LSC Elections Get Political (Finally?)

LSC Elections Get Political (Finally?)

Today's education news: LSC elections are happening -- and are apparently being politicized in ways that haven't happened in the past (why hasn't this happened in the past - or has it?).  A Simeon student was killed. The Tribune has a big story about charter school performance (it's not dramatically different over all) - plus Noble Street's discipline policy is tougher than many other schools'. DNA Info profiles a teacher who moved from closed Bethune to Blaine. Plus national news, news from other cities, and updates throughout the day at @district299.



The politics of this week’s Local School Council elections Sun Times: Among the candidates are charter school teachers, former mayoral staffers, a former Board of Education member and several employees from the Illinois Network of Charter Schools — the statewide organization advocating charters, which also opposes a bill in Springfield that would require charter schools elect LSCs, too.

Tunney's Endorsement of LSC Candidates Unsettles Some DNA Info: Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) endorsed candidates for this week's local school council elections, including a controversial former Chicago Board of Education candidate — an act that unsettled residents who saw it as "old-time Chicago politics." Tunney sent an email from his campaign fund, Citizens for Tunney, on Thursday endorsing several people, including former Chicago Board of Education member Rodrigo Sierra, for community representative at Blaine Elementary.

Local school council elections attract 4,384 parents and community members as candidates WBEZ Chicago: Just about every Chicago public school has a council—something like a mini school board. (Charters don't have LSCs, but there's a bill afoot to change that.) Councils are made up of six parents, two community members, two teachers, and one “non-teaching” school staffer. The councils are unique in the nation because they have some real power.


A push for charter schools, but little difference in student performance Sun Times: Even as many parents in Chicago have embraced charter schools, there’s little evidence in standardized test results that the publicly financed but privately operated schools are performing better than traditional schools operated by the Chicago Public Schools system, an examination by the Chicago Sun-Times and the Medill Data Project at Northwestern University has found.


Simeon H.S. football player, 16, shot to death on South Side Sun Times: The sobs of another grieving family filled a Chatham apartment Sunday after a Simeon Career Academy sophomore and football player was shot to death 2 miles from home.

Noble charter school has tough discipline policy Tribune: Last year, district-run schools expelled five of every 10,000 students, while charter operators on average kicked out 61 of every 10,000 students, according to CPS. All Noble campuses in that year exceeded the district average, many by a wide margin.

Richton Park man charged with impersonating US marshal SouthtownStar: A Richton Park man has been charged with impersonating a police officer after he tried to enter aChicago Public Schools building without proper identification, police said.


Fight Over Troubled NYSUT Dropout Nation: This is especially curious in light of the fact that Iannuzzi's bellicose, occasionally Karen Lewis-like style has helped NYSUT occasionally beat back school reformers at the state level, and thwart the efforts of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has emerged as .

What went wrong with Emanuel's pension plan? Crain's Chicago Business: One is that Mr. Madigan is playing a sort of political footsie with Chicago Teachers Union PresidentKaren Lewis, who has been making political trouble for some of his members.

Governor Quinn's running mate Paul Vallas takes Chicago consulting job ABC7Chicago: Gov. Quinns running mate Paul Vallas takes new consulting job. Paul Vallas was Chicago Public Schools CEO from 1995 to 2001, Paul Vallas also led school districts in Philadelphia, New Orleans and currently in Bridgeport, Connecticut.


Teacher Goes from Closed School to Being 'Team Player' at Blaine DNA Info: Last year was a whirlwind for Blaine Elementary third-grade teacher Angela Brito. Chicago Public Schools officials said in April that her previous school, Mary Mcleod Bethune in West Garfield Park, might be closed. She went on maternity leave in May, and two days after she gave birth to her son, the official news came out — Bethune would not reopen the 2013-14 school year.

RECAP: Chicagoland Episode 5 Next City: Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett speaks to Safe Passage workers at a training session before the new school year. Credit: AP Photo/Scott Eisen. With school coming back in session, Chicagoland's fifth episode returns to the debate over...

America's Most Challenging High Schools Washington Post: America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through an index invented by Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews. The index formula is a simple ratio: The number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school in 2013, divided by the number of graduates that year.


Deal announced on teacher dismissal bill that governor would support EdSource Today:  Most of the big changes in Assembly Bill 215 would apply only to charges of egregious misconduct – acts that would include sexual abuse, child abuse and some drug crimes.

State teachers union president defeated with UFT support Chalkbeat: The state teachers union got a new president and issued a long-threatened attack on the State Education Department during a dramatic meeting in New York City this weekend. It was the first time in the union’s 42-year history that a sitting president was ousted. See also NY Post: NY teachers unions spent $4.8M on lobbying in 2013.

Common Core Turns Business Leaders Against Oklahoma GOP NPR: Mike Neal gets annoyed when he talks about politicians in his state. Just three years ago, when the Common Core State Standards for education were implemented, no one had a problem with them, says Neal, president of the Tulsa, Okla., Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Kansas Legislature Passes Education Finance Bill NYT: But the decision to resolve funding gaps across the state was complicated by days of intense battling in Topeka, the capital, over an array of other educational policy questions — whether to finance Common Core academic standards, whether to ease the process for dismissing teachers, and whether to offer tax breaks for families with children in private schools. See also Stateline.

Teen accepted to all 8 Ivies to read Letterman's "Top Ten" USA Today: The Long Island teen who was accepted to all eight Ivy League colleges is offering his secrets of success, including this nugget of wisdom: "Number 10: Address envelope to 'The Very Handsome Dean of Admissions.'" Yes, he's reciting tonight's "Top Ten" list on the Late Show with David Letterman.


6 suspended amid Missouri school rape allegations Seattle Times: Months after vowing to boost security at a Kansas City school where a student says she was dragged to a room and raped, district officials have suspended six employees amid new allegations from a 14-year-old girl who alleges a boy repeatedly raped her at school.

Backlash triggered by viral video of Santa Monica High School student-teacher fight LA Daily News: Video of a Santa Monica High School student being subdued by a wrestling coach, supposedly after selling marijuana in his classroom, is becoming a worldwide web sensation, but has triggered a backlash from parents, teachers, students and alumni. School officials said Mark Black was put on leave pending an investigation.

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  • "I consider myself a progressive. I have a passion for people who work."
    A Contentious Interview with Rahm Emanuel | New Republic @ichotine

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    And so, why, all of a sudden, have these charter school devotees all decided to run for LSCs? All at once. All the same year. Something is rotten in Denmark.

  • didn't this happen before a few years ago (politics and LSCs) when that guy allen ? tried to create a coalition of LSCs?

  • I don't understand the hubbub about a few people who are linked with or are formerly affiliated with education organizations running for LSCs....are they not allowed to be involved in their local community? What about all the CTU reps, or CTU sympathizers (RYH, KOCO, Action Now, etc) running for LSC? Do they not have an agenda?

    Last I checked, different opinions actually are what make the world go round and democracy work.

  • New schools chief Goren is itching to begin | Evanston Now

  • When a Chicago Public Schools teacher swears in class

  • How come the media are not covering the big push this year by CTU and allied groups to recruit and elect sympathetic parents to LSCs? They held a summit a couple of months ago with hundreds of potential candidates.

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    Well, Interested Citizen and richardnow, the difference is that CTU members have a vested interest in public schools since they work there and would like to see them succeed. Charter School devotees seem to be from the competition. If you are from Ford would you want people from Toyota on your board of directors? This has the appearance of a bald-faced attempt to undermine the neighborhood schools.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Yes, because, regular parents are not interested in their children's education, only special "CTU" parents can represent parents on the LSC. Apparently the 3 dedicated CTU spots are not enough for you. CTU already eliminated the LSC parent majority, and now they want to claim more of the parents' power. Take your Koolaid stand somewhere else, spinboy.

  • "Vested" means "held completely, permanently, and inalienably".

  • Thanks, Ed. You just made my point.

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    Thanks Donn. What's your point? A vested interest is a little different. According to Mirriam-Webster a vested interest is
    : an interest (as a title to an estate) carrying a legal right of present or future enjoyment; specifically : a right vested in an employee under a pension plan
    : a special concern or stake in maintaining or influencing a condition, arrangement, or action especially for selfish ends
    : one having a vested interest in something; specifically : a group enjoying benefits from an existing economic or political privilege

    So I have no idea what you are trying to say.

    And Interested Citizen, you are saying that as a business owner you would want representatives of the competition voting on your board? That would be an excellent way to go out of business.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Ed, CTU members are the definition of *conflict of interest*. They have a fiduciary interest in the proceedings of the LSC.

    Their interests often oppose those of parents, and to have CTU shills masquerading as parent representatives is abhorrent. Politics and self-interest at its worst. What do you have against the general population of parents representing themselves on the LSCs? Do you hate parents that much? Are you that threatened by parental involvement?

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    Nope. I'm fine with parents on the LSC. In fact there should be some on the Board (and would be if we had an elected board.) We'll just see how real parents feel about "neighborhood representatives" from charter schools. My guess is that real parents won't be as easily duped as you and your cronies think they will be.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Sure, avoid the issue, Ed. You're OK with parents, as long as they are CUT supporters. You recruit and campaign for these parents, and your strategic plan says you will hold them accountable to your agenda. You are destroying the education reform that creation of LSCs initiated. Thanks.

  • CTU cronies want spots as parents, neighborhood, teachers and staff. Disgusting. I have no political affiliation, except to my child, thank you!

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    Calm down Richard. First, a CTU member can't run for a parent post on an LSC unless they are... A Parent!

    Second, there is no conflict of interest for CTU members because LSCs don't hire or fire teachers or decide their salary or benefits.

    Finally, how do you justify these charter-ites running for LSC member when they adamantly refuse to allow LSCs in their own schools?

  • CPS employed teachers can run as a parent member of their child's LSC, but then if they win, they must resign/quit their CPS employment in order to serve on that LSC. So CPS teachers really CANNOT serve as a member of the LSC unless they want to give up their CPS job.
    Once charters get LSCs, CPS teachers can run for membership on charter LSCs, just as charter employees are running for CPS LSCs, Give it time.

  • Why is it assumed that a charter teacher wouldn't send a child to a traditional school?

    This US vs. THEM simplicity was invented by the CTU to serve their self serving goal of job security at all cost. Most teachers are interested in good schools for their children, regardless of union affiliation.

    For many poorer students, the CTU contract simply doesn't provide the basis for a good school. It's all about the 5.5 hour school day and the nine month school year. And the caring. Don't forget the caring.

  • In reply to Donn:

    It's time to get off the 5.5 school day and nine month year. Being a retired teacher, I sub a few days a month. I also have many friends who are teachers in CPS. All of the schools that I have worked at, and the schools that friends work at have after school programs. Academic programs for students who are struggling, as well as social/recreational programs for those students who are not. These kids are still at school a minimum of 90 minutes after the school day ends. Many of the schools also offer Saturday school. During the summer, besides the mandatory summer school program, many schools have written grants and have received funding to provide other learning opportunities for students. Many of these programs are funded by grants that teachers have applied for and received. These programs are staffed by teachers who are willing to put in extra time (it is paid time generally, but usually far less than their pay scale rate) to help kids be successful and well rounded. I think that this is pretty much the norm in most CPS schools.

    I also find it annoying that you believe charter school teachers cornered the market on being "caring" teachers. One would think that CPS and other public school districts go out of their way to solely hire "uncaring" teachers! Having worked in both charter and public schools, I can assure you that there are outstanding to lousy teachers in both. You seem to have a mindset that teachers who work at charter schools are inherently better people because they work in a charter school. It was my experience that many of the teachers in the charter schools, the majority of them recent college grads, looked at their charter school employment as an "entry level" type scenario. Teaching jobs have not been that plentiful in the past few years - they took what they could get. Most of them were applying to public school districts and would leave if they were offered a position because of the higher pay and benefits. I certainly could understand their position. I don't think they all of a sudden would become a less "caring" teacher because they chose to take the opportunity to make more money!

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    I teach from 8 until 3:15. That is 7 hours and 15 minutes. I don't know where you are getting 5.5 hours from.

    The reason this charter maven sending his child to Audobon seems strange, Donn, is that you charter devotees write as if charters are SOOOOO much better than neighborhood schools. Why then is this person sending their child to Audobon? Because everyone knows charter schools are SOOOOO much better.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    I could ask you the same question. If privatized education is so bad, then why do 35% of CPS teachers send their children to private schools instead of the public schools? And what percentage of teachers send their children to outright failures like Dvorak and Gresham?

  • In reply to Gerber:

    I don't think anyone believes that "privatized" education is bad, it becomes an issue when public schools lose resources that are desperately needed at public schools get siphoned off to "private" schools that are funded with public money.
    I sent my children to a private school, but I paid for that privilege, quite a lot as a matter of fact. There were years that it pretty much ate up my salary. It's one of the reasons that I worked as a teacher in CPS, rather than be a stay at home mom. The CPS schools in my neighborhood were fine, but as parents, we wanted a more structured setting for our children which the private school could provide.
    I would doubt that there are any teachers, CPS or other, that would send their child to Dvorak or Gresham, or the many other schools that have these kind of statistics. The main reason being that if you are a teacher, or any other degreed or trained professional, you get the concept that education is a huge part of being a successful contributing member of society. You will look for the best schools and do everything you can to make sure your child is putting in the effort and time needed to be successful in school as well as providing the necessary support at home for this to happen. Therein lies the rub, the majority of parents though not all, in these failing schools don't value education and are unable or unwilling to provide the support necessary for their child to be successful. Neither private or public schools can fix that issue.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    But Ed, how much of your work day are you blogging? I wonder if your supervisor should check the time of you blog postings? That is the commitment the CTU supports and we all know you can't get fired. What a system!

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Five class periods at 50 minutes each is 4:10 working with students, including an additional 50 minutes of directed planning time and 35 minutes of passing periods. Grand total: 5 hours and 35 minutes.

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    In reply to tylerpayne:

    Tyler, Donn's point was about how long the children are in school, not how many hours the teachers work. Get in the ballgame ok?

    And "anonymous troll #14" I comment before and after school and on my lunch hour. I don't blog at all. I know, I know, teachers shouldn't have breaks or lunch hours, but we still do.

  • Hey Ed - shouldn't you be at work teaching instead of on a computer (or on a phone) getting all riled up and defensive?

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    Hi Interested Citizen. Today is H.S. Report card pickup, I don't have to be in until noon, but then, alas, I don't leave until this evening. Shouldn't you find out what you are talking about before shooting your mouth off?

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    And can someone please tell me why charter-ites would run for LSCs when they oppose LSCs in their own charter schools? Seems hypocritical to me.

  • The issue is not so much CTU members taking up spots (though that happens as well) as it is the use of deep CTU resources to elect parents of the same political and ideological cloth, pushing CTU agenda and politics through these shill vehicles.

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    So, none of you is willing to say why a charter employee would want to serve on a public school LSC when they absolutely don't want LSCs for their own schools?

    And Richard, I'm glad you finally see that the CTU is not planting LSC members in parent spots, though you still seem to believe the CTU has the ability to hypnotize parents into doing their bidding. Just a suggestion, but you should work on that blind hatred of unions.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    I don't hate unions. I just don't want the CTU usurping parent spots on the LSC. Don't deny they launched an effort to do that.

  • In reply to richardnow:

    Richard, Ed is the one who has a blind spot for anything that may criticize his precious union. FWIW richardnow I completely agree with your comments and understand fully how the CTU is actively recruiting parents into their fold who have the same ideological slant. Karen Lewis has touted this often as something she and the CTU focus on and encourages other teacher unions to do the same. Race baiting, bending the truth or outright fabrication have all been used and are well known tactics of Karen Lewis. There are plenty in the black community that are appalled by the blatant race bating.

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    I deny it categorically. You can not serve on an LSC unless you are a parent, so I don't see how the CTU can "usurp" parent spots. You are assigning powers to the union they do not have, and that is why I say you have a blind hatred of the unions.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    Ed, "I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said."

    You complain about Rahm people running as community candidates, even though they are legitimate members of the community, but you have no problem with CTU putting up ideological puppet parent candidates.

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    In reply to district299reader:

    Fascinating that you are saying that Rahm is behind the
    Charter-ites running for LSC! If I had suggested that I would have been accused of conspiracy mongering.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    ... or are a community member... or are a non-teacher staff member... or are a high school student...

  • Would someone please just answer Ed's question and I think this thread can conclude nicely.

    In case you missed it:

    "why [would] a charter employee would want to serve on a public school LSC when they absolutely don't want LSCs for their own schools?"

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Why doesn't Ed just ask the candidates himself? I don't presume that every charter supporter has the same opinions or that I could possibly divine what those opinions are. But I guess Ed's black-and-white world view doesn't allow such possibilities.

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    What a wonderful answer! The reason charter-ites are running for LSCs when they don't want them in their own schools is... the fault of Ed's "black-and-white world view." LOL!

  • Ed, the fault in your reasoning is that you posit that if someone runs for an LSC, they must believe that LSC's should be the appropriate governing body for all public schools, including charter schools. The reality is that charter schools, which are 501(c)3, non-profit organizations already have a governing body--a board of directors. Adding an LSC would be redundant and confusing.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    This assumes that having parents or not having parents on a board is a good idea. This probably depends on each individual school's situation.

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    Yeah, I heard Andrew Broy say that too. Way to spout the party line! The problem with that idea is that there are generally no parents or teachers on that board of directors. And, frankly, their tax status doesn't mean anything.

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