About That Board Meeting Room!

About That Board Meeting Room!

Substance wonders why the dailies’ coverage of the Board meeting differed so much. The Tribune editorial page favors the current appointed Board setup. (Is the new Board meeting room really as small as it looks here? Apparently so.). Plus: IL charters get ranked (via Catalyst), CPS sells buildings (via Tribune). Lewis tells about discovering she was ill — and other things (via Tribune). Elsewhere: NYC charters do better than district schools at keeping SPED kids, says a new report. Measles have spread from Southern California to Arizona.


Board meeting versions differ in Sun-Times and Tribune Substance: By the time CTU staff coordinator Jackson Potter got to the podium to demand to know why the Board of Education had not recognized Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to speak at the beginning of the public participation, Garcia had been sitting front and center facing Board President David Vitale for more than 45 minutes and was preparing to leave the meeting.

Elect the Chicago school board? Tribune (editorial page): Take note, an elected school board isn’t a matter the City Council gets to sort out. It would require a change in state law. Emanuel supports the current appointment process. Gov. Bruce Rauner does as well. The current process for appointing school leadership promotes direct accountability for the performance and the future of Chicago Public Schools. Voters will get their say on that soon.

Board members’ arrogance exceeds maximum at January 28 meeting Substance:  The Board cut off most of the space, leaving the “public” and press squeezed into 25 rows each of which has four seats. TV cameras are squeezed into a corner so that they can only take video of the Board members or the back of the heads of speakers, most of whom question the Board policies and actions.


Charter law ranked Catalyst: A pro-charter school group ranks Illinois among in the bottom half of states when comparing which states have the most favorable laws for charter schools. It ranks 29th out of 43 states (including the District of Columbia) with charter school laws, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ sixth annual report. The Illinois rankings reflect a tumultuous year of charter legislation — including failed proposals to eliminate the state’s independent charter school authorizer and to change the appeals process for charter school applicants that are denied by local school boards.


Chicago school district sells nine pieces of property Chicago Tribune: “With the difficult financial challenges the district is facing, it is critical for us to maximize our resources, which includes reducing the unused properties in our real estate portfolio and eliminating the maintenance costs,” district CEO Barbara…

Chicago needs more school librarians Chicago Sun-Times: I recall reading national headlines in 2013 regarding massive closures in Chicago PublicSchools. Though deemed drastic by many, the underlying principle was that the changes were designed to provide students with new resources needed for a quality …


5 most interesting things from Karen Lewis’ Chicago Sun-Times interview Reboot Illinois: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis spoke with the Chicago Sun-Times in her first interview since announcing her brain tumor diagnosis and abandoning plans for a mayoral run last year. She talked with the paper about her feelings about not,…

CTU’s Karen Lewis says ‘We have other places we can fight’ Chicago Tribune: Karen Lewis strode a few paces from her Merchandise Mart office to a conference room with downtown views, clad in a royal blue skirt and head wrap that contrasted with a pair ofChicago Teachers Union red high-tops. She was ready to talk about her …


More Special-Needs Students Remain at Charter Schools, Report Finds NYT: New York City’s Independent Budget Office found that 53 percent of charter school kindergartners with disabilities were still in the same schools four years later, compared with 49 percent in traditional schools.  See also WNYC:  Report: Special Needs Students Stay Longer at New York City Charter Schools, ChalkbeatNY: IBO: Charters do better than district schools at retaining students with disabilities.

State reiterates CA charter schools cannot require parents to volunteer KPCC: Last year, the civil rights group Public Advocates investigated the written policies of 555 of the state’s 1,100 charter schools. The group said it found 168 charter schools require parents to volunteer, and some even made parents pay about $25 for each hour they can’t volunteer.


Teachers Union Fires First Shot in Battle Over Charter School Cap WNYC: Union leaders say charter schools shouldn’t be rewarded by Albany lawmakers until they accept more of the most difficult to teach students. See also ChalkbeatNY: UFT moves quickly to build coalition with a clear target: Cuomo.

CA districts seeking reimbursement for Common Core test costs EdSource: The state could be liable for as much as $1 billion per year in costs if a group of school districts succeeds in winning reimbursement for expenses associated with the implementation of computer-based tests in the Common Core and other new state standards.


Draft of Obama Administration’s Student-Data-Privacy Bill Raises Questions EdWeek: The apparently rechristened “Student Digital Privacy and Innovation Act” seemingly aims to create a uniform national playing field by pre-empting the patchwork of state laws currently in place–a key concern of industry groups.


Teachers union, think tank [CAP] propose compromise on testing of US students Washington Post: “After a decade of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, we know that an environment with high-stakes, annual tests forces schools to focus on compliance, not on kids,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement.


More Than 1,000 in Arizona Are Watched for Measles NYT: State health officials are tracking hundreds of people, including at least 195 children, who might have been exposed in an outbreak that began at Disneyland.


Carnegie Foundation Looks Beyond Education’s Stress on the Credit Hour WSJ: To make education more transparent and flexible, the Carnegie Foundation has analyzed the role of the Carnegie Unit in education, concluding that it is useful as a management tool but doesn’t fully capture how much students are learning. Instead, clearer standards and better tests are needed to track learning.

True or False? Free And Reduced-Price Lunch = Poor NPR: Poverty is the backdrop to so many discussions about learning. But do we have a good way to measure it in schools?

Girls Get Good Grades But Still Need Help. As For Boys … SOS! NPR: A study shows that girls do better in math, science and reading than boys in just about every country. So boys clearly need help to success in school. But so do girls.


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