The Weekly Ed Update- 9/2/16

Hope everyone is enjoying the last few days of summer break. Lots of parents have been asking us if there is going to be a strike this fall. Nobody has a definitive answer to this right now. The process is that the teachers will vote for another strike authorization next week and if they choose to strike, there will be a ten-day window in which the CPS and CTU can work to resolve things. The timing is uncertain but we know that there won’t be a strike in the next few weeks due to this timeline. RYH hopes that the CPS and CTU can work to come up with a contract that is amenable to the teachers. The uncertainty makes things difficult for all of us, but we understand that conditions in the schools have become very tough with all of our schools being asked to do more with so much less. Teachers, students, and families face a very challenging learning situation. While CPS and CTU seek a resolution, Raise Your Hand will continue to fight for revenue at the state and city level so that all Chicago’s children have what they deserve to thrive.

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Here’s a good article on the topic: Chicago Reporter: Room for compromise as teachers strike vote nears

Elected school board panel- what's the plan for this bill?
This week there was another panel discussion at the City Club about the elected school board bill. The bill passed in the House 110-4 in the spring and now needs to be voted on in the Senate. The Legislature will be back for veto session in November and there will be a renewed push to bring some democracy and transparency to public education in Chicago.

Sun Times: Sen Kwame Rauol: Elected school board bill needs tweaking

PARCC scores out
There’s nothing surprising about the bad-news headlines that came out last week about PARCC scores because the test was designed and cut scores set so that 2/3 of students wouldn’t be labeled as proficient. Your child could have the exact same results on the test in a different state with a different label because states had autonomy in how they set the cut scores. IL has ditched the PARCC for high school but they’re still using it for elementary schools. CPS wants to move to use the PARCC as the high-stakes test replacing NWEA next year. Lots of organizing ahead on this!

WBEZ: Two Thirds of IL Students Don't Meet Math and Reading Standards

In others news:
Crain's op-ed: Time to end the war on Chicago's neighborhood high schools

Sun-Times: School staffing doesn’t always match enrollment

DNAinfo: Chicago Schools Hike Student Fees as Budget Cuts Continue

Tribune: Charter school group eyes vacant Elgin property

NPR: Mental Health in Schools- a Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions of Students