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.
Join the conversation
We encourage our readers to leave comments and engage in dialogue about our stories. But before you do, please check out our "rules of the road."
Recent Notebook Entries
- Take 5: Meeks to head state board, college credit classes, principal autonomy
- Emanuel makes big promises for schools in second term
- Take 5: Rahm's early childhood non-news and competing PARCC letters
- Take 5: Catching up on the news
- Inspector Gen'l. report: Major financial fraud, abuse of selective admissions
Right Now On Notebook
When talking of choice, it should not only be the gifted or our large population of students that stand above the crowds. Special needs students should also have choice. ODLSS should not be...
Subscribe to catalyst-chicago.org by e-mail
In the News: Emanuel ad puts spin on strike outcome
With help from his well-funded political allies and the resources of the Chicago Public Schools system that he controls, Emanuel is describing the tentative contract that emerged from the seven-school-day strike as a hard-fought victory for children.
In a political-style TV and radio ad blitz launched Wednesday, Emanuel says "change is never easy" but declares the outcome "the right deal for our kids." The ads are being paid for by a nonprofit arm of a political action committee started by Wall Street hedge fund managers who believe the creation of privately run charter schools is the best avenue to reform. (Tribune)
Ed Reform Now, a group with overlapping funders with Democrats for Education Reform bought a million dollar ad buy on Chicago television to spin the recent teachers strike as a win for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, writes blogger Mike Klonsky.
The deal that ended a seven-day Chicago teachers strike will be up for union approval on Tuesday, Oct. 2, Chicago Teachers Union officials said Thursday. (Sun-Times)
Influential businessman and adviser to Mayor Emanuel Bruce Rauner says unions protect bad teachers. He and CTU vice president Jessey Sharkey duked it out on WTTW Thursday night. Watch the interview here, but be sure to read the online comments below.
"The settlement of the Chicago Public Schools strike is the latest example of foolishness in public management," writes Charles F. Falk in a letter to the Tribune. "CPS agreed to provide nearly $400 million it does not have in rewards to a teachers union that has produced one of the least-effective big-city school systems in the nation. In so doing, CPS joins the scores of governmental units that have navigated their respective ships of state onto the reefs of financial un-sustainability."
One of the things that some folks learned during the strike is the extremely low percentage of white students in Chicago Public Schools, writes Whet Moser in Chicago Magazine. "It's not terribly unusual for big-city schools, but 9 percent did come as a surprise to many, even people who follow politics and civic issues closely."
IN THE NATION
The Schott Foundation for Public Education released "The Urgency of Now: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males," which finds that only 52 percent of Black male and 58 percent of Latino male ninth-graders graduate from high school four years later, while 78 percent of White, non-Latino male ninth-graders graduate four years later. The report suggests that without a policy framework that creates opportunity for all students, strengthens supports for the teaching profession and strikes the right balance between support-based reforms and standards-driven reforms, the U.S. will become increasingly unequal and less competitive in the global economy. The foundation also provides individual reports on each state. Read the report for Illinois here.
Public school teachers seeking to recall Gov. Bobby Jindal and House Speaker Chuck Kleckley said Thursday that they failed in their efforts to oust the Republican leaders. The teachers were angered by Jindal's education reform that will push more students into private and charter schools. (The Times-Picayune)