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: W. Chicago teachers go on strike
Elementary schools in West Chicago are closed Monday as District 33 teachers begin to strike, the district announced, after a union representing the district's teachers had rejected the district's latest contract offer late Sunday night. (Tribune)
Jennifer Cheatham, chief instruction officer for CPS who helped create a uniform academic calendar and extend the school day, is a finalist for the superintendent job in Madison, Wis. (Tribune)
SHOE TAX: A newly introduced bill, sponsored by Rep. Will Davis (D-Hazel Crest), would impose a 25-cent tax on the purchase of athletic shoes to fund supporting Illinois YouthBuild — a non-profit with 16 programs in the state that provide job training for disadvantaged youth. (Sun-Times)
IN THE NATION
RINGLEADER INDICTED: Federal prosecutors have indicted Clarence Mumford, a Memphis teacher, assistant principal and guidance counselor, on being the mastermind behind a teacher certification test cheating ring. (The New York Times)
COMMON CORE BACKLASH: Opponents of the Common Core State Standards are ramping up pressure to get states to scale back—or even scrap—the effort, even as implementation moves ahead. (Education Week)
CHARTER CAUTION: Following a study released last week by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University that suggests that the standards used by the charter authorizers to judge school performance are terribly weak, The New York Times says states that are in a hurry to expand charter schools should proceed carefully.
POST-NEWTOWN SECURITY: Emporia, Kan., is arming guards in middle and high schools, the first step in a broader update of school security measures. (USAToday)
RESIDENCIES FOR TEACHERS: The Denver Teacher Residency is using a program that trains new teachers by using a model based on medical residencies and recruiting from the corporate world. The program offers monthly stipends, tuition reimbursement, and priority status for a teaching job. (The Denver Post)