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Back To School - TGIF!?

Back To School - TGIF!?

Happy Friday.  There are three big education stories today:  School's back open (and not everyone's happy about it).  Emanuel has big ideas for his next term (if he can get enough funding for them).  CTU and City Hall are debating grad rate data that the Board is using to tout progress. Nationally, Obama has a new free community college program, and educators are debating whether to dump the annual testing that's been at the heart of NCLB when revamping the program. 

It's still cold, but more schools reopening for Friday Chicago Tribune: "While temperatures are expected to remain cold, we are welcoming our students back to class on Friday," said CPS school chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a news release.

Thousands Sign Petition Expressing Outrage Over CPS' Decision to Hold Friday ... NBC Chicago: A petition created to express outrage that Chicago Public Schools were open Friday had gathered more than 20,000 signatures by early Friday morning.

Should Schools Close on Cold Days? Chicago Tonight | WTTW: We spoke with Jesse Sharkey, interim president of the Chicago Teachers Union, and he says, for once he thinks, the district did the right thing.

Chicago's Been Canceling School Due to Extreme Cold For Decades Chicago Magazine: In the 1970s, the city began to cancel school on the basis of extreme cold and high winds. Before that, kids were on their own.

POLITICS

Emanuel unveils second-term education agenda, confronts school closings Chicago Sun-Times: Those will be developed by Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett over the next year in conjunction with principals, parents, teachers and academics. But he said, “Here's your incentive: If you want independence, earn it."

Emanuel lays out platform for CPS Chicago Tribune: He said consistently high-performing schools would be given a measure of independence from often-criticized and time-consuming mandates from CPS headquarters, adding that district CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett would be responsible for crafting the ...

Emanuel makes big promises for schools in second term Catalyst: If elected to a second term, Mayor Rahm Emanuel promises that within three years the graduation rate will go up by 15 points to 85 percent, the number of preschool classrooms will triple to 300 and the senior year of high school will be redesigned to include internships and 6,000 students taking City College classes to earn college credit.

Emanuel lays out strong education goals for second term Crain's Chicago Business: But there also have been stumbles, with an uproar over the closure of more than 50 schools and a lengthy strike by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Ald. Will Burns Caught Giving the Finger to Critics on Twitter DNAinfo: ... Burns announced via Twitter that he had won the endorsement of Democrats for Education Reform, a pro-charter school group. "I wouldn't be proud of that," Ritter then tweeted at Burns.

School board member tries to put out fire caused by her investment conflict Chicago Sun-Times: The CPS inspector general has opened an investigation. The Chicago Teachers Union has demanded Quazzo's resignation and used the controversy as a rallying cry for an elected school board. Earlier this week, Emanuel returned from a Christmas vacation ...

GRAD RATE CONTROVERSY

CTU demands that Emanuel take down 'false' commercial touting early ... Chicago Sun-Times: Jackson Potter, staff coordinator for the CTU, added, “We don't need a spin doctor-in-chief in the mayor's office. We need an advocate-in-chief.”

Mayor Emanuel, CTU at odds over CPS graduation numbers MyFox Chicago: Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday boasted that he's improved Chicago's Public Schools, and he promised that if he wins re-election, 85 percent of CPS students will graduate from high school. His foes at the Chicago Teachers Union, though...

NATIONAL

Arne Duncan to call for No Child Left Behind revamp Politico: In a speech Monday, Duncan will lay out his principles for rewriting the education law, sources familiar with the event confirmed. But he is not expected to back down from his insistence that a rewritten law retain the federal mandate that all students be tested in math and reading every year from third through eighth grade.

Governors Laud 'Higher Standards,' Plead for NCLB Renewal in NGA Speeches State EdWatch: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, the chairman of the National Governors Association, said more rigorous expectations for students were important, but not the only consideration for stronger schools.

Obama In Tennessee To Promote Free Community College NPR: President Obama is on the road as part of his effort to jump-start his 2015 agenda. Today he's in Tennessee, talking about higher education. See also NYTWashington PostPK12.

A 'Sizable Decrease' In Those Passing The GED NPR: The new GED is more expensive, computer-based and tougher. As a result some states are embracing alternative tests, and the number of GEDs awarded last year fell.

Study Questions Stock Teacher-Turnover Stat Teacher Beat: In contrast to the conventional wisdom, an estimated 70 percent of teachers stay in the profession after five years, an analysis of federal data shows.

Could push to improve teacher training start by taking a cue from flight schools? PBS: Just like pilots aren’t allowed to fly solo until they are capable, Deborah Ball, dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Education, thinks teaching programs should follow the same principle. That’s the analogy Ball drew last summer when speaking about teacher preparation to a group of higher education leaders at a forum in Aspen, Colorado.

OTHER PLACES

Massachusetts Tightens Rules on Restraining, Secluding Students ProPublica: Massachusetts' reforms were shaped, in part, by a June story by ProPublica and NPR that showed physical holds and isolation remain common in public schools across the country. Our analysis of federal data revealed these techniques were used more than 267,000 times in the 2012 school year, with some schools employing them dozens – or even hundreds – of times.

Former LAUSD board president and charter advocate to head Magnolia schools LA Daily News: Magnolia Public Schools appointed former Los Angeles Unified School Board President and charter schools champion Caprice Young to head operations amid scrutiny that threatens to close two campuses. LAUSD moved to shut down Magnolia Science Academy 7 in Northridge and 6 in the Palms neighborhood of West Los Angeles in June, alleging

Superintendent calls for $70 million in teacher raises in new Fairfax budget Washington Post: Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Karen Garza will seek almost $70 million in pay raises for teachers next year as part of a budget proposal she announced Thursday night.“Our outstanding employees are key to our past and future success,” Garza said. “And we are losing great teachers to surrounding school systems."

Success Academy cancels its plans to open new schools in 2015 ChalkbeatNY: A Success spokeswoman said the network canceled those plans last month during negotiations with the city, which ended with Success being offered public space for 10 schools opening or expanding in 2016. The decision to scrap the more immediate plans was not disclosed until Thursday.

 

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