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: Coaltion hosts 'Culture of Testing" forum
Raise Your Hand will host "Community Forum: The Culture of Testing—Assessing Assessment at CPS" this evening 7-9 p.m. at the Holstein Park Auditorium. Parents can also learn more about the process of opting out of assessments.
Panelists include CPS teachers from primary grades to high school and Noah W. Sobe, associate professor of Cultural and Educational Policy Studies at Loyola University and co-author of a research brief on high stakes standardized testing.
The Illinois House voted by a wide margin on Wednesday to allow the Chicago Public Schools to extend by four months a deadline to announce what could be dozens of school closings. (Huffington Post)
IN THE STATE
Sixteen innovative projects at Libertyville and Vernon Hills high schools have been awarded grants from a local community foundation. Some of the proposals will use iPads, webcams or other high-tech tools to help educate students. Some are decidedly low-tech and focus on the arts, physical education and other non-computerized subjects. (Daily Herald)
IN THE NATION
A new study from Public Agenda, a national, nonpartisan research and public engagement organization, suggests that high-poverty schools can succeed, in spite of challenges including tight budgets, sub-optimal parent participation, ill-prepared students and labor-management tensions. Findings indicate that strong and effective leadership at the school level is one of the biggest drivers of success in these schools. The research, summarized in the report, “Failure Is Not an Option,” examined nine high-poverty, high-achieving schools in Ohio. Teachers, parents, students and, often, district leaders attributed a large portion of the schools' success to the school leadership. Principals at the nine schools lead with a strong and clear vision for their school, engage staff in problem solving and decision making, and never lose sight of their school's goals and outcomes. (Press release)
Six years after New York’s highest court forced the state to substantially increase financing to poor school districts, the group that won that ruling is threatening a new lawsuit unless Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the Legislature come up with billions of extra dollars for those districts. (The New York Times)
The U.S. Department of Education released four-year high school graduation rates for the 2010-11 school year that showed glaring achievement gap across the nation. In Minnesota, for instance, the graduation rate for black students was 49 percent; for white students, it was 84 percent. In Ohio, the graduation rate for economically disadvantaged students was 65 percent; for all students it was 80 percent. (Education Week)
Federal prosecutors in Memphis are investigating an educator who they say ran a test cheating ring in three Southern states for teachers and prospective teachers who wanted to pass standardized certification exams. (The New York Times)