Archive for November 2012

Lewis City Club Video

Here's the video from last week's Karen Lewis speech at the City Club, via Tim Furman, which will amuse, affirm, or enrage you depending on whether you think Lewis is speaking truth to power or just doesn't know when or how to back off.  The folks who posted the video, Schools Matter, contrast Lewis'  rhetoric and behavior with that of national NEA and AFT heads.  Click below for the video -- the image to the right is just a screengrab...

Lesson Plan Relief?

The latest education news includes a reminder about today's school closing commission meeting at UIC, a Tribune's editorial about how mediocre Illinois schools are (via the Advance IL report I tweeted out over the weekend), and a Sun Times piece on teachers getting to do their own lesson plans now (a big applause line in the recent contract negotiations). Has the new freedom been as big (or bigger) a relief as anticipated, or changed the mood or quality at your school (for better or worse)...

Weekend Open Discussion

In a story that's been bubbling along below the surface for a few weeks now, the Tribune notes that demographic changes are shifting kids' chances of getting into elite schools. Are your kids or your school affected by the changes?  Has the "tier" system made a big difference in the handful of years it's been in place? Plus the rest of the day's education news -- and anything else that's on your mind...
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They Call Him "Velvet"

“I’m not planning on doing this forever,” said Secretary Duncan.  “Just until all 49.8 million kids in our public elementary and secondary schools can graduate.” — Secretary Of Education Forced To Take Up Stripping To Put Nation Through School via The Onion

Three Closing Options

In today's education news you'll see that there are basically three options being discussed right now: Should CPS delay the school closing process this year -- the CPS-favored option; continue the process but declare a moratorium on opening new charter schools -- some aldermen seem to like this idea; or, call the whole thing off for this year at least -- CTU's current position...

Off The ISAT Cliff

There's lots on the new CPS parent engagement booklet, and a little bit of followup on the Tribune truancy investigation, plus lots of meetings of various kinds.  The item that jumps out to me is the Pantagraph editorial warning everyone about the coming ISAT cliff -- the newly ratcheted up test that's going to produce much lower scores...
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Better Off Now?

Riffing on the various retrospectives surrounding the 25th anniversary of Harold Washington's death, the Reader's Mike Miner weighs in on the issue of whether Chicago is better off now than it was then and comes out thinking that is is (Is Chicago a better place to live and learn than it used to be? Yes.) Read below, then tell us what you think. Or just skip the reading part and head straight to comments.  ...

The Azcoitia Difference?

Today's news includes the (to me) surprise appointment of longtime CPSer Carlos Azcoitia to the Board.  Why'd City Hall appoint the former Central Office, network chief, and Spry principal -- on a Sunday?  Will his presence make any real difference? Other news includes more about whether CPS is under-enrolled or overcrowded (or both).  And there's a new Rhodes Scholar recipient from Englewood...

Weekend Open Discussion

There are always so many school-related things going on that don’t make it into the news or get commented on by me or other people, so here’s a place to say what’s going on at your school, in your classroom, or office — how things are going this year so far, how the new Common... Read more »
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Plummeting Poverty At O. Mayer

With a 22 percentage point decrease between 2009 and 2011, down to 46 percent, Oscar Mayer makes this national  list of the 10 schools with the fastest-falling poverty rate.  This is student demographics, not neighborhood, so it has nothing to do with neighborhood tiers.