As CPS prepares to close a record number of schools, the fate of students and communities is in question.
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In the News: Neighborhood group seeks to head off CPS
The Logan Square Neighborhood Association is establishing the Logan Square School Facilities Council to make sure no closed-door decisions are made at the Board of Education about the future of Ames Middle School.
Three elementary schools currently feed into Ames (Mozart, McAuliffe and Nixon), but starting next year Mozart will keep its 7th graders, and 8th graders the following year. LSNA says this decision was made behind closed doors, without local principals or the network chief being made aware of the decision until it was a done deal. LSNA learned later, from the CPS website, that a public meeting was held March 12 regarding the decision, but the organization can find no one who was aware of this decision. LSNA is concerned that enrollment at Ames will drop, making way for a closing or co-location. (Academically, Ames is not at risk for turnaround or closing.) LSNA has a very strong history at Ames. The school was built as a result of an LSNA school overcrowding campaign in the mid-'90s. The LSCs of Ames and surrounding schools have all voted to endorse the Logan Square School Facilities Council.
Deborah Campbell, a 7th grade science teacher at Josephine Locke Elementary School in Chicago, left Monday to work with scientists studying the ecosystem in Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Georgia. She plans to incorporate this experience into her lessons to better engage students in the sciences. Through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Teacher at Sea program, Campbell is will spend11 days working on a ship, living the life of a field scientist. Campbell will be blogging about her voyage. You can read her posts here.
Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey filled in for union president Karen Lewis on FOX Chicago Sunday. A lot of the decision centered on teacher pay, a recent poll gauging teachers' willingness to strike, the union's reaction to school closures and the union's upcoming pep rally.
State education officials stepped up involvement in North Chicago public schools last month, announcing plans to replace the locally elected school board. (WBEZ)
IN THE NATION
Education Week is doing a special series on education advocacy groups and the influence these emerging interests are having over education policy and practice, particularly at the state and local levels. This week's content includes three stories, a video and an interactive game related to "The Changing Face of Education Advocacy." Read the entire series here.
"Degrees of Debt," a new series by The New York Times, examines the implications of soaring college costs and the indebtedness of students and their families.
It appears that DCPS is finally prepared to comply with the early retirement provision of the contract it signed with the Washington Teachers’ Union. The 2010 collective bargaining agreement says that teachers with good evaluations and 20 years of service who lose their jobs in the annual “excessing” process are eligible for early retirement with full benefits. (The Washington Post)