Andrew Rotherham of the Education Sector and Joseph Palumbo of Focus on Results talk about "Making School Autonomy Work for Children." Their presentations kicked off the 2007 Chicago Schools Policy Luncheon Series. Kim Zalent of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI) made the introductions. Catalyst, BPI and the Illinois Network of Charter Schools organized the 2007 series.
Chicago Schools Policy Luncheon: Feb. 22, 2007
City Voices February 2007: Giving principals more power
Under its Autonomous Management and Performance Schools program, Chicago Public Schools is giving its top principals more freedom from district bureaucracy. But will the freedoms schools get help them improve education for kids who need it most? Guest: Melissa Megliola, AMPS director, Chicago Public Schools.
City Voices January 2007: Helping the district's lowest-performing schools
Last year, Chicago Public Schools hired the first area instructional officer from outside the district and put him in charge of raising achievement in schools in one of the city's toughest neighborhoods, Englewood. Guest: Jose Torres, Area 14 instructional officer.
City Voices December 2006: Merit pay coming to a school near you?
Chicago Public Schools recently won a $27 million grant to pilot a merit pay program that would pay teachers, in part, based on student improvement in test scores. Chicago will become the biggest district in the country to experiment with performance-based pay, in up to 40 schools over the next five years. Guests: Marilyn Stewart, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, and Carmita Vaughan, a director with CPS.
City Voices November 2006: Curbing the dropout problem
Gov. Rod Blagojevich recently announced the formation of a new task force on dropouts. The group is focusing on finding kids who have left school and getting them to re-enroll, collecting up-to-date statistics on the number of dropouts and developing programs to serve them. Guest: Jack Wuest, executive director of the Alternative Schools Network.
City Voices October 2006: Special education
Only one in six special education students is performing at grade level in Chicago Public Schools. Meanwhile, staffing cuts hit hard at several hundred schools, while others schools gained staff through the district?s effort to distribute special ed teachers and aides more equitably. Guests: Rodney Estvan of Access Living and Mary Ann Pollett of Montefiore Elementary.
City Voices September 2006: A new school year
CEO Arne Duncan is entering his sixth year as head of the district. He talked with Consulting Editor Lorraine Forte about the district's budget crisis, school closings, goals for Renaissance 2010, plans to transform failing high schools and how long he plans to stay on the job.
City Voices August 2006: 'Not Like Running Starbucks or IBM'
This year, more than 70 Chicago Public Schools principals?over 10 percent of the total?retired. The district predicts that over the next three years, half of principals will be new to the job. Running a school takes a special set of interpersonal and managerial skills. Guests: John Potocki, retired principal of Clay Elementary, and Joan Dameron Crisler, former principal of Dixon Elementary and the new managing director of LAUNCH.
City Voices July 2006: Capital planning
Mayor Daley?s sweeping plan to build two dozen new schools across the city will cost taxpayers $1 billion. While the mayor says the city?s children can?t wait for new, more modern schools, his plan drew swift criticism from one watchdog group that said the district needs to be more open about its capital planning process. Guests: Erin Lavin Cabonargi, managing architect, CPS Department of Operations; and Jacqueline Leavy, executive director of the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group.
City Voices May 2006: Private fundraising
Since CEO Arne Duncan took over as head of CPS, private and government grants have skyrocketed from $2 million to $29 million. Duncan's steady leadership and a focus on crafting long-term improvements are paying off for the district. Corporate partnerships with new schools created under Renaissance 2010 are also on the rise. Guests: Alyson Cooke, director of external resources for CPS, and Connie McHugh, senior program officer for the Renaissance Schools Fund.