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

Voices in Public Ed Reform - Part 2

A few days ago we wrote to you about radio and television ads sponsored by outside interest groups that have been airing for many months.  Many of you emailed us back with questions and comments. Here’s a link to the Chicago Tonight interview that we referenced. Watch this important conversation with Bruce Rauner, one of the leaders in the education “reform” community in Chicago, Please take five minutes to watch this. Continue reading

War: The Best Route to Public Schools?

Parents have been emailing us for a few weeks asking us how someone got a hold of their personal cell phone numbers and email addresses. As Jill Wohl explained in her blog, “What happens in CPS stays in CPS,” the group that invited parents to a rally during the strike was an arm of the national group, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), started by hedge-fund managers and charter-school operators in New York. We have no idea how they obtained personal information of parents. Continue reading

Jonathan Kozol discussion and book signing this Thursday 9/27

Come hear renowned author Jonathan Kozol discuss his new book, "Fire in the Ashes: Twenty Five Years Amongst the Poorest Children in America on 9/27. Kozol has been writing about urban education for forty-five years and is the author of many books including Amazing Grace and Savage Inequalities. He is a leading voice on the need for educational equality in our country and writes about our children who are most often left behind.    September 27 (6pm - 8pm) Thorne Auditorium of Northwestern University Law School 375 East Chicago Avenue   Public transportation recommended This even is free and open to the public. Email us if you plan to attend:info@ilraiseyourhand.org

The Strike is Over...Our Work is Not!

Dear Parents:   We are happy to transition back to school and finally settle into a routine. As you know the House of Delegates of the CTU voted to suspend the strike but they didn’t yet vote to approve the contract. Most everyone we heard from expressed great relief that their kids are back in school. There remain different opinions regarding the purpose of the strike and what it signified or didn’t. The press keeps asking who “won” and who “lost?” People have asked what the kids got out of it. These are complicated questions. If nothing else, the events of the past ten days have worked to elevate the discussion around public education in this city and nation, which is a good thing. We think this will prove to be an intangible positive but we don’t think it can be distilled to a “win” or “loss”. Continue reading