School Closing Lawsuit Denied

Welcome back. Hope you managed to stay cool over the long weekend and that the air conditioning at work is as good or better than it is at home.  Today’s education news includes an update on the lawsuit to stop CPS from closing schools (denied), a story about another wayward item on a standardized test (outrage!), an update on Fenger High School (things are somewhat better), a look at a rookie teacher at Marshall (struggling!), and lots of shootings.School closing, turnaround lawsuit dismissed Catalyst:  The suit claimed that CPS did not provide adequate support to schools slated for closure and turnaround while they were on probation, resulting in a disproportionate impact on African-American students.Michael Persoon, an attorney who represented parents in the case, said it’s too soon to say whether the case might be re-filed or the ruling appealed.

Question criticized as charter-school ‘propaganda’ pulled from CPS tests Sun Times: The Scantron Corporation took action this month after the head of Chicago’s Parents United for Responsible Education demanded the company drop the passage and apologize to what could be thousands of Chicago students.

High school hopes to change image two years after beating death WBEZ:  The principal of Chicago’s Fenger High School wants to change the school’s image.That’s because a lot has changed since the videotaped beating death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert made national news two years ago.Arrests and suspensions are down significantly.

Hard Lessons Follow Rocky Start For Chicago Teacher NPR:  Tyrese Graham is a second-year science teacher at John Marshall Metropolitan High School on the West Side of Chicago. When he started teaching, Marshall was among the worst public schools in the city.

A filmmaker spotlights learning, charity Tribune:  Chicago’s connection to schools that brought education to many black children in the Deep South Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find the story that’s right in your own backyard.

Adults without literacy: 48-year-old man learns to read WBEZ:  By some estimates, as many as one in eight American adults has extreme difficulty reading and writing. We want to find out what it’s like to live in a world where the written word is incomprehensible, so WBEZ profiled a man who spent the last three years trying to escape it.

Cristo Rey Looks to Open School in Milwaukee Milwaukee Public Radio:  A private Catholic school network that focuses exclusively on students facing financial troubles, may open a school in Milwaukee. Cristo Rey originated inChicago in 1996, and now operates 24 schools across the country.

Ten dead, 41 wounded in weekend shootings Sun Times:  Ten people were killed and at least 41 others were wounded in Memorial Day weekend shootings across the city since Friday, including a 7-year-old girl shot while playing in front of her South Side home.


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  • For one, your headline is wrong in that "lawsuit denied" would indicate that someone denied an intent to file a lawsuit. No, the lawsuit was filed twice and dismissed twice.

    Beyond that, the linked article said that the reason it was dismissed is that the courts don't run the schools. It would be one thing if there were overt discrimination in violation of the 14th Amendment, but otherwise it is up to the school board to run the schools, not the courts. Hence, the usual "an attorney who represented parents in the case, said it’s too soon to say whether the case might be re-filed or the ruling appealed" is merely saying the usual; he might appeal, but this isn't going anywhere. Yet, I'm sure he got a lot of publicity when he initially filed.

  • from the sun times a few days ago

    Sun Times editorial page decries CTU strategy to vote on strike ahead of time, and also demands more from CPS

  • 71 percent of CRMA respondents believe @ctulocal1 should wait before voting on a strike, says @capitolfax's rich miller

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    This is why Russo has a blog, not a job as a reporter. He strangely misstates the poll response and you should see (pasted in below) what kind of misleading statement was included in this poll!.

    Here is the question as it was asked:

    The poll showed that 71-odd percent of respondents to THIS blatantly misleading question don't want teachers to strike before the arbiter's report. HELLO? Who is calling for a strike before the report is issued. There are of course many teachers calling for a strike AUTHORIZATION VOTE before the report. But NOONE that I have heard or heard of has EVER called for an actual STRIKE before teh report. This must be part of a STAND FOR CHILDREN type misinformation campaign.

    But then Russo reports (erroneously?) that the poll showed 71% oppose a strike vote.

    Based on what he's been writing today, He is either taking in a few extra bucks from STAND-type privatization groups to do their dirty work, or he doesn't yet know about SB7.

  • In reply to Donald:

    Finally, as you may be aware, there is a disagreement between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools on a new contract, and the teachers have threatened to go on strike. By law, an independent arbiter will recommend a solution to the impasse on July 16th. However, some are urging teachers to go on strike BEFORE that report comes out. Do you agree or disagree that teachers should wait for that independent report BEFORE going on strike?

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Thrilled to hear that 71 percent of likely Mitt Romney voters believe that CTU shouldn't go on strike in July. I agree with them. In other news, 97% of Occupy Chicago believe Rahm Emanuel should step down and 72% of Packer fans think the Bears suck.

  • funny silly blog promoting non-union polls that are telling a private organization what it should do. the same people who went on a rampage to destroy the union including this tribune owned blog. next time think before you f--- with somebody.

  • how easily you dismiss and disrespect 10000 teachers on the street. the end game is near. this is now a blood sport. for the teachers to make an example out of those that seek to attack them and discredit our work. oh you now runs the times like that poll really counts. see you at the movies

  • Poll: Emanuel Gets High Marks, Voters Want Teachers To Wait For Strike Vote « CBS Chicago

    make your case, best you can, and listen to those who disagree with you. offense-taking and threatening aren't likely to win sympathy from parents or the public.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Well, you have to take responsibility for factual errors, even if you got them secondhand. The CBS report of the poll is clearly incorrect. I keep trying to post the actual question, but somehow the blog resists.

    I realize you are not strictly-speaking a journalist, but you can't slough off responsibility for errors you make as if it made no difference whether you propagate accurate or inaccurate information. You are right, though, no need for such shapr words. Just frustrating to see people in with important roles playing fast and loose with such serious issues.

    So many real issues don't get reported at all--the board's policies get plenty of coverage here and in the press, but there's never anything written about the lack of support and the underfunding of schools that turns every great new policy into a coffin-nail for schools that just don't have the people to do the paperwork and the inspecting and the reporting required. Why is no one reporting on what will happen to small schools without Assistant Principals when the principal is required to conduct the kind of evaluations spelled out in REACH. That's just one tip of the massive iceberg.

  • Re-reading the CBS story, it seems that the misleading characterization of the poll was actually initially put forward by the David Vite (referred to there as the President of CRMA, though isn't he actually CEO of IRMA?)! There is more to this lie than meets the eye. Again, the poll question from as asked was:

    Finally, as you may be aware, there is a disagreement between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools on a new contract, and the teachers have threatened to go on strike. By law, an independent arbiter will recommend a solution to the impasse on July 16th. However, some are urging teachers to go on strike BEFORE that report comes out. Do you agree or disagree that teachers should wait for that independent report BEFORE going on strike?

  • In reply to Donald:

    "Do you agree or disagree that teachers should wait for that independent report BEFORE going on strike?"

    That's the poll question? Are you serious? That question has NOTHING to do with reality. A strike authorization vote is very, very different from going on strike.

    The arbitrator will issue his report in the middle of July. The EARLIEST POSSIBLE strike date is somewhere in the end of August or early September.

    I suppose it is possible, though highly unlikely, that the poll takers and the reporters and this blog author simply don't know any better. If not, then the poll is totally dishonest advocacy and the journalism is embarrassingly inaccurate.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The blog author does know better and so you are right - it is 'totally dishonest' and 'embarrassingly inaccurate'

  • You know Anthony, it seems the only place you don't link to is Raise Your Hand. It seems the parents there have a pretty good grasp on the issue

  • In reply to district299reader:


    "Raise Your Hand recommends that the mayor and CPS open up the negotiations beyond pay and benefits. We believe that the only way to come to a decent contract and avoid a strike is to give the teachers a contractual voice in some of the work-rules that impact their day and profession. We are not at the table and do not know what is being discussed but we do know that this bill does not help the process and that we could face a strike this fall. Parents want our kids in school this fall and we think the Mayor's office needs to open up these talks to help make that happen."

  • Do the parents get to vote on the strike? No, so who the F cares what they think. You wanna tell me they are the tax payer and pay my wage? OK, well then if the taxpayer gets so much opinion where the tax dollar goes, stop using my taxes for the republican started, stupid wars. It would be nice if they support us, but whether they do or not the power of the union rests with our ability to as a group say "we are not gonna take this crap" and simply not take it.

    And it is about time an element of SB7 goes against the jerks who wrote it, cause God knows every other piece of legislation goes against teachers. Vote NOW! VOTE STRIKE! REWRITE THE SYSTEM AND LET THE TEACHERS EDUCATE LIKE WE SHOULD.

  • I would first like to say that I thought Mr. Thompson's statement bordered on the insane. Why in the world would any CTU member attack RYH's statement asking the Mayor to open up discussions relating to work rules? Apparently the CTU believes parents do care what they think because there was a speaker from RYH at the CTU rally last week. I do agree that the vote being discussed in the media really does not pull the final trigger on a strike based on the CTU's own constitution as far as I can tell. I think some of the posts in this thread see striking in terms of retribution for unjust treatment by CPS and I think that is delusional thinking, a strike is about a contract, it is not about retribution. Once a strike if it were to take place is over the CPS Board will still exist and have the power under state law to make decisions impacting the lives of students and teachers alike. Mr. Vitale will still be President of the Board, more than likely Mr. Brizard will still be CEO, and for sure Mr. Emanuel will be Mayor.

    On the issue of waiting for the fact finding panel's issuing of its advisory findings of fact and recommended terms of settlement for all disputed issues and that sets forth a rationale for each recommendation before any strike authorization vote takes place, it is worth informing readers of this blog what this panel can or cannot examine. SB7 clearly stated that the "fact-finder has no jurisdiction over any Section 4.5 subject." Again to remind blog readers what Section 4.5 issues are. They are: (1) All decisions to contract with a third party for one or more services otherwise performed by current CTU members; (2) all decisions to layoff or reduce in force employees; (3) all decisions to determine class size, class staffing and assignment, class schedules, academic calendar, length of the work and school day, length of the work and school year, hours and places of instruction, or pupil assessment policies; and (4) all decisions concerning use and staffing of experimental or pilot programs and decisions concerning use of technology to deliver educational programs and services and staffing to provide the technology.

    So the only decisions this panel can issue are related to salary and benefits. It can base its decision on those money issues in part on the impact of any changes CPS is making in relation to Section 4.5 issues. The majority decision of the panel in relation to the "impact" of 4.5 issues will have to be irrational, because some of these possible changes cannot be measured by dollars. While the union cannot legally strike over 4.5 issues that CPS elects not to bargain over, it can strike over its estimation of the monetary impact of elimination of various 4.5 issues from a contract proposal. As I have stated publicly and in the Tribune the law as written is fundamentally dysfunctional and forces the CTU to raise its monetary demands in order to move the Board to the table on 4.5 issues.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    The CTU must take a strike vote before the end of this school year!

  • We are looking to hire a principal named Dr. Delena Little. Does anyone have any experience working with her as a principal of John B. Drake elementary prior to 2004, or as AIO for Area 17 from 2004-2009? Any information, positive or negative, is greatly appreciated!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I understand that this blog regularly posts advertisement and promo-press-release disguised and shrink-wrapped as useful information; I also understand that there is little if any actual ‘inside scoop’ in the blogmasters postings, but when did you spring the idea that it was a legitimate component of your principal vetting process?

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