Archive for January 2014

Districts Patrol Borders For "Illegal" Kids

Districts Patrol Borders For "Illegal" Kids
Click below to watch the America Tonight segment hosted by Soledad O'Brien that aired on Monday night depicting some districts' Homeland-style surveillance efforts to keep "illegal" kids out of their schools and some parents' desperate and angry experiences trying to get a decent education for their children...

"Protest" Coverage Wearing Thin

"Protest" Coverage Wearing Thin
Today's coverage focuses on protests against possible charter expansion (again), which makes me wonder (again) whether local news outlets will ever go into some of the overcrowded and/or under-performing schools like Prosser in areas that might get charters and tell us a little about why parents might want to pick another option for their children. There's also presumably good news that ISBE backed off removing limits on special ed class sizes, and a long story from Hechinger Report about the struggles some schools and teachers have had with budget cuts and longer school days without additional resources. Reading the Hechinger story, you'd think that there were no schools making good use of the extra time, or that the extra time was somehow tainted or unproductive across the board. As with charter protests, the coverage of the pushback against the changes has eclipsed the coverage of what the situation was like before and the possible and real good that is presumably coming from the changes in many if not most places. Elsewhere, Cuomo and de Blasio disagree about how to pay for universal preschool in New York, and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman thinks Arne Duncan should be President (sort of)...

CTU Strike Featured In New Book

CTU Strike Featured In New Book
Micah Uetrecht's forthcoming book, Strike for America, is coming out in March, promoted as "Inside reporting from the most important domestic labor struggle in decades." "Written by Micah Uetricht, a progressive journalist [Jacobin, In These Times] and former labor organizer who was on the scene for the entire strike, Strike for America is a blow-by-blow account of how CORE, a rank-and-file caucus of the CTU, lead this movement, elected Karen Lewis as the union’s president, and launched a successful strike against neoliberal reform. Working closely with parents and community members, CORE developed an agenda that went beyond the usual compensation negotiations in order to establish a broad coalition opposed to the market-driven education policies backed by the previous union leadership." Click below for the press release and pre-purchase information. I haven't seen or read it yet, but I'm guessing some of you have and perhaps are even included in the book.  What did you think...
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Charters, Daily PE, & Class Size

Charters, Daily PE, & Class Size
Lots of news: A proposed new PE program (and TIF funding to pay for it), Board consideration of new charter proposals, the ongoing class size limits saga downstate, and Rahm's MLK Day.  Check it all out below, plus news from other cities and around the country. Follow breaking news during the day here (in comments) or via Twitter (@district299)...

Charters, Rauner, Field Tests

Charters, Rauner, Field Tests
Happy Friday! Today's education news includes tidbits about charters, unions, and City Hall -- Catalyst and the Sun Times both have stories -- plus a look ahead at the field testing of new annual tests that's going to take place in the not too distant future. There are also some comments about SPED shortages from yesterday, and national and local news from elsewhere around the country.  Did I miss anything? Let me know...

SPED Shortage Down This Year

SPED Shortage Down This Year
Check out this Chicago Tonight segment and you'll see that CPS claims SPED teaching vacancies are down this year but that turnover is still pretty high so newly minted teachers have their pick of places to go...
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Rev. Wright Blasts Emanuel, Obama At CTU Event

Rev. Wright Blasts Emanuel, Obama At CTU Event
Check out the coverage of the CTU Jeremiah Wright speech that we talked about yesterday.  Also check out coverage of the Rauner/Walter Payton story. Anti-charter city council members tried and failed to block additional charters. But all is not lost. It's Thursday before a three day weekend-- you're almost there! Meantime, see you on twitter (@district299)...

A Criminal -- And A Victim

A Criminal -- And A Victim
Medium is a relatively new site with a mix of in-house and outside contributions, and there are occasionally posts related to education and/or Chicago.  One of them I recently came across, written by @bensk, is called The Conspiratorial Racism of White People, who describes being contacted by lawyers from the City of Chicago about an article he'd written about a student who'd been killed by CPD in 2010 -- one of four Hyde park Academy seniors killed that April (among 27 CPS students killed and 218 shot in 2010...

CTU & Rev. Wright

CTU & Rev. Wright
Hey, everyone:  CTU has invited Rev. Jeremiah Wright to help them launch their political advocacy (seriously!) and folks (teachers and otherwise) are meeting to try and prevent CPS from approving more charters. Also: CPS is full of embezzlers. Rauner did or didn't do something wrong in 2009.  Plus national news...
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Rauner, Makeup Days, Special Ed Shortage

Rauner, Makeup Days, Special Ed Shortage
Today's education news includes more about Rauner and Payton, CTU creating a new political organization (and endorsing Guzzardi), questions about how CPS will make up the snow days, and lots of national news and updates from other cities...