Today's news includes lots of coverage about the SEC filing against UNO charter network, more about anti-semitism at Ogden, and a strangely-delayed Tribune obituary for Jackie Gallagher. Nationally, there's news about teacher absences, Common Core curriculum that isn't, and what happens next for Newark's Cami Anderson (hint: she says she's not leaving).
SEC Charges Chicago Charter School Operator With Defrauding Bond Investors BuzzFeed: The SEC is charging the charter operator, UNO, with defrauding investors in a $37.5 million bond offering. UNO, which is run by the Latino nonprofit the United Neighborhood Organization, failed to disclose that it had paid $11 million to a company owned by the brother of its chief operating officer, and misled investors about how the breach of conflict of interest policies might affect their ability to repay the bond.
SEC charges UNO with defrauding investors, warns probe 'not done' Sun Times: Although the organization has agreed to settle civil charges leveled by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a federal official here said the case isn’t closed.
SEC hits UNO on charter school deal Tribune: The powerful United Neighborhood Organization has agreed to have an outside monitor review its contracts for a year to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission complaint that the charter school group operator defrauded investors in a $37.5 million bond offering by misleading them about conflicts of interest in giving school construction contracts to companies run by relatives of an UNO official.
Chicago Schools Sued by SEC for Deal With Official's Brother Bloomberg: A Chicago charter school operator was sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for inadequately disclosing contracts with companies owned by an executive's brothers, which the agency said threatened bond investors.
UNO case casts cloud over schools Chicago Sun-Times: Here's why we think people who care about Chicago's kids should be disgusted that a charter schoolnetwork run by the United Neighborhood Organization mishandled public money, handing out large contracts to two lucky brothers of a vice president
Cassell Elementary expands; parents want autism program to grow, too Sun Times: Autistic children needing a cluster program are already there. So is the will of Cassell Elementary’s community to keep them through 8th grade. And now there’s space to do it, with an eight-classroom addition at the crowded school opening by September. So parents of autistic children at the Mount Greenwood school, 11314 S. Spaulding, can’t understand why one of their new classrooms in their special-ed friendly school won’t be used to expand its existing K-4 autism program to include older grades, so their children could stay put. “It’s so frustrating because we were always told the cluster couldn’t continue because …
Chicago eighth-graders suspended for anti-Semitic bullying Haaretz: In a statement, Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in part, “The principal at Ogden International High School has worked in cooperation with the network and central office to foster a larger community dialog around cultural ...
Jackie Gallagher, former Chicago Teachers Union spokeswoman Tribune: Mrs. Gallagher, 85, died of natural causes Tuesday, April 22, at her Arlington Heights home, said her daughter, Audrey. She battled heart problems in recent years, her daughter said.
Alarming Number Of Urban Teachers Are 'Chronically Absent' Huffington Post: The National Council on Teacher Quality classifies 16 percent of teachers in those cities as "chronically absent," meaning they missed 18 or more days per school year. Together, chronically absent teachers accounted for one-third of all teacher absences.
The Common Core Curriculum Void NPR: States and school districts are struggling to navigate the flood of new materials claiming to be Common Core-aligned.
Do Autistic Kids Fare Better In Integrated Or Specialized Schools? NPR: Some advocates say autism-only schools can be life-changing for autistic kids who struggle in traditional classrooms. Others say segregating kids with autism carries its own problems.
National education organizations urge FCC to increase E-Rate funding PBS: Nineteen national education and library organizations from the Education and Library Networks Coalition representing 14,000 public school districts, 100,000 public schools, 31,000 private schools and more than 16,400 public libraries collaborated on a letter urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to continue the support and strengthening of the E-Rate.
The Documentary That Asks, Is College Worth It? Seattle Public Radio: Ross Reynolds speaks with Andrew Rossi, director of a new documentary "Ivory Tower" that asks the question, is a college education worth the skyrocketing cost of tuition?
Despite Calls for Resignation, Newark Superintendent Vows to Stay District Dossier: Cami Anderson said she is "passionate" about the city and "hopeful" about the progress she has seen.
Despite Expansion, Many Pre-K Programs Fail To Reach Immigrant Kids NPR: Most states have embarked on a significant expansion of preschool programs, but a new report says they appear to be missing the kids who need these programs most: low-income, immigrant children.
In Kentucky, Moving Beyond Dependence On Tests NPR: I've driven the 37 miles from Lexington to see one of the most closely watched efforts in the country to change the way schools assess student learning. Principal Amy Swann and the district's superintendent, Carmen Coleman, have completely overhauled their school's educational philosophy, moving away from standardized tests toward an approach called performance-based assessment.
Years after Common Core’s arrival, reading overhauls continue at top charter networks Chalkbeat: After playing a video clip from a 2011 reading class, Toll admitted to the group that the old style of instruction “makes me almost nauseous to look at.”
The people behind today’s educational software Hechinger Report (Whitmire/Rocketship): On Ben Slivka’s LinkedIn page you see a swarm of startups, the fruit of his labors as a talented software writer, all of it rooted in his training at Northwestern University as a mathematician and computer scientist.