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: Parents, union question 7.5-hour day
While Mayor Emanuel on Monday defended his choice of lengthening the school day to 7.5 hours, saying the number was "not arbitrary," the teachers union and a parent group maintained that research does not support such a long day. (Tribune)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited Sauganash and Nathan Hale Elementary Schools Monday to highlight the need for and impact of the Chicago Public Schools recently approved $660 million capital program. (Hispanically Speaking News)
IN THE STATE
Gail Worrell — once embroiled in a controversy at Elgin Area School District U-46 — started Monday as interim principal at Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake. Worrell replaces Brian Greene, who began the 2011-12 academic year as principal at the small, public choice school. The school board fired Greene in December for reasons not made public. (Daily Herald)
The Illinois State Board of Education has launched the first Illinois Green Ribbon Schools awards program, recognizing schools that are leading the way to promote sustainability and environmental education. Applications for nominating Illinois schools can be found on the Illinois Green Ribbon Schools web page. (Press release)
IN THE NATION
Researchers, focusing on the nonmedical effects diabetes has on teens and young adults, found that overall, people with diabetes have a high school dropout rate 6 percent higher than those who don't have the disease. The findings come from a study published in the January issue of the journal Health Affairs. (Los Angeles Times)
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday he doesn’t expect to recommend teacher layoffs when he releases his preliminary budget proposal in the coming weeks, potentially averting one of the most contentious points in the last few city budget cycles. (Wall Street Journal)
District of Columbia Public Schools is scheduled to go on line with its new school scorecards Tuesday afternoon, providing parents with what it calls “unprecedented transparency and information.” (The Washington Post)
A new set of standards outlines the minimum that students should learn about their sexuality from their earliest years in school until they leave high school. (Education Week)
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan took to Twitter last Friday afternoon to field questions on Title IX, which he called "one of the greatest civil rights successes in our history." (Education Week)
Former D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee stays busy lobbying, helping politicians. (USAToday)
The governing board of California’s community colleges on Monday approved reforms intended to streamline the path to graduation and transfer for thousands of students. (Los Angeles Times)