Minority Kids Get Harsher Discipline, Weaker Teaching

Minority Kids Get Harsher Discipline, Weaker Teaching

So 125 kids’ parents opted out at Drummond and some of the kids were asked questions and the parents are pissed.  Meanwhile, a new national report shows that poor minority kids get tougher discipline and weaker teachers. Which of these things is a bigger deal?  Check it all out below, and see you in comments or at @district299.

CPS Officials Question Bucktown Kids Over Opting Out of ISATs DNA Info: Some parents at Drummond Elementary School are furious over a teacher “witch hunt.”

CPS questions students—without parent consent—in ongoing investigation of their teachers WBEZ: Parents at Drummond Montessori in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood say they found out through parent e-mails, texts and Facebook messages that Chicago Public Schools Law Department officials were “interrogating” their children at school. Parents say they had no knowledge the interviews were going to take place, and did not give any prior consent.

Parents livid over CPS investigators questioning kids over ISAT boycott Sun Times: Furious Bucktown elementary school parents said CPS investigators yanked their children out of classrooms Thursday for individual interviews about this month’s ISAT boycott — without parental permission. The livid parents of Drummond Elementary School students are calling the move “outrageous,” “underhanded,” and “ludicrous.”

CPS investigating alleged ‘teacher misconduct’ with test boycott Catalyst: “Don’t use these kids as pawns in this political game,” said Jonathan Goldman, a parent and chair of Drummond’s local school council [with no apparent sense of irony].

CPS test change irks Catholic schools chief Chicago Tribune: In a letter to CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett copied to Emanuel, Sister Mary Paul McCaughey said the district informed the archdiocese two weeks ago that its seventh-graders might also have to take the NWEA MAP exam in May if they want to apply for a …

At charters, variety the norm for teacher evaluations Catalyst: During the contract negotiation sessions that recently ended at the UNO Charter School Network, one of the biggest points of contention for teachers was the evaluation system and its link to year-end bonuses. Teachers considered the evaluation metrics unfair and complained that formal observations weren’t done the same way in all classrooms.


School Data Finds Pattern of Inequality Along Racial Lines NYT: Racial minorities are more likely than white students to be suspended from school and be taught by lower-paid teachers with less experience, according data released by the Department of Education.

American Schools Are STILL Racist, Government Report Finds HuffPost: Most minority students and English language learners are stuck in schools with the most new teachers. Seven percent of black students attend schools where as many as 20 percent of teachers fail to meet license and certification requirements. And one in four school districts pay teachers in less-diverse high schools $5,000 more than teachers in schools with higher black and Latino student enrollment.

Bleak picture for minority kids in public schools USA Today: Education Secretary Arne Duncan, left, speaks after a roundtable discussion at Family Source Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Duncan’s visit aimed to highlight excellence in education and the importance of community involvement and support.

Black Students Less Likely to Be Taught By Certified Teachers, Ed. Dept. Data Show TeacherBeat: Students of color are more often taught by unqualified, inexperienced, and lesser-paid teachers, according to U.S. Department of Education data.


Maryland and DC schools to begin field-testing new Common Core exams next … Washington Post: Tens of thousands of students in Maryland and the District are slated to log on to computers this spring to take practice versions of a new standardized test, exams meant to gauge their performance

New Schools Squad Will Try to Broker Peace WNYC: Starting within the next two weeks, the first protocol that we’re putting in place is that schools will not be fighting each other in a building,” Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña told the City Council’s education committee Thursday. She said the D.O.E will be sending “campus squads” to settle questions such as who gets what room on what floor in a shared school, and how to use the rooms.

‘Horndog High’ teachers fired after sexy romp get their jobs back: court NYDN: A Manhattan appeals court ruled language teachers Alina Brito and Cindy Mauro can have their jobs back at James Madison High School in Midwood, Brooklyn, because the pair has ‘unblemished’ discipline records and had a ‘lapse in judgment’ on the day in question.


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    So you would be ok with some stranger from downtown coming in and interrogating your child behind closed doors without your permission? Did these people even have a criminal background check like all teachers and principals?

    I would be furious. This could not have been a pleasant experience for these kids.

  • first off, we don't really know what happened other than that the parents are upset -- secondly, my point is that there are so many much bigger problems than this one that need to be dealt with that it seems strange to have so much attention focused on it.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Alexander I don't disagree that CPS has much bigger problems than the ISAT op-out issue. So I find it totally amazing that CPS would generate for its self all of this really bad press about law department staff questioning students at Drummond Montessori.

    It is incredibly stupid unless there was a situation at the school where teachers actually were reported to have forced students not to take the test. Some how I doubt that took place.

    Legally CPS can do this and I have never liked the practice of questioning younger elementary school aged students without their parents being present. I have seen this happen in relation to alleged sexual harassment committed by a cognitively disabled student. But I totally understood the fact that the allegation required investigation, but I also totally understand why the parent in that situation was really fearful what could happen to their child or what the child might say under questioning.

    One of the CPS investigators at Drummond Montessori said they can question students because they are acting under the doctrine of in loco parentis. That is probably correct. But this effort really is a waste of money and time. It's generating a lot of bad press and if it bags some teachers for disciple I am not sure what that achieves except sending a message to other teachers to watch your step in relation to testing issues.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Now why wouldn't you believe that bbb feels its her responsibility to determine the extent of teacher misconduct? Your comments express your belief that the investigation is politically unwise. Well. OK. But some parents and voters may actually believe that this insubordination is a serious matter that requires attention. I expect that the investigation continues in part due to complaints by parents in these school and perhaps also school staff.

  • In reply to Donn:

    I don't know that there has been any formal complaint to CPS from Drummond parents about teachers attempting to persuade students or their families not to be tested. If CPS actually received such complaints it would be in their PR interest to reveal that fact, but of course not the names of the families that have made such complaints to CPS.

    CPS has made public the fact it is investigating complaints against staff before, particularly involving potential sex crimes or abuse issues without revealing the families complaining.

    Donn moreover CPS has the legal authority to immediately remove any teacher from contact with students it has a complaint about pending investigation as long as salary is paid. I have helped families file complaints against special education teachers in the past, only with collaborating testimony by the way, in those few situations where this has happened the teacher was at least temporarily assigned to other duties pending investigation.

    I am hearing nothing like this coming from Drummond. A charge of insubordination normally involves a teacher refusing an immediate directive of either a principal or an AP. It is a cut and dry documentation issue. If the principal of Drummond issued a directive either orally or in writing to teachers at the school in relation to ISAT opt-out and a teacher refused then the insubordination charge could be filed immediately. The factual investigation by the law department would take place following the charges as part of the grievance process.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    With this year ISAT and during the teacher strike, there was a very uncomfortable level of teacher intimidation toward students and parents. The vibe was disturbing. Everyone was walking on eggshells except the teachers.

    While this may be a questionable CPS approach to figuring out what happened, I am glad CPS is taking this very seriously. As a parent, it is a very concerning precedent if teachers tried to influence students with their bias against testing. Ignoring parent wishes. Even the teacher saying in the press that they read students stories about Gandhi, King and other resistance movements made me very uncomfortable as a parent. It was tied to the boycott of the ISAT, not a part of the curriculum. I have nothing against learning about these historic figures, but it was manipulative timing. What is next? The precedent is concerning.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Its just shocking to me that CPS administrators and officials were so allegedly, blatantly unethical in their treatment of children at Drummond. If anyone pulled my child out of class and interrogated them about opting out or anyone else opting out, I'd sue the hell out of the district. I hope those parents do. They have every right to be angry that the principal and district used tactics like this to try and get revenge on the teachers that supported the opt out. The district truly ignored parental wishes, but no one should be surprised. They nearly always do.

  • In reply to teacherparent:

    I hope it is equally shocking to you when a teacher oversteps their boundaries and tries to influence students on their bias against testing when a parent wants their child to take the test. Saucedo anyone? I wonder what the post opt out dynamics are in these classrooms? All A's and smiles and encouragement to the kids who opted out and cold shoulder to those who did not? All done with an iron clad tenured smile. Equally manipulative and appalling . It is a two way street.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You realize this- "All A's and smiles and encouragement to the kids who opted out and cold shoulder to those who did not?"- has no basis and is entirely a figment of your imagination.

    As far as an "iron clad tenured smile" obviously you aren't paying attention at all if you think tenure means much in the age of REACH.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You realize this- "has no basis and is entirely a figment of your imagination." As you say with your tenured smile. Do you think parents are stupid? Of course this happens. There are endless stories and examples on this topic. Maybe you aren't paying attention. Hope REACH is all you say it is.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Endless stories and examples? Let's hear them.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Are you okay? I mean, in terms of mental health, are you stable? I am pretty sure I wouldn't allow my child to be left alone with any adult I mistrusted so much. If you mistrust CPS teachers that deeply, how do you live with the worry, guilt and anger you must feel? Are you too poor to move to a district you might trust more or send your child to a private school? Or not smart enough to homeschool? Please, there is no shame in getting mental health help if you need it.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Have you or any teacher you know ever been called to the principals
    office to explain why a kid got an A?

  • In reply to rbusch:

    Ha! But I have been called in the inner sanctum as to why a child with 40 absences and low test scores received an "F"

  • In reply to district299reader:

    How dare you give that child an F...it's all of YOUR fault their 13 didn't go to a 15 with 40 absences and infinite tardies. Prepare to be REACH'ed out.

  • Trib reports that CPS announces plans to restaff Gresham, Dvorak, and McNair & give to @AUSLChicago http://ht.ly/uQfus

  • Alex, you referenced 4 articles that pieced together a picture that shows more than upset parents.
    1) CPS sent agents of CPS to question students at Drummond.
    2) These students were questioned without consent of their parents.
    3) The students were alone when questioned.
    4) Parents were upset as a result of how their children were treated.

    These points were reported in all of the articles. The articles interviewed people directly involved in this incident and the story was consistent. Yes, the parents were upset and we know more than that because of the articles you provided.

  • In reply to Sticky Fingers:

    congrats on all that coverage -- very impressive work -- and condolences for whatever happened that was wrong or upsetting (or illegal, or criminal!)

    i'm just saying that the data from the office of civil rights is pretty eye-popping, and serves as a useful reminder that what ails education isn't limited to the ISAT or to charters but is in fact much much larger.

  • Right and I'm just saying that you are wrong when you say that "we don't really know what happened." We do and in this one instance, CPS made an error in judgement in how to treat students.
    As far as the ailments of education, that is another topic, but a lot of evidence shows that the cure is not ISAT or expansion of Charters.

  • I am interested in the decision making process used for changing the staffs at the three schools. Could it be the ISAT from last year? It did change significantly from previous years so much so that it would be difficult to imagine it being useful from making apples to apples comparisons. But what data would that be? The interim NWEA MAP this year? Wasn't that supposed to be formative? Performance tasks, Danielson? Walkthroughs? It seems maybe this was part of the plan that closed down the fifty schools last year.

  • My Uncle Christian got an awesome twelve month old Mercedes GL-Class GL63 AMG by working part-time online. blog link ..........mac22.com

  • The decision making process, as explained to us Friday with CPD in force!!!, was low test scores. The news reports included attendance blame. Test scores at schools nearby are far worse and attendance in Gresham neighborhood dismal thanks to some parents. Buildings were rehabbed after last years closings. Real reason, don't waste paint and ac on neighborhood school, give free to AUSL charter cronies. Let's see how successful AUSL is when they have gang wars, angry parents, and worse test scores. Harvard elem is nearby and it's still bad.

  • It's cronyism. Renovate schools and give them to buddies. Caring staff (yes, we care and work hard) are expendable. Test scores at Gresham are higher than neighboring schools. Hard to fight poverty, low education within community, and stolen resources. AUSL has yet to prove it can do better, despite its favored position. Note when all schools are charter, the money demands will explode. Taxpayers will get stuck, again.

  • Shout to the media and all parent groups! Would someone look at the star for the AUSL/other programs,too schools which were turned around and show everyone the success rate of lack of success rate.
    I believe Sherman was the first schoolAUSLed-same students but new teachers and admin plus extra monies-don't see the growth. Marquette School was AUSLed in 2012-AUSL did not keep one teacher from Marquette. Look at Marquette's scores-they dropped in spite of a rise in per pupil expenditure. What is the justification for turn-arounds!
    I have nothing against AUSL. I had an AUSL trained principal-very bright and used common sense-actually sought teacher input. Someone needs to admit that turn arounds are a colossal waste of tax payer dollars.
    I am a teacher and I do not understand why successful CPS schools are not studied and used as model for struggling school populations.


  • In reply to district299reader:

    Many Marquette School teachers displaced by AUSL ended up at Level One schools - good for them, bad for AUSL

  • mea culpa-pressed too soon….

    star should be stats
    too should be two
    of should be or
    should be an "a" before model

  • I heard that ISAT scores at Marquette dropped significantly by the end of AUSL's first year there, after all of the "terrible teachers" had been housecleaned and AUSL's handpicked "master teachers" with their signature strategies had been installed. Does anyone know if that's true? And if it is, why is CPS set to hand over three more schools to AUSL.

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