Today's news mostly comes from yesterday's Board meeting: The start of the new budget and pension debates, continued concerns about charter expulsions (see dueling editorials from the Sun Times and Tribune), plus more about testing protests. Oh, and the calendar for next year has been changed. Meantime, great comments on recent posts -- about Rham, CTU, and me. ALL CAPS!
How to rescue pensions for Chicago's City Hall and CPS Tribune (editorial): In any rising crisis, there's efficiency in proposing the most devastating, least workable solutions as early as possible: That allows discussions to migrate quickly toward more reasonable fixes before the crisis — here it's the threatened implosion of public pensions for Chicago police, firefighters, teachers and other workers — reaches a terrible climax.
CPS, CTU to take another stab at pension overhaul Tribune: After months of stalled negotiations over pension reform, Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Teachers Union officials said Wednesday that both sides will meet next month to try once more for a solution to the district's biggest financial problem.
CPS chief wants same pension reform state passed for other teachers Sun Times: Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett made her position on the looming pension overhaul crystal clear — and she’s echoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “CPS is seeking the same changes recently made by the state of Illinois to their pension system,” she told the Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday. “
CPS "fiscal crisis" takes center stage Catalyst: Imposing the changes made to the state employee pension system on CPS would save the school district $250 million, Byrd-Bennett said. The declaration that the district is in financial trouble is an annual ritual. This year, however, the alarm is louder because schools were hit hard with budget cuts last year—a point reiterated numerous times by parents at Wednesday’s School Board meeting.
CPS Per-Pupil Funding Should Be Increased, Parents Say DNAinfo: CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett fell back on pension woes as an excuse. She said that long-overdue pension payments required this year would cost the district $613 million, more than $400 million more than last year, and would climb to...
Charter school students 11 times more likely to be expelled: CPS Chicago Sun-Times: ... if teachers refused to do so. CPS officials declined to comment. When asked Wednesday whether teachers who refuse to administer the ISAT should be punished, Emanuel said: “Barbara's going to address that,” referring to CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett. Interactive map here.
Do charters expel too many students? Chicago Tribune: But few will argue this: The vast majority of teachers and principals don't expel students comfortably or capriciously. Expulsion signals multiple failures. CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is dismantling the district's much-maligned zero-tolerance
Editorial: Why do charter schools expel more students? Chicago Sun-Times: That work remains in its infancy and CPS, under CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett's leadership, has pledged to do more. She's assembled a task force, including charter school leadership, that is expected to recommend further changes to the student discipline...
Teachers at Saucedo say "No" to state tests Catalyst: With nearly 40 percent of their students already opting out of the ISAT, teachers at Saucedo Scholastic Academy—a high-achieving magnet school—took the bold step on Tuesday of voting to refuse to administer it.
Some CPS Teachers Boycotting ISAT Chicago Tonight: CPS Chief Accountability Officer John Barker says though the ISAT is not being used as it has been in the past, it is still critical for the district. Barker says teachers do not have the right to opt out of giving the ISAT without facing disciplinary measures.
Are Chicago's elite private schools as diverse as they claim to be? Reader: The socioeconomic makeup of the city's elite private schools is a public policy issue—or should be one. University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Hyde Park, the Latin School of Chicago in the Gold Coast, and the Francis Parker School in Lincoln Park are expensive and private, but they believe deeply in diversity—racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic.…
CPS school year to start after Labor Day CLTV: Chicago Public Schools students will begin their school year after Labor Day next fall. CPS changed the master calendar Wednesday, approving a start date of Tuesday, September 2. Officials say they pushed back the start of the school year after getting feedback from parents and the teachers union. One other change the district reinstated Presidents ‘Day as a holiday instead of Lincoln’s birthday.
Parents rallying to keep Beverly school principal Chicago Sun-Times: The LSC contends that Gannon's work “does not meet expectations” — even though Sutherland's test scores have remained high and Gannon won a $10,000 merit award from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett.
More transparency from Mayor Rahm and CPS Reader: My recent opus on the saga at Ames Middle School was so complicated that I never got around to telling you one of my favorite parts: the so-called FOIAgate angle. So allow me to eat some hummus for fortification—ah, delicious—take a deep breath, and proceed .
Teachers Unions Mobilize To Delay The Common Core NPR: The president of the largest U.S. teachers union is calling on school districts to delay adopting the Common Core education standards.
Chris Christie faces new uproar in state’s largest city Politico: On Wednesday evening, teachers unions ratcheted up the pressure as American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten sent Christie a letter demanding that he relinquish control over the troubled school district, which the state has run since 1994.
Five Points from Secretary Arne Duncan on Latinos and Education NBC: On Thursday President Barack Obama will launch an initiative geared toward young men and boys of color to improve their chances for success.
Fed Up With Zero Tolerance In Schools, Advocates Push For Change NPR: Studies show that harsh policies, including criminalization, don't help the students who are removed from the classroom — and that schools punish black, Latino and disabled students more harshly.
Ban on junk food marketing in schools? MSNBC: Schools across the country will soon have to eliminate any posters or billboards advertising unhealthy snacks on campus. The White House is banning junk food ads to build on new regulations setting sugar and fat limits for any food sold in schools.
At school closings meetings, school choice groups learn the lay of the land in Memphis Chalkbeat Memphis: A table set up at a screening of a documentary about the parent trigger act. The school district auditorium in midtown Memphis was crowded Tuesday.
From Ravitch to the Ritz: SXSWedu highlights Austin Chronicle: Reign of Error: The Danger of Privatizing Schools":Diane Ravitch, America's leading researcher on educational policy and the danger of the...
School Boards Association rises to challenge, proposes teacher dismissal bill EdSource: Picking up pieces from two failed attempts to rewrite the law on teacher dismissals, the California School Boards Association will lead this year’s attempt to make it easier and less expensive to fire teachers accused of serious misconduct and sex crimes against children.
5 lessons from Chalkbeat’s event on teacher evaluations by video ChalkbeatNY: Our first two guests, a teacher and assistant principal from a middle school in the South Bronx, discussed quirks of the Danielson Framework, the way a subtle classroom command can derail a lesson and when technology trumps person.
Chancellor Recommends Book to Calm Test Nerves WNYC: As city teachers prepare for the second year of more difficult state exams, Chancellor Carmen Fariña urged them to lighten up a little. "A good way to ease these concerns, especially for younger students, is to share Judith Finchler’s book, Testing Miss Malarkey (Walker Children, reprint 2003), which offers a humorous take on the world of standardized testing.
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