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: SGA gets Promise planning grant
SGA Youth & Family Services in Chicago is the only Illinois agency to be awarded a Promise Neighborhood Planning grant. Senior officials from the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Education announced the awards Monday.
SGA will use the grant to put school improvement at the center of local efforts to revitalize underserved neighborhoods, it said in a press release. Five organizations from around the country will receive the first round of Promise Neighborhoods implementation grants, and another 15 organizations will receive a second round of planning grants, according to Department of Education press release.
Overriding the will of the local, rookie alderman – and selectively ignoring one of its own conventions – the City Council’s Zoning Committee will hold a special meeting Thursday to vote on a charter school proposal from an organization with close ties to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (Chicago News Cooperative)
Two weeks after they first protested outside the mayor's office, members of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization were back at City Hall on Monday demanding a meeting to pitch an alternative plan for reforming failing schools in their neighborhood. (Tribune)
Some parents and community leaders returned to Chicago's City Hall Monday to protest against policy decisions made by Chicago Public Schools. Parents are calling for a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel to discuss a plan to improve educational performance. (WBEZ)
Research presented by Elaine Allensworth of the Consortium on Chicago School Research showed that school districts need to apply early warning indicators to identify struggling students — and tie those indicators to individualized supports and interventions. Otherwise, more rigorous coursework will only lead to higher dropout rates. (Annenberg Institute for School Reform)
Jean-Claude Brizard, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, has been named a trustee of the Field Museum. (Chicago Business)
IN THE NATION
The expansion of a parent-involvement strategy in which teachers make scheduled visits to their students' homes promises to yield insights into how those visits might be used to improve outcomes for students and sustain engagement by parents in their children's academics, Education Week reports.
More than 40 percent of Michigan's school districts are seeking waivers from a new state law requiring them to adopt a uniform teacher evaluation system by 2013. (The Detroit News)
A University of Pennsylvania study this year found that the number of minority teachers in the United States has doubled over the past two decades. But in Ohio, the number has decreased from about 7,500 a decade ago to 6,200 last year, according to state data. The most racially diverse teaching staff in central Ohio last school year other than Columbus schools was in Whitehall, where 93 percent of teachers were white. (The Columbus Dispatch)
Disparities continue to exist in suspension rates among Des Moines elementary, middle and high schools as well as among the district’s racial groups despite educators’ attempts to tighten the gaps, district data shows. African-American students are suspended at far greater rates than their peers, a concern the school board asked district administrators to find a way to address by next semester. (Des Moines Register)
Checks ranging from $600 to more than $5,000 are going out to most public school teachers in a Louisiana school district as part of their incentive pay for participation in the System of Teacher and Student Advancement, commonly known as TAP. (KATC.com)