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.
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In the News: CTU, CPS reach longer-day agreement
The Chicago Teachers Union plans a news conference at noon Friday to discuss details of an agreement reached with Chicago Public Schools over the longer school day issue, the Tribune reports. Details will be provided later.
The report cards being handed out to Chicago Public Schools parents do not include ISAT scores—which have come under fire lately for overstating student achievement. (WBEZ)
IN THE STATE
Lake Zurich Unit District 95 board members on Thursday scuttled a controversial plan for random drug testing at the local high school. A community survey, the results of which were released Thursday, showed 76 percent of District 95 parents are against the plan. Similar opposition surfaced at an October public hearing. (Daily Herald)
IN THE NATION
Scores of public school principals in New York are fighting the state’s new educator evaluation system, which ties the evaluations and pay of teachers and principals to how well students do on standardized tests. New York has a new law requiring that 20 percent to 40 percent of the evaluations be linked to test scores, despite warnings by assessment experts (in this letter sent to the state Board of Regents in May) that there are too many problems with “value-added” methods of determining a teacher’s quality. (The Washington Post)
Students' test scores in math, science, and social studies improved after a year or two in schools run by charter-management organizations, but not by much. Overall, the report finds that middle school student achievement varies widely at schools run by charter-management organizations, which are the groups that establish and operate multiple charter schools. Most networks seem to produce a positive effect on student achievement, compared with results for students in district-run schools in the same area that are not run by CMOs. Some actually have a negative effect. (Education Week)
The yellow school bus could become another victim of the Great Recession in some parts of Washington state. (Seattle Times)
Wellness Centers at San Francisco high schools have become popular sources of help for teenagers troubled with an assortment of issues. (The New York Times)