While CPS remains unsure/unclear what it’s going to do next with the Common Core tests, suburban parents are pressing the state for an opt-out waiver that parents can sign a form. (See the WBEZ story below, and then check out this new roundup of state laws or #EWAcore for Tweets from yesterday’s education writers workshop in Denver.) Meanwhile, a new report suggests that Common Core standards are actually leading to an increase in teacher-written curricula (wonder if that’s true in CPS). In other places, UTLA teachers rallied and threatened to strike over pay and class size — CTU is their model, though there are some key differences and dynamics — and New York’s Andrew Cuomo and Bill De Blasio continue to beef over school turnarounds, charters, and mayoral control.
Standoff over new state school test continues Chicago Public Radio: Suburban parents gathered downtown Thursday to express their own concerns with the test. They want state lawmakers to approve an opt-out bill that would give parents the right to refuse to have their children tested. As it stands now, by law, the only way to refuse the test is for students to verbally state they won’t take it.
More teachers writing their own curricula under Common Core, says new report Hechinger Report via PBS NewsHour: The Center on Education Policy (CEP), a nonpartisan research group, reports that in roughly two-thirds of districts in Common Core states, teachers have developed or are developing their own curricular materials in math (66 percent) and English Language Arts (65 percent). In more than 80 percent of districts, the CEP found that at least one source for curriculum materials was local — from teachers, the district itself or other districts in the state.
Chicago wants an elected school board: Here’s what needs to happen now Crain’s Chicago (opinion): Give Chicago’s next mayor—whether it’s Rahm Emanuel or Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, both of whom face a runoff election in April—two more years to make his case, then have a binding citywide referendum in 2017 to determine the future of CPS governance. In short: Let the people decide, for real this time.
Karen Lewis’ candidate made it to runoff, but illness kept her from celebration Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis sits next to mayoral candidate and Cook County Board Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia before he…
CPS teacher dies of heart attack as students look on Fox News: A Spencer Technology Academy teacher, on Chicago’s West Side, died this week after suffering a heart attack. Eighth grade teacher James Dasher died at West Suburban Hospital Tuesday afternoon. A family member confirmed that Dasher went into cardiac arrest while he was teaching. Students at the school told FOX 32 that Dasher collapsed in the classroom.
Pedro Martinez is blunt with Boston Reno Gazette: Pedro Martinez wasn’t only blunt with the Boston community in his superintendent interviews on Thursday, he also owned up to the bitter dispute that forced him to leave the Washoe County School District.
Teach For America Lower on Recruits Chicago Tonight: “In this post-recession moment, we’re seeing, especially for top talent on college campuses, greater and greater competition for folks out there,” said [Chicago TFA head Josh] Anderson. “People have many more competing offers that they’re considering, very attractive competing offers that they are considering, than they were just a couple of years ago.”
Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson Gets Contract Renewal District Dossier: Anderson and the state signed a three-year contract last year, but it required both parties to agree to an extension each year.
LA Teachers, Union Leaders Rally Amid Stalled Talks AP: The Los Angeles standoff has focused mostly on teacher salaries, class sizes and increasing the number of support staff members like nurses and counselors. The union notes that teachers have gone eight years without a salary increase or cost-of-living adjustment. See also LA Daily News: Teachers rally in downtown Los Angeles.
In Dig at De Blasio, Cuomo Defends His Plan for Failing Schools WNYC: Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered a vigorous defense of his plan to turnaround failing schools, one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio went to Albany and argued for an alternative. See also NYDN: De Blasio warns of flaws in Cuomo’s education agenda
Farmington teacher on paid leave after giving state testing opt-out forms to students Farmington Daily Times: Sharon Yocum, an Esperanza Elementary School fifth-grade teacher, was informed by a member of the Farmington Municipal School District administration Thursday morning that she would be placed on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation for alleged unprofessional conduct.
New Haven schools chief tables public-charter school plan New Haven Register: A memorandum of understanding laid out diffusing any “us versus them” mentalities and practices between traditional school educators and charter educators, and proposed solutions for concerns regarding mid-year transfers of charter students and enrollment practices.
Athens, Ga., Schools Chief Named Superintendent of the Year District Dossier: Philip Lanoue has led the 13,000-student Clarke County school system since 2009.
Hogan Refutes Claims That His Charter-School Bill Is A Union Buster WAMU: More than half of the state’s 47 charter schools are located in Baltimore, and Hogan believes making it easier for more to open there — and elsewhere in Maryland — would help close the widening achievement gap between white students and students of color.
Colorado Pushes For Concealed Guns In K-12 Schools NPR: Similar legislation has been proposed in North Dakota and Wyoming to allow concealed firearms on K-12 school grounds and college campuses, as a part of a larger effort to expand gun owners’ rights.
Barnes & Noble to Spin Off College Bookstores Unit NYT: The retailer will spin out its education business, its best-performing division, instead of its struggling Nook unit.
Documentary on campus sex assault opens in New York and California Washington Post: “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary that provides first-hand accounts from numerous women and men about sexual violence on college campuses, opens Friday in selected theaters in New York and California and was previewed this week at the White House