Today's Election Day, and the Quinn/Rauner race is on everybody's mind. (Zorn predicts a Rauner win, which would make charter supporters happy since Quinn voiced support for a moratorium. Who do you think's going to win, and what difference if any will it make to Chicago schools?) Also: a handful of stories about the Mayor's proposed pre-K expansion plan, which seems to have generated a bunch of questions, and the Sun Times continues to hammer City Hall for clout handouts. Last but not least, Substance reports African-American teachers are down from 40 percent to 28 percent, & Catalyst reports that CPS didn't really want to post its 2014 ISAT scores but finally did. All this plus national and other cities' education news below.
Election Day to dawn for voters to decide Illinois governor's race and more Tribune: Illinois voters head to the polls Tuesday to settle a close, contentious race for governor and decide an unusually large number of ballot questions as well as races for U.S. Senate, Congress, the General Assembly and county board.
Why Rauner will defeat Quinn Tribune/Zorn: A decisive number of voters are ready for a change at the top in Springfield, even if they're not at all sure what that change would entail. They want to give someone else a chance to try to ride herd over the Democratic legislature, even though they're unclear on exactly who that someone else is.
PRE-K EXPANSION QUESTIONS
Emanuel preschool plan could double cost, boost investor profits Tribune: A proposed expansion of a CPS preschool program drew praise from aldermen Monday for its aims but also was criticized because the city could end up paying investors in the program roughly double its $17 million cost.
Paying for preschool with social impact bonds Catalyst: Board of Education member Henry Bienen took an unusual step at last month’s meeting: He voted against a plan that came down from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office. Bienen, a former president Northwestern University, said he was “very uneasy” with a proposal to borrow nearly $17 million from investors...
Emanuel's early childhood plan compared to parking meter deal Chicago Sun-Times: Kurt Hilgendorf, a policy researcher for the CTU, noted that the annual contribution of $4.25 million from the city and Chicago Public Schools amounts ...
CLOUT AND CPS
Clout consultants cash in on CPS rehabs Chicago Sun-Times: After five years as a top Chicago Public Schools executive, Sean Murphy now runs his own company. But he's still doing work for the school system, overseeing design for small remodeling projects at schools across the city as a subcontractor
Insiders game has no ending Chicago Sun-Times: Now this week comes another Chicago Sun-Times story, by investigative reporter Tim Novak, that three politically connected firms are getting a nice slice off the top of Chicago Public Schoolsspending on small renovation projects.
SCORES, TEACHERS, & SLAIN KIDS
ISAT scores stagnant Catalyst: CPS did not have a major announcement about this year's state test scores--and it turns out the scores remain exactly the same as last year's, with 52.5 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards. With the state officially releasing report cards on Friday, CPS finally posted ISAT information on district and individual school performance on its website. Historically, CPS would release the scores some time over the summer.
The African-American teaching force in CPS declined from 40 percent in 2000 to 28 percent Substance News: The "turnarounds were begun in 2003 under former Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan and have continued under all of ...
What's the key to better school food? WBEZ: One little known program out of Minnesota starts by simply removing seven unwanted ingredients.“We have no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial preservatives, no trans fats or hydrogenated oils, no antibiotics or hormones in meats and no bleached flour,” Jason Thunstrom said as he stood in the Jeans Elementary School lunchroom in West Suburban Willowbrook.
In Roseland, a memorial honors slain youths Reader: In 2007, 16-year-old Julian High School student Blair Holt was shot and killed on a CTA bus; a gang member fired a shot at another gang member at the back of the bus and Holt, the son of a police officer and a firefighter, was caught in the crossfire. Holt's death shook the community—it was reported that thousands of people attended the teen's funeral—but local activist (and grandmother) Diane Latiker wasn't convinced that everyone had gotten the message about the tragic effect of Chicago's out-of-control violence.…
California’s biggest race will surprise you: It’s for state school superintendent WashPost: Perhaps the most important — and definitely the most expensive — election in California on Tuesday is the down-ballot battle for state school superintendent. The $30 million race has generated three times as much spending as the contest for governor, with money pouring in from across the country.
AFT's Political Blitz to the Midterm-Election Finish Line PK12: The blitz began last week, with several ads paid for by AFT's Solidarity Fund, one of its political financing arms. It will continue through Tuesday, when Weingarten is slated to be on hand in Philadelphia, where Democratic gubernatorial challenger Tom Wolfe is expected to trounce Republican incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett.
Marysville students return amid grief, outpouring of support Seattle Times: Hundreds of parents, relatives, alumni and other community members turned out to support students at Marysville-Pilchuck High on the first day of school since the shooting 10 days ago. Also offering support were visitors representing other U.S. communities that have endured school shootings.
De Blasio Unveils New Plans for Troubled Schools in New York NYT: Mayor Bill de Blasio said his tactics of offering more help to failing schools, and providing social services to students and families there, differed sharply from his predecessor’s. See also WNYC, WNYC, ChalkbeatNY.
D.C. school boundaries plan gets more specific just before new mayor is elected WashPost: The District offers free full-day preschool to 3- and 4-year-olds through a lottery each year. Families enroll where space is available, sometimes driving miles from their homes to take advantage of the benefit.
Returns on College Endowments Average 15.8 Percent NYT: A study found that colleges were allocating more than half their investments — and almost two-thirds of the largest endowments — to alternative strategies such as hedge funds and private equity.