Was CPS Right To Reverse?

Was CPS Right To Reverse?

Good morning! CPS reconsidered the idea of sending kids and teachers to school today and decided to cancel classes. Was it the right call, or should it have happened differently?  What do you think they should do tomorrow? Plus other news and national headlines.


Chicago reverses course, cancels school on Monday AP: Chicago Public School officials say they're cancelling classes ahead of Monday's bitter cold temperatures, after first saying they would be open....

CPS to Close Schools Monday DNA Info: “The safety and well-being of our students is paramount,” CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said.

Schools closed in Chicago, across suburbs because of cold Tribune: Jeff Miller considers himself one of the lucky ones. The Highland Park resident, who works for Zion Elementary School District 6, and his wife get to stay home from work Monday because of subzero temperatures and care for their first-grade daughter,...


CPS Report: Teacher Given $1.253 Million Expense Check Instead of $1,253 DNAI: The CPS report also includes a school tech creating fake vendors and a principal with "ghost" students.

Former CPS high school employee accused of embezzlement Tribune: A technology coordinator at a North Side high school embezzled nearly $420,000 from Chicago Public Schools in an elaborate, decadelong fraudulent billing scheme, according to an investigation highlighted in the district inspector general's annual report....

CPS report highlights stolen funds, fake vendors, ‘ghost students’ Tribune: A Chicago Public Schools technology coordinator stole more than $400,000 in school funds before fleeing to Mexico, where he was later found dead, according to a just-released Chicago Board of Education Office of the Inspector General annual report.


Problem Solver: School transcript snag holds up dream job Tribune: It wasn't by choice that Dan DeWitt took a job outside St. Louis, roughly 300 miles from his home. The Orland Park resident's old employer went bankrupt five years ago, leaving him with mounting bills and the threat of his lender foreclosing on his...

School's beloved orchestra survives closing, but future budget cuts loom WBEZ: Just before the holiday break, Weible stood on the stage in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Chopin Elementary auditorium.

State agency overrules CPS for charter funding WBEZ: The Des Plaines-based organization operates 30 publicly financed privately-run schools in the Midwest, a majority of them in Ohio. The two new schools will be located in the McKinley Park and Austin neighborhoods. They are getting 33 percent more funding per student than the city school system gives other charters.

Minority students make up new majority in Illinois public schools Tribune: New enrollment numbers show that lllinois' public school system for the first time does not have a white majority, with Latino, black, Asian and other racial groups combined eclipsing white students across the state's classrooms.


After Radical Change, R.I. School Shows Signs Of Improvement NPR: In 2010, Central Falls made headlines for firing every high school teacher. The firings were part of a federal program promising big changes at the nation's worst schools. Four years later, there are signs the program is helping, but there are also questions about whether the improvement will last.

L.A. Unified finally hiring teachers again LA Times: After an extended period of layoffs and hiring freezes, the Los Angeles Unified School District has resumed bringing on new teachers, while also being more selective about their quality than in the past.

Report gives local Teach for America educators high marks in math Baltimore Sun: Study finds that teachers in the alternative certification program are as effective at teaching math as their peers

GED Gets A Makeover To Keep Pace With Changing Workforce NPR: The GED test is getting an overhaul. The exam has historically served adults who have fallen through the cracks of the educational system. NPR's Rachel Martin talks with Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, about the impact of the new GED exams.

NYC Schools Chancellor Pick Carmen Fariña Leaves More Questions Than Answers HuffPost: Farina only has two days between her appointment and the first day of her job. The quick turnaround means advocates and experts throughout the country are left to wonder whether -- and how soon -- the mayor and his new schools chief will be able to deliver on their progressive promises when tasked with the management of the city's largest agency.

The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course WNYC: One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.

School Experiment That Burned Boy Was Focus of Federal Warning NYT: A video produced by a safety agency warned of the dangers of a chemistry experiment that went awry at a Manhattan school this week.


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  • Of course the schools should be closed, but parents rely on CPS for more than just an education. CPS just shifted these kids from the schools to the Chicago Park Districts. Parent who work while their kids are in school still have to go to work. Those kids are still going to be outside in the cold, but now they are going to a CPD facility. It was always up to the parents to decide what was best for their children. If they felt it was too cold the parents could have kept the kids home. CPS closing just pushed those who needed their services to locations farther from home.

  • Kudos to BBB for exerting common sense, a trait sorely lacking in CPS.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    BBB was the absolute last to close schools because of dangerous weather. That’s not leadership – it’s followship

  • Great decision! She needs to address a couple more situations soon.

  • Give credit where credit is due--Karen Lewis of CTU shined the light on bbb's first mistake based-from Ohio decision.

  • I'm glad to see B3 in Chicago on a Monday. She is normally only in Chicago Tuesday thru Thursday (B3 still lives in Cleveland). Chicago Public Schools will also be closed on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 according to the press conference that just happened.

  • It was the wrong decision. But, I guess those teachers have to be protected from the cold. Forcing them to work would border on abuse. Chicago is becoming a city of wussified whiners.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    It's not about the teachers, its about small, young children that don't have proper clothing to walk sometimes half a mile to school, and about older students that travel across the city on public transportation. Its about their safety, but if you want to make a b.s. claim to satisfy your angry-old-white man politics, Peter Bella, go ahead. Besides, it's your blog on ChicagoNow, where you whine about whining? Its like your specialize in whining about whining. Thats your thing, huh?
    ""Woe is me" may be the new city motto. Welcome to Chiberia. The Whiny City. The City of Bony Shoulders. The I Can't City. The City that Don't Work. The Complaining Capital of the World."

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    Dear Mr Bella

    Can we assume you are writing from experience?
    My dog would not go outside this morning to pee.
    She has more sense than some people.

  • official CPS announcement re tuesday closing: CPS SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN CLOSED TUESDAY

    Extreme Cold and High Winds Force Closure of Schools for a Second Day

    CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will remain closed Tuesday due to the extreme cold temperatures and high winds that remain in the area. District officials continue to monitor the weather conditions, but Tuesday’s continuation of subzero temperatures and high winds will make it dangerous for children and families getting to and from school.

    “At Chicago Public Schools, the safety and security of Chicago’s children is our number one priority,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “The decision to close schools is never easy. However, based on the severity of the weather we are expecting Tuesday, I am confident that this decision is in the best interest of CPS students.”

    CPS’ management team continues to work in collaboration with other city departments to ensure that schools are prepared for students and staff once it’s safe for them to return.

    The District has begun the process to notify parents of the continued closure through all of its regular communication channels via robo-calls, emails, and through media outlets. Parents can also call (773) 553-3100 or visit the CPS website for more information. All after-school and sporting activities remain closed Tuesday.

    For families seeking alternative youth programs and services, all Chicago Park District facilities will be open during normal operating hours. These times vary; please check hours for specific parks on the Park District website or by calling the specific park.

    Classes will likely resume Wednesday as temperatures are expected to increase, but CPS will continue to monitor the situation Tuesday and will make an announcement at that time.

  • Opinion: CPS Blinks in the Face of CTU | NBC Chicago http://ht.ly/skneE

  • I feel like a lot of the grief lobbed at BBB would be avoided if she would just have one smart intern on her staff focus on the optics of the public decisions being made. A grad student can write daily briefs on how the public will respond to public decisions and talk through the potential for blowback on some of the more public decisions/messages being delivered. I know the joke about CPS's communications department and what a waste of money it is. C'mon CPS CO, I work for you and I want to believe in you but you have to do things that allow me to believe your making an honest attempt at leadership! Total agreement with the "followship" comment.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Kermit v3:

    This is the problem with abrasive groupthink. If you punish all dissent, you input individual brilliance and end up with communal idiocy.

  • ….a smart intern on a CO staff….they wouldn't last….

    Ms Byrd-Bennet needs to address the sub shortage and the fact that sped teachers' programs are closed down so that they can sub…..this has gotten worse since last year due to per pupil budgeting….sped teachers and other anxiliary staff are told not to enter their absences in AESOP…..saves the school money……this is a terrible thing to do to the children with disabilities, ELL students and any other children who get pulled out for support.

  • There are so many issues for the superintendent to address as always in District 299. Better late than never on the school closing decision. ELL is a big one too with many issues. P.E. is big and will be reinstituted as the waiver is being lifted for juniors and seniors in 2014. CPS needs about 300-350 PE teachers. How will they find that number and how will they fund this? I won't talk about the sports office other than to say they are understaffed and need professional help at the leadership level.

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