Karen's Snowstorm Speech, Plus Elected School Board Debt

Karen's Snowstorm Speech, Plus Elected School Board Debt

Lots of education news today: Digging out from the storm. Karen’s City Club speech (which seemed to get more coverage than Rauner’s). Five CTU teachers running for city council. Crain’s says elected school boards incur more debt (and the LA school board race is getting super-nasty – again). Intensive tutoring works, says a new UofC study. We still don’t know whether CPS or ISBE is going to blink first on this PARCC testing standoff. Plus national and other news below.


CPS Classes Resume Tuesday as City Digs Out NBC Chicago: Chicago’s airports reported more than 1,200 flight cancellations by Monday night. That’s in addition to the more than 1,600 flights that were cancelled at O’Hare and Midway on Sunday. Those flights that were getting in and out were averaging delays of …

CPS, suburban kids back to school after snow day WLS: Today is back to school as Chicago continues its recovery from the weekend blizzard. Kids spent most of Monday enjoying a day off from classes. The local sledding hills were jammed, thanks to a fresh coating of 19-inches of new snow. Many sidewalks in the city remain covered in snow which may cause difficulty for students on their way to school.

For Some Schools, Learning Doesn’t Stop On Snow Days NPR: Even when the weather turns nasty, students in Delphi, Ind., have been expected to log on to classes from home. Results are mixed so far; participation rates seem to drop the longer school is out. See also Fox: Chicago schools to re-open after 19-inch snow.


Chicago Teachers Union chief Lewis blasts Gov. Rauner Tribune: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis pilloried Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday and promised the CTU would not back down from Springfield or City Hall as it prepares demands for a new contract.

Funny, irritating, inspiring — Lewis reminds us what might have been Chicago Sun-Times:  It was impossible to watch Chicago Teachers Unions President Karen Lewis’ performance Monday at the City Club without thinking about what might have been. If Lewis had not become ill with a brain tumor, if she had stayed in the race for mayor.

Chicago Teachers Union chief blasts Rauner, says union will not back down Chicago Tribune:  Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, center, chats with mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia before his talk at the City Club of Chicago on Jan. 20, 2015. Lewis spoke at the City Club of Chicago on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, criticizing Republican…

CTU president Karen Lewis speaks up WBEZ: If 35 minutes behind a microphone after months of silence proves anything about Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, it’s this: She hasn’t changed much. “I was planning on running for mayor and in doing so I intended to lift up the voices of marginalized people in the city of Chicago,” Lewis said at a City Club of Chicago luncheon Monday.

Rauner says state must curb union powers, lower salaries Tribune: Gov. Bruce Rauner said Monday that Illinois must curb government union powers and reduce spending on state employees’ salaries and benefits, stepping up what labor leaders said is an attempt to “vilify” workers ahead of the Republican’s first major policy speech. See also RebootIL


From The Classroom To The Campaign Trail NPR: Susan Sadlowski Garza, a counselor at Jane Addams Elementary, canvases with supporters on the south side of Chicago. Garza is running for Chicago’s City Council. Garza is the only counselor at Jane Addams Elementary, a school of about 850 students on the far south side of Chicago. And she’s one of five Chicago teachers running for city council.

Meet Kristen Crowell, the Woman Working to Defeat Rahm Emanuel Chicagomag: Last summer she took the job as paid executive director of United Working Families, a new political group which draws its support from the Chicago Teachers Union, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, and assorted community groups.

Education group gets involved in aldermanic races Tribune: The 16th Ward mailer will tout the education position of Ald. JoAnn Thompson, whose ward includes parts of the Englewood, West Englewood, Chicago Lawn and Back of the Yards neighborhoods.   In the 45th Ward, which includes much of Jefferson Park and parts of Portage Park, Old Irving Park and other neighborhoods, incumbent Ald. John Arena is trying to hold off three challengers.

Emanuel super PAC rides to the rescue of 17 incumbent aldermen Chicago Sun-Times: But he had to survive a petition challenge to remain on the ballot against Dianne Daleiden, who is backed by the Chicago Teachers Union, in a Northwest Side ward where O’Hare Airport noise has become an issue.


Elected boards and debt Catalyst: Using financial information compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau for fiscal 2012 — the most recent available — Merrion ranked Chicago seventh in terms of biggest debt-to-revenue ratios. All but one of the districts with a bigger debt burden than Chicago’s had elected school boards; the only district with an appointed school board and more debt was Philadelphia.

Charter group drawing more fire for ‘racist’ flyer on Kayser LA School Report: A campaign flyer implying that LA Unified board member Bennett Kayser is racist is drawing more fire, as two more would-be beneficiaries renounced its message, and an LA Times editorial accused the sponsoring organization of engaging in “slimy tactics on behalf of children.”

Starr did not request another four years by deadline, school board member says Washington Post: Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr did not ask for the renewal of his contract as leader of Maryland’s largest school system by the Sunday deadline, a school board member said Monday.

Montgomery County Schools Plan To Beef Up Background Checks On Employees, Contractors WAMU: After the recent arrest of a substitute teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student, Montgomery County school leaders promised action on preventing similar incidents in the future.

Reading, Writing and Psychotherapy: When Schools Step In WNYC: Schools are an early point of detection for serious emotional problems, but most don’t have the resources or training to respond. This rambunctious 9-year-old is one of the lucky ones.


Standoff escalates over Chicago’s snub of federal testing rules Crain’s Chicago: With $1.2 billion in funding at stake, no one who knows is saying anything about who will back down in the showdown between Chicago Public Schools and the U.S. Department of Education.

PARCC threat Catalyst: One theory is that ISBE officials suddenly got scared that suburban school districts would follow CPS. The Washington Post picked up on a letter about the PARCC concerns written by Winnetka’s superintendent. The other theory is that CPS plans to capitulate and will use ISBE’s threat as a cover because giving up the money is obviously not viable.


Findings reinforce use of targeted tutoring to benefit disadvantaged Chicago students UofChicago News: Urban Education Lab and Crime Lab study shows Match program reduces math course failures by more than 50 percent.

Closing the Math Gap for Boys NYT: An intensive tutoring and mentoring program in Chicago has produced big improvements for kids.


How a typical Chicago apartment became an in-demand Airbnb rental Reader: Kara Thorstenson had a dream of filling her Lincoln Square home with original art, though she thought she could never afford it on her school librarian’s salary. But the 33-year-old found a workaround, acquiring works from friends and repurposing found art. The charming decor has turned what was once a no-frills apartment into a sought-after Airbnb rental.


No, Obama didn’t ‘pander to anti-vaxxers’ in 2008.Daily Beast: A viewing of the video from that appearance shows that interpretation is incorrect. He dismissed the anti-vaccination viewpoint, spoke out forthrightly and squarely in favor of childhood immunization and did not endorse the autism link.

Broad Foundation Puts Hold on Its Prize for Urban Education District Dossier: The foundation said that it will reassess the prize given how urban education has changed in the last 13 years, but it was also disappointed with the “sluggish” performance in urban schools.

U.S. Teacher-Prep Rules Face Heavy Criticism in Public Comments Ed Week: Only a handful of commenters were outright supportive of the rules. On the other hand, many Washington-based higher education associations and lobbying groups, such as the American Council on Education, an umbrella lobbying group for higher education, were also expected to submit critical comments right before the period closed Feb. 2. Whether the Education Department will be swayed by the volume of negative comments to rewrite or withdraw the rules remains an open question.

Study: High-quality early education could reduce costs Washington Post: High-quality early childhood programs can reduce the number of children diagnosed with certain learning disabilities by third grade, according to a study published Tuesday in the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis journal.

Economists Say Millennials Should Consider Careers In Trades NPR: Many economists say a big missing piece of the economic puzzle are apprenticeships that give high school graduates access to good-paying, higher skilled jobs in the trades.

Closing Education Gap Will Lift Economy, a Study Finds NYT: A research group says that by improving educational performance, the United States could increase its gross domestic product over the next 35 years.


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