Archive for January 2013

Preschool Vs. Kindergarten

So the Obama administration is talking about a $10 billion universal preschool initiative, and that will make lots of UPK folks happy.  But at the same time, research suggests that the benefits of preschool aren’t as universal as we may been led to believe, and — more important — the New America Foundation among others... Read more »

Welcome back! Today's news includes a WBEZ tour of a couple of "half-empty" schools, a semi-amusing rant from the Reader's Ben Joravsky about kindergartners being asked about main characters (and teachers grading their own tests).  Plus some other tidbits...

Closings List Narrows

Happy MLK / Inauguration Day.  Today's education news includes word that the potential unofficial list of closings is down to 193 (but still could include a high school or two), and that CPS wants to open school before Labor Day (which as I recall Vallas and/or Duncan tried and regretted in the past).  Plus updates about King, UNO, LPHS, and the NLRB.  ...
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Frustrated Parents "Trigger" Change

Yesterday morning in LA, nearly 100 parents of students attending 24th St. Elementary dropped off a “parent trigger” petition at district headquarters, demanding drastic reforms and new governance for the school. There, the parents received a “strikingly” different reception than parents received in previous instances of the parent trigger, according to the LA Times‘ Teresa Watanabe. The reaction... Read more »

Are You "CPS Tired"?

Today's big news from CPS is the rollout of a new principal evaluation plan that includes student achievement as a major part.  Take a look and see what you think.  The Obama administration is considering a $10 billion universal preschool initiative.  The Tribune points out that nearly 40 security staff failed to stop the shooting outside Chicago State.  Meantime, the blogger behind CPS Chatter says he/she's "CPS Tired."  How about you...

NRA Highlights First Daughters' Safety

Part of the NRA response to the Obama gun safety initiative included this TV ad bringing the First Daughters' safety into the debate.  Armed guards at schools are not particularly unpopular or uncommon, according to recent polls.  However, the White House and others find this particular ad objectionable (White House Calls NRA Ad "Cowardly"). See video below.  Do you agree...
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Will Obama Gun Safety Plan Help?

Today's news includes lots of reaction and response to the Obama gun safety initiative rolled out yesterday morning, plus some pepper spray (at an elementary school) and gunplay (outside Chicago State).  There's a shortage of substitutes. DNAI has stories about Ames and McPherson.  MSNBC has a story about Chicago Bulls College Prep.  What else?  Let us know...

Third Of Replacements Failing

Today's big national news is probably the Obama school safety announcement, which will include school-related (anti-bullying) elements but hopefully not anything stupid like arming teachers. Meantime, WBEZ has a big look at school closings and turnarounds over the past dozen years, which doesn't seem tell us much we don't already know but reminds us of the history and the scope of effort -- and it's mixed success (a third of the replacement schools are Level 3).  ...

Blocking Future Closings

photo_3471_landscape_large A new article from The American Prospect argues that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act might be the legal tool that advocates in Chicago and elsewhere need to block school turnarounds -- and claims that the infamous Byrd-Bennett pledge to stop closing schools for five years only applies to capacity, not performance. According to the article, Byrd-Bennett has made " no promise not to authorize further turnarounds or closures based on performance ratings."  ( (Fighting Education Shock Therapy)...
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Board Pre-Registration Irks Some

Copy of news2Today's education news includes items about the new Board meeting signup process (you have to call or register online ahead of time), IB acceptance letters (830 cutoff at Lincoln Park, it's rumored), and a few other dribs and drabs (including "Russo is not very popular in some of the circles I run in")...