Archive for March 2015

Will Spring Break Voting Day Affect Outcome?

Will Spring Break Voting Day Affect Outcome?
It's a hodge-podge of education news today, including more about Dyett High School, "Get Schooled" activities in Chicago, Aurora kids killed in car accident, etc.  Remember that you can check for updates during the day at @district299 on Twitter or on the D299 Facebook page. Sometimes things come in after the roundup -- like yesterday, when I came across a Mike Miner column in The Reader that noted that the April 7 runoff is in the middle of spring break, which could affect turnout and other aspects of the election. (What do you think?)...

Wednesday AM CPS News Roundup

Wednesday AM CPS News Roundup
Testing continues -- along with a new report on how some CPS teachers feel about the new questions. (See also national news about how the testing is going in other places.) Meanwhile, organizers explain how they grew the movement that is challenging City Hall. CPS still won't say if it vetted a teacher before hiring him. A fake Harvard rejection letter from a Francis Parker student has gone viral. Elsewhere, they're pink-slipping teachers in LA (and preparing for a possible strike). The USDE won't let a NYC charter school give extra priority for ELL kids in its annual lottery. ...

Parent Reports Common Core Bullying At Blaine

Parent Reports Common Core Bullying At Blaine
The big education stories of the day seem to be the Jesse Jackson endorsement of Chuy Garcia, which could be signal the further major erosion of African-American support for Rahm (beyond how far it's already fallen), as well as the showdown over testing at places like Blaine, where some parents and union activists are pushing for opting out (and some parents are complaining as they did last year about being pressured). Citywide, testing seems to have gone fairly smoothly on the first day, according to the Sun-Times story...
Advertisement:

Let The Testing Begin!?

Let The Testing Begin!?
Today begins Common Core testing day for Chicago (and week 2 for some other parts of the country), and it's also getting closer to the April runoff election for City Hall.  Meantime, Catalyst takes on dropout recovery programs including some branded with Magic Johnson's name.  Nationally, SXSWedu is happening -- you may know folks who are there or who are following it online.  And charters and unions are facing off in LA and NY...

How Will Next Week's Testing Get Covered? Badly, I Fear.

How Will Next Week's Testing Get Covered? Badly, I Fear.
Testing starts next week, and it'll be interesting to see how it goes (and how folks react to it). The media focus will inevitably be on snafus and opt-outs, thanks in large part to advocates pushing their attention that way. But if this NJ blogger's roundup of testing there is any indication the overall process might be smoother than you might expect.  Or not. Meantime, Chuy and Rahm are still heading to a big runoff, and there's another alleged cheating scandal. A new study shows that young inexperienced teachers are still over-assigned to kids with greater needs (I don't see CTU arguing that North Side teachers should rotate through tougher schools, though to be fair Karen Lewis did transfer from Lane to Brooks)...

CTU Says Testing Will Be A "Hot Mess"

CTU Says Testing Will Be A "Hot Mess"
Today's news includes indications that SEIU and other unions besides CTU won't be endorsing Chuy after all (a SEIU endorsement was reported last week - but Chuy may not even need it at this point), plus warnings from CTU that next week's testing sessions will be chaotic and problematic (didn't they say the same thing about Safe Passages?). Meanwhile, the Tribune has a story about the Urban Prep student killed after school a few days ago. Nationally, Boston just hired a 39 year-old LAUSD administrator to head its school system (yes, he's a TFA alum), and charters and teachers are fighting tooth and nail in New York and LA...
Advertisement:

Opting Out Of Testing Isn't Easy (Or Necessarily Helpful)

Opting Out Of Testing Isn't Easy (Or Necessarily Helpful)
Today's news roundup includes a New York Times story about Rahm and education, updates on the unfortunate parents who found out that their kids' selective enrollment applications weren't processed, and  some more information about the PARCC testing that's going to begin on Monday. The Tribune has a long, interesting piece on the opt-out process and its history in Illinois (did you know just 2100 kids opted out last year?).  I'm generally opposed to opting out, though I think that ISBE and CPS have played games with the requirements. But a small and vociferous group of folks including CTU think that it's a good thing to do...

How Disruptive Are Testing Window Days, Really?

How Disruptive Are Testing Window Days, Really?
As you probably already know, CPS has decided that everyone's going to take the Common Core assessment starting next week -- using pencil and paper, according to CNET.  Meanwhile, testing delays have thrown things off in South Florida and a few other places. Wendy Kattan says that all but two weeks for the rest of of the school year are taken up with "disruptive" testing, but that seems like an overstatement, no? I've been in lots of schools during testing windows and it hasn't always been even observable except for the signs on the computer lab window. Thoughts on this, anyone...

CPS Reverses Course On Common Core Testing - Gives Chuy Major Issue Against City Hall

CPS Reverses Course On Common Core Testing - Gives Chuy Major Issue Against City Hall

In a complete but not entirely unexpected reversal, CPS announced that it would require all schools to administer the new Common Core assessment next week, as required by the state and the USDE as a condition of funding. Sun Times here passes along speculation that the previous position was a City Hall-inspired effort to win votes from mostly white liberal parents concerned about overtesting for last week's election (in which case Rahm just gave his opponents a big issue). The Tribune here notes that technological limits are not the issue for most Chicago schools, and that CPS was under repeated funding threats from the state (though I'm not sure anyone believed CPS would be defunded over Common Core)...

Advertisement:

Karen Lewis Could Have Won!?

Karen Lewis Could Have Won!?
All eyes are on the runoff, but meanwhile Karen Lewis says she could have won. More states are starting their Common Core testing this week, but CPS is still unclear about what exactly it's going to do -- and what price it might pay. Pedro Martinez gets profiled in the Boston Globe - he's a finalist for the top job. Having been unable to get them changed at the statehouse level, teachers unions are turning to the courts to prevent controversial evaluation measures from being implemented...