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: Byrd-Bennett brings in a Marine
Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is leaning on Tom Tyrrell, a retired Marine colonel who once quietly sorted out a prisoner exchange in the wake of war in Kosovo, to help in the transfer of students in the upcoming school closing process, the Sun-Times reports.
SCHOOL FILLED WITH SORROW: Grief counselors and extra security moved about King College Prep High School Wednesday, comforting crying students in the aftermath of a shooting in a nearby park that killed sophomore Hadiya Pendleton, 15. (WBEZ)
CPS SPENDS WAL-MART MONEY: The Walton Family Foundation (a foundation run by the founders of Wal-Mart) is providing financial backing for the current series of school closing meetings taking place around the city this month. (Catalyst)
CORE CHOOSES ITS CANDIDATES: The Caucus Of Rank and file Educators has nominated its candidates for the upcoming election in the Chicago Teachers Union. Karen Lewis, Jesse Sharkey, Kristine Mayle and Michael Bruson were nominated to run for a second term to lead the union for another three years. The election is in May. (Substance News)
IN THE NATION
RACE AND SCHOOL CLOSINGS: In a crowded room in the U.S. Department of Education building in southwest Washington, protesters from 18 cities gathered to tell department officials how school closings have affected their communities—and to call for a moratorium on school closings, action on civil rights complaints against the closings, and a new model for transforming schools that serve racial minorities. (Education Week)
LAW SCHOOL BLUES: Law school applications are headed for a 30-year low, reflecting increased concern over soaring tuition, crushing student debt and diminishing prospects of lucrative employment upon graduation. (The New York Times)
GETTING OUT OF GOVERNMENT: The public school system in the nation’s capital may let high school students graduate without taking a high-school-level course in how their country’s government works. (The Washington Post)