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).


U.S. News Releases 2014 Best High Schools Rankings HuffPost/ US News: Some familiar names joined Dallas-based School for the Talented and Gifted and the two BASIS schools in the top 10 this year, including the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology in Georgia and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia. Both schools retained their third and fourth place rankings, respectively, while Pine View School in Florida also held onto its No. 6 position.

Five of Illinois’ top 10 high schools are CPS Sun Times: Northside College Prep is the best high school in Illinois, and the 36th best public high school in the United States, according to a U.S. News & World Report ranking. According to usnews.com/highschools, Chicago Public Schools boasts five of the state’s top ten (national ranking in parentheses).


CPS International Baccalaureate program grows to five more schools Sun Times: Five Chicago Public schools are adding International Baccalaureate programs for elementary and middle schoolers in the fall, joining several dozen other Chicago schools that already offer the internationally recognized model.

What Chicago elementary schools are going International Baccalaureate? Crain's Chicago Business: ... schools will begin the application process in the 2014-15 school year to offer establish what IB calls Middle Years Programmes, which start at age 11 through 16, according to a news release issued by the administration and the Chicago Public Schools.


Lincoln Elementary Annex Plans, Construction Timeline Detailed DNA Info: The addition to the school will include 17 classrooms, two band rooms, a lunchroom and computer lab.

Bell Addition a 'Testament' to Parents' Passion, Mayor Says DNA Info: Mayor Emanuel was on hand to celebrate the completion of Bell Elementary's $10 million addition.

Dvorak Elementary Supporters Urge CPS To Hold Off On Proposed AUSL Turnaround Progress IL: Supporters of Dvorak Technology Academy in North Lawndale held a rally Monday night in a last-ditch effort to save their school from having its entire staff fired and replaced next year by the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), a controversial school turnaround contractor.


Dear Arne Duncan, I know you're trying, but..... Chicago Public Fools: It's time to let you in on what your reforms look like down at the level of the schools. Down at the level of the neighborhood schools in your old city. Down below the level of the heady rhetoric that we hear you use a lot about the civil rights issue of our time, or excellence for all. Down below all that.

Chicago Teachers Union President Jokes About the Rash of Shootings in Her Hometown Town Hall: In part of her remarks, Lewis was explaining how elected leaders are providing supposedly false pension reform choices to education unions. “’Take this cut or nothing’ – that’s not a choice,” Lewis said. “You gonna shoot me here or here?” she said, pointing to different parts of her body. “I’m still shot! And this is Chicago!” The crowd roared.

See what they'll be teaching in the Chicago public schools Daily Caller: Ron Fritze, a historian, the dean of Athens State University, and author of the book “Invented Knowledge,” says that Bernal’s theories are not historically accurate and have no place in Chicago schools.


InBloom Student Data Repository to Close NYT: The student data warehousing venture that became a lightning rod for some parents’ data privacy and security concerns, announced it would close. See also WNYC: Sun Sets on Controversial Student Data Project inBloom. [EdWeek broke the story, far as I know.]

Vision, Reality Collide in Common-Core Tests EdWeek: A glass-half-full reading focuses on the exams' technological advances and embrace of performance-based assessment. On the flip side, a confluence of political, technical, and financial constraints have led to some scaling back of the ambitious plans the consortia first laid out.

Teachers are losing their jobs, but Teach for America’s expanding Hechinger Report: Of the first 13 Seattle recruits whose two-year commitment is now over, Maldonado and 10 others remain in their classrooms. While he thinks TFA should have done a better job before bringing his cohort to the city, Maldonado says he still believes strongly in the organization and worked at its summer institute in New York City last year.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Talks To ABC News’ David Muir ABC News: "How did I go to a commuter college that cost $50 a semester? Because a lot of other people put a little something in that kept the costs low at a public school so I had a chance and a lotta kids like me had a chance to get an education, and go out, and do something with it."


Waiting Lists for Kindergarten Drop by Half, New York City Says NYT: In some neighborhoods, the process of applying for kindergarten has come to resemble a mini-Ivy League, with parents hiring consultants, touring scores of schools and inundating online forums.

Kansas: Governor Signs School Funding Bill NYT: Gov. Sam Brownback signed a school funding bill on Monday that increases aid for poor districts to satisfy a portion of a State Supreme Court ruling and that also ends the state’s mandate for teacher tenure.

D.C. officials to consider eight proposals for new charter schools Washington Post: Two of the eight proposals would establish boarding high schools, including one that would aim to meet the particular needs of children in foster care and another that would connect students with internships on Capitol Hill.

Reading, Technology and...Still With Us? Attention Span WAMU: As rapidly evolving technology changes how we read - taking us from page to screen and back again - our brains change and readers can sometimes find longer, denser texts more difficult to read over time. We consider how technology is changing our reading brains and how we might strike a balance between types of reading at different ages.

What Exactly Is 'High-Quality' Preschool? NPR: Many educators tout the benefits of preschool, but there's no clear standard for what qualifies as a quality program. Researchers say that when it comes to pre-K, Tulsa, Okla., gets it right.


Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • from philanthropy magazine: 100 Years of Experts Armed with Money... | Donor Intent | The Philanthropy Roundtable http://ht.ly/w2bwc Looking at Cleveland for lessons

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    21 nationally ranked Chicago Public Schools! Not too bad. Number of nationally ranked charter schools in Illinois? Zero. Now how is that possible when charter schools are supposed to be so superior to public schools?

  • Mayor orders air conditioning for 200 remaining Chicago schools - Wandtv.com http://ht.ly/w2OHL

  • Rand Paul visits parochial school in Chicago - US News http://ht.ly/w3aH2 -- he's also supposed to be at the UofC later tonight doing an Axelrod event

  • In relation to the High School rankings. I have never agreed with the US News rankings in the past, but this time I saw these amazing rankings in the State of Illinois:

    14 Lindblom Math & Science Academy
    15 New Trier Township High School Winnetka
    16 Glenbrook North High School

    Now when one thinks about this, regardless of how the rankings are created it is amazing. Lindblom is composed of about 66% low income students, New Tier 3.8% low income, and Glenbrook North 8.4% low income. The last time I was at Lindblom there were abandoned houses all around the school and needless to say neither New Tier nor Glenbrook North are faced with anything like that.

    But there are secrets hidden in the data too.

    One shocking thing about the data is Lindblom has a far lower percentage students with disabilities than either New Tirer or Glenbrook and that really says something about how the CPS selective school admissions process is keeping disabled kids out of these programs. Using ISBE 2013 data we see that New Tirer has 15.2% students with disabilities, Glenbrook North has 11.8%, and Lindblom has only 1.7%. Lindblom's percentage is actually much lower than for the average Noble Street charter high school which has 12.5% students with IEPs.

    If Lindblom didn't have just have 1.7% of its student population with disabilities but a percentage comparable to either New Tirer or Glenbrook would it have beat out these two schools? I doubt it. Why is that? Because New Tirer had in 2013 69% of its students with IEPs testing at or above standards on the PSAE, and Glenbrook had 52% of its students with IEP performing similarly.

    There is not one CPS high school in the city with 10% or more of its student body composed of students with IEPs that is coming near those performance levels. New Tirer and Glenbrook have really superior special education programs for students who have learning disabilities, and other non-severe disabling conditions that would allow them to take the PSAE. In addition to having really strong special education programs the students with IEPs at these two high schools have families that can afford supplemental tutoring and services. The world is never as simple as a ranking system would make it out to be is it.

    Rod Estvan

  • Charter school company defends school 'turnaround' plan http://ht.ly/w3CQY

  • Three of the top five nationally ranked schools are charters.

  • In reply to tylerpayne:

    I was fascinated by Basis charter school in Scottsdale which is listed as the #1 charter school in our nation. From what I read the school does not take Title I or school-lunch funding, so it has no statistics on student poverty. I am not sure whether or not the school takes any Federal IDEA funding either, but I could find no statistics on its population in relation to identification or the percent disabled in the school. BASIS’s management structure, which includes a for-profit management company, may exclude it from Illinois. The for-profit, BASIS Schools, Inc., secures the charters, employs the teachers, and handles centralized functions.

    Scottsdale as a city is 9 percent Hispanic, the median household income is $72,000, the poverty rate is only 7 percent. In 2012, 92 percent of the Scottsdale district’s 10th graders in traditional schools passed state year-end reading exams and 80 percent passed in math; all of BASIS Scottsdale’s 10th graders passed both. Basis is technically not a gifted or selective school, but there seems to be very significant attrition before high students reach the high school program. One student at a Basis school was quoted in an article that the 5th grade class he enrolled in had 120 students and by the time they got to grade 9 there were only 40 left.

    A parent left this comment on a blog relating to Basis Scottsdale: “In Scottsdale, the BASIS class of 2012 began with just 53 students. Only 19 remained in their senior year. Is that success worthy of declaring BASIS a top high school? Even if you factor in for the estimated 10% of students who graduate early, each school is still only servicing a grade level that is smaller than most single class sizes in high schools and colleges.”

    In many respects it appears that the very top charter schools are very much like CPS selective schools. That is really not surprising is it.

    Rod Estvan

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    In reply to tylerpayne:

    And ZERO in Illinois.

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    Excellent comments, Rod. Thanks again for your insight.

    Just ran across this article which references the charter in AZ that you mention:


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