Opting Out Of Testing Isn't Easy (Or Necessarily Helpful)

Opting Out Of Testing Isn't Easy (Or Necessarily Helpful)

Today's news roundup includes a New York Times story about Rahm and education, updates on the unfortunate parents who found out that their kids' selective enrollment applications weren't processed, and  some more information about the PARCC testing that's going to begin on Monday. The Tribune has a long, interesting piece on the opt-out process and its history in Illinois (did you know just 2100 kids opted out last year?).  I'm generally opposed to opting out, though I think that ISBE and CPS have played games with the requirements. But a small and vociferous group of folks including CTU think that it's a good thing to do.

RUNOFF

School Agenda Bedevils Chicago Mayor in Race NYT: As Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago faces an unexpected runoff election, it is his education agenda that threatens his political future. See also Tribune: Emanuel says CPS had no choice but to back down in testing controversy.

Chicago Under Rahm Emanuel: Readers Respond The New York Times:The responses (more than 1,000 and counting) do not amount to a scientific survey; rather, they are a sampling of engaged opinion. Not surprisingly, readers mainly focused on schools -- outlining what they loved and hated about one of Mr. Emanuel’s defining acts, overseeing the decision to close nearly 50 public schools deemed underperforming, underutilized or both.

COMMON CORE / OPTING OUT

Opting out of state assessments proves murky process for parents, students  Tribune: The biggest increase was last year, when 2,198 students, almost all in CPS, refused to take exams when parents began boycotting the rise in standardized testing. The latest guidance from the state suggests that a note from a parent won't work. A child must be presented with a paper testing booklet or a "test ticket" to a computer-based exam, and refuse to take each section of the test, records show.

School Districts Report Second Day Of Testing Problems StateImpact FL:  The Tampa Bay Times reports Tampa-area schools had to suspend some testing for a second day. Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho says he won’t resume testing until the state can prove everything is working. Palm Beach school also will not test students on Wednesday. See also Bradenton Herald: State testing in Manatee County sees online delay but no need to suspend testing, ABC7 Common Core testing begins in California next week.

SELECTIVE ENROLLMENT SNAFU

CPS Offers No Recourse in Application Mix-up: 'Not a Glitch on Our End' DNA Info: About 20 parents, shocked that their children's applications to selective-enrollment schools hadn't been received and that they weren't notified until the process was complete, met with Chicago Public Schools officials Tuesday.

Parents who didn't complete CPS elite school applications scrambling Chicago Sun-Times: About 800 people didn't complete their children's applications for special Chicago Public Schools programs — and a handful of them who met with district officials Tuesday say the application process is to blame.

What Are Chicago's Toughest High Schools to Get Into? DNAinfo: Thousands of students received acceptance — or rejection — letters this week fromChicago Public Schools for the upcoming 2015-16 school year.

See also CPS Obsessed (500 comments and counting).

ELECTED SCHOOL BOARDS

LAUSD Board Members in Runoff NBC SoCal: Los Angeles Unified School District board members Tamar Galatzan, Bennett Kayser and Richard Vladovic will have to compete in a May 19 runoff election as they fight to retain their seats, while incumbent George McKenna won re-election thanks to having no challengers. See also LA Times: One incumbent trails charter-school backed challenger in L.A. board balloting.

OTHER PLACES

Taking the same road to Albany, education lobbying events on divergent paths ChalkbeatNY:  They’re lobbying with the same goal in mind — to push policies that will improve public education — but what they’re asking for couldn’t look more different. Here are four things to know about Wednesday’s festivities.

Chris Christie’s bold plan to remake public schools is running into trouble Washington Post: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie went on a publicity blitz when he vowed to fix this city’s struggling schools with the most expansive re-engineering of urban education anywhere in the country.He told Oprah Winfrey in 2010 that Newark would become a “national model.”  See also HuffPost: Unions Say They'll Sue Christie Again Over Pension Payments, Courier Post: Gov. Chris Christie's shifting position on Common Core.

D.C. schools chancellor gets first pay raise since her hire, earns $284,000 Washington Post: The D.C. Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a 3 percent pay raise for Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, increasing her salary to $284,000, the first increase Henderson has received since she took the job in 2011.

NATIONAL

Where Have All The Teachers Gone? NPR: An analysis just out from Georgetown's Edunomics Lab argues that boosting class size for great teachers would save money that could then be funneled into bonuses for those educators taking on a larger load.

What are the biggest barriers to educating girls around the globe? PBS NewsHour: Sixty million, that’s the number of girls around the world who do not attend school, according to President and Mrs. Obama, who today announced a new U.S. government effort to help.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Plans to Sharply Increase Education Spending District Dossier: The Democrat's proposed budget would restore the estimated $1 billion in education cuts made in the previous administration, and all school districts will receive more money.

Members of Newtown Shootings Panel Recall Toll Their Work Took NYT: Some of the 16 commissioners appointed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut said that studying the December 2012 killings changed their lives.

The Hypocrisy of Celebrating Selma The Atlantic: "It is perversely ironic to commemorate the past without demonstrating the courage of that past in the present," the NAACP's Brooks told me last week. "In other words, we can’t really give gold medals to those who marched from Selma to Montgomery without giving a committee vote to the legislation that protects the right to vote today."

'Innovative' Principals Gather at US Education Department Education Week News: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan hosted 11 "highly innovative" principals from across the country in Washington this week, part of an ongoing effort to increase school leaders' input into the department's operations.

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