School's Closed - Parents Scramble

School's Closed - Parents Scramble

Today's big news is that CPS is closed -- and parents are scrambling to figure out what to do with their kids.  (Did CPS make the right call, or should they have kept the regular schedule?)  Meantime, WBEZ reporter Linda Lutton profiles a student health initiative in the Bronx, CPS Obsessed shares a CPS parent quiz, and M. Klonsky chides City Hall, the Board, and the UofC for touting CPS grad rates that have in some cases been cooked to show improvements that weren't there.

Chicago Public Schools closed due to cold for Jan. 7 WBEZ: “The frigid temperatures and winds make a dangerous combination, and it is in the best interest of our students to cancel classes,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a press release.

When Will We Come Out of the Deep Freeze in Chicago? DNAinfo: “The safety and well-being of our students comes first,” CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement Tuesday evening. “The frigid temperatures and winds make a dangerous combination, and it is in the best interest of our students to cancel classes ...

Improving NYC Schools By Improving Students' Health WNYC: While educators often look to boost student achievement through efforts like curriculum changes or teacher training, the Children’s Health Fund in New York City is taking a different approach — a laser-like focus on a particular set of health issues that tend to affect poor children. [WBEZ's Linda Lutton, reporting on NYC schools.]

Fun Quiz – what type of CPS parent are you? CPS Obsessed: Now for something just for fun.  A quiz by a CPS parent (not me) to identify your CPS parent persona. I am the upbeat parent.  Woo!

Rahm's school administrators cooked the books on dropouts Mike Klonsky: I don't necessarily blame U of C's Consortium on Chicago School Research for running with the numbers they get from CPS. I just think they should be cautious in how they spin those numbers. I also don't know if Rahm/BBB are actively pushing administrators to cook reported dropout rates or if they acted on their own. But bureaucrats know full well what numbers they're expected to produce if they are going to survive in a high-stakes "data-driven" system where the mayor runs the schools autocratically.

Garcia accuses Emanuel of treating education 'as a profit center for people ... Chicago Sun-Times: In the wake of the Sun-Times story, CPS' inspector general opened an investigation. The Chicago Teachers Union and Ald. Bob Fioretti, another mayoral challenger, also have demanded Quazzo's resignation and used the controversy as a rallying cry

OTHER CITIES

Many of region’s schools opened in storm, drawing ire Washington Post: If the storm that swooped through Washington early Tuesday was an early test of winter, by many accounts several of the region’s school systems failed.Teen drivers crashed on the way to classes. School parking lots turned into gridlock, leaving parents seething. School buses fought slick roads, often unsuccessfully, with many school ­systems reporting crashes.

Plan For Later Start Of School Day Reawakens In Montgomery County WAMU: The county's superintendent favors an option that would delay the start of the school day by 20 minutes.

New York's School Schedule Wastes Billions Of Dollars: Report Huffington Post: Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, has agreed that a longer school day can boost student performance, but says teachers should be paid for additional work.

Ban on Cellphones in New York City Schools to Be Lifted NYT: The policy, which has been inconsistently enforced, has been unpopular among parents, who worry about not being able to reach their children.

In Class It's 'Ms. Smalls,' Onstage She's 'Miss Houston' NPR: Our Secret Lives of Teachers series continues with Isis Smalls, who teaches English and coaches volleyball at a Houston middle school. She's also a beauty pageant winner.

Vermont school district that barred parent to pay $147,500 AP: A Vermont school district that barred a parent from meetings because some staff members were afraid of him has agreed to pay $147,500....

NATIONAL

Is the new GED test an educational improvement or setback? PBS NewsHour: In states like Wisconsin and Rhode Island, the number of those who passed dropped more than 90 percent. In Florida, the number of test takers fell about half. Is this an improvement or a setback?

Jeb Bush education foundation played leading role in mixing politics, policy Washington Post: An employee of Jeb Bush’s education foundation was unequivocal when New Mexico’s top schools official needed someone to pay her travel costs to Washington to testify before Congress: The foundation would give her “whatever she needs.”

Vocab Tech For Toddlers Encourages 'Anytime, Anywhere Learning' KUOW: "We're trying to teach children words in order to build their core knowledge skills," says Sesame Street Workshop's Truglio. "Children know 'bus' and they know 'car' and they know 'boat.' But do they know the superordinate word called 'transportation'?"

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