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The race for City Hall

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.

In the News: High schools should be off table, CEO says

Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett agrees with a panel on school closings that high schools should be off the table as the district prepares to shut down a large number of buildings, a CPS spokeswoman said, according to the Tribune this morning.

ON TO ROUND TWO: Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced on Friday a second round of community meetings set to begin Jan. 28 around school utilization to gather feedback that may be considered as part of CPS’ efforts to "right-size" the district, according to a CPS press release. Once Byrd-Bennett has completed her review of the Commission on School Utilization’s recommendations, CPS will release a list of schools that remain on the table for possible consideration.

NEXT ROUND—CPS: The commission already held a series of public meetings; these instead will be led by CPS, according to the district. A schedule is not yet available. (Sun-Times)

CLOSING IN ON CLOSINGS: CPS officials will put out a list of schools still eligible for closure by the end of January, but CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said Friday that list would still be far from final. (WBEZ)

WHAT'S COOKING?: Student chefs created healthy recipes from food in high school’s pantry for the Cooking for Change contest of the Healthy Schools Campaign last week. (Sun-Times)


COMMUNITY SCHOOL CHAMPION: Expanding the amount of learning time for students and creating a new class of higher-paid "master teachers" are among the major changes New York state needs to improve its K-12 system, says Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is also championing the idea of opening more community schools that would provide health care and family-counseling services. (Education Week)

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL NEEDS: Students' ability to learn depends not just on the quality of their textbooks and teachers, but also on the comfort and safety they feel at school and the strength of their relationships with adults and peers there. (Education Week)

VIOLENCE UP CLOSE: The gun violence that took the lives of Chicago school students and that he was surrounded by while growing up in that city have helped turn U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan into an outspoken advocate of gun control who has drawn sharp criticism from the National Rifle Association. (Education Week)


Anonymous wrote 2 years 2 days ago


How non committal can you get?

"CPS officials will put out a list of schools still eligible for closure by the end of January, but CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said Friday that list would still be far from final."

really....most school districts let teachers know their assignments by like February ? We don't even know if we will have a school open?? CPS is a disaster...when is the USA Congress going to call the out....456k childrean are in LIMBO....and our National Government doesnt see to care? In terms of school days...our new school year starts in 8 months...and we don't even know which schools will be open?? How is this going to work? If they close down 50 to 100 schools...that will be like reconstituting about the qequivelent of 10-15 sized school districts? this doesn;t concern Illinois??? the ones who passed sb7

Lamon Perry wrote 2 years 2 days ago

School closings

With all the schools in Cps that are performing below level; children are being deprived of a stellar education. They deserve the best. Instead a lot of schools on that list are going backwards. There needs to be a change. Cps needs a shakeup. Those schools haven't been cutting it. There are goals to be attained. Those goals are not being attained at school under the current staff or leadership. It is good that BBB came in and was open to the parents and the city; as to what was going on behind closed school doors. A lot of Principals have been protecting themselves. A lot of Networks have been protecting themselves. They have not been telling it like it is. Now the schools' utilization and performance status per schools is here for the public to see. After all; they are public schools. With scores declining; more teachers and administrators should have been eliminated. Many of them have been working as to who you know. Scores should have been better. And the years should not continue going downhill. A lot of the problem is in certain areas of Cps. Those schools need help. The administrations have been leading those schools wrong. Children have lost. Money is wasted on electric and heating. Buildings are scanty. Principals have replace children with computers and book rooms. Principals at some schools have bunched children into one or less rooms and marred their learning by having too few teachers; and more students placed with one teacher.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 2 days ago

CPS is wrong

However, the sick one is CPS central admin. However, they have been given more powe as of late. Yet they are the ones who need the SHAKE up first...then the schools. They just went down to Illinois, passed Sb7 and scapegoated the teachers for their own disorganization!! WE NEED SOME OTHER GOVERNEMTN TO OVERSEE THEM...or make the board a voted board!!!

CBW wrote 2 years 1 day ago

Re: School Closings

Dear Lamon,

Your argument was pretty novel in 1996 when the district first started throwing in the towel on neighborhood schools and pretending like that was the brave thing to do. If you haven't noticed though, our city has been at it for close to twenty years and guess what? Shuffling kids from one building to another in an under-served system has predictable results. It's about time that teachers share some of that accountability with a school system that is built to tear itself apart for the sake of nothing more than despotic mayoral politics.

The burden of proof is on you and other people who support such destructive practices.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 8 hours ago

Remedies are out there.

I tried to follow Lamon's argument and it is a bit vague. But here is an offering that should be considered. After studying data from Kennedy, that has some genuine numbers, they have instituted the College Framework Progect: that is a skills based curriculum. They have been at it for a few years and the program has started to take root. Teachers are mandated to collaborate and create skill based assignments. There has been some success at doing this and the rigor has increased in the classroom. It is not without some problems. The CFP appears to help middle and high level students while lower level students have trouble with the enhanced curriculum. Although a diagonal program was put in place to alleviate this problem, its effect is still unknown. An adviser to the program stated that it takes some time for the program to take root as staff modifies there teaching to accommodate a skills based curriculum. Thus, firing all teachers or closing down a school undermines the effectiveness of a program that takes time to get established. The same adviser stated that in addition to a change in the curriculum, the culture of staff and students has to change too. Other schools that have success with this program said it took five years for the culture to adapt as students grew accustomed to the higher rigor and faculty either accepted the program or were weeded out via transfers or eliminated. Most teachers upon seeing the data welcomed the program.

O.T. Bright Community wrote 1 year 52 weeks ago

Fire Failing Principals, Don't Close Schools!

Lamon Perry is right! I have seen, first-hand, how politically connected principals get away with ruining their schools' test scores, driving excellent teachers away and causing parents to give up on their neighborhood schools while collecting their $135,000+ salaries year after year. Millicent Clyburn (Robersone) has been intimidating, harassing and attacking teachers and other CPS employees since she manipulated her way into the principal's office (a.k.a. the "sorority shrine") at O.T. Bright elementary school in the southside. Clyburn has doggedly persecuted -and continues to persecute- excellent teachers, including Golden Apple Award winners, who have served our school and community for years -for absolutely no reason. Clyburn has found her meal ticket and she will do anything to protect her Gaddafi-style regime, including manipulating CPS policies to write up staff members or submit complaints against all visiting CPS officers, again, for no logical reason. Humiliating teachers at staff meetings? Check! Pitting staff members against each other? Check! Intimidating assistant principals in the presence of staff members? Check! Driving parents away? Check! Is it any wonder that O.T. Bright school has the worst teacher-turnover rate at CPS? That our school gets a new assistant principal every year? Parents are fed up. The Annex building which once hosted Pre-K through 2nd grade classes has been closed. Positions have been eliminated. Our once-thriving school is now on the under-utilized/possible closure list. Instead of shuttering schools in low-income and minority neighborhoods, CPS should get rid of politically connected opportunistic "principals" like Millicent "I'm-a-close-friend-of-Jesse-Jackson" Clyburn.

MBA wrote 1 year 52 weeks ago

The above description is almost like..........

Bella McCloyd. Except she attempts to persuade anyone within hearing range that she has "a young looking face."

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