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: Radio ad attacks union strike vote
A major advertising campaign hit Chicago rush-hour radio Monday, urging parents to “text’’ in their opposition to the timing of a Chicago Teachers Union strike authorization vote that begins Wednesday. The ads are being placed by an affiliate of Democrats for Education Reform, which is packed with private equity and investment firm managers, according to CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey.
Rebeca Nieves Huffman, Illinois state director of Democrats for Education Reform, said the ad will be running on various stations, including WLS, WBBM, WGCI, WVON and a Spanish-language station, during rush-hour and other times. (Sun-Times)
Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard says he wants teachers to have a raise, and is asking the Chicago Teachers Union to hold off on its strike authorization vote set for this coming Wednesday. But union President Karen Lewis says Brizard has never been to a negotiation session and doesn’t understand what is actually happening. Meanwhile, she also says it is no surprise that CPS wants the union to hold off until a proposed agreement is drawn up by an independent fact-finder in July for a strike vote – given that school will be out and teachers will be home by then. (CBS Chicago)
In a letter to the Tribune, Rev. Michael L. Pfleger, pastor, the Faith Community of St. Sabina, writes: "It seems that the standoff between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Board of Education is growing worse each day, and once again, the children will be the losers. It is unfortunate that there is a rush to vote for a strike without letting the independent arbitrator submit a finding."
The network that had said last week it was considering the closing of a Chicago charter school for troubled youths on Monday said the school will stay open. Officials with the charter network, Youth Connection Charter School, said on Monday they only proposed closing the school or replacing staff because of a new contract being negotiated with Chicago Public Schools, requiring that the charter network address under-performing campuses. (Tribune)
IN THE STATE
Teachers in Elgin Area School District U-46, the state’s second-largest district, now have a three-year contract for the 2011-2014 school years. Under the new agreement, eligible teachers will receive a salary increase between 2 and 4.5 percent. Step and lane increases for additional education and years of service will be available for eligible teachers all three years, while teachers also will receive a 0.75 percent base salary raise in the second and third years of the contract. (Daily Herald)
IN THE NATION
Fewer teachers were laid off in several Metro Detroit school districts this spring, an indication finances may finally be stabilizing in many districts after several years of steep state funding cuts. (Detroit News)
Charter schools are poised to make a major expansion in Tennessee, with some of the sector's biggest and best-known operators swooping into the state as part an effort designed to turn around struggling schools. (Education Week)
As educational neuroscience has started to find its niche within interdisciplinary "mind-brain-education" study, the field's most powerful findings show how little about learning is hard-wired, after all. (Education Week)
The woman slated to be Omaha's new schools superintendent quit after revelations of sexually explicit e-mails she wrote as Des Moines schools chief. (USAToday)