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.
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In the News: AFT votes to endorse Obama for re-election
The American Federation of Teachers' executive council unanimously voted Tuesday to endorse Barack Obama for U.S. President, though it remains to be seen how the 1.5 million-member union plans to get teachers out on the ground to canvass in support of Obama's re-election. (Education Week)
Dozens of complaints were coming to light on Tuesday against the principal of a Chicago public school in the Pilsen neighborhood, CBS 2 reports. Allegations of threats of physical violence and sexual harassment have been lodged against the principal, Rigo Hernandez, CTU representatives say.
Bob Reed of the Better Government Association and Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey joined Northwestern University Law School's Zev Eigen on WBEZ to discuss the BGA report that found Chicago Public Schools employees have collected $265 million for unused sick and vacation days since 2006. The three also talked about the philosophy behind different sick day policies and took calls from listeners. Eigen specializes in labor and employment issues; he also teaches management and strategy at the Kellogg School of Management.
Chicago Public School lunches features two of the top 10 sodium contributors (a bun and processed chicken patty) but students are not allowed to salt their baked potato, all mistakes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Tribune)
IN THE STATE
Parents lobbied Barrington Unit District 220 board members Tuesday to continue a Chinese language immersion program after learning most of a $1.5 million federal grant expected to provide funding for another four years was being pulled by Congress. (Daily Herald)
University of Illinois President Michael Hogan's embattled former chief of staff Lisa Troyer is to be paid $109,000 a year as a tenured psychology faculty member, though campus officials might challenge her employment. (Tribune)
IN THE NATION
The amount of private equity entering the education market nearly tripled to $224 million in 2011, up from roughly $130 million in 2010. What accounts for this sharp change in investment environment? Why are high-risk, high-rewards capitalists convinced that so much profit is there for the taking? The Obama administration has changed the face of education through its The Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative. The resulting rule changes on the state level have ensured a growing incursion of profit-taking throughout the education industry. (wsws.org)
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson wants to throw out union rules governing teacher pay and layoffs, partnering more with high-performing charter schools and giving successful district schools more flexibility in how they do their jobs. (The Plain Dealer)
More than 100 school districts nationwide have turned to a shorter school week to avoid eliminating programs and teachers, according to the U.S. Department of Education. And the districts are reporting benefits that go beyond cost savings. Students are more attentive, less tired, and less likely to stay home, the districts report. Teachers are also less likely to be absent. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)