Today's news includes coverage of yesterday's Board meeting (not downtown!) and City Council meeting, as well as an update on the racy slides that were making some folks upset at Jackson Elementary. But the really big news of the day is the President's immigration announcement later today at a Las Vegas high school, which is anticipated to affect lots of kids with undocumented parents. Roughly 8 percent of K-12 kids in Illinois have parents without papers, and the statistics for Chicago are certainly much higher than the statewide average.
Alderman: Committee to probe CPS' use of risky bond deals Chicago Tribune: The Nov. 12 resolution cites “the disturbing allegations raised in the Chicago Tribune series” and asks Thomas, of the 17thward, “to hold hearings and take testimony from expert witnesses concerning the current borrowing practices of Chicago Public Schools.
Aldermen turn up heat on CPS' bond deals; public jeers school board chief Chicago Tribune: The Chicago City Council's Education and Child Development Committee will hold a hearing to examine Chicago Public Schools' borrowing practices, committee chair Ald. Latasha Thomas said Wednesday.
Chicago Board of Ed votes to change the way it rates schools Chicago Sun-Times: With little public notice or community involvement, Chicago Public Schools again changed the way it rates its schools Wednesday night, ratings that determine how much support or punishment a school receives.
Emanuel super PAC poll shows him leading two top challengers Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel holds a 19-percentage-point lead in a three-way race against his two top challengers and is within striking distance of avoiding a runoff before spending a penny of his $9 million warchest, according to a new poll conducted for the mayor’s super PAC.
After Racy Slides, CPS Will 'Scrub' All Sex Ed Materials: CPS Health Chief DNA Info: The doctor who oversees CPS' sex ed unexpectedly showed up to a LSC meeting at Andrew Jackson Wednesday.
Obama's Forthcoming Immigration Plan to Protect Millions From Deportation PK12: President Obama on Thursday will announce steps he will take to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States from deportation, a move that could have implications for millions of America's K-12 schoolchildren. See also Vox story on impact on K-12 students with undocumented parents.
No Child Left Behind, Pre-K Programs Could Be On New Congress' Agenda NPR: With Republican majorities in the House and Senate, Congress may push for change on several big education issues, including a rewrite of the law known as No Child Left Behind. But it's also clear that, even on classroom issues that seem to have bipartisan support — including Pre-K funding — Democrats and Republicans may have trouble compromising.
Passing Rate Declines by 20% as State Uses New Certification Exams for Teachers NYT: The fall in certifications resembles, in some respects, the state’s experience with the Common Core, a set of more rigorous learning standards for students that has been adopted by New York and most other states.
Wash. school district tries arming administrators to protect students from shootings PBS NewsHour: A school shooting north of Seattle last month left five students dead, reviving questions of safety and violence for students and teachers. Another school district in Washington State is answering that question in an unconventional manner: arming school administrators.
Obama Makes Pitch to Expand High-Speed Internet Access to Schools NYT: The president, in a respite from the gridlock and sniping in Washington, also signed a bill that changes the child care rules for low-income families.
Focus on Discipline: How One NYC Student Was Suspended for 30 Days WNYC: The New York City public schools give out more than 50,000 suspensions each year. Most of the time it's for something minor, and students serve their time in school. But about 20 percent of the cases are known as superintendent's suspensions; they keep the student out of their school for anywhere from one day to several months. The students are sent to suspension centers where they take basic courses.
Carmen Fariña’s popularity rising ChalkbeatNY: Fariña’s approval rating has climbed eight percentage points since March to 42 percent, and just 29 percent of voters now say they disapprove of her management of city schools. In March, 34 percent of voters approved, while 36 percent disapproved of the job Fariña was doing.
iPad contract resurrected: LAUSD to spend $22 million on tech KPCC: Mark Hovatter, chief facilities executive, said John Deasy's decision to cancel the contract in August only applied to "instructional" iPads that included the Pearson software. He said Cortines is free to use the contract to buy devices for tests. "There was no need to cancel contract," said Hovatter. "We believe we got the best value."
Are NOLA Schools Failing Students With Disabilities? NPR: In New Orleans, nine of ten children attend charter schools. But parents and activists say the city's nearly all-charter system is failing many children with disabilities.
Hour of Code to feature ‘Frozen’ characters Washington Post: Code.org, the non-profit group that offers a free tutorial in computer programming to students as early as kindergarten, is preparing to unveil its second annual “Hour of Code” lesson, but with an assist from Disney designed to attract more girls to participate.