They're Closing 125 S. Clark Street!

They're Closing 125 S. Clark Street!

Gresham parents think turnaround might be what's needed. Ames parents vote against military (but it's not binding). Drummond parents explore legal action (Seems like all CTU or one of the CTU-affiliated parent groups have to put out a press release and Chicago media covers it no matter how small.) CPS wants $10M for new furniture for new building.

JOBS

CPS Janitors Worry About Jobs After Aramark Hired for Building Maintenance DNA Info: Aramark Corporation was recently awarded a $260 million custodial contract with Chicago Public Schools.

Gresham Elementary Parents Take Wait-And-See Approach to 'Turnaround' DNAinfo: They get to cherry pick among students who either perform or are kicked out and returned to another neighborhood school or charter operation," Lewis said. But Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO of the school system, said its turnaround method is an effective...

Is this how we thank our teachers? Chicago Sun-Times: Imagine you are in your mid-seventies and retired from the Chicago publicschools for over a decade. You have a comfortable pension because you ..

Policy Institute claims that Madigan's tax idea is really just a “Chicago bailout” The Capitol Fax Blog: Chicago Public Schools' pension contribution spiked to $613 million in 2014, up from $208 million in 2013, and CPS doesn't have the money to pay .

TESTING

Drummond School Parents Angry About ISAT Probe Explore Legal Action DNA Info: The CPS board responded that it had the right to question kids without parental permission.

BOARD

Will CPS reverse itself on Ames Middle School? Reader: If Chicago truly were a democracy, the members of the Board of Education would admit they had royally messed up and would reconvert Ames from a marine academy back to a regular neighborhood school. Like the people want! But alas, Chicago is not a democracy.…

CPS wants $5 million for new furniture as part of move Sun Times: On the heels of shuttering 50 school buildings and amid school budget woes, Chicago Public Schools is seeking to nearly double its furniture budget to $9.5 million, chalking up $5 million of that to an upcoming move of its central headquarters.

Local school council elections less than two weeks away Hyde Park Herald: ... has come to a close parents and community members are gearing up to campaign for spots on local school councils in Chicago Public Schools.

POLITICS

A closer look at that Simon poll The Capitol Fax Blog: Karen Lewis has caused many teachers a lot more anguish than what they should be dealing with. She comes off as a grabby, uncouth slob to people in Suburban Chicago. I can't remember a time where so many people could actually identify who the CTU

Jay Travis still contesting 26th District Race, cites irregularities and turns ... Hyde Park Herald: High-profile Travis supporter Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, said in a prepared statement that Mitchell only won “by pandering to predominantly white wards through scare tactics and misinformation about imaginary tax increases.”

Demand soars for special ed boarding schools Chicago Tribune: He found a spot at the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School, a therapeutic residential school on the campus of the University of Chicago. "I felt like I belonged," said Resko, now 20.

NATIONAL

Obama officials tout Race to the Top, saying it has unleashed ‘enormous positive change’ Washington Post: In a conference call with reporters to mark the fourth anniversary of the creation of Race to the Top, the White House’s Domestic Policy Council director, Cecilia Muñoz, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan rattled off examples of what they said was proof that the $4 billion competitive grant was driving “dramatic change.” See also PK12USA TodayHechinger.

Arne Duncan heads to New Zealand, Hawaii with gaggle of staffers  Washington Post: My Post colleague Lyndsey Layton asked the Education Department about Secretary Arne Duncan's trip this week to New Zealand and Hawaii — which will round out his visits to all 50 states during his tenure.

Hearing Weighs How Congress Should Improve Teacher Preparation PK12: One of the big questions facing lawmakers: Should the federal government call for colleges of education to track their graduates into the classroom? And, if so, what exactly should that look like?  Already, states are required to identify teacher prep programs that aren't up to snuff and help them improve. But states aren't exactly knocking themselves out to fulfill that requirement, noted Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate education committee, at Tuesday's hearing. As of 2013, nearly half the states and the District of Columbia hadn't pointed to a single low-performing program, he said.

School-Finance Overhaul in Kansas Could End Early-Education Push StateWatch: A plan to boost school funding in Kansas in the wake of a court ruling could mean Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to increase pre-K spending won't succeed.

The Writing's On The Wall For Cursive — Unless Lawmakers Can Save It NPR: The Common Core State Standards have ended lessons in cursive writing, but lawmakers in some states are trying to change that. Blake Farmer of WPLN reports on an effort in Tennessee to revive cursive.

Comments

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  • While the office furniture purchase is a terrible idea in terms of public relations, it is a normal business practice. The life expectancy of furniture is based on its expected usefulness, which accountants call a depreciation rate, is about 8 years maximum. The stuff in the CPS central office is much older than that.

    CPS’s current office furniture is also not based on universal design, meaning it cannot easily be adjusted for people with disabilities. A team from CPS visited my office here at Access Living many months ago to look at how our modular designed office furniture worked. We use Steelcase Inc. products for our work stations which have height adjustable desks for wheel chair access.

    I totally get how local schools feel about it, but let’s also understand when CPS builds a new school, new furniture is also the normal practice. If you go into Westinghouse HS you won’t find much in terms of furniture from the old Westinghouse. Some stuff can be recycled, other stuff just wears out. I have no idea what so ever if CPS is getting a good deal or a bad deal on office furniture. I know that my own work station cost somewhere between $7,000 and $10,000.

    I think reporters should dig a little deeper and really see how the deal CPS is presenting compares to the costs large companies are paying for office furniture. There may be a story here but it needs much more work relative to comparative costs.

    Rod Estvan

  • I am surprised CPS isn't asking central office employees to purchase their own furniture. In addition to spending thousands each year out of pocket, I have written grants, regularly haunt garage sales, beg from friends and have taken my own children's things from home for my classroom. I wonder when we'll see the day that central office employees also have to do that for their basics?

  • Nineteen pages of comments in response to "what Makes Chicago Public Schools Bad" over at City-Data http://ht.ly/v1iCl Anything useful?

  • Wow! You actually linked to Capitol Fax with a quote from a comment by "a guy".

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