Is A Unionized Charter Still A Charter?

Is A Unionized Charter Still A Charter?

Rahm rallies Safe Passage workers. UNO teachers ratify first union contract (what do you think?). Chicagoland spoilers. Primary elections today. Plus: New study suggests homework burden isn't nearly as high as you think it is, and other national news. In comments, readers discuss whether it matters or not where I type this blog post from (and my facial hair).

Rahm Rallies Safe-Passage Workers to Finish Out School Year DNAinfo: CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett credited students feeling secure for data showing "academic achievement is up, attendance is up," a point echoed by Emanuel in thanking the workers. "When something goes wrong, I get the blame," said ...

UNO teachers, staff ratify first union contract Catalyst: Teachers and staff at the United Neighborhood Organization’s 16 charter schools overwhelmingly voted to ratify their first contract on Monday, becoming Chicago’s biggest charter school network to operate under a labor agreement.“This contract will give a lot of people hope that [the charter network] is a place they can stay at for more than a year or two and grow as teachers and professionals without thinking their jobs are going to be on the line at the end of the year,” said Mallory Bruno, a special education teacher at UNO’s Octavio Paz Elementary School. “The salary schedule is so appealing now, I look forward to staying here for years to come.”

Taking the Gloves Off in Chicagoland In These Times: Though Chicagoland gives screentime to teachers union president Karen Lewis, by highlighting her more incendiary remarks and using some poor quality video, it portrays her somewhat more as a caricature than a thoughtful and popular leader

Primary Election Preview WTTW: Carol Marin and her panel of guests break down the top races as the candidates make their final push before Tuesday’s March Primary election. Joining us are Chicago Tribune Editorial Page editor Bruce Dold, Chicago Sun-Times political reporter Natasha Korecki, and Crain’s Chicago Business political columnist Greg Hinz.

Pharrell's 'Happy' Video Shows Amundsen in New Light DNA Info: A video set to Williams' "Happy" shows the school's new energy.

Afternoon Shift: 'Louder than a Bomb', Good Food Festival and tech news WBEZ: The 'Louder than a Bomb' poetry slam finals are tomorrow and a few of the poets join us to talk about their experience.

It’s official: Gordon Tech to become DePaul College Prep Sun Times: Gordon Tech College Prep will become DePaul College Prep as soon as summer, the school’s board announced Wednesday. The school at 3600 block of North California Avenue will be renamed DePaul College Prep, but its campus will be known as Fr. Gordon Campus, according to a letter sent to Gordon Tech families.

For the Record: "Chicagoland" and Fenger High Catalyst [spoiler alert!] The cliffhanger in the last episode of the Chicagoland series, which was filmed last year, is how Fenger will fare once it loses the $6 million grant. The answer: Fenger lost 36 of 100 staff members, including 10 teachers, four security guards and the school’s social worker.   Altogether, Fenger and the other three schools that received School Improvement Grants in 2011 have lost 126 staff members as their grants ran out this year, according to a Catalyst Chicago analysis of CPS employee rosters.

NATIONAL

Students Probably Do Less Homework Than You Think, Study Says HufPost: Homework loads have actually been stable over the last 30 years, despite front-page reports of overworked kids and a century-old "war on homework," according to the report, one of three released Tuesday by Brookings' Brown Center on Education Policy. See also HUSA Today.

What Happens If a State Loses its NCLB Waiver? PK12: The challenge for the Education Department may be ensuring that Washington state doesn't get off easy—while not disrupting the strong work the state is already doing in intervening in its lowest-performing schools, a weak area of NCLB implementation for many other waiver states.

Duncan Talks High Stakes Tests, ESEA Renewal, and Common Core Politics PK12: In a morning speech during the second day of the event, Duncan urged state officials to be patient and to "overcommunicate" with the public during the transition to the new standards and new tests, particularly during the field-testing of common-core assessments taking place this spring. At the same time, he cautioned that some pushback on policies had little to do with education, but "everything to do with politics," and that not all critics could be won over.

Florida Picks Common-Core Test From AIR, Not PARCC State EdWatch: Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart has selected the American Institutes for Research to develop a new common-core aligned exam for the state's assessment.

OTHER CITIES

Worcester mayor wants school board to reconsider parental opt-out on test Telegram: After testimony from two parents opposed to the exam, the School Committee, on a voice vote, backed allowing parents to opt out of having their children take the test, scheduled for the spring. Since the vote, the committee has been assailed by critics who accuse the board of supporting the agenda of standardized exam opponents.

Efforts To Close The Achievement Gap In Kids Start At Home WNYC: Through a yearlong series of home visits, Providence Talks aims to coach low-income parents to speak more, and differently, to their children.

Opinion: No Sympathy Needed. My School is One of the Good Ones  WNYC: So what makes WBCHS an “easier” (for lack of a better word) school community? It boils down to our systems and structures. Our classes are small: fewer than 26 students per class, with many classes much smaller than that. Each of our students has an advocate counselor with whom they meet on a regular basis. During each trimester we have five benchmarks, giving students a chance to receive their course grades – and meet with their teachers - often.

EdTracker: EdSource’s guide to education legislation EdSource Today: This year’s raft of education bills offers nothing of that magnitude but collectively addresses a range of important issues: universal kindergarten for 4-year-olds, school discipline, teacher dismissal, bachelor’s degrees at the community college level, to name a few. Of the dozens awaiting legislators, we’ll be focusing on a number of bills through our EdTracker, reporting their status as they go through sausage-making.

After major flubs, city revamps curriculum delivery process ChalkbeatNY: Publishers will now ship student books, teacher guides, and other materials directly to the elementary and middle schools that order them, rather than to city-contracted delivery companies as was the case last year. Schools will now be able to track the status of those shipments, which should arrive in July, according to a department memo sent to principals last week. And schools will be able to monitor in real-time how much money they have available to spend on materials when they begin ordering next month.

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