Charter Discipline Alignment

Charter Discipline Alignment

Today's education news: CTU protests Whole Foods firing.  CPS coach and kids involved in separate shootings. CPS wants to change charter school discipline policies, too. Elsewhere: NYC has to decide how much to pay pre-K teachers.  Houston goes ahead with its 1:1 computer initiative.


That’s cold, Whole Foods: Polar vortex firing spurs Chicago strike Salon: Whole Foods workers in Chicago walked off the job Wednesday in support of a co-worker they say was wrongly fired after staying home with “her special needs son” during last week’s polar vortex.

CTU boss among 40 protesting firing of Whole Foods employee Sun Times: Broschat, who said she'd worked at Whole Foods for about two years before she was fired, said she was a good, reliable employee who found herself in a bind when Chicago Public Schools canceled classes on Jan. 28 — a day she was scheduled to work.

CTU President, Protesters Push Back Against 'Unjust' Whole Foods Firing Progress IL: Before protesting at the store, located at 3460 N. Halsted St., the protesters picketed the regional offices for Whole Foods on Lasalle Street in the River North neighborhood. The protesters were joined by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who spoke out in support of Broschat.


No bail in shooting that paralyzed coach Sun Times: The alleged gunman who left a Marshall-Metro High School coach paralyzed from the waist down after he tried to shield his daughter from gunfire was ordered held without bail Wednesday.

Family members mourn teen shot dead at Rogers Park McDonald’s CLTV: Students from Amundsen High School sent these messages of condolence to the Carr family this afternoon.  Some say–Markeyo, we’ll miss you– rest in peace. Sentiments echoed outside school Thursday.

CPS moves toward ending zero-tolerance discipline Tribune: Byrd-Bennett said that as part of a larger effort for more accountability from charter schools, she wants her team to look at the charter approval and renewal process and look at giving preference to charters that agree to align with the district's limits on suspensions. She said the district could ask charters to adopt the policy of cutting 10-day suspensions for severe misbehavior to five days.


Controversial Rahm Skit Stays in Teen Play, Sells Out Opening Night DNA Info: In "Cold Summer," Omari Ferrell, a junior from Kenwood Academy, plays "Mayor Rahmye," a cross between Emanuel and Kanye West, who proclaims, "I'm Hitler, Stalin, Christopher Columbus."

Chicago Teachers Union Backs Former Education Activist in State Race DNA Info: Jay Travis got an early endorsement Tuesday from the Chicago Teachers Union in her bid to unseat Christian Mitchell as the state representative for the 26th District.

High schools' charity drives are big business Tribune: The two high schools have an involved process to select the charities that benefit from their drives and draw enormous interest from small to mid-sized Chicago area non-profits. The process involves applications, interviews and video presentations.


An Olive Branch? Chancellor to Meet with Charter School Leaders WNYC: It's noteworthy because Fariña's boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, has been cool to the privately-run but publicly-financed schools. Charters are waiting to hear how he may proceed with a proposal to charge charters rent on a sliding scale, and whether he will impose a year-long moratorium on any more co-locations, the placement of new schools inside existing school buildings and a favored policy of the Bloomberg administration.

UTLA tax return offers glimpse behind the curtain LA School Report: For the year ending August, 2012 (the most recent available), the union reported a 2.5 percent drop in total revenue, and a 4 percent drop in membership dues. While salaries remained about the same, at $8 million, expenses were trimmed, avoiding a repeat of the deficit it reported in 2011.

In teacher pay gap, another obstacle for de Blasio’s pre-K plan ChalkbeatNY: Public school pre-K teachers, who are part of the city teachers union, need a college degree and a state teaching certificate. The head pre-K teachers at childcare centers also must have a college degree, but they can start teaching without a certificate if they have a plan to earn one within five years.

In Boston, low-performing schools navigate Common Core standards Hechinger Report: Jim Stergios, executive director of Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based think tank that focuses on education, says the new standards will only increase inequality and achievement gaps.

How much time do D.C. Public Schools spend testing? Washington Post: Teach Plus examined school system assessment calendars in 12 large cities. Teachers surveyed by Teach Plus said that they actually lose much more instructional time to testing than is reflected on official calendars. Elementary-school teachers said they spent more than twice the amount of time testing than accounted for on the calendars.

New Orleans school closure process has uneven effect on students at failing schools The Lens: The reality, however, is messier. Of the four schools that were closed last summer, students from two of them generally attend better ones — in the case of Habans, significantly better. Those who were at the other two mostly ended up in similar, poorly performing schools.

CORE districts’ tackling of tough issues impresses federal official EdSource: A high-ranking federal education official – a woman with Secretary Arne Duncan’s ear – said she liked what she heard at the first meeting of the committee overseeing eight California districts that have received the nation’s only district waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Unfazed, Houston Pushes Ahead on 1-to-1 Computing EdWeek: Jackie Cornejo, 16, left, and Elisa Martinez, 16, work on a problem in a math class at the Young Women's College Preparatory Academy in Houston. The school is one of the first in the Houston district to give laptops to students for use at school

Bold Lesson: Florida School District Swaps Cops for Counseling EdNation: A couple of years after arriving as superintendent of the Broward County Public Schools, Robert Runcie turned the district's discipline policies upside down.


Harkin: A High-Quality Early-Education Program Will Cost Money PK12: On Wednesday, the chairman of the House education committee—Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.—said that Congress must get a handle on the patchwork of existing federal programs before diving into a brand new, pricey initiative. (The bill has been introduced in the House by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.)

Who 'Won' The Creation Vs. Evolution Debate? NPR: Days after a wide-ranging debate on creationism and evolution between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, the topic is driving an online conversation about points raised in the debate. Themes of belief and literalism, logic and faith — and, for some, relevance — are being debated online.


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  • EDITORIAL: Choose school wisely, hold schools accountable NWI via @CTULocal1

  • When charters accept security transfers as well as students from Jefferson and York then the playing field will be even.

  • I'd love to see charter school 'success' once they change their discipline policies to match CPS. Charters will no longer be able to force out the students that will drag down their scores. A lawyer could probably make a lot of money representing families kicked out of charter schools. This is why charters aren't in middle class neighborhoods. The middle class won't put their kids in charter schools because they know they're low-quality and charter schools don't want to deal with educated, litigious people. It's much easier being poverty pimps.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Illinois charter law specifically targets underserved neighborhoods - that is why charter schools are not in "middle class" areas.

    The ability to effectively remove disruptive and belligerent kids from the school is probably the most important reason why families choose charters. That is why they exist and that is why charter school need "neighborhood" schools. It's an unpleasant but pragmatic solution.

    Wow. As a neighborhood school mom, I find your comment offensive. Really? Neighborhood schools are "needed" only to take in belligerent and disruptive kids?

    I'll tell you what would be pragmatic. How about we allow charter schools to exist ONLY take in the small percentage of belligerent and disruptive kids. Give them very small class sizes, specially trained teachers and special services like daily medical help, therapy and counseling.

    How about we create charters that will help kids get what they need to perhaps move BACK SAFELY into the neighborhood schools.

    I would be TOTALLY fine with charter schools -- serving kids who need special services and who are daily disrupting neighborhood school classrooms. HELPING them.

    That would be so "pleasant" if my child could go to school without having to deal with the daily disruptions he and his classmates endure -- from a SMALL percentage of the kids in his classroom.

  • In reply to anonymous:

    That would be fine as well - I have no problem with your suggestion at all. You are absolutely right in your last paragraph - that would be pleasant. Right now though, charter schools can offer that situation and "neighborhood" schools, through no fault of their own making, cannot do that.


    I appreciate your response. I guess the point of view I have is that charters should actually not even be allowed to function unless they have a different purpose. It seems redundant and a waste of our money to open schools to be, well, exactly what the neighborhood schools are supposed to be. But then we give them the advantage over neighborhood schools in that they have marketing dollars and can transfer out the disruptive kids.

    I am very naive, however. So I know that I tend to shoot from the hip emotionally.

    You probably know far more than I do.

    I guess I just can't wait until my kids are out of CPS! But that won't be for many years.

    I have joked about this before, but it's not really funny. I think all the neighborhood schools need to do is to change their names. They must simply pick one or two of these words, "academy, leadership, change, forward, excellence, center," and presto change-o. Taking a few of the north side neighborhood schools under this scenario, we'd have The Hamilton Center for Academic Excellence. Or the Prescott Leadership Academy. It's not so hard. : )

  • In reply to anonymous:

    CPS parent's response is symptomatic of the ignorance, hatred, and evil charter schools represent. Even the most challenging student can turn around and succeed, or at least not be severely disruptive to the learning process. The first step is to not see students as 'broken' or a burden on the system, and instead see the system as needing change. Disruptive students can't handle charters because they are one-size-fits all. If Noble Charter Network can no longer fine students for untied shoes, forcing the poorest and most-at-risk students out and back to the neighborhood schools, their scores will drop.

    CPS parent basically admits that charters force out the most challenging students and yet charters do not better or worse, on average, than neighborhood schools. What this tells us is that if you send your child to a charter school there will be fewer disruptive students but your child won't learn any more than the neighborhood school where the 'disruptive' students are enrolled. Maybe charters are just a bunch of crap and the only purpose they serve is to break the union, take power and money away from middle class teachers and put it in the hands of corporations?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I agree with you as well. The system is indeed in need of change and although an imperfect solution, the combination of charter schools and "neighborhood" schools is allowing that change to happen. Effective discipline can't happen until the threat of expulsion is real and close at hand. That option has been handed to charter schools. If the roles were reversed that would be fine as well.

    I suspect that most larger charter school systems will eventually be unionized. UNO, Chicago's largest charter school operator (13 schools) has been unionized since April, 2013. I think this is positive on two fronts - it improves the checks and balances in the schools and takes the argument that charters are all about "union busting" of the table.

    In Chicago there aren't any for profit charter schools run by for profit corporations. I do realize that some charter schools use for profit companies to provide certain services to the schools. CPS does this as well, of course.

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    "Effective discipline can't happen until the threat of expulsion is real and close at hand." Really? You don't understand children. I'm glad you're a parent and not an educator. If expulsion and suspension worked, CPS would be the best system in the nation.

    Charters with only a dozen campuses pay their directors or CEOs or whatever they call them more than BBB gets paid. Might not be officially 'for profit' but it certainly enriches the few while impoverishing the many.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The reason why CPS suffers from poor and transient leadership is because the salary for the chief executive is too low - by a multiple of two or three. A principal makes half of what BBB makes for running one school - think about it. She has to run 450. Suspension doesn't work, I agree. Neighborhood schools can't expel kids.

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    This is the type of thinking that creates $3 million/year college football coaches. If you think $1 million/year would get attract a quality CEO you are out of your mind. Now, if we had a superintendent instead who put education first I think you would find many high quality candidates who wouldn't demand exorbitant salaries.

    By the way, BBB doesn't run 450 schools- heck, she hasn't even visited most CPS schools. Most of what she "does" is delegate- a classic Chicago mismanagement technique.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    There are many qualified candidates form Illinois who would apply to CPS if not for the residency requirement. A suburban superintendent who is familiar with the instability of the position (how many have we had in the past ten years) may not wish to uproot his/her family. CPS is almost forced to take people like Mr. Brizard who used the position to bolster his resume or Ms Bennett, who is at the end of her career.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I think you argument actually strengthens the need for a much more substantial pay package.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Chicago is only a pied-à-terre for BBB.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I would gladly take the CEO position if I was confident the Mayor wouldn't interfere. Duncan lasted a decade at a lower salary. In comparison to Rahm, Daley rarely interfered except to borrow money to build schools. The reason superintendents don't last more than a couple of years is because their corporate overlords are demanding they make so many changes with many of them unproven, untested, and some that have proven to be damaging to children that they can't do it more than a couple years before they are burned out. Small district superintendents last much longer because they aren't in the reform cross hairs. It has nothing to do with pay. It has everything to do with ethics and dedication.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Thank you for making yourself available.

    I think your mention of "corporate overlords" and "reform cross hairs" indicate you see public education through highly politically filtered lenses but I don't see the logic of your argument. If anything, what you allude to, bolsters my position that, at the current compensation level, CPS cannot attract a suitable and qualified CEO willing to take on the task.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I agree that CPS's mission is education. CPS is also Chicago's largest employer, it's largest social service agency, and largest food service operator to name just few aspects of the enterprise to illustrate its scale. At 5.5 billion dollars annual revenue, CPS is similar in size to Harley Davidson, Owens Corning, and Facebook to name just a few.

    My position is that a highly qualified and suitable candidate for this position will have many career options in both the private and public sector on a national basis. The chief executive of even a tiny college or a small school district (6-20 schools) will have a similar or higher compensation packages. You get what you pay for and 250k is not much these days. Even ardent socialists are agreeable to a ten time pay differential between the lowest paid employee and the highest - the current CEO pay is still below that multiple.

    As far as you last paragraph - if your idea for visiting schools and not delegating is paramount for good leadership for CPS is widely held then there truly isn't much that can be done to improve CPS.

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    Isn't Geoffrey Canada free now?

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    Using CPS Parent's logic the president should be a trillionaire.

    There are plenty of qualified, dedicated individuals who could do a much better job than BBB, Brizard, Huberman, Duncan, Vallas, et al and who would do it for less than what these "CEO"s made.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    With all due respect, that is not my logic but yours. The presidency is an elected, political position, The CPS CEO position is not.

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    OK, how about billions for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Education, etc etc?

    If you think the CEO is not a "political" position your are naive.

    It is clear you do not know any real educators. There are many that would take on the responsibility of CPS Superintendent for less than BBB and do a superior job. The problem is the mayor, his appointed lapdog school board, and inappropriate pressure from the rich and powerful.

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    How much money would it take for someone to be micromanaged by Emanuel. The problem isn't the pay scale, rather it is the job. No real educator is going to want to run the Chicago Public Schools with our current mayor and the current climate of corporate an political pressure. Your "money solves the problem" philosophy is completely misplaced in the world of education.


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