Posts in category "Media Watch"

Time To Say Goodbye

Time To Say Goodbye
As some of you may have already noticed, I’m shutting down District 299. I created the blog way back in the day (2005) when when I realized that Chicago educators didn’t care much about national news and national educators didn’t care much about Chicago.At the time, I was running a weekly email newsletter rounding up local... Read more »

Catalyst's Karp Going To BGA

Catalyst's Karp Going To BGA
Catalyst Chicago deputy editor Sarah Karp, widely credited with having broken the $20 million SUPES story that has now led to an FBI Investigation and the stepping down of the head of the Chicago school system, is leaving to join the Better Government Association of Chicago. For more on the move, and a few possible explanations for why it took everyone else nearly 2 years to followw up on Karp's story, read below. ...

Why WBEZ Didn't Run That "Chuy" Segment

Why WBEZ Didn't Run That "Chuy" Segment
Today's mishmash of news coverage has no particular pattern or meaning.  I think everyone's still trying to get back settled into school and recovering from the runoff. The one tiny bit of notable news is that NPR is pulling its branding off of that Latinos USA piece on Chuy that aired a few days before the election day (but not in Chicago because WBEZ thought it wasn't up to standards journalistically). Meanwhile, testing is ramping up in New York and the Senate is trying to mark up a new version of NCLB in DC...
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How Will Next Week's Testing Get Covered? Badly, I Fear.

How Will Next Week's Testing Get Covered? Badly, I Fear.
Testing starts next week, and it'll be interesting to see how it goes (and how folks react to it). The media focus will inevitably be on snafus and opt-outs, thanks in large part to advocates pushing their attention that way. But if this NJ blogger's roundup of testing there is any indication the overall process might be smoother than you might expect.  Or not. Meantime, Chuy and Rahm are still heading to a big runoff, and there's another alleged cheating scandal. A new study shows that young inexperienced teachers are still over-assigned to kids with greater needs (I don't see CTU arguing that North Side teachers should rotate through tougher schools, though to be fair Karen Lewis did transfer from Lane to Brooks)...

About That Board Meeting Room!

About That Board Meeting Room!
Substance wonders why the dailies' coverage of the Board meeting differed so much. The Tribune editorial page favors the current appointed Board setup. (Is the new Board meeting room really as small as it looks here? Apparently so.). Plus: IL charters get ranked (via Catalyst), CPS sells buildings (via Tribune). Lewis tells about discovering she was ill -- and other things (via Tribune). Elsewhere: NYC charters do better than district schools at keeping SPED kids, says a new report. Measles have spread from Southern California to Arizona...

Karen's Back - Plus A $900K Theft

Karen's Back - Plus A $900K Theft
Welcome back -- sorry about the cold!  Today's education roundup includes news that Karen Lewis is back to part-time duty at CTU and a couple of items about Danny Solis challenger (and Lindblom teacher) Ed Hershey.  There's also a disheartening piece about how some CPS employees and vendors stole nearly $900,000 in public funding. The other big news, in case you haven't been watching for a while, I've changed over to Facebook comments (though you can also use your email to comment, apparently)...
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So Long, "District 299 Reader"

So Long, "District 299 Reader"
Starting sometime soon in the new year -- probably Friday or Monday - I'm going to switch this site's comments over to the Facebook format that most other sites on ChicagoNow (and other places) are using. Switching over means a lot of good things might happen -- like more comments from parents and students who live on Facebook and use their FB identities all the time -- plus just one obvious downside which is and end to the generic anonymous "District299 Reader" identity that some of you have used (and abused) for years...

Why Do Critics Slam "Serial" But Not "Harper High"?

Why Do Critics Slam "Serial" But Not "Harper High"?
In case you hadn't heard, This American Life spinoff "Serial" is a big hit.  But it's increasingly facing a major backlash, focused in part on the fact that the reporting team behind the piece is all white and the main characters are minorities. However, a very similarly popular show by This American Life last year focusing on Harper High school in Chicago generated little such concern. White reporters? Check. Set in and around a high school? Check. Minority community? Check. Widespread acclaim? Check...

Researcher Neglected To Disclose CTU Funded Charter Study - Reporters Neglected To Ask

Researcher Neglected To Disclose CTU Funded Charter Study - Reporters Neglected To Ask
That charter school study from a couple of days ago was apparently funded in large part by the Chicago Teachers Union -- something that wasn't disclosed in the report and wasn't picked up on by any of the media outlets who passed on its results until now.  The funding source doesn't necessarily undermine the results (though INCS and others have raised questions about the methodology), and Chicago's charters did better using Orfield's methodology than charters in New Orleans and Minneapolis.  But given all the scrutiny given to funding sources and disclosure in the media and by reform critics, disclosing the results -- and checking about the funding source -- would have made a lot of sense. Did anyone else but Hinz catch it...
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Report: CPS Leads Way On Testing Transparency

Report: CPS Leads Way On Testing Transparency
There's no shortage of things going wrong in CPS, and writing about even occasional or partial successes seems like it's gone out of style among education reporters in town, but a new report from a Hillary Clinton-affiliated DC think tank has the gall to single out CPS for praise when it comes to transparency and information provided to parents and the public around -- yes! -- district testing practices...