Wednesday CTU, Board Meetings

Forget about NATO, it’s already old news. It’s the big CTU meetup on Wednesday that’s really important, right?  I guess so.  Details here. There’s also a Board meeting — agenda here. Note the proposed attendance zone changes to Shields and Brighton II in addition to the South Shore ICP / CVS / Bowen changes we heard about already.  (It also looks like they’re finally including the full packet of materials — great progress for those of us who can’t get down to pick things up by hand.)





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  • Parents 4 Teachers Rally, 3PM, Auditorium Theater, 50 W. Congress

    Parents 4 Teachers is organizing a rally to support teachers at a CTU event at the Auditorium Theate on May 23. More information about this group:

  • FYI there's a big labor management conference in cincinnati with teachers and admins from 41 states: "The opening and closing session on day one and closing session on day two will be webcast at The general public is also invited to participate by joining the conversation on Twitter via hashtag #LMConf12."

  • there's apparently a wireless generation contract in the packet that's of some concern given it's association with joel klein and murdoch. me, i'm not bothered if the product is good and the services are effective. do we know that?

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Wireless Generation is the business that automates the DIBELS and mclassmath assessments used in K to 2. Do we know the product is good and the services effective? DIBELS measures are available free from the DIBELS/Univ. of Oregon website. Should we pay for them to be put on the computer, store the info for each child, and create nifty graphs? Or could the teachers give the assessments using paper copies? Factoring in the cost of paper, copying and teacher time of course. Are the assessments themselves good and effective? They give some information about primary skills, but they are not the end all and be all of primary reading and math assessment. I suggest you read "The Truth About DIBELS." for more discussion. Also, since currently CPS Teachers mostly use Palm Pilots to complete the DIBELS testing, is there any mention in the packet about replacing those 7 year old machines--will all primary teachers be getting ipads in order to complete the mclass assessments?

  • In reply to anon:

    Wireless Generation OWNS the data about our students! What CPS administrators and group of lawyers were so inept in not understanding that CPS does not own the data! So all data would be lost if they do not renew the contract with Mr. Murdoch's company. Dibels does not measure comprehension. Dibels has been researched ad nauseum as being pretty much garbage.

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    CPS DOES get the data. You are wrong. However, a more important point is that the Wireless Generation resolution wording suggests that the long-term plan is to create curriculum based on test results. Whatever the worth of the tests or the wisdom of spending this much money in this way, I think the point here is probably about moving toward electronic instruction. At the very least, the board is voting to preclude individualized instruction and to bypass the role of teachers in using data to inform instruction. See the section on "Integrated Program Assessment and Instruction".

  • In reply to Donald:

    CREATE CURRICULUM BASED ON TEST RESULTS is key donald. All this talk about autonomy is bunk. Jen Cheatham, with her new powers and little oversight, is now reverting us back to 100% scripted curriculum. She doesn't value us as teachers, just wants us to read from scripts and then will fire us when HER curriculum doesn't work. We have to get rid of her.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    This isn't a one year $5M contract, if you read it they can have 3 extensions, which is 4 years, $20M to FOX NEWS! Everyone knows they can't just switch up the assessments after a year. This is probably a perpetual contract. Once Wireless gets into your district it is nearly impossible to get them out.

  • greg hinz slams CTU for using unrelated 55-student class size figures to scare public and rally support for teachers and striking.

    Chicago Teachers Union ramps up contract fight - Blogs On Politics - Crain's Chicago Business

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    That's an inaccurate characterization of Hinz's even-handed piece.

  • In reply to Donald:

    It's true that Hinz doesn't say what Alexander claims, but he certainly implies that CTU is inaccurately portraying Rahm's statements.

    Hinz has it wrong on the 30% raise, but so does everyone after CPS leaked it to the teacher-bashing Chicago Tribune.

    You know, if CPS really wants to clarify what they are asking for regarding matters like class size, they could always release their documents to the Press, just like they leaked selective information from the Union to the Tribune earlier this year.

  • In reply to Donald:

    You jest! When has Hinz, the millionaires mouth piece been even handed?

  • On Wednesday the Board will vote on a classic scheme to provide more CPS money to non-CPS charter schools and give more autonomy to non-CPS charter schools than actual CPS schools. (12-0523-RS2)

    CPS plans to distribute annual fees from various telecommunications vendors and licenses to charter schools despite the fact that charter schools are not Chicago Public Schools.

    Charter schools also may spend that money as they see fit - on CEO salaries, raises to administrators, stock investments, etc. CPS schools must spend that money only on educational programming.

    Why would the Board give CPS money to non-CPS schools while simultaneously depriving its own schools of that money?

    Why would CPS intentionally restrict how that distributed money is spent in its own schools while allowing charters to spend it any way they wish?

    So, CPS argues non-CPS schools need the same cash as traditional schools and at the same time restricts the autonomy of its own schools. Brilliant sabotage in action.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    It isn't "CPS money." It's taxpayer money for the purpose of educating Chicago's children. As long as it goes for that purpose, it doesn't matter who runs the school--CPS or someone else.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Charter Schools are NOT held ACCOUNTABLE like CPS Schools. As a taxpayer, I do ask, What Gives"! Even Rahm agrees that with the exception of a handful of Charters... the rest are of questionable merit! Nobel is admired despite its charging students with "fines". UNO is not mentioned by Rahm as being exceptional nor any other operator. Charters lack credibility, until they are measured the same as with CPS schools! That is common sense, no?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    First, while it is ultimately taxpayer money it comes out of the CPS budget, not the budget of any other agency or company, charter or otherwise.

    Charters are not CPS schools and should not receive money that would otherwise support CPS schools. Part of the point of charters is that they operate independently of CPS. I don't find it fair that charters demand independence from CPS - on issues like financial oversight, open records and meetings, community and parental involvement, class sizes, special education enrollments, enrollment boundaries, test results, etc. - but at the same time want to take money from other CPS schools.

    Second, at CPS schools that money *must* go to education programming. At charter schools it does *not* need to go towards education programming - it can go to CEO bonuses, executive boards, advertising and marketing, and so on - none of which benefit students.

  • Agenda Item 12-0523-PR19 - $96,500,000 for custodial services with non-Chicago companies? Seems strange there is a law that requires employees to be residents but companies that will employee thousands of employees and get 95 million dollars in city taxpayer money. How about giving this work to Chicago residents that need jobs? Do we need suburban crony companies sweeping and moping out school floors? probably non-union too?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Rahm is about Bull *hitting the public and not being transparent!

    (Part of 96.5 million dollar contract, Agenda Item 12-0523-PR19)
    Busted by ICE investigators
    CAROL STREAM, IL 601 88-0000
    Z. James Prokulewicz
    630 653-4848

    15 illegal aliens arrested at BP
    Post Tribune ^ | Dec. 11, 2008 | Andy Grimm
    Posted on Thu Dec 11 2008 16:35:27 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time) by AuntB

    WHITING -- Immigration officials arrested 15 members of a cleaning crew at the BP refinery in an ongoing investigation of illegal workers at an Illinois janitorial services company.

    The workers were employees of United Building Maintenance Inc., a Carol Stream, Ill., company, that was hired for janitorial services at the plant, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

    The Web site for UBM states the company is "the largest Hispanic owned and operated facility maintenance company in the Midwest." Two UBM employees, Herminia Najera-Flores and Ramon Aviles-Cano, were arrested earlier this year and have pleaded guilty to criminal charges in federal court.

    Authorities began investigating after receiving a tip that undocumented workers were employed by UBM and had access to sensitive areas of the plant, which is considered "critical infrastructure" by Homeland Security officials.

    BP officials, cooperating with ICE investigators, determined early on that the workers posed no security threat, BP spokesman Scott Dean said.

    "There is a serious public safety concern when illegal aliens, who are not authorized to work in the country legally, are working in secure areas of one of our nation's largest oil refineries," said Gary Hartwig, special agent-in-charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago in a news release.

    "While there is no reason to believe that these individuals had ill intent against our country, their illegal status represents a significant vulnerability in our national security."

    The workers, 14 Mexicans and one Guatemalan, were placed under "administrative arrest" in Chicago and will be held pending deportation preceedings, ICE?spokeswoman Gail Montenegro said. Those who are parents of young children or sole caregivers may be released while their cases move forward, Montenegro said.

    ICE officials are reviewing each case and may file criminal charges.

    Rev. Steve Gibson of St. Mary Church in East Chicago, a predominantly Latino parish just south of the BP refinery on Indianapolis Boulevard, said several parishioners were among those arrested. None had returned home as of Wednesday evening, he said. There were 11 women among those arrested and nearly all had young children, Gibson said.

    "I?had to arrange for the children to be picked up from school today,"?Gibson said. "With the number of immigrants in this area, you go two weeks before Christmas and pick up a bunch of young mothers?

    "If they were investigating this for two years, then arbitrariness of the timing of these arrests is just stunning."

    Z. James Prokulewicz, vice president of UBM, declined comment Wednesday, but said company officials believed all 15 workers were legal residents.

    "We're all sitting here scratching our heads about all this,"?Prokulewicz said.

    Dean said BP officials will have a "difficult conversation" with UBM?managers today.

    "BP prides itself on being a diverse employer, we often look for minority contractors and businesses to do business with,"?Dean said.

    During fiscal year 2008, ICE made 5,173 administrative immigration arrests at work sites nationally. In addition, 1,101 criminal arrests were made in connection with work site investigations.

  • Brizzard worked for Klein. According to the NYT, wireless generation was bought by Murdoch for 600 million. A few weeks later Murdoch hired Klein as senior vice president for education (and they've since reported to support Murdoch personally through the phone hacking investigation). A few weeks after klein was hired, new york state withdrew a big new york city/wireless contract under a cloud of suspicion - and while klein was not implicated, it doesn't look good. Now here in Chicago , Brizzard is putting forward a 5 million contract, sold to him by former boss. With profits going to murdoch. Smells bad. Really bad. Someone should investigate.

  • Rahm's and Jean Fraud are arrogant to renew contracts to shady food vendor and giving student data to private firms like Wireless Generation who does own the data, as was told to principals last year on why the contract could not be cut. Now we have this company called, Battelle for Kids, which is selling snake oil. Now you now why CPS is dysfunctional! I do wonder how much the food vendor gave to Rahm's political fund and Wireless Generation...

  • video of the board meeting is up, in several parts. start here:

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