Strike? No Strike.

I still think there won’t be a strike, but I know that CTU folks (and media types trying to fill slow news cycles) have to make it seem like there might be up to the very last minute and I’m fine with that.  I’ve also been wrong about many things many times before, so there’s that. Strike!  Just checking. Today’s news includes some strike update stuff (see also the Jackson Potter interview from WTTW last night below), plus a few other things.  NEGOTIATIONS

Mayor Emanuel to ‘ratchet up’ his role in preventing teachers strike Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is preparing to “rachet up” negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union to seal a deal needed to guarantee an on-time, Sept. 4 opening of Chicago Public Schools and preserve his signature plan for a longer school day and year, City Hall sources said Thursday.

Teachers One Step Closer to Strike WTTW: Chicago teachers hold informational pickets as their union and school officials meet for an all-day contract negotiating session. We hear from a union leader on what — if any — progress is being made to avoid a strike.

Timeline: From Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s election to a looming teacher’s strike WBEZ: Since the election of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, there has been many heated and contentious issues at play: from school closures and student testing to pay increases and longer school days.

Charter schools to parents: Strike won’t affect us Tribune: As tension mounts between CPS and teachers union, charters stay out of the fray Chicago Public Schools and the teachers union will be back at the negotiating table Friday morning in another effort to reach a contract and squash the threat of a strike.

In praise of teachers Tribune (oped): It is time to stop bashing teachers. It is time to admit that teachers are not the problem in our schools.  By Christopher de Vinck


Does the GED give students a second chance? WBEZ: The GED is sometimes called the largest high school in the world. Dropouts think of it as a second chance to move up in the world. But research shows, it might not work.

CeaseFire & CPD Embark on New Anti-Violence Initiative WTTW: With bloodshed rising on the streets of Chicago, we talk with the director of CeaseFire about their new approach to try to stop the shootings.

Leo president accuses Simeon of recruiting ESPN: Because the two students are transferring to a high school in the Chicago Public Schools’ system, CPS sports administration director Calvin Davis would have to rule on the student-athletes’ eligibility.

Race, Poverty, and Sleep The 312: A new study of Chicagoans finds substantial racial disparities in sleep quality and sleep patterns… which researchers suggest could be tied to the city’s intense segregation.


Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • sun times just posted this story saying that CTU won't file in time to delay the start of school

    Schools to start on time; union won’t file strike notice today - Chicago Sun-Times

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Duh....don't you think that is the most strategic thing to do?

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    Of course it makes sense strategically:
    Teachers will get a chance to see how things go the first few days. How the longer day is panning out, how the hours are working out, whether the kids are having meaningful learning and so on.
    Also, new teachers have 60 days to apply for insurance, effective the first of the month.
    And most of all new teachers have to do their union paperwork! Imagine going on strike and not being a union member. I can see some new teachers fearing for their jobs and "scabbing it"?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to displacedteach:

    Agreed :) Additionally, it might stop some the neighborhood parents from trying to enroll their kids in a charter school - which are running ads that they don't go on strike.

    It just makes tons of strategic sense too.

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    In a letter dated November 30, 20111 CEO Jean-Claude Brizard wrote to charter school leaders, :"The charter sector in Chicago is a vital part of our portfolio, and I am writing to day to strongly encourage you to enhance our partnership by signing onto the attached Compact (Compact Between The Chicago Public Schools And Charter Schools In Chicago). In my view, the terms of the Compact represent a new vision for what we can accomplish on behalf of students, and I commit to working collaboratively with you to ensure that happens. I believe in the charter model and view the accountability contract at the heart of the Compact as one that will accelerate student performance in all on Chicago's public schools."

  • oh wow!!!

  • JC seems to be onto something with his charter compact.......

    Ranking growth in years, 2012ACT - 2009Explore:

    1) Northside - 7.2
    2) Noble Pritzker - 6.7
    3) Noble Chicago Bulls - 6.4
    3) Noble UIC - 6.4
    3) Payton - 6.4
    6) Noble Rauner - 6.3
    7) Young - 5.9
    8) Noble Rowe Clark - 5.7
    9) Noble Muchin - 5.6
    9) Noble Golder - 5.6
    11) Jones - 5.4
    12) Noble Comer - 5.2
    12) Noble Noble St. - 5.2
    14) Urban Prep West - 5.0
    15) Chicago Academy - 4.8
    16) Lane - 4.7
    17) CHGO Math And Sci. - 4.5
    18) Lincoln Park - 4.4
    19) Von Stuben - 4.2
    20) Lindblom - 4.1

    Currently, the three paths to high academic growth seem to be 1) Get into an SE school, or 2) Be born into an affluent neighborhood, or 3) Go to a highly demanding charter.
    I understand the reasoning to push for a longer day. But without the money, it seems that a better strategy would have been to let charters take the students who wanted that kind of school. Let the CTU take the easy SE kids where a shorter day works, and the students who don't desire being pushed in a Noble or Urban Prep type school.
    What kind of mess is going to be left with a new budget trying to do even more?

  • In reply to Donn:

    This data is useless unless you know each cohort size and it's composition. For example Urban Prep's hallowed 100 came from a a freshmen class that was nearly double the size. If you ease out, counsel out, or push out the troubled and struggling students and keep the motivated and studious this growth is possible. Last year Comer kicked back a few less than stellar students to my neighborhood high school in the February or March- conveniently right before the ACT. Would not be surprised if at least one scored low on his PLAN and EXPLORE. Each year we take 5-10 of Urban Prep's cast offs.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    If Urban Prep only lost half the freshman class they would be doing very well. I expect in their demographic that less than half make it to graduation. The workload and behavior expectations are dramatic for a group with an entering explore of ~12.
    If Urban prep is like Noble they make a large effort to keep students who stick with the program after the first month.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    There are a lot of ways to look at charter performance, especially since almost all charter high schools claim to be to one degree or another to be college preparatory schools. Effectively the title is a marketing approach to lower income and working class minority families, statistics show higher income white families have little interest in enrolling their children in charter schools even when they are across the street from their homes.

    We can look at the percentage of students by grade 11 who make the ACT benchmark for college readiness, which is about a composite score of 20. CPS to its credit puts this data one line in the research and evaluation website. Statistically general high schools are able to get very few students to meet the benchmark. But really very few charter school students reach the benchmark either.

    Noble Street has three high schools with very high percentages of students scoring above 20. It also has Noble Street Comer which is able to get only 42.1% of its college prep students to score 20 or higher in 2012. Urban prep Englewood on the other hand was only able to get 13.5% of its students college ready. There is simply no question that an Urban prep student statistically would have had a better chance to get a ACT college ready score at Amundsen a general high school on the north side which is getting about 19.5% of its students to meet the benchmark. Interestingly U of C Woodlawn college prep actually got about the same percentage of students to meet the benchmark as did Amundsen.

    I live directly east of Amundsen and it clearly is one of the options for higher income students growing up in my community, almost none go there. Why is that, its simple there are too many low income students in the school and for the most part urban Americans regardless of race want their children educated with children of the same social economic background whose parents generally are college educated.

    As charter high schools in Chicago take an ever higher percentage of the total students in Chicago they will decline statistically relative to the ACT benchmark score. That is because of the massive advantages middle and upper income families like my own have relative to children living in poor families and in poor communities. The benchmark rises relative to the pre-ACT prep middle class families provide their children both at their own expense and in suburban property taxes. Poor kids in mass will not be able to catch up.

    If CPS was smart it would not further expand the charter sector and close down the weaker charters. It could then declare a victory and a few working class children and really poor children might make there way into the upper middle class. via the charter route and selective enrollment route. CPS would also spend some time and money getting non-college ready students prepared for the work force. It would pause creating military schools because the size of the US military is likely to decline very dramatically and the cut scores on the tests the Department of Defense uses will rise.

    There is no simple solution to poverty in America and its interrelationship with urban education.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "There is simply no question that an Urban prep student statistically would have had a better chance to get a ACT college ready score at Amundsen a general high school on the north side which is getting about 19.5% of its students to meet the benchmark."

    On the contrary, I think that statement is highly questionable. Obviously 19.5 > 13.5, but that doesn't account for where students are coming in at. It could be the case that Amundsen actually has less effective classrooms, but are educating students with more academic support and stronger preparation. One could also make the case that Urban Prep's focus on its particular type of disadvantaged student population makes it more effective in producing academic gain than a large, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse school like Amundsen.

    I'm not making any claims about either Urban Prep or Amundsen myself here. I just don't think you can read too much into aggregate statistics like the ones you mentioned, especially when you talk hypothetically about "the same student" in different environments.

    @Donn - can you send me (tppytel@cps) that spreadsheet you're posting from? Thanks.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "One could also make the case that Urban Prep's focus on its particular type of disadvantaged student population makes it more effective in producing academic gain than a large, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse school like Amundsen."
    This sounds very Plessey vs Ferguson, doesn't it? Despite all evidence to the contrary (similar SES AA kids going to Amudsen are scoring higher) you are arguing (or 'could be arguing', i suppose) that segregation is the answer.
    Also, BTW, it's not as if all of UPE's kids come from Englewood. There's some significant creaming going on there, I would argue (though, to be sure, don't really know the full story). The scores should be higher.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    In response to Todd Pytel, the data from 2011 on demographics does not indicate a vast demographic difference between Amundsen and Urban Prep. For example in 2011 Urban Prep had 83.6% low income students with 17.24% students with IEPs, Amundsen has 80.8% low income students with 16.2% IEPs. They are reasonably similar.

    Your point that just because one school's percentage of students testing at or above the college readiness benchmark does not mean necessarily it would do better with the type of students Urban Prep is focusing on is well taken. Unfortunately we do not have racial and economic subgroup data for students at either school relative to their ACT scores.

    We do have this data for PSAE. Here is what we see in relation to low income students. Amundsen in 2011 had 24.3% of its low income students reading at state standards and Urban Prep had 20.2%. If we look at racial data Amundsen got 25.5% of its black students to read at state standards and Urban Prep got 24.5% to read at that level.

    Given the data I have access to without FOIA or a data request to CPS related to 2012 ACT scores I think my statement stands up reasonably and does not over reach. But let us not forget the big picture here and that is neither charter schools nor traditional public schools can defeat the effects of poverty when poor students are in competion with higher income students on average.

    To consistently equal the playing field would require a massive education and social investment that our nation is simply not willing to do for either the charter or traditional sectors.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to district299reader:

    @Todd Pytel
    Todd, I sent the spreadsheet.

    As far as Urban Prep, it's kinda surreal to be having a discussion about creamy south side black boys with an average explore of 12.7.

    It takes willful ignorance to believe that a student's day between UP, Noble and available CTU schools has rough equivalency.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to district299reader:

    To me, 12.7 average sounds like an indication of creaming compared to the neighborhood schools in the area. An application process is selective by its nature, and the data you've shared reflects that.

    None of this is to attack the real, important work done by Urban Prep. But I feel like there's a lack of understanding of the data in this conversation.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    But 12.7 simply can't be predictive of the ability of fast growth beginning in ninth grade.
    The high growth number of SE and high performing north side high schools is indicative of a continue of students above average achievement.
    High growth of certain charters is a drastic rate change in ninth grade.
    Noble's freshman average growth is close to the CPS four year average. They do that with more instruction than could happen under the CTU contract. Most students won't benefit from intensive work, but many do.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to district299reader:

    I'm glad you acknowledge that growth scores are inadequate on their own.

    I hope you will redirect your constant sniping at those of us who serve in the highest need schools at those who are implementing high stakes policies around a flawed understanding of growth metrics.

  • In reply to displacedteach:

    Of course CTU will wait and see how the first week is going. I'll tell you how it will will be a mess. I just got back from another interview for one of the (FSD) positions. The principal was honest in telling me he did not know when they will be able to hire for those positions. He told me their budget is influx and they don't even have an office clerk yet. Teachers go back Monday and they will find no extra teachers to cover the longer day, no staff to cover recess and they are being told their work day starts 10 minutes before the kids. Any doubts there will be a strike will be obvious by the end of the first week of school. As for scabbing it...if a stike is called schools are not open.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Possibly far more important than the article on CTU indicating it would not file a ten day notice today, was Fran Spielman's Sun Times article today titled "Mayor Emanuel to ‘ratchet up’ his role in preventing teachers strike." This was a fascinating article based on Ms. Spielman's discussion with "a mayoral confidant, who asked to remain anonymous." Sone of us are guessing who it was by the way.

    One very interesting revelation appeared in the article. It was the concept the anonymous mayoral confidant called "a more sane contract." Part of that contract would appear to be a two tier step and lane payment system. Meaning existing teachers might be allowed to keep a step and lane system, but new teachers would not get this.

    If the CTU is smart, and knowing its leaders I know they are smart, they will recall this is the path the United Auto Workers went down several years ago. This concept is discussed in a recent Sun Times article which blog readers can access at

    As with the UAW this will create a split in the union between older and younger teachers. It creates a poison that can be used to destroy the CTU. If step and lane become the deal breaker a far better compromise would be a complex link between seniority, educational attainment, and performance measurements that are not driven by value added systems using standardized test score data for each individual teacher. CTU is asking also for an appeals process on any performance measurement system, which is smart too. Access Living has discussed some of the many problems with the value added approach in our October 2011 white paper titled Holding Educators Accountable for the Academic Growth of Students with Disabilities.

    CPS and City Hall have an ideological obsession with attempting to mimic private sector pay for performance systems without examining the economic literature on this complex topic. I would recommend looking at books like Pay without Performance (2004), or the Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior (2009) that emphasizes that any pay for performance system must be based on measured performance within the control of the employee. Up to now all pay for performance schemes involving teachers have not resulted in measureable improvement in the education of students.

    Research on teacher merit pay has concluded in general that its failure is due to the complexity of teachers' jobs and the need for teamwork and cooperation in schools. See for example "Merit Pay and the Evaluation Problem: Why Most Merit Pay Plans Fail and a Few Survive" (1986) Harvard Educational Review.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    I think Rod makes an interesting point here. That it's not merit pay itself that is the problem but how difficult it is to do in education. I think it's easy to peg all merit pay as bad but what if there were a system that could accurately and reliably measure my merit? I think I'd like to be paid that way. Currently there isn't a realistic and valid way of measuring my merit but that doesn't mean we shouldn't think about it. I'd love to see the union pushing a more complex message about these sorts of things instead of steadfast rejection.

    As for the Suntimes article, it's a great read. There's even talk of bringing in Washington insiders to help iron things out because of 'battle wounds" on the current negotiating team.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel is following the educational plan of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute which states the way to change education here is in a Daniel Burnham way with big plans. Make Chicago the national focus for education innovation by spending to recruit the highest-performing charter school management organizations and education entrepreneurs to start here and grow here. No other U. S. city holds the mantle of education innovation. It would cost a couple hundred million. But Mayor Rahm Emanuel, working with business and philanthropic communities, could make this happen in 12 months.

  • Dear Alexander, there will be a CTU strike. When will the CTU strike start, I can not tell you that. Why do I say this? Because Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants the teachers to strike, so that he can try and break the Chicago Teachers Union! Why does the mayor want to break the CTU? Because if the mayor can break the CTU, he can then break every other union in the City of Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel will not break the Chicago Teachers Union! To end the strike, the mayor must agree to have the Board of Education sign a contract (Agreement) that will contain: 1. A "BETTER" DAY- with art, music, world language, physical education and other services like conseling anchored by contract language that assures prep and break time, limits on teaching load, and limits on duties. 2. JOB SECURITY- in the form of guarantees that the Board will conduct future hiring from a pool of displaced members before making new hires, as well as an appeal process and other protections against unfair evaluations. 3. FAIR COMPENSATION- union members deserve a fair raise for work that will be more stressful and challenging. In addition, union members seek to protect their salary schedule (steps) and keep out merit pay, insurance premium hikes, and changes to their accumulation of sick days that undercut their benefits.

  • jcb statement just released by CPS:

    “The Chicago Teachers Union and the School District agree: school must and will start on time with the Full School Day on September 4, just as school started on time for Track E students on August 13. Just as our teachers and 140,000 students are already working hard at their desks, we will continue to work hard at the bargaining table to ensure that every student will be able to stay in the classroom every single day of this school year.”

  • My Mom gave her 4th grade students the REACH assessment Tuesday. They bombed. They bombed like every student at her school because it was extremely difficult. She said the test required them to do an enormous amount of writing, explaining their ideas using a graphic organizer and then a writing prompt at the end.
    The big surprise for me was that teachers met in their grade level mtg and scored the test?! And they are also responsible for putting the scores into impact?!
    Is this the assessment that is going to be used to determine merit pay? Cant be...there's so much room for a teacher/administrator to be less than honest.

  • In reply to unknown teacher:

    Yes, it is my understanding that these assessments will be used for teacher evaluation under the new REACH program. According to the calendar on their new website they will be given three times a year, along with the ISAT and other assessments like NWEA. I counted 6 total tests for my students this year. Yes, teachers are scoring their own and entering them into the CIM system.

    Very interesting indeed.

    If you go beyond the obvious issue of teachers not being honest or held accountable by administration, there are some other pretty big issues with this set up. Namely even honest, well-trained, and well-educated teachers frequently disagree about what a score should be when using a rubric. Add the fact that teachers know this is part of their evaluation and even an honest teacher will subconsciously grade harder on the first assessment than they do on the last assessment so that students show improvement. The only people hurt will be those that are dutifully honest and lack the teaching know how to help their students really improve. Sadly these are the teachers that can be worked with to be made better. The liars are the ones who will likely not get caught and this is the same breed of teacher that makes the rest of us look bad.

    For accomplished teachers who use a well balanced curriculum of authentic texts it's easy to see which skills students will need to do well on these assessments. A curriculum rich with authentic reading, lots of nonfiction texts, visual literacy, and analysis will give students a real education and give them the skills they need to perform well without teaching to the assessments. They are not that difficult in my opinion, I only looked at the 3-5 literacy. However, the texts are much longer than the short passages that test prepped kids and basal readers are used to and they incorporate a variety of images and other graphical features which students must synthesize. The graphic organizer should theoretically make it easier for them if they know what to do with it. The REACH appears to be trying to up its game to line up with common core standards so I suspect CPS will need to get used to this and more challenging assessments. Will teachers know HOW to teach kids to be better readers and writers and thereby honestly and effectively raise their scores? Well, if they knew how to do that they would be doing it by now. This is the biggest weakness in our district and the one no one seems to want to talk about; lack of QUALITY professional development. Sure CPS has lots of workshops and such but a scant few are effective at helping teachers become more effective.

    So, teachers will either keep giving kids similar assessments until they can produce a formulaic response that scores well, thereby wasting valuable instructional time or they will lie. Most administrators will look the other way because ultimately student performance falls on them and because they will be so overwhelmed trying to get in all of the observations for the other portion of the teacher evaluation score.

    At the end of the day most students will not be positively effected.

    There are some good things in the framework that should be used for coaching and growth. If the district could put together a decent Professional Development plan and offer quality assistance and support they would see a much bigger payoff. It would take longer, but our kids would get a much more comprehensive education. The problem is to do that you need money and good people, two things which are scarce these days.

  • In a CPS document marked "(Confidential 11.30.11-Not for Distribution) Compact Between The Chicago Public Schools And Charter Schools In Chicago" it states Action Plan: RFP- CPS will identify buildings in high priority areas and issue RFP to charter community. Core Funding- Charters will begin to receive core funding based on new methodology. Facilities Supplement (Phase 1)- Existing charters in independant buildings will be gin receiving the Phase 1 facilities supplement. Facilities Master Plan- A 10-year facilities master plan will be established, will be updated annually and will inform future RFPs for new schools/charters. Facilities Supplement (Phase 2)- Existing charters in independent building will begin receiving the full facilities supplement. Target Outcomes- The Portfolio Office focuses on the lowest and highest performing schools in the District through closure, consolidation, and replications. In a cover letter (to this Compact) dated November 30, 2011 Re: Chicago's Proposed Gates Compact Agreement, Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools writes "Charter schools in Chicago now educate 12% of the district's total enrollment and we are planning to expand that impact dramatically in the coming years."

  • Charter-compact--What a round-about way to get rid of LSCs, too.
    There is a reason why Washington DC will not let Illinois go from NCLB requirements, even though the high majority of states are out of this vicious circle. "All in good time my pretty. All in good time."

  • So, looks like the Westside Network is trying to destroy Social Justice High School. Check out the subtance news article.

    As of today, the Principal Rat just fired two founding teachers who helped to organize the community to fight for the students' AP courses. She did it by closing their positions. The sneaky, BS way around tenure.

    Is the destruction of LVLHS in the works and is it a possibility of turning over the new building to a charter or to UNO, which covets the building?

  • The new World Language Principal has an interim tag and could be removed at any time. The principals of MAS and Infinity are in the last years of their contracts. Anything could I happen. The community needs to fight to keep their schools.

  • Some quotes taken from interviews with Charlotte Danielson, author of one of the metrics by which CPS seeks to quantify us:

    That’s been a pretty good process there (in AR), AR has not had a lot of backlash the way some states and districts have where they’ve been in a hurry to do it

    The important stuff like the teacher’s use of questioning strategies to help students develop concepts, that’s much harder to assess

    The higher level of supervision by a principal takes time

    Many of them (legislators, in this case MI) don’t understand the complexity of it. They don’t have a clue what is really involved (in teacher assessment)

    Make it (the framework) high stakes (i.e. as a dismissal tool) where you have to (in “failing” schools? Isn’t that like all of them?)

    When a teacher or union activist says that principals don’t know what they are doing when they’re evaluating teachers, they are usually right!

    The problem that teachers and unions have had all along with teachers’ evaluations is that they basically don’t trust the administrators to know what they’re doing. It’s not an unrealistic fear.

    To have an effective evaluation system, you need good trained evaluators and more time from teachers and administrators to discuss performance.

    Being able to ensure the accuracy of the evaluators and to have backup systems, to let teachers videotape the same class during an observer visit, send it to an external expert for another opinion

    Evaluators may see certain aspects of teaching and not know where to mark them down. Now your assessment of that component is going to be inaccurate

    You come in, observe my lesson, write it down, and tell me what I did wrong or right…the school culture is one of inspection…there is no learning for me as the teacher
    My expertise is on defining good teaching. It’s not on how to use test score data. I’m not convinced that it (test score accountability/pay) can be done fairly for teachers based on what we know now.

    Sources: Rick Hess EduBlog – Interview w/ CD Developing Effective Teacher Eval Systems
    A conversation w/ Charlotte Danielson
    Theodoric Meyer NYT 02/15/12

    She lists many caveats with her system. I hardly think CPS has given anywhere near enough thought to merit pay. Maybe they should consult with those kick ass Finnish school boards.

  • 'Race To The Top' has always been around... In a 1903 speech, Jack London analyzed The Scab

  • 4 killed, 13 others wounded across Chicago,0,5211283.story

  • 19 people shot in overnight shootings across Chicago

  • Chicago Rat Population Increase by 29%

  • Ken Davis, Matt Farmer, Achy Obejas
    Chicago Newsroom: August 23, 2012

  • Tomorrow school starts.I am retired and will not be going
    back. if there is a strike i will walk the line just to show my
    support.But I cannot help buy notice a couple of trends.
    This year teachers work two days earlier,they are losing
    two holidays and they will work two extra days in June.Unlike
    the PD days that are gone these are days that we would not
    have to work in the past.Taken as a whole these six days
    represent a decrease in salary of about 3%if the board
    gets away with a 3% pay raise you get nothing.
    I am not even factoring the longer day.Just how stupid does the
    Board think we are?

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Finally! I thought I was going nuts since no one has really mentioned the extra days we are teaching and working. I keep trying to explain this to people, but they only want to focus on the longer day-not the longer year.

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Noble teachers are in front of students about eight more hours per week, by my rough estimate. If the school board can can provide that to students who benefit from the added time, it's their responsibility to do so.

    Despite the drama, the negotiation is just a conversation of wants and needs. What's the sustainability of insisting on archaic employment practices that taxpayers don't enjoy in their jobs?

    CTU members are effectively choosing to steadily decrease their numbers, the school board is choosing to maximize the utility of a limited budget. But perhaps it's not a bad strategy for many CTU members. The tricky part is calculating an individuals risk of being in a position to be laid off.

    Nothing that happens in the next month or two is terribly important in the lives of anyone. There is no long term acceptable effective strategy for the CTU, so the substitute is tactical drama.

  • In reply to Donn:

    What do you think drop out rates at Chicago high schools would be if our students were there that much longer. Don't forget that Noble Street selects its students.

    Let's also look at the opportunity costs those students lose be being in school so much longer -- competitive sports programs, time with family, and creative outlets that schools do not provide.

    Let's look at those Noble Street students 30 years from now and see how many of them are innovative, or are they just drones like Chinese workers who can do no better than copy American innovation.

    The best thing about the American school system is what standardized testing does not measure -- sparking creativity and ingenuity.

    How many of those Noble Street teachers will be around in 30 years?

    Donn, you are foolish and looking to create a generation of drones and destroy America's competitive edge.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Donn:

    You are right, but the players are backwards, there's no effective long-term justification for a group of people with no expertise in an area to continue to burn taxpayer dollars in the billions for their own little whim and strategies that have no scientific backing.

    The CTU is just one critic of that status quo. I wish you would join the myriad groups fighting this same systemic dysfunction.

  • In reply to Donn:

    Donn looking at the very best charter high school in the city of Chicago is very revealing and its interesting that you have focused on Noble Street. Ultimately Noble Street Charter presents itself to the public as a college preparatory institution and actually mimics to a degree the dress code of Saint Ignatius College Prep. The ACT scores for Ignatius graduating class of 2011 showed an average composite score of 27.7. The school has yet to post more recent scores. Higher education attendance statistics for the Ignatius class of 2011: Four year college/university: 99% two year/international: 1% in-state: 31% out-of-state: 69% . The school is about 68% white, the school has a few low income students who are given full financial assistance to attend.

    Now let's look at Noble Street:

    NOBLE ST CHTR-NOBLE Composite 2012 ACT score 20.1
    NOBLE ST CHTR-COMER Composite 2012 ACT score 19.3
    NOBLE ST CHTR-GOLDER Composite 2012 ACT score 20.1
    NOBLE ST CHTR-PRITZKER Composite 2012 ACT score 21.5
    NOBLE ST CHTR-RAUNER Composite 2012 ACT score 21.0
    NOBLE ST CHTR-ROWE CLARK Composite 2012 ACT score 19.7
    NOBLE ST CHTR-UIC Composite 2012 ACT score 21.9

    There is simply no comparison on the level of ACT scores to Ignatius. Ignatius is a real competitive prep school as are CPS' Payton, Northside, and Young. In many ways Ignatius is more of a real prep school because a higher percentage of the families have the resources to enroll their children in the best possible college they are eligible to attend, not the best one they can get financial aid to attend.

    Noble Street has created a high school system that is comparable to a middle class non-wealthy suburban high school like Plainfield High School which has an average ACT composite score of 20.7 in 2011. According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in Plainfield was $73,217. Let's be clear that is an achievement for Noble Street because a high school like Plainfield has a low income rate of only 20% and the Noble network has a low income rate in the 80s. But Plainfield HS is no prep school and neither are the Noble Street schools. Effectively middle class and higher income families in the city see Noble Street for what it is and that is why the white percentage in the Noble network is so low. When I hear south loop families lobbying CPS for a neighborhood high school to be put into the old Jones building I clearly don't hear them asking to a Noble Street charter school. Longer day or shorter day at the high school level likely will not make a high school into what it is not.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    I thought we were trying to find better solutions to address the educational deficiencies of poverty?
    Noble certainly isn't a new type of college prep for kids prepared from birth for higher education. I'm glad that I and my children could attend high schools with a broad curriculum and a relaxed atmosphere.
    The growth ranking is remarkable in that it demonstrates the ability of a large number of tier 1 and 2 youth to change and match the rate of top students. It's perhaps an unprecedented accomplishment, considering the number of schools.

  • Seriously are you a professional dancer?That is a very deft
    way to change the subject.I do not care what Noble school
    is doing .i spent my entire career in South Side High Schools
    where keeping the kids out of jail was at times our first
    priority. The reason for the longer day is first ; to keep kids from
    getting killed in the street or conversely from killing somebody
    That was my world.Teachers are taxpayers themselves, tramped
    in a culture where we are required to hold a professional
    education only to be treated like stooges in a political game
    regarding billions of dollars to the winners.Schools like
    Noble will disintegrate after the privatization of education
    because they will then be forced to follow a set of rules
    preventing old ideas like throwing under the bus anyone
    who will not submit.
    Since extended pay was made universal in the late 90's
    a steady stream of pay cuts have been imposed on teachers.
    It started with returning to school three days before Labor
    Day without compensation now it is a week before, two days
    in June and the loss of two holidays during the year.
    Our Union went along with this in order to Tom the Folks
    and it has succeeded.

    PS if you think i am kidding about the violence rife in Chicago
    Oak Street Beach was closed yesterday because of gang violence.

  • Guess What Arne’s Lying About Now

  • 7 Dead, 24 Wounded in Weekend Chicago Shootings

  • Chicago Shootings: Garry McCarthy Defends Police Strategies As Weekend Gun Violence Continues

  • I learned more about REACH from this CTU site than from the CPS REACH people in the last 4 months! Why is this a concern?
    I am a CPS school principal.

  • Dear Teacher,
    As you know, this has been a historic few weeks for the students at the Chicago Public Schools.  Thanks to the agreement reached between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union, students will finally have the instructional time necessary to put them on an equal educational footing with kids in other cities.
    While this agreement is a great step forward for our students, we are still working with the CTU to resolve the remaining issues of the contract.  As a result, until we do have a contract, we are only authorized to pay you the base amount of your wage without any 2012 increases taken into account.
    Let there be no mistake, though, you will be paid and once we reach an agreement with CTU, all contractually authorized adjustments to your salary will be accounted for and distributed to you dating back to the start of the school year.   
    Thank you for the work that you do for our children and we all look forward to a great school year.

    Jean-Claude Brizard
    Chicago Public Schools

  • This is bargaining in good faith? I think not...this has never happened in the step increases nor lane adjustments! What's to stop CPS from loading up classrooms to 50, not covering insurance, or ignoring due process rights. This is an unfair labor practice and I hope CTU files ASAP! Mr Brizard is totally clueless.


  • I'm ready to strike.....what are we waiting for?????? Let's give our ten day notice!

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Probably want to get those lunch applications in first. Schools will need the money for the next academic year. Next presidential election will be held November 6. Best time to put the pressure on Rahm’s tu tu would be in September or mid to late October.

  • @Rod - Thanks for elaborating with the additional data. Given that, I agree that your conclusions seem reasonable, at least as a starting point.

    @WhatonEarth - Again, I truly was not making a case for either school or approach. The only data referenced in Rod's original post were the overall percentages meeting college-ready benchmarks, and my only point was that that data alone doesn't tell you very much.

    @Donn - Thanks!

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