CPS has never had a strong, districtwide program of teacher induction and mentoring to stem an attrition rate that is higher than the national average. Instead, efforts to retain teachers depend on smaller-scale programs and individual principals who make it a goal to empower—and keep—their teachers.
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My school has worked hard over the past two years to reduce suspensions. I am the principal, and I report everything. My kids and parents know this, so discipline is down. I have never received...
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In the News: U-46 to offer tutition-based kindergarten
Elgin Area School District U-46 will offer tuition-based, full-day kindergarten next year in a pilot program that could be expanded later, according to the Daily Herald.
SHOOTING DRILLS: In this State of the State address, Gov. Pat Quinn called for all of the state’s schools to hold annual drills to help students prepare for the possibility of a school shooting. (CBS Chicago)
IN THE NATION
STILL OVERRATED: In Michigan, 98 percent of teachers were rated effective or better under new teacher-evaluation systems recently put in place. In Florida, 97 percent of teachers were deemed effective or better. Principals in Tennessee judged 98 percent of teachers to be "at expectations" or better last school year, while evaluators in Georgia gave good reviews to 94 percent of teachers taking part in a pilot evaluation program. Those results, among the first trickling out from states' newly revamped yardsticks, paint a picture of a K-12 system that remains hesitant to differentiate between the best and the weakest performers—as well as among all those in the middle doing a solid job who still have room to improve. (Education Week)
A DESEGREGATION ODYSSEY: A federal judge approved a plan on Wednesday intended to lift a longstanding desegregation order in the Tucson Unified School District that has served as a reason and an excuse for a lot that has gone wrong in the district over the past decades: shrinking enrollment, sliding graduation rates and insistent dropout rates. (The New York Times)
LOATHING 'BELOVED': A Fairfax County parent, Laura Murphy, wants the Pulitzer Prize-wining Toni Morrison novel, "Beloved," removed from classrooms. Murphy said the novel depicts scenes of bestiality, gang rape and an infant’s gruesome murder, content she believes could be too intense for teenage readers. (The Washington Post)