Meet Jesse Sharkey, The "New Karen"

Meet Jesse Sharkey, The "New Karen"

Today’s news:  CPS is changing its school ratings system – again — at today’s Board meeting. Chicago Magazine interviews Jesse Sharkey, the “new Karen Lewis.” (How’s he doing so far?) Mayor Rahm is launching TV ads. Social justice labor caucuses met in Philly. Nationally, the USDE is investigating a handful of districts over sexual assault allegations (is CPS one of them?), and NYC has rejected school facilities for a couple of charters. Photo credit: Chris Strong.

Meet Jesse Sharkey, the New Karen Lewis Chicago Magazine: People need to expect more of the same from the CTU. The things that Karen’s most known for, the stubborn defense of public schools and the willingness to speak truth to power, those aren’t going anywhere.

CPS changes school ratings…again WBEZ: Chicago Public Schools can’t seem to make up its mind about how to measure school performance. School ratings have been a staple in CPS for almost two decades, but in the last year, district officials have changed the system three times and still have not released the updated ratings to the public.

Kenwood Academy principal awarded CPS fellowship Hyde Park Herald: The program, which is a partnership between Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Northwestern University and is supported by an investment from the Chicago Public Education Fund and the Crown Family, is a 12-month fellowship that will provide advanced …

Why did Mayor Emanuel stonewall the Tribune? Chicago Reader: There are so many things I like about the Tribune’s recent series on the Chicago Public Schools’ bond-borrowing machinations that it’s hard to name them all.

How cold is too cold for recess? WKRC TV Cincinnati: As the temperatures drop well below freezing, outdoor recess is becoming a concern for some schools. One Chicago mom posted online, and set off a debate. A spokesperson for Chicago public schools says they consider a lot of things, …

Emanuel launches re-election bid with TV ad, website Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched his re-election bid with a new campaign website Tuesday and will start airing his first TV ad Wednesday, all before either of his two major challengers have even filed paperwork to get on the Feb. 24 ballot.

Caucus of teachers’ union focused on social justice holds first conference Philadelphia Public School Notebook: After Williams ended his speech, attendees divided into workshops, where discussion topics included corporate interest in public education, the Chicago Teachers Union and its organizing strategy, and community involvement in schools.

After Racy Sex Ed Slides, CPS Schedules Meeting With Jackson Parents DNA Info: CPS health leaders will meet with parents at Andrew Jackson Language Academy Friday.


Jeb Bush, Common Core and 2016 WSJ: Races in which Common Core was raised as a campaign issue in the midterm election produced a mixed verdict. School superintendents who raised concerns about the national standards won in Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina. Arizona also elected an anti-Common Core governor, Republican Doug Ducey. On the other hand, Democratic governors criticized by their opponents for supporting Common Core, including Andrew Cuomo in New York and John Hickenlooper in Colorado, won re-election.

Department Of Education Investigating K-12 School Districts For Mishandling Sexual Assault HuffPost: As of Nov. 12, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights was investigating 24 elementary and secondary schools for potential mishandling of sexual violence incidents under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, according to numbers provided by the department to The Huffington Post [see list below]. One of these districts is under investigation for two cases, meaning that a total of 25 incidents are being investigated. Thirteen of these investigations were initiated in 2014.

Billions more in spending for school Internet connections under FCC proposal Hechinger Report: Afte If the additional funding is approved, it would bring the cap on total yearly spending on this program to about $3.9 billion.

ClassDojo Adopts Deletion Policy for Student Data NYT: The maker of ClassDojo, a popular classroom app, said that starting in January it plans to keep students’ behavioral records for only one school year.


Can LAUSD learn from Long Beach in addressing teacher performance? KPCC:  Chris Steinhauser, who stepped in as Long Beach Unified superintendent  in 2002, sets the tone. Deasy supported the ruling in the Vergara vs. California lawsuit that would make it easier to fire ineffective teachers if it stands. Steinhauser doesn’t agree with the decision. He believes that more spending on teacher training will produce better teachers. That’s music to the ears of Chris Callopy, executive director of Long Beach Unified’s teachers union.

Police Investigate Sex on High School Campus NBC News: Portland, Oregon, police investigate claims that students have been filming sexual encounters at a local high school.

New York City Rejects Charter School Requests for Free Space WNYC: The International Charter is seeking to open a new elementary school in Brooklyn next fall. Brooklyn Prospect requested space for a new school in District 13, which covers parts of downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene and Prospect Heights.

Questionable Spending From Boston School Fund Boston Learning Lab:  Revenue generated from renting out school facilities, selling off old equipment, and leasing school buses was deposited into the accounts of the Boston Educational Development Foundation, instead of being put to use to help run schools.

D.C. board moves to revoke charter for Potomac Prep Washington Post: The D.C. Public Charter school board voted Monday night to begin the process to revoke the charter for Potomac Prep in Northeast Washington. Darren Woodruff, vice chairman of the board, said the decision was based on a “a decade- long pattern of declining academic performance and challenges with management.”


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  • So Jesse Sharkey's kids go to Prizker Any feelings about that?

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    Hi, While I find the blog interesting, and this piece on Sharkey included, I'm more concerned here about your use of the photo above. My husband was hired to take that photo of Sharkey, but not by you. I'm assuming you pulled this off Chicago Magazine's site. We would just kindly ask you to credit the photographer (Chris Strong) or remove the photo from your site. Many thanks.

  • thanks and apologies -- great picture. i'll credit it now.

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    Appreciate it.

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