This Week in Ed 10.12.18: Ongoing Nursing disaster at CPS; LSC workshop tomorrow; New state test for IL and more!

Raise Your Hand had a second meeting with a group of parents, the head of Special Ed and the Chief Operating Officer to discuss major nursing compliance issues at the district. Many students are put in unsafe situations due to lack of coverage, untrained nurses from temp agencies, and lack of continuity of care.

The Sun-Times has a third article out about this. Thanks to the many parents who spoke out! Email us if you have a child with a medical need that’s not being met, or if you have a care plan that says “call 911” to administer emergency medicine.

Sun-Times: Mom has to stay at school with kindergartener because CPS has not provided a nurse

LSC Workshop tomorrow- hosted by RYH!

All LSC members and those interested in the power of LSCs are welcome!

Saturday, October 13, 10am - 2pm, Ellis Park, 3520 S. Cottage Grove Ave

Register and more info here!


RYH Tech and Privacy Toolkit—NEW!

Cybersecurity has been in the news with major breaches for both Facebook and Google reported in recent weeks, both of whom are big players in the ed tech space in CPS and around the country. In light of news like this, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed about protecting your student’s personal data.


To help you navigate this area, we’ve put together a new set of resources for parents: Tech and Data Privacy Toolkit. The toolkit is a work in progress, so check back for additions in coming months.  


Illinois Assessment of Readiness: new state test

Illinois has a new test to replace PARCC for 3-8th grade annual testing in reading and math. It’s called the Illinois Assessment of Readiness. There are two vendor contracts to cover the test. Data Recognition Corporation has a three year, $64 million contract (renewable for an additional 3 years up to $133M) to assemble the test, set up the computer platform, and score it. New Meridian has a three year, $19.6 million contract for test questions and content, which started last year. The new test is supposed to be an adaptive test by the Spring 2021 administration.


CPS Sped HS Application & Placement Research Survey

Calling all parents of CPS 7-10th graders with an IEP... we want your feedback! Raise Your Hand is researching the high school application and placement process for students with IEPs, in order to advocate for improvement. All of the information collected will be synthesized into a simple report that is presented to the Chicago Public Schools in the hope that they will revise the process for high school application and placement to more appropriately and equitably serve students with IEPs. Your response will be aggregated with all others who respond and presented as a summary.  No individual responses will be reported. Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete this short survey! This survey will close on Thursday, October 18.


Annual Regional Analysis (ARA) update- plus other things to consider

There are several moving parts within the realm of CPS facilities and academic programming. To get the full picture, you should consider the ARA with respect to possible upcoming school actions and possible additions of new charter schools. Below is a list of the things you need to know right now with links for you to find out more, if interested:

  1. We joined with Blocks Together and Generation All to write a statement about the Annual Regional Analysis (ARA). Chalkbeat Chicago included our statement in an article which is an update to how CPS intends to use the ARA: Chicago schools chief urges principals to apply for enrollment-boosting programs.
  2. Here’s a brief summary of the ARA from previous RYH email blasts: CPS contracted with an organization, Kids First Chicago, to put together a large report analyzing schools by region using categories like quantity of seats, school quality, choice, and program variety. You can see the analysis here but please note: the foundation of this report has a lot of flaws- see the statement linked above. In addition to posting the ARA on their website, CPS announced that schools and communities may submit proposals to CPS for additional academic programming such as IB, world languages, etc. The Chalkbeat Chicago article linked above explains the process CPS has now set up for schools to submit proposals.
  3. We attended an ARA briefing by CPS and Kids First Chicago at Forefront Wednesday. We have a thread of live tweets here. You can see the presentation here. We will continue to monitor this and share info.
  4. Here are 2 articles that are important and related to this issue: WBEZ: Nearly All Chicago Charter School High Schools Have Room For Students Ranking Them Their First Choice and Chalkbeat Chicago: Why Rahm Emanuel and his schools chief believe an elite curriculum can resuscitate neighborhood schools
  5. Following a state law, CPS released their Draft Guidelines for School Actions on October 1. You can find the Draft Guidelines here. The public is welcome to comment on these Guidelines until 5:00pm on Monday, October 22. You can send feedback to The Guidelines will be used to determine school actions (closures; co-location; boundary change; etc.) for the 2019-20 school year which must be announced on or before December 1. If this is an issue that you want to stay on top of please visit this CPS webpage often: CPS School Transitions.
  6. While all of the above is happening, charter schools are also applying to open for the 2019-20 school year. The CPS webpage for this is entitled 2018 Request for Proposal to Open a New School. Currently, there are 4 charters with active applications.


Fundraiser success! Thanks to you!

Hopefully you received our thank you/love letter email last week. You all really came through for us and our work and we can’t thank you enough! Please check out the slide show we played at the event which highlights some of our work- especially our special education work. Please check out our program from the fundraiser here. We look forward to working with you this school year & beyond!


In other news

Sun-Times: National Teachers Academy community goes to court to save their school

Chicago Reader: Fifty years ago, 35,000 Chicago students walked out of their classrooms in protest. They changed CPS forever.

WBEZ: ‘School Choice’ Divides Gubernatorial Candidates In WBEZ/Chalkbeat Election Special

Chalkbeat Chicago: How will Chicago schools improve special education after state takeover? Parents haven’t heard.

The Chicago Reporter: On schools, Chicago’s next mayor should really listen to the community

The New Yorker: How Chicago’s Public Schools Are Teaching The History Of Police Torture

Ed Surge: Drinking, Smoking and Sugar: How Unsavory Ads Wound Up on Edmodo


Upcoming events

Monthly meeting of the CPS unelected BOE

Wed Oct 24, 10:30am

CPS, 42 W. Madison

You must register online to speak. That registration begins on Mon Oct 22 at 10:30am.

Online registration is here.

If you plan to attend, it is best to also register online in advance and starting Mon Oct 22 at 10:30am at the same link.


DePaul College of Education presents the Fall Education Issues Forum: What You Need to Know About Teachers Unions!

Wed Oct 24, 5:30 - 8:30pm

DePaul University Student Center Room 314AB

2250 North Sheffield Ave

Registration required.

Online registration is here.


IL Education Budget Hearing- Chicago: IL State Board of Education Meeting

Fri Nov 16, 11am - 3pm

Thompson Center

100 W. Randolph


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