Hearings, Meetings, Quinn

Hearings, Meetings, Quinn

Today’s education news include info on the closings hearings that are starting up again on Saturday (as well as Board and City Council meetings), updates on protests (including the CTU bus tour), and a couple of tidbits about the Tribune and Sun Times’ education reporting.  Perhaps most notable is Governor Pat Quinn expressing concerns about the CPS closings and the lack of an elected school board in Chicago.

Quinn Endorses Elected Chicago School Board CANTV:  On this week’s “Chicago Newsroom,” Governor Pat Quinn offered clear, direct support for an elected school board, contrary to Mayor Emanuel’s position. He also said that closing so many elementary schools all at once can be “dangerous.” Here’s host Ken Davis’ description of the program:


Last hearings on school closings start Saturday Tribune: The next round of public meetings on school closings begins Saturday — offering parents, teachers and communities a final chance to make an argument for saving their schools.

Controversy Over CPS Open Hearings WTTW:  The rhetoric heats up in anticipation of Wednesday’s school board meeting. Some critics say their voices are being excluded. Paris Schutz has the latest.

Mayor Emanuel’s crowded-classroom approach to fixing schools Joravsky: As you may have heard, Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently jetted in from his Utah ski vacation to tell the city—particularly south- and west-siders—that he’d done them a big favor by closing 54 of their schools. That meant that 30,000 children would be moved into new schools.…

African-American Business Leaders Support School Closings Plan Sun-Times: A group of African-American business leaders is standing solidly behind Chicago Public Schools officials plan to close and consolidate some schools, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.

Top myths and misconceptions in the school closings debate Chi-Town Review: As both sides of the school closings debate square off, facts and figures get tossed, spun and scrambled.  Chi-Town Review is setting the record straight on some of the myths and misconceptions that have spawned from the debate.


CTU to Host Student Closing Bus Tour Substance: In response, the Chicago Teachers Union has organized a bus tour for elected officials and members of the press of school communities destabilized by school closings. The tour starts at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 4 and will depart from SEIU Healthcare Illinois, 940 W. Adams St.

Parents urge Emanuel to walk same school routes their kids will take Chicago Sun-Times: “Walk the walk,” parents said Tuesday morning at a demonstration at City Hall, calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to try out the often dangerous routes between the schools that Chicago Public Schools officials aim to close and the schools where their children …

CPS parents call on Mayor Emanuel to ‘walk the walk’ ABC7Chicago: In a statement, the mayor’s office said schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett continues to work with Chicago police, community and faith leaders to implement a safety plan for each school. (Copyright ©2013 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.) Get more Local » …


The need for charter schools: The Tribune overstates the case Michael Miner: If we ignore the redundancy CPS can show exists, then we have 51,150 applications for 1,865 spots in selective enrollment programs and 47,881 applications for 3,697 spots in magnet schools. Voila!—a waiting list of over 93,000 students. How’s that for a “haunting statistic”? It puts the charter schools’ waiting list to shame.

Sun-Times claims credit for PURE’s state complaint against UNO charter network PURE: The actual reason the state is investigating UNO’s $98 million charter school construction grant is not the Sun-Times’s reporting, as their front page story suggested Saturday, but the complaint PURE and LSC members from Pilsen Elementary filed with the state Office of the Executive Inspector General on January 17.


City sticker contest scrapped, but not because of last year’s gang flap: clerk Sun Times: City Clerk Susana Mendoza’s plan to shift to year-round sales of Chicago vehicle stickers will eliminate a political headache for her: the annual sticker design contest that became embroiled in a gang controversy. “There will be no more contest because we’re moving to year-round sales. The sticker will look completely different,” Mendoza said Tuesday.

Pre-School for All – Surprise! New process for applying, starting TOMORROW! CPS Obsessed: This new central process for Pre-School for All will be in affect for all kids entering as 3 year olds next year.  Current 3 year olds in a program will have a guaranteed spot in their current program, but can still apply to others without losing their current placement.  Some key information below.  I can’t figure out how they select who gets in where.

Chicago Teachers Union officials arrested for battery Legal Insurrection: Two teachers union officials [apparently including Martin Ritter] were arrested for battery during the so-called “nonviolent” protest. The video footage shows the alleged physical assault, which occurred as Rebel Pundit was attempting to interview Jesse Jackson.



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  • So something is afoot with OSS:

    "...our name change that will be completely effective April 15th. We are now the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services."

  • I'm sorry, but that 3-26-13 memo from Winston about the OSS name change to "Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services" make no sense to me. It seems to report that the office is BROADENING is scope of responsibility to all students in CPS and no longer will (or can) focus on the needs of students with disabilities.

    I mean, there is some astounding language, for example: "Our vision extends beyond and is broader than Special Education and our new name symbolized that commitment. This vision and focus include proactively removing all academic and physical barriers by creating greater opportunity for our diverse student population. By so doing, our diverse student population will have meaningful and relevant access to high quality core instruction with appropriate scaffolding and instructions learning supports."

    I could understand if this commitment is being made to SWD with IEPs, 504s, or RtI. But this sounds way too broad, imho.


  • Make that "instructional learning supports."

  • The reference made in the memo which I recieved is to part of what the Office of Specialized Services or Special Education had been budgeted to do for many years. Traditionally it was called pupil support. In 2006 the office we are talking about was titled Office of Specialized Services and Instructional Supports.

    In 2005 the support fuction of this office was defined as follows: "This unit consists of Crisis Intervention, Youth outreach, vision and hearing testers, LAN, School based problem solving, positive behavior interventions, elementary school counseling, communications disorders, social work services, nursing and psychological services."

    The office that is being discussed has always gone beyond just services for students with disabilties. For example social workers can and do provide support for non-disabled children who have experienced various forms of trauma.

    Now whether or not this unit has the resources to complete the theoritical scope of what it is required to do is an entirely different question. Every year I do a formal analysis of the special education budget which has increased almost every year but none the less could support fewer total staff with almost no decline in demand for services for students with IEPs, 504 plans, or for those without any type of identification. So my position is and has been for years that whether it is called the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services or OSS the Board has not allocated sufficent resources to even begin to meet the needs of our broad spectrum of CPS students. This is not the fault of OSS or ODLSS as it may now be called it is the fault of the CPS Board under the control of two different Mayors.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Rod, Part of the huge problem in CPS for teachers of students with disabilities is that there is simply no way to get information/questions answered except by reading your posts on this blog.


  • The CPS should be better communicators. If they're sending out such memos, they need to place it in context. Needs much work. And, they'll quickly need to explain how this initiative will be funded.

  • Rahm is killing prekinder for the poor. Call this number 312-229-1690, you get voice mail is full. Call 773-553-2010 at CPS early childhood and they give you wrong or no informaion.

  • Same for OSS or whatever they are--voice mail is full, no one knows the right information, workers there not available because they are on vactaion this week! Spring break was last week. So Sad.

  • great article if TFA needs to end. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/04/01/teach-for-america-critics-organizing-resistance-at-summit/
    Once observed 2 TFAs togther trying for a week to teach a high poverty/minorityyclass of 26 7th graders. The TFAs never got their students' attention, but continued with their teaching as if nothing was wrong.

  • If people must apply soon, then what do families moving to Chicago over the summer do to enroll their children. Or, families living in Chicago now who didn't get the "memo?"

  • ^^ Re: Pre-K

  • The numbers to call for this answer is there as you read the string of comments above you. Call those numbers. There are families living here now who will not get the 'memo' and will show up the first day of school looking for a spot. There are families ehre now who will not understand this complicated process and not get a spot.

  • Heated Hearings Sparked Between Communities and CPS | NBC Chicago http://ow.ly/jPBOK

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