Pension Battle Heating Up

Pension Battle Heating Up

Welcome back! Today's education news includes a big New York Times story about the return of magnet programs in Chicago and elsewhere and lots of coverage of the union campaign against pension changes that would cost their members. Check it all out below, and follow comments and Twitter (@district299) throughout the day.

Magnet Schools Find a Renewed Embrace in Cities NYT: In Miami and many other cities, public schools that admit students districtwide and focus on themes like art, law or technology are gaining popularity after largely falling off the radar.

College student plans to run for Chicago mayor Tribune: Rumors about who might challenge Rahm Emanuel in the 2015 mayoral election have started to circulate, with mentions of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and a handful of aldermen.

Chicago unions organize to fight potential pension cuts WBEZ:Chicago’s most powerful public workers’ unions are banding together to fend off potential cuts to employee pensions. This effort comes as City Hall and Springfield struggle to dig Chicago out of its multi-billion-dollar pension crisis.

Pension overhaul shouldn’t slash retirement income: city unions Sun Times: During a news conference in Chicago, a police officer, a firefighter, a parking enforcement aide, a teacher, a pair of nurses and an audio-visual technician all carried the same message to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his Springfield allies.

Child care centers forced to wait months to renew licenses Catalyst: Staff shortages at the Department of Children and Family Services are causing some child care centers to wait months before their licenses can be renewed – causing problems for child care businesses and possibly putting children’s safety at risk.

Childhood bullying has lingering effects: study Sun Times: Those who suffered ongoing childhood bullying were most likely to have poor mental and physical health, a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows. But those who had been bullied for a time and reported it had stopped still showed signs of lingering health problems, such as such as symptoms of depression and lower self-worth, the study showed.

Girl, 15, Who Sprayed Mace at Chicago Military Academy in Custody: Police DNA Info: Nineteen students and a teacher were treated, but no serious injuries were reported, officials said.

Former Banker 'Makes Learning Math Fun' in New Job as Elementary Teacher DNA Info: Vernell Slaughter once crunched numbers working at a bank but now breaks them down as a math teacher.


Middle schools present vexing problem for D.C. leaders as parents choose other options WP: Dupont Circle’s Ross Elementary has undergone a transformation in recent years, morphing from a school that neighbors dismissed into one so highly sought-after that there is a near-hopeless waiting list for pre-kindergarten classes.

Mulgrew: Teacher Back-Pay "A Big Issue" Issue in Contract Negotiations WNYC: On WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show Monday, he said the importance of improving teacher working conditions, retaining teachers and back-pay are key issues for the union when it comes to negotiations with Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Cuomo Digs In Against de Blasio's Pre-K Tax WNYC: Cuomo's line of attack marks a new phase in his assault on de Blasio's push to tax city residents making $500,000 a year and more. The mayor needs the governor and the state legislature to approve his tax, and the State Senate's Republican co-leader, Dean Skelos, sides with Cuomo in opposing taxes during this Albany election year.

LAUSD leads charter school growth in California, and nation LA School Report: The state saw the start of 104 charter schools, bringing its total to 1,130. There are now 263 charter schools serving 143,580 students in LAUSD. That’s about about 20 percent of the student population.


Maryland students avoid ‘double-testing’ WP: About 25,000 elementary and middle school students in Maryland public schools, who will take the new Common Core exams for a test-drive next month, have been excused by federal officials from also having to take the Maryland School Assessment.

N.C. Becomes First Race to Top State to Win Teacher-Evaluation Delay PK12: North Carolina (and other Race to the Top states) made certain promises to win their big Race to the Top grants. And in its Feb. 12 approval letter, department officials note this one-year extension will, in fact, delay the teacher-evaluation part of the state's sweeping $400 million plan. Three other states have been approved for this one-year teacher-evaluation delay: Mississippi, Nevada, and Kentucky.

Common Core Curriculum Now Has Critics on the Left NYT: The newest chorus of complaints about the common learning standards is coming from one of their earliest champions: New York State.

States Want Kids To Learn A Lot — Maybe Too Much NPR: When state legislators impose mandates on schools, educators get nervous. Sometimes, lawmakers want kids to learn legitimate skills; other times, they try to micromanage lessons down to the historical event.

College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't NPR: Many students who don't ace the SAT and ACT tests apply to schools that make standardized test scores optional. A new study shows those students do just as well in college as those who submit their scores.

Survey: Students' Personal Data Are At Risk NPR: According to the first survey of how schools gather and use student data, there are no restrictions limiting private vendors use of that information, and most parents have no clue that schools let private companies store personal information about their children.



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  • South-side legislator joins the fight for community schools—right before the election @joravben

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