More Fixing CPS, Please

What’s next for school reform in Chicago, ending legal battles, a new COO… that’s about it for education news over the last day or so.  Oh, and the kerfluffle over the Emmanuel ad, which in a pretty awesome display of hyperbole union supporters describe as “saber-rattling.”  Really, it’s just a pretty boring ad, but taking offense is fun and profitable so why not make a mountain out of it (and bash at the Mayor along the way)?  That’s certainly more fun than, say, acknowledging that CPS is still in big trouble, that the strike didn’t really make things better for CPS families and kids, and that — let’s not forget — the bad old days before mayoral control weren’t really anything that anyone wants to have back.


Teachers union official asks CPS for ‘truce of peace’ after strike Sun Times: A Chicago Teachers Union official Tuesday called for a “truce of peace’’ and denounced as “saber rattling” recent ads by what he called a “shoddy organization” that recently bankrolled a television commercial featuring Mayor Rahm Emanuel talking about the new CTU contract.

Chicago school district, union want to call truce WBEZ: The union has pointed out back-patting ads by Emanuel and op-eds as friction points post-strike.

Mayor Emanuel’s ad Catalyst: Virtually none of what Emanuel talks about in the commercial can rightly be called “wins” in the negotiations.  The successes claimed by the mayor were actually accomplished as the result of state legislation and, to some degree, Emanuel’s role as chief of staff in the White House.

Emanuel’s TV Ads On Teachers’ Contract Make Bill Daley Change The Channel CBS: Mayor Rahm Emanuel has received mixed reviews from two high-profile Chicago politicians for recent TV ads featuring the mayor commenting on the new contract for Chicago Public Schools teachers.

Emanuel should end TV spin game SouthtownStar (editorial): Whatever the final verdict on winners and losers in the Chicago Public Schools teachers strike, we wish an end to one particularly tawdry spin campaign. Spare us from any more cynical TV advertising financed by external lobbyists.

Subliminal message: Rahm lost CMW: Mayor Emanuel “knows he lost” in the recent showdown with the teachers union “and finds it necessary to rehabilitate himself,” political analyst Don Rose told Newstips last week. With only 19 percent thinking he handled the situation well – “the first time the mayor has been upside down in any polling” – Emanuel “believes he needs damage control,” Rose writes in a letter to the Sun-Times on Tuesday.


Displacement, segregation, safety: Chicago schools still have a long way to go Reporter: The teachers strike gave people a glimpse of the realities that many low-income urban students face every day. Overcrowded classrooms, weeks without textbooks, and after-school hours marred by violence.

Chicago Poised for Major Charter School Expansion WTTW: The mayor begins rolling out an ambitious expansion of charter schools. We look at how these schools fit into Chicago’s contentious education plans.

Education reformers set post-strike agenda Catalyst: They touted solutions favored by Advance Illinois and the state P-20 council, many of which are already under way: Expanding early childhood education and implementing a new state kindergarten assessment, improving teacher and principal training and evaluation, expanding community schools and career education, and improving struggling schools.


CPS, teachers end legal battles in new contract Tribune: At board meeting, union asks for district’s plan to close schools A tentative contract between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools brings with it closure on lawsuits and labor grievances filed by both sides before and during the seven-day strike, according to a copy of the agreement posted online by the union.


Show Pits Rahm Against Zombies NBC Chicago (blog): Also making “appearances” in the show: Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard and police Supt. Garry McCarthy. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis is there, too, but Reome says of that relationship, “that one is bad.”

Chicago Public Schools names former Citigroup, Diners Club official as COO The Republic: Chicago Public Schools has named a former Citigroup and Diners Club International executive as the district’s new chief financial officer. The district says Peter Rogers was named to the post on Tuesday after his appointment was approved by …

Daley’s students reach out to Gary Sun Times: Former Mayor Richard M. Daley has aimed the brainpower of his University of Chicago graduate students at solving some of the problems that plague the once-booming steel town of Gary. Daley has taken Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson under his wing and become her mayoral mentor, regularly offering her advice learned during his 22 years at the helm in Chicago. Daley announced Tuesday his students have been in Gary this spring and summer conducting an inventory of abandoned buildings and finding new ways to approach budget problems in a city whose population has mirrored the decline of the steel industry from …

Are Chicago Murders All Gang-Related? WTTW:  “Gang-related” is a label that the Chicago Police Department applies to most murders in the city. Some residents inside Chicago neighborhoods, and even some crime experts, say police are too loose with the term.



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  • School Tech Connect: Heartland Media To The Rescue

  • David Vitale, Chicago School Board President said at yesterday's board meeting when asked about the closing of 100 CPS schools, "There isn't a plan, and when there is a plan, we will share it with everybody." THERE IS A PLAN, every school network chief has been given the amount of underutilized and underperforming seats they most eliminate within their network.

  • Retired Principal:

    So, any idea which schools for this year are on the chopping block?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    If any school network chief has shared with you the data on underutilized school seats and underperforming school seats, the schools that might be closed, consolidated, phased-out and turnarounded will jump out at you.

  • Network 'chiefs' are not allowed to and do not share any of this. The schools are a closely guarded secret. Strategy sessions and covert plans = phase one.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    There are other people working in the network offices who would know.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader, school network chiefs will share the underutilized seats and underperforming seats data with you. If you look at the data you will see the schools that might have school actions taken against them. School network chiefs will not tell you which schools will have school actions taken against them until that information is officially release by CPS.

  • @ RP

    Are you saying that every underutilzed building is planned to be closed, even if it is a performing school? I thought the list was just to inform the community as to the status of the schools that were underutilzed or unde performing, not that every single one of them are intended to de closed. Some schools were designed as small schools because CPS in the past had stated that small schools work and some of them are actually performing schools. Now even these schools will be closed as well????

  • In reply to Original Grandma:

    CPS will pick and chose which of the underutilized and underperforming school building they will close, consolidate, phase-out and turnaround. CPS will close, consolidate, phase-out and turnaround 80 to 120 schools over the next five years. CPS will create 250 new charter schools, at the expense on neighborhood schools, over the next five years. CPS will continue to privatize the CPS system over the next five years. All CPS stakeholders, be prepared to fight for your CPS schools over the next five years.

  • Our community only has 700 high school age students and practically none of them attend school in our community. I know this because I checked the Census 2010 data. However our community is filled with at least 5 or more Charters High Schools that are filled with at risk students from outside the community. If we have no demand for the vocational school and the neighborhood high school is underutilized but stocked with students from outside the community and practically nobody from our area likes these options, it would be sheer stupidity to force more charters into our community. The charters in our community are bringing in too many at risk students. Now we are up to our eyeballs in at risk students from outside our area. My son was also robbed at gunpoint from some of these at risk boys. Just because a building is closed, is no reason to open a Charter, especially if the demand isn't there. CPS wants to stick a "Prologue" charter school in our area for students up to age 24 that have gang affiliations, who were also kicked out of other alternative schools. They think it's a good idea to put it directly across the street from our Magnet Elementary School. These types of students are predators and their school should be in an area that is away from small children. According to the Census, over 60% of the children in our area in grades 1-4 are in a private school. Well obviously the parents want high quality options. Over 70% of the families have a Bachelor Degree or higher. The average income is over $100,000 and CPS thinks the best match for our community is an Alternative Charter High School that will service students from somewhere else. Sheer Stupidity.

  • "under" not "unde", "be" not "de"

  • You want to know why Rahm, Brizard, and taxpayers are mad? It's absurd teacher salaries. Take Lane Tech's (12) PE teachers:

    50% of them earn $85K/year or $475/day or $2366/week or $63/hour based on 180 school days & 7.5 hours/day.

    Only (1) of them coach a sport at Lane, while (11) of them rush out the door after the last bell to get to another school to coach , teach(?) Driver Ed. or don't coach at all.

    If there's a GOD, Rahm and Brizard will do away with PE being a need basis subject area and exempted from the CPS Residency Policy, then these 'do-nothings' will have to move back into the city or find another job.

  • Where in the world is there an underutilized school in the Midway Network?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Check with your school network chief, they have the data.

  • Lane Tech's (12) PE teachers:

    50% of them earn $85K/year or $475/day or $2366/week or $63/hour based on 180 school days & 7.5 hours/day.

    So no PE and Chicago's budget problems fizzle? Are there no water workers or aldermen sitting around earning just as much? Surely some of them can't be doing their jobs any better than this gym teacher that you think sucks

    Do you agree with Rahm that a HS physics teacher be paid more than a 3rd grade teacher?

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