Nonexistent Memo

CPS and City Hall continue to disavow the September school closing memo, though not (to my knowledge) denying its existence.  The Tribune won’t post the full document so that the rest of us can assess its importance — you’ve only seen that one page with the chart.  CPS says that it doesn’t have the memo and can’t provide it, either.  My conclusion?  There is no memo, or it’s a special kind of invisible or disappearing ink kind of memo. ALSO: Back of the Yards IB program.CLOSINGS

Mayor Emanuel says credibility intact after release of school-closing memo Sun-Times: Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a press conference announcing “wall-to-wall” International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes at Taft High School and Lincoln Park High School.

School leaders say leaked school closing list not part of current plan
WBEZ: The leak comes at a time when trust between school officials and the public is at an all-time low.

Lack of detail on school closings frustrates some parents Tribune: When Mayor Rahm Emanuel won a delay last month in announcing planned school closings, he promised to use the time to let concerned Chicagoans attend hearings and be involved in the conversation about any changes to the district.

Austin residents ready to fight closures AustinTalks: CPS has until March 31 to make public the closure list, after state lawmakers and the governor agreed to extend the Dec. 1 deadline. CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has said the district needed more time to build trust with the community.

The reckoning for CPS Chicago Tribune (opinion): Tough decisions beyond closing schools.


Did CPS pull a bait & switch on proposed International Baccalaureate school? WBEZ:  WBEZ has previously reported that students could up end up in that new and untested IB technical education track.According to Kathryn Ellis, Executive Director of the Office of Access and Enrollment, not all incoming freshman will will enroll in the IB honors program.

Boss Orders Day Off to Paint Chavez Elementary DNA: A Back of the Yards school received a fresh coat after downtown software company arrived.

Alderman Warns of Possible Gun Violence at Taft High School Friday DNA: Rumored violence could be extension of feud, or related to Mayan prophecy, police said.

New Disney High School to Offer 250 New Spots for Freshmen in 2013 DNA: New magnet school option, which hopes to replicate Disney II elementary’s success, to open next fall.

McPherson Forum Reveals Divide on Principal’s Retention DNA: The Local School Council invited public feedback on principal retention, with mixed results.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • While it may make good blog fodder to argue the existence of a memo, the number of pages released and the laughable response of CPS leadership, the real truth is ultimately buried. Some of us do not have the luxury of this debate. The real truth is that for years now there has been a constant threat of closure for poor performance. A sudden switch was made to building capacity as cause for closure. We went from counting test data to counting heads. For an educator visiting here there exists a real understanding of the constant drama played out in our school buildings... who is next? Add to that a real an honest lack of trust in leadership. A well-founded lack of trust. While Becky may make a great comedic relief to the insanity of it all the real truth is that this is about kids, communities and people's livelihoods. If this is good workplace conditions and good learning conditions I beg to differ. The "memo" "2 pages" "non-existent list" is for us working in neighborhood schools the reminder that CONSTANT instability is not just perpetrated by poor living conditions but by those in charge of poor children.

  • Union sees problem with charters being closer to under-capacity schools - Chicago Sun-Times

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Why don't network officers who took their level 3 school to level 1, run a turnaround school? Now which network officer has taken a level three school to level one WITHOUT a change in poverty/race from when the school was level three. There are area officers who never ever got to level one, their schools stayed at level three and they now are over 25 schools...

  • Are area officers there to support neighborhood school failure? Our guy is truly brining our network schools down with all the personal edicts he is making us teachers do. Take any area officer and place them in a turnaround or consolidated school/ They can change the faculty, but they cannot change the students who live within the boundaries to attend the school. After they turn the school around in 2 years (just like they make their principals do,) they deserve and should then be an area officer.

  • The process of being certified as an IB Diploma school can take years. It is not a guarantee that a school will be approved on the first try. This brand new school probably won't cut the mustard.

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