You Can Make It!

You Can Make It!

Three days until Spring Break.  Less than a week until Election Day, including both the top race and two educator-candidates for alderman. The Tribune says Rahm is way ahead, but CTU/Robin Lake say it's too close to call. Vacant schools are still going unused, by and large, reports Catalyst.Meanwhile, nationally, there's a new teacher evaluation system in NY state, and 5 early bird waivers from NCLB from EdSec Duncan.

MONEY

Vacant schools still waiting for a second life Catalyst: Only a handful of the dozens of schools shuttered in the 2013 closings have been repurposed, and development of the remaining vacant buildings is moving at a snail’s pace. Vandalism and harsh weather are taking a toll on the structures.

The top 50 Illinois school districts paying the most in administrator, teacher salaries Reboot IL: City of Chicago SD 299 – $1.98 billion Student-admin ratio: 229.8.Avg. admin salary: $105,586. Full-time teachers: 22,421. Avg. teacher salary: $71,739 [Note: These numbers represent only combined base salary figures and do not include bonuses, annuities, retirement or other benefits.]

Meeks still battling for more school funding Chicago Tribune: "I took him up to Chicago and introduced him to Karen Lewis (the Chicago Teachers Union president) because I thought she could give him a different insight into what the problems were. "He did talk to me about running for governor after that, and I ...

ELECTION

Absentee ballots climb: Is it the election or spring break? Crain's Chicago Business: Spring break, which starts on April 3 for the Chicago Public Schools, could also account for the rise in absentee ballots. Yet more than a third of the requests citywide have come from just nine wards where Emanuel won a majority in February.

CTU unveils contract proposals Catalyst: The teachers union issued its first list of contract demands, including smaller class sizes and more support staff such as counselors and truancy officers. Most of the demands, though, are symbolic and not negotiable in contract talks.

Two educators vie for aldermanic seats Catalyst: Tuesday’s elections includes two aldermanic races featuring CTU educators: Sue Sadlowski Garza, a school counselor, faces off in the 10th Ward against John Pope, while Tara Stamps, a teacher, faces off in the 37th Ward against Emma Mitts.

Chicago Mayoral Runoff 'Too Close To Call', New Poll Shows ProgressIL: A new survey by Lake Research Partners on Chicago's April 7 mayoral runoff election shows challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia polling at 35 percent and incumbent Rahm Emanuel "only eking out fifty percent when undecided voters are pushed to make a decision." That's according to Lake Research Partners' polling memo, sent to the Chicago Teachers Union on Tuesday.

Emanuel, Garcia spar over city finances in final debate Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia tried to paint each other as undeserving of the public's trust to handle Chicago's severe financial problems Tuesday night during the final debate of the runoff campaign.

Fioretti Backs Emanuel Second City Teacher: There were teachers at the CTU's delegates meeting to vote on the Chuy endorsement who wanted to endorse Fioretti, who was one of the biggest fighters on behalf of the CTU in the City Council. Well, Fioretti proved once again how bankrupt our political system is.

Why Chuy Garcia Won’t Turn Chicago Into Detroit Belt: When Harold Washington ran for mayor, the same fear was trotted out. But it’s even less likely now than it was then.

MISC

Catalyst Chicago Event: Take time out for fun. Join Catalyst Chicago for our second Classroom Story Slam and be part of our 25th anniversary celebration. Ray Salazar, the The White Rhino blogger, won the first slam. Who will  win the next? Thursday April 2, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Red Kiva

OTHER PLACES

New York Budget Increases School Funding, Amends Teacher Eval Rules WNYC: Under deadline pressure, Democrats in Albany reluctantly agreed to a deal on how teachers are evaluated despite opposition from educators and policy makers acrossdiv the state.

Cuomo Gets Deals on Tenure and Evaluations of Teachers NYT: The final budget bill, to be voted on Tuesday, also includes new measures for improving chronically struggling schools.

NATIONAL

Arne Duncan Gives Five States 'Early Bird' Renewal of NCLB Waivers Education Week: The five states that applied early—under a special, fast-track process—for renewal of their No Child Left Behind Act waivers have all gotten approved by the U.S. Department of Education Tuesday.

Half the Teachers in America Use One App to Track Kids WNYC: What data security and privacy obligations do techies have to today's kids? Legally speaking, for the most part, it's what they set for themselves.

The Perfect Classroom, According to Science Bright: It’s bright, quiet, and 72 degrees. And it makes every student feel valued.

States Use Cameras To Crack Down On School Bus Scofflaws HuffPost: At least 12 other states—Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia—have laws that authorize the use of cameras on the outside of buses to catch fly-by drivers, according to the NCSL.

Poverty linked to brain structure in children, new research shows Washington Post: A provocative new study suggests that poverty affects brain structure in children and teenagers, with children growing up in the poorest households having smaller brains than those who live in affluence.

Time to cool it with bashing schools SI&A Cabinet: Before the upcoming presidential race’s political climate gets too warm, let’s moderate the heated rhetoric about the dismal state of American education with some cold facts and careful analysis.

Michelle Obama Delivers Inspiring Speech at Black Girls Rock! Event AThe Root: The star-studded event, which occurred against the backdrop of Women's History Month, was co-hosted by actresses Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King, who helped celebrate the accomplishments of women of color in education, social justice, music...

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