Union Heads & Ravitch Meet In Chicago

Union Heads & Ravitch Meet In Chicago

Happy Monday — the big news of the weekend is the gathering of AFT, NEA, and CTU heads in Chicago for Diane Ravitch’s NPE conference.  There was some (half-hearted?) talk about a national teachers strike, lots of speculati0n about how the SUPES story got out after the runoff, and an interesting line from CTU head Karen Lewis about how CTU got spanked after the strike with the 50 school closings.  Plus national news, all below.

Lewis supports national teachers strike Sun Times: Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis said Sunday that she would support a national teachers strike. “I do. But I don’t want to organize it,” she said with a laugh while addressing an annual conference of the Network for Public Education, an anti-school privatization group.

CPS announces proposals for new charter, alternative schools Chicago Sun-Times: Private school operators are seeking to open or expand 20 public charter schools and 12 public alternative schools, Chicago Public Schools announced Friday. The large number of proposed new privately operated but publicly funded schools has drawn …

State budget cuts to hit students, sickle cell patients Tribune: Weeks after Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers in Springfield struck a deal to cut $300 million in spending across much of state government, the effects of that deal are starting to take hold.

CPS’s $228 Million Time Bomb Sun Times: Not only does the school district stand to owe that much in debt-swap termination payments, it could be called in within two days.

Taxpayers on the hook for another year of Byrd-Bennett’s $250K contract Chicago Sun-Times: Byrd-Bennett has been on paid leave since she stepped down April 17 amid a federal probe of her role in CPS’ decision to award a $20 million no-bid contract to a company she previously worked for.

Arena Faces Challenge After Fierce Election: Uniting Polarized 45th Ward DNAinfo: The need for an elected school board has grown in the wake of a federal investigation into a no-bid principal training contract that forced CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to step down temporarily, Arena said. “We need a different model,” Arena said.

For transgender students, schools craft policies of support Chicago Tribune: Chicago Public Schools in October adopted its first guidelines for supporting transgender and gender non-conforming students. It includes affirming the right of students to wear clothing, attend classes and use names and pronouns that reflect the …

Opt Out! Second City Teacher: Another very good experience taking the opt-out message to another school. On Friday Albany Park, North Park, Mayfair Neighbors for Peace and Justice had a 4-person team go  out to  the Murphy Elementary School at dismissal time.  Many parents were very interested in learning about the issue.


Bill Clinton Ends Role With Chain of For-Profit Colleges NYT: The former president left his position as honorary chancellor for Laureate International Universities, part of a for-profit college industry that has drawn criticism over its students’ debt loads.

Public boarding school _ the way to solve educational ills? AP: Buffalo’s chronically struggling school system is considering an idea gaining momentum in other cities: public boarding schools that put round-the-clock attention on students and away from such daunting problems as poverty, troubled homes and truancy….

Why one of America’s best schools eased off Advanced Placement courses? Washington Post: His charter is closed this year because the school board refused to renew the lease. This is the result of a turf war, mostly about money, not about AP, that happens even to the best schools. The charter students have found similar challenges at the regular school. Dunton said he is considering his options.

Colorado K-12 Chief Announces Retirement Amid State Board Shift State EdWatch: State board elections in 2014 led to new members and new tension between Commissioner Robert Hammond and board members, including over the common core and aligned tests.

Federal education department: No reprieve for opt-outs ChalkbeatCO: Federal officials said in a letter to Colorado Education Commissioner Robert Hammond that not holding districts accountable for students who have opted out of tests will hinder efforts to improve schools and reduce inequities.


The e-mails fly over One Newark, the controversial N.J. city school plan Washington Post: Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) exchanged letters Friday with Cami Anderson, the state-appointed superintendent of Newark Public Schools and architect of a controversial school system overhaul in New Jersey’s largest city.

LA Unified teachers could finally ‘exceed standards’ next year under tentative contract LA Daily News: “It’s a bit of a punt, which I think is understandable, because they weren’t able to get what they wanted in negotiations,” said Nancy Waymack, who monitors evaluation policies in 118 school district across the country for the NCTQ.

In Texas, Questions About Prosecuting Truancy NPR: In 2013, school districts in the state filed 115,000 truancy cases. The problem is so big, state lawmakers and the U.S. Justice Department are investigating whether prosecuting children and teenagers in adult criminal courts is doing more harm than good.

Alternatives to Suspension: Inside a ‘Restorative Justice’ High School WNYC: Restorative justice is not always a substitute for suspensions. In serious cases, like bringing weapon to school or hurting another student, the city still requires an out of school suspension. But a school can choose to add mediation upon the student’s return. For minor incidents, it can be used in lieu of an in-school suspension.

Questions After Indiana School Stage Collapse Injures 16 AP: Video supplied to The Associated Press by Zach Rader — who was in the audience — and consistent with the AP’s reporting shows more than a dozen students dancing and clapping on stage while a female student sings along to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

Turning a Children’s Rating System Into an Advocacy Army NYT: James Steyer’s nonprofit organization, Common Sense Media, is known for offering parents guidance on games and videos, but he has a grander vision.

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