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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In the News: School closings may be less than feared
Shutting a large number of schools would create too much upheaval, the commission on school closings said, and it is leaning toward a recommendation for closing far fewer schools than many have feared — possibly as few as 15, sources tell the Tribune.
OLD AND NEW COMBINED: Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday that the old Jones College Prep building, standing in the shadow of a gleaming new school, will incorporate the old and become one school, with about double the number of selective enrollment seats. With an additional 250 selective enrollment seats each grade, Jones will eventually be about 1,700 students. (Catalyst)
DEFINING THE FUTURE: Teach Plus held a conversation Tuesday evening with Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis to talk about the future of CTU and CPS. Find real-time tweets of the discussion using the #teachpluschicago hashtag.
IN THE NATION
EVALUATION AGREEMENT: A landmark agreement to use student test scores for the first time to evaluate Los Angeles Unified instructors was approved by the teachers union Saturday. In a victory for the union, however, the pact limits the use of a controversial method of analyzing a teacher’s effect on student test scores known as value-added. United Teachers Los Angeles reported that 66 percent of 16,892 members who voted approved the agreement with the nation’s second-largest school district. L.A. now joins Chicago, New York and many other cities in using testing data as one measure of a teacher’s effect on student academic progress. (Los Angeles Times)
ELEMENTARY TEACHER EXCESS: Data, while imprecise, suggest that some states are producing far more new teachers at the elementary level than will be able to find jobs in their respective states—even as districts struggle to find enough recruits in other certification fields. (Education Week)
MORE GRADUATES: The U.S. high school graduation rate is the highest since 1976, although more than a fifth of students are still failing to get their diploma in four years, the Education Department said in a study released Tuesday.