Hi, all -- Happy Monday (?). Today's education news includes a big WSJ article about the CPS pension problem, and some new poll results showing a vulnerable Rahm. The Tribune profiles some of the outside operators in North Lawndale (and describes some testing complaints from elsewhere in the state), and the Sun Times reveals that UNO had to pay a settlement for a fired teacher. Plus lots of comments over the weekend, and national news.
Rahm Emanuel Faces New Test With Chicago Pension Crisis Wall Street Journal: "I'm not looking to make anyone's election year easy at all, especially someone who doesn't want to make our lives easy," President Karen Lewis, who is pushing for a state tax on financial transactions to help close the pension shortfalls, said in an interview.
Poll: Rahm re-election on ropes; voters say no better than Daley Chicago Sun-Times: ... according to the new poll, which measured Emanuel's support against County Board President Toni Preckwinkle — the challenger City Hall fears most — along with three others: Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd); Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and...
Private operators dominate public schools in North Lawndale Chicago Tribune: In the long-troubled North Lawndale community, Chicago Public Schools has turned to private operators to solve the problem of failing schools more than anywhere else in the city.
Charter school teaming with Moody would violate Constitution: group Chicago Sun-Times: Americans United for Separation of Church and State, in a letter sent to ChicagoPublic Schools officials, is urging the Chicago Board of Education to...
Basing school discipline on conduct instead of skin color Chicago Tribune: His suspensions came during a time when the Chicago Public Schools system had one of the stiffest zero-tolerance discipline policies in the nation.
UNO charter schools paid fired teacher $150000 to settle case, records show Sun Times: The taxpayer-funded charter-school network run by the clout-heavy United Neighborhood Organization paid a fired physical education teacher $150,000 to settle a lawsuit that claimed he was wrongly fired for reporting the assault of a student at UNO’s Major Hector P. Garcia M.D. High School on Chicago’s Southwest Side, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show.
Why can't Mayor Rahm be more like Karen Lewis? Chicago Reader: For Tuesday's big show—Karen Lewis live at the Hideout—they gave me the hand-held mike and told me to sit in the middle of the table. Between my cohost, Mick Dumke, and Ms. Lewis, two rock stars of epic proportion.
Pushback in suburbs over state testing Tribune: High school officials seek delay in giving new state exams
Charter schools fear 'closure clause' will jeopardize ability to rent space MinnPost: “We have kids who are one credit away from graduating” next month, Stucki said earlier this week. “We are one of the first consistent things in their lives.”
A Lesson in Farming, Classroom to Cafeteria NYT: In Hagerstown, Ind., high school students will be making their own burgers from scratch — raising cattle to supply cheaper food for their cafeteria.
UFT chief Mulgrew doubles down on private remarks, with one concession Chalkbeat: When Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked on Friday whether the union president’s remarks indicated an unwillingness to support change, the mayor defended Mulgrew. “These are all fundamental reforms, so Mr. Mulgrew was front and center in making those reforms happen with us and I respect him for it,” de Blasio said.
Under Restructured Rules, Kansas Teachers Lose Tenure NPR: Kansas lawmakers a bill that will take away some of the employment protections offered to teachers. Teachers argue this will allow them to be fired for unfair reasons.
Why Aren't Teens Reading Like They Used To? NPR: A survey of data shows a marked drop in teenagers reading for pleasure. Researchers are trying to figure out whether the explosion of e-reading and digital diversions is behind the decline. See also Reuters.
Hardship Makes a New Home in the Suburbs NYT: The suburbs east of Los Angeles were once a magnet for restless newcomers with big aspirations, but jobs never really followed. Today, poverty is growing faster in suburban areas than in cities or rural areas.
CA's new computerized exam tryout plagued by glitches LA Times: During the sixth week of the effort, the state assistance center logged 657 calls a day for help. L.A. Unified's technology staff was sometimes deluged, and some schools helped each other. [note mismatch between headline and facts cited]
Ed. Dept. to Extend NCLB Waivers Without Considering Teacher Evaluation PK12: The U.S. Department of Education told state chiefs Friday that it will grant some states extensions on their waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act, even if their teacher-evaluation systems aren't yet completely up to snuff. The plan, which is still being developed, would give states that are already making progress on implementing teacher-evaluation systems that conform to the department's principles extra time to tweak and refine those systems.
D.C.’s No Child Left Behind waiver highlights debate over city’s plan for struggling schools Washington Post: Now that waiver is set to expire and District officials are seeking permission to extend it, highlighting debate — including among mayoral candidates — about whether the city has a strong enough system to fix chronically struggling schools.
TEACHERS / TEACHING
Can schools find room for Greek tragedy in Common Core? Hechinger: After learning more about Common Core, Concord-Carlisle High School Principal Peter Badalament hopes that his high-performing school won’t have to make many changes to how they teach English language arts.
Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Lately, Coding NYT: Schools are signing up to teach computer coding, which some view as a basic skill for today, and the tech industry-backed group Code.org is pushing basic coding even for the very young.
Is parent fundraising equitable in Montgomery? Washington Post: Parent fundraising and private donations have produced enviable results at some Montgomery County schools: athletic scoreboards, artificial turf, a nearly $250,000 elementary school improvement project.
The Persistent Link Between Georgraphy and Poverty WNYC: Studies show that middle class black families tend to still live near pockets of poverty, leading to stagnant economic mobility and persistent problems around violence, education, and more.
What our most famous private school is hiding Washington Post (Jay Mathews): Sidwell and some other local private schools resist being part of any ranked list, including the America’s Most Challenging High Schools survey I do every year for The Washington Post.