This Week in Ed 10.19.18: CPSuccess! And more!

#cpsuccess! We are still retweeting away at @CPSuccessChi. Please tag us in your #cpsuccess tweets and use that hashtag! (Note the clever spelling.) Some recent & amazing #cpsuccess stories chosen randomly from our Twitter feed:

Congrats to Nava Cohen, Decatur ES! She was named Illinois Latin Teacher of the Year, MMXVIII!

Congrats to Morgan Park HS student, Frank Morrison! He won his audition for ILMEA (IL Music Education Association) All-District Jazz. He won a spot in the All-District Jazz Combo. His next step is to audition for All-State Jazz. This is a first for Morgan Park High School to win All-District Jazz.

Ebinger ES prepares the sets for their upcoming musical, Lion King Jr.!

Kellogg ES received a 2018 Chicago Excellence in Gardening Award!

Peer Conference training at Mitchell ES!

Hispanic Heritage Month is inclusive at Westinghouse HS!

Drummond ES little ones explore math! (Super cute picture!)


Chalkbeat & ProPublica collaboration

ProPublica created a new interactive database called Miseducation which compiles federal civil rights data -- and you can search it by school to see how access to AP courses, gifted and talented services, even discipline, corresponds to race.

Chalkbeat, then, wrote several stories from cities across the nation exploring the inequities at the local level. Chalkbeat Chicago used the data to compare academic opportunity at three high schools in and around Albany Park (Roosevelt, Northside, and Von Steuben): In one Chicago neighborhood, three high schools offer dramatically different opportunities

Chalkbeat: What our local education reporters learned when we collaborated with ProPublica to look at equity data

Really worth your time to check out all of the above.


Annual Regional Analysis (ARA) update

CPS has now scheduled multiple ARA Briefings & Workshops which will be held across the city. They began this week and will continue through mid December. You can find the schedule for these meetings here and here. We joined with Blocks Together and Generation All to write a statement about the Annual Regional Analysis (ARA).

ICYMI: 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 ARA here but please note: the foundation of this report has a lot of flaws- see the statement linked above.

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago sets community meetings on controversial school inventory report

Here is the Sun-Times coverage of an actual ARA briefing on the West Side:

CPS lets West Side residents sound off on school needs; more events planned


New school ratings system for IL

As part of compliance with the changes in federal education law, Illinois developed a new state plan for school accountability. This plan includes assigning schools tier ratings similar to CPS’s level ratings (and in fact, the state system is modeled in part on what CPS has done.) You can learn more about the different rating systems via resources from our program on school ratings last winter.

Even though the changes in federal law don’t require state accountability systems to do more than identify the very lowest performing schools in a state, like many other states, Illinois chose to create a leveled rating system and base it primarily on test scores and other factors that are heavily dependent on school demographics and resources. Illinois also chose to design the rating system in a way that penalizes schools with high percentages of opt out/refusal by lowering their rating and counting students who refused state testing as having failed it. FairTest has a detailed report comparing state rating systems here.

The IL State Board of Ed is having a series of public meetings around the state to provide answers to questions about the new accountability system. The meeting in Chicago is this coming Wed. Oct 24th from 5-7pm at 42 W Madison (CPS Board of Ed room). Please consider attending to ask ISBE officials why they aren’t working within the constraints of the federal law to create a system that de-emphasizes standardized testing and highlights funding and resource needs. Some press on this below.

WBEZ: New Grades Coming For Illinois Schools: ‘Exemplary’ to ‘Lowest Performing’

ISBE_RoadShow-page-001.jpg ISBE_Designations-page-001.jpg


Another new resource on ed tech and data privacy

Yesterday the national groups Parent Coalition for Student Privacy and The Badass Teachers Association released an Educator Toolkit for Teacher and Student Privacy:  A Practical Guide for Protecting Personal Data.  You can find it here. (And can read about it in Education Week here.)

We have a new page bringing together resources for parents in this area as well, our Tech and Data Privacy Toolkit. Our toolkit is a work in progress, so check back for additions in coming months and in the meantime, email us with questions that come up:


Last Call! 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 Monday, October 22.


In other news

Chalkbeat Chicago: Eve Ewing explains why some communities just can’t get over school closings

Sun-Times: Teachers protest charter champ Betsy DeVos as Chicago schools plan strike votes

Note: These strike votes are at various Chicago charter schools.

WBEZ: CPS Expected To Get Extra $75M Windfall From City

Chalkbeat Chicago: Illinois charter PAC ready to spend millions in Chicago elections

WBEZ: Illinois Looking To Knock Down Barriers For Incoming Teachers

NPR Illinois: How Do You Test For Teaching Talent?

Sun-Times: EDITORIAL: What will it take to get 5-year-old Liam a good CPS nurse?

CBS 2: Leaky Roof Sends Rain Pouring Into Kilmer Elementary School; CPS Vows To Fix

(You can sign a petition about this here.)

Chalkbeat Chicago: 90 days until no paycheck: Time running out for Illinois child-care providers in subsidy program

Washington Post: Author: Rich people are spending fortunes to make education better. ‘The problem is that they’re not.”

Forbes: The Promises Charter Schools Don’t Make


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. We will be there so please contact us if you need assistance:


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