The Weekly Ed Update- 12.16.16

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The Weekly Ed Update- 12.9.16

Sign up for our weekly email blasts to get the latest Chicago education news! Below is last week's Weekly Ed Update. Continue reading

CPS admits private student data shared with Noble charter for mass marketing

The CPS Inspector General launched an investigation after CPS parents who received postcards questioned how Noble charter school had access to child's name, home address, and current school. Continue reading

Giving Tuesday

Please consider a donation to Raise Your Hand today!   Continue reading

Learn more about vouchers

With the change in presidential administration, promotion of privatization via the use of vouchers has come to the forefront in federal education policy. In his platform and on the campaign trail, President Elect Trump proposed diverting up to $20 billion of Title I and other federal funds for vouchers. Continue reading

Strike averted; Obama Prep Canceled: Still Much More Work to Do

Dear Parents, It’s good news that a strike has been averted for now. With many community groups around the city, we’ve been calling on the mayor and aldermen to return more unused TIF funds, and, according to reports, they will declare a $175 million surplus. . This is too little to reverse most of the cuts that have been made, but there will be some funding for K-2 assistants in classes with 32 or more students. Next year, school counselors and special education staff should be able to work directly with students more regularly, rather than doing case management work.. The City has put plans to build Obama Prep on hold and those TIF funds will go back to CPS. This is a big win for all the parents from RYH and the West Humboldt Park Parent Network who worked so hard on this campaign. Our city does not need another selective high school when we can’t afford to adequately fund our existing schools. Thank you for your efforts on this. Continue reading

RYH Comments on Draft IL ESSA Plan

Chris Ball, CPS Parent and Raise Your Hand board member, and Cassie Creswell, Raise Your Hand Action Co-Director and board member, collaborated and submitted these comments on the Draft Illinois ESSA Plan. We are very grateful for their work. The comments are below. To view the statement with references, please go here.  The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the new federal education law. You can read more about it here. The ESSA webpage for the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is here. Continue reading

Comments on CPS Draft Guidelines for School Actions 2016-17 and CPS Draft 10 Year Master Facilities Plan Update

Submitted by jenniebiggs72 on Fri, 10/21/2016 - 9:55am Remarks as prepared for the October 21, 2016 Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force (CEFTF) general meeting and school actions committee meeting, presented by Jennie Biggs on behalf of Raise Your Hand. Comments on CPS Draft Guidelines for School Actions 2016-17 We applaud that you have added in that school actions can come at the request of “principals, parents, or community members.” We hope that there will be a robust process to ensure that the school community is heard, that their proposal is taken seriously, and that the proposal is vetted to be in the best interest of the entire school community as well as its surrounding neighborhood. Further, there should be a clear procedure for “principals, parents, or community members” to submit their proposals. How were principals, parents or community members supposed to know that “Public comments on the Draft Guidelines may be submitted on-line, via e-mail at and web survey at” (III. Process for commenting on Draft Guidelines, p. 3)? We are concerned that while the draft guidelines are supposed to “…be created with the involvement of local school councils, parents, educators, and community organizations…” (I. Preamble) we have yet to see any evidence of any kind of robust process to include local school councils, parents, educators, and community organizations. Continue reading

Parent testimonies from 10/26/16 CPS BOE meeting

Remarks from Deb Hass to CPS Board CPS may have a new vision, but it has no plan. The repercussions of CPS’s “no plan” for facilities are increasingly visible. The data I shared for receiving schools show that between 2013-14 -- the first year after the mass school closings -- and last year, receiving schools saw an enrollment decline of 8.1 percent compared to a 2.8 percent loss in other district-run schools. Thousands of children faced the trauma of losing their school and then the trauma of student-based budgeting -- losing teachers, counselors, and other supports. Those children deserved sustainability. They deserved a stable, comprehensive education. What did they get instead? No plan. CPS lost 11,000 students last year alone. Yet since the closings, it has opened almost as many charter and privately run contract schools as it closed, including one a few blocks from Kelly, a neighborhood high school whose community said loudly and clearly, it did NOT want you to dilute resources and risk creating two underutilized, under-resourced schools. What kind of plan creates a mess like this? No plan. Continue reading

CTU sets October 11th strike date if contract isn’t reached

Yesterday we learned that the CTU set at strike date for October 11th. 95% of the 90% of members who voted authorized a strike. Now there will be an intensive 10-day period of bargaining between CPS and CTU. Our hope is that there will be a rapid and fair resolution before a strike takes effect. Continue reading