Archive for October 2009

Parker Alum / Fundraisers Get Plum Obama Spots

Francis W. Parker School alumnus Charlie Rivkin has been named ambassador to France and Spain.  A 1980 graduate of the somewhat self-righteous Lincoln Park prep school (of which I also am an alum), Rivkin was one of the biggest contributors to the Obama campaign during the 2008 cycle.  It’s not a coincidence. Career diplomats and... Read more »

Huberman's Secret Salary Power Grab

Little noticed on the September board meeting agenda was a proposal that — if it had passed — would have shifted power dramatically from the Board members, whose work is (somewhat) conducted in public, to the CEO’s Office, whose work is conducted (largely) in private.  And it would have let Huberman give big raises to... Read more »

Catastrophe Or Opportunity? Chicago's First Unionized Charter School Contract

Teachers at three Chicago charter schools (Civitas’ Ralph Ellison Campus, Northtown Academy and Wrightwood Campus) voted overwhelmingly to ratify their contract, according to this press release from Chicago ACTS, making them the first charter schools in the city to become unionized.  Roughly 140 teachers and staff are included.  Whether others will follow is anyone’s guess.... Read more »

Horrifying Youth Violence At Richmond Homecoming

It didn’t take all that long for media attention to shift to yet another incident of youth violence just off campus.  This time it’s an alleged gang rape of a teenage girl in California after the school homecoming dance. Five arrested in gang rape of teen.  The students involved were of different races.  Parents and... Read more »

Friday Morning School News: Bad, Badder, Baddest

Chicago 5th in charter school students Southtown StarChicago enrolls about 28,973 students in public charter schools, about 7 percent of its overall student population, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools reported today. Income-based gap hard to close for Illinois schools TribuneWhile at least 95 percent of Hadley’s well-off students passed the eighth-grade reading and... Read more »

Private School Voucher Solution Floated By Senator Meeks

Is it a stunt, a sincere change of heart, or a turning point for city politics?  State senator and reverend James Meeks writes in the Tribune today that private school vouchers that would help pay for parochial or private tuition might be needed to give parents a way to get quality education for their children... Read more »

A Union For Chicago Public School Parents?

Chicago’s local school councils have been around more than 20 years but are in some ways a limited and limiting form of parental involvement.  So what if parents banded together to form a union just like teachers and others have done? That’s the idea that’s floated in this Medill Reports article — a somewhat new... Read more »

Morning Schools News Roundup

Chicago Vocational Career Academy student fatally shot outside home Tribune Thomas was a junior at Chicago Vocational Career Academy. Teen fatally shot in Bronzeville ABC7Thomas died minutes later at Stroger Hospital, becoming the eighth Chicago Public Schools student to die by violence so far this school year. Teachers, also on the front lines of violence,... Read more »

Using Walt Whitman's Poetry To Sell Jeans

It’s horrifying. It’s sort of cool. Or both.  This Levi’s ad, currently running around the country, wants you to buy $238 jeans and features a recording of Walt Whitman reciting his own poem, Pioneers! O Pioneers!, which many of us first learned in school.  You remember the one:  “Pioneers! O Pioneers!  COME, my tan-faced children,... Read more »

Do Newspapers Think We're Blind?

Sometimes I’m convinced that mainstream journalists (printer reporters, editors, TV news stations, etc) think we’re idiots.  Especially when it comes to ignoring things that we may have read on each others’ pages.  The latest example of this is the New York Times, which today is running a story about the growing influence of the Gates... Read more »