Waiting For The Strike Vote To Begin

Today’s education news is a little bit of everything — charter changes, Dyett die-off, results of an opinion poll about Rahm and a pre-negotiation strike, and a bit of followup on the violence over the weekend and so far in the current year. You can also see in the post below that IL was denied an NCLB waiver in the second round, but will try again.  Meantime, I think most of us are waiting for the official beginning of the strike vote.  The clock is ticking, right?At charter network, new management means new faculty Tribune: New management company replacing teachers at low-performing South Side charters Teachers, administrators and staff at four Chicago charter schools are being laid off because the New York-based company that manages the schools is being replaced.

Wheaton North High student injured while car-surfing Sun Times:  The 16-year-old boy was with a group of other students in Northside Park in Wheaton when he got on the car’s hood , rolled off the front of the vehicle and the car rolled over him, said Erica Loiacono, spokesperson for Community Unit School District 200.

At Dyett, will phase-out lead to early closure? Catalyst:  Dyett, which started this year at an already-tiny 318 students, is down by 37 students. Crane, which started at 638 students, is down 100, according to CPS officials.

Poll: Emanuel Gets High Marks, Voters Want Teachers To Wait For Strike Vote CBS Local: The survey found 71 percent of people said they think teachers should wait until an independent arbitrator issues a report, making recommendations on a union contract, before the Chicago Teachers Union holds a strike vote.

Public pension reform debate gets heated in Ill. House Bloomington Pantagraph
Democratic leaders say the cost shift is fair because Chicago property taxpayers pay into the retirement fund forChicago Public Schools, while the retirement fund for downstate teachers is partially financed by the state.

Emanuel & McCarthy Address Weekend Violence WTTW:  Mayor Emanuel and Police Supt. McCarthy react to a bloody and deadly Memorial Day weekend and outline a new, high-tech, anti-gang strategy. Eddie Arruza has the latest.

Chicago Crime: Shootings Slightly Up, Murders Way Up. What Gives? Chicago Magazine: In the first few months of the year, homicides are up by half over last year, though shootings are up only 14 percent. It sounds odd, but it happens. Beneath the basic crime data there’s a lot of underlying complexity, but it’s not well-researched or understood.

Defibrillators saving lives at suburban schools Daily Herald:  From a referee who collapsed 18 months ago at a Round Lake basketball game to a Glenbard South cross country coach who slumped over after speaking at a 2001 pep rally for his state champion team, several people have benefited from the automatic external defibrillators kept at schools.

Can television make kids better readers? WBEZ:  Coya Paz lives in Chicago with her partner and Ida, their three year-old daughter. Paz is a playwright and college professor.

Required high school swimming classes don’t leave much to imagination Tribune:  Oak Park and River Forest school officials stand by the uniform policy. But other suburban high schools allow students to bring their own swimsuits, most limiting girls by a one-piece rule to keep the pool waters PG. Some allow bikinis, but ask that girls wear a T-shirt over the top. via Catalyst.




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  • New Consortium report on course performance indicators for ELL learners http://ow.ly/bfijH @uchicagouei

  • Youth Connections votes to close Bronzeville campus one day after union vote goes through, according to @ctulocal1

  • Funny, when I go to @ctulocal1 feed this story is not there. More made up anti-union scare stories coming from Russo?

  • Charter School Employees Form Union, Confront Closure
    One day after union notice from staff, management recommends closure of school

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012 — On May 21, the teachers and staff at Youth Connection Leadership Academy, an alternative charter school in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, notified their employer of the staff’s unanimous decision to form a union. YCLA is managed by Youth Connection Charter School, the charter holder for a network of 22 campuses serving at-risk high school students in Chicago.

    No prior indication had been given to employees that the YCLA campus might be selected for closure. The charter school had over the previous two weeks issued letters to most of the staff renewing their employment for the 2012-13 academic year.

    On May 22, YCCS notified teachers and staff by overnight mail that YCCS had decided to close or restructure the school, and that YCCS would not honor its recent employment letters of intent.

    “We were shocked to learn that YCCS wants to close our school. We serve a population of high-risk students who rely on our school for consistent support. We formed our union with the intent of creating a stable faculty with the ability to effectively advocate for ourselves and our students. We hope YCCS will do the right thing for our students and keep YCLA open. Let’s work together to make YCLA an even better place to learn and work,” said YCLA art teacher, Lydia Merrill.

    The classroom and administrative staff of YCLA had elected to join and be represented by Chicago ACTS (Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff) Local 4343, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers. In response to the pre-emptive threat of closure of YCLA, Chicago ACTS filed an Unfair Labor Practice claim with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB), arguing that the employer's intent to close the campus or dismiss teachers is in retaliation for their union activity. The union is also seeking a preliminary injunction.

    “The YCLA teachers’ decision to form a union shows their dedication to their students and school. It is unfortunate that YCCS management has taken such a bold step in what seems to be an attempt to avoid the teachers move to unionize. We hope the YCCS board votes to keep the school open and recognizes the YCLA teachers’ union,” said Chicago ACTS Local 4343 President, Brian Harris.

    The unionizing teachers and Chicago ACTS will hold a press conference before the YCCS board meeting on Thursday, May 31 at 4:30 p.m. outside of the YCCS offices at 10 W. 35th Street. The President of Chicago ACTS Local 4343, a representative from the CTU, and a YCLA teacher and parent will address the press. The YCCS board meeting is open to the public and will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the YCCS office.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Pure union busting by a charter network!

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Alexander, what is the source of this YCCS story? I'm very interested.

  • In reply to district299reader:


  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    I will sleep easier tonight knowing that these poor, at-risk children are safe from the prospect of a unionized staff. Yikes!

    These youth may be at the last stop on the road to dropping out of school entirely, but at least they won't have teachers who are empowered to stand up for students and advocate for both teacher and student needs.

    Ahhhh...sleep is my friend.

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

  • Report sheds light on graduation rates for English learners | catalyst-chicago.org http://ow.ly/bfZT2

  • Group looks to bring charter school to U-46 - DailyHerald.com http://ow.ly/bfZOq

  • 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:

    She's wonderful. Period. Professional, knowledgeable, easy to work with... I was a colleague of hers.

  • Though I am not thrilled to answer a blog post as a 'reference' regarding a professional, I can tell you that Dr. Little leaving CPS was a loss to us; our schools and the system. I am a successful teacher, AP and now principal. You will be lucky to have her. Mr. Brizard should have employed her for CPS--then he and Rahm would know what they do not know.

  • Matt Farmer, CPS Parent, takes no prisoners at the CTU Rally! Dude should run for mayor!


  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    Matt Farmer completely kicks ass! Thanks for posting the link, Viniciusdm!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Farmer was the best , but most of the speakers were exceptional especially- Mayle, Akila Griffen, Becky Malone, Rodney Pruitt, and Karen Lewis.

  • Farmer tore it up!!! Yeah, I'd love to see him go head-to-head with Emanuel, but he has two things going against him: he is honest and he probably doesn't have billionaire buddies to bankroll his campaign. How could he ever get elected?

    In other news, does anyone know if Jean-Fraud's baby was born yet and if so if he and/or his wife is on "extended disability" as a result. Yes, JCB considers pregnancy and childbirth to be an extended disability.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You don't need billions to defeat Rahm anymore. Rahm is defeating himself.

    As I keep telling my wife, at this point I'll go door to door canvassing for ANY candidate who has the courage to run against Rahm. Pritzker only gets one vote.

    CTU, FOP, Firefighters, ATU), AFSCME, and SEIU are all less than impressed by Rahm. We amount to at least 100,000 votes. Then imagine each of us knocking on doors and talking in line at the grocery store. Rahm can run all the commercials he wants, Rahm can pay College Republicans $100/hour to canvass for him, but that doesn't come close to the power of having a teacher, police officer, or fire fighter knock on your door and speak from the heart.

    Rahm doesn't understand that Chicago is more than Lincoln Park. Chicago is the Bungalow Belt. And those of us in the Bungalow Belt are not happy.

    Just like SB7 has forced the teachers to unite. Rahm will force all Chicagoans to unite.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Matt Farmer plays the "reform" game for his own self promotion and never offers solutions, typically only divisive, ad hominem attacks.

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    So, when he argues that CPS should offer a rich curriculum sans the emphasis on bogus standardized testing; that's seen as divisive and not a solution?

  • In reply to corruptionok:

    No, no no! "CPS Parent" means that what unifies us is test prep 24/7. It is divisive to suggest that this is not a sufficient education for our children. Mr. Farmer is promoting himself by criticizing the policy of testing out students to prepare for the tests that prepare them for the tests. The only thing I quibble with in "CPS Parent's" comment is the idea that Mr. Farmer is playing the reform game. He is not! Reform is testing and Mr. Farmer is not in favor of testing. And as for ad hominem , I might suggest that it should be ad feminem, since Mrs. Pritzker is a woman. Nevertheless, CPS "Parent" is right! Mr. Farmer is definitely making the outrageous charge that individuals should be held responsible for their actions.

  • In reply to CPS Parent:

    Fortunately, the CTU has offered exactly the solutions you crave. Go read the CTU's The Schools Chicago's Children Deserve. It describes and lays out educational priorities very similar to those of Matt Farmer and so many CPS parents -and- it shows how to pay for them!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Who's going to pay for the CTU plan?

  • In reply to Donn:

    Donn, the plan - The Schools Chicago's Children Deserve - includes how these important education priorities can be funded. It's all there in the report. Take a look at it.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I read the report several months ago. Well, most of it. Of course there's no chance it would ever be implemented, as the authors understood.
    Who knew that retired Black Panthers were available for this type of report writing?

  • In reply to Donn:

    Huh? A retired Black Panther wrote the report? What are you talking about? I guess if you had a reasonable, substantive response to the report you'd have indicated that rather than lashing out about what it is to which you refer.

    I'm glad you read the report. It does an excellent job detailing how more effective teaching and learning can be implemented and paid for - every cent of it - if only the mayor and the school board would prioritize children and education over political ideology.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    The CTU has every cent accounted for funding their plan the moral, ethical, & right way...Rahmbo & Blowhard however, do not. No plan, no funding. Just more $$$ for charters.

  • Matt Farmer expertly dissects the hypocrisy of so many of the wealthy policy makers who believe their own children deserve one type of education while the poor children of Chicago deserve another - a type of education to which these powerful elites would never, ever subject their own children.

    It does not matter where the children of Penny Pritzker, Mayor Emanuel, or other education power brokers go to school or even whether those schools are public or private. But the *type* of educational experience these policy makers prioritize for their own children does matter when they, in their official capacities, foist far inferior education policy and practice upon everyone else.

    For the elites: a whole-child, student-centered, curricula rich in the arts, sciences, culture, wellness, creativity, discovery, and critical thinking that is designed to meet the full human developmental needs of young people.

    For the rest: test-centered, rote-learning, compliance based fill-in-the-bubble factories.

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