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Drugs in schools

Most drug violations in CPS involve an ounce or less of marijuana. Schools are quick to call police, yet rarely have the resources to offer education, counseling or other non-punitive help to students.

In the News: Revving up students for high-stakes testing; overhauling teacher prep requirements

WBEZ's Linda Lutton reports on how schools are getting students ready for the state's standardized testing, which starts today. At one school, students attended an ISAT pep rally with Justin Bieber music playing in the background. A teacher at another school says if it weren't for the ISAT, she'd teach math differently. Education experts say the exams are changing what is taught and how it's taught.

WBEZ's Linda Lutton reports on how schools are getting students ready for the state's standardized testing, which starts today. At one school, students attended an ISAT pep rally with Justin Bieber music playing in the background. A teacher at another school says if it weren't for the ISAT, she'd teach math differently. Education experts say the exams are changing what is taught and how it's
taught.

In an opinion piece in today's Tribune, Chicago attorney William Choslovsky says CPS school year calendar puts students at an academic disadvantage compared to students in other districts with longer school years. "My modest suggestion is that we reclaim four calendar days and lengthen the school day by 30 minutes," Choslovsky writes.

A schoolwide discussion about race and inappropriate language led students at Chicago's Hancock High School to post fliers on campus that listed 15 specific ethnic or racial slurs that students should not use. But after other students complained, school officials agreed to take down the fliers, said Principal Pamela Glynn. (Tribune)

In the state

The New Trier High School District 203 board violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act last spring when it privately discussed topics that should have been addressed in public, according to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. (Trib Local)

Elgin School District U46 board Monday voted unanimously to notify 180 employees that they may not be needed in the 2011-12 school year because the district budget requires a reduction in force. The 180 RIFs include 130 teachers, one administrator and 49 support workers. (Courier-News)

In the nation

Federal officials plan to overhaul the reporting requirements for higher education-based teacher preparation in favor of leaner, outcome-based indicators of program quality, according to plans outlined in the president's fiscal 2012 budget request. (Education Week)

A bipartisan group of educators and business and labor leaders announced on Monday their support for a common curriculum that states could adopt for public schools across the nation. Signers include Randi Weingarten, president of the federation, and Richard W. Riley, secretary of education under President Bill Clinton. (The New York Times)

Technological progress is reducing the demand for highly educated workers, writes Paul Krugman, an economist and New York Times columnist. "...there are things education can’t do," goes on to say. "In particular, the notion that putting more kids through college can restore the middle-class society we used to have is wishful thinking. It’s no longer true that having a college degree guarantees that you’ll get a good job, and it’s becoming less true with each passing decade."

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