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 points out "utilization" contradiction
Chicago Public Schools said Friday it planned to add four more charter schools to the nine charters previously approved for the coming year, but the Chicago Teachers Union fired back in a press released that said the openings only exacerbate the so-called "utilization crisis."
At the same time CPS is planning "to close neighborhood schools for under-utilization," the district continues "to open new charter operations which is a glaring contradiction," CTU said.
IN THE STATE
The tentative labor agreement that ended the Carpentersville-based Community Unit District 300 teacher strike is still being adjusted ahead of a vote by teachers and school board members. (Daily Herald)
During a recent public meeting, one parent called Glen Ellyn District 41’s plans to implement a "Think Tank" initiative a communication nightmare since many parents knew little about the process and were opposed to the district’s plans to move quickly to implement plans. (GlenEllyn Patch)
IN THE NATION
Instead of using the controversial value-added analysis for evaluating individual teachers, the Los Angeles school district and United Teachers Los Angeles have agreed to use a mix of individual and schoolwide data, such as raw state test scores, district assessments and high school exit exams, along with rates of attendance, suspension, graduation, course completion and other indicators. The tentative pact puts the nation's second-largest school system at odds with a national trend to gauge the effect of teachers on student achievement by using a value-added analysis. That method, known in Los Angeles Unified as Academic Growth Over Time, is opposed by many teacher unions as unreliable; but it is being used in Illinois, New York, Texas, Florida, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. (Los Angeles Times)