Should CPS get rid of Lincoln’s Birthday as a holiday, as Tribune columnist Zorn suggests? Or, should parents move to the suburbs instead, a topic Chicago Parent discusses. Meanwhile, a new teacher training program is coming to town to help train Noble teachers, the pension mess remains a mess, the Sun Times says some folks aren’t so mad about the DePaul arena any more, and CPS touts early credit. Good comments about testing opt outs. National news. Happy lunar new year!
Polar vortex gives CPS an ‘Abe-portunity’ Tribune (Zorn): Like most area youths, Chicago Public Schools students have missed four days of classroom instruction so far this winter due to the brutal cold. But unlike most area youths, CPS students are still scheduled to get a day off on Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday. CPS should join most other school districts and no longer take Lincoln’s birthday as a holiday.
Chicago parents weigh merits of city or suburban schools Chicago Parent: Then, she went through what she described as “what can be a nightmare for parents of multiples”-the lottery and testing system to get into the Chicago Public Schools.
Charter network creates own teacher pipeline for its alumni WBEZ: Today, Noble is announcing plans to partner with the New-York-based Relay Graduate School of Education. A former Noble principal, Mindy Sjoblom, will become the dean of the Chicago arm of Relay.
Charter School Network Launches New Teacher Recruitment Program DNA Info: Noble Network’s new program could lead to more minority teachers at charter and public schools.
PENSIONS / UNIONS
Public-sector unions come together to fight ‘pension heist’ Sun Times: The Chicago Teachers Union has forged a coalition with a group of public-sector unions to “aggressively defend” against a “pension heist” by Illinois lawmakers at the request of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Mount Prospect Dist. 57 moving forward with strike CLTV: The union voted to declare intent to strike at a meeting Thursday night, which means the strike could happen as soon as 10days from now. The teachers union and the school board have been negotiating salary, teacher evaluations and lay-offs for the past year.
Near South Side residents warming up to DePaul arena plan Sun Times: Near South Side residents and their local alderman are warming to the idea of building a $173 million DePaul basketball arena that would double as an “event center” for McCormick Place, thanks to design changes triggered by a court fight over adjacent land.
Gordon Tech Alumni to Board: ‘Don’t Change the Name’ DNA Info: Including DePaul in its name is one of the options under consideration.
CPS touts rise in number of high school students earning college credits Sun Times: More than 2,300 Chicago Public Schools students are getting college credit at 30 high schools across the city in a program that has increased threefold since it began in 2011. CPS on Thursday unveiled its Early College Initiative program figures, showing an increase in the number of CPS juniors and seniors at participating high schools gaining free college credits.
Coed schooling WBEZ: All-boys Catholic school, Hales Franciscan High School, became coed this year. How has the change is affecting their students?
Brother Rice teacher was stabbed 13 times, prosecutor says Sun Times: A Brother Rice High School teacher’s search for sex led to his violent death, stabbed 13 times by an alleged prostitute during a fight over money at his Orland Park home, Cook County prosecutors said Thursday.
Local high schooler heads to Sochi Olympics WBEZ: Ten Chicago area athletes will be competing in the Sochi Olympics next month and five of them are speed skaters. The youngest of those speed skaters is 17-year-old Oak Park River Forest senior Emery Lehman.
L.A. Unified gets reduction on iPads price LA Times: Apple agrees to furnish the latest models, rather than a discontinued version for which it was charging full price, and cuts the cost to $504 per device by omitting curriculum.
Utah School Draws Ire For Taking Kids’ Lunches; Debt Cited NPR: Anger and frustration followed an incident Tuesday, in which up to 40 students had their lunches taken away from them at the cashier’s station in an elementary school cafeteria. The food was thrown away; the students were told their accounts had no credit on them.
Firecrackers and Absenteeism: When Tradition and School Days Collide WNYC: Almost 15 percent of public school students are Asian-American, and that percentage is much higher in certain neighborhoods. At some schools, the Lunar New Year coincides with the lowest attendance rates of the school year. Being absent stalls instruction and could have an adverse affect on a school’s progress report grade.
Baltimore Teachers Union announces tentative contract BaltSun: The Baltimore Teachers Union announced Tuesday a tentative contract that would give city teachers a 1 percent raise every year until 2016 and revise a career ladder introduced in 2010 that allowed teachers to move up the pay ladder faster.
Dalton School Apologizes for Screening Slavery Satire NYT: The edgy and comical treatment of slavery in the mockumentary, “C.S.A.,” provoked complaints, and the private school organized meetings to apologize.
Some state rebrand controversial Common Core education standards Washington Post: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) used an executive order to strip the name “Common Core” from the state’s new math and reading standards for public schools. In the Hawkeye State, the same standards are now called “The Iowa Core.” And in Florida, lawmakers want to delete “Common Core” from official documents and replace it with the cheerier-sounding “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.”
Education Secretary Arne Duncan says gun control measures needed to curtail … Minneapolis Tribune: Education Secretary Arne Duncan says schools are doing “fantastic” work to improve safety but easy access to guns is contributing to school violence. Duncan tells reporters that schools are often the safest place in a community.
NCLB co-author says he never anticipated federal law would force testing obsession EdSource: “I don’t believe you can drive a car blindfolded,” Miller said. “So all we asked was, ‘How are the kids doing in your test?’ And it turned out to be a nuclear explosion, because it wasn’t in the interest of the school district to tell the community how each and every kid was doing on their test.”
Coming Soon: Education Department’s 50-State Teacher-Equity Strategy PK12: Then, the department is examining whether it can use the enforcement powers of its office for civil rights to ensure that disadvantaged students have equitable access to highly effective teachers. And department staff are also thinking through how to tie NCLB waivers to how well a state does, or doesn’t, ensure the equitable distribution of teachers.