Election day -- finally. Always an interesting day for schools since so many buildings serve as voting sites, but all the more so since CTU and some parent and community groups have generated so much opposition to Rahm (along with some self-inflicted wounds). Last night on social media it was all about the idea of an elected school board -- but will that be enough to force a runoff (and what, really, does a runoff accomplish other than embarrassing the Mayor)? In other news, Second City Teacher rails against CTU support for a "racist" alderman, and Chicago Magazine's Top 100 listing is out. Nationally, folks are gearing up for a House ESEA reauthorization debate on Friday, and trying to figure out how and why so many black and brown kids are being suspended (at district as well as charter schools).
Chicago sets early voting record in last weekend before mayoral election WBEZ: About 90,000 Chicago voters cast their ballots during early voting, including more than 21,500 votes on Saturday, which set a single-day record for a municipal election. See also Sun-Times: Computers, cab rides, phone banks, foot leather all part of Election Day
Election 2015: Will Emanuel Avoid A Runoff? Progress IL: A poll conducted Sunday by Ogden and Fry showed Emanuel holding his lead in the race with more than 48 percent of the vote, though the survey has a margin of error of 3.68 percent.
CTU Supports Racist? Second City Teacher: "In one of the more blatant bits of fear-mongering I have seen by a Chicago political candidate in some years, a Southwest Side alderman is attacking one of his election opponents for her supposed interest in Section 8 housing," wrote columnist Mark Brown. What is even more glaring, however, is that this is the very alderman the Chicago Teachers Union endorsed.
Chicago Top 100 Chicago Magazine: Last year, Byrd-Bennett managed a task more daunting than subduing a teachers’ strike or shuttering schools: grappling with a $900 million shortfall. She made ends meet using a one-time accounting adjustment, while crossing her fingers that pension reform will help with the long-term cure. See here for the full list.
Chicago Charter School Teachers Demand a Union In These Times: At a press conference on Friday, Charter teachers were joined by progressive mayoral hopeful Jesus "Chuy" García, who called Mayor Rahm Emanuel's pledged support for the teachers "hypocritical."
More Conflict Over Cutting Federal Role in Education NYT: Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday produced data that he said showed that poorer districts would suffer under a Republican plan expected to clear the House of Representatives this week.
As House Prepares to Vote on NCLB, Advocates Push for Preschool Funding U.S. News & World Report: Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, noted the first bill, passed in 1965, was a bipartisan effort, as was its reauthorization in 1994. "It would be a very good signal to America if something that has bipartisan support ...
How Would the House NCLB Rewrite Affect Funding for Minority Students? PK12: The White House report, released Tuesday, warns of cuts of more than $1.3 billion over 6 years to more than ten districts that serve high concentrations of African-American students. But, these top-line estimates, while powerful, are essentially a worst-case scenario that's highly unlikely to play out in real life, especially if you consider them over six years. There are a number of reasons why.
Schools using new tools to make teachers better Seattle Times: How to help teachers improve? A new system of in-depth observation by trained evaluators and principals, soon to be required in schools across Washington, shows what can help. See also: Seattle ranks high in suspending elementary-school students with special needs.
Suspended students lose millions of days of instruction while out of school Washington Post: Suspension rates dropped for many of the nation’s school districts — including some in the Washington region — but U.S. students still lost about 18 million days of instruction to out-of-school punishments in the 2011-2012 school year, according to research released Monday.
Suspensions at city charter schools far outpace those at district schools, data show ChalkbeatNY: One-third of charter schools reported suspending fewer than 5 percent of their students, and many schools said they did not give out any out-of-school suspensions. But 11 charter schools suspended more than 30 percent of their students — a figure likely to draw added scrutiny amid a nationwide push to reduce suspensions and a debate over allowing more charter schools to open statewide.
Christie’s Truce With Teachers Could Pay Dividends in ’16 NYT: Gov. Chris Christie and the New Jersey Education Association are cooperating to grapple with the state’s crippling pension costs, and that may help the governor’s presidential ambitions.
In LA, Missing Kindergarten Is A Big Deal NPR: Research shows that missing school in the crucial early days of school leads to problems later on. In Los Angeles, educators are working to raise kindergarten attendance. See also TeacherBeat: With Contract Negotiations at Impasse, Los Angeles Teachers Edge Closer to Strike.
Struggles of minority students in Montgomery: “I, Too, Am B-CC” Washington Post: The words were piercing. Makdes Hailu had just won a coveted spot on an academic team at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School when she inadvertently overheard a classmate’s put-down: “Oh, she only got in because she’s black.'
D.C. charter school executive salaries vary widely, Post analysis shows Washington Post: Two of the District’s charter school leaders earned about as much as or more than D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson in 2013, though she runs a city school system that, with 45,000 students, is much larger than either of their organizations.
Why the Legislature is trying to fix a teacher-licensing problem it fixed four years ago MinnPost: Like many states, Minnesota makes getting a teaching license after moving here from another state a kind of bureaucratic snipe hunt.