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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: CPS seeks one calendar for all

Chicago Public Schools last week released a proposed single, unified calendar for school year 2013-2014 that ends the District’s two-track schedule and gives all students the same start and end dates and days off.  The calendar was developed in collaboration with the Chicago Teachers Union, a CPS press release stated.

AUGUST START: Chicago public schools will start classes on Aug. 26 this coming school year, ending a long-held practice of a post-Labor Day opening, under a proposal announced Friday. (Sun-Times)

PROBABLE TARGETS: According to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis, 193 Chicago Public schools are not safe from closing, although the district won't release its own preliminary list of schools that could need defending to survive drastic school actions until Feb. 13. (Sun-Times)

SILENT CLASSROOMS: WBEZ tours one of Chicago's half-empty public schools to see what it looks and feels like inside some of the district’s “underutilized” elementary schools.

COMPLAINT FILED: Health and Disability Advocates has recently filed a formal complaint against Chicago Public Schools for failing to properly transition children turning 3 years old from Early Intervention services to special education services. (American Academy of Pediatrics)

BACK TO CLASS: Grayslake teachers, students report back to class Tuesday after the teachers’ union reached a tentative agreement with Community Consolidated School District 46.  (Sun-Times)

NURSE RECOMMENDATIONS: Beginning July 1, the Illinois State Board of Education will require that certified school nurses, or CSNs, make any educational recommendations related to a student’s special-education needs. (State Journal-Register)

TESTING BOYCOTT: More than 60 educators and researchers, including some of the most well-respected figures in the field of education, pledged support for the boycott of the Measures of Academic Progress test initiated by the teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle, calling the action a “blow against the overuse and misuse of standardized tests.” (Daily Kos)

ARMING TEACHERS: In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, some states are pushing ahead with plans to arm teachers. (Educated Reporter)

1 comment

Danny wrote 1 year 51 weeks ago

Okay--but those flex days...

I generally like the proposed calendar, but those flex days have me worried.

The flex days are for staff only (non-attendance for students) and can be held any time throughout the year that is a nonsalried day. Ostensibly, a principal could decide to hold one the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the second week of Christmas break, or any time throughout the summer (including the day day before and/or after the Fourth of July).

Granted, CPS has managerial rights to set the school calendar, but as far as flex days go, they should encourage input from the PPC (union committee) at the local level. At the very least, the local school administration should announce by Spring Break when the flex days will be schedule for that school. Staff plan summer travel in the spring, and others take classes during summer hiatus.

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