Suspension Questions

Suspension Questions

Are suspensions down as much as CPS is saying? Catalyst isn't so sure.  Jay Travis holds a press conference in front of closed Fiske school building. Meanwhile, New York City public radio profiles Sara E. Goode's six-year high school program, and Chicago Magazine profiles enhanced summer job training programs. Plus national news galore.

SUSPENSIONS

Schools chief, mayor push alternatives to suspending city students WBEZ: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett said Tuesday they want more student discipline in Chicago to look like what is going on at Wells, which also has 10 social workers -- they are interns from a college program -- and a “peace room” where students can work out conflicts before they become violent.

For the Record: Digging deeper into suspensions data Catalyst: A confidential document obtained by Catalyst Chicago shows that suspension data from last year is more troubling than something to boast about. Last year, young elementary-age students were suspended far more than in previous years.

MISC

Six Years of High School? An Educational Experiment in Chicago WNYC: At Sarah E. Goode, students attend high school for six years, graduating with a high school diploma and an associate's degree. The school is funded and in partnership with IBM, which means students also get hands on technical and business training, and the chance to land a job at IBM upon graduation. Twenty-six more such schools will open in three states by this fall.

Can Summer Jobs and Character Education Help At-Risk Chicago Teens? Chicago Magazine: New research, by Heller and many others, indicates that these forms of pedagogy, which were dominant in American public education from its origins until well into the 20th century, are interrelated. And the pendulum is swinging back from the peculiarly abstracted curriculum that American education has evolved into.

Chicago Public Schools Scale Back on Number of Standardized Tests Hispanically Speaking News: Though the school district has reduced the number of exams this year from 25 to 10, according to Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, opponents of the testing are not satisfied.

POLITICS

Travis Touts Her Education Activism, Criticizes Mitchell's Record In 26th District Race Progress IL:The group gathered in front of the now empty John Fiske Elementary school, located in Chicago’s West Woodlawn neighborhood. The school is one of 50 Chicago public schools that were shuttered last year.

Former FOP Boss Can't Get On Ballot For Next Union Election CBS2: It's personal against me because I'm one of two people in the city of Chicago who has spoken out against Mayor Emanuel and his administration,” Shields said then, identifying Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis as the other mayoral critic.

Don't slash teachers' pensions Chicago Tribune (opinion): Illinois Senate President John Cullerton wrote in the Chicago Tribune on Monday that the Chicago Teachers Union pension fund faces "a real crisis" because state law requires a $613 million payment to the fund by June 30.

NATIONAL

Holidays For Kids Mean Headaches For Administrators NPR: Schools across the country are running out of the planned snow days they'd put in place to deal with bad weather. As winter's blast of frigid temperatures and snowy conditions drags on, some school districts have kids at home completing assignments online while others are figuring out ways to deal with lost school days.

For Lower-Income Students, Snow Days Can Be Hungry Days NPR: When bad weather shuts down school or delays its openings, it locks out many needy kids from a key source of nutrition. Some 70 percent of U.S. schoolchildren who eat school lunches get them for free or at reduced prices.

House Democrats to Duncan: States are backsliding on help for low achievers WP: House Democratic leaders are worried that Education Secretary Arne Duncan is not doing enough to hold states accountable for educating public school students who are low-income, minority, disabled or English-language learners. See also HuffPostPK12

A fight is brewing over tests in the Common Core age WP: Testing season begins soon in U.S. public schools, requiring millions of students to spend days answering standardized questions in math and reading, as mandated by an outdated federal law. But this year is filled with tumult. Educators are questioning the purpose of testing, lawmakers in several states are pushing back against federal regulations, and a momentous standoff between California — the state with the largest number of public school students — and the Obama administration looms.

OTHER PLACES

Pay Cuts, End Of Tenure Put North Carolina Teachers On Edge WNYC: Teacher salaries are losing ground fast in North Carolina. Spivey has never had a raise, and as bad as that sounds, the news for teachers in North Carolina got worse over the past year.

In Brooklyn’s District 13, a task force aims to engineer socioeconomic integration ChalkbeatNY:  O’Reilly believes he’s found his own way to address the issue at Arts & Letters, which admits students through an admissions lottery. He wants to reserve a portion of seats — up to 40 percent — for low-income students. In early, theoretical conversations with parents about diversity, “I only got positive feedback,” O’Reilly said.  ”It’s only been since I said I believe this is going to happen that people have expressed concern.”

Parent-trigger vandalism case may cost woman city post Hechinger Report: Guzman and co-defendant Lori Yuan pleaded not guilty to charges for vandalizing a classroom in Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto, Calif. with paint, ketchup and mustard. The June 25, 2013 incident happened shortly after the mothers lost their attempt to stop the parent-trigger law from forcibly converting their neighborhood campus into a charter school. (James Quigg, Daily Press)

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