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Current Issue

College and careers

An overhaul of the district’s career education programs seeks to make classes more challenging and put career-track students on the path to higher ed, but many schools have lost programs, and fewer students are participating overall.

In the News: CPS closing in on closings list

The commission handpicked to oversee Chicago Public School closings is leaning strongly toward recommending that no more than 20 schools be closed in any one year to give students, parents, teachers and bureaucrats an opportunity to adjust to the upheaval, sources said Monday, according to the Sun-Times.

AN ACCUSATION: The Chicago Teachers Union accused Chicago Public Schools on Monday of manufacturing its fiscal crises, pointing to a newly released audited budget for the last school year that seems to show an extra $344 million. But CPS said the money, already budgeted for the current school year, only shows on last year’s books thanks to a Cook County fluke that saw property tax bills sent out on time for the first time in more than 30 years. (Sun-Times)

PAYING FOR KINDERGARTEN: As more parents seek full-day kindergarten for their children, more Chicago-area school districts are offering it — but sometimes at a cost of thousands of dollars in tuition. (Tribune)

IN THE NATION
DOE INVESTIGATION: The United States Department of Education is investigating complaints that plans to close or reorganize public schools in Philadelphia, Detroit and Newark discriminate against black and Hispanic students, as well as those with disabilities, a department official confirmed on Monday. (The New York Times)

MONEY ON THE LINE: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Monday urged the State Legislature to intervene so that New York City does not lose hundreds of millions of dollars because it missed a deadline this month to finish negotiating a teacher evaluation system. (The New York Times)

NO HARM DONE: Studies find student achievement doesn't suffer even when teachers take advantage of early-retirement incentives. (Education Week)

8 comments

Marc Sims wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Why schools are closings

One reason why schools are closings because so many African Americans have fled Chicago. Lower income African Americans have been fleeing American cities just like middle class African Americans has done for decades.

Rod Estvan wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Was the Truman closing hearing last night not news worthy

I found it odd that Catalyst did not mention what happened last night at Truman College at the CPS listening meeting on school closings. Here is a link to the ABC news report http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=8971665

I attended the meeting last night and the outrage of parents from most schools was palpable. What drove people over the top was the CPS declaration that all input from parent/teachers/community members would be conducted in "breakout sessions." The media that was present at the Truman College gym would not be allowed in the breakout sessions. It was clear that most people attending believed CPS would manipulate any input given to create the message CPS wanted relative to the closing process. At that point the mass audience decided effectively the meeting was a fraud.

In the ABC clip a reporter Diane Pathieu repeats a comment from an unnamed CPS spokesperson who stated they believed the vocal group was brought in by the teachers union. All I can say about that is I sat relatively close to the CTU vice president and could note no directives being given to disrupters and I also noted that one CTU organizer attempted to calm down a teacher from Gale Academy who was getting pretty vocal at one point. As far as I could tell the anger of the crowd was spontaneous.

The comment on the video from Brenneman School Principal Sarah Abedal that she feared for the children she had brought to the meeting because people were not being respectful was interesting. I do not know this principal at all, but I read very hostile comments about her submitted to Greatschool.org that were somewhat shocking http://www.greatschools.org/illinois/chicago/962-Brennemann-Elementary-School/#!/reviews

In general teachers do not trash their principals on that school review site and the level of hostility towards her is remarkable. I do know that she and her students were on the other side of gym from me so I did not hear what she was hearing, but on my side of the gym I saw no parents leaving with their children for fear of their moral corruption.

Rod Estvan

lforte wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Catalyst coverage of hearings

Rod:

Catalyst Chicago did not cover last night's hearing but plans to be at tomorrow's hearing. Media access for part of these hearings has been restricted, but we are re-tweeting coverage from those who are able to send news via Twitter.

northside wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago
northside wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

loran marketing

Loran marketing was going to do break out sessions. Per tribune they were paid for by Walton foundation...advocates for charters....its getting so scary

Northside wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Ray Manzarek

Ray Manzarek went to Everett School.....wouldnt it be awesome if he came out and spoke up about CPS schools and saving the neighborhood schools. I bet the cookie cutter UNO schools or robotic common core stuff from the networks arent going to create any like him!!!!

Northside wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Ray Manzarek

For the younger ones...he was from the Doors!! Who else went to CPS regular nieghborhod schools? Walt Disney????

Anonymous wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

Community Meeting at Truman College

It's ironic that the union was blamed for the fired up crowd at the community meeting on Monday. People were upset because their voices were restricted from being heard by breakout sessions. What a joke? They didn't come to see a presentation or hear about data. They came to speak from their hearts about school closings. The CPS reps were overwhelmed and they underestimated Uptown and Rogers Park Community who came out in force. Yet CPS wanted to follow the script, so the crowd didn't fold. Then I heard that the principals in attendance was told to muzzle or quiet down their parents. Interesting!

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