Which Is It Going To Be: CTU Or City Hall?

Which Is It Going To Be: CTU Or City Hall?

Emanuel allies are pressuring Lewis to make a decision. Meanwhile, Emanuel and Byrd-Bennett are telling Aramark to get on the ball with cleaning CPS Schools.  Riffing off of yesterday's PDK poll of public opinion on teachers, Chicago teacher Ray Salazar lists 3 reasons people don't trust teachers, and charter school applications were down in DC this year. 

Pro-Rahm group tells Karen Lewis to choose: Mayor's race or CTU Chicago Sun-Times: A group that has supported Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the past on Tuesday called on Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis to make a choice: Declare candidacy for mayor or lead in negotiating the next teachers contract.  Elsewhere, UTLA is now calling for LAUSD superintendent Deasy's resignation,

Emanuel vs. Lewis shifts up a gear Chicago Sun-Times: The not-yet-formally-announced mayoral campaign of Karen Lewis is taking shape. After registering a campaign committee in late August and this month loaning it $40,000 of her own money, Chicago Teachers Union boss Karen Lewis has now put a ...

Emanuel, Byrd-Bennett To Aramark: Clean Up Your Act And Our Schools Chicagoist:  CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said she wasn't concerned by the Sun-Times report, yet added Aramark and SodexoMAGIC, which holds an $80 million contract for facilities management at some CPS pilot schools, have been slow out of the gates.

Aramark to keep schools clean, or else, Emanuel says WLS-TV: "Aramarks job is to clean the schools so our principals and teachers can focus on their fundamental responsibility, education," Emanuel said. "They will either live up to that contract and clean up theschools, or they can clean up their desks and get ...

Three reasons people don't trust teachers The White Rhino: Between 2009 and 2012, Chicago Public Schools went through five CEOs (Arne Duncan, Ron Huberman, Terry Mazany, Jean Claude-Brizard, Barbara Byrd-Bennett). This instability made its way to the classroom as policies and expectations changed each...

The Homestretch' Shows The Struggle Of Chicago's Homeless School Kids DNAinfo: In 2009, Kirsten Kelly discovered an almost secret population of Chicago PublicSchools kids who couch surf, crash with friends and sleep under cars but never get called “homeless.”

Chicago-area neighborhoods ranked by schools Tribune: Redfin recently cross-referenced data on home prices withGreatSchools ratings to arrive at the top three neighborhoods for highest-ranked schools in several metropolitan areas. In the greater Chicago area, they are Downtown Northbrook, Downtown La Grange, and North Center.


Lawsuit challenges teachers’ compulsory dues EdSource Today: A lawsuit working its way through the courts is striking at the core of the California Teachers Association’s power: its authority to automatically deduct hundreds of millions of dollars a year in dues from the paychecks of both members and non-members.

What’s the best way to teach teachers? PBS NewsHour: An annual poll out today by Gallup and Phi Delta Kappa finds that majorities of Americans believe teacher preparation should be more rigorous.  There was also support for stronger certification requirements and evaluations, more training and practice time for teaching candidates, and opposition to using student test results to evaluate teachers. A new book explores what better teaching may look like.

Bobby Jindal Trusts Science Except When He Doesn't Huffington Post: America needs a leader to bridge the widening gulf between faith and science, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a devout Roman Catholic with Ivy League-level science training, thinks he can be that person.

Texas' New Social Studies Textbooks Under Fire Texas Tribune: Several academics on Tuesday pointed to flaws — including inaccurate descriptions of world religions and out-of-date racial terminology — in proposed social studies textbooks up for adoption by the Texas State Board of Education.

'A' Is For Apps: Teachers Share Top Digital Tools Of The Trade NPR: Nestled between Julia Auster's fantasy football app and Facebook Messenger is a relatively new bucket of apps: the education tools she uses in the French classes she teaches at Robert Adams Middle School in Holliston, Mass.

Computer tutors that can read students’ emotions Hechinger Report: Researchers have found ingenious ways to identify these emotions in students; for example, the Posture Analysis Seat. Then there’s the Pressure Mouse, a computer mouse that can detect how much pressure a user applies when clicking.

U.S. EdTech Companies Raise $154M in August EdSurge: US-based edtech companies raised $153.9 million in August of 2014, according to analysis by EdSurge. The funding was spread over 16 separate deals; more than 36 individual investors participated in the funding.


LAUSD police to give up some weaponry obtained in federal program LA Times: Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program that furnishes local law enforcement with surplus equipment. The move comes as education and civil rights groups have called on the...

Teachers union urges board to fire Deasy LA School Report: UTLA says it wants the board to downgrade Deasy’s performance to “unsatisfactory” at his annual evaluation, scheduled to take place behind closed doors on October 21. That would effectively spell the end to the superintendent’s contract which – at his own insistence – stipulates he meet performance targets set by the board.

Wealthy L.A. Schools' Vaccination Rates Are as Low as South Sudan's Hollywood Reporter: Hollywood parents say not vaccinating makes "instinctive" sense. Now their kids have whooping cough.

Fewer charter school applications this year Washington Post: The D.C. Public Charter School Board two years ago created a fast track for experienced charter operators with successful records in other cities to apply to open schools in the District.

Questions about "parent trigger" in Columbus schools linger Columbus Dispatch: State officials showed up at the Columbus school board meeting tonight to answer questions about the “parent trigger,” which could transform up to 20 schools.



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  • CTU or City Hall is a ploy. However, when phrased as a conflict of interest in negotiating with yourself, it is a conflict of interest, except nobody in Illinois seems to give a care about that kind of conflict of interest.

  • It is an absolute conflict of interest for Karen Lewis to remain head of CTU and run for mayor. The reply from the CTU is ludicrous! If Karen Lewis is committed to running for mayor, she should resign as head of the CTU. Period. Having worked in government, there are already rules and walls in place when an incumbent runs for re-election. Karen Lewis is not holding public office, she is the head of the CTU which has a clear agenda for one group---teachers.

    I also hear that the teachers are getting flooded with emails from the CTU. To the point of distraction from teaching. Karen Lewis' communication director, executives at the CTU and all others are focusing on her political campaign. It is a conflict of interest all the way around. Using the channels that negatively impact the classroom is wrong. Karen Lewis should resign immediately!

  • I always enjoy White Rhino articles. I think in this one about the public opinion poll showing the trust in teachers going down misses the most important reason. Karen Lewis. Karen Lewis has been nothing but a negativity mill since becoming head of the CTU. Every single thing that has been tried, created, innovated or implemented by CPS or the mayor has been slammed by Karen Lewis. It doesn't matter what it is or how much it can help students. Karen Lewis has had a selfish agenda for her own political gain from day one. The byproduct is that she has singlehandedly degraded the teaching profession. Karen Lewis is not professional and her rants make people believe that teachers are not professional either. She is the spokesperson for teachers as head of CTU. If she runs for mayor, the poll numbers for teachers will further plummet.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I didn't think that teachers thought about their poll numbers, only that they beat Emanuel in the strike. In successive union elections, they kept voting for the biggest bulldog until they found one.

  • In reply to jack:

    Another point. The strike hurt teacher trust with the public. During the strike, I thought it was good that the teachers vented and it seemed they emotionally needed the strike. The trouble is that everything has still been in strike mode and constant complaining. It just gets old. We all have stuff to deal with. I am sure another strike will happen and this time, I won't be as sympathetic.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    From where i walked the line for my tenth strike, I got the opposite
    reaction from the public.People came up to us and showed their support.Every air horn on 79 th st blasted out approval.One reason for this is that the CTU was perceived as standing up for the students
    and the city schools.You are spot on about the venting, only three of us had ever been in a strike before that day.The weather also helped, it was perfect.

  • In reply to jack:

    jagk is bagk- What plural "successive union elections" since the strike are you speaking of? There has only been one and that slate reelected Karen.

    The polls showed there was 66% support of teachers during the strike by CPS parents. They also blamed Emanuel for the strike.The polls show Karen as having more support than Emanuel. The polls Salazar is referring is a national poll.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Karen Lewis is at fault for the low poll numbers? You obviously didn't read the article or look at the link to the poll. It is a NATIONAL POLL, not a Chicago poll. The population of Chicago is less than 1% of the U.S. population. Besides, previous polls show Karen and CTU has more support among Chicagoans than Emanuel.

  • Ray Salazar is spot on with the reporters. "Now, mostly white activists, many of whom haven’t taught in our schools, appear as regular authorities in the media. And the media swarms around the non-educators on all sides of the education debate."

    The white Mom's with too much time on their hands from Raise Your Hand, Parents 4 teachers or that anti-testing group are not authorities. The media is looking for drama and these drama queens deliver! Drama from Karen Lewis and drama from the drama mama's. That is all the media cares to print. What a waste of dialogue. I agree with White Rhino that media should talk to real teachers.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Thanks for your comments. It's not a thing against "white moms." I'm bugged by the fact that teachers are not at the media tables or conversations--and much less the policy conversations--when our profession is discussed. Questionable activism comes from people of all color. Yes, some even Latino and African American ed activists create more chaos and stagnation than progress. HOnestly, I don't care if the activist is white--as long as they've taught in our schools. People who have taught in our schools have a better perspective--not always the right one--but a better perspective of what needs to change and what is reasonable.

  • Is this the Ray Salazar whose children attend a non-neighborhood charter? He does not speak for "real teachers".

    Wow! attacking moms because they are white must mean that these moms must have hit a nerve with the charter charlatans or the Rahm minions.....

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Looks like Ray is plagiarizing Arne Duncan's failed talking points.

    They have vilified teachers and now white moms. The way things are going firefighters and grandmas will be the next boogey man. Somehow the Wall St. bankers, financiers, and pundits remain golden.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Uh no. That's part of the hyperbolic rhetoric that expands the divide in the education conversation so nothing gets done. That's good for questionable education activists, I guess: job security and / or something to do.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Yup--that's me. And I'm grateful my kids are where they are. Nowhere in the post do I attack "moms because they are white."

  • Ray Salazar writes: "When I was in public school in the 80s, education activists didn't challenge City Hall the way they do now even though our schools existed in a troubled context." Ray you are a smart guy but that was not an intelligent statement. In the 1980s the power of the Mayor over the school board was more limited, it wasn't until the 1990s that the Mayor's office was granted direct responsibility for CPS. Mayor Emanuel is a legitimate target for education activists because of his statutory authority over CPS.

    I am not clear why Ray took the shot he did at Raise Your Hand and Wendy Katten without naming them in his essay. Let's also understand that teachers and former teachers like myself are not the exclusive depository of all knowledge about education in this city, parents including white ones can have valuable insights about this school district.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Rod, sooo because the "power of the Mayor over the school board was more limited" we didn't exist in a troubled context? No, schools struggled. You do touch on something important that raises the question: Is the education activists' fight really about taking on the mayor and less about the schools and students?

    Teachers are rarely cited as experts in news stories. And Raise Your Hand is not the only organization that fits the situation.

  • In reply to Ray Salazar:

    And just so it's clear--no, it's not a personal attack on RYI. Wendy and I have exchanged meaningful ideas about the need for teacher voice.

  • In reply to Ray Salazar:

    Ray, very good point. "Is the education activists' fight really about taking on the mayor and less about the schools and students?"

    The pretend parent groups like Raise Your Hand are more about attacking the mayor than meaningful results. This is obvious to everyone except the media. Ryh is just a thinly veiled nay sayer that is completely aligned with the CTU. They try to broaden the appeal of the CTU by appearing to represent parents. In fact it is simply a handful of parents (mainly just Wendy) that promote a CTU ideology. Not students. Not parents. Sure she goes to board meetings and events and says she talks to many people. The thing is, she only listens to people who support her CTU slant.

    These groups do a disservice to the dialogue needed and are curtailing progress in education. Teachers need to be heard and pretend parent groups and Karen Lewis are not helping. Wake up media!

  • Thanks, Rod. I'm not offended. I think Ray makes a lot of good points in his post and I agree with him on the need to get more teacher voices out there. Not sure if he saw the recent Sun-Times series on teacher perspectives. Also, this is a national poll not specific to Chicago, right?

    Re: the personal comments, my group never claims or tries to be an authority on classroom teaching. We're following CPS policies that impact our kids and our whole system, and we do a lot of work to stay informed. I think we've sat through all but 2 CPS board meetings over the past 4.5 years to follow policy changes, analyzed budgets, etc.

    That said, I'm sure it's frustrating to read that overall there's a decline in trust of teachers when they are working so hard under difficult circumstances, and there's rarely an opportunity for the public to see the broader and often positive picture of what's happening inside classrooms. .

  • In reply to WendyK:

    Nice to see Ms. Katten remind us that there is a positive side to CPS especially at the classroom level. The new RYH website is also well done and very functional. What is missing though, is any information on how RYH's leadership is elected. How representative is its leadership?
    Now that we finally have a mayor in office who actually cares about education and is willing to stick his neck out to improve CPS (unlike Daley) organizations like RYH can really play a role. Go RYH!

  • Alicia Winckler's is leaving CPS!!!! She was fired, though the customary PR was sent out wishing here well.

    This is great news for all CPS employees. She hated teachers and had contempt for all CPS employees. She cost the Board millions in lawsuits and destroyed people lives.

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    I'd second that, she was more destructive that most people will ever really know.

  • ...was she churned?.....

  • Good-bye and good riddance to Alicia. Just like everything in CPS, change, change, change. New mandates, new directives, all unfunded. Complete top-down with total disconnect as to what is really going on.The only people who seem to stay are the teachers, who suffer with the children they are trying to do right by. Anyone who implements anything is usually gone within a year or two.
    The teachers should strike again. I have never seen anything like this before: such disconnect between administrations and its teachers. Just pushing mandates without looking at any reality within their schools!

  • I don't think the new PDK poll is that alarming . If you look at the Gallup / Pew poll from December 2013 teachers are far above many other professions in terms of favorabilty, perceived impact on society and integrity / honesty. It is our political leaders that need to do some self reflection, given their 9% approval rating. Even telemarketers and pornography are rated more favorably. In fact only pharmacists and nurses a enjoyed a greater percentage . Judges were at 46%, Bankers at 27% and 21% for Newspapers reporters . That being said- I don't think thinkeresting article. I don't think the poll is that alarming . If you look at the Gallup / Pew poll from December 2013. Teachers are far above many other professions in terms of favorabilty, perceived impact on society and integrity / honesty. It is our political leaders that need to do some self reflection, given there 9% approval rating. Even telemarketers and pornography are rated more favorably. In fact only pharmacists and nurses a enjoyed greater percentage . Judges were at 46%, bankers at 27% and 21% for newspaper reporters . I think bloggers were just ahead of used car salesman. That being said- I don't think the teacher's focus should be on the polls, but on what's happening in the classroom.

  • Alicia is GONE! Could Cawley be fired next? I hope so!

  • I've read Ray's recent blog post three times. I don't get it. High school teachers under the CTU contract provide 740 hours of instruction a year. He seems to be saying that bureaucratic requirements create a workload that don't allow high schools teacher sufficient time to do their jobs. I find that a bizarre claim.
    Karen Lewis seemed to find the time to teach plus get involved in other interests.
    As far as the poll specifically, I doubt such a simple question summarized on a national level probably has meaning.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Donn, you've obviously never taught in elementary or high school before. It's comments like these that helped me come up with the last lines in the post: "Trust between good teachers and the public will strengthen when non-educators hear more teacher voices and sincerely consider our expertise. Then, the public will understand what good teachers do."

  • All I gotta say about the email that CPS employees got about Winkler is that it seemed really awkward to open my email asking me to wish someone well when I don't even know what the person looks like. Again--ineffective internal CPS communications.

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