The historic closing of 49 elementary schools in Chicago left many parents bitter and feeling left out as they try to get involved in new schools. Yet parent engagement is essential for school improvement, and principals are faced with the challenge of building trust at schools that scored poorly on surveys of parent involvement.
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Laptops would help with typing skills. The problem always seemed to be the poor wireless connections.
DOn't you think kids would be better off with a laptop that they use to practice typing too? ipads are not the best for typing?
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In the News: Parent advocacy group's survey shows support for longer day
The parent advocacy group Raise Your Hand, which has been critical of Chicago Public Schools offering financial incentives for a longer school day this year, reports that most respondents to an online survey it conducted support a version of the longer school day.
The group added, however, that most respondents favor a 6.5 - to 7-hour day rather than the 7.5-hour day proposed by CPS for schools that voted to add 90 minutes this year. Most survey respondents don't want the extra time to be used solely for testing. The concerns seem to mirror those of the Chicago Teachers Union, which has called for a "better" rather than a "longer" school day. The group said it hopes the district will use the survey results as it plans to extend the school day by 90 minutes in 2012. (Tribune)
Substance News on the "corporate branding of Chicago's public schools."
IN THE STATE
No Child Left Behind waivers could offer flexibility for Illinois schools. (WBEZ)
IN THE NATION
A new report from the George W. Bush Institute argues that even America's top school districts are "mediocre" compared to other industrialized countries. (Education Week)
Teachers in schools that serve the top quintile of African-American and Latino students are paid significantly less—approximately $2,500 per year—than the average teacher in such districts, according to an analysis released today by the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights. The data analyzed demonstrate some fairly hefty gaps in spending between schools that serve more students of color and those that serve fewer such students. (Education Week)
Ignorance by American students of the basic history of the civil rights movement has worsened, according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. (The New York Times)
A teacher writes that every policymaker should be required to see the new film “American Teacher,” which powerfully reveals the huge challenge in the efforts to attract and keep the best teachers. (Washington Post)
Weighing in on the longer school day debate, Virginia math teacher Vern Williams writes, "extending the school day should not even be considered until teachers are allowed to use the current school day structure for purposes solely related to the education of students." (The New York Times)