Today's news includes coverage of the charter expansion hearing, an update about how things have been going at "welcoming" school Haley, sad news about a charter school student who was beaten and assaulted on her way to school, and news that CPS may move its headquarters to cheaper space. National news includes coverage of speculation over the next NYC chancellor, the Walton Foundation's advocacy for vouchers, and controversy in New Mexico over (you guessed it) teacher evaluation.
Hearing attracts charter supporters, some who do not know what they are supporting WBEZ: Hundreds of charter school supporters packed a Chicago Public Schools headquarters room for a hearing Monday night that was scheduled to last four and a half hours. But some of the group’s supporters, wearing light blue “Concept Schools” T-shirts, did not seem to know what they were there for.
Charter schools propose big expansion Catalyst: The embattled UNO Charter School Network had originally submitted a proposal for this round, according to CPS, but eventually withdrew it, as did two other charter school operators. The other proposals are from new operators, including a cadre of teachers and an after-school provider who wants to do more for neighborhood children in Austin.
Charter School Operators Make Their Case for New Schools to CPS Officials DNAI: CPS is graduating kids that can barely read. I can't hire them,' one prospective school leader said.
SAFETY / SAFE PASSAGES
At Chicago's Haley Elementary School, transition from school closings goes smoother than expected Tribune: Now, as Chicago Public Schools heads into winter break, the students who transferred from West Pullman Elementary seem to be getting along with their classmates at Haley. Some are on theschool's sports teams, and many more have made new friends.
Girl, 15, found beaten near Safe Passage Route Tribune: A 15-year-old girl was found beaten and unconscious in the back yard of a home near a Safe Passage route in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood on the Northwest Side, officials said.
Girl, 15, beat and sexually assaulted near CPS Safe Passage route CLTV: The girl was walking to catch her bus to a charter school, just 50 yards off a public school Safe Passage route, when she was hit in the head and dragged into a nearby backyard around 6 a.m.
Chicago Workers Owe City Millions in Unpaid Debt NBC Chicago: Chicago pays high school principal Devon Horton $131,000 a year plus benefits to lead Wendell Phillips Academy. Horton has mingled with the mayor and dabbled in real estate. He also owes nearly $63,000 to the city.
Can improvement districts help save Chicago schools? Tribune (editorial): Struggling public schools in some Chicago neighborhoods only provide further incentive for middle-class families to choose suburban enclaves. But the story of urban planning that began with Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago is a tale of
CPS plans money-saving move to smaller headquarters Tribune: Facing steep fiscal challenges, Chicago Public Schools plans to downsize central office operations by next fall. The district is considering moving its downtown offices, at 125 S. Clark St., a few blocks away, to 1 N. Dearborn St.
Kelvyn Park Would Add Grades to Accommodate Ames Change to Military School DNAI: McAuliffe would also add grades to accommodate neighborhood kids once Ames opens to students citywide.
Wanted: Schools Chief Who Has Never Crossed de Blasio on Education NYT: Two weeks before he takes office, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has yet to pick a schools chancellor to carry out his education agenda in New York City.
Fla. School To Change Controversial Name NPR: A school board in Jacksonville, Fla., has decided that one of its schools should no longer be named after Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest. He was also a general in the Civil War. Nathan Bedford Forrest High School received its name in the 1950s, and for decades the decision has been debated.
New Mexico Teachers Resist a State Official’s Plan for Evaluating Them NYT: Many rank-and-file teachers view Ms. Skandera skeptically. She has never been a full-time teacher, and educators here echo what is a common criticism of such administrators: that she cannot fully comprehend the challenges they face, especially in a state troubled by deep poverty and other social problems.
Walton foundation pumps cash into vouchers Washington Post: The Walton Family Foundation is pumping $6 million into a Washington-based group that promotes private school vouchers in D.C. and around the country — a donation that it hopes will double the number of students using tax dollars to pay private school tuition.
Chancellor at University of California to Become Chief at Gates Foundation NYT: Susan Desmond-Hellmann, chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco, will take the foundation’s helm in May.
School systems in S.C., Miss., Tex., Ky. and Ark. win $120 million in federal grants Washington Post: Five school districts won grants ranging from $4 million to $20 million as part of Race to the Top, the Obama administration’s signature competition for K-12 education, the Education Department announced Tuesday.
Study: 4 in 10 finish college where they start AP: The dire numbers underscore the challenges that colleges confront as they look to bring in more students and send them out into the world as graduates. The numbers also could complicate matters for students at schools with low graduation rates; the U.S. Department of Education's still-emerging college rating system is considering linking colleges' performances with federal financial aid.
Harvard Student Charged for Bomb Threats That Cancelled Exams Atlantic:He works as a research assistant on campus, writes for the Harvard International Review, and dances with the Harvard Breakers. "In his free time, he enjoys playing pool, trying new restaurants, watching terrible cult films, and playing with his Mini Schnauzer puppy," it reads.