Chicago

Chicago reporters. An endangered species. Not dead yet, but on life-support.

Chicago reporters. An endangered species. Not dead yet, but on life-support.

By Fred Klonsky There was a time when Chicago investigative reporters were the envy of cities across the country. This was even before Woodward and Bernstein. Now there are just a few who even deserve the title. Ben Joravsky on the corrupt use and misuse of TIF money. Sarah Karp at Catalyst. She blew the cover on the $20 million dollar no-bid principal training contract. Linda Lutton at BEZ. And a... »

The Illinois Charter Commission. An über committee with even less democratic oversight than the CPS board.

By Fred Klonsky The Illinois State Charter Commission can almost be described as an über committee with even less oversight than Chicago’s mayoral controlled school board. If a privately managed charter application is rejected by a local school board, even a board that was democratically elected as all but the CPS board are, than the unelected Charter Commission can overrule that decision. And the... »

In the News: Top-performing school lands on closings list

  By Cassandra West   Calhoun North Elementary in the East Garfield Park neighborhood has logged some of the best math scores in the city, but CPS says it’s significantly underenrolled and should be closed next fall in a sweeping cost-cutting effort pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.   Its students will be sent nearly a half-mile north   Source: Chicago Catalyst     ... »

Why Rahm Does Not Care About the Kids in Chicago

Why Rahm Does Not Care About the Kids in Chicago

Chicago leads the country in the number of murders of any major city. Our mayor continues to ignore this fact and go ahead with funding and building new parks that cost $55 million downtown and a new river walk downtown that costs $100 million. My students on the South Side of the city live in one of the most violent and low income neighborhoods. Our mayor claims he cares about the kids, but his a... »

What My Students Wrote in a Free Write About the Strike

The Friday before the strike was anticipated to possibly start here in Chicago. I asked my students the simple question at the end of a quiz, “Should your teachers go on strike?” Here is a sampling of their responses. This was a free write so I just typed what they had written. “I Support my teachers cause they need more pay so they can help us get ready for the future” — Hakeem ... »

Chicago Teachers Union Strike: A Proxy for Deep Teacher-Parent Dissatisfaction With Current Education Policy

Chicago Teachers Union Strike: A Proxy for Deep Teacher-Parent Dissatisfaction With Current Education Policy

This is a must-read from The Nation on why the Chicago teacher’s strike is much more than a local issue. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel share roots in the city that was Obama’s training ground as a politician, and so they’re deserved targets as well as proxies for all that many teachers and parents find wrong with the White House’s federal... »

Chicago Teachers Strike: Why I’m On Strike & What I’m Telling My Family and Friends

Chicago Teachers Strike: Why I’m On Strike & What I’m Telling My Family and Friends

As the strike makes national news I am finding along with many teachers that many people are weighing in on the strike who really have no idea what is going on and are basing their opinions off a 2 minute news clip. Here are the talking points and explanation I will share with my family. Dear Friends and Family, As the Chicago Teachers Strike becomes national news it is important to remember a few... »

What Backers of the “Parent Trigger”/Parent Tricker Law Don’t Want You to Know: Real Democratic Involvement in Public Schools Works

Around the country, REAL parent heroes are putting the lie to the version of the story told in the movie Won’t Back Down. The “parent trigger”, or “parent tricker” law is in the news again, this time with a glossy film starring popular actors Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The heart-string-tugging movie is called Won’t Back Down, and at the most simplistic l... »

Parent Trigger = Parent Tricker

This is a must-read EdWeek article by Diane Ravitch with regard to the trickery behind the “parent trigger” law, and the recent decision by the U.S. Conference of Mayors to endorse a boilerplate bill pushed in four states by a hard-line right-wing group (ALEC). She notes that not one of the charter laws in CA, CT, MS, and TX has resulted in the success conversion of a public school int... »

90% of Chicago Teachers Vote to Strike If Contract Negotiations Break Down

Via the Washington Post: as of June 11, 2012, ninety percent of the 26,000-plus teachers in the city of Chicago voted to strike if contract negotiations with the city fall apart. At issue are longer school days minus any corresponding increases in pay, and other disputes over class size, restoration of school libraries, art and music classes, and an end to chronic underfunding. A four percent pay ... »

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