Recap of SW Side 10/23 CPS Community Engagement Forum

Thanks to CPS parent Jennie Biggs for attending this meeting and taking these detailed notes. This was a by-invite only meeting and many parents have asked for transparency about what is happening at these meetings, of which CPS says feedback will be considered for 10 year-planning and decisions about school actions. RYH attended a N/NW side meeting 10/24 and also a South-side meeting 10/25. More info to come. Continue reading

Letter to Barbara Byrd-Bennett

We would like to introduce our group, Raise Your Hand, to you today. We are a coalition of parents across the district who have been advocating for better funding, programs and a stronger parent and community voice in policy making at CPS since 2010. Our group formed to tackle the never-ending issue of state and local cuts to the education budget. Continue reading

CPS Parent Workshop/Training Opportunities

This is from CPS: There are workshop/trainings being offered by our FACE Network Collaboratives. October 27, West Side Collaborative Parent Conference, Arturo Velazquez Tech. Institute, 8:30am-1pm November 3, North/Northwest Side Collaborative Parent Conference (invitations next week) Continue reading

Raise Your Hand: Where Have we Been, Where are we Going?

What is Raise Your Hand? A solution-oriented grassroots parent-led advocacy group that works on improving public education for all kids.   Who We Are RYH was founded by a non-funded group of parents in April 2010 to fight the $1.3 billion budget cuts to education that were expected to raise class sizes to 37 students at CPS and result in a loss of many other programs. Many parents from different schools joined forces at this time to fight these cuts. and raise awareness about the funding issues at CPS. RYH formed out of sheer frustration at yearly budget cuts, perpetual instability, lack of communication and inequitable funding. Continue reading

Brizard out after 17 months, new CPS CEO is Barbara Byrd-Bennett

News broke Thursday that JC Brizard, the CEO for CPS from April 2011 to present, resigned from his position. He is reportedly leaving on “mutually agreeable terms” with CPS after much speculation in the press. This is the 5th turn-over of this position in 4 years. We wish Mr. Brizard the best in his future endeavors and congratulate Ms. Byrd-Bennett on her new position. We hope to meet with her at some point to discuss the issues that remain most pressing to parents in our membership. Continue reading

On School Choice

There seems to be some confusion about our position on school choice. Last week we had an opinion piece in Catalyst about the role of DFER (Democrats for Education Reform) in Chicago education reform and Catalyst then invited the Director of DFER to respond to our piece. She responded that “my hope is that Ms. Katten wouldn’t discount non-neighborhood school parents and claim that they aren’t real.”Thisresponse reflects an unawareness about RYH and its membership. Continue reading

Elected School Board Referendum on Ballot in 327 Precincts Nov 6th

To see if the referendum is on the ballot in your precinct, check out the link below. Plug in your address and name and then click on"Sample Ballot." Scroll down to see if there is a "Public Question." on the ballot with the referendum. Continue reading

The Weekly Update

Greetings All, there is a lot going on in the ed world this Fall!   Teachers Ratify Contract 79% of teachers who cast ballots voted to approve the 3 year contract Tuesday. The Board also needs to vote to approve. Continue reading

UNO: Document on Parent Trigger and list of schools

We are passing on a document that someone sent to us last night. Note, we were not given this document directly from UNO. We think it's important to share it, though. We have no idea how this list of schools was compiled or where it came from. All we can say is that someone who reported to be at an UNO event recently regarding parent trigger issues sent this to us. Continue reading

CPS Revised Calendar for this Year

CPS announced a new calendar to make up for days lost during the strike. Students will be required to attend days that were previously holidays or summer break days. For Regular Track Students, the following dates are NOW school days: Jan 3 and 4 (Previously a part of Winter Break,) Feb. 18 - President's Day (No longer a day off) June 19, 20, 21, and 24 (Previously a part of Summer Break) April 1-5 (No longer Spring Break; school IS in session this week)  Spring Break - Now scheduled for March 25-29, 2013. Continue reading