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: Charter agency's funding questioned
A new government agency could boost the number of charter schools in Illinois. But the way the agency is financing itself raises questions, WBEZ reports.
Stories are out on how CPS plans to spend construction dollars.
Here's Chicago News Cooperative's take: Chicago Public Schools officials unveiled a $660 million capital budget plan Wednesday that allocates almost $125 million — about one-fifth of the entire budget — to schools the district has targeted for overhaul. The $125 million will be dispersed among 11 schools the district has targeted for turnaround, closure or consolidation.
And here's the Sun-Times: Nine Chicago Public Schools targeted for turnarounds or closure will reap nearly $110 million of $660 million in construction dollars — an investment district officials defended Thursday as necessary to give them a true “fresh start.’’
Catalyst: As part of preparing a new $659 school construction and capital spending plan, officials used a new formula to determine school utilization. In the process, they determined that the district has 130,000 empty seats—a quarter of the seats available in schools throughout the city. That figure, a result of the district’s declining enrollment, shows the extent of building under-utilization throughout CPS.
Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) is opposing a proposal that could slowly convert LaSalle Language Academy—one of the city’s most popular magnets—into a neighborhood school to relieve overcrowding at nearby Lincoln Elementary. (Sun-Times)
Some find public transit fares linked to school attendance. (WBEZ)
IN THE NATION
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's warning that 82 percent of schools would fail to make the grade this year under the No Child Left Behind Act is way off base, according to the latest report from the Center on Education Policy. The real number is more like 48 percent. (Education Week)
The leaders heading "turnaround" districts in Louisiana, Michigan, and Tennessee are working in new, state-created districts that pluck schools from their home districts and put them under an entirely different management structure. (Education Week)
A new charter school gets approved for an affluent enclave in Brooklyn. (The New York Times)
Teachers in Los Angeles have overwhelmingly approved an agreement that is expected to give instructors and administrators more control of their schools, while also holding them responsible for academic achievement. (Los Angeles Times)
An Atlanta-area school district is suspending all marching band activities over concerns of "inappropriate physical activity" between students. (Los Angeles Times/AP)