Grad Rate Up (Again) But Who Cares?

Grad Rate Up (Again) But Who Cares?

The big story of the day is still probably the Obama High announcement — see new WBEZ and other stories below —  but there’s also news that the CPS grad rate is up again, according to City Hall.  Nationally, Duncan has revoked WA’s NCLB waiver just as it approves IL’s — so long, mandatory tutoring money, Seattle! — and the USDE is reviving its efforts to ramp up teacher preparation quality. See it all below, and throughout the day at @district299.

Chicago to add new Barack Obama College Prep High School WBEZ: This will be the city’s eleventh selective enrollment school and one of four elite public high schools clustered in a roughly a one-and-a-half mile radius. Walter Payton College Prep, ranked one of the best schools in Illinois, is less than a mile away. See also AP and previous post (roundup of initial coverage).

MAP: Selective enrollment high schools in Chicago Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is unveiling plans today for a new selective-enrollment high school in the city of Chicago to be named for President Barack Obama. Here are the locations of the city’s 10 existing selectiveenrollment high schools (and the proposed location of Barack Obama College Prep)

Why new Barack Obama Chicago public high school is unjust ChicagoNow (blog): Today, Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Emanuel announced a new selective-enrollment high school on the near North side of Chicago. The new school—which will only accept students based on high test scores—will be built on Chicago Park District.


Pushing Chicago’s graduation rates to new heights Chicago Tribune: Since 2007, the number of Chicago Public Schools freshmen on track to graduate has risen by 25 percentage points — to 82 percent from 57 percent.

Mayor Emanuel Announces Chicago Public High Schools On Track To 82 Percent Graduation Rate eNews Park Forest: Chicago School Research (UChicago CCSR) announced today that the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) new targeted strategy to reduce course…


Mayor Emanuel criticized for proposed property tax hike ABC7Chicago: At a news conference earlier Thursday to address Chicago Public Schools’ improving graduation rate and the new plans for a selective enrollment

CTU boss cheers for Rahmfather’s early retirement Chicago Tribune: Karen Lewis, the feisty boss of the Chicago Teachers Union, has a special hope for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Hopefully retired soon. I just think the mayor — I don’t understand him. I just really don’t,” said Lewis


Emails show Emanuel aides, producers coordinated CNN ‘Chicagoland’ scenes NEWS.GNOM.ES: “We need the mayor on the phone in his SUV, in city hall with key advisers and his kitchen cabinet and meeting with CPS head BBB (Barbara Byrd-Bennett) and with CPD (Superintendent Garry) McCarthy.”


Arne Duncan Revokes Washington State’s NCLB Waiver PK12: But, in an important twist, the state will not be returning to an accountability system that’s exactly like the one it had under NCLB, particularly when it comes to intervening in low-performing schools.

Washington: State Loses Control of Some School Funds NYT: Washington has become the first state to lose its federal waiver for some requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind education law as well as control over how $40 million is spent to improve student performance in its public schools. See also HuffPost

Loss of No Child Left Behind waiver means schools will be labeled ‘failing’ Seattle Times: Washington’s loss of a waiver to the No Child Left Behind law means many schools will be labeled as failing and districts will lose control of how they spend a portion of federal funding aimed at helping disadvantaged children with math and reading. See also PBS NewsHour

Obama Revives Long-Delayed Teacher-Prep Rules PK12: The plan is being billed as an executive action by President Obama to staff all classrooms with effective teachers. In reality, it’s a revival of a long-delayed 2012 effort. See also USA TodayPolitico.

Alternatives Emerge To Affirmative Action NPR: Opponents of affirmative action have often touted alternatives, like socio-economic based admissions, or targeted outreach. David Greene talks to University of Washington professor Mark Long.

What does Common Core implementation look like? Ask a teacher PBS NewsHour: We asked our student reporters to interview their teachers about how Common Core is affecting what they teach and how they teach it.


Unions to protest Cuomo-headlined pro-charter education conference Capital New York: Teachers’ unions and public-education advocacy groups plan to protest a Lake Placid education conference next month run by pro-charter school hedge funders that will feature Governor Andrew Cuomo as “honorary chairman.”

North Carolina Judge Puts Teachers’ Tenure Law In Question Wall Street Journal: A North Carolina judge has given two school districts temporary reprieve from part of a new law that ends teacher tenure, potentially upending the controversial policy a year after it was adopted by state lawmakers.

Pre-K Applications Spike In NYC WNYC: The Department of Education said it received 41,603 applications to pre-kindergarten in the New York City public schools, a 36 percent increase over applications last year. See also ChalkBeat

L.A. Unified doesn’t have to release teachers’ names with performance ratings LA Times: A state appellate court panel tentatively finds a stronger public interest in keeping the names confidential than in publicly releasing them. The Los Angeles Unified School District does not need to release the names of teachers in connection with their performance ratings, according to a tentative court ruling issued Thursday.

James Baldwin, Born 90 Years Ago, Is Fading in Classrooms NYT: James Baldwin, the Harlem-born author of the classic “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” was born 90 years ago this year, and educators are trying to inspire renewed interest in his work.

Are charter schools monopolizing public resources? PBS NewsHour: A little more than a decade ago, only about 300,000 students were enrolled in charter schools nationwide. As their growth has soared, especially in cities, nearly 2 million students are now enrolled. In New York City alone, attendance has jumped from 2,300 children a year to nearly 70,000. But that expansion has created serious competition for limited public resources.

12 hurt, 3 critical in California school bus crash AP:  A fast-moving school bus carrying middle school students jumped a curb, plowed into trees and a lamp post, and came to rest tilting sideways, leaving 12 people injured, three of them critically, authorities said….


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  • Chicago Tribune story on increasing CPS grad rates @nahmedullah - MRE says CPS has turned a corner

  • Do any of the just-released "Chicagoland" emails reveal manipulation of school turnaround storyline?

  • First off I want to give some credit to Ray Salazar for his public comments regarding the location of the new selective high school. Second, while the capital costs for the project including equipping the new Obama High will be covered by the TIF, the ongoing operational costs will not. CPS is a school district in deep fiscal distress that can’t afford yet another selective high school that will without question be composed of at least 30% students who would have otherwise attended private or parochial high schools. Students who would have cost CPS nothing now will cost CPS thousands each.

    Unfortunately, our supposed fiscally responsible Mayor who makes not very veiled comments about Mayor Daley’s pet projects that the City could not afford seems to be on the very same path as the next election grows ever closer. My hopes are dashed in Mayor Emanuel, but then I didn't have much hope to begin with.

    Lastly I want to recognize that 27th Ward Ald. Walter Burnett probably did fight for a neighborhood component to the new school, but the truth is there are very few poorer minority students left in the area near the corner of North Halsted- and West Division streets. I would suggest that the 30% admission component for this school will create a real estate boom for condos within the boundary lines of the new school which I have no doubt will be one of the very best in our state.

    Since I have some money available for investment I think I will buy one of these condos tomorrow and advertise it for rent as being in the Obama H.S. intake area once the school is completed in 2017. Looks like a good deal to me. But somehow I bet I am not the only one with that brilliant investment idea.

    Rod Estvan

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    It is awesome news! I guess more school kids have finally managed to write their coursework on time and now they are allowed to graduate. Possibly some even ordered it here online coursework writing site for college students , you never know these kids. Anyways, I am glad that graduation rate is up again. Let’s congratulate our children for being good guys and working so hard! Thank you for informing us

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