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College and careers

An overhaul of the district’s career education programs seeks to make classes more challenging and put career-track students on the path to higher ed, but many schools have lost programs, and fewer students are participating overall.

In the News: Friday, Feb. 26

Chicago schools, shortchanged on learning time, seek creative substitutes for gym. (Tribune)

[Michelle] Glick runs Stretch-N-Grow, an in-class fitness program that operates in 22 Chicago-area elementary schools. It and other efforts that offer dancing, yoga and cardio training to Chicago Public Schools students help augment — or are a substitute for — physical education programs.

City school officials say budget constraints are to blame. Spokeswoman Monique Bond says the budget deficit — a half-billion dollars last year — has not improved and "crosses into almost every area of food service and physical education programs."

* Schools Chief Ron Huberman says Chicago faces $1 billion deficit and potential cuts to teachers, after school programs and other services.

* Parents scramble to get kids into popular Parks programs. (Tribune)

* Greg Hinz applauds Huberman’s turnaround push.

* 15-year-old Crane student shot and killed. (Tribune)

* Chicago pays $14.6 million in 17-year-old trampoline settlement case. (Tribune)

Chicago schools, shortchanged on learning time, seek creative substitutes for gym. (Tribune)

[Michelle] Glick runs Stretch-N-Grow, an in-class fitness program that operates in 22 Chicago-area elementary schools. It and other efforts that offer dancing, yoga and cardio training to Chicago Public Schools students help augment — or are a substitute for — physical education programs.

City school officials say budget constraints are to blame. Spokeswoman Monique Bond says the budget deficit — a half-billion dollars last year — has not improved and "crosses into almost every area of food service and physical education programs."

* Schools Chief Ron Huberman says Chicago faces $1 billion deficit and potential cuts to teachers, after school programs and other services.

The Tribune focuses on pension issues:

The grim 2011 budget forecast takes into account a skyrocketing pension obligation next year and contractual raises for teachers that together increase costs by about $450 million over this year, district officials said..."I want to make it clear that we will not agree to any proposal that either destroys our contract or fails to maintain the integrity of our pension system," union President Marilyn Stewart said in a statement.

The pension's status is the result of many factors. A steep market decline, a large chunk of new retirees and years of the district making no contribution at all have left it about 74 percent funded. State law requires the pension to be funded at 90 percent, and the district is now facing steep payment increases to catch up.

Huberman is hoping legislators will grant the district a temporary reprieve from the sharp increase...Experts warn against such a move because it would only put off the predicament.

The Sun-Times highlights pending cuts:

Already, to make ends meet this year, the district is cutting back some spring non-varsity sports and eliminating lacrosse and water polo, officials revealed Thursday. A highly touted freshman orientation program is also being shortened.

Increasing class sizes by one student, to a districtwide average of 31, would save $40 million and cost up to 600 teacher jobs, Huberman said. Boosting class sizes to 45 would save $270 million, but Huberman conceded many classrooms couldn't hold that many kids...The teachers union would have to sign off on a pay freeze or furlough days, but increasing class size is an option CPS could exercise on its own.

WBEZ takes note of Huberman’s call for union support in Springfield:

[Huberman said:] “When we go down to Springfield alone, it's very hard to be successful. To the degree that we can work in partnership with our unions and go down collectively, we stand a much better chance of driving change.”

More from WBBM, WBEZ and Crain’s.

* Parents scramble to get kids into popular Parks programs. (Tribune)

The popularity of park programs is at an all-time high, park officials and parents say, with some classes filling their online spots in less than half a second.

Those who make elaborate plans to be at the computer at 8:59 a.m. on the appointed day chuckle sheepishly as they tell their war stories. But like parents everywhere who go to extreme lengths to get their child into the right school, sports team or class, they can't help themselves. They do it semester after semester.

* Greg Hinz applauds Huberman’s turnaround push.

* 15-year-old Crane student shot and killed. (Tribune)

* Chicago pays $14.6 million in 17-year-old trampoline settlement case. (Tribune)

 

In state news

* Schools sue Village of Oak Park over $3.3 million in TIF funds. (Pioneer)

* Gov. Pat Quinn’s early budget proposal shaves $600 to $700 in per-pupil funding. (ABC7)

* Central Illinois educators brace for more cuts. (Journal Star)

* Palos Heights parents would pay $2400 a year for full-day kindergarten. (Sun-Times)

 

In national news

* California report finds performance boost where middle schools evaluate teachers using student test scores. (Ed Week)

Related: Nevada lawmakers enhanced their Race to the Top chances by removing the barrier between teacher evaluations and test scores. (Ed Week)

* State voucher programs garnering bipartisan support. (Ed Week)

In Illinois this month, a Democratic state senator from Chicago introduced legislation to provide tuition vouchers for students enrolled in some of the city’s lowest-performing schools. Sen. James T. Meeks, who chairs that chamber’s education committee and the legislature’s black caucus, said he expects support from fellow Democrats.

* Report says oversight lacking in the use of seclusion and restraint when punishing students. (AP)

* House Democrats question Ed. Sec. Arne Duncan over potential cut to Teach for America. (Washington Post)

* LA teachers take the helm at 22 troubled schools. (LA Times)

* More federal cash planned for charters, extra oversight urged. (NY Times)

14 comments

Selective Enrollment Acceptance wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

In the News: Friday, Feb. 26

I guess the gut check didn't happen. All of my middle class African American friend's children were only selected for King or Brooks. I find it mind boggling that no one was accepted into Whitney Young, Jones, Northside and Peyton. Something went awry with the selective enrollment process this year. CPS needs to sit down and reevaluate this process. I hope the feds are checking on this situation and implement the consent decree again.

interesting wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

selective enrollment

I too am very interested in learning of the socio-economic distribution and range of scores per school. What were your friends scores if you know? But, if we are talking about children of middle class doctors/lawyers, why do they need extra help? I can see how it would benefit everyone to have diversity--but why do middle class black children need an extra boost?

To interested wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

In the News: Friday, Feb. 26

I don't know their scores. I just mentioned it because these children come from good two parent households where education and hardwork is valued and I don't understand why none of us know anyone who was accepted at the north side schools or schools that are centrally located. The parents aren't doctors/lawyers just college educated with nice jobs who work with their children. I didn't say they needed a boost. I just find it odd that they all were accepted to King or Brooks eventhough this was not their first choice. I am also interested in the gender breakdown for acceptance for all races. Most of the time females tend to outscore males regardless of race or SES. The former selection process also accounted for gender whereas the new policy does not. Parents of males: Did your sons gain acceptance to any SE schools?

interested wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

selective enrollment

Sorry I misread your post. Yes, my son got into his first choice. His score was very high but I had to stay on him constantly in 7th grade and made him study for the SE test. It was a lot of work. He definitely would not have had that score unless I had pushed him (a lot!). I'm pretty sure he got in on score alone--I am very interested to learn of the demographics at these schools this year. I'm not sure that gender was ever a consideration except possibly at principal's discretion. These schools have been girl heavy for a while.

I'm not sure we can really judge this process until we see who was accepted when CPS posts the numbers and racial composition and cut off scores.

se wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

In the News: Friday, Feb. 26

it's not just aa. I heard that none of the children in a local catholic school in a tract 1 area were accepted to se schools. they may have been hurt by their tract. these children are mainly white. my hunch is that these schools are going to be heavily asian.

se wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

In the News: Friday, Feb. 26

re my comment above. maybe it was tract 4--whatever the highest socioeconomic tract is. confusing.

Ted Bevy wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

In the News: Friday, Feb. 26

Why is it that when the new govenor got in; education is not being funded. How will anyone expect to receive money from Race to the Top if money is not being spent on the school districts. Why is he sitting on the money. Ever since Arne Duncan was at Chicago Public Schools there has been a big mess. Now he is in the white house; and the mess has spread. Chicago has always wanted to brag about being the role model for everything. They messed up McPier. Flipping the schools around. Spending money building new expensive schools. And now they are crying broke. Something must have caused the govenor not to fund schools. The other govenor may have been talking in his privacy on the phone; but at least he didn't put us in this big mess. the govenor is treating the state of Illinois like Bush did. He does not k now what he is doing; and needs to be out of Springfield. Arne Duncan needs to step down for the Secretary of Education; because he too; is causing a mess. Educators went into their professions as a career. Now they are cutting their careers short and labeling them because this is a different society of children to education. Either the higher uppers know this; are they are just dumb to the fact. People can't get Duncan and the govenor to open their eyes to solving the problems; but when they see that their way does not work; maybe they will wake up. I know one thing that is real. They have placed education and educating students in a BIG MESS! They really need to step down. Believe you me; when their time is up; a lot of people just want them to go into another profession. What if they turned around the govenor; or turn around the secretary of education. After all; what goes around; comes around. Every dog has its day. What will people do who have families; children in college; homes to sttend. Food to buy. It is not a problem of the educators. Educators have had enough of the blame. wThey are the blame. Because They ar the leaders. It has fested and gotten out of hand. If they would stop asking for so much; then things will fall in place. They have put us into a sad day. A lot of people are disgusted.

To interested wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

In the News: Friday, Feb. 26

Gender was considered in the former selective enrollment process. I remember the suntimes ran an article about a girl who was white that had to go to her neighborhood HS (Kenwood). I forgot what SE school she wanted to attend but they told her that they had their quota of white girls. She was upset because she had a high score but didn't get in because of race and gender. I'm glad your son was accepted. If you don't mind me asking: Are you African American? What school did he get in?

Gut Check wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

In the News: Friday, Feb. 26

This will be Ron Huberman's first legacy. All the data got him a segregated freshman class for the SE schools. I heard there were no "choices" this year. If you didn't qualify for your so-called first choice, you just didn't get in. That's why there's talk of Catholic schools. Good luck trying to pay tuition in this economy.

Sarah Karp wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

CAT asked for the se enrollment data

Just so everyone knows, we at Catalyst asked communications last week for the racial and tier level breakdown of who was admitted to each selective enrollment high school. CPS Spokeswoman Monique Bond responded that she is working with legal on this. Considering Huberman said they he will be doing a gut check before the admissions letters are sent out, we can only assume that they have the data readily available.

Liz Brown, CORE wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

Huberman's Budget

Some points on CPS budget made by other journalists around. Harming students at the classroom level via increased class sizes/teacher layoffs, and a 2-tiered pension system should be off the table.

Tribune on pension. "The pension's status is the result of many factors. A steep market decline, a large chunk of new retirees and years of the district making no contribution at all have left it about 74 percent funded. State law requires the pension to be funded at 90 percent, and the district is now facing steep payment increases to catch up." http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-chicago-school-cuts-...

Off Track 2/25/10 By Ben Joravsky … Huberman and his aides also might want to look at cutting back on contracts to outside vendors (about $696.6 million has been set aside for that) and trimming a few of the extraneous central office divisions, like the Office of Autonomy. I'm not sure who it's autonomous from—certainly not Huberman or Mayor Daley—but it has seven employees and an annual budget of $1.4 million. …. And then of course there are the ...TIF slush funds controlled by the mayor, which aren't itemized on property tax bills. Last year alone, the TIFs siphoned about $250 million in property tax dollars out of CPS's supposed share." http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/chicago-public-schools-cps-cutbacks...

A teacher wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

In the News: Friday, Feb. 26

"but why do middle class black children need an extra boost?"

These SE schools aren't just there to give kids a "boost". They are popular and supported because they give kids a safe place to learn and develop. I'm sure parents are not pushing their kids towards SE schools just for the academics, but also the safety factor.

I work in a Charter school and we had more freshmen applicants than ever before. I have a strong suspicion that the flood of applicants was due to the new criteria for SE schools. Also, I've heard that the SE test was dumbed down significantly (several teachers had their children apply, and the kids said it was beyond easy).

anon wrote 4 years 4 weeks ago

In the News: Friday, Feb. 26

"Also, I've heard that the SE test was dumbed down significantly (several teachers had their children apply, and the kids said it was beyond easy)."

And how did these children do on the test? It's always funny when the test seems easy but there is a disconnect with the score.

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