As CPS prepares to close a record number of schools, the fate of students and communities is in question.
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Does more time spent in a learning activity positively correlate with increased learning?
I think most teaching professionals say yes! If not, you guys are wasting a lot of effort.
Roy, as soon as BBB and Rahm start asking for input from teachers, I will give it to them and "get on board." But they have not and probably will not. They already know all, so why should they?...
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In the News: Charter teachers unionize; reaction to 'unsastisfactory' layoffs
Two thirds of the teaching staff at Chicago Math and Science Academy have signed union authorization cards and filed for recognition with the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board, a press release by the American Federation of Teachers says. Once the Board certifies the union, the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, an affiliate of the AFT and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, can begin collective bargaining negotiations with school officials. CMSA is the third charter school to form a teachers union.
Two thirds of the teaching staff at Chicago Math and Science Academy
have signed union authorization cards and filed for recognition with the
Illinois Education Labor Relations Board, a press release by the
American Federation of Teachers says. Once the Board certifies the
union, the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, an affiliate
of the AFT and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, can begin collective
bargaining negotiations with school officials. CMSA is the third
charter school to form a teachers union.
More on CPS CEO Ron Huberman’s plan to lay off teachers rated “unsatisfactory”:
Incoming teachers union president Karen Lewis had noted in a news release that section 24-12 of the Illinois School Code requires dismissal “according to tenure unless another method is established in conjunction with the union.” But that section of the law does not apply to Chicago Public Schools, says Illinois State Board of Education spokeswoman Mary Fergus.
Robin Steans, executive director of Advance Illinois, says the prospect of massive layoffs is making people “understand the costs” of the current, tenure-based system. “There are teachers with really unique talents and skill sets walking out the door,” she says. She hopes Huberman’s move will spur more discussion about the tenure system. “The question is ultimately going to be – do we want to give [districts] the ability to use whatever factors they want, or do we want to require it?”
But Don Moore, the executive director of Designs for Change, called the case “a clear-cut violation of the union contract. I think that Huberman is trying to put as much pressure as possible on the new union leadership. I have no confidence that if the central administration laid people off based on performance, that it would be in any way an objective indicator of how good the teachers were.
There’s already a blueprint for what CPS is proposing, in a policy brief from The New Teacher Project outlining a system in which tenure and performance are both taken into account for layoffs. (Rebecca Harris, Catalyst)
Also: WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton offers her "quick and dirty guide" to Wednesday's Chicago Board of Education meeting, addressing the dominate topic: teacher layoffs. Are they real? Have they already happened? Is the worst behind us, or is it yet to come?
Parents at the magnet school Galileo Elementary want CPS to consider its
longtime assistant principal, Blanca Miarka, to fill vacant principal's post. (Chicago Journal)
The Chicago Journal also reports that parents and community stakeholders
at some public
schools around downtown will turn to fund raising and outreach
efforts to try to mitigate budget cuts.
Meg McSherry Breslin of Chicago News Cooperative looks into high school graduation and college admission rates among charter schools supported by the Renaissance Schools Fund, a Chicago philanthropy started by business leaders
through the Commercial Club of Chicago.
In the state:
At yesterday’s meeting, the Illinois State Board of Education passed a budget that includes a cut of more than 10 percent to early childhood programs. The complete document can be found here.
Also approved – controversial rules requiring bilingual education programs for many preschoolers. Catalyst earlier covered the issue; Education Week noted that the new rules are “the most prescriptive regulations in the nation” for preschool English learners. Teachers will have to be certified by July 2014.
In recent weeks, officials took steps to assuage several concerns about the measure, says Reyna Hernandez, a research and policy associate at the Latino Policy Forum. School districts will now be able to include preschoolers in their bilingual-student counts, which help determine the amount of funding they get from the state, Hernandez says. But with total bilingual funds taking a 6.9 percent hit over last year, some districts could face a pinch over start-up costs like materials and curricula. Programs will also get a pass on teachers who have a provisional bilingual or ESL endorsement, which shows that they are making progress towards finishing their coursework.
In the nation:
The New York City Education Department rolls out a new strategy for turning around some of the city's lowest-performing school. The transformation model will be instituted in September in 11 of the 34 city schools that the state has identified as "persistently lowest achieving." The remaining 23 school will be closed or replaced by smaller schools or charter schools, The New York Times reports.
The online journal Take Part reports that the New Schools for New Orleans recently released annual report shows the effort to reinvent public education in New Orleans is making great progress as the fifth anniversary of Katrina approaches.