The New Year Approacheth

The New Year Approacheth

Today's news includes lots more about the upcoming mayoral race, a few tidbits about schools (Lincoln, closed school buildings), and a smidgen of news about this year's expanded Safe Passages initiative.  There was also lots of debate among commenters over the weekend about Karen Lewis' earnings, Rahm's poll numbers, and whether it really makes a difference who the mayor is -- along with the usual questions about who's side I'm on (no one's!). Nationally, New York state test scores (using Common Core) are up this year, and the union isn't going to endorse Cuomo. START OF SCHOOL

More Safe Passage Routes Coming To Chicago Public Schools CBS Local: A group of parents and community members gathered in the quiet auditorium of Penn Elementary School on the West Side Friday to hear how Chicago Public Schools officials are going to work to keep their kids safe this upcoming school year,

POLITICS

CTU wants Rahm out, but trade unions back him Chicago Sun-Times: There's no question where the Chicago Teachers Union as well as a coalition of community groups stand when it comes to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. They're out for his head after he closed 50 schools, mostly in poor and minority communities.

Emanuel blames middle-class crunch for dismal poll numbers Chicago Sun-Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday blamed the economic squeeze on the middle class for his 35 percent showing in a Chicago Tribune poll that also shows him trailing Chicago Teachers UnionPresident Karen Lewis.

Karen Lewis faces a 'triple threat' to the mayor's office Chicago Sun-Times: “Every time I hear her speak, I want to wring her neck,” a neighbor confided the other day. “She is confrontational and divisive. Look at how she looks,” said a guy at the bar at my favorite restaurant. “She is not qualified to be mayor,” the waiter

Karen Lewis Defends Six-Figure Salary NBC Chicago: Chicago Teachers Union boss Karen Lewis is defending her six-figure salary and three homes -- one of which is in Hawaii -- as "solidly middle class."

Karen Lewis 'Conversations with Karen' tour begins Beverly/ Morgan Park ...  Examiner: Chicago Sun Times columnist Michael Sneed reported yesterday that Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis will be meeting with black business leaders this month.

Poll: Mayoral race between Emanuel, Lewis would be close WLS-TV: New poll numbers out from the Chicago Tribune suggest a mayoral race featuring incumbent Rahm Emanuel and teachers union president Karen Lewis would be a close one. It gives Lewis a slim 4 percent lead.

SCHOOLS

CPS trying to unload dozens of closed schools Chicago Tribune: CPS is bound by a promise district chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett made not to allow privately run charter schools into any of the buildings. A district official said CPS feels the process to "repurpose" the buildings is moving along at a decent clip.

Opponents of Lincoln Park school annex aren’t giving up Sun Times: Standing in the Lincoln Elementary School playground Sunday afternoon, critics who live near the school in the 600 block of West Kemper Place promised further court action to block the annex. They predict that the annex would worsen traffic that already snarls when parents arrive to pick up their children.

Nearly $1 million from charters went to firms identified in FBI probe Sun Times: Contractors facing scrutiny in an ongoing investigation of Concept Schools have been paid nearly $1 million over the past three years for work at three Chicago Public Schools-funded campuses run by the charte operator, records show.

EARLY CHILDHOOD

State preschool gains “erode” to 2005 levels Catalyst: Since 2009, state funding for preschool programs has dropped by more than 25 percent. In the same period, enrollment decreased from an all-time high of 95,000 to 70,000.

How Early-Childhood Education Can Aid the Poorest Children Chicago Magazine: A Nobel-winning University of Chicago economist finds that a simple program from Jamaica allowed malnourished toddlers to catch up to their peers, decades later.

OTHER CITIES

Five Things You Need to Know About NYC Scores on State Tests WNYC: State Education Commissioner John King speculated on Thursday that the city showed more gains because it began training groups of teachers and principals in the Common Core learning standards a few years ago, ahead of other districts.

N.Y. Union Won't Endorse in Governor's Race Teacher Beat: NYSUT opted not to endorse Cuomo or any other candidate for the 2014 governor's race.

Why The Atlanta Testing Scandal Matters NPR: The pressure placed on schools and educators by high-stakes tests can lead to unintended consequences.

Philadelphia Schools to Open on Time Amid Millions in Budget Cuts NYT: The Pennsylvania legislature is considering a cigarette tax for the city that would make the budget reductions temporary.

LAUSD says it's not subject to state's 'parent trigger' law this year NYT: In a letter last year, a U.S. Department of Education official told Deasy the federal waiver did not exempt L.A. Unified from identifying schools for improvement, corrective action or restructuring, and did not affect any related state laws.

NATIONAL

Helping Students Make Sense Of A Young Black Man's Death In Missouri NPR: The shooting of Michael Brown may raise questions for students, and teachers need to be prepared.

Why is a Reagan-era report driving today’s education reform? Hechinger Report: The new evaluation system, along with many of the other changes roiling American education, can be traced directly back to a set of old ideas – as old as Curtis’s tenure at Curtis High. In many ways, the report has defined the careers of a generation of educators like her – and the educations of a generation of American public school students.

Parents paying big bucks for back-to-school supplies NBC: There’s a case of sticker shock over what some moms and dads are calling ridiculously long school-supply lists. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

Mom Gives Birth at School, Registering Son for Pre-K NBC: A pregnant Texas woman, hoping to quickly go into a school to drop off her son's Pre-K registration, suddenly gives birth, with help from the school nurse. KPRC's Phil Archer reports.

Comments

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  • How many of the closed school buildings will remain unsold next year? Most of the 50, I think.

    Mayor Lewis will reopen these school, no doubt. Correcting the travesty of school closure must be the top priority.

  • There are actually 60 school buildings that are empty at last count. Out of the last 50 buildings closed, 11 have been ‘repurposed’. Then there are 21 still left empty from the closings in 2012.

  • O.K., reopening 21 schools will be easy. Maybe the next 30 or so will take until the 2016-17 school year.

  • Alex is right. Emanuel=No One.

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