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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: CTU plans to file strike notice today

Citing anonymous "sources," The Chicago Tribune reported late Tuesday that the CTU will issue a 10-day strike notice on Wednesday.

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, will hold  a news conference today at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the next course of action in contract talks with the Chicago Public Schools, according to a press release sent out this morning. Union leaders have no date for a strike, however, during a special House of Delegates meeting this Thursday (Aug. 30) officials could move a motion to either set a date or terminate the strike authorization altogether.

The CTU did not confirm the Tribune's report. But CPS Spokeswoman Becky Carroll said she did not think that talks had broken down. "We had another meeting today. There was no indication given that they would be issuing a strike notice tomorrow, and talks have been continuing to move forward," she said.   

She also put out a statement, saying the district will be ready should a strike occur.

"Students can't afford to be removed from their classroom at a time when they're starting to make progress with the Full School Day," Carroll said in a statement. "They belong in school with their teachers, which is why we need to stay at the table and keep negotiating, every day if needed, until we reach a fair resolution as a strike would only hurt our kids."

The notice is a legal step that must be taken before a strike. The union can call a strike anytime after 10 days. The next step would be to set a strike date. The earliest day the union could strike would be Sept. 10, about a week after the start of regular track schools.

Many expected the strike notice to be issued on Friday or Saturday to delay the start of next week. But last week, union officials said they were making progress and that negotiations were in full swing. It is unclear what, if anything, has changed.

According to a factsheet issued by the union, the union and CPS are still far apart on several issues, including compensation, contribution to health care and recall rights of laid off teachers.

Most high school graduates from Chicago who attend the city's community colleges increase their odds of earning a bachelor's degree, according to a study that challenges a belief that two-year colleges are often dead ends for students who could have aimed higher. That argument draws from the book Crossing the Finish Line, which said social mobility is at risk if too many disadvantaged but otherwise qualified students are pushed toward community colleges. (Inside Higher Ed)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ordered the Chicago Public Schools to block access by teachers, students and others to the Substance websitewww.substancenews.net — from inside all 660 Chicago public schools, and from the school system's central and "network" offices. (Substance News)

IN THE NATION

At the Republican National Convention came from Gov. Chris Christie, of New Jersey, slammed teacher unions, saying they were "just too powerful.  Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen. For the first time in 100 years with bipartisan support, we did it." American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten fired back at Christie on Twitter. "Christie evidently believes teachers should be seen but not heard—they may be important, but not their views about what they need to help kids," she tweeted. (Education Week)

1 comment

Rod Estvan wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

re: Chicago City College and CPS graduate study

Much thanks to Catalyst for posting a link to the study of CPS students who attended Chicago City Colleges. There was a vast amount of information in this article that was deeply disturbing, and I have only seen quantified by the Consortium on Chicago School Research. The study in question looks at 2001 CPS high school graduates and follows them up to 2007.

The article states for CPS students "bachelor’s degree completion rate within six years of high school is only about 11 percent, low by nearly any standard." In the article we learn that the odds of a CPS graduate who is going to Chicago City College getting a BA degree are relatively low. The authors write: "Compared to [CPS] students who attend four-year schools,community college students are less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree. We find a
roughly 3 to 4 percent lower level of bachelor’s degree completion (a 56 to 60 percent decrease in expected odds) for community college-goers relative to students starting at a
non-selective four-year college when we match on propensity scores."

The article also discusses the reality that those CPS students who attend Chicago City College are generally poorer and less educationally enriched than even low income students who graduate and attend four year colleges. It is without question true as the article concludes that those CPS students who do go to City College even though they are unlikely to receive ultimately a BA degree do have an increased chance of getting a BA degree relative to those who simply don't enter into any post secondary education option. But really one does not need to do a complex analysis to draw that conclusion does one? Then there is also the cost (both time and money) of going to City College and failing to advance which is not discussed at all in the article.

Rod Estvan

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