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: LSCs want audit of CPS finances
Local school council members of about a dozen Chicago Public Schools lamented proposed budget cuts for their schools Monday morning and called on Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to audit CPS finances, the Sun-Times reports. The LSC members also want an elected school board, which CPS has never had. Last November, voters in over 300 precincts approved an advisory referendum calling for an elected board.
EXACERBATING INEQUALITY: CPS released next year’s individual school budgets to principals last week and, according to the CTU, schools across the city are seeing 10 percent to 25 percent cuts in funding. The union and education experts predict these cuts will lead to eliminated positions and more split-level classes, among other negative outcomes. “What we’re going to see is a degradation of education in neighborhood public schools, which is likely to result in even a widening of the inequalities that we already have in CPS,” said Pauline Lipman, professor of educational policy studies and director of the Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. (Progress Illinois)
IN THE NATION
INDUSTRY OF MEDIOCRITY: The U.S. teacher training system is badly broken, turning out rookie educators who have little hands-on experience running classrooms and are quickly overwhelmed by the job, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality. The review found "an industry of mediocrity," with the vast majority of programs earning fewer than three stars on a four-star rating scale - and many earning no stars at all. (Reuters)
CUT TO THE BONE: Under a draconian budget passed by the Philadelphia School District last month, many who play supporting roles — aide, counselor, secretary, security monitor — will be gone by September, nor will there be money for books, paper, a nurse or the school’s locally celebrated rock band.