Posts in category "Teachers & Teaching"

CTU Says Testing Will Be A "Hot Mess"

CTU Says Testing Will Be A "Hot Mess"
Today's news includes indications that SEIU and other unions besides CTU won't be endorsing Chuy after all (a SEIU endorsement was reported last week - but Chuy may not even need it at this point), plus warnings from CTU that next week's testing sessions will be chaotic and problematic (didn't they say the same thing about Safe Passages?). Meanwhile, the Tribune has a story about the Urban Prep student killed after school a few days ago. Nationally, Boston just hired a 39 year-old LAUSD administrator to head its school system (yes, he's a TFA alum), and charters and teachers are fighting tooth and nail in New York and LA...

How Disruptive Are Testing Window Days, Really?

How Disruptive Are Testing Window Days, Really?
As you probably already know, CPS has decided that everyone's going to take the Common Core assessment starting next week -- using pencil and paper, according to CNET.  Meanwhile, testing delays have thrown things off in South Florida and a few other places. Wendy Kattan says that all but two weeks for the rest of of the school year are taken up with "disruptive" testing, but that seems like an overstatement, no? I've been in lots of schools during testing windows and it hasn't always been even observable except for the signs on the computer lab window. Thoughts on this, anyone...

CPS Reverses Course On Common Core Testing - Gives Chuy Major Issue Against City Hall

CPS Reverses Course On Common Core Testing - Gives Chuy Major Issue Against City Hall

In a complete but not entirely unexpected reversal, CPS announced that it would require all schools to administer the new Common Core assessment next week, as required by the state and the USDE as a condition of funding. Sun Times here passes along speculation that the previous position was a City Hall-inspired effort to win votes from mostly white liberal parents concerned about overtesting for last week's election (in which case Rahm just gave his opponents a big issue). The Tribune here notes that technological limits are not the issue for most Chicago schools, and that CPS was under repeated funding threats from the state (though I'm not sure anyone believed CPS would be defunded over Common Core)...

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Should IL Make "Opting Out" Easier (Like CA & Utah)?

Should IL Make "Opting Out" Easier (Like CA & Utah)?
While CPS remains unsure/unclear what it's going to do next with the Common Core tests, suburban parents are pressing the state for an opt-out waiver that parents can sign a form. (See the WBEZ story below, and then check out this new roundup of state laws or #EWAcore for Tweets from yesterday's education writers workshop in Denver.) Meanwhile, a new report suggests that Common Core standards are actually leading to an increase in teacher-written curricula (wonder if that's true in CPS). In other places, UTLA teachers rallied and threatened to strike over pay and class size -- CTU is their model, though there are some key differences and dynamics -- and New York's Andrew Cuomo and Bill De Blasio continue to beef over school turnarounds, charters, and mayoral control...

School Breakfast Slower/More Controversial In NY, LA

School Breakfast Slower/More Controversial In NY, LA
School breakfasts for low income students -- especially those proposed by unpopular district leaders and provided in student classrooms -- can be controversial, even though it's not that new.  (The newer thing is school dinner.) One place school breakfast hasn't been especially controversial has been Chicago. Yep, Chicago, where pretty much anything and everything is disputed these days...

2 More Charters Might Get Unionized

2 More Charters Might Get Unionized
Welcome back! Big news of the last few days (other than the campaign stuff) is that two more groups of charter school teachers are seeking to unionize (though they haven't formally voted yet). If they succeed, they'll make Chicago the town with the highest percentage of charter teachers unionized (though still very much not the charter hotbed that places like LA, NYC, and DC are). And apparently Rahm is OK with that. Are you? Elsewhere, schools are beginning to take Common Core tests, and trying to keep student data private...
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Karen's Snowstorm Speech, Plus Elected School Board Debt

Karen's Snowstorm Speech, Plus Elected School Board Debt
Lots of education news today: Digging out from the storm. Karen's City Club speech (which seemed to get more coverage than Rauner's). Five CTU teachers running for city council. Crain's says elected school boards incur more debt (and the LA school board race is getting super-nasty - again). Intensive tutoring works, says a new UofC study. We still don't know whether CPS or ISBE is going to blink first on this PARCC testing standoff. Plus national and other news below...

Cold Weather Can't Stop City/Union Politics

Cold Weather Can't Stop City/Union Politics
It's still super cold, and CPS is still closed. But that isn't stopping pro-Rahm folks from sending out mailers criticizing progressive candidates or CTU's executive board from endorsing some (but not all) candidates against Rahm allies. It's not always clear who CTU will endorse, as Bob Fioretti (passed over in favor of Chuy Garcia) well knows. According to Second City Teacher, leadership and the delegates may differ on whether to endorse CTU members who are running in response to Karen Lewis's many appeals. Last but not least, an update on Thirty Million Words from the Hechinger Report...

Proposals Lack Budget Specifics, Copy CTU Priorities

Proposals Lack Budget Specifics, Copy CTU Priorities
Today's news includes a closer look at some of the City Hall challengers' CPS-related proposals, noting (in WBEZ) that in some cases they closely resemble CTU priorities and in others (Tribune) they lack any realistic spending offsets or revenue increases to pay for extras and cover current deficits. Elsewhere, there's more money for school Internet access being provided, and the new math is a struggle for students and teachers in Texas...
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Dismal CPS College Grad Rate Rises

Dismal CPS College Grad Rate Rises
Today's big education news is a UofC report showing that college graduation rates for CPS students are up -- dramatically -- but still aren't nearly as high as they need to be. Different news outlets frame the report differently --it's interesting to see.  Nationally, administrators have come out against using value-added scores for teacher evaluation, and NOLA teachers who lost their jobs after Katrina are running out of legal options...