Archive for April 2014

White Kids & Elite High Schools

White Kids & Elite High Schools
Sorry that yesterday's news roundup didn't get posted -- not sure what happened there, but it's up now.  Since then, WTTW looks into the racial divide that's growing in SE schools that was first(?) brought up by the Sun Times. Elsewhere, teachers in LA have tossed out their union president, and Republicans (and a few Dems) criticize Arne Duncan for NCLB waivers and special education funding...

Just How White Will Obama High Be?

Just How White Will Obama High Be?
Obama High was developed in secrecy. CPS Obsessed notes Whitney Young is the most diverse of elite SE schools. Lyon is headed to Smart Chicago collaborative. UofC study shows gains.  Seven CPS schools get $100K tech grant. Fourteen year old girl killed over Facebook dispute.  Rich Miller posts about Jackie Gallagher (RIP). Plus national news and stories from other cities. ...

Banchero Heads To Joyce

Banchero Heads To Joyce
News came out Monday morning that veteran education reporter Stephanie Banchero, the WSJ's  lead national writer, was leaving her job to join the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation as a senior program officer. You may recall that the Chicago-based Banchero wrote a long, gripping series about the NCLB transfer option for the Chicago Tribune.  She also won a Knight Journalism Fellowship in 2008-2009 (which allowed me to become a Spencer Fellow), and helped the national Education Writers Association upgrade and expand its operations. More details about her departure and what she's going to be doing at Joyce are below...
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More White Kids For Elite Schools

More White Kids For Elite Schools
That plan to replace the deseg consent degree has led to more white students getting top spots at top CPS high schools, says the Sun-Times. Longtime education reporter (Tribune, Wall Street Journal) Stephanie Banchero is joining the Joyce Foundation. RIP, Jackie Gallagher. Grad rates are up nationally. See it all below (and throughout the day at District299)...

Lots Of "Chicagoland" Was Staged (Duh.)

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News from the Tribune via a FOIA request and 700 emails is that lots of parts of "Chicagoland" were staged  (or at least pre-arranged) rather than observed -- including MRE appearances at Fenger, some of the coverage of the school closing decisions, meetings with Byrd-Bennett, and even those heart-warming moments with intern Martell Cowan. The production team requested things from City Hall, and City Hall went along. CPS and CPD have thus far declined to respond to FOIA requests as City Hall has done.  More details below.  I know you're probably not surprised -- some aspects were clearly staged (like the MRE-Dozier phone call) and the amount of access was way higher than anything City Hall would have given to the Tribune's reporters (or anyone else's) -- but are you upset...

Grad Rate Up (Again) But Who Cares?

Grad Rate Up (Again) But Who Cares?
The big story of the day is still probably the Obama High announcement -- see new WBEZ and other stories below --  but there's also news that the CPS grad rate is up again, according to City Hall.  Nationally, Duncan has revoked WA's NCLB waiver just as it approves IL's -- so long, mandatory tutoring money, Seattle! -- and the USDE is reviving its efforts to ramp up teacher preparation quality. See it all below, and throughout the day at @district299...
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A School Named Obama!?

A School Named Obama!?
Mayor Emanuel announced plans to build a new $60 million school named after the current President, using TIF funding.  But not everyone thinks it’s a good idea. What do you think? For starters, there are already lots of schools named after Obama, and some of them aren’t particularly high-performing ones.  An informal and entirely unconfirmed... Read more »

Turnarounds, "On Track" Report, NCLB Windfall?

Turnarounds, "On Track" Report, NCLB Windfall?
Today's education news roundup: The Board voted to turn the three schools around. There's a new "On Track" study out from the UofC (and Rand Paul was at the Institute of Politics talking education). Tyler and Ed are bickering in comments. Has anyone figured out yet how much money CPS will get to use thanks to the recent NCLB waiver that ISBE (finally) received -- and what it's going to do with it? Meantime, polls skew strongly in favor of the Common Core in liberal California, and Newark mayoral contenders fight to replace Cory Booker and his reform agenda...

Air Conditioning + Dvorak Turnaround

Air Conditioning + Dvorak Turnaround
It's a Board meeting day, and they'll be talking about $100M in additional air conditioning and the proposed 3 turnarounds (now the Tribune headline writers are using the word "privatization," too?). Rand Paul was in town, visiting a parochial school and mulling a Presidential campaign.  Rahm is rethinking his loyalty to Bruce Rauner, says Mark Brown. Meanwhile, edTPA is coming in to evaluate new teachers...
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Expanded IB Plus "Best" High Schools

Expanded IB Plus "Best" High Schools
So there are going to be five more middle school IB programs, according to the Mayor.  And 5 of the 10 top high schools in Illinois are from CPS (albeit SE schools), according to US News and the Sun Times. Folks are mad at CPS, Arne Duncan, and Karen Lewis. Plus national news (death of inBloom, improvements in NYC assignment process)...