Extended Day Not Magic (Or Poison)

Today’s news includes a bit more coverage of the school closing plan and some followup on the extended day story (CPS will fight back, not all charter schools will get the extra money).

Complicated Formula Will Help Determine Fate of Some Chicago Schools CNC/NYT:  Chicago Public Schools officials are giving the public an early look at the strategy they will use in December when deciding which schools will be closed, consolidated or designated to be turned around.

CPS Makes New Push To Close, Consolidate Failing Schools WBBM:  Chicago Public Schools could be in for another round of closures and consolidations. A plan presented at Wednesday’s Board of education meeting would close the schools that are considered to be chronically under-performing.  

How public schools are failing mentally ill kids WBEZ: Arthur McGriff looks like a typical seven year old. He’s a bit tall for his age and acts like a little gentleman. But at the age of seven, he’s just learning how to dress himself.

CPS will ‘vigorously’ defend longer school day in court WBEZ:  A state labor board has sided mostly with the Chicago Teachers Union on the issue of Chicago’s longer school day.

Emanuel defends longer school day despite labor board ruling WBEZ:  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended his efforts to bring a longer school day after a state labor board sided with the Chicago Teachers union in their efforts to end the mayor’s push.

Charters line up for extended-day cash Catalyst:  Chicago International is the district’s largest charter school operator, and it has long had school days of 7-1/2 hours—the same length of time that Emanuel wants for all schools. Yet the academic performance of CICS schools is mixed.

Charters Offered Grants for Longer Day: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is going to charter schools to push his new offer: establish a longer school day and get cash in return.

High school football has high expenses, low revenue Tribune:  Even with such a disparity, Mickey Pruitt, the football coordinator forChicago Public Schools, says cash has little relation to success. “When it comes down to it, it’s about execution on the football field,” said Pruitt.

Michelle Obama Plays It Safe with ‘Let’s Move!’ Campaign Chicago Magazine: Michelle Obama was in Chicago Tuesday to promote her “Let’s Move!” campaign for healthy eating and exercise. It’s an important issue and worthy of the her attention, but it seems small-bore compared to other First Ladies’…

Unions demand actions from lawmakers  WGN: In a rally carefully timed to coincide with the fall veto session, unionized workers from across Illinois jammed the Capitol rotunda in Springfield Tuesday, demanding action from lawmakers.  

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  • Town Hall Meeting on Jobless Teens: “NOT HIRING: THE PLIGHT OF JOBLESS TEENS”

    Community, education experts and students discuss report that finds 18,000 Chicago teens were out of work last summer.

    The collapse of the nation’s teen summer job market will be the topic as Columbia Links hosts a town hall meeting: "Not Hiring: The Plight of Jobless Teens," moderated by Chicago Sun-Times columnist and ABC 7 political analyst Laura Washington. Panelists include education and non-profit experts as well as student reporters from Columbia Links, a journalism skills-building and leadership development program for youth and teachers in Chicago Public Schools, housed at Columbia College Chicago.

    The presentation will be at 5:30 p.m., Wed., Nov. 2, on the Columbia College campus at 618 S. Michigan Ave., Stage 2.

    Guest Panelists:
    • Jack Wuest, executive director of the Alternative Schools Network which commissioned the Center for Labor Market Studies report on teens and unemployment
    • Jhatayn Travis, executive director of the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization
    • Phillip Jackson, president and founder of the Chicago-based non-profit Black Star Project.
    • Columbia Links student reporters

    The evening will also launch the newest edition of R_Wurd, the teen magazine produced by Columbia Links (www.columbialinks.org) students.

    Event Information:
    WHEN: 5:30 p.m., Wed., Nov. 2
    WHERE: 1104 S. Wabash Ave., Stage 2

    ADMISSION: This event is free and open to the public.

    INFO: For more information, contact Brenda Butler, executive director of Columbia Links, 312.369.8993, bbutler@colum.edu

  • TYPO above: NOT 1104 S. Wabash Ave.

    CORRECT: 618 S. Michigan Ave., Stage 2.

  • Let me see if I've got this straight: At parent conferences in the next few weeks, CPS is going to distribute school report cards that not only include scores from the tests students have actually taken, but also scores for non-existent tests that no student has taken.

    Moreover, the Board members expect parents will be schocked to see how low these...ahem...make-believe scores are.

    Are they trying to drive the last middle class families out of the city? What on earth could they be thinking?

    We used to say that it was unfair to assess students on content that wasn't taught. That was the basis for standards.

    Now we're taking it to an all-time low by assessing students on tests they haven't even taken.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    No pacing guides for Common Core Standards tests in Reading and Math given to teachers on what was to be assessed. I thought the Huberman run CPS was really bad and things could not get worse. Brizard proved me wrong!

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Any organization other than CPS and it would be unbelievable.

  • This is the bumbling work of Dr. Jen Cheatham

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Anonymous:

    I don't

  • Wheaton North

    Simeon played them in 1979 for their first game in the Illinois state football playoffs.The Blue Machine lost the game the disparity between the teams was stunning whileThe game itself is burned in my memory. For almost twenty years I took videos of Simeon football games along with my buddy Patrick. Our equipment consisted ofone hand held 8mm movie camera, and my hand held first generation open reel
    video camera that weight in at about fifty pounds with battery. We wrestled that rig everywhere Simeon played from Munster Indiana to Soldiers field. I only bring this upbecause I want everyone to realize I know a little about football.

    Simeon kicked off, they fumbled, we recovered Simeon 7 Wheaton North 0.The same thing occurred on the next kickoff 14 seconds into the game Simeon 14Wheaton North 0. I only taped the plays so in between I had a great view of everything-through my zoom lens.
    There should be a stadium named Al Scott field after Simeons coach. He was a iron manWho not only coached but had to tape ankles, fill out forms, and a million other thingsSuburban Head coaches had assistant coaches doing. You see Al had no paid assistantCoaches, no trainer, no sophisticated equipment ,little support and old gear to work with.
    Patrick and I did the job for kicks, and the kids. What Al did have was a burning desire to win a profound dedication to his sport and a team of talented youngsters who embraced his
    Leadership. That year he got ALL his team save two scholarships to college. What happened After the first fourteen seconds was tragic.

    The Wheaton North coaches, I stopped counting after ten, took control of the game We scored they scored for the rest of the game. I counted at least four of their coaches In the press box on the phones. Simeon had nobody. They took us apart by attacking Any weakness the coaches spotted. They went on to win the state title that year. players
    From both teams went on to college, the rose bowl and even the NFL.
    I bring all this up because I read
    “Even with such a disparity, Mickey Pruitt, the football coordinator for Chicago Public Schools, says cash has little relation to success.

    "When it comes down to it, it's about execution on the football field," said Pruitt, a former Chicago Bear. "Only 11 (athletes) play at a time. If they're coached well enough, they can overcome the money part."
    Rest in Peace AL,you did all you could by yourself
    Bob Busch

  • Report. These stories keep tlking about failing schools but no one gives the list. Why not?

  • Releasing the list would be too much like transparency - it would give the public time to respond. The trick is to 'not' give the public time to respond, but still show that ample time was provided.

    This gives CPS time to build a case for school closing based on Space Utilization, the Physical Condition of a Building, Alternative Use of School Facilities, and/or Conversion to Charter or for Academic reasons.

    CPS has to provide a written rationale, and show that there are no higher performing schools in 'close proximity' to the school in question… so they have to compile evidence of the above conditions. They often go about the quiet and dirty business of 'creating' the conditions that will be in the rationale. For obvious legal reason, they can't admit that this is what they do…they have to go in with the pretense of 'benevolent' intentions.

    October of 2009, The Consortium on Chicago School Research, in a report entitled "When Schools Close. Effects on Displaced Students in Chicago Public Schools" reported that

    "The largest negative impact of school closings on students' reading and math achievement occurred in the year before the schools were closed. The announcements often caused significant angst for students, parents, teachers, and other community members, and the disruption may have hindered student learning. Students' reading scores showed a loss of about one-and-a-half months".

    In other words, CPS know that they are sabotaging the school.

    So, the CPS trick is to never announce the closing of a school to the general public, but announce or highly suggest the 'strong possibility' of a school closing to the staff members of a community school on a case by case basis… Everybody in the school and within the community knows about it and the proven negative effect begin.

    So if CPS sees that their strongest case for closure is poor academic performance, they merely have to send in a 'support' team, a model that has basically guaranteed to exacerbate or worsen the academic climate.

    Of course, CPS hedges their bet by pulling this game on more than one school at a time, thus increasing their odds.

    Naturally, the 'destruction' team costs money. When CPS fails to close the school, they recoup some of their losses by pushing out veteran principals/ teachers and replacing them with less expensive new hires. This has the effect of disrupting the school even further, and increases the odds of school closure the following year.

    The board only needs to give public notice 120 days before the end of the academic year.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    The new state law requires the Board to notify the public by December 1 if they plan to close schools for the next school year.

    Honestly, there have been times I've wondered if CO bureaucrats purposely intended to sabotage my school or if utter stupidity was just a prerequisite for the job.

    Having said that, I can't go along with your conspiracy theory that teams of support personnel from the Board go into a school to sabotage--rather than help it. It may be that they're simply not up to the job (or, more likely, the scale of poverty and dysfunctional families is too great to overcome). But I simply won't believe that the people on these teams INTEND for the schools to fail.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    That seems to be the beauty of the model - the pawns are unwitting - the people on the teams generally have good intentions - unfortunately, they, too, are mandated to follow an intervention template that has consistently resulted in the actual lowering of achievement as measured by an already invalid and unreliable standardized state test.

    The same model has been used over and over with consistent and predictable negative results - I would love to believe that utter stupidity was the independent variable; it would then be easier to make the appropriate adjustment (or maybe not).

    But given that CPS is in the real-estate business- buy, sell and lease, it seems to make more 'business' sense to implement a model that is aligned to short and long term financial investments.

  • Do the charters get 75K per school or per campus?

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