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: CTU to hold summit on school closings
The Chicago Teachers Union will hold an "Education Summit On School Closings" from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Marshall High School, 3250 W. Adams St. CTU says the meeting will provide training to school leaders on how they can engage the broader community against increasing charter school initiatives and pending school closings by Chicago Public Schools. It is open to the public and members of the media.
Chicago’s high school dropout rate – about 35 percent – is at the heart of the city’s problems with poverty, violence and unemployment, according to a special episode of "Chicago Tonight." Watch a recap of our 90-minute live online chat here.
IN THE STATE
The Illinois State Board of Education announced Thursday that it has awarded more than $14 million in 21st Century Community Learning Center grants to fund before- and after-school academic enrichment programs. These programs are expected to serve more than 13,600 students from 110 Illinois schools. The 21st CCLC grant program provides academic enrichment opportunities to help students in low-income, underperforming schools meet state and local performance standards in subjects such as reading and math. The program also offers a variety of services to students and their families, including drug and violence prevention lessons, counseling, art, music and recreation classes, technology education and character education. (ISBE press release)
Four leaders of Springfield’s black community Monday requested a meeting with the Springfield School Board to discuss what they said many blacks see as racism aimed at School Superintendent Walter Milton and other black school employees. (State Journal-Register)
IN THE NATION
A new analysis of federal data that provide a deeper and more systematic look into students’ ability to understand the meaning of words in context than was previously available from “the nation’s report card” finds stark achievement gaps in vocabulary across racial and ethnic groups, as well as income levels. (Education Week)
Hispanic students now make up nearly a quarter of the nation’s public school enrollment, according to an analysis of census data by the Pew Hispanic Center, and are the fastest-growing segment of the school population. Yet nonwhite Latino children seldom see themselves in books written for young readers. (Dora the Explorer, who began as a cartoon character, is an outlier.) (The New York Times)
A vast majority of public school teachers in Northeast Florida are rated as effective or highly effective, a statistic that one local superintendent says is “inconsistent.” (The Florida Times-Union)