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: 3 wild cards in CPS-CTU contract talks
A new mayor, new union leadership and new state legislation will make it tougher for teachers to strike as Chicago Public Schools and the teachers union enter into negotiations over an expiring contract, the Tribune reports.
After a sit-in at City Hall didn't result in a meeting with the mayor, members of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization called off their protest Monday over Bronzeville-area school closings, saying they're redirecting efforts and looking for support among federal and state legislators. (Tribune)
IN THE STATE
Hinsdale Township School District 86 considers policy on board members' requests for documents. (Trib Local)
A four-day teachers’ strike at Zion-Benton Township High School ended Tuesday after the 280-member teachers union voted “overwhelmingly” to ratify a tentative labor agreement. Classes and extracurriculars, including sports, will resume Wednesday. (Sun-Times)
IN THE NATION
A follow-up to a major national study on the performance of charter school networks shows that they have varied results on their students' high school graduation rates and on their postsecondary enrollment. (Education Week)
In its first official assessment of $4 billion in Race to the Top grants, the U.S. Department of Education commended the 12 winners for working hard to implement the first year of their reform plans—but raised specific red flags about the pace of change in Hawaii, New York, and Florida. (Education Week)
The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday directed staff to develop a plan to increase district enrollment by at least 5 percent. The nation’s second-largest school system has shrunk rapidly in recent years because of declining birth rates, population shifts and an exodus of students to nearly 200 independently managed charter schools. (Los Angeles Times)
As school choice becomes a mantra of 21st century education reform, especially for the charter school movement, traditional public schools also are embracing free-market competition. (The Washington Post)
The actor Matt Damon and his mother, a professor of education, last week turned down the opportunity for an award from the National Education Association after reading an opinion article that the union’s president had co-authored with Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America. (The New York Times)