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.
KEEPING SCHOOL DOOR SHUT IN THE COLD
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.
POLITICS CHARTERS CHOICE
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 Today, LA School Report, LA 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 HuffPost, MinnPost, Atlanic 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.