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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: CPS teacher evaluation called 'flawed'

A group of education policy and research academics called on Mayor Rahm Emanuel Monday to hold off on the widespread implementation of a new teacher evaluation system, and instead introduce the system through smaller pilot programs that would help determine how much of a teacher’s assessment should be based on student achievement. (Tribune)

The group, made up of 88 education professors and researchers from 15 local universities who call themselves CReATE, delivered a letter to the mayor, CPS schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard and the city's board of education Monday, detailing their concerns and offering their expertise. They feel CPS’ planned evaluation system is “flawed” and needs to be tested in the field.

Unable or unwilling to leave the city, a small but growing group of middle-class families are turning to Chicago's public and private schools, a development that holds both potential and peril for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his efforts to improve the school system, Crain's Chicago Business reports.

The Chicago Teachers Union issued a press release Monday saying Mayor Emanuel exhibits a tendency to make changes in education policy "after controversy (such as when he decided to close and “turn around” all 17 schools slated for school action despite unprecedented opposition), or when a new study is released (in this case from the Chicago Consortium on School Research about IB programs)."

The Sun-Times delves into who gets the hefty school milk contracts. One company is a Little Village company owned by members of the McMahon family. Longtime friends of Chicago Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), the McMahons are among the handful of families that have held a stranglehold on Chicago school milk contracts for two generations now, the paper reports.

A new in-depth analysis by the Atlanta Journal Constitution found high concentrations of suspect math or reading test scores in school systems from coast to coast. The newspaper analyzed test results for 69,000 public schools. The findings represent an unprecedented examination of the integrity of school testing.

The Los Angeles Unified School District recently became one of the first—if not the first—districts in the nation to hire its own social media director. (Education Week)

Oklahoma is one of several states that recently adopted new reading policies that—with limited exceptions—call for 3rd graders to be held back if they flunk a state standardized test. (Education Week)

Secrets of ‘miraculous’ charter management organizations. (The Washington Post)

1 comment

Rod Estvan wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

The group, made up of 88

The group, made up of 88 education professors and researchers from 15 local universities who call themselves CReATE, are correct. Access Living in a report reviewed by Catyst in October 2011 also called on the State Board of Education to slow down with implementation the Performance Evaluation Reform Act of 2010, ISBE paid no attention to our concerns that were specifically aimed at special education teachers and the process moved ahead. ISBE allowed local districts massive flexability for special eduation teachers and ELL teachers. So we have no real idea where this is going to go.

So now CPS is in a very difficult spot, does it provide maximum protection for special education teachers in relation to value added measurements of performance at the theoritical cost of low expectations or does it hold these teachers to the same standard of half their evaluations being based on this test data? ISBE did not have to put CPS in this situation, but they did.

Access Living too like CReATE called for looking carefully at impelementation of any value added assessments of teachers, our proposals were not accepted by either ISBE or most members of the General Assembly. We suspect the CReATE call will result in the same unfortunately. The Access Living white paper was titled Holding Educators Accountable for the Academic Growth of Students with Disabilities.

Rod Estvan

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