Charter Conversions, Contract Waivers?

Today’s news seems to have disappeared into the Internet somewhere – sorry! — but you’re not missing much — Brizard gave a presentation at the City Club that echoed much of what you already read in that PowerPoint from a couple of days ago (see below), the Wendell Smith LSC is considering converting to a charter in order to turn its program around (that was WBEZ), and teachers and City Hall continue to argue about the extended day / pay proposal.  Did the Wendell Smith vote pass?  Have teachers at any CPS schools agreed to waive their contract schedule and do an extended day?


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  • Great article here......
    What do you all think???

  • the wendell smith LSC voted 7-3 to convert, according to linda lutton

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Forgive them Lord, they do not know what they have done!

  • I disagree, RP. I think they know exactly what they have done.

    They will be able to cap enrollment and limit class size. That's good.

    They will be able to restrict enrollment through various means, assuring that students with family support are enrolled. That's good.

    They will be able to send students with any significant special needs elsewhere. That's good.

    They will be able to extend the school day immediately and indefinitely so paid childcare before or after school will be unnecessary. That's good.

    They will be able to remove very easily students who interfere with learning - "problem" students or students who struggle academically. That's good.

    It's a win-win, right?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Dear Anonymous, first a charter school approved by the Chicago Public Schools would have to agree to take over their building. Then the charter school would decide what students would go there! Maybe some of the present students would be allowed to attend the new charter school or maybe not! I feel the parents need to take a close look at what they are proposing. It's not that simple. P'S.- Stay tuned and see what happens.

  • Exactly right, RP.

    One of the biggest lies these charter school operators and supporters perpetrate is that they have programs designed to meet the needs of the communities where they propose to establish themselves. The fact is that they are under no legal obligation to serve the children of any particular community because by law a charter school in Illinois has no geographical attendance boundary in the way that a neighborhood public school does. That is a major part of how they get to decide who attends their school. Do these parents even know this?? I'm guessing that many of them don't.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    To add what was said above, charters also expel students on a regular basis for any reason without any due process.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I have been involved with one CICS explusion case and they did have a hearing. I think what anonymous is refering to should be called push outs as opposed to explusions in most cases. By the way under existing law for a explusion to meet the due process requiement under Goss v. Lopez, the main case establishing the due process rights of students in public school disciplinary proceedings, the Supreme Court held that students had a property interest in education that required minimal due process protections before any disciplinary suspension could be imposed. 419 U.S. 565, 573.

    Minimal means that a school administrator has a formal meeting with the child and family to review the facts. Legally nothing more is required under the Supreme Court decision.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Usually poorly performing schools have serious issues. One of them often is student's with major behavior problems. I wonder, how many parents who fought for a "better school" will have their own child kicked out by the charter? Will they then realize they actually have to parent?
    Don't misunderstand. I am ALL for removing students who cannot or will not follow basic rules after they've had a chance to improve and have been given support. But I just wonder, do these parents realize that while yes, good schools have good staff, that the families also play a role? Do they really realize that they as parents and as students have some effect on their achievement? Teachers, parents, students, administrators, communities and more. We each have a role We all have to step up. That does not exclude parents and kids.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    Sorry for the typos and the poorly placed apostrophe!

  • And they will be able to have lots of uncertified teachers as part of the staff.

  • LMAO^^^^ So true!!!! If only all schools had these options!

  • Please don't send the castoffs to Cullen!!

  • I'm pretty sure the "That's good" writer above has tongue firmly in cheek. Yes, those things will likely happen. But that's bad for the "castoffs."

  • The question is, I suppose, what "reform" system Rahm wants. Does he want a public school system staffed by teachers who have no collective bargaining rights, like Wisconsin, or does he want a completely privatized/corporatized system like New Orleans. My other thought is that he wants a hybrid system of a small public school system staffed by teachers who have no collective bargining rights and have had their pay and benefits slashed and a larger corporate/privatized school system staffed by teachers who have no collective bargaining rights and have little or no benefits to go along with their low pay.

  • cps says that teachers at two schools -- skinner north and melody -- have voted to extend the day. how many others had votes or were targeted, does anyone know?

    CHICAGO—This morning, teachers at Genevieve Melody Elementary and Skinner North Elementary schools voted on a waiver that would lengthen their school day by 90 minutes. The passage of waivers require a 50% + 1 of all voting teachers. Both schools received the required 50% + 1 to pass the waiver and extend their school day by 90 minutes.

    This morning, teachers at Genevieve Melody Elementary and Skinner North Elementary schools voted on a waiver that would lengthen their school day by 90 minutes. The passage of waivers require a 50% + 1 of all voting teachers. Both schools received the required 50% + 1 to pass the waiver and extend their school day by 90 minutes.

    Statement by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard:

    “We thank the courageous teachers and principals today for their dedication to investing in our children’s future by supporting a longer school day. This is a historic step forward in bringing the kind of change we need in the classroom to help our children get the world class education they deserve. Despite the hard work of teachers throughout the system, our children are falling behind. They need more time in the classroom to be successful. Teachers stood up today to say they want to help lead this change. We support them and commend them for the message they are sending to our city that our children must come first. We hope more principals, teachers and parents will come together to put our children first.”

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    God bless them. Skinner North and Melody Elementary schools, we will be watching!

  • A third CPS elementary school will start the 90 minutes extented school day in September or January. That makes three for 30%. Now CPS only needs seven more elementary schools to do the same thing for their ten elementary schools Good Luck..

  • Wonderful!

    Just 597 or so to go.

  • God bless them for putting their students' interest in the forefront.

    God bless them for having the mettle to withstand CTU pressure to put their own interests first.

    God bless them for being true leaders.

    God bless them for being great and selfless educators.

    Thank them for leading the way.

    Pray that all teachers see the same light and follow in their footsteps.

    Pray for Karen Lewis to do the right thing by her members and by CPS students.

    Yes, we all will be watching and, rather than hissing from the sidelines and predicting failure, I hope we will all be wishing these brave teachers and their students a productive and successful year.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Why stop at just 90 minutes?

  • Well according to CBS, "The determining factor appeared to be $150,000 extra per school. Skinner principal Ethan Netterstrom said he told teachers they could allocate that money however they wanted."

    If you go to the Skinner North website, they have 10 faculty members and 105 faculty members of which 34% are low income. Perhaps this could be the compromise we've all been looking for. If every CPS teacher was simply given $15,000 to spend on their classroom as they saw fit, teachers would agree to teach for an extra 90 minutes.

    STEM Magnet has also agreed to extend their day, which is quite impressive considering they haven't worked a regular school attendance day yet. The school is new this year.

  • In reply to CPSJoe:

    If ISBE 2010 reports are accurate, Skinner North had 105 kids enrolled in 2010 and Melody had 387 kids.

    Explain exactly how $150,000 for 105 Skinner kids
    (White: 33.3; Black: 30.5; Hispanic: 10.5; Percent Low-Income: 34.3)

    is an equitable distribution compared with $150,000 for Melody kids
    (Black: 99.7; Percent Low-Income: 97.9)

    So let me get this straight

    Melody, 99.7 %, black, receives $387.60 per kid.
    Skinner, 69.5%, non-black, receives $1,428.57 per kid.

    And the punch line: Jean-Claude Brizard hits NBC-5 Morning Edition News and I quote, "We have to see this quickly as possible"

  • here's the sun times account of the story --

    am i wrong that school-level waivers are common in chicago -- on other issues besides length of day? -- and that it's not always considered a big deal?

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