There - That Year Wasn't So Bad, Was It?

There - That Year Wasn't So Bad, Was It?

Now that school's basically over, the Tribune looks back at the last nine months and suggests that it wasn't nearly as bad as anticipated (predicted) given that it's just a year since 50 schools were shut down. But who cares what the Tribune thinks -- how was it from your perspective? Plus news about Gresham, Common Core, and national and local news from other cities.

YEAR IN REVIEW

Year later, much learned about school closings Tribune: Nerves were a little shakier than usual when the 2013-14 school year started in Chicago, as parents and city officials anxiously watched thousands of children heading off to classrooms in unfamiliar neighborhoods because of the district's move to close almost 50 elementary schools.

CPS To Move Forward With Gresham Turnaround Progress Illinois: The group ended the sit-in once they were granted a meeting with CPS leaders to discuss their concerns. The school supporters reportedly had that meeting with district CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Vitale earlier this month.

Rev. Jesse Jackson: Restore Curie's city basketball title Chicago Sun-Times: On Saturday, he said he's been in contact with Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the city schools chief, who “admitted they had been done wrong.” “Well, correct the wrong,” Jackson said.

"This Is Are Story": Chicago Public Schools Are Failing Huffington Post: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and other union leaders waged a war that locked students out of classrooms over pay increases and refusal to implement a more rigorous teacher evaluation processes.

Chicago Is Facing Financial Calamity - And Rahm Emanuel May Not Be Able To ... Business Insider:  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. He will have to move quickly.

Student loan debt hurdle for Chicago's wanna-be homebuyers WBEZ:  There’s one room in his Bridgeport apartment that Tim Johnson likes to make special note of when giving a grand tour. The bright, sunny space used to be the landlord's bedroom, but now it functions as a living room for him and his wife Michelle Skinner.

How Housing Debt and Student Loan Debt Create a Double Drag on the Economy Chicago Mag: What we didn’t know about the housing bubble hurt us—but the lessons from the financial crisis could save us from the growing student-loan problem.

Vallas: Rauner's plan to cut spending is 'joke' The State Journal-Register: Pat Quinn's running mate Paul Vallas says Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's plan to cut spending is a "joke." Vallas is a former Chicago Public Schools CEO. He held a news conference Friday to address Rauner's proposals.

Here’s your say on Karen Lewis Sun Times (Washington): Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis gets vile letters from her critics. Last week, I wrote about Lewis’ mission to unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel and conquer obesity. Readers weighed in. Most were polite — but no fans of Lewis.

Common Core worth fighting for Sun Times (editorial page): Gates is right — and this, thankfully, already is the plan for Illinois, with Chicago as a key exception. His call echoes that of many others, including the nation’s two largest teacher unions. But, like Gates, we still strongly support the Common Core standards and the tests aligned to them. Gates’ call is for a reflective pause, not a retreat.

TEACHERS UNIONS

California judge rightly nixes teacher tenure Tribune (editorial page): While this case plays out in court, while politicians spend more time and energy appeasing the grown-ups who fund their political campaigns rather than demolishing barriers to children's education, students are doomed to classrooms with teachers who shouldn't be there. Every day. That should shock everyone's conscience.

NEA president blasts reformers Politico: Van Roekel referred to a full-page ad in USA Today that urged citizens to sue to “stop teachers unions from treating kids like garbage” and today's story inPOLITICO about the decline in union influence.

Duncan issues new statement with the ‘right lessons’ from Vergara trial Washington Post: In case you weren’t sure what to think about last week’s verdict in the “Vergara trial” — in which a Los Angeles court judge tossed out state statutes giving job protections to teachers — Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a new statement on Sunday offering what he thinks are the “right lessons” from the case.

L.A. school unions back separate candidates in Board of Education race LA Times: The two largest school employee unions in Los Angeles are on different sides of a key Board of Education race, as they maneuver for leverage over pay raises, job security and other matters.

COMMON CORE

Home-Schooling Parents Rally Against Common Core AP: Home-schooling parents motivated in opposition to Common Core standards

Common Core, in 9-Year-Old Eyes NYT:  Chrispin Alcindor, a Brooklyn fourth grader, was once a top student. But rigorous new academic standards — and the exams that accompany them — have frayed his confidence.

OTHER CITIES

Success Academy Charter Schools Force Mayor Bill de Blasio to Confront New Law NYT: The Success Academy Charters Schools group’s aim to double in size by 2016 forces Mayor Bill de Blasio to choose between two troublesome options.

Study Shows Fewer Suspensions in Calif. Schools, But Racial Disparities Persist District Dossier: UCLA review shows that minorities are still more likely than whites to be suspended for acts of disruption and willful defiance—a vague category that can include anything from talking back to teacher to not doing one's homework—.

MISC

Starbucks to Provide Free College Education to Thousands of Workers NYT: Through an unusual arrangement with Arizona State University, the company will pay for its workers to earn college degrees.

Op-Ed Columnist: Oversharing in Admissions Essays NYT: The raw and revelatory admissions essay reflects the blinding competition to get into elite schools.

How Trauma Affects The Brain Of A Learner NPR: Science may be able to help schools combat the adverse effects of poverty.

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  • Readers weigh in (pro and con) on @ctulocal1 prez Karen Lewis http://ht.ly/y676h

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