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The race for City Hall

Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

In the News: Abuse plagues CPS' free-lunch program

A Tribune investigation found that in at least 167 Chicago schools, the percentage of students receiving free lunches was at least 20 percentage points higher than the percentage enrolled in the country's two primary aid programs, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Aid for Needy Families.

Chicago Public Schools on Thursday released guidelines for elementary and high schools will follow in adopting the full school day for the 2012-13 school year. The guidelines give schools significant flexibility in redesigning the school day to best meet the needs of their unique student body, according to a press release.

After a test this year, all of Chicago’s public schools will move to a seven-and-a-half-hour day next year — making it the first major city in recent years to add substantial school time district-wide. (Chicago News Cooperative)

Chicago Public Schools are reviewing and analyzing the new national sex-ed standards proposed this week. The new standards, which are recommendations for educators, focus on seven topics students should understand from kindergarten through high school: anatomy and physiology; puberty and adolescent development; identity; pregnancy and reproduction; sexually transmitted diseases and HIV; healthy relationships; and personal safety. (Medill Reports)


The cost to attend the University of Illinois will go up next year, but officials aren’t saying by how much. (Sun-Times)

Police are not filing charges against a Hoffman Estates High School teacher who resigned in November over allegations that a male student lived in her apartment for a month. (Daily Herald)


Education expert Linda Darling-Hammond says a new form of redlining is emerging—education redlining. "If passed, the long-awaited Senate bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) would build a bigger highway between low-performing schools serving high-need students—the so-called “bottom 5 percent”—and all other schools," she writes in The Nation. "Tragically, the proposed plan would weaken schools in the most vulnerable communities and further entrench the problems—concentrated poverty, segregation and lack of human and fiscal resources—that underlie their failure."

In his State of the City address, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hit a nerve by proposing a merit-pay system for teachers and not shying away from other controversial education topics. (The New York Times)

New York will seek to attract and reward “highly effective” teachers, evaluate their performance and create 100 schools, including some that prepare students for technical careers, Bloomberg said on Thursday. (

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that gives private firms the authority to run failing public schools in three inner-city districts. The Urban Hope Act creates a 10-year pilot program that will allow nonprofit organizations to build and operate “renaissance” schools in Newark, Trenton and Camden. Groups can apply to local boards and then the state Education Department for as many as four schools in each city. (

Most studies of charter schools use unsophisticated methods and are flawed in ways that prevent researchers from accurately gauging those institutions' impact on student achievement, a new review concludes. (Education Week)


Schools do everything wrote 3 years 2 days ago

granted, people will cheat and they do get caught.

The form is ridiculous to fill out and difficult to put in the CPS system. Everything due in just a few weeks after school starts or the school will lose lots of $$$$. We have parents who cannot write and they have to fill out the form. Parents who dont know their incomes and fill the form out wrong. Parents who do not have social security numbers and are afraid to fill it out.
Instead of CPS paying $$ for a profit complany who is not helpful with longer school day--get a proper consultant to make this lunch form system honest and acurate and easier to file and input. That idea is too reasonable for CPS.
(Note--the food service people are working hard--but there are too many bosses-cheifs with wrong info from the food vendors like chartwells, too much misinfo and the push to get in principals who have little or no experience as an AP also cause these problems.)

Schools do everything wrote 3 years 2 days ago

This is really not true--flexibility with LSD-longer school day

"guidelines give schools significant flexibility in redesigning the school day to best meet the needs of their unique student body." At CPS a press release can say anything and really mean nothing.
This rediculous LSD template is fiction--there has been no money allocated for next year, so schools do not know how to 'create' the day. Schools with bussed students will have to follow what CPS says their times are, negotiations just for the food service employees is the tip of what needs to be known and parents are starting to get mad about how long the hours are, how late or early their children will have to get to or stay in school. Children will come in to school in the the dark and out of school in the dark. Our school was foced to an early start this year and our little ones fall asleep in class-and they should be in school longer?--ok--to sleep at their desks.

Schools do everything wrote 3 years 1 day ago

The new legislation, SB7, does not require CPS to have a uniform

day for all teachers and all schools. Hence CPS could create different working days for teachers at different schools with different pay scales and it would not have to bargain over that issue under the new law. Clearly there are some teachers who would opt to works at a school with a shorter day for less money because they want to get home with their own children. So I don’t think finding teachers to work at shorter day at some schools for less money would be a problem if CPS were to allow schools some choice in how long there school day was going to be. The problem is CPS is a bureaucracy, in the classic sense of the word, and it has a deep almost pathological need for uniformity despite its claims to allowing autonomy for schools.

Rod Estvan

Autonomy?? wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago


Rod it's getting to the point that you have to teach based the education philosophy of the ONE educator de jour! if you disagree you are in big trouble and considered a trouble maker. we spend our whole meetings trying to fit the all the "extra factors" so we can fit the format of some Colombia College psuedo pretentious "urban philosophy"!

It's sad....gotten to the point if your get caught having your kids doing a readers theater or making a cartoon to express plot in a are litterally going to get a bad review.....its insaneeeeeee....yet cps just keeps in norm of changing the rules daily!!! yet we have to understand each change and redo our teaching or we are the "idiots"......PD at cps is a joke!! it's like a walk into the wardrobe in the lion wicth and the dont know what is at the end of the closet!!!

Steve wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Education Redlining

The Schott Foundation just put out a new report on Education Redlining:

The report doesn't pull punches. NYC's districts are gerrymandered to privilege the wealthy and white and under-resource poor communities and communities of color. The evidence is pretty damning.

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