Ames military conversion Catalyst: These proposals garnered outside attention because they spoke to larger CPS issues. Putting a military school into Ames drew opposition from those opposed to the “militarization” of schools. CPS has more military schools than any district in the country and they are seen by critics as recruiting tools. Others criticized the Lincoln addition as unfair. Many other schools are more overcrowded than Lincoln Elementary School, which is in the wealthy Lincoln Park area and serves many well-connected families.

Board of Education votes to move CPS headquarters Chicago Tribune: Chicago Public Schools board members voted unanimously today to move the district's headquarters to a different downtown location in a ...

Sears' flagship store in Loop likely shrinking with CPS moving inChicago Sun-Times
Dearborn could be radically downsized based on new details released Wednesday about the new tenant in the building — Chicago Public Schools.

Lincoln Elementary Annex Wins OK Despite Objections DNAI: Ald. Michele Smith supported the addition over protests in the immediate community.

CPS May Enact District-Wide Grading Scale as Whitney Young ... DNAinfo: Chicago Public Schools may move toward a unifrom grading scale next year. Whitney young is one school that would be affected. View Full Caption.

SCHOOLS

Danger often on minds of Chicago teens who make long treks to school Tribune: The sun had not yet risen over the city Tuesday when a 15-year-old girl left her home in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood and headed out in the dark toward her charter high school nearly 6 miles away. Before she reached the end of her block, she was...

'Growing Pains' Ease at CPS' Largest Welcoming School: Wicker Principal DNAI: Nine teachers have left and been replaced at Jose de Diego Community Academy, which serves 900 students.

Test-score gap widens between white, black students in Chicago Chicago Sun-Times: Black Chicago Public Schools students fell further behind whites in three of four key measures, according to the 2013 National Assessment of ...

MEDIA / UNIONS

WBEZ reporters, producers, hosts vote to form union  Sun Times: Workers at Chicago Public Media — most of whom work at the public radio station WBEZ 91.5 — voted overwelmingly to form a union Wednesday night.

URBAN DISTRICT TEST RESULTS

Decade-Long Study Of Big City Schools Finds Better Math, Reading NPR: Ten years after education researchers began focusing on big city school systems and monitoring their math and reading scores, there's good news to report. Today, fourth and eighth graders in many of the nation's largest cities have made impressive gains. Surprisingly, school systems with large numbers of low income children have exceeded the national average in both subjects.

Urban Students' Progress Quickens WSJ: America's large urban school districts are making faster progress on federal elementary math and reading tests than the nation as a whole, but they are still underperforming national averages, according to data released Wednesday.

Test scores of urban school districts improve faster than nation over past 10 years Hechinger Report: Wide achievement gaps between large cities, often with huge concentrations of low-income minorities, and the average U.S. student have closed by as much as 43 percent. Washington DC, which lags the nation in both math and reading, showed huge gains among fourth and eighth graders in both subjects since 2003 and 2011.

City Students Improve Test Scores, But Still Lag Significantly HuffPost: In Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; and Hillsborough County, Fla., math and reading scores were higher than average for big cities. Students in Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Washington, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Fresno, Calif., were below average in both subjects. Washington, D.C. -- a standard bearer for what's known as the education reform movement since former school chancellor Michelle Rhee's tumultuous tenure at D.C. Public Schools -- was the only city to show score increases in both grades in both subjects since 2011.

Report: Schools in American Cities Are Still a Mess Atlantic Education: A new report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows just how big the gap often is between urban districts and their suburban and rural peers. Urban districts outperformed their states in only a few cases. Generally, though, urban district’s average scores were well below the average score in their state. Even though Massachusetts ranked high on the state-by-state NAEP report, Boston is almost 20 points behind the state average in fourth grade math.

LAUSD students improve English, math scores on national tests LA Daily News: The biggest bump in LAUSD's scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests came over the past two years, with an especially good showing by African-American youngsters, the report said.

New York City scores flat on national exam, though up over last decade Chalkbeat NY: Between 2011 and 2013, New York City saw small score increases in fourth and eighth grade math and in eighth grade reading, but none were statistically significant. That closely mirrors the statewide results, which saw only one significant increase, in fourth grade math. It also puts New York City in the company of most other urban districts, since only eight of 21 districts had one or more scores increase significantly.

New York City Students Show Slight Gains on Test Scores NYT:  from a national testing program revealed a steady but incremental improvement in student performance during the Bloomberg era.

In One NYC School, A Snapshot Of Bloomberg's Education Legacy NPR: Since he took office, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has closed and consolidated schools, created hundreds of new ones and championed the use of data to measure performance. Washington Irving High School, scheduled to close in 2015, offers a window on the changes he's brought to the city's vast school system.

NATIONAL

Leaders of teachers union, business group join forces to support Common Core Washington Post: "This came from the bottom up, this didn't come out of Washington,” said Engler, who called the standards an “economic and moral imperative.”

Teach For America: We Support the Common Core TeacherBeat: TFA goes on record to support the common-core standards.

Only 3 students scored college-ready in Camden, NJ AP: The new school superintendent in Camden, N.J., says it was a "kick-in-the-stomach moment" when he learned that only three district high school students who took the SAT this year scored as college-ready....

Flipping the traditional definition of 'homework' WBEZ: Instead of asking students to do high level thinking for homework, teachers assign video lectures and then work on problems and projects at school. WBEZ producer Becky Vevea visited a school downstate—Havana High School—that is flipping instruction. Her report aired on the Morning Shift on December 18, 2013.

U.S. Department of Education Still Not an Awesome Place to Work PoliticsK12: Compared to 2003, Education Department employees are giving the agency—and their boss, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan—higher marks for providing effective leadership and fostering teamwork. Generally, among all mid-size agencies, Education Department officials seem to be fairly satisfied with their pay. However, it's important to note the survey was done before the October government shutdown.

Comments

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  • The Chicago Sun Times story Alexander linked to discussing the increasing black/white gap and the increasing gap between low income students and non-low income students as measured by the NAEP merits a comment. The quotes from both Mayor Emanuel and CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett contained this basic idea that it was a CPS objective for "every child to be 100 percent college ready and college bound."

    Really, that would be quite far reaching goal for hundreds of students with disabilities whose disabilities by legal definition are “…significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.” These students will not be college ready assuming their cognitive disability was correctly identified.

    Currently there are between 5,500 and 5,800 CPS students identified as having a primary cognitive disability. There are also an unknown number of additional students who have secondary cognitive disabilities with primary labels of Autism, multiple disabilities, Traumatic Brain injury, and other labels.

    So what message is the CEO and Mayor sending to the parents of these students, that they don't exist or maybe there is a magic cure for their children? In fact there is a possibility that many students with cognitive disabilities can become fully functional and productive citizens who are not dependent on charity or social security supplemental benefits for survival as adults. But such outcomes are not likely if the students are attending a school district like CPS which has no enunciated outcome based goal for its more significantly disabled students.

    Rod Estvan

  • Don't forget all of the children labeled learning disabled who are really cognitively disabled-money issue in regards to services. Where are the voc ed programs in CPS?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I did not discuss the issue of students with severe LD who could also be labeled as cognitively disabled because under IDEA CPS has to formally rule out a cognitive disability inorder to declare a child as LD. While all of us in the field have seen some students labels changed from LD to cognitively disabled by the time they reach middle school and academically collapse, none of us can quantify how often this happens.

    But we all agree that there are a good number of students who can not be made college ready. We also know that in a modern world these students can have a meaningful future if CPS and the state has a vision for them, which it does not.

    What exactly the Common Core will mean for these students is unclear. I suspect not much, because it will formally be implemented but in reality the implementation will be on paper for the most part. Clearly CPS will not be able to implement the new common core version of the IAA without much greater if not universal access to voice to text and text to voice software. Moreover, speech/language teachers would have to transform their practice and their numbers radically increased to have any hope to address the new alternative test that is currently bing developed.

    Rod Estvan

  • Every time I hear Emanuel, Byrd-Bennett or a Board member say anything, I run it through my "...for students with disabilities" meter. Some 99 percent of the time, the meter registers "B.S."

  • Don't forget that with the new budgeting it is very difficult ,if not impossible, to know if the sped monies are actually going to the sped programs. Teachers of sped students are often told there is no money for assistive tech, supplemental reading books or the many different types of materials that can make it easier on a child with disabilities.

  • When CPS moves from 125 S. Clark Street, will it send a bill to Ron Huberman for the approximately $1,000,000 he spent constructing Room 1550? For those of you you who are unfamiliar with Room 1550, its a massive conference room Huberman had constructed to hold his "Performance Management" sessions, which amounted to weekly verbal floggings, humiliations,and denigrations of central office managers who weren't living up to Ron's expectations. This room was built with all new accommodations, including multiple flat screen TV monitors, furniture, carpeting, sound system, dry wall, paint, etc., all while Huberman was moaning about CPS's looming budget crisis. When Ron and his team of henchmen weren't using the room for their weekly "PM Sessions", it sat vacant. After Ron fled the scene, the room has been rarely used, a monument to Ron's massive ego, hypocrisy and wastefulness. Please send him the bill.

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