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: UNO reviewing its charter spending
United Neighborhood Organization officials said Thursday they have hired former U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen to conduct a review of how their charter-school network selected companies to build new schools with state grant money, the Sun-Times reports.
AN IVY LEAGUE CRITIC: A Yale University freshman from Chicago addresses what has become known as the "UNO scandal" in the Yale Daily News, writing: "UNO is shady and possibly participating in illegal activities, but gets away with it because its charter school network status allows it to avoid following the same financial standards that public schools do."
CEO'S STATEMENT: Juan Rangel, UNO chief executive, issued a statement on his organization's "procurement processes related to the $98 million school construction state grant."
MAPPING CLOSINGS: This Tribune map gives a clear view of the Chicago neighborhoods where most of the potential school closings would be concentrated—Austin, West Englewood, West Pullman and North Lawndale.
IN THE NATION
PRESCHOOL SKEPTICS: President Obama’s plan to expand preschool for the nation’s children faces deep skepticism among Republicans, who fear the creation of another federal entitlement program that they say could add to the nation’s deficit and swell the ranks of the teachers’ unions. (The New York Times)
TEACHER PREP PROPOSAL: A set of proposed standards for teacher-preparation programs unveiled Friday by the Washington-based Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation is leaner, more specific, and more outcomes-focused than any prior set in the 60-year history of national teacher-college accreditation. (Education Week)
PAPER TO DIGITAL: The push continues for school districts to move away from paper textbooks and toward digital curricula and e-textbooks. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urged educators last year to move quickly to adopt digital textbooks and materials. (Education Week)