CTU Pledges Pension Fight

CTU Pledges Pension Fight

Now that the legislature has voted on the state pension deal, attention turns to Chicago and to CPS and CTU, whose head says that the union plans to put up a fight against similar moves. (See, I wasn't the only one wondering what CTU had done / was going to say.) In other districts, NYC boasts higher graduation rates, and around the nation Louisiana agrees to a two year moratorium on using new Common Core assessments to rate schools or evaluate teachers.

PENSION

What Does State Reform Mean For Chicago's Pensions? CBS Local: “We do not plan to go down without swinging on this,” said CTU President Karen Lewis. Chicago Teachers Union President Lewis calls Chicago's pension liabilities a revenue crisis – which could be solved, in part, by raising taxes.  See also:  Mayor Rahm gets ready to beat up some geezers Reader.

Pension deal could impact Chicago teachers Catalyst: Historically, the law governing the state Teachers Retirement System and the law governing the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund have been very similar. For example, a 2010 pension overhaul affected both pension systems in the same way. However, such changes would require lawmakers to tackle the pension crisis anew right after a difficult and controversial vote, which public employee unions fought tooth and nail.

A cannon shot from Detroit Tribune: Union bosses who are furious at the Illinois General Assembly for passing pension reform can't wait to get into court to challenge the new law. They have a contract right, they say. The situation is even more acute at Chicago Public Schools. The school system faces about a $1 billion deficit next year.

The politics behind the pension vote WBEZ: Illinois lawmakers have approved a long-awaited plan to restructure retirement benefits for state employees and Gov. Pat Quinn says he’ll sign the bill into law. But labor groups are vowing to sue, saying the measure unlawfully cuts the pensions of their members. And even though the dialogue around changing the pension benefits of state employees started years ago, the proposal sets up a big fight for next year’s election.

Emanuel buys time Tribune: The mayor points to progress on Chicago's budget woes, but his efforts rely on bonds that are putting the city deeper in debt.

We Have Altered The Deal, Pray We Don’t Alter It Any Further CPS Chatter: I am writing this just moments after the Illinois Legislature rammed through a pension gutting bill and then immediately began spending these savings by passing them along to ADM.

MISC

Kenwood Academy honored for academicsHyde Park Herald: According to Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the 83 percent college enrollment rate at Kenwood, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., exceeds CPS's average of

Chicago Public Schools students on how good teachers make a difference White Rhino: In this post we again here from students directly concerning the positive role that teachers and school can play for students in difficult personal and neighborhood surroundings. The insightful excerpted comments below come from 5 students in the Chicago Public Schools, courtesy of their English teacher, Ray Salazar.

Text Slang Installed on School Puzzles Parents, Teachers, Students DNAI: The message was put up by the closed Dumas Academy, but the new principal does not plan to take it down.

Life After Death in Chicago NYT: Carlos Javier Ortiz has been documenting the effects of violence in urban areas, going into homes and neighborhoods that have been often overlooked.

U.S. private school students not much better than public school student in math Hechinger Report: Where private school students shine is in reading, outperforming their public school peers by 22 points. Private school students, if they formed a separate nation, would rank at #10 behind Ireland in this subject. However, if we broke out the private school students for each nation, their scores would be higher too and American private school kids would no longer be among the top 10 readers. Indeed, US private school students would be no better than average.

NATIONAL

Two States Approved for ESEA Teacher Evaluation Extension Waiver PoliticsK12: Two states—Nevada and Mississippi—will get extra time to implement the teacher-evaluation portion of their waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act, the U.S. Department of Education announced today. [12 of 34 eligible states applied]

Common Core delay wins approval NOLA.com: The committee vote, likely to be ratified by BESE on Wednesday, followed months of anxiety from educators who feared losing their jobs and their schools' good letter grades, and some criticism that the changes have come too fast.

K-12 Policy Warfare in Indiana Persists With Leak of New Group's Agenda State EdWatch: Indiana superintendent Glenda Ritz says the document shows state officials are planning to remove her as chairwoman of the state school board.

New STEM push from ALEC Politico: The group has found tremendous interest in science, technology, engineering and math education from ALEC members, potential for public-private partnerships, and bipartisan lawmaking on STEM issues, ALEC Education Director Lindsay Russell told Morning Education.

Gates, Zuckerberg chip in to fund broadband in schools Washington Post: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates are among several philanthropists who have pledged $9 million to a nonprofit organization that is trying to bring the Internet to public school classrooms around the country.

OTHER DISTRICTS

Mayor Boasts High Grad Rates Six Months Ahead of Schedule WNYC: The four-year graduation rate for students entering high school in 2009 reached 66 percent, an all-time high, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Wednesday, up from a rate of 64.7 percent the previous school year.

With New Mayor Coming in, N.Y.C. Teacher Contract Continues to Languish Teacher Beat: One of the big questions on the table, of course is money, and whether members of the United Federation of Teachers will get retroactive raises in line with what other city workers have received. But other areas are equally worth pointing to. They include: seniority and teacher discipline

Video: Principal accused of banning students from speaking Spanish NBC News: A Texas middle school principal is accused of banning students from speaking Spanish in the classrooms. KPRC's Jace Larson reports. (NBC News)

These Days, School Lunch Hours Are More Like 15 Minutes NPR: In a new poll, parents complain that their children are not getting nearly enough time for a basic school ritual: eating lunch. And that's worrying parents and administrators, given that about one-third of American kids are overweight or obese.

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