Principals Ruled - Or Ruling - By Fear?

Principals Ruled - Or Ruling - By Fear?

Byrd-Bennett says she's going to look into the notion that principals can't speak out.  Waldorf wants Stewart building.  Rahm struggles in the polls.  Nationally, two new studies are out (covering pre-K access and VAM programs), and San Jose wants to but can't extend its pre-tenure period for some teachers.  Check it all out -- and comments, too!

PRINCIPALS

CPS chief vows she'll get to the bottom of principal's complaints Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett vowed Monday to get to the bottom of a respected principal's complaints — first voiced in an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times — that CPS bullies its principals, leaving them “paralyzed by fear.”

Chicago principals say they operate under 'gag order' WBEZ: Chicago is pushing major changes to its schools—re-staffings, reorganized budgets, new charters. Through it all, Chicagoans have rarely heard from the people running the schools—the principals. Recently, some principals have broken what many say is a code of silence imposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s image-conscious schools administration.

School principal critical of Emanuel takes to blog, airs others complaints Chicago Sun-Times: An outspoken elementary school principal who recently blasted the mayor's office for silencing Chicago Public School principals in an opinion piece he wrote for the Sun-Times, is now airing comments from other school leaders on his blog.

SCHOOLS

Waldorf School Wants to Move into Shuttered Stewart Elementary Building DNA Info: Stewart was closed despite protests, and now the private school wants to move into the building.

POLITICS

Only 29% of Chicagoans Would Vote for Rahm Emanuel FrontPage Magazine: Karen Lewis' candidacy alone tells you somehow about how screwed up Chicago politics are, but I wouldn't write off Rahm yet. In the '11 election went, Rahm won with something like 42 percent turnout and one of the lowest victory margins in Chicago.

Karen Lewis: Bozo the Clown Could Beat Emanuel in Mayor's Race NBC Chicago: Should Karen Lewis rule out a run for Mayor of Chicago, she could easily qualify for Heckler-in-Chief. The Chicago Teachers Union firebrand and Rahm Emanuel archnemesis gleefully needled the mayor at a recent panel discussion with the Chicago.

Karen Lewis Weighs In on Rahm's Re-election, More Chicago Tonight: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis discusses her opposition to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election, who she would like to see run against him, the union’s proposal for a new tax on financial transactions and much more.

NATIONAL

Good teaching, poor test scores: Doubt cast on grading teachers by student performance Washington Post: The study, published Tuesday in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, is the latest in a growing body of research that has cast doubt on whether it is possible for states to use empirical data in identifying good and bad teachers.

Availability of pre-K education varies widely between states PBS: A new report to be released Tuesday finds wide disparities in the number of spots available for publicly funded preschool programs. A whopping 94 percent of 4-year-olds attended such a program in the District of Columbia and more than 7 out of 10 did in Florida, Oklahoma and Vermont. Ten states had no such program. Overall, $5.4 billion was spent by states on pre-K funding for about 1.3 million preschoolers. See also WPost.

Boosting school funding 20 percent erased the graduation gap between rich and poor students Vox: Additional money spent educating a child from a poor family made that child more likely to graduate high school, less likely to fall into poverty as an adult and more likely to complete an additional year of education, public policy researchers from Northwestern University and the University of California-Berkeley found.

TEACHING/ TEACHERS

What Does Progressive Education Look Like In Seattle Classrooms? Seattle Public Radio: Marcie Sillman talks with co-founder of Social Equality Educators and high school teacher, Jesse Hagopian, about his goals for Seattle classrooms.

A Surge of Absences at San Diego Unified – By Teachers Voice of San Diego: It’s a temporary development sparked by the Common Core curriculum– most teachers must miss class to train on the new standards.

Battle Brewing Over Teacher Evaluation Rules Texas Tribune: The new system requires that school districts base 20 percent of teacher evaluations — which are used for pay and employment decisions — on “student growth” data that includes standardized test scores.

Pedophile Teacher Abused Dozens as Clues Missed AP: The discovery of a man the FBI regards as one of the most prolific pedophiles in memory has set off a crisis in the close-knit community of international schools, where horrified parents are being told their children may have been victims of a favorite teacher, and administrators are scurrying to close teacher-vetting loopholes revealed by Vahey's abuses.

California Turns Down District's Bid to Lengthen Pre-Tenure Period Teacher Beat: California won't grant a bid by the San Jose district and union to extend the two-year probationary period for some teachers.

Total cost of proposed teachers union contract comes to almost $9 billion Chalkbeat: The total cost of the proposed teachers union contract: $8.9 billion through 2021, offset by $2.9 billion in healthcare savings, the city said Monday.

KIDS

Teens are Losing More Sleep Than Ever WNYC: Young people used to have sleepovers on the weekends and stay up all night talking, but now, it’s like they’re having unlimited sleepovers, seven nights a week in their own bedrooms.  Teenagers should get about nine hours of sleep a night but, according to the National Sleep Foundation, the average teenager sleeps a little over seven hours a night.

A Prom Like Any Other — But With A Few Exceptions NPR: Oregon's teacher of the year organized the Aloha Prom for students with special needs. Students from other towns drove as much as an hour to attend Friday's event in Portland.

Asian-Americans Are Successful, But No Thanks To Tiger Parenting NPR: Contrary to popular stereotypes, Asian-Americans don't achieve academic success just because it's just in their genes. These students perform well because of community resources and teacher support.

MISC

First Lady Michelle Obama Urges Dillard Grads to 'Stay Hungry for Education' BET:  "Today, I stand before a sea of young geniuses. Oh, yeah," said First Lady Michelle Obama in her commencement speech to the graduates of Dillard University in New Orleans on May 10.

 

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  • NYC, CPS, Philly rating systems "tend to be much more holistic & progressive" than state systems - @msdf_foundation http://ht.ly/wNDv5

  • 32 comments and counting about Troy LaRavierre on Ravitch blog http://ht.ly/wQFxt

  • Speaking of principals, anyone hear what's going on at Collins Academy High School | AUSL ? I heard that the principal was let go unexpectedly.

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