Monday School News

Monday School News

Today's education news: CPS is going to use NWEA MAP for selective enrollment, and reports a big drop in school suspensions, and has rolled out a plan for deciding the use of the vacant buildings.  John Cullerton has ideas about how CTU could help save the teachers' pension fund.   Plus: Schools are running out of snow days, and lots of schools in NYC have lunch that begins really early.

CPS switching test for elite schools Tribune: The first indication parents received of the shift to NWEA MAP came in a letter district CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett sent last week. Under the system used by the district that factors in academic performance and a student's economic circumstance, student

POLITICS

CTU President Karen Lewis: Bruce Rauner flip-flopped on minimum wage Sun Times: Chicago Teacher's Union President Karen Lewis isn't buying Bruce Rauner's contention that he really wants to raise the minimum wage — not lower it.

How to save Chicago teachers' pensions Tribune (Cullerton): I know firsthand that forging a solution with unions is possible, and I invite the Chicago Teachers Union to participate as other unions have regarding their pensions. The time to act is now.

SAFETY

36 percent drop in school suspensions at Chicago Public Schools Sun Times: "We know that suspensions cut into instructional time, and keep our students out of the classroom,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a statement.

CPS Touts Decline in Suspensions DNA: CPS saw a 36 percent decline in suspensions after implementing a revised code of conduct.

VACANT BUILDINGS

Mayor's committee releases recommendations for vacant schools Catalyst: The committee disclosed the estimate in a report outlining procedures for putting vacant schools back to work. The costs averaged $81,000 for each of 43 buildings and ranged from $17,000 to maintain Buckingham to $256,000 to keep Morgan up.

Committee releases CPS school repurposing plan WBEZ: There are 43 empty school buildings because of last year’s sweeping round of closures. The report didn’t come up with a plan for each school. Instead it set parameters for the district to repurpose the buildings.

Closed CPS Schools Could be Sold, as Panel Shapes Building Recommendations DNA: The Chicago High School for the Arts will takeover the former Lafayette Elementary School building.

SCHOOLS

Elementary School Tours – Privledge, Courtesy, or Right? CPS Obsesssed: I won’t name the school, but it is one of the well-regarded neighborhood elementaries.  Very high test scores (and as typically goes hand in hand, a low ratio of lower income students.)  You get the drift.  One of the schools that a parent might seek out a neighborhood for. Probably doesn’t take many/any kids via lottery. [25 comments]

Susan Kilbane, Principal of New Field Elementary, Resigns DNA: Kilbane said in a letter to parents that she would be stepping down for "family and personal" reasons.

A school lunch that's not cafeteria food Crain's Chicago Business: The first was urban farm pioneer Harry Rhodes, executive director of Growing Home, Chicago's first U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic farm. The other was the processed food their older son was served when he began preschool.

NATIONAL

Common Core and Medicaid Expansion: Comparing Big Decisions by States EdWeek: Does the widespread rebuke by states of the Medicaid expansion show that states are not so easily coerced by the federal government--and its money--after all?

Schools run short on snow days, adjust schedules AP: Students will make up at least three days in Philadelphia and New Haven, Conn., and two in Washington, D.C. Delaware schools have missed a week’s worth of class, and more than half of Maryland’s school districts reached or exceeded their allotted snow days. Boston is extending its school year by nearly a week. via ChalkbeatNY

Is Minnesota the Gold Standard for NCLB Waiver Implementation? PK12: A new batch of No Child Left Behind Act waiver monitoring reports shows that Oregon and Arkansas are among the many states that continue to stumble as they try to turn around their lowest-performing schools. However, if the U.S. Department of Education were giving waiver implementation grades, it seems that so far, Minnesota has gotten the only "A."

OTHER CITIES

Philly schools consider universal enrollment model AP: When it's time to enroll in school in Philadelphia, students face a bewildering array of choices: Neighborhood public school? Cyber school? Charter? Private or religious school? What about a specialty district school focused on science? Performing arts? International affairs?...

De Blasio Tests Political Might in Pre-K Push NYT: Mayor Bill de Blasio is now seeking to revive the populist zeal of his mayoral bid for a new campaign: persuading state lawmakers to back a tax increase to pay for prekindergarten.

Montgomery County, teachers reach tentative deal including raises, higher health premiums WP: The Montgomery County Board of Education and the union representing the county’s 12,000 teachers have reached a tentative deal on a contract granting raises totaling about 5.5 percent over three years, school officials announced Saturday. Read full artic

Tennessee Weighs The Cost Of A Free College Education NPR: Tennessee's governor has proposed to pay community college tuition for anyone who needs it. The plan is intended to help boost higher education completion rates for the state, which ranks near the bottom nationwide.

Is It Still Lunch at 10 a.m.? City Schools Serve Meals at Odd Hours WNYC: The data review, conducted by WNYC and the Daily News, revealed that more than 650 public schools throughout the city are serving lunch before 11 a.m.

New York Students Are Incredibly Stressed Out About Standardized Testing, Survey Says HuffPost: The survey shows that 78 percent of students in grades 1–12 who receive additional educational support as a result of a disability, past test performance or other factors are more stressed out this year than other years. In addition, 75 percent of students who do not receive additional educational support are also more stressed out.  Despite this, the PTA said it still supports the Common Core Standards.

District Leaders Urged to Rethink Community Engagement Strategies EdWeeK: Before school district leaders can effectively engage a community they must understand its racial and economic complexities, former Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent Howard Fuller says.

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