The Board approved the CPS budget -- no surprises, right? Catalyst examines the impact of funding charters equitably on the rest of the district. Lots of opinions in Comments about the closing of the Simeon electrical training program. Firefighters are complaining about new CPS graduate hiring priority. Nationally, Glenn Beck is going all out against the Common Core (good company, I know), and states are trying to upgrade charter and accountability policies nationwide according to a new ECS report.
Chicago Board Of Ed Approves Budget, Debate Over School Funding Rages On Progress Illinois: "We've proposed extending the district's revenue recognition period, and while this one-time maneuver allows us to close the 2015 budget gap, it does not address our underlying fiscal challenges," CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said.
Watchdog group shreds Chicago public schools' 'gimmick-based' budget Crain's Chicago Business: An already "unsustainable" financial hole at Chicago Public Schools continues to only get worse, setting the stage for "dramatic and painful" cuts next year, according to a review of its proposed 2015 budget by the Civic Federation.
Chicago School Board approves $5.8B budget Clout St.: $5.8 billion plan cuts money for neighborhood schools for 2nd year in a row While officials acknowledged the potential pitfalls of using a one-time accounting maneuver to cover a gaping deficit, Chicago’s Board of Education Wednesday unanimously approved a $5.8 billion operating budget and another $1 billion in spending on capital projects and debt payments.
$5.8 billion schools budget gets final stamp of approval Catalyst: Criticism from watchdog groups aside, School Board members on Wednesday unanimously approved a $5.8 billion budget while conceding that it was problematic to use a one-time accounting maneuver to erase a deficit. The Civic Federation and Access Living, two groups that analyze the budget, did not...
Chicago School Board approves $5.8B budget Chicago Tribune: Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett blamed the district's fiscal crisis on low state funding-Illinois among lowest in country-and lack of pension reform. “Pension reform is our best hope to protect investments we've made in the classroom.”
Charter school funding changes budget landscape Catalyst: Chicago’s per-capita tuition is $13,790, and the district has never come close to providing even 75 percent of that to charter schools. After much discussion, CPS officials were able to convince the task force that per capita tuition was the wrong measure.
CPS closes last electrical training program for students Chicago Sun-Times: Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett told the board that program was cut because of lack of enrollment and interest rather than lack of money. Forty of the current incoming 9th graders chose to study electricity but only 18 of them would have enrolled.
Kenwood Academic Center's Move Into Canter Praised by Rahm, Byrd-Bennett DNAinfo: On Tuesday Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett praised the plan to move Kenwood's seventh- and eighth-grade academic center students into the neighboring Canter building.
Head of Hyde Park Elementary Schools Resigns Eight Months Into the Job DNA Info: Janice Jackson will succeed Harrison Peters in overseeing Hyde Park schools, CPS said.
Englewood Schools To Get New Gym, Arts Teachers Thanks to TIF Money DNA Info: New physical education and arts teachers are being hired with $21.5 million in tax increment financing.
TEACHERS & STUDENTS
Policy Giving CPS Grads Preference in City Hiring Riles Some Firefighters DNA Info: But the fire union president said a compromise could be reached before the upcoming firefighter exam.
Summer School teacher essay: Working to find joy in kindergarten Sun Times: The Sun-Times editorial page has launched a summer series in which area teachers weigh in on the big challenges facing education. The latest installment, posted below, is an essay by Mia Valdez Quellhorst, a Chicago Public Schools kindergarten teacher.
Districts get early look at test scores as SED responds to concerns ChalkbeatNY: State education officials said they’re releasing “instructional reports” to districts more than a month earlier than in previous years. It’s the first time it will come before the state’s release of statewide test results, which officials said won’t come for at least another two weeks.
A Bird's-Eye View On Common Core Across The Country NPR: With conservative commentator Glenn Beck renewing his fight against the Common Core State Standards, it's worth taking a bird's-eye view of the learning benchmarks. Where are they now being implemented, what challenges remain and what does the coming school year have in store?
Glenn Beck takes to the theaters to attack Common Core Washington Post: Conservative media commentator Glenn Beck led a national strategy session to kill the Common Core State Standards on Tuesday night, using a two-hour simulcast into movie theaters across the country as a way to embolden critics of the standards and recruit foot soldiers to the cause.
Glenn Beck Takes His Campaign Against Common Core To The Big Screen NPR: Conservative commentator Glenn Beck hosted a live, interactive "night of action" against the Common Core State Standards. He has long fought against the learning benchmarks in reading and math now being used in 43 states. Events such as these, and the Common Core itself, could continue to play a role in the 2014 midterm campaigns.
Why Do Americans Stink at Math? NYT Magazine: The Common Core should finally improve math education. The problem is that no one has taught the teachers how to teach it.
Charter School Cap and Closure Laws Among Growing Policy Trends EdWeek: The report says 15 states and the District of Columbia have established standards for authorizers, while 16 states and D.C. require authorizers to submit annual reports on their portfolios of schools. The brief also points to statewide authorizing bodies as another policy trend: Of the 42 states with charter laws, 33 have an authorizer that charters and oversees schools statewide. The remaining policy trends identified by the Denver-based ECS were not directly related to charter school authorizing, but still share oversight as a theme.
More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso).
Texas Delays Rollout of New Teacher Evaluations Texas Tribune: The new policy — which for the first time ties teacher assessments to student performance on standardized tests — is also the first update to teacher evaluations the state has made in 17 years.
Bill de Blasio has promised pre-K for all 4-year-olds. Can it get done? Vox: Now the city is working furiously to expand a system of all-day pre-K that served 20,000 children last year to one that will enroll 52,000 this fall — on the way to universal enrollment of about 73,000 in 2016. That's a steep logistical challenge, but it's just the first one the city will face as it works to make de Blasio's dream a reality.
Stray Decimal Points Put Thousands of Students' Financial Aid in Jeopardy AP: The Department of Education told The Associated Press that a change in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, resulted in many students incorrectly entering their personal income levels. They estimate up to 200,000 people were wrongly declared eligible and others were incorrectly denied.
Discipline in Preschool WAMU: Traditional and charter schools in D.C. reportedly suspended 181 pre-K students during the 2012-13 school year. Many are shocked at the idea of suspending 4 year olds, but some educators say it's necessary to maintain the classroom learning environment.
At Manhattan Preschool, Accounts of Sex Abuse Case Differ NYT: At least three families have hired lawyers to investigate after a popular intern was accused by a teacher of inappropriately touching children and arrested.
Judges rule against letting public see LAUSD teachers' performance LA Times: The public has no right to know the names of Los Angeles Unified School District teachers in connection with their job performance ratings, according to a court ruling issued Wednesday. Losing school librarians in Chicago Public Schools WBEZ: CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett says the librarian shortage is because there aren’t enough librarians in the hiring pool. “It’s not that we don’t want to have librarians in libraries,” Byrd-Bennett said at last month’s board meeting. “Nobody can argue that point, but the pool is diminished.” So where have all the librarians gone?