Karen Lewis In LA

Karen Lewis In LA

And we’re back.  Monday’s education news includes a few stories about Karen Lewis, more about budget cuts for neighborhood schools, a few others about specific schools (Passages, Lake View High School), and a WBEZ story about arts education inequities. Nationally, the AFT convention is going on, and more Republican governors are reversing course on Common Core.


Poll: Karen Lewis could give Rahm a run for his money Sun Times: If the mayoral election were held today, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis would beat Mayor Rahm Emanuel by 9 percentage points in a head-to-head contest, a new survey found. And Emanuel could face an even steeper hill if Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, long considered his most formidable challenger, decides to run.

LA teachers union leader Caputo-Pearl links activism to strike Los Angeles Times:
Caputo-Pearl, 45, spoke at a Saturday-night panel with other teachers union leaders, including Michael Mulgrew from New York City and Karen Lewis from Chicago.


Passages Charter School Expansion Hearing Scheduled for Monday  DNAinfo: School officials said increased demand has led the school to exceed the cap by about 20 students, which school officials contend has diluted the resources available to other Passages students and forced them into a tough decision:

CPS traditional schools see drop in funding under plan Tribune: While Chicago Public Schools officials maintain they do everything to keep budget cuts away from the classroom, the proposed operating budget for the coming school year decreases funding to 504 traditional neighborhood schools by $72 million.

Alderman Pawar’s Note on Neighborhood High Schools (Lake View and Amundsen) CPS Obsessed: Lake View HS has a new principal (imagine a young Ken Jennings) and he has the backing of the CPS district office and the local Aldermen.  Lots of parents from the Lakeview feeder schools attended, and there is great excitement about making LVHS into a desirable neighborhood high school option.


Schools on South, West sides left behind in CPS arts plan WBEZ: A sobering map on page 17 of the 44-page report highlights which Chicago communities are getting the most arts programming and which are getting the least. Most of the majority African American neighborhoods in the city are essentially arts education deserts.

How a bad Chicago Public Schools idea got worse Chicago Tribune: CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett took pains last week to underscore that the money snagged for the 2015 budget because of the accounting gimmick was not a windfall of fresh funding.

Illinois Moves Towards Significant Shift in How Schools are Funded State EdWatch: The Land of Lincoln wants to change its funding formula to help more students in need, but does the new plan actually come with more money?


Teachers need a “road test” to ensure good teaching Catalyst (Guest column): The preparation of new teachers is receiving a lot of attention these days. Recently, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released a review of educator preparation programs. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration recently announced its plan to renew efforts to develop a rating system for…

How Chicago’s Housing Crisis Ignited a New Form of Activism NYT: On a 100-degree day last summer, on Chicago’s southernmost edge, Willie Fleming, who goes by J. R. (“It stands for Just Righteousness”), crept up to an abandoned ranch house shrouded in overgrown weeds.

College can start in high school Chicago Sun-Times: In neighborhoods across Chicago, there are thousands of young people with unlimited potential. Each one of them deserves a chance to succeed. We know that education is the pathway to their future.

CPS has libraries—but where are the librarians? Chicago Reader: After their testimony, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the mayor’s hand-picked CEO, explained that she would fill those vacancies—if only there weren’t a shortage of certified librarians. “It’s not that we don’t want to have librarians in libraries,” Byrd,,,


Sleepy campaign for D.C. Board of Education goes national Washington Post:  When Tierra Jolly thumbed through her mail on Monday, she was surprised to see campaign literature touting her bid for a seat on the D.C. State Board of Education.

Districts Debate Merits of Master’s for Teachers AP: Texas’ two largest school districts, in Houston and Dallas, recently eliminated advanced degree pay going forward, following the example of North Carolina, where lawmakers last year started phasing it out. Yet the backlash in North Carolina grew so intense that the state is now looking at reinstating the extra pay for those teaching classes related to the subject in which they have an advanced degree.

How a better summer vacation could help low-income kids in school Vox: On average, kids come back to school in the fall about a month behind where they were at the beginning of summer break, says Catherine Augustine, a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation who has studied summer learning loss.

Union Leader Derides Obama Education Chief AP: Union president chides US education secretary but stops short of calling on him to quit.

Why did the GOP flip flop on Common Core? Hechinger Report: The bad news is that the political conversation is almost entirely focused on the ever-more contentious topic of Common Core, and the rhetoric is so long on blanket ideology and short on specific policy that it often feels like politicians aren’t talking about what kids are learning, or not learning, at all.

Republican Governors Skirt ‘Radioactive’ Common Core Standards AP: Reviled by staunch conservatives, the common education standards designed to improve schools and student competitiveness are being modified by some Republican governors, who are pushing back against what they call the federal government’s intrusion into the classroom.

Q&A: A Union Leader On Tenure, Testing And The Common Core NPR: The American Federation of Teachers holds its annual meeting this weekend. Its president, Randi Weingarten, talks with NPR Ed.

Teachers union takes on Common Core Politico: The American Federation of Teachers will open its annual convention Friday morning with a startling announcement.

How Private Colleges Are Like Cheap Sushi NPR: Fifty percent off? That doesn’t sound like such a good deal for sushi or a college degree. We ask some economists: Why not?


Ethics Panel Absolves Tony Bennett of Wrongdoing in School-Grade Changes State EdWatch: The Indiana State Ethics Commission said former state Superintendent Tony Bennett committed no ethics violation in changing certain school grades in 2012.

Texas Tribune: Commitment in Texas to Fiscal Restraint Adds Burden for Education NYT: Performance in schools has improved despite the state’s low per-student spending, but Texas teachers earn less money than their peers elsewhere and face other financial strains.

From Calif. Teachers, More Nuanced Views On Tenure NPR: Some teachers say they want to preserve tenure, but add that it’s time for a look at the rules.

Atlanta Schools Chief Hires Her Number Two from KIPP Charter School Network District Dossier: David Jernigan’s hiring is part of a broader plan to promote collaboration between the district and its local charter sector.

Fatal Stabbing Highlights Persistent Problems at Bronx Middle School WNYC: The school is located on a residential block in Morris Heights, about two miles north of Yankee Stadium. Many neighbors said it can get chaotic around dismissal time — which is when the killing took place. But I.S. 117 is not known as a hot-spot for gangs or police activity, based on crime statistics. Nor did it have a high suspension rate. It’s had the same principal for about 20 years.



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  • Reform, Chicago Style | Diane Ravitch's blog ow.ly/z9lzW (feat John Kass colum)

  • Rahm Emanuel Is In Even More Re-Election Trouble Than We Thought http://ow.ly/z9lYs

  • There is no true shortage of librarians in Chicago. There is however both a funding shortage AND come on now, for real, if you could be a librarian anywhere else other than CPS, who wouldn't be anywhere else?

  • Emanuel's pitiful poll results are not a surprise to 99% of Chicagoans. He is despised. He is a liar, and most everyone in Chicago knows it. His attempts to rehabilitate his image won't work. All of his propaganda and spin attempts only work on the national stage, but locals know better. If it weren't for his $$ connections, his political acumen would be questioned more.

  • Well said teacher-parent. Many schools on the southwest side have dismantled their libraries in order to turn them into gen ed classrooms or split rooms for self-contained special education classes. The library program is on a cart and may not be even called a library program so it can staffed by a teacher w/o a librarian certificate.
    This is a shame because many students do not use the public library because the family owes money for non-returned books (books are lost due to transiency etc) and the there may be no books in the home so the school library is more important than people realize. Many teachers including myself have set up classroom libraries with check out cards by begging friends for books or buying them on sale at bookstores. Many children in CPS rely on their classroom teacher's supply of novels not only for recreational reading but also in order to meet the CPS report requirement for books read/book reports. I have also found that many non-English speaking children in the primary levels take these books home and read them to younger siblings and have had parents tell me that they are learning the English words from their child. anniesullivan

  • Run Karen Run

    You have my vote. It's time for the people to stand up and work together to change the city's leadership. This man hired all non-chicagoans for all top city positions. Hopefully folks haven't forgotten this.

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