Why Can't CPS Buildings Stay Open?

Why Can't CPS Buildings Stay Open?

Today’s big news –besides that there’s another cold day — is that schools could otherwise be open for kids and parents who need a warm safe place to stay if it were only allowed under the labor agreement.  (So much for all that concern about kids’ safety and the needs of working parents, I guess, and balanced media coverage of CPS and CTU.) Elsewhere, NYC is still debating how to fund preschool, and the big case against teachers’ job protections in California is finally underway.  Oh, and the State of the Union speech is tonight.


CPS plan to close schools Tuesday bothers aldermen Sun Times: Ald. “Proco” Joe Moreno (1st) said it’s time to revisit a Chicago Teachers Union contract that prevents schools, pre-school and after-school programs from being kept open on days when schools are closed. “This is going to be the fourth day of closures. I can’t remember that in Chicago. I have parents who call me and say, `I understand why school’s closed. But do you have any idea where my kids can go?’ “ Moreno said.

CPS Should Provide ‘Skeletal Care’ on Snow Days, Ald. Joe Moreno Says DNA Info: But Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th) countered, “School is not a baby-sitting apparatus.”

School closures and childcare options CLTV: A day off from school? “Yay!!!”  Say the kids at the neighborhood boys and girls club on the northwest side of the city.  Here kids are getting exercise and socialization instead of being home playing video games.  Plus a three day weekend is always nice, even for the kids. “Just like parents and Garfield, nobody likes Mondays,” says fifth grader Michael Vondrasek.  But more snow/cold days also means fewer days for summer break for which the kids say, “Nooooo!”

Hundreds of schools remain closed for second day Tribune: Hundreds of schools, including Chicago Public Schools, remained closed Tuesday as the arctic blast drove wind chills to dangerous levels for the second straight day.

Classes canceled Tuesday for CPS students, some universities and museums closed too WBEZ: Officials with Chicago Public Schools are canceling classes for roughly 400,000 students as subzero temperatures persist. The National Weather Service in northern Illinois has predicted temperatures overnight Monday into Tuesday to drop as low as 23 degrees below zero.


Now It’s Time to Talk About Chicago’s Tale of Two Cities American Prospect: As mayor of Chicago, Emanuel became so enraged during negotiations with Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, that he shouted “Fuck you, Lewis.”

Action Now Protests Against ‘By The Hand Club’ Over Plans For New Austin Charter School Progress IL: About 20 Action Now members and education organizers protested outside the By The Hand Club For Kids’ location on the West Side last week to push back against the non-profit’s involvement with plans for a new charter school in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.

Catalyst finds neighborhood high schools losing neighborhood kids Wells Bulldog: “Five years ago, no high school enrolled fewer than 20 percent of the students in its attendance area,” Catalyst notes. However “the flight from neighborhood school is the result of the district’s orchestrated policy to give students more choices.”


D.C.’s teacher of the year to be first lady’s guest at State of the Union address Washington Post: Kathy Hollowell-Makle, a kindergarten teacher in one of the District’s poorest neighborhoods, is slated to be among the guests sitting with first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden at the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

L.A. Unified unprepared for computerized state test LA Times: A internal survey finds that computers are in short supply or don’t work, that campuses often have limited Internet access and that L.A. Unified has no plan other than iPads, which may not arrive in time.

New York”s Fight Over PreK Taxes Education Nation: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo don’t see eye to eye on funding amounts for prekindergarten classes in the city. See also WSJ.


Contours of Calif. Teacher-Protection Suit Take Shape Teacher Beat: Attorneys for both the defendants and the intervenors (the state’s two teachers’ unions) argued that these nine students don’t have standing to bring the suit because none of them can show they’ve been the victim of bad teaching. See also EdSource TodayLA School ReportLA Times.

Obama Expected To Propose Expanding Preschool Programs NPR: President Obama is expected to propose an expansion of preschool programs in his State of the Union Address. Most states have bought into the idea and restored funding for the programs. What’s less clear is where the long-term funding is going to come from, and whether the quality of these programs are worth the investment. See also HuffPostMinnPostAtlanic Education.

Backlash Grows Against Common Core Education Standards NPR: Supporters of new education standards say Common Core will hold American students to much higher expectations, and move away from the bubble test culture that critics say too often pushes teachers to focus on test prep. But opposition to Common Core is spreading across the political spectrum. See also Stateline.

Report: Va., Md., D.C. have some of the nation’s highest gaps by income level in reading proficiency Washington Post: Fourth-grade students in Virginia, Maryland and the District have among the largest gaps in reading proficiency in the country when broken down by income level, according to a report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

A Conversation With: Salman Khan Turned Family Tutoring Into Khan Academy NYT: Salman Khan’s first student was a family member. Now his free electronic schoolhouse reaches more than 10 million users around the world.


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  • Alex- Maybe you should volunteer to babysit the children of Chicago... wait... I forgot, you're in Brooklyn

  • In reply to district299reader:

    i know i've brought up a good point when someone brings up where i live :-)

    how about a response based on the merits, or logistics, or anything else?

    here's what CTU said to DNAI, btw:

    "We're sensitive to the needs of parents who don’t have a lot of child-care options," said CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin. "However, when our students are in front of our members, they receive instructional services."

  • ...eh, your point is ridiculous. Using your logic schools should be open 24-7 365.

    Another detail you neglected- kids would STILL have to venture outside, some walking almost a mile to school. Safe Passage workers would assuredly suffer from frostbite all so free babysitting can be provided.

  • hmm, let me see ... unheated apartment. working parent. unattended children. what were you saying?

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Beardo- If a parent leaves a kid in an unheated apartment they should be arrested. Second of all,what would be the solution if the cold snap occurred over the weekend? Finally, Peoples Gas doesn't turn off gas in these temperatures... maybe they do in Brooklyn.

  • Let me interject.College kid I knew 19 year old male.FROZE TO
    DEATH AT ISU , Normal, a couple of days ago January 2013
    is the worst month my old 67 year old bones has ever known.
    Everyone of which has been spent around Chicago.
    Where you live is your business but please do not interject your
    opinion about our weather ,it is deadly.
    If the apartment is cold call 311,working parents have relatives,
    if you know of any unattended kids call DCSF and fill out a report.
    The mere act of sending kids,especially little ones out into this would be a crime and that's just the temperature not even factoring in the piles of snow 10 feet tall everywhere..

  • on another subject:

    @chipubschools & @ctulocal1 both hate the state charter commission- albeit not for the same reasons

    @joravben http://ht.ly/t2W7s

  • I'm a teacher with children of my own. Are you really suggesting that I leave my children at home alone, because there is no way that I would let my oldest wait on corners for the 2 CTA busses that he needs to take to get to his high school or my younger ones walk the 5 blocks to and from their elementary school, so I can watch someone else's child so they are not inconvenienced? You need to get a grip on reality! I am a teacher - I work hard and give it everything I've got and then some. Asking me to put my family second is completely out of line.

  • It is hypocritical that people blame schools for all of society's ills and then suggest they should simultaneously be the solution. Families don't have healthy meals? Make the schools feed them. Homes aren't heated or insulated? Make the schools stay open as warming centers. How about we demand corner stores stop selling junk food to children and funding for food stamps are increased so they can afford healthy food, or better yet, we demand the 'job-makers' MAKE JOBS?! Instead of using schools as a band-aid for inadequate housing, hold slum lords accountable for bad heating and insulation. Invest tax dollars to improve home insulation which will cut CO2 emissions and save everyone money long-term. Naaaahhhhh...... Too complicated. Just BLAME THE SCHOOLS instead.

  • Thank you Barbara Byrd-Bennett for exercising common sense in closing the schools. I am sure the parents down South whose children were stuck at school due to the weather wish someone had listened to the weather forecast and thought about the safety of the children.

  • Teacher shot before school as he sat in his car….http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/marshall-metro-high-school-shooting-242791041.html

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