Let The Testing Begin!?

Let The Testing Begin!?

Today begins Common Core testing day for Chicago (and week 2 for some other parts of the country), and it's also getting closer to the April runoff election for City Hall.  Meantime, Catalyst takes on dropout recovery programs including some branded with Magic Johnson's name.  Nationally, SXSWedu is happening -- you may know folks who are there or who are following it online.  And charters and unions are facing off in LA and NY.

RUNOFF

How CPS school closings played out in mayoral election Sun=Times: In February, voters living near the closed schools gave the incumbent less support than he found citywide, by about 3-5 percentage points, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis shows. And they backed the two black mayoral candidates, Willie Wilson and William “Dock” Walls, in bigger numbers — by nearly twice the percentage points those candidates gained across the city.

Black vote may prove key in Chicago mayoral elections Christian Science Monitor: A little known candidate, Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia, is giving Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel a tough race. But he will need to attract the support of a more racially diverse coalition if he wants to become Chicago’s first Hispanic mayor.

CPS credit rating takes hit Tribune: Chicago’s bad week of financial news continued Friday, as a major rating agency downgraded Chicago Public Schools’ debt to just one level above junk status.

TESTING

Leaflet Against PARCC! Second City Teacher: Today, a team from Albany Park, North Park, Mayfair Neighbors for Peace and Justice went out to the public sidewalk in front of the Edison Regional Gifted Center and the Albany Park Multicultural Academy at dismissal time, to distribute leaflets to parents and students about their right to opt-out of taking the PARCC tests next week.

Schools set to give students more rigorous tests Peoria Journal Star: Under threat of losing federal and state funds, Chicago Public Schools eventually backed down from a plan to give the test to only about 10 percent of...

MISC

Opportunity in failure: companies see profit in Chicago dropouts WBEZ: One year ago, a small contingent of some of Chicago’s most powerful education officials flew to Arizona for a conference of education investors, hosted by Chicago Board of Education member Deborah Quazzo's investment firm Global Silicon Valley Advisors.

CPS Announces Make-Up Days After Cold-Weather Cancellations DNAinfo: “We highly value each day of classroom instruction that our students receive, which is why any missed days are rescheduled,” said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO of Chicago Public Schools.

CPS School Board: To elect or appoint? CPS Obsessed: A quick search this morning on our school board led me to this article which I think summarizes the situation nicely and in an unbiased way and includes some quotes from some professors at DePaul.  Share your opinion in the comments section.

NATIONAL

Hand scorers sought for online Common Core tests EdSource Today: Tests are computerized, but humans needed to score critical thinking. See also Columbus Dispatch: New standardized tests go deeper but chew up timeMiami HeraldTHE JournalOrlando Sentinel.

SXSW by the numbers Marketplace: This week, Marketplace heads down South to SXSW, the Austin-based conference and festival that spans film, music, and technology. We'll kick off our coverage with SXSWedu, a four day event looking at where innovation meets education.

Being 12: The Most Awkward, Essential Year of Our Lives WNYC: Between childhood and adulthood, there’s 12. It's an age when New York City kids start taking control of who they are and where they're headed.

Balancing Islam and Middle School in Queens NYT: By most measures, New York is a religiously tolerant place, but public school, especially middle school, can be a testing ground for young Muslims.

There Are Fewer New Teachers. And No One Seems Surprised. NPR: Our recent post struck a nerve. Here's a sample of the responses. Now, tell us the other side of the story.

Who Spewed That Abuse? Anonymous Yik Yak App Isn’t Telling NYT: Yik Yak, a social media app that serves as a local bulletin board, has proved popular especially on college campuses, but the cover of anonymity it offers allows for some unfettered nastiness.

Visiting Nurses, Helping Mothers on the Margins NYT: The Nurse-Family Partnership is at the heart of a sweeping federal effort aimed at improving children’s health by educating mothers. [See also Swamp Nurse]

OTHER PLACES

Unions, Charter Supporters Eyeing Los Angeles Board Runoffs Teacher Beat: The fallout from runoff elections, to be held in May, could influence contract negotiations with the city teachers' union.

NY charter movement vies for dominance with teachers unions AP: Charter schools and their supporters, meanwhile, poured money into the fight. The group Families for Excellent Schools reported more than $9 million in lobbying expenses in 2014. NYSUT reported less than $4 million.

Charter School in Miami Fails, but Proves Useful on Jeb Bush’s Résumé NYT: The Liberty City Charter School, the first of its kind in Florida and a pioneer in what became a national movement, is now defunct.

Chronic truancy in D.C. high schools still rampant despite new laws Washington Post: Despite intensified efforts to improve school attendance rates in D.C. Public Schools, more than half of high school students — 56 percent —were considered ”chronically truant” during the 2013-2014 school year, after accumulating 10 or more unexcused absences, according to a report scheduled to be released Monday by the Children’s Law Center and D.C. Lawyers for Youth. See also Marshall Project.

 

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