A Reading Teacher Who Lost The Ability To Read NPR: After a reading specialist at a kindergarten outside Chicago had a series of small strokes, she could no longer read. She’s using her skills to teach herself how to recognize words again, but those who suffer from alexia face a long road back to literacy.
Urban agriculture center creates more than green space WBEZ: In a former shoe warehouse on 96th and Cottage Grove, Chicago State University professor Emmanuel Pratt has turned a former shoe warehouse into an urban farm focusing on aquaponics. What exactly is aquaponics? High school senior Seville Bell, a volunteer at the space, explains.
CPS to close schools Monday Sun Times: “The safety and well-being of our students is paramount,” CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said. “The decision to close schools is never easy. However, based on the severity of the weather we are expecting Monday, I am confident that this decision is in…
Classes canceled Monday for CPS students WBEZ: Classes at Chicago Public Schools and most schools in the suburbs are canceled Monday. The nation’s third-largest school district canceled classes earlier this month when a deep freeze settled across much of the country with temperatures and wind chills below zero.
Chicago bracing for second deep-freeze in a month Tribune: For the second time in less than a month, predictions of dangerous subzero temperatures have closed many Chicago-area schools Monday.
PENSIONS/ BUDGETS / ISBE
Lawmakers at Odds over Pension Reform Savings WTTW: It turns out pension reform could save $15 billion less than legislative leaders initially anticipated. An actuarial analysis done by the pension systems affected by this bill say the real savings will be $145 billion, rather than the $160 billion originally advertised. Read an article.
Illinois pension law saves $15 billion less than first thought Tribune: New calculations show the state will save about $15 billion less than initially projected from the controversial major government worker pension overhaul that lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn approved last month.
State Board Of Ed Calls For $1 Billion Extra For Schools In 2015 Progress IL: Gery Chico, ISBE board chairman, rationalized the need for the extra $1 billion by noting that Illinois school funding has been slashed to the tune of $800 million since 2009.
Education officials consider flunking ACT Tribune: With new tests coming, college-entrance exam may no longer be administered free to Illinois students. The ACT — a crucial rite of passage for many into the world of higher education — has been given free of charge to Illinois’ 11th graders for more than a decade, part of mandated state exams for public high school juniors.
New charter teacher training headed for Chicago? Catalyst: The Relay Graduate School of Education, an outgrowth of a program previously at New York City’s Hunter College, has applied for operating approval and degree-granting approval from the Illinois Board of Higher Education. If that agency and the Illinois State Board of Education approve Relay, it could potentially open its doors to serve as many as 50 students as soon as the fall.
Chicago Teachers Union Forming Independent Political Organization DNAI: Union President Karen Lewis said during last year’s protests over school closings, “No matter what happens … it is not over,” and she promised to enroll 250,000 new voters. Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey has also called out Ald. Joe Moore.
CA JOB PROTECTIONS LAWSUIT
Lawsuit challenging teacher tenure, seniority protections goes to court EdSource via Hechinger Report: California is one of a handful of states that still grant tenure in two years or less. Over the past two years, the Democratically controlled Legislature has struggled without success to reach a compromise between the teachers unions and school boards and administrators on how to pare down the dismissal law.
Teacher tenure goes on trial in California courtroom Washington Post: The national debate about teacher tenure is the focus of a trial set to begin Monday in a fifth-floor Los Angeles courtroom, pitting a Silicon Valley mogul with a star-studded legal team against some of the most powerful labor unions in the country.
See also: Teacher Job Protections Vs. Students’ Education In Calif. NPR; Lawsuit takes on California teachers’ job protections LA Times; Protect good teachers, fire bad ones LA Times (editorial page).
State Chiefs Pledge to Not Share Student Data With Arne Duncan, Ed. Dept. PK12: Schools chiefs from 34 states have banded together to make a public declaration that they will not share personally identifiable student data with the federal government.
Lessons for de Blasio in New Jersey’s Free Pre-K NYT: The programs in 31 low-income districts in New Jersey are widely acknowledged for strong results. But they are also more expensive and intensive than what many officials — including Mr. de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York — have proposed.
New York teachers turn on Common Core Politico: The board of the New York state teachers union this weekend unanimously withdrew its support for the Common Core standards as they have been implemented. See also Teacher Beat.
U.S. Cites Evidence of Anti-Semitism in School District NYT: A United States attorney’s office said evidence in a lawsuit filed by Jewish families “could support a conclusion” that authorities in Pine Bush, N.Y., were ineffective in ending harassment.
Video: Homework Diner Has Real Food, Real Community NBC News: A New Mexico school is combining homework time, dinner time and tutor time with its Homework Diner.
Catholic School Won’t Re-Hire Gay Vice Principal, Mark Zmuda, After His Same-Sex Marriage HuffPost: A Catholic school in a Seattle suburb says it won’t rehire gay Vice-Principal Mark Zmuda, who was forced out in December after his same-sex marriage.