Archive for December 2012

Karen Lewis, Person Of The Year?

President Obama may be TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year but the right-leaning folks at the Washington DC think tank called the Fordham Institute have named CTU president Karen Lewis it’s 2012 Education Person of the Year, dubbing Lewis the “Anti-Education-Reform Idol” and citing the resurgence of teachers unions and especially CTU:  “First there were the skirmishes... Read more »

Happy Holidays!

Best wishes to everyone during the winter break — feel free to keep the discussion going while I’m away and see you bright and early January 2nd, 2013!

Meet John Barker

Here's a little bit about one of the new faces coming to CPS, John Barker of Memphis.  (The others mostly come from Detroit and from inside CPS).  Barker held a bunch of jobs in Memphis.  Rogers Park blogger Tim Furman says he's a typical "data guy...

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...

Brizard Talks Turnarounds

Yep, that's former CPS head Jean-Claude Brizard at last week's Fordham Foundation forum on school turnaround efforts nationwide.  Other panelists at the Washington DC event included USDE's Carmel Martin, former NJDOE staffer Andy Smarick, and Fordham's Checker Finn.  Video is below...

TV Show Features Albany Park School

Last night on cable TV premiered the second season of High School Confidential, featuring a group of female students during their four years at Albany Park's Von Steuben High School.  There's been some controversy over how the show portrays the school and its students, notes DNA Info.  But was the concern necessary?  Video trailer inside includes tattoos, boyfriends, upset parents, and a brief fight...

So Many Disappointments

The Board approved two out of four charter schools, named a new leadership team including some guy from Memphis, and continued to assert that there was no list of schools to be closed.  (And why not, since the Tribune has only shown us one page of the September 10 document?) Meanwhile, CTU raised questions about the independence of the utilization commission but also stepped over the line with its fiery advocacy according to the Sun Times and National Review.  Plus stories about King, Ames, and Von Steuben...

New Principal At Pulaski

Last time we checked, Pat Baccellieri was principal at Pulaski Elementary, they were putting in a pre-IB program and there was a fair amount of complaining about longtime teachers and families leaving the school. (Remember here: Whatever Happened To Pulaski?) Well, the more things change…. Baccellieri left after two years (he’s now apparently at a North Side... Read more »

School Closings Memo

The Tribune has unearthed a September CPS memo in which is discussed delaying the closings, closing 95 schools, and even where the closed schools were located.  CPS is attempting to disavow the memo as a Brizard-era document, but the timeline says otherwise.

Byrd-Bennett's Last Job

The Cleveland Plain Dealer sent a writer out to Chicago to tag along with Barbara Byrd-Bennett as she visits Spencer Technology Academy, to talk about her rise and fall in Cleveland, and check in on how she’s doing so far in CPS (For former Cleveland schools leader Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Chicago is the final challenge). What... Read more »