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Drugs in schools

Most drug violations in CPS involve an ounce or less of marijuana. Schools are quick to call police, yet rarely have the resources to offer education, counseling or other non-punitive help to students.

In the News: Clout opened door to spot at Payton Prep

Greg Hinz at Crain's reports on how potential GOP gubernatorial candidate and wealthy venture capitalist Bruce Rauner used his clout to get his daughter into Walter Payton College Prep High School by placing a call to former CPS chief Arne Duncan, according to sources with first-hand knowledge of the matter. Rauner owned a suburban home and his daughter could have attended wealthy New Trier High.

PROTESTS AND BOYCOTTS: The school closing debate led to dueling protests Wednesday morning outside Chicago Public Schools headquarters. Students from various area high schools boycotted the second day of standardized testing to protest the role of testing as a factor in schools landing on the school closure list. A group called Charter Parents United chanted, "Our child, our choice, hear our voice," saying they wanted equal funding for charter schools and for the district to hear their voices too. (Tribune)

STUDENTS WALK OUT: Dozens of Chicago students boycotted a required standardized test on Wednesday in protest of high stakes testing and the city’s plans to close 54 schools as part of deficit reduction measures. The walkout is the latest in a series of community and union protests of the March 21 announcement. (MSNBC)

"UNDER-RESOURCED, OVER-TESTED': About 100 high school students on Wednesday skipped the second day of a mandatory state test to march on Chicago Public Schools headquarters. "We're under-resourced, over-tested, and we're fed up with the policies that are put in place by CPS officials," said Brian Stirgus, a Robeson High School junior. The test boycott, organized by Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools, attacked what the group said was unnecessary testing. (DNAInfo)

CHARTER EXPANSION: CPS board members approved Wednesday the expansion of several charter networks but, in an unusual occurrence for an appointed board that usually accepts all of the administration’s recommendations, the proposals did not all earn unanimous votes. (Catalyst)

POVERTY GRANT EXPLOSION: Across Illinois, the state counted some 1 million low-income students — more than twice the federal numbers — in calculating poverty payments to districts, a Tribune review of school finance data shows. Those numbers, in turn, have prompted skyrocketing poverty grant expenditures totaling nearly $10 billion over the past decade — money that also goes to the wealthiest school districts in the state, including Arlington Heights-based District 59.

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS: Two Harper High School students, Deonte Tanner and Brittney Knight, are winners this year of the prestigious Gates Millennium scholarship, awarded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One thousand needy minority students are receiving the scholarship across the country this week; 54,000 applied. (WBEZ)

IN THE NATION
LANGUAGE FAILURE:  More than 20,000 English-learners in California's public schools are not receiving language instruction and the state department of education is failing in its role to ensure that schools educate such students, alleges a lawsuit filed today by the American Civil Liberties Union. (Education Week)

A DROPOUT DROPS IN: Mark Wahlberg, one of the world’s most successful high school dropouts, stopped by T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria on Wednesday morning to encourage students to stay in school. The multimillionaire Hollywood producer, actor, former rapper and model dropped out of high school in the ninth grade. But now, the 41-year-old father of four is pursuing his diploma through an online credit-recovery program. (The Washington Post)

9 comments

John Arnold wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

School Actions

Cleaning up a disfunctional school system where children do not have the same resources that other children in better schools; is the thing to do. As far as over crowing in the schools that are now complaining; bus some of those children to another school site in one or two or three school spaces that are closing. They get on the but; they get off the bus. They will not be crossing gang territory. The thing is; there are signs of being jealous. A lot of those school that are over crowded have had many new schools built for them already. In the African American neighborhoods; where do you see new schools? The best that BBB can do for those poor needy children are to bunch them up and give them air conditioning; librairies; ipads; smartboards; a Science Lab. Many African American schools looks the pits inside. The money has been spent in other neighborhoods. So part of what BBB is doing is trying to give them that same opportunity. If failure has been happening; it has been happening within the school. That need to be changed. Why do the children have to continue to fail; just to say a teacher is getting a pay check. If the children are not meeting or exceeding; then someone else and some things else needs to step in an place those failing students on higher levels. Sometimes change is good. Parents will feel the satisfaction going into a new environment; a cleaner more well stocked; cooler and well heated environment for their children; once it is in place. Talks about the gangs; well the children just have to stop fighting. Sometimes poor resources will turn out tough kids; because their day looks dull. Some tough kids; if given more resources will brighten their spirits and desire to achieve; up. So what happens if nothing changes. The State is going to come in and take the schools and they are going to close them all down and turn them all around. After all Chicago has its own thing for right now. If they don't come up with that billion dollars; State of Illinois is going to own them. You won't have to fight with Cps. Try fighting the State.

Rodestvan wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Mr. Arnold's absurd comment

I don't know anything about John Arnold but his theory that the effectively bankrupt State of Illinois is going to use its NCLB powers to take over CPS schools and run them is absurd. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) could barely muster the resources to take over the East St. Louis school district or the North Chicago school district, both of which entered a situation of complete fiscal and academic collapse. ISBE its self is tapped out and the Illinois General Assembly is not going to in any way provide additional funding for it to take direct control over any CPS schools.

Right now ISBE is desperately attempting to void special education regulations it lacks the resources to enforce across our state. ISBE is trying to reduce the amount of money it has to pay out in general state aide by planting stories in the Tribune about how CPS and other districts are cashing in on poverty (see Diane Rado March 31, 2013 and Diane Rado April 24, 2013).

Rod Estvan

Ed Dziedzic wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

LOL

"John Arnold," or whatever your real name is, I just had to laugh! "Talks about the gangs; well the children just have to stop fighting."

Now why didn't anyone ever think of that before? Just stop fighting! Of course! BTW the telltale misuse of the semicolon lets us know this is the same troll who has been singing BBB's and Rahm's praises for a few weeks now. Do they pay you by the word?

Democracy Now wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Why didn't Bruce Rauner send

Why didn't Bruce Rauner send his daughter to one of the charter schools that he's apparently such a fan of instead of district school Walter Payton? Oh, that's right - charter schools are for other people's children and helping his cronies get rich.

Edward Wilson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Turnaround Runoff at Dewey Academy

Dewey Academy of Fine Arts is being protected from being turned around because LSC President Matthew Johnson has a sister; Antionette Murff who works as a teacher's assistant at the school to protect her job. They have been running anyone off from the school who has been trying to come out to the school. A LSC President should not have let Dewey get into that bad of a shape. The Principal Eric Dockery has let the school be on probation the entire time he has been at Dewey. No improvement. This cannot be. This is considered low performing. And as to the inventory of the textbooks at the school. What textbooks? The children don't take books home at Dewey. There is a big lack of materials for the students at Dewey. So what are they protecting in this school when Cps can see the School Profile at Cps. It is completely under utilized. There are only a 1st grade; 2nd grade and 1 special ed classroom on the 1st floor. There are less than 270 students at Dewey and they can hold 630 students. Parents do not like the Principal or Assistant Principal. The parents that Matthew Johnson bum rushed to attack the inventory people are his closest friends. If you survey the LSC at Dewey there are not enough member on the LSC; they do not have a quorum. How would a LSC try to save a Principal that is not functioning? This should not be. Again. The LSC President Matthew Johnson's sister Antionette Murff works at the school. He is really trying to save her job. Not the school. This is why he is so violent. If anything the non-legit council should have never hired Principal Eric Dockery. They did not do a background check on Eric Dockery and he had broken a student's arm at Holmes School on 55th and Morgan. They had ordered him to stay away from children. But he had worked at 125 Clark and was a friend of Huberman's and they patted him on his back and he slid on down the street to Dewey. The school has been a mad house. Lack of materials. Fights everyday. Principal shouting up and down the hall. Leaks in classrooms. No air conditioning. Cold rooms in the winter. Needing $13,800,000 of work done on it. The story that is being told as to Dewey excelling is not the truth. Dewey Academy is in dire need of change. They really need a change in the LSC President; because is not functioning. The LSC does not even get to share in the SIAAP. Eric Dockery sends things in without sharing with the made up council. He even appoints staff to the council himself.

Edward Wilson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Turnaround Runoff at Dewey Academy

Dewey Academy does not have a new Principal. It is time for Eric Dockery's contract to be up. Why would the LSC fight for a Principal that has not raised the school's scores up and who threw teachers out of his school just because he could. A school that had student's scores as low as 13% meeting in benchmark grades.A staff that would desire a different Principal. Parents that are being bought off to protest when they have never had chances to be a part of LSC meetings Look at the school data. On probation. Does not meet AYP. Dewey is the lowest achieving school in the Pershing Network. With enrollment in the 200's and decreasing. It is time for a change so the children can achieve. No school should be sitting flat on the ground for so many years. This does not show achievement. Hopefully the childrwn will get a better chance. Even the staff has been transferring out of Dewey. They say the school is depressing. It is not run correctly.

Bill Baar wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Bruce Rauner and Clout

The problem's not Rauner asking Duncan to get Rauner's daughter into Payton. The problem's we've had a school system where Administrators set up lists of folks they'll do favors and most certainly favors they'll expect to be repaid one way or the other. Duncan was the culprit here; not Rauner.

P.LANE wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

The privileged Get to Bend The Rules

An an incentive for CPS teachers, I think, would be to allow their children to attend the same school that they teach at. However everyyone elso should follow the required guidelines, even the Principals. Likewise, I disagree with Jones College Prep allowing a neighborhood component, while the rest of the parents have to walk on water to get in. It doen't matter if the neighborhood portion gets to take a CTE course. The get to take the same prep classes as that the selective studtents will be taking. Is this fair? The neighborhood students didn't make it in!! The neighbborhood children did not have to meet the standards the rest of us met and they took TIF from other communities to build this school. Where will the seats be for the real TIF funders who are not in the neighborhood. What about their children? Jones parents are getting their opportunity off of many tax payers across the city and many of them are not able to afford private tuition. Meanwhile these well deserving families who are unable to afford private school, who have children with stellar grades are left on a waiting list. Then they are also and bumped by freeloaders who are being helped by cronies. What a shame!!! The system is indeed corrupt and the rest of us are punished if we break any rules!! There are indeed the privileged who live above the rules or bend them to suit their needs!!

P.LANE wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

The privileged Get to bend the rules

Correction: An incentive for CPS teachers, I think, would be to allow their children to attend the same school that they teach at. However everyone elso should follow the required guidelines, even the Principals. Likewise, I disagree with Jones College Prep allowing a neighborhood component, while the rest of the parents have to walk on water to get in. It doesn't matter if the neighborhood portion gets to take a CTE course. They also get to take the same prep classes as the selective students. Is this fair? The neighborhood students didn't make it into Jones through successful testing!! The neighbborhood children did not have to meet the standards the rest of the parents met and they took TIF from other communities to build this school. Where will the seats be for the real TIF funders who are not in the neighborhood. What about their children? Jones parents are getting their opportunity off of many tax payers across the city and many of them are not able to afford private tuition. Meanwhile these well deserving families who are unable to afford private school, who have children with stellar grades, are left on a waiting list. Then they are also bumped by freeloaders who are being helped by folks like Arne Duncan. What a shame!!! The system is indeed corrupt and the rest of us are punished if we break any rules!! There are indeed the privileged who live above the rules or bend them to suit their needs!! Meanwhile many well deserving parents who are following the rules are left with empty hands.

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