Welcome Back - How's It Going?

Welcome Back - How's It Going?

Welcome back! Today's education news includes all sorts of changes for the new year (free meals for everyone, schedule changes, library staffing, etc.), plus updates on politics and people (Karen, Rahm, B3).  How's it going at your school so far this new year? Plus national news (Oklahoma just lost its NCLB waiver) and updates from other cities (NYC is rolling out a new universal preschool program).

SAFE PASSAGE

School to begin in Chicago with more safety guards Seattle Times: Chicago children will walk past even more guards on their first day of school than last year, when concerns about safety prompted the city to line the streets with 1,200 adults every day.

Governor hands CPS $10 million for more Safe Passage
Chicago Sun-Times
As he prepared to speak alongside gubernatorial challenger Bruce Rauner on Thursday, Gov. Pat Quinn announced $10 million in additional spending for Chicago Public Schools' Safe Passage program, allowing for 600 more hires of yellow-vested workers ...

NEW YEAR

Each CPS Student Eligible For Free Lunch This School Year CBS Local: Over the weekend, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett used social media and robocalls to spread the back-to-school message, encouraging everyone to start the year in class and on time. Meanwhile, the CTA is offering free rides for students on Tuesday.

Librarians Are A Luxury Chicago Public Schools Can't Afford NPR: Librarians are being reassigned to classrooms. In Illinois, librarians must also have teaching certifications, and most have endorsements to teach specific grades and subjects.

Fatigue a way of life for many high schoolers Chicago Tribune: At Chicago public schools, which start at varied times when classes begin Tuesday, tweaking such times can have a "ripple effect," said CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett at a meeting last week.

Moms, dads get kids ready for school Chicago Sun-Times: Studies have long proven that attendance on the first day of school is essential to the academic success of students throughout the year, CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, has emphasized.

CTA offering free rides for students on first day of school Sun Times: Last year, the CTA’s First Day, Free Rides program provided more than 147,000 free rides to students, according to the transit agency. Students are also eligible to buy a discounted fare for $0.75 throughout the year to ride weekdays between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., the CTA said. Last school year, students took roughly 25 million rides using the discount.

PEOPLE & POLITICS

'Chicagoland' star returns to school Crain's Business: Chicago's public schools are back in session this week, and Elizabeth Dozier has returned to fighting the good fight—this time without cameras.

Will Karen Lewis button down campaign with some history? Chicago Sun-Times: Sneed is told a cache of blue buttons was delivered as a gift to Chicago Teachers Union PresidentKaren Lewis, who has yet to decide whether she will run for mayor. The buttons are already being worn by some of her supporters, but are they soon to head ...

Barbara Byrd-Bennett is sounding like she would like a new contract. WLS: Barbara Byrd Bennett or B3, as Mayor Emanuel has nicknamed her, says people have probably taking bets that she would have left her post by now, but she says she'd “more than likely” want to stay on with a new contract when her current one ...

A quiet start expected for city schools as mayoral election draws near Chicago Tribune:  A recent Tribune poll found city voters are increasingly frustrated with Emanuel's oversight of Chicago Public Schools. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed disapprove of the mayor's handling of the public schools, with frustration running across major ..

VIEWS

CPS outpaces charter schools in improvements, especially in reading Chicago Sun-Times (oped): Though neighborhood schools scored just a hair higher than charters in 2014 scores — landing in the 49th percentile nationally for reading and math compared with the 48th for charters — Chicago PublicSchools' open-enrollment schools made much better ...

NATIONAL

50-State Look at How Common Core Playing out in US AP: The Alabama state school board folded Common Core into the state's College and Career Ready Standards for public schools and has been defending the decision ever since.

Oklahoma Loses Waiver From No Child Left Behind Provisions NYT: The move comes as a result of the state’s retreat from Common Core, a set of reading and math standards adopted by more than 40 states.

Push To Revamp Federal Testing Requirements Unlikely To Gain Traction WAMU: Local lawmakers on both sides of the aisle would like to see changes to federal laws mandating standardized testing, but legislation is unlikely before the midterm elections.

California schools chief to appeal ruling striking down teacher tenure AP: Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson says the ruling by a Los Angeles judge isn't supported by facts or the law and says it unfairly blames teachers for flaws in the education system. His opponent in the November race, Marshall Tuck, says Torlakson isn't sticking up for students. See also TeacherBeatEdSource Today.

Summer school motivates college dreams for middle school students PBS NewsHour:  This unusual start to a day is actually quite normal for a program called Breakthrough, a unique summer program with the sole focus of showing low-income, under-resourced middle school students how to get to college.

OTHER CITIES

Pre-K Clash May Hint at the Start of a Rivalry Between de Blasio and Stringer NYT: This week, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer criticized the city’s rollout of prekindergarten expansion, eliciting an unusually strong response from Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Miami Struggles To Embrace Unaccompanied Immigrants NPR: School districts are beginning to cope with the recent influx of new students from Central America. Many have little education and most are just beginning to learn English.

Billboard Drives Home Extent of Corruption as Schools Suffer NYT: In Mexico, which despite a healthy education budget has dilapidated schools, a billboard shows how much money goes to no-show teachers who collect pay without working.

NYC Families Scramble to Adjust to New School Start and End Times WNYC: As a single mother who works, Anjanie Narine doesn’t get a lot of evening time with her eight-year-old daughter Emma. She typically gets home at around 7 p.m., and evenings in their small Long Island City apartment are often spent reading one of Emma’s books together before her 9 p.m. bedtime.

Program Teaches Tech-Savvy Kids to Build With Old School Tools NBC News: The program offers building classes for kids throughout the year in the hopes of shifting them away from technology and toward hands-on activities.

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  • CPS outpaces charter schools in improvements, especially in reading - Chicago Sun-Times http://ow.ly/AZjOL

  • At Dyett, will phase-out lead to early closure? | catalyst-chicago.org http://ow.ly/B0YsX

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