Welcome Back (You Didn't Miss Much)

Welcome Back (You Didn't Miss Much)

Welcome back! Everyone's still talking about last week's runoff election and what (if anything) it means for education. Meantime, there's a new documentary about homeless high school kids in Chicago, a new contract for City Hall critic principal LaRaviere. Nationally, it's testing week for New York, and the Atlanta educators are to be sentenced this morning.

Jesse Sharkey discusses health of Karen Lewis, relationship between CTU and ... WGN Radio: Vice President of the Chicago Teacher's Union, Jesse Sharkey joins WGN's Bob Sirott, Paul Green and Walter Jacobson to discuss the health of Karen Lewis and what to expect from the relationship between the city and the CTU moving forward.

New Documentary Explores The Lives Of Homeless Students In Chicago KJZZ: Homelessness is an issue that knows no bounds. It affects all races and age groups. But homelessness can be especially tough for young people trying to make it through school.

Emanuel likely to stay the course on education in second term WBEZ: Emanuel now will face challenges at Chicago Public Schools that look a lot like the challenges of four years ago: declining enrollment, ballooning pension costs, and an expiring contract with the Chicago Teachers Union.

Principal Who Ripped Rahm, Standardized Testing Gets New Contract DNAinfo: LAKEVIEW — After publicly ripping the Chicago Public Schools administration he works for and actively campaigning against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, you might think Blaine Elementary principal Troy LaRaviere would be looking for a new job.

Janitors approve contract, but not with Chicago schools Chicago Tribune: Still unresolved are contract talks between about 2,000 janitors and cleaning contractors at Chicago Public Schools and other publicly funded facilities.

Unions must be paid dues while 'fair share' case plays out, judge rules Tribune: A downstate judge ruled Friday that Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration must give dues paid by nonmembers to unions while a legal challenge on the issue plays out.

Chicago School Designed With Blended Learning in Mind Education Week: School officials around the country looking for lessons from the Chicago school or from similar educational models need to create plans that meet the priorities of their students, teachers, and communities—not to attempt to satisfy some abstract ideal

Many school districts pay employees' pension contributions: BGA Chicago Sun-Times: CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has a similarly structured deal except with a different fund. The district picked up about $7,200 in contributions on her behalf last year, according to CPS.

Do TIFs Cost Chicago Schools Money Or Not? Chicagomag: Take the recent tiff (ha) between Greg Hinz of Crain's and Ben Joravsky of the Reader. They've been covering city politics since time immemorial. And they're as far apart as they can possibly be.

Report Outlines Reforms To Strengthen Illinois Charter School Oversight Progress IL: As a result of the state's "lack of transparency and necessary oversight," there are likely more instances in which funds were inappropriately used in the Illinois charter system than has been reported, the researchers claim.

How many times do I need to prove my kids live in this school district? Chicago Tribune: In case I'm concerned about revealing too much information, I am assured that theschool principal only wants my name, address and a date on these documents.

TESTING

Opting Out of NY State Standardized Tests WNYC:  State standardized tests begin as of April 14th and mark the start of six days of annual exams for New York children in grades three to eight. And we take calls from parents on why they have their kids opt out from the exams.

Al Sharpton an unlikely ally in support of Common Core exams NY Post: Sharpton said a boycott could hurt urban kids and pointed out that neither he nor NAN chapter leaders in upstate cities such as Buffalo and Syracuse were consulted about the opt-out campaign.

Judge to Sentence Former Educators for Role in Test Cheating AP: Fulton County Judge Jerry Baxter was scheduled Monday morning to sentence 10 of the 11 defendants convicted this month of racketeering for their roles in a scheme to inflate students' scores on standardized exams.

5 percent of Portland Public Schools students opt out of Common Core tests Oregon Live: As of Wednesday, about 1,200 of the district's approximately 25,000 test-takers have submitted exemption forms.

NATIONAL

Paul touts education issues in public, not on Hill Politico: Paul has sat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee since 2011 and is co-chairman of its subcommittee on children and families, but he seldom attends committee hearings or works on the daily grind of writing letters or authoring bills. Paul did not attend any of the five education hearings held by the committee this year, a POLITICO review has found.

NEA: No Child Left Behind rewrite doesn’t level the playing field Washington Post: The head of the country’s largest teachers union said that her organization does not support a bipartisan proposal in the Senate to replace the nation’s main federal education law because it does not go far enough to create equal educational opportunities for poor children.

New Research Shows Free Online Courses Didn't Grow As Expected NPR: A new study of free, online college courses says that growth fell short of early expectations, as well as a pattern among users: mostly college-educated, including a surprising number of teachers.

Where Kids Learn More Outside Their Classrooms Than in Them Atlantic Education: Amid the growing push to reinvent the nation’s public high schools, initiatives that connect students more directly to their individual interests—and tap into their innate motivations—are gaining popularity.

First-Generation Students Unite NYT: Weary of trying to pass as middle class, Ms. Barros decided to “come out,” borrowing the phrase from the gay community. She joined and now leads the two-year-old Harvard College First Generation Student Union, which has 300 on its email list. “This is a movement,” she said. “We are not ashamed of taking on this identity.”

OTHER CITIES

Pressure Intensifies On Achievement Gap For Latino Students In Montgomery County WAMU: Advocates for Latino students say the Maryland school system must do more to fix a "cycle of social exclusion," and whoever replaces Joshua Starr as superintendent must make the issue a priority.

25 years after reform effort, poorest schools still lag AP: A quarter-century later, education advocates say public schools are back where they started. A crippling recession, runaway public pension debt and dramatic increases in Medicaid costs have gobbled up precious resources in state budgets across the country. In response, state officials have reduced the percentage of taxpayer money spent on education, leading once again to the type of disparity that Stephens' unprecedented court order set out to end.

Video: This Affordable Kids' Wheelchair Idea Will Make You Smile NBC: Student engineers from BYU have created a lightweight and affordable wheelchair for children that can be assembled at home.

What I learned when a lockdown drill at our school went wrong PBS NewsHour: I have always taken lockdown drills seriously. During the first weeks of a new semester, we discuss with students how to handle drills and where to go. But since this drill happened so early in the school year, a lot of students did not follow procedure. Some went to locations on campus where they thought they could seek refuge, which left them vulnerable. It was clear we needed to make procedures more clear.

 

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