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: CTU seeks moratorium on closings
Leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates voted unanimously to support the call for a moratorium on all school closings, phase-outs, restarts and turnarounds this year, according to a press release the union sent out Thursday afternoon.
Chicago Public Schools released on Wednesday a preview of the criteria for which it will shut down schools throughout the city. CTU President Karen GJ Lewis said the “CPS’ school actions appear to be an arbitrary real estate plan and not a school improvement plan that will benefit our students. We have heard the District plans to open 60 new charter operations and it has to get the buildings from somewhere. School closings have a significant negative impact on student learning. These closings destabilize neighborhoods and lead to the layoffs and firing of experienced educators."
During the United Neighborhood Organization Annual Awards Dinner last night, UNO CEO Juan Rangel announced a $70 million school construction program to build new schools in Chicago’s Hispanic communities, where CPS schools are overcrowded. (Hispanically Speaking News)
IN THE NATION
A study by the Fordham Institute offers a comprehensive analysis of American teacher unions’ strength, ranking all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to the power and influence of their state-level unions. In Tier 1, the strongest, the top 10 unions are in Hawaii, Oregon, Montana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, California, New Jersey, Illinois, New York and Washington. The Fordham Institute study assesses teachers unions according to their power and influence across five major areas: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies, and perceived influence. (Indiana Public Media)
New York City public school students will return to classes on Monday morning, but some of them will not go to the buildings they left last week. Forty-four buildings housing 79 schools were severely damaged by the storm, Dennis M. Walcott, chancellor of the city’s Education Department, said Thursday in a news briefing. Students whose classes were held in severely damaged buildings will be relocated to other schools, Walcott said, and some classes may have to be broken up. (The New York Times)