Archive for August 2011

Brizard's First Pitch

I missed Brizard throwing out the first pitch at the White Sox game and can’t seem to find video of it yet but I’m sure one of you saw it and can tell us important things like did he make a good throw or did he embarrass himself with a one-hopper or a wild pitch?

Lukewarm Budget Endorsement

Today’s news coverage is dominated by the Civic Federation’s lukewarm endorsement of the CPS budget proposal, which I’m sure the folks at Clark Street will be happy to use as part of their push for acceptance later this week.  What I’m not clear on/ don’t remember is whether staff or board members can make adjustments... Read more »

Texas Vs. Chicago

Former CPS chief Arne Duncan ended the week taking heat for a comment about the state of schools in Texas under Governor Rick Perry that ignored the reality that CPS schools aren’t necessarily any better than the ones Perry oversees. On what should have been a ho-hum Bloomberg TV appearance, Duncan said that the schools... Read more »

Weekend Open Discussion / Recent Comments

I know it’s barely noon but in honor of the approaching weekend and the return of “Recent Comments” (they’re back — look to your right!), let’s have an open discussion about the week’s events (ACT, PSAE scores, home visits) or things that haven’t been mentioned so far but are all the more important in your... Read more »

More Bad Test News

Today’s news about PSAE and ACT scores for CPS high school students will likely rekindle the conversation that’s been going on since earlier in the week about what tests measure and whether they matter. Red marks on ACT, state test Tribune:  In the sobering reality of Chicago Public Schools, years of reform efforts have done little... Read more »

Home Visits... Or Longer Day?

This morning’s news includes a Tribune look at schools and networks that do home visits, which has me wondering which would you rather have or do: home visits or a longer school day?  Both involve extra time for teachers (and kids), but obviously a very different kind of time.  Nobody’s seriously suggesting that it’s an... Read more »

ACT Scores Still Suck

News is out about statewide ACT scores and it’s better, slightly, but still not very good.  I’m assuming that CPS scores come in even lower. Oh, and that recess thing Brizard announced last week isn’t quite all that it seemed to be. Three of four state grads not ready for college, ACT scores show Sun Times: More... Read more »

The Sustainability Problem

This is Jessica Reid, a minor character in Steve Brill’s new school reform book who, as Brill reveals in this Wall Street Journal excerpt, quits her grueling New York City charter school administrator job at the end of the book and takes one at a traditional public school.  She feels that will be more sustainable. Following a similar... Read more »

Bonus Pay - For Principals!

Today’s news is dominated by the Mayor’s release of a proposed $5 million principal incentive pay plan, the details and effectiveness of which is uncertain.  What do you think? Plus lots of other tidbits: Emmanuel Secures $5 million for CPS principals’ merit pay Chicago Tribune:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made principal recruitment, training and evaluation a centerpiece... Read more »

Security Chief Escapes CPS

This morning’s news is full of stories about the contested budget that CPS is proposing — lots of folks don’t like it or have serious concerns — and the sudden departure of Michael Shields (he’s going back to the CPD). CPS property tax hike proposal creates public frustration Tribune:  Although both the Civic Federation and Access... Read more »