This Week in Ed 11.19.18: Parent Training Tonight! Updates on sped, data privacy, charters, and more!

Please join us tonight: Parent Training: Know Your Rights on 504 Plans vs. IEP Plans! Details and RSVP here.


Betrayed: A Conversation with Chicago Tribune Reporters who uncovered CPS sexual abuse

We’ve added a new event to the RYH calendar: Thursday, December 6, 7-8:30pm, Jesse White Park and Community Center, 410 W Chicago Ave. We hope you are able to join us for this very important conversation. You can RSVP and find more details here.


CPS Special Education: Wow! Do we have updates!

On Friday, November 9, ISBE finally released a letter to CPS parents and staff regarding the ISBE investigation into CPS special education practices and policies. Many schools still haven't shared the ISBE letter, and it is not that parent friendly. We wrote our own version, thanks to RYH volunteer Terri Smith. We’ve also created a web page here with all the letter information.

Chalkbeat Chicago: Parents finally get an update about special education reform at Chicago schools


Last Monday we participated in a press conference with other members of the Advocates group who sparked the ISBE investigation. We released the findings of a recent survey of parents and teachers which found that CPS and the IL State Board of Education (ISBE) are far behind in bringing the special education changes promised. The Advocates wrote a letter to IL Governor-elect, JB Pritzker, asking him to recognize the urgency and to commit resources to the ISBE monitor’s office so the promised changes can be made and so that CPS has proper oversight. You can watch the entire press conference here, read the live tweets in a thread here, and read even more press here.

Sun-Times: Advocates: CPS, ISBE still failing to ensure special ed kids getting services

Chicago Tribune: In ‘urgent appeal,’ advocates call for Gov.-elect Pritzker to bolster CPS special education fixes

Chalkbeat Chicago: Are special education reforms moving too slowly? Chicago monitor replies to criticism.


On Friday, November 16, ISBE met in Chicago. The ISBE inquiry into CPS special education was on the agenda as was the new IL school accountability system. A Chicago parent and a Downers Grove parent testified. You can read their statements and find links to live tweets here.


Student Data Privacy updates

Did you hear that RYH Action’s Co Executive Directors, Wendy & Cassie, are members of the IL College and Career Interest Task Force? Read more here about the first meeting in Springfield.


RYH has been trying to get answers about the new grant from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's LLC, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative since it was announced this past May. On October 4th, we sent Chicago Public Schools Director of Public Policy Frank Bilecki a list of questions. We don't have answers yet but you can read the questions in this post.


You can find our Tech and Data Privacy Toolkit here.


Annual Regional Analysis (ARA) meetings continue

The dates & locations vary. The next one is scheduled for tonight for the Greater Stockyards Region at Kelly HS from 6-8pm. You can find your region by using this tool. You can find the schedule for these meetings here. You can find the ARA here. Here is our post about what to expect at the #CPSARA meetings, what questions to consider & ask, and more details of what we’ve learned about the process. We joined with Blocks Together and Generation All to write a statement about the Annual Regional Analysis (ARA). Chalkbeat Chicago was at the Greater Grand Crossing meeting and covered it here.


Charter school news

Last week the IL House overrode Governor Rauner’s veto of the charter commission bill. Many of you have made multiple calls and visits to your elected officials over multiple years to advocate on different iterations of this bill. Read more from RYH Action here.

On Wednesday, CPS held two hearings. The first one was for three proposed new charter schools for CPS. The second was for charter renewals and revocations. Chalkbeat Chicago covered the confusion about the hearings here and covered the new charter proposals hearing here.

ICYMI… WBEZ broke a devastating story from Noble charter schools Tuesday: Chicago Charter Leader Investigated For Inappropriate Conduct With Young Women. The very next day, the entire Noble network of schools was part of the charter school renewal hearing at CPS. Chalkbeat Chicago covers it here: Ignoring controversy, Noble Network backers urge renewing Chicago schools’ charter.

Keep your eye out for possible charter school teacher strikes. Note: Acero are the charters formerly known as UNO.

Chicago Tribune: Teachers at Acero charter schools in Chicago call for Dec. 4 strike if no deal on new contract


In other news

Oak Leaves: ‘Write whatever’s in your heart’: Oak Park and River Forest students spread messages of love in wake of racist graffiti

Chalkbeat Chicago: Diversifying the Pipeline Archives. A look at teacher diversity at Chicago Public Schools.

Sun-Times: Michelle Obama, hyping her book ‘Becoming,’ stops at alma mater, Whitney Young

Chicago Reporter: Now Pritzker Needs To Keep His Progressive Promises

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Upcoming events

CPS ARA Briefings (ARA = Annual Regional Analysis)

Dates & locations vary; the next one is scheduled for Mon Nov 19

You can find the schedule for these meetings here and hereHere is our post about what to expect at the #CPSARA meetings, what questions to consider & ask, and more details of what we’ve learned about the process.


Unelected CPS BOE Meeting (CPS does this most years- combines the Nov & Dec monthly meetings into one meeting at the beginning of Dec. We spoke out against this practice at the Oct BOE meeting.)

Wed Dec 5, 10:30am

CPS, 42 W Madison

You must register online to speak. That registration begins on Mon Dec 3 at 10:30am.

Online registration to speak or attend is here. If you plan to attend, it is best to also register online in advance and starting Mon Dec 3 at 10:30am at the same link. We will be there so please contact us if you need assistance:


Betrayed: A Conversation with reporters from the Chicago Tribune who uncovered rampant sexual abuse in CPS

Th Dec 6, 7-8:30pm

Jesse White Park and Community Center

410 W. Chicago Avenue


Chalkbeat Chicago presents: Chicago: Education for All? The city’s next mayor & the future of public schools

Wed Dec 12, 5-7:30pm

Malcolm X College

1900 W Jackson Blvd


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