The "War" On Charter Schools!?

The "War" On Charter Schools!?

Welcome back! Today's news includes a Tribune editorial about the "war" on charter schools, a WBEZ story about the on-again, off-again plans to sell closed schools (plus a Catalyst story about costs and savings from closing schools), a couple of pieces about Chicagoland (have you been watching?), and a handful of election-related stories (CTU is closely involved in some of these campaigns). Plus a new study showing charters doing well by poor Latino kids in LA, and Indiana dropping out of the Common Core.

CHARTERS

The war on charter schools Chicago Tribune (editorial): Facing a furor over school closings, Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett promised that those buildings wouldn't be made available to charter schools. That was an unfortunate decision that denies new school options for Chicago children...

Chicago Public Schools briefly posts plans to market, sell shuttered schools WBEZ: At the end of February, Chicago Public Schools quietly posted notice that it wanted to hire a real estate broker to help the district offload dozens of vacant buildings left by the historic closure of 50 schools.

CHICAGOLAND

Show of strength no act for Fenger principal: Brown Sun Times:  Elizabeth Dozier’s unfamiliar face graces a billboard overlooking River North, sandwiched between the mugs of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy like images on Mount Rushmore. These are the “strong” leaders CNN says a great city needs. But if you’ve watched the network’s new “Chicagoland” series, then you know Dozier, the principal at Fenger High School, also is the strong character a successful television show needs.

CNN Chicagoland episode 2 review Chicago Tribune: Balancing these ready-for-re-election-campaign-commercial shots is, again, 9-year-old Asean Johnson, the third-grade activist, tears streaming down his face as he speaks to the Chicago Public Schools board...

POLITICS

The facts behind the ads in the race for the 26th District Hyde Park Herald: And needless to say, on the heels of last year's pension reform deal, Chicago teachers aren't happy: The Chicago Teachers Union is one of Travis' top donors, and their leader, Karen Lewis, has been outspoken in her criticism of Mitchell.

In Illinois governor's race, venture capitalist up for challenge WTAQ: "Bruce Rauner isn't running for governor, he's running for emperor," scoffed Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union - offering a taste of the sort of rhetoric Rauner might face in the general election. "We'll go full tilt against him ...

MISC

Maintenance costs for closed schools cut by $300 million Catalyst: CPS now says that it would cost only about $100 million to maintain the buildings, as schools, over the next 10 years, according to a Request-for-Proposals that was issued in February to solicit bids from real estate agents. CPS also includes TIF information for each school, showing how much money is available from tax increment financing, an incentive program that developers can access to pay for capital improvements.

Time for unions to organize – themselves Crain's Chicago Business: A third part of the labor cure is for unions to get back to basics. Labor didn't become powerful by representing folks who make $70,000 a year and government employees—Karen Lewis' relative success at the Chicago Teachers Union notwithstanding.

OTHER CITIES

Study: Los Angeles charter schools outperform traditional district schools KPCC: According to the study, charter school students receive the equivalent of about 50 more days of learning in reading and 79 days of math than students in traditional public schools. The report also showed impressive results for Hispanic charter school students, especially students living in poverty. See also LASR

In Debate on Charter Schools, Hybrids Offer an Answer NYT: If the mayor’s messaging were more robust, determined and aggressive, he might draw attention to hybrid schools, which strive to offer poor children something like the experience of a private education within the context of the traditional public system, using union teachers.

Bloomberg Defends Policies in Couric Interview ABC: NYC ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg defends education policies, soda ban in Katie Couric interview.

Mayor Garcetti's top education deputy Thelma Meléndez leaves City Hall LA Daily News: Just seven months after joining Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's administration, his top education deputy Thelma Meléndez is leaving to take a position at Los Angeles Unified School District, a district spokesman said Saturday.

DC leads nation in growth of free breakfasts for schoolchildren Washington Post: The number of K-12 students receiving free breakfast at school is rising across the country, and the District is seeing the fastest growth, compared to all 50 states. Between 2009 and 2013, the number of students ...

Protests As Seattle Schools Face Staffing Cuts Seattle Public Radio: The staff at 31 Seattle public schools have voted down their schools’ proposed budgets to protest job cuts the district is calling for at schools this fall.

NATIONAL

Sec. of Education Arne Duncan Explains What Dissatisfied States Can Do About Common Core The Blaze: “They absolutely have the right to do this,” Duncan told TheBlaze. “This is a state-led effort; it always has been, always will be. And whatever Indiana decides, we want to work with them to make sure that students have a chance to be successful.”

Common Core practice test delayed [by a week] EdSource: Just days before students in California and 21 other states were set to begin field-testing the new student assessment aligned with Common Core State Standards, the group developing the exam announced it’s being pushed back a week to ensure all systems are go.

Obama to promote education agenda at Miami school Palm Beach Post: As part of an effort to broaden access to education, Obama was announcing that, starting in the fall, the Education Department will begin working with states to identify students who have not completed the form.

Does Teaching Kids To Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead? NPR: Education circles are abuzz with a new concept: that resilience and persistence are just as important as intelligence to predicting student success and achievement. But can "grit" actually be taught?

 

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