New Teacher Evaluation System

Friday education news includes Mayor Emanuel pushing on the 180-day calendar for next year, as well as a $7B plan to rebuild city infrastructure — and the arrival of the new evaluation system by CPS.  Oh, and another 50/100 percent graduation rate announcement from Urban Prep.


Mayor on axing Columbus, Pulaski holidays: ‘I want ’em in school’ Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday he’s “very sensitive” to those who considered the Columbus Day and Pulaski Day school holidays a source of ethnic pride, but argued that lengthening the school year is more important. “There’s pride in having your kids have enough school days,” Emanuel said.

Longer school day: Why there should be no exceptions Tribune (editorial): CPS should make every effort to find money for teachers, who will work longer, and for additional staff and materials where warranted. But everyone has to recognize the dire financial situation the school system faces. This classroom time has to be created, with or without a big financial incentive. And it has to be created at every school. Within that, sure, grant as much flexibility as possible in how to use the time.


Emanuel pushing $7.3 billion plan to rebuild Chicago’s infrastructure Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday urged major airlines squeezed by skyrocketing fuel prices to come to the table a year early and negotiate a fourth new runway at O’Hare Airport as part of a $7.3 billion plan to rebuild Chicago’s infrastructure and create 30,000 jobs over the next three years.

Chicago, short of money, turns to private sector Reuters: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, facing budget cuts from the debt-ridden state of Illinois and the federal government, turned to the private sector on Thursday to finance $7.2 billion in rebuilding of the city’s aging subways, sewers and schools. Emanuel, who laid off hundreds of workers in his first year in office to close a $636 million gap in the city’s $6.3 billion budget …


CPS to announce new teacher evaluations, says union Catalyst: Because legally mandated negotiations between the union and the district had been going on since December- well past the minimum 90-day period specified in state law – the district is now free to implement the evaluation procedures it most recently discussed with the union.

City officials plan to tie teacher ratings to student test scores Sun Times: Talks on a dramatic overhaul of the way Chicago public school teachers are evaluated ended Thursday with district officials forging forward without teacher union approval on a plan that would tie the ratings of thousands of teachers in part to student test scores.

A principal gives thumbs-up to Danielson framework Lauren Norwood (in Catalyst): Does Danielson improve all teacher practice?   Of course not, as no method does.  However, in cases where teacher practice does not improve, the administrator along with the teacher is able to see clear concise evidence of plans made and support given to assist the teacher before other measures are taken.


Urban prep boasts another perfect college acceptance year Tribune: Urban Prep officials acknowledge that this year’s senior class of 85 was almost twice that size when the boys started out as freshmen. A rigorous alumni department brings students in over the summer to familiarize them with the challenges ahead and continues to contact graduates twice a month by phone, email or on Facebook.


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  • Has anyone at their CTU done a mock strike vote? If so, what are the results. It may be nice to post these numbers in a public forum so the BOE knows teachers are ready to commit to a strike.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    That might be effective if 1) The BOE actually was the decision maker, and 2) The BOE had children in CPS.

    When the strike begins the headlines will read; shortest school day, shortest school year, highest paid teachers, lowest performing schools. How does the CTU make Rahm look bad to the typical taxpayer? He just arrived. CTU is the old-timer.
    How does the CTU ever agree to working more hours for about the same money?
    I'm sure Rahm has gamed out various scenarios. But I expect the only position for CTU leadership is to propose to strike and then try to find consensus in the membership on how to proceed with negotiations.
    I hate to think that either side would support increasing both the school day and teacher pay by cutting school positions and services.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    90-100 percent votes at Lane and Taft - NBC Chicago

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    ...and those schools are a cakewalk compared to the rest of CPS...

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    FYI- Taft had every single person vote, including 5 on maternity. And 100% voted yes to a strike, and 100% will vote the same next fall if needed.

  • Wages.
    Like a broken record the board will have a 700 million deficit
    next year. Some PR firm must have determined that figure
    because it seem that number was used for the past several years.
    The Board failed to man –up to their obligations this year and forgot
    the 4% raise it contractually agreed to pay in salary this year.
    Next year should be worst. Each day worked is a little more than
    ½ % of a teacher’s wages. Eliminating two holidays will be a
    loss of 1% in earnings. Basing the expanded day for next year
    on the one official schedule I have is a stretch but looking at it
    shows the complete dishonesty our appointed board portrays.
    The schedule adds an extra period between 2th and 3 th
    called intervention. Simple enough on the surface but insidious
    in reality. This 43 minute period is not numbered ,its just inserted
    by doing that the day seems to have the original 8 periods when in fact
    it will have 9.By jamming every kid into this extra period the long day
    is accomplished without any enrichment at all, and can be handled
    by the current staff, free of charge. That will be an extra period per day
    of face time for un-clouted faculty members. And pure hell
    for the kids forced to sit in holding pens.
    Adding it up an extra class per day is 5 a week or about 35 extra days a
    Year .All together a work load increase of about 2 months .This not
    counting the loss of PD days.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    CPS lies about the projected $700 million deficit for the fiscal 2012-2013 school year. According to the Chicago Public Schools Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the the year ended June 30, 2011, that was prepared by the Office of School Financial Services, CPS ended the fiscal school year with a surplus of $560,365,000.The problem is the fiscal school year starts July 1st and CPS doesn't publish this report until January of the following year!

  • "...CPS ended the fiscal school year with a surplus of $560,365,000." Has anyone seen this fact in the mainstream press yet? Are the education reporters picking up on this? Haven't seen any yet.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    That's not what the report says. The $560M figure is a variance in the General Operating Fund: "The General Operating Fund ended FY2011 with a surplus of $316 million, which compared very favorably with the budgeted deficit of $245 million."

    The report also says this: "In the statement of net assets, CPS’ ended the fiscal year with a deficit of $1.202 billion, an increase in the deficit of $284 million or 30.9% from the prior year. The increase is mainly attributed to larger expenses in the categories of pension, other postemployment benefits and benefit day liabilities."

    Unless you are an accountant, these statements can be hard to make sense of.

  • In reply to WestLooper:

    We need accountants who are education reporters or education reporters who are accountants.

  • In reply to WestLooper:

    Dear WestLooper, thanks for the insight.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader, the mainstream press won't report this because CPS won't tell them about this. All the mainstream press has to do is look for it self and they will see this document.

  • A budget surplus of $560,365,000? And denial of a 4% raise to in-school staff based on economic hardship? Something is not right here.

    The same report indicates that CPS spent $121,854,000 less on teacher salaries than was appropriated in the final FY11 budget.

    The same report indicates that CPS spent $32,644,000 less on teacher pensions than was appropriated in the final FY11 budget.


    Thanks, RP!

  • fb_avatar

    If the headlines read that, then the press needs to do a better job with investigative reporting.

    We don't have the lowest performing schools. We have better performing schools than say, Rochester, NY. We don't have the highest paid teachers, we don't have the shortest school day, and we don't have the shortest school year, although I believe it is below average.

    CTU is not the "old-timer". There is a new leadership that was elected after one faction being in power for all but 3 years of the history of the union.

    I hate to think that either side would use false interest in the benefit of children for political gain. One group actually has some of the highest stress indicators for any non-combat job because we directly spend each day caring for the students of Chicago, and we do make a difference. The other side--while many have good motives--don't and some won't even live in the city they rule over.

    Every has a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

  • fb_avatar

    Correction: The point remains the same, but the first sentence should acknowledge that reporters don't write headlines.

  • I am going to evade Donn's provocative post, I have expressed my opinion on the likeliness of a 75% strike vote of the CTU membership way too many times and I won't bore blog readers with doing it again. At this time I am also going to evade the discussion on the CPS deficit projection, but I will take it up in Access Living's annual review of the CPS budget.

    I am very interested in what CPS adopts in relation to teacher an evaluation system based on the Act the General Assembly passed, but I am going to hold back until I can see the actual written policy. Even then, this is such a serious issue and I am so deeply involved in it after having co-authored a white paper on this issue that I may express my views in a far more formal manner than in a blog post.
    I do want to comment on Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah's Tribune article on Urban Prep's perfect four year college admissions rate which has now according to the article happened for the third year in a row.

    I like the work Noreen does for the Tribune, even though I always don't agree with some of her takes on things, and I am glad for she has survived yet another staff reduction wave over at the Tribune. She stuffed a great deal into her article and because of the space limitations she was faced with some things that had to be dealt with superficially. I am going to delve into a few of these issues.

    The first issue is the college persistence rate for last year's graduating class from Urban Prep. According to the article it is 83%. Freshman class attrition rates nationally are typically greater than any other academic year and are commonly as high as 20-30%. About another 10 to 15% of college students drop out in their second year of college. The U.S. Department of Education has found nationally that only 41% of low-income students enrolled in a four-year institutions manage to graduate within five years. Many students approach the dropout decision as a simple cost-benefit analysis. They ask themselves whether leaving will put them financially ahead of where they'll be after amassing four years of student loan debt in a weak job market.

    Nationwide, the black student college graduation rate is about 43 percent which is inclusive of non-low income black students. This figure is 20 percentage points below the 63 percentage rate for white students. Nationally black students graduate at higher rates from our nation's most selective colleges, but more of the black students gaining admittance to these selective colleges are also non-low income than are those black students attending non-selective colleges. The graduation rate of African-American students at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) tends to be much lower than the graduation rate for black students at the nation’s highest-ranked institutions. In 2006, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, of 49 HBCUs 34 had graduation rates for black students under 43%.

    It is important at this point to note that Urban Prep CEO Tim King prior to his first class graduating last year repeatedly proclaimed that not only would 100% of his school's graduates go on to college, but 100% would receive a BA degree. At this point that prediction is in serious jeopardy with 17% of last year's graduates already off track, however it is always possible, but not likely, that all of those college drop outs will reenroll and ultimately graduate from college. I would also note that I was very vocal last year about Mr. King's proclamation of 100% college completion for his graduates and noted that not even Payton High School could make such a claim.

    Currently Urban Prep graduates are doing better than would be expected based on over all statistics, but clearly Mr. King needs a refresher course in predictive analytics.

    Part of the problem with Mr. King's prediction is probably where some Urban Prep graduates went to college. A good number of black CPS graduates in general go to HBCUs because they can get financial aid, they accept students with lower college admissions test scores, they are welcoming colleges for low income black students, and some black educators the students have had in high school were themselves successful graduates from HBCUs. Let's hope there is not a correlation for the Urban Prep college leavers and enrollment in HBCUs.

    Noreen takes up Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education, argument that significant numbers of students who enroll at Urban Prep leave or are possibly pushed out prior to their senior year. There is truth to that argument, but I have noticed something very interesting about Urban Prep, in 2008 the then one Urban Prep campus had 15.3% students with disabilities, but by 2011 we see an increase in these numbers. The following data comes from submissions to the US district Court in the Corey H case and I have shared this data with Catalyst recently. At Urban Prep Academy - South Shore 18.94% of the students had IEPs, at Urban Prep Academy East Garfield Park 18.88%, Urban Prep Academy - Englewood the percentage of students with IEPs increased to 16.67%.
    Statistically Urban Prep has a higher percentage of students with emotional disturbance than do all but a few other charter schools in Chicago and it has even a higher percentage than some neighborhood high schools do. Moreover, while this statistic is nothing really to cheer about it still should be noted that in 2011, 15.4% of students with IEPs attending Urban Prep were reading at state standards whereas only 5.5% of all CPS students with IEPs were reading at or above standards. It should also be noted that all eligible disabled students attending Urban Prep were tested in reading in 2011. So Urban Prep deserves some credit in relation to serving students with disabilities given the dismal reality of CPS as a whole.

    However, in 2011 Urban Prep using the ISBE drop out calculation system had a higher dropout rate than ISBE calculated for CPS as a whole. So Julie Woestehoff clearly has a point based on ISBE drop out data and it would have been good if Noreen pointed that out and got a response from Tim King relating to that. But really we are lucky the Tribune is still publishing as many education articles as they are given their dire fiscal condition.

    Rod Estvan

  • To be clear, I wasn't posting my opinion as to the virtues of the case CPS can make. I was projecting in simple terms how I feel Rahm can play it in a strike. Of course "the most" and "the worst" are exaggerations.
    But there will be charts and graphs. Those comparative charts and graphs won't put the CTU in favorable light.
    By contrast, IMO the CTU doesn't have as good or easily understood "big picture" arguments to make to the broader public beyond more money for more time.
    Perhaps in the end the general public isn't critically important beyond the long-term political impact.

  • FWIW: What I experience in the persistence of low-income CPS students for college completion is that they can't pay their tuition bill and a barred from registering the the next semester. They may never come back. Or, they transfer into community college for a while.

    Also, low-scoring CPS grads (say, 15 on ACTs or under), do fail courses more frequently (from what I see anecdotally).

    I don't have any scientific research on this.

    When it comes to Black students in higher ed, there seems to be a statistical difference between African-American and Black Immigrant students. They AA student post lower grades and degree completion, from the research I've seen. AA students also succeed differently in different types of undergrad degrees, with lower performance in degree programs based on science and math, and higher performance in the arts and humanities.

    Brizard, btw, identifies as Black Immigrant, not AA.

    Colleges do try to address these issues and trends. No one's hoping for failure to complete degrees.

  • I want to clear up some thing I wrote above. I wrote "Moreover, while this statistic is nothing really to cheer about it still should be noted that in 2011, 15.4% of students with IEPs attending Urban Prep were reading at state standards whereas only 5.5% of all CPS students with IEPs were reading at or above standards." To be accurate it should have stated - only 5.5% of all CPS high school students with IEPs -" I am sure most of you understood what I meant, but I was less than clear.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Students with IEP's are so varied that I'm not sure these statistics have any meaning. Few, if any, parents with severely impaired but testable children would consider Urban Prep as a HS choice.
    However, Urban Prep does double english sessions, so overall it is probable that their students will have greater growth in reading.
    It's meaningful in evaluating Urban Prep that double english is a poor strategy for a school chasing highest aggregate test scores.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Students without IEP's are incredibly varied as well. If you are acknowledging that multiple variables are not being addressed and therefore the data is useless, then I'm not sure any statistics currently being used to compare students and schools have any meaning.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Rod, I respectfully disagree on your thought of reaching 75%. A high school on the northwest side, one of the biggest in the city, had a 100% vote total with every vote going for a strike. Every school I have heard from or talked to has numbers in the high 80s to low 90s.

    And Donn, oh wise outspoken man from the trenches of the "real world." The CTU does not really need to worry about who the public blames, because in the end, the public will realize their kids are not in school and it is because there is a strike. That never happened on Daly's watch, and in the end, the buck stops with the mayor.

    When the mayor wants teachers to work 15-20% more, sign a 5 year contract with a one time only wage increase of 2%, no limits on health care insurance increases and no job security, the choice of the teachers should be pretty obvious. Why would I want to take a paycut to work more? Oh, should I just be thankful that I have a job? BS. And the policies that the board is setting up will literally hurt education. There will be an increase in testing, which makes teachers teach to a test rather than teach critical thinking skills and creativity. Teachers will not feel free to fight for what is best for their students because a bad administrative review can kick them out of their job. And no body is going to want to work at the poorest performing schools because unless the generational poverty is addressed and Rahm actually places an appropriate amount of police on the streets, those scores have no chance of rating, so ever teacher that works there will knowingly has 0 chance of a wage increase and no job security.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I am at a school with high test scores-former AMPs. This is generally a laid back school when it comes to the CTU...everyone is pretty content in a safe working environment with supportive parents and well-behaved children. We took a vote and we had 100% to strike which is telling. Also, 7 out of 28 teachers chose to retire rather stay around and be treated like field hands. Only three of the seven will receive a full pension. I would imagine more teachers will retire this year than in any other year.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I wish they would offer 5 plus 5. Many more of us could retire. It would save the Board a lot of money and save a lot of veteran teachers the stress of next year! I would rather not stay around to watch this.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Just for the sake of demonstrating 75% and greater is possible

  • 25 is a lot more than now, notes the tribune, but a lot less than other places:

    With a 90-day deadline on negotiations with the teachers union having passed, Chicago Public Schools can implement a teacher evaluation system that will see student performance count for 25 percent of an elementary school teacher’s assessment, a figure that will rise up to 40 percent in five years. The Chicago Teachers Union has opposed such significant weight on student performance, but even at its highest the CPS proposal for student performance is less than the 50 percent used in states such as Colorado, Tennessee and Ohio.,0,1304600.story

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Misconceptions and Realities about Teacher and Principal Evaluation: An Open Letter of Concern to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, and the Chicago School Board

    Press Conference - Remarks by Kevin Kumashiro, Isabel Nuñez, David Stovall, Therese Quinn, Erica Meiners and Julie Woestehoff

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    Surprised Alex missed the research based report of CREaTE regarding CPS lack of common sense. Alex, you need to keep on the real news and not the rhetoric.

    Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates for Transformative Education (CReATE)

  • In reply to district299reader:

    It's hard to think of CReATE as a serious participant in this debate. Frankly, it looks like nothing more than a bureau in CTU political machine which the fake earnestness in which CTU commenters on this site cite to it only reinforces that suspicion.

    I wish CReATE had the courage to look at the contrary research, refrained from their non-resesearch based speculation about impacts on learning and children and gave a more balanced view about the importance of teacher evaluation to improving educational outcomes.

    Intelligent, thoughtful and sincere people can and do disagree about whether value-added is useful or fair for evaluation and about whether or not a certain pace of implementation is appropriate. Truly independent researchers acknowledge that. But it doesn't look like there's room for thoughtful contrary opinion in the highly polticized world inhabited by CReATE and CTU.

    More importantly, if a group is going to question a plan, it should at least bother to see what it is before commenting and predicting the end of the world. What CReATE criticized (use of ISAT, much higher percentages) isn't even close to CPS produced.

    Finally, I wish CReATE wasn't so closely aligned with CTU. Its statement was really suspicously timed and its content sounded way too much like a "hot buttery" Karen Lewis' stump speech (i.e., hysterical, not at all based on fact, and a little to operatic). Appearing to be CTU shills in the midst of a negotiation does not do much for CReATE's credibility as "independent researchers."

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You say it’s hard to think of CReATE as a serious participant? You call them a ‘bureau in CTU political machine’? Nice try! But it’s 88 university professors and educational researchers, and I don’t think they’re members of the CTU

    1. Kevin Kumashiro, University of Illinois at Chicago
    2. Ann Aviles de Bradley, Northeastern Illinois University
    3. William Ayers, University of Illinois at Chicago
    4. Martha Biondi, Northwestern University
    5. Leslie Rebecca Bloom, Roosevelt University
    6. Robert Anthony Bruno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    7. Brian Charles Charest, University of Illinois at Chicago
    8. Amina Chaudhri, Northeastern Illinois University
    9. Ronald E. Chennault, DePaul University
    10. Sumi Cho, DePaul University
    11. Katherine Copenhaver, Roosevelt University
    12. Gabriel Cortez, Northeastern Illinois University
    13. Todd DeStigter, University of Illinois at Chicago
    14. Renee Dolezal, University of Illinois at Chicago
    15. Sarah Donovan, University of Illinois at Chicago
    16. Aisha El-Amin, University of Illinois at Chicago
    17. Stephanie Farmer, Roosevelt University
    18. Rocío Ferreira, DePaul University
    19. Joby Gardner, DePaul University
    20. Erik Gellman, Roosevelt University
    21. Judith Gouwens, Roosevelt University
    22. Eric Gutstein, University of Illinois at Chicago
    23. Horace R. Hall, DePaul University
    24. Cecily Relucio Hensler, University of Chicago
    25. Peter B. Hilton, Saint Xavier University
    26. Lauren Hoffman, Lewis University
    27. Marvin Hoffman, University of Chicago
    28. Nicole Holland, Northeastern Illinois University
    29. Amy Feiker Hollenbeck, DePaul University
    30. Stacey Horn, University of Illinois at Chicago
    31. Diane Horwitz, DePaul University
    32. Marie Tejero Hughes, University of Illinois at Chicago
    33. Seema Iman, National Louis University
    34. Valerie C. Johnson, DePaul University
    35. Susan Katz, Roosevelt University
    36. Bill Kennedy, University of Chicago
    37. Jung Kim, Lewis University
    38. Michael Klonsky, DePaul University
    39. Pamela J. Konkol, Concordia University Chicago
    40. Emily E. LaBarbera-Twarog, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    41. Crystal Laura, Chicago State University
    42. Pauline Lipman, University of Illinois at Chicago
    43. Alberto Lopez, Northeastern Illinois University
    44. Norma Lopez-Reyna, University of Illinois at Chicago
    45. Antonina Lukenchuk, National Louis University
    46. Christina L. Madda, Northeastern Illinois University
    47. Eleni Makris, Northeastern Illinois University
    48. Christine Malcom, Roosevelt University
    49. Kathleen McInerney, Saint Xavier University
    50. Elizabeth Meadows, Roosevelt University
    51. Erica R. Meiners, Northeastern Illinois University
    52. Marlene V. Meisels, Concordia University Chicago
    53. Gregory Michie, Concordia University Chicago
    54. Daniel Miltner, University of Illinois at Chicago
    55. Tom Moher, University of Illinois at Chicago
    56. Carol Myford, University of Illinois at Chicago
    57. Isabel Nuñez, Concordia University Chicago
    58. Tammy Oberg De La Garza, Roosevelt University
    59. Esther Ohito, University of Chicago
    60. Tema Okun, National Louis University
    61. Irma Olmedo, University of Illinois at Chicago
    62. Bradley Porfilio, Lewis University
    63. Amira Proweller, DePaul University
    64. Isaura B. Pulido, Northeastern Illinois University
    65. Therese Quinn, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
    66. Eileen Quinn Knight, Saint Xavier University
    67. Josh Radinsky, University of Illinois at Chicago
    68. Arthi Rao, University of Illinois at Chicago
    69. Dale Ray, University of Chicago
    70. Sarah Maria Rutter, University of Illinois at Chicago
    71. Karyn Sandlos, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
    72. William H. Schubert, University of Illinois at Chicago
    73. Brian D. Schultz, Northeastern Illinois University
    74. Amy Shuffleton, University on Wisconsin at Whitewater
    75. Noah W. Sobe, Loyola University Chicago
    76. Sonia Soltero, DePaul University
    77. Gerri Spinella, National Louis University
    78. David Stovall, University of Illinois at Chicago
    79. Simeon Stumme, Concordia University Chicago
    80. Tom Thomas, Roosevelt University
    81. Richard M. Uttich, Roosevelt University
    82. Robert Wagreich, University of Illinois at Chicago
    83. Frederico Waitoller, University of Illinois at Chicago
    84. Norman Weston, National Louis University
    85. Daniel White, Roosevelt University
    86. Jeff Winter, National Louis University
    87. Chyrese S. Wolf, Chicago State University
    88. Kate Zilla, National Louis University

  • In reply to district299reader:

    oped in the sun times written by one of the professors: Flawed teacher-rating plan on horizon for CPS - Chicago Sun-Times

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Kevin Kumashiro keynote speech
    Get past the first five minutes, you will probably like this

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Whoo boy . . .

    Lovely . . . the guy's the keynote speaker for the conference of radical educators (CORE) . . .where the keynote is that "education is not just for the rich and white . . ." which is being thumped through a microphone like some rallying cry. . .

    Karen Lewis must have wrote this nonsense . . describes himself as a "social justice advocate" . . . claims that reformers say that teachers are to blame for all that is wrong in school (not true at all, they just don't believe that 96% of teachers should be called excellent and not developed) . . . opposes longer day, talks about UC Lab School and Rahm's kids (classy) . . .says that kids should have recess (yeah CPS administrators said that two over the last several years and Lewis and CTU teachers voted it down in several schools).

    He's apparently written a book; he doesn't mention any research he's done. But Lani Guinier's book has apparently made quite an impression (remember her? Clinton tried to make her Asst AG for Civil Rights but he had to withdraw her nomination because her arguments on voting rights)

    He admits that CReATE has a partnership with CTU and that they work together. He says that CTU is reframing what teachers unions are and that they are not just about wages and teacher benefits but about kids and their education (sure that's how CTU tries to frame itself but . . . com'on guys . . . don't kid a kidder . . . you telling me that a 30% raise for teachers is what's good for kids?).

  • In reply to district299reader:

    If these guys are so independent, why did they act at CTU's command this week?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    sooooo... you think 88 professors and researchers from numerous universities are under the spell of Karen Lewis yet JC Blizzard and Emanuel are independent proponents of truth and justice?!? Ugh... your pals at CPS are trying to bust the union for their 1% bosses isn't that obvious?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Why don't you address the research that exposes the sham that is the house of cards set up by our mayors. CREaTe is something that has been a long time coming. We have been waiting for them to bring their collective knowledge to the fore. Compare that group of professors with Brizard and his cronies. Brizard lookin small, very very small!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Please pull the budgets and find out how much money from CPS is going to these many are at the CPS feeding trough?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Check the contracts to business close to the mayor and his surrogates. Oh yeah, he has to pay off his biggest contributors, by facilitating the privatization of schools. Rahm is a tool of the corporate apes who have free reign in Chicago! Follow the money! Follow the money!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Depaul's Radner not here?--she does well by CPS.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Another empty troll post. Kind of hurts when researchers have already started putting CPS under the microscope. CPS top administrators don't have the honesty that they are NOT following the excellent research paid for by our tax dollars from our best educational researchers in general. Why is it top public school districts within and outside of the US, build strong school communities where the rich practices are the norm based on our very best educational research and know how to IMPLEMENT it the classroom? Me thinks it is Mayors appointing incompetent CEO's to run CPS. No doubt! CPS and trolls run away from the light and scrutiny through the lens of real educational research.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Obama, Duncan, Emanuel, Brizard, Vitale, Pritzker, etc etc right on down the line are not interested in improving education. Remember that. They are trying to find a way to PROFIT off of education. Who better to take advantage of than those with the least political power.

  • Look at Catalyst for an in-depth look at the plan, which is remarkably thoughtful and measured compared to expectations. According to Catalyst, even CTU's reps said there's stuff to like in this plan.

    75% based on observations based on Danielson 10% on teacher created assessments and 15% based on value-added growth measures from NWEA and then only for about 25% of teachers next year? I was expecting 50% based on ISAT and PSAE for all teachers.

  • new story from the tribune: CPS and CTU's contract negotiations far apart - 35 meetings!!

  • With this new evaluation system won't the urge/motivation to cheat increase?

  • I am skeptical that some of my less honest colleagues will resist the urge to "help" students meet state testing scores. Also, how do you account for the teacher who always get the low performing class/ the class with challenges because "she work's so well with them". That is not fair to compare scores in that manner and base evaluations on scores.

  • In reply to JustTeach:

    Only about 25% of teachers will be working with standardized tests like NWEA. What will count is the amount of movement of kids. With value-add, controls are in place so that you compare apples to apples -- you're not comparing a class of challenged kids to another teacher's gifted class. . .that's one of the benefits of the model . . . its precision.

    Cheating may always be a potential problem that needs to be monitored and rooted out but if value add never gets above 25%, it's unlikely to be much of a factor. It's more likely to be a factor in the teacher created assessments but hopefully your lest honest colleagues are not too numerous and are easily detectable.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Value-added in NYC:
    Two tests. A margin of error of 35% on one test. A margin of error of 53% on another test.

    Teachers who received value-added scores teaching two grades of the same subject or teaching two subjects to the same grade? Essentially a random distribution.

    No, thank you.

  • In reply to JustTeach:

    Is it really dishonest when the system is as corrupt and untruthful as it is?

  • Savvy principals-who by the way are not happy with this new teacher evaluation system- will work with teachers so that supports are there for all students; despite CPS devaluation and punishment of neighborhood schools. However, if you are a bad teacher, you will not survive. If you are only there for 2-3 years, you will try a little and be out. Using test date to improve instruction for students is one support, using it to judge your instructional program is unfair and dangerous. What is sad is that not a one on the CPS side has been or will be judged as a teacher with this process. Heck, some of them cannot even be CPS classroom teachers!

  • You assume CPS will provide quality professional development on NWEA the new eval system. Doubtful--just look at common core--take the test, don't take teh test, the test is wrong. How many administrators at CPS have been evaluated in this manner? How many can even teach in a CPS classroom?!

  • On the longer day/year . . . it's fascinating to me that CTU and the rest compare CPS to U of C or other local public school districts and the only international model they look to is Finland, which is a tough comparison to make given the differences in wealth (basically a middle class country with very little poverty), demographics (diversity is pretty non-existent), language (a fairly easy language for learn) and teacher preparation and minimum qualifications (Masters required with significant undergraduate and graduate achievement). (CPS would lose a healthy portion of its teaching force just based on minimum quals).

    When you look to schools in other European and Asian countries, Chicago's 170 days/5.75 hour day (for elemetary students adn 7 hour day for HS) doesn't even come close. 179 days is the next closest and most schools have terms that are significantly longer, one up to 220 days per year. And most have, guess what? a 7.5 hour day that goes from 9 to 3:30 p.m. (some go as long as 8 or 9 hours.) See, .

    Aren't these the guys we should be looking at?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Essential to compare the top administrators running quality world class public school districts both within and outside of US with mayor appointed Vallas, Duncan, Huberman and now Brizard! Folks like you run away from that question. It is always interesting that education deformers NEVER question the inept leadership who make THE decisions that lead the CPS! The STATUS QUO of CPS is kept in place by the mayor's men and they are continuing to adopt non research policies that are about ideology no solid research. The emperor has no clothes!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I thought your comment on the rigor of European and some Asian nations’ education system was very interesting. But what is even more interesting is the fact that there are both European nations and Asian nations with both longer school days that are more rigorous than what we have coming in Chicago that are effectively economic basket cases.

    Japan has one of the world’s best k-12 universal educational systems, but it has been in a state of depression now since the 1990s, and before the great earthquake last year the nation had experienced years of falling asset prices, a banking crisis, and bankruptcies of major companies with unheard of layoffs. Fundamentally it is delusional to think that a high quality educational system will equate to a higher standard of living on either a national or local scale. But there are societal benefits to having a more literate population beyond economic dynamics, but those are hard to see when you are unemployed or under-employed and facing benefit entitlement cuts.

    Like the USA, China is creating a very uneven educational system, it is producing vast numbers of industrial engineers while providing rudimentary education to most of the rural population who are economically forced to move to regional industrial centers and work for very low wages. Without question China has the most dynamic economy in the world today and it is built on a low wage limited skilled workforce with higher skilled management. The same formula, or secret sauce as our Mayor is prone to say, that launched the USA to the lead in industrial production before the Great Depression hit.

    I am not praising this reality, but it is what it is. Much of what CPS is attempting to do is based more on maintaining the myth of education as the great equalizer than the likely outcomes. But no matter the length of the school day, the number of educational options provided to low-income children, or the intensity of instruction the educational process will reproduce our current social structure with many poor people at the bottom of it. At the very bottom will be children with disabilities born into low-income families who will more than likely become adults with both disabilities and limited skill sets. I work every day to try to prevent that and unfortunately based on the big picture it’s a losing battle with small victories that keep me trying.

    Of the 197.6 million people aged 16 to 64 in the civilian non-institutionalized population in 2009, about 9.9 percent, or 19.5 million people, had a disability. Nationally, 34.7 percent of people aged 16 to 64 years with a disability were employed in 2009, down from 38.2 percent in 2008. One in 19 Americans today get SSDI or SSI payments from the federal government.

    The CPS big picture project is utopian in the context of our society. But if we come to grips with the reality of urban education and the fact it has been in the process of being fixed for over 100 years it actually has a calming effect that is different that being cynical. It allows teachers and low-income parents to do the best that they can within the reality we live in. As always in America it is far better to be rich than poor.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Is the CPS plan Utopian? It does contain phrases like "100% college ready". But the actionable part of the plan seems to be tracking students by ability and ambition rather than preparing the typical student for Yale.
    Recent criticisms of the plan include opening schools that will track graduates to lower paying jobs.
    The other high school growth plans accelerated in the last year are Noble and IB. Both are pragmatic programs in that they find the students capable of high academic growth.
    Not to mention Rahm's purported comment about 25% of CPS students as hopeless.

  • In reply to Donn:

    I'm with Donn on this one. We need to find students capable of high academic growth and not worry so much about the rest.

    It's wrong to allow the masses to interfere with students who are capable of so much more than their peers, whether that is through the intense discipline of Noble or the intense reading and writing of an IB program.

    Let's stop dragging the motivated, dedicated, responsible kids down by trying to push them into traditional neighborhood schools where they will be surrounded by hooligans, families that don't care about education, and school cultures of failure.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Damn, you really have a low opinion of the children of Chicago. There are thousands of children in Chicago who may not be "top-tier" but still deserve an outstanding school. Seems you think a kid is either Noble St material or a hooligan. The masses are not scum, rather they are the children of Chicago tax payers who should demand that every neighborhood school be supported by CPS.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Why should CPS support neighborhood schools overrun by failure, lack of parental involvement, and a total absence of respect and discipline for education, teachers, and students alike?

    Education is not for everyone and it should not be for everyone. By focusing on the masses we deprive those who are actually prepared to deal with functional and effective schooling. We should focus, as Noble does, on the small percentage of kids who WILL make it. It's a far better investment of time, money, and resources.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I think it is called democracy. But what do
    You expect. No other country on earth
    Actually attempts to educate everybody.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    "No other country on earth actually attempts to educate everybody."

    That's simply not true. *Most* Western-style democracies attempt the same thing.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dude, that is neanderthal thinking. Dude get out of the stone age. All children deserve good well rounded eduction. Who are you to think they don't.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Nice insult. But not much of a retort otherwise.

    All children deserve a CHANCE for a well rounded education. There is a large percentages of students, well over a majority, who are simply incapable of the discipline and academic achievement necessary to make it through compulsory school successfully.

    These students drag down the others who ARE capable. It is common sense to invest most heavily in those with a much higher success rate and a much better chance of making it through.

    Education is not about social justice. It is about empowering those who can handle it and take advantage of an education. Most can't. That is just a simple fact borne out by the drop out rate, the percent who meet state standards, unruly neighborhood school environments, violence filled communities, etc.

    Every dollar we spend trying to "save" those who don't want to be saved is a dollar wasted. A dollar that could otherwise be spent on a young person who can and will take advantage of that investment.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Holy cow! You are insane:

    "There is a large percentages of students, well over a majority, who are simply incapable of the discipline and academic achievement necessary to make it through compulsory school successfully"?!?!

    Whoa. I teach at a struggling neighborhood school on the southside. This is nowhere near the truth. The percentage of children with intractable behavioral issues is probably less than 5%.

    The problem is CPS has refused to offer an alternative for these individuals and as a result they sabotage learning for the rest of the children.

    I can't believe you have this much ignorant disdain for kids.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    So, if CPS found a way to get rid of that 5% of your students all would be well at your school? I doubt it. Imagine the difference you could make in the lives of your top 20% of students if you could focus solely on them without interference from discipline problems, way below average academic performers, etc.

    I do not have disdain for kids. And I am not saying that they are bad people. They are simply not equipped to deal with discipline and academics.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I'm not even saying "get rid of the 5%"- these are HUMAN BEINGS afterall. Find the services they need and provide for them. This is what a civil society does. You sound like a eugenicist.

    Things would improve immensely if those children were properly placed. Would they achieve like the top-tier? Some would, but most would not. Do they deserve the same level of support as the wealthiest and brightest? Of course.
    The only society I can think of that lavishes the to 20% while totally neglecting the bottom 80% is North Korea. Is that your model? When you say children are not equipped to deal with discipline or academics I don't know what your solution is for them. Labor camps?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I think we need to worry about "the rest".

  • In reply to Donn:

    Dong- Who does your "rest" consist of. Obviously, Noble Streeters and IBers now that you've hopped on that bandwagon. Who else? I can tell you as an actual educator at a neighborhood school that 95% of our students would benefit from real support if ever offered by CPS, Springfield, DOE, etc. Despite what you, Emanuel, and the previous poster claim there is not a large percentage of worthless scumbag children lurking the hallways of CPS schools. These are children who all deserve support and an opportunity. If you and Emanuel had their way we would return to the days of orphanges and street urchins.

  • In reply to Donn:

    CPS on Clark St is a mess. Top administrators can't plan nor implement a strategy out of a paper bag! This is not a joke. Name one constructive systematic educational initiative that has been verified by research as being successful in CPS. You can't! That has been the legacy of mayoral control of appointing the Chicago Board of Education and the CEO. Unless Rahm makes a fundamental change in his thinking, the status quo will continue.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Can you "name on constructive systematic educational initiative that has been verified by research as being successful" *before* mayoral control started?

    I remember Argie Johnson had some kind of program with the acronym T.I.M.E., but can't recall what it was supposed to be about.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    If you like Asia’s educational system so much, send your kids there. Send them to Shenzhen.

    Or better, Saudi Arabia, where, in 2009, Abu Dhabi extended the school day by 90 minutes, you know, to get the kids ‘college ready’.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    To refute your argument, hmmm... where to start. First of all 9 to 3:30 is 6.5 not 7.5 hours. Most countries listed have 6.5 hour days. Second of all, you claim there are 8 to 9 hour school days but offer no evidence- the chart on your link only lists Spain's 7.5 to 8 hour day. If there are 9 hour school days anywhere, what is the structure of the day? I'll bet it is not drill and kill.

    Your "disqualifiers" pretty much eliminate every country on the chart. First, we have to eliminate countries with very little poverty: Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and Canada.

    Next, demographics. You eliminate countries with "very little diversity": Japan, Korea, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Hungary.

    Your statement that Finnish is "a fairly easy language for learn" would baffle neophytes and linguists alike. I don't know what to say other than "Hyvää Päivää" to that.

    That leaves us with Germany, Spain, England, Italy, France, and South Africa. According to the most recent PISA scores the U.S. ranks higher than Italy, Spain, and South Africa in all categories (Math, Reading, and Science) and France in 2 of 3 categories despite our shorter school year.

    That leaves us with England (categorized as Britain by PISA) and Germany as the only two remaining countries on your chart. Britain outperforms the U.S. in 2 of 3 categories by only 5 points in math and 12 points in science out of a total score of more than 550.

    You say aren't these the guys we should be looking at? Well, if you are suggesting Germany keep in mind our reading scores are better than theirs and their science and math scores, while higher are not significantly so. Never mind that economic disparity in Germany doesn't compare to that of the U.S. and that diversity there is meager when compared to 'merica.

    Ugh... did I mention many of the nations listed have strong teacher's unions? There, now I have.

  • Headache299
    To “Whoo boy…”
    You really are a kidder – you actually think that teachers should work 90 minutes extra each day for free? You want a 21% increase in their workday schedule without compensation? Keep kidding…

  • In reply to district299reader:

    A 21% increase in the workday schedule requires a 21% increase in pay. Additionally, I am requesting the 4% pay raise I was denied this year. The Board said they didn't have the money to pay me the agreed upon contractual raise for the 2011-12 school year, however, they seemed to have plenty of money to throw around. How are we to trust them? Pay me!

  • Representative Golar Testimony at the board

  • I am an Art teacher and I WILL file a lawsuit against CPS when they try to hold me accountable on my evaluation for any aspect of school test scores such as reading, math, or science. You simply cannot hold someone accountable for something they have no control over. What am I supposed to do if test scores are low? How am I supposed to change this if I have no authority over Reading and Math teachers? I am an Art teacher for a portion of the school, not a Reading or Math teacher for the entire school. I have no certification in these areas nor do any Art standards that I am required to teach have anything to do with Reading and Math standards. My attorney says I will win my case unless the CPS can show how the requirements of my Art position give me supervisory authority over Reading and Math instruction for the entire school.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The State of Illinois--which issues your certificate--has language arts professional teaching standards in place for all teachers. We are *all* reading teachers.

    "All teachers, from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, need the knowledge and skills necessary to help students meet the State reading standards."

  • The discussion seems to be floating around should CPS write off a percentage of kids as being effectively not worth the effort, that percentage may be far higher than any of the comments have speculated on so far. Chicago’s imposition of the longer school day project in particular is utopian because it presumes that more time on task will equate to greater literacy among poor children in Chicago; a literacy level sufficient to supposedly be competitive on the global market. Therefore, this project has the backing of Chicago’s elite via organizations like the Civic Committee.

    I can guarantee that even most CPS dropouts are already functioning at a literacy level equal to or higher than migrant production workers in Guangzhou which is China's coastal industrial heartland. China’s current attempt to increase rural access to secondary education and thereby open a pathway to white collar jobs to more people actually has created labor shortages to some degree because these better trained workers are effectively over qualified for industrial jobs.

    The maquiladora industrial workers on the Mexican border were also not more literate than a CPS dropout. Even many of these lower paid workers lost their jobs to even lower paid and less literate rural workers in Thailand and Vietnam, where wages are as low as $15 a week -- less than what Mexican workers made in a day.

    Constantly we hear media reports about high tech industry in the US needing more mathematically competent workers, but why do they need these workers? We need them because in order to be competitive industrial production in the US is approaching the level of full automation with robots doing much of the labor. The limited number of workers left need technical skills to program and monitor these robots for their specific tasks. While these jobs exist their total numbers are small in our economy and contrary to media reports the pay is not great.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics in its most recent occupational outlook projects nationally the creation of only 88,000 new industrial worker jobs over the next decade. The median pay in the US for these jobs was in 2010, $28,360 per year. CPS each year produces somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 high school graduates (see Over a ten year period of time CPS will have produced between 120,000 to 150,000 high school graduates. More than half of these students will not be college graduates. The truth is our economy can’t absorb regionally all of these new workers even if they are more literate and have greater math skills.

    This is why I believe the current CPS project is utopian and more about maintaining the myth of advancement than the reality of the needs of this economy for skilled workers. The healthcare and social assistance industry is projected to create about 28 percent of all new jobs created in the U.S. economy over the next decade. This industry—which includes public and private hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and individual and family services—is expected to grow by 33 percent, or 5.7 million new jobs. Employment growth will be driven by an aging population and longer life expectancies, as well as new treatments and technologies.

    The bulk of these new jobs will be for low skilled care workers and not for doctors, nurses, and other college graduates. The median salary for these workers in 2010 was only $20,170 a year. You don’t have to be highly literate to do this type of work, but you do need to have work discipline to be employed. I am not sure a longer school day can instill work discipline among graduates. The total social environment a child is raised in based on adult models seems to create that discipline more than does schooling. (There is a lot of literature in this area here is one example of the research:

    Rod Estvan

  • The City... really the entire country has long written off large numbers of kids. The powers that be finally feel emboldened enough to admit it.

  • Pick the mid point of any decade in the last 100 years. What did forward thinking people expect the next decade to look like? Consider how the future energy outlook for North America has changed dramatically in the last two years. We have very little ability to predict even the near future. The only constant in long term predictions has been underestimating advances in science and technology.

    It seems to me that producing future low paid health care workers is a goal that's already being met. But perhaps we should be thinking more about the role of education in producing civil members of society, rather than just the primary driver of future work opportunities.

  • In reply to Donn:

    So, you are now opposed to "drill and kill" test prep and instead interested in producing good citizens? Will your vaunted charters take on the task of moulding the most intractable students into members of a civil society or will they continue to skim the "nice kids" and claim they have worked miracles?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Oh great, now I'm the Rahm surrogate.

    My vaunted charter gets kids out of eighth grades specialized behavioral classes placed into Noble gen ed. by parents hoping that the school culture will allow their child to function in a "normal" environment. Are those the "nice kids" you're referring to?

    Where were the thousands of cooperative, highly educable eighth graders hiding that Noble seems to find so easily?

    They get twice the growth because they get the students to spend twice the time on task. Can you get ANY student in a typical neighborhood high school to do twice the work? No secret sauce for you.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Noble St. takes kids with serious behavioral issues? BWAHAHAHAHAHA. Looks like you've been washing down your secret sauce with kool-aid.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Donn, you are buying the same B.S. Noble has been spinning for years, and I wish SOMEONE would do a definitive investigation on this to shut-up people like yourself. I know a person in a leadership position at a neighborhood high school near a number of the Noble charters. In a single instructional year, this neighborhood high school received over 100 transfers out of Noble schools - not for mobility/moving, but students exited for failing to 'meet their high standards' = kicked out. Yes, it's great Noble sets such a high bar, but if the result is massive student exiting, than this is nothing more than back-door selective enrollment - which is OK - just tell the truth about it and stop comparing Noble results to standard neighborhood schools that would LOVE to have the same options BUT DO NOT - they are the ones that get the students from Noble.

  • It's wonderful your friend's tier 1/2 neighborhood high school doesn't lose hundreds of students. Very unusual considering CPS graduation rates.

    But we can do a fairer comparison between school. There's an eighth grade cohort of students that apply to Noble. That group is randomly assigned to Noble or the neighborhood high school. It simply takes a look at any summary data between the schools to know that the portion of the cohort assigned to Noble did much better by any measure. As seniors, the mean at Noble compares to the top 5 or so students (at best) at the neighborhood school.

    I'm sure Noble is capable of getting "down and dirty" with direct comparisons. Right now they just compare to CPS averages, which include SE schools, magnets, and schools like Taft. A detailed comparison of tier 1/2 students, which is who attends Noble, would be really ugly for CTU warriors.

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