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The race for City Hall

Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

In the News: Las Vegas recruiting CPS teachers

In the midst of Chicago’s school closings, Las Vegas plans to send recruiters to claim some of Chicago’s best teachers. (Medill Reports)

Chicago’s closing of 54 schools will put approximately 1,000 teachers out of work, according to the Chicago Teachers Union. But half way across the country, in Clark County School District, the fifth largest school system that encompasses Las Vegas, they are set to hire 2,000 new teachers for the 2013-2014 school year – many positions they hope to fill with Chicago teachers.

VOICE FOR CHARTER PARENTS: Chicago Public Schools parents from across the city have formed a new grassroots organization that intends to voice the concerns of one group whose views have been missing from the current debate about improving Chicago Public Schools – parents of CPS charter school students. Charter Parents United (CPU) is proposing a Charter Parents Bill of Rights, which they say will "ensure that Illinois and CPS support their children’s schools and continue to provide them with the quality education and stable environment they have worked so hard to find," according to a new release issued Thursday.

HEARINGS ON RECORD: Chicago is holding more than 190 community meetings and public hearings this spring—all required by law—to gather feedback on its proposal to close an unprecedented 54 schools. CPS contracted with a vendor to record public meetings that took place between April 6 and April 15 on these proposed school changes. Through an open records request, WBEZ obtained those audio files and has posted them to its website. Listen to them here.


PARENTS ON SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT: A report from Public Agenda on parent attitudes toward parental involvement in education details why and how school leaders must tailor their approaches to more effectively engage parents in school improvement. The report, "Ready, Willing and Able? Kansas City Parents Talk About How to Improve Schools and What They Can Do to Help," indicates that parental involvement means very different things to different parents, with some drawn to advocacy and school reform while others are more comfortable participating in time-honored tasks like helping with school clubs, sports and bake sales.

COLLEGE READINESS VIEWPOINTS: High school teachers think their students are ready for college, but college professors beg to differ. A survey by ACT finds that 89 percent of high school teachers think report their students are "well" or "very well" prepared for college-level work in the subject they teach, while just 26 percent of college instructors say incoming students are "well" or "very well" prepared for entry-level courses. (Education Week)


Rodestvan wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Las Vegas has been doing this for years

Las Vegas recurrited Charlene Green the former CPS head of special education years ago who is now Deputy Superintendent at Clark County School District in Las Vegas. In turn other highly skilled CPS special educators went out to that growing school district. This is not really news.

Rod Estvan

Linda Lenz wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Las Vegas

Minneapolis was here last week to recruit teachers in high-needs areas.

Robert Moore wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago


Low performing schools need to be turned around if they have been low performing year after year. Children should not have to continue suffering in one spot. Their peers getting ahead. If a school is consistently a Level 3; then that means something is not working. Scores should go up; not down. Sometimes leaders do not know how to lead. A leader works with and leads the staff in a straight forward direction. If students are not gaining that means the staff is just getting a pay check. You have to have the correct trained professionals in front of students that can lead them to exceed. This is just common sense. It is wrong for LSCs to give a Principal top ratings when the school has been on probation 5 or so years. That would not be a fair to students rating. Would the LSC be working with the Principal to keep? That is not the name of the game. If the staff is not doing the correct job; then the staff should be overturned and a more effective staff put in place. There are quite a few schools at CPS that are low performing. Over time if they do not make progress; then they too should be refreshed and turnaround. Job well done BBB.

northside wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Good Point Robert

But you act as if CPS as a SYSTEM has no responsibiltiy in this isn't as simple as you think......CPS DOES NOTHING in regards to Currciculum...look at their website....try to pull up a currciulum or academic goal...most schools spend a great deal on planning AS A SYSTEM and helping develop teachers. CPS DOES NOTHING you work for CPS??????

Excuse me, but wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Robert, did you realize 2/3rds of charters are low performing?

Charters are supposed to be the solution to low performing schools, right? But 2/3rds are low performing. (WBEZ) No one is closing them down or turning them around at anything like the rate of traditional public schools.

Why not?

A majority of charters are not performing, but they are draining tax dollars from the district. And parents have no oversight of charters. No idea of where the money is being spent, which relative is getting rich form contracts or jobs.

Robert Moore wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago


So then Excuse me, but; what is suppose to happen to the children in low performing schools? Are the to continue to be low performing students? Don't you think they deserve the same opportunity as students that are performing better? Don't they deserve the chance to be taught so that they can learn; also. It is no good to the children if the staff is continuously going through the motions; getting a pay check and the children are not learning. They are going to school to learn. If they are not learning; then the problem needs to be fixed so that they can learn.

Excuse me, but wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

You make a good point,

You make a good point, Robert.

The CPS' solution is more charters, right?

And right now, after 15 years of trying, 2/3rds of them are low performing too. So my point is maybe the solution to the problem is not more charters.

Maybe we should look at low class sizes, much less testing, and more services for special needs children.

Maybe after-school programs that keep kids safe and learning things they love. Things like that.

I know there isn't a lot of money now. But at least we should give kids stability and security. Not have the lives of 47,500 kids disrupted. And many kids are going from one level 3 school to another level 3 school. How does that help?

Robert Moore wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Too Long of a School Day

Now that all of these changes are happening to the Chicago schools; the start and ending times should change back. Having those students out there late WILL be dangerous. The need to get of those schools and get home. They will be in different territories. Not good. Change their times back to get out earlier and off this notorious Chicago streets. Making it through this year you could see children out there when it was almost dark. Especially in the winter. Get the children in off those streets early. Not at 4 o"clock and 5 o"clock in the afternoon.

lforte wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Comments labeled "Anonymous" no longer allowed

Please be aware that according to our policy on commenting, posts labeled "Anonymous" will no longer be allowed and will be deleted. --Lorraine Forte, editor

Chicago Parent of 7th grader wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

I just want a school that works for my kid

My son is a 7th grader at charter school. He had been at a "very good" CPS elementary school from kindergarten through the beginning of 6th grade. In 4th grade, he was diagnosed with ADHD. Prior to the diagnosis, I was one of those skeptical parents who thought the diagnosis was overused and an excuse for lax parenting. I was wrong. In the regular public system, we got a very good teacher every other year and a bad teacher every other year, not just an o.k. teacher, but a bad teacher. By the time my son got to 6th grade there were 36 kids in his class and he was lost.

We transferred him to the charter school, at the beginning of 6th, because some of his friends had transferred to the same school and I loved the curriculum. I still love the curriculum and I love the teachers. The teachers do a great job of working with my son. I will say it again, the teachers do a great job of working with my son.

I didn't realize until CTU went on strike last fall, that part of the fuel for the strike was public schools v. charter schools. I don't really want to have to get involved in the politics of this crazy debate. I just want a school that works for my kid. I pay taxes. I should get a decent school. This discussion should not be "you are either with us or against us."

Charter schools are real schools. Public schools are real schools. Private schools are real schools. Parochial schools are real schools. That does not mean I am advocating for vouchers. I am a pragmatist. I want a school that works. I am funding it. It should work for me and my kid.

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