Who Lost Kimberly Lightford?

Who Lost Kimberly Lightford?

Today's education news is mostly about proposed efforts to scrap the state charter school commission supported by former commission supporter Kimberly Lightford.  Meanwhile, the Sun Times takes a look inside Noble Street charters, and states nationally are expanding preschool, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman's high school teacher talks about what he was like as a student. 

Editorial: Charter school wars Tribune:  Efforts to kill or straitjacket the commission are off base. There should be a second path to charter school authorization so students aren't denied options for a good education because local officials are protecting the status quo. The commission can provide that path. It should be wary, though, of using its power to trump the decisions of educators who share its mission of promoting school choice.

Seeking to ax state charter commission Catalyst: Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora, who chairs the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee) and Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester, vice chair of the Senate Education Committee) have filed bills to abolish the  State Charter School Commission, which has the authority to overturn locally elected school boards' decisions denying charter school applications. (State School News Service)

Inside Bruce Rauner's charter schools Sun Times: Though Noble teachers make less than those at CPS, Milkie makes nearly as much as Chicago schools chief executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who is paid $250,000.

Hinsdale Middle School reopens after closed 2 weeks for mold CLTV: The entire school was shut down last month for a good scrubbing, after a water pipe rupture revealed mold in the walls.


Preschool Push Moving Ahead in Many States NYT: States and cities across the country are forging ahead on their own with proposals aimed at expanding early education programs.

A new entitlement? The right to preschool AP: Republican governors and lawmakers who now control a majority of state capitols have been pushing aggressively to cut spending and shrink government - with one glaring exception....

Aggressive public relations campaign amplifies courtroom battle against teacher work rules - by Louis Freedberg EdSource Today: California Teachers Association President Dean Vogel says his organization, representing more than 300,000 teachers, has no intention of trying to counteract what he described as a campaign funded by the bottomless pockets of the “billionaires boys club.”

South Carolina Lawmakers Consider Parent-Trigger Bill for School Districts EdWeeK: Frustrated South Carolina parents hope a proposed state law will give them the power to ask state officials to oust their local school superintendent. Also:  Campaign Prompts Leadership Change *Without* Parent-Trigger Law.

Study: Shy Kids Know the Answer—They Just Won't Say It Out Loud Atlantic Education: After examining 408 same-sex twin pairs at the ages of 14, 20, and 24 months, the researchers found that inhibited kids didn't actually know less—they were simply less eager to express their knowledge out loud. The researchers call this the "I know it but won't say it" model.

The High Cost Of Testing For College NPR: You think college is expensive? How about the cost of SAT and AP tests? Ben Tonelli, a senior at Garfield High School in Seattle, wrote an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal complaining about the costs. NPR's Scott Simon talks to Tonelli about the sticker shock.


Many NYC Students Take Another Snow Day WNYC: Fewer New York City public schools students went to class on Monday than normal, but attendance was still higher than other days this year when weather affected attendance.

Philip Seymour Hoffman's High School English Teacher Pays Tribute To The 'Extraordinary' Actor HuffPost EDU: In an interview with WHEC, Baynes recalls Hoffman's performance in a school production of "Death of a Salesman," saying, "It was clear to everyone at that point that Phil was an extraordinary and gifted talent." Hoffman played the lead role of Willy Loman before an audience of his high school peers.


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  • Access Living as an organization supports the legislation filed by Senator Kimberly Lightford (SB2627) and Representative Linda Chapa LaVia (HB3754) that would repeal legislation creating the Illinois State Charter Commission. Access Living requests that our sister organizations throughout Illinois, known as Centers for Independent Living also support these two bills, as should all individuals with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities who have benefited from our State’s laws relating to special education.

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) establishes a broad framework to define and regulate special education programs in the United States, but leaves to the states the responsibility for developing and executing educational programs for students with disabilities. IDEA compliance presupposes compliance with all State statutes, regulations and rules concerning special education. The Illinois State Charter Commission has challenged this position, asserting that charter schools are not subject to any State-imposed requirement that exceeds Federal special education statute and regulation.

    We believe that by taking this position the Commission is authorizing charter schools to place as many students with disabilities as the school chooses to in any classroom, to create any teacher student ratio for special education the school chooses to, and to educate students with significant disabilities who require additional years of education only to their 21st birthday not the day preceding their 22nd birthday as currently required by state regulations if the charter school so chooses to do so.

    Given this egregious determination by the Commission we believe the proposed legislation should pass the General Assembly and the Commission should be abolished.

    Rod Estvan

    Education Policy Director
    Access Living of Chicago

  • Wow! This is so sad!

  • NYC's movement on charters...

    "In an unexpected move late Friday, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said the city is redirecting $210 million in capital funding earmarked for charter schools in order to open 2,100 pre-kindergarten seats."

    Here is chi-town:

    "The Illinois State Charter Commission has challenged this position, asserting that charter schools are not subject to any State-imposed requirement that exceeds Federal special education statute and regulation."

  • "Though Noble teachers make less than those at CPS, Milkie makes nearly as much as Chicago schools chief executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett"

    Nothing in this report says that teachers with similar experience make less at Noble. From the actual W2's I know in my family I could conclude that Noble teachers make significantly more than CTU teachers. It is likely true that CTU teachers make more per instructional hours.

    "Noble students’ scores on the ACT college-entrance exam and the Prairie State Achievement Tests lag behind all CPS selective-enrollment high schools, including Northside Prep, Whitney Young and Walter Payton......"

    Say what? The Noble ACT lags Northside? Scandalous!! What is fair to say is that the higher scoring Nobles and the lower scoring SE schools have a 21ish average ACT. Noble students get to that 21 with substantially more growth.

    A true "inside look" would compare a typical student day at Noble to the neighborhood high school.

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