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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For the Record: Teacher contract
CPS is currently in mediation with the Chicago Teachers Union for teachers’ next contract, the first new contract in five years. The new contract could have broad implications for how schools are staffed and the district’s ability to fire teachers. Click here for an interactive timeline of key events in the negotiations so far. Catalyst Chicago will update the timeline with negotiations-related events as they happen.
Though the district and the union began negotiating just a few months ago, they have been in mediation since around Feb. 1. Adding to the conflict between the union and the district is a law passed in 2011 that frees CPS from being required to bargain over the length of the school day and year, and requires 75 percent of teachers to authorize a strike.
But before a strike could happen, either CTU or CPS has to call for the appointment of a 3-person fact-finding panel, which has 75 days to suggest a default contract and make it public. If either side formally rejects the contract, there would then be a 30-day waiting period before teachers could walk out.
CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin says the union may call for fact-finding sometime during April if mediation does not resolve the dispute, but that it’s too soon to know if that will happen. CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll says she can’t comment on when CPS might call for fact-finders.