Congratulations to my Teach Plus Colleague Shelli Shadday on advocating on behalf of highly-effective teachers on Chicago Tonight. My favorite quotation came to her response to the union’s “fiery” rhetoric and whether it was fueling the distrust between the community and the district:
I think the Union has come out and brought communities together in a way we haven’t seen communities come together in a really long time. And its amazing to see parents and students come together to say, “I want my school! Don’t close my place of education. My safe space that I would rather stay at even when I am sick.”
Watch the entire interview by clicking here.
Starting in the 2013-2014 school years, Chicago Public School principals’ budgets will be based on per-pupil spending instead of the per-position spending from years past. The CPS marketing department must have been in full gear when they issued a press release heralding “autonomy” over the school budget for principals. As principals received their budgets for the next school year, many are realizing that their new “autonomy” is coming at a huge price; in some cases over $1 million. Many of the school’s budgets are short thousands of dollars for next year from the year before, which forces principals to make tough decisions about staffing for the next school year. Read More…
The Chicago Teacher’s Union released a video on Friday from a couple of students at Gage Park High School describing the conditions that the young ladies have to endure to use the washroom at their high school. Shouldn’t young ladies going to school be able to have privacy in the bathroom and have the ability to wipe their butt after using the bathroom? Read More…
I woke up a few days ago with a familiar dread in pit in my stomach when I learned of of the closing of 23 public schools in Philadelphia. It was the same feeling that I felt when I found out the closing of 49 schools and one program in Chicago. Is this a trend? Is this what we have to look forward to year after year?
Officials in both districts argue that these closings are necessary to shrink a budget gap, and that keeping the schools open would only perpetuate the status quo. Even if I were to believe that their arguments were warranted to suggest that closing these schools are going to do anything to change the status quo is completely erroneous. Barbara Byrd Bennett has claimed that “The only consideration…is to do exactly what is right for the children.” It is that shortsighted view by the Chicago Public Schools CEO that calls her leadership abilities into question. And it is actions like those in Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Washington that enshrine a cycle of poverty that the reformers claim to be committed to combating.