2 More Charters Might Get Unionized

2 More Charters Might Get Unionized

Welcome back! Big news of the last few days (other than the campaign stuff) is that two more groups of charter school teachers are seeking to unionize (though they haven’t formally voted yet). If they succeed, they’ll make Chicago the town with the highest percentage of charter teachers unionized (though still very much not the charter hotbed that places like LA, NYC, and DC are). And apparently Rahm is OK with that. Are you? Elsewhere, schools are beginning to take Common Core tests, and trying to keep student data private.

CHARTER UNIONIZATION

With Emanuel’s blessing, teachers at two more showcase charters launch drive …Chicago Sun-Times: “To all of the sudden come out for a variety of measures like increasing the minimum wage, like saying there ought to be collective bargaining — that they should be free to unionize — stands in contrast to his effort to break theChicago Teachers … See also Progress IL: Educators At Two Chicago Charter School Networks Push To Unionize, Catalyst: Urban Prep, North Lawndale charters push to form union.

CAMPAIGNS

Chicago’s Mayor Emanuel spends heavily to avoid run-off  Reuters: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is hoping his warm hug with President Barack Obama in the last days of his re-election campaign will help him avoid a run-off in the race to lead the financially troubled, third largest city in the country. See also Crain’s: What Emanuel needs to avoid a runoff, NYT: Rahm Emanuel’s Campaign Worries How He Will Fare With Black Voters, Reader: No, Chuy, let’s not hire a thousand more cops.

Allegations of intimidation, clout and nepotism color North Side ward races Chicago Sun-Times: Now that voters get to choose if they want to keep her, Mell’s opponents — Chicago Public Schools Teacher Tim Meegan and self-employed …

ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS

A safety net for dropouts catches others WBEZ: Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy in Humboldt Park is one of the district’s 20 new alternative schools opened in the last two years. It’s a joint venture between the NBA-star-turned-businessman, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and EdisonLearning, a for-profit education company. Students come for half the day and do most of their work online. Many can finish a full credit in a matter of weeks. See also Sun-Times: Former student sues alternative high school officials after 2012 stabbing.

Expelled in preschool Hechinger Report: An after-school program run by Chicago Youth Centers has seen significant improvement in children’s behaviors since staff began working with Lauren Wiley, an early childhood mental health consultant.

MISCELLANEOUS

Report Recommends Elected School Board for Chicago District Dossier: A new report from the Collaborative for Justice and Equity in Education recommends an elected school board for the city that would prioritize “equitable educational opportunities and outcomes” in its decisionmaking.

Chicago to build, refurbish 77 playgrounds this year AP: Chicago officials say they plan to build or refurbish 77 playgrounds in parks across the city. 

Chicago Week In Review: CAN-TV host Ken Davis is joined by Linda Lutton, WBEZ. They discuss the long-term impact of increased school choice and how it has stratified school populations by achievement levels.

Why Louder Than A Bomb Still Matters After 15 Years Chicagoist: What started with 60 students in four schools is now the largest youth poetry festival on the planet. Louder Than A Bomb has touched the lives of thousands of students who have in turn inspired audiences with their passion for performing poetry.

COMMON CORE!

Tennessee’s Common Core review comes with uncommon costs Times Free Press: A bill requiring Tennessee’s State Board of Education to drop Common Core education standards and develop new requirements has a math problem: It’s projected to cost $4.14 million over a three-year period.

State not joining revolt against Common Core learning model Seattle Times: Despite backlash in other states over new learning standards known as the Common Core, little serious opposition has surfaced in Washington.

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Is your child’s personal data safe at school? PBS NewsHour: In Miami, a man was arrested with students’ names, social security numbers and birthdays — more than enough personal information to steal their identities. Parents in D.C. learned that information on student enrollment in special education services — including names and passwords for online mailboxes — has for years been easily accessible to anyone online, due to a security breach.

YouTube launches kids app Marketplace: YouTube launches a kids app on Monday. It comes with a filter for content, kid friendly design, and a parental timer for how long kids can play. It’s just one of several new media platforms targeting kids.

OTHER DISTRICTS

L.A. Unified says it can’t afford ‘computer for all’ plan LA Times: Los Angeles Unified schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines said Friday that the district cannot afford to provide a computer to every student, signaling a major reversal of his predecessor’s ill-fated $1.3-billion effort to distribute iPads to all students, teachers and school administrators.

When a Wildlife Rehab Center Regulates Charter Schools ProPublica: Nestled in the woods of central Minnesota, near a large lake, is a nature sanctuary called the Audubon Center of the North Woods. It’s also Minnesota’s largest regulator of charter schools, overseeing 32 of them. As a group, the schools overseen by the center fall below the state average on test scores.

Cuomo Plan Diminishes Principals’ Authority on Evaluations WNYC: New York City principals challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo on his plan to increase the role of outside evaluators in reviewing teacher performance.

At New York Private Schools, Challenging White Privilege From the Inside NYT: In a new type of diversity initiative at elite institutions, students explore privilege and power and are encouraged to think about social justice in a personal way.

 

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