The historic closing of 49 elementary schools in Chicago left many parents bitter and feeling left out as they try to get involved in new schools. Yet parent engagement is essential for school improvement, and principals are faced with the challenge of building trust at schools that scored poorly on surveys of parent involvement.
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Laptops would help with typing skills. The problem always seemed to be the poor wireless connections.
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In the News: State's report card improves—a bit
Advance Illinois, an influential education group, Tuesday gave Illinois’ effort in public education slightly improved grades — mostly Cs — despite a “disturbing” trend of mostly flat academic performance, according to the Sun-Times.
The state's uptick in grades from two years ago — when it drew a D in one of three grades issued by Advance Illinois — came because it managed to hold steady despite an increasingly needy student population, leaders of Advance Illinois said in their second biennial “Report Card on Public Education in Illinois.’’
The Tribune's series on truancy in Chicago Public Schools is vividly reported and thoughtful, touching quite rightfully on the role poverty plays in the struggles of CPS students. (Note: You'll need a subscription to the Tribune's new DigitalPlus service to read the complete series.)
IN THE NATION
The media barely noticed, but voters in three states rejected the profit-driven fraud that is education "reform," writes David Sirota in Salon.
The L.A. Unified school board voted Tuesday to restore five instructional days to the district's calendar and to rescind 10 unpaid days off teachers had agreed to earlier this year. (Southern California Public Radio)
A report by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance shows school districts across Wisconsin collectively cut spending on health, pension and other benefits by about $366 million in the 2011-12 academic year as the result of cuts to public worker benefits and limits on collective bargaining. (Wausau Daily Herald)
The teachers' union in Detroit says it plans to file a lawsuit against Detroit Public Schools on Wednesday for the "improper" dismissal of more than 422 teachers at the start of the school year. (Detroit News)