IL Loses Out On Federal Money - Again

Today’s education news includes word that on Friday Illinois lost out on the USDE’s Race To The Top competition — again — despite being a finalist, etc. (The state did great on the number of new NBCTs, however.) Plus some followup on the LaSalle demagnetization proposal, the Board’s practice of modernizing schools on the closing or turnaround lists, and some belated upset at Vitale’s behavior at last Wednesday’s Board meeting. Anything else I missed?  Let me know.

Illinois loses shot at $70 million for early education reforms  WGN Radio: Federal education officials on Friday tapped nine states as winners of Race to the Top, a program that will channel $500 million to early childhood education nationwide. Illinois was among 35 states along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico that had vied for the cash.

Illinois Loses Again in ‘Race to the Top’ CNC:  Illinois has been a finalist both times but failed to secure a grant. State government officials and early childhood advocates had been optimistic Illinois would finally receive a federal grant through the competition because the state has made significant investments in improving early childhood education, including the development of a kindergarten readiness assessment.

State ranks 3rd in teachers earning certification Bloomington Pantagraph:  The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced the state numbers. This is the sixth consecutive year Illinois has ranked among the top 10 states for the number of teachers newly achieving the credential. Chicago Public Schools has 141.

Parents upset at proposal to end LaSalle’s magnet program Tribune: When Chicago Public Schools recently proposed the idea of ending LaSalle Language Academy’s successful magnet program, parents expressed disbelief.

Marie Antoinette, I’d Like You to Meet David Vitale James Warren (CNC): Then, during a seeming lull, Vitale manifested Bourbon condescension — perhaps fitting, given the morning’s French flavor — by expressing the hope that the protesters had “gotten it out of their system.” They hadn’t, and Vitale was soon entertaining a motion to go into executive session, made by Mahalia Hines, a board member and the mother of Common, the hip-hop artist and actor.

Lathrop on list for capital funds even though slated for closure Tribune: One of the schools slated to get a share of the $660 million earmarked for building improvement projects within Chicago Public Schools also happens to be targeted for a school closing.

The Poverty of School Reform In These Times: Started under former Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO and current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the turnaround program picks low-performing schools to receive millions of federal, city and private dollars.

Teacher, 55, claims age discrimination at Joliet private school Sun Times:  Roxann Berkes, a former teacher at St. Paul the Apostle School in Joliet, was “suddenly criticized” for her work during the 2010-’11 school year after consistently receiving positive performance evaluations throughout her career, according to the complaint filed last month in U.S. District Court.

The Emerging Economic Value of Spanish in the U.S. WBEZ: The opportunity for greater cooperation and commerce is driven in part by the dramatic increase in the use of Spanish in the United States to the point where there are now approximately 36 million people in the country who speak it.

Chicago School closings, Board of Ed meeting gets shut down, and North Side students react to losing ‘magnet’ status WBEZ: From a contentious Board of Education meeting to the phasing out of a coveted magnet school in Lincoln Park/Old Town, this week and last has been a big moment for Chicago’s schools system.

The Pritzker family tree Tribune:  Activities: In addition to launching her own private equity firm this year, she is chairwoman of Artemis Real Estate Partners, which invests in distressed real estate, and is on the Chicago Public Schools board.

Why Rahm and Forrest blame the unions—because it works Mick Dumke (Reader): It was after 8 PM and I was on the Grand Avenue Red Line platform, and I’d been waiting a while, wondering if another train would ever show up …I realize, given the nature of our existence, that lots of stories start this way. That is to say, given our existence in Chicago, which is to say, given the fact that the CTA isn’t quite reliable.

More Info on New Jones College Prep Campus CPL Sports Blog:  The new Jones will have about 1200 students. That is a 50% increase in enrollment from the current Jones. Last year the CPS put $24 million for the new Jones. This year, they allocated an additional $96 million funded by Tax Increment Funding (TIF) funds.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • The number of NBCT's will most likely drop next for a variety of reasons. First, the General Assembly slashed the yearly stipend for NBCT's to zero. Also, mentor help is being restricted in some ways because Chicago success rate has been very high.

    One wonders if CPS will still continue to pay NBC tuition?

  • jim broadway suggests we all take a careful look at the new PERA regs put out this month and make sure there's nothing hinky in them

  • Noreen Ahmed-Ullah's Tribune article on LaSalle included this: "Timothy Knowles, director of University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute, said changing priorities of particular schools has become a necessity in large urban districts like Chicago. In this case, CPS seems to be trying to ensure children in the immediate neighborhood have access to a particular school," he said. "Some will argue that increased access may reduce quality, and others will argue just the opposite. The reality is both arguments are right."

    That was one strange statement by Mr. Knowles, there is no discussion of the racial and social class implications of reducing the enrollment of LaSalle to only area students. There was no discussion of the fact that Lincoln school has citywide programs that currently accept non-area students that will not be impacted by the LaSalle proposal, but those citywide students who entered LaSalle via the non-competitive lottery process are being impacted. The discussion about if the quality of LaSalle School will decline once it become an area intake school is simply absurd. When have we seen an elementary school filled with children of high degrees of wealth based on census track data ever underperform as a group? I think statistically it has to be a relatively rare occurrence in Illinois and in the nation.

    Rod Estvan

  • Chicago's Plan to Match Education With Jobs Rahm Emanuel in the WSJ

  • IL's top NEA emailer of the year is Jacquelin Woods, Flossmoor NEA via @EIA

  • you think it's hard figuring out / getting every possible school acceptance advantage in CPS, check out this column from an LA mom, where a kindergarten rejection or moving to a nabe with a crummy school gives you points towards magnet acceptance

  • City Council looking to override Sposato's privilege in favor of UNO in Galewood via CNC

  • UNO CEO and crook, Juan Rangel has his panties in a bunch over this. Time for Emmanuel to deliver some payback for his HDO pal.

  • Solis has done nothing to support the neighborhood schools in his ward since he has taken office. It is common knowledge that the Juarez H.S. addition project was initiated by his predecessor. Solis is a disgrace to the Latino community. Solis sold his soul to the Democratic Machine a long time ago. May God have mercy on his soul!

  • Let's connect the dots. (Tic) Ald. Solis (previous UNO boss) chairs the zoning committee. (Tac) The move is for the committee to grant a zoning change so that a school can be built. (Toe) Juan Rangel (current UNO boss) sits on the Public buildings Commission that approves school construction projects. Hmmmm?

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