Friday The 13th (For Unions?)

Friday The 13th (For Unions?)

Today's education news includes more about the FBI raids on Concept Schools, the rollout of the SXU dual enrollment deal for CPS high school students, and stolen New Trier identities.  Nationally, everyone's trying to figure out (make their case) about the Vergara decision limiting tenure and seniority protections in California.  Politico's story about the demise of unions is particularly bracing -- but may or may not be accurate. Meanwhile, it's Friday the 13th, full moon, Mercury in retrograde -- be careful out there!

Algebra students struggle to find formula to end violence Sun Times: The task for 300 South Side high schoolers: Brainstorm ways to quell the city’s violence. The solution for some: Move to Florida.

FBI raids on Concept Schools included Rogers Park school, Des Plaines offices Sun Times: FBI raids targeting Concept Schools included the national charter-school operator’s Des Plaines headquarters and a school in Rogers Park.

Fight against Gresham turnaround fails; staff will be replaced next year Chicago Sun-Times: Vitale said the decision was made jointly with CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. The school at 8524 S. Green waged a very public fight against the turnaround. Gresham Principal Diedrus Brown took the unusual step of publicly criticizing CPS.

SXU to offer classes for high school students SouthtownStar: A coordinated effort such as this partnership offers the best possible future for the students, teachers and schools in the city, said Chicago Public Schools chief executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

Rahmbo's toughest mission The Economist: The boss of the teachers' union, Karen Lewis, has called his reforms “theft”.) Most difficult of all, he must deal with the police and firefighters.

New London school board names new superintendent Carter has been director and chief academic officer of the academy, which manages 29 Chicago public schools serving more than 17,000 students, since 2010.

New Trier investigates teacher identity thefts Tribune: The apparent identity thefts of more than 40 former and current New Trier High School employees have prompted the school district to ask local and state law enforcement authorities for help with the investigation, New Trier officials confirmed this week.


The fall of teachers unions Politico: But union leaders can’t spend all their time promoting [popular initiatives like arts classes]: They must also represent their members.

Vergara Decision: Key to Destroying Teachers Unions and In Time All Unions
City Watch: The well respected leader of the Chicago Teacher's Union, Karen Lewis, stated that tenure equals due process, and that no teacher should or could be fired without a fair...

With California tenure ruling, a Democratic divide Washington Post: When a California judge struck down tenure and other job protections for teachers this week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) both applauded, revealing fissures in the once-solid alliance between labor unions and the Democratic Party.

Is Teacher Tenure Really The New Brown V. Board Of Education? NPR: A California judge ruled that the state's teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional because they disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students. Education Week's Stephen Sawchuk explains.

But is Arne Duncan Going To Do Anything About Tenure Reform? Daily Caller: Almost immediately, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan cheered the ruling, saying it offered “a mandate” to build “a new framework for the teaching profession.”

Los Angeles Judge's decision to toss teacher tenure shows strength of union adversaries KPCC: “It’s really up now to the state legislature to say: what can we do better to serve our kids and to serve our teachers," said USC education researcher Katharine Strunk. "And I think the union has a very strong - should have a very strong - role to play in that discussion, as should other groups that represent parents, taxpayers, and other stakeholder groups.”

After Vergara, activists expect court battles over teacher tenure across the U.S. Hechinger Report: California teachers unions are confident they will win on appeal, which could take as long as two years.


House Delays Vote on Easing School Meal Standards NYT: The rules are a large component of Michelle Obama’s campaign to reduce the number of overweight children through exercise and better nutrition.

Cool Kids Lose, Though It May Take A Few Years NPR: The researchers followed over 180 13-year-olds for a decade, interviewing the teens themselves, as well as their parents and friends. By age 22, the cool group had a 45 percent higher rate of problems related to alcohol and substance use (such as missing work and driving drunk) than their less-cool peers, according to the study, which appears in the journal Child Development. The popular crowd was also more likely to have engaged in criminal activity.

Common Core Sparks Flood of Legislation Stateline: About a dozen states have dropped out of the testing groups or delayed implementation of tests for at least a year. The states that have dropped out include Alabama, Arizona (which withdrew to request proposals to solicit bids for the new standards but will continue to participate in the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah. These states will delay implementation for at least a year: Iowa, North Carolina and Wyoming

Obama to Unveil Efforts to Bolster Education, Economy in Indian Country Wall Street Journal: President Barack Obama on Friday will announce new efforts aimed at strengthening education and economic development in Indian country when he visits the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation.

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan criticizes South Carolina Charleston Post Courier: "When we dumb down standards ... it's terrible for students," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "Historically South Carolina has set a low bar. That's not something anyone should be proud of."


D.C. releases new boundaries proposal with emphasis on neighborhood schools Washington Post: D.C. officials on Thursday put forth a new proposal for public school boundaries that would maintain a system of neighborhood schools while providing a pathway for children, particularly those who are disadvantaged, to gain access to schools outside their immediate communities.



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