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.
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In the News: Elected school bd. to be on ballot
Voters in 35 of Chicago’s 50 wards will vote on changing Chicago’s school board from appointed to elected. The referendum, which is not binding, is the effort of a grassroots coalition unhappy with what they perceive as a board unresponsive to community concerns.
The coalition gathered enough signatures to get the measure on ballots in 327 Chicago precincts after allies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel successfully blocked efforts by several aldermen to get the measure on the ballot in their wards. According to National School Board Association, 94.5 percent of school boards in the country are elected and only 5.5 percent are appointed.
Just after midnight, Jean-Claude Brizard sent out a statement, confirming that he will leave the helm of Chicago Public Schools. He said he does so with "great sadness." (Catalyst)
The woman who will replace Jean-Claude Brizard as Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, has worn just about every education hat, from teacher to principal and from CEO to coach of superintendents. Her appointment by Mayor Rahm Emanuel will make her the fourth Chicago Schools CEO in less than two years — and the first female appointed to the post since lawmakers gave Chicago’s mayor control over the city’s public schools and its leaders in 1995.
Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard is out, to be replaced permanently by the school system's chief education officer. Brizard, who has been the CEO for about 17 months, made a mutual decision with the mayor that it was best he leave the top school post, mayoral spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton said.
Two students reportedly became sick at Hirsch High School on the city’s South Side after eating hot school lunches that were contaminated with rat or mouse droppings. The food appeared to have been chewed by either a rat or a mouse, according to the Tribune.
The Sun-Times' Mary Mitchell pens a goodbye letter to J.C. (Jean-Claude Brizard), whose departure as CPS chief, she says, is no surprise.
IN THE STATE
While suburban school districts such as Evergreen Park continue to deal with walkouts, Geneva teachers union members staged a "walk in" Thursday at the high school and middle schools. eachers have been working without a contract since Aug. 15, being paid and receiving benefits under the same rates and conditions as the previous three-year contract. (Geneva Patch)
Teachers went on strike this morning in the Prairie Grove School District 46 in Crystal Lake after six hours of talks with a federal mediator failed to produce a contract agreement. The two sides agreed on salaries and salary schedules but talks broke down later in the night over health insurance, according to a statement posted to the district's website. (Tribune)
IN THE NATION
The Washington Post created this info graphic to illustrate some new data about public education enrollment and spending, student achievement and other related issues just released by the U.S. Census Bureau.