This week in Ed 12.20.19: 🎉 2019 was great- thanks to YOU! On to 2020! 🎉

To all of you who have supported our work and have been part of this critical education movement… THANK YOU!!! We have met our challenge grant and are very close to our end of year fundraising goal. Because of your support in one of our best fundraising years so far, we are able to hire a part time parent organizer in 2020. We are so close to being able to immediately hire someone for 20 hrs/week instead of 10 hrs/week. Help us double our impact. 

Please consider feeling the warmth of our group effort toward a better, more equitable education for all children year-round with a recurring donation to RYH!

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THANK YOU for your support!


2020 Chicago United for Equity (CUE) Fellows announced

We're really excited to share that RYH Executive Director Jianan Shi is a 2020 CUE Fellow! You can find the full list of 2020 Fellows here. Jianan will be working with leaders from across the city and state to measure the racial impact of our current school funding & resource allocation system.

Starting in January 2020, these 30 Fellows will work together to bring their bold ideas for our city’s future to life. Each month, they’ll explore strategies for social change, build trust with individuals and organizations across our politically divided region, and develop strategies to put their love for our city into practice.


Kellogg ES students advocate for facilities investment at the CPS BOE meeting

It’s an honor to publish and share the advocacy of 5 Kellogg Elementary students from last week’s CPS Board of Education meeting. Kudos to these students! #youthvoice 



If you read one thing today, make it this story from the Sun-Times about Back of the Yards HS student Arturo Ballesteros: Student who aced AP Spanish test surprised with full ride to UChicago

And you should read this too! Congrats to these Prosser HS students! Chicago Tribune: Column: A powerful photo of 3 CPS students hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. The photographer wants to fly them to D.C. to see for themselves.


GoCPS and Aspen… big contract$, concerning issues 

Last week, the week that GoCPS applications were due, the two following issues were exposed thanks to parents and teachers:

1) An issue was found in the calculation of a student’s tier in over 900 cases. This was brought up in our Facebook group by a CPS mom inquiring if anyone else experienced a change in tier over the past few weeks. A few other parents checked and found their tier had changed too. Check out this article published Friday, December 13, in the Chicago Tribune: In CPS, ‘tiers’ are supposed to even the playing field for school admissions. But hundreds of students were placed in the wrong tier.

2) An issue was found in the calculation of final grades within the new Aspen system for some elementary school students at the end of last school year. (Though we have heard of many reports at the high school level as well from both parents and educators.) Impacted families received a letter Monday of last week: letter in English; letter in Spanish. NBC 5 mentioned this on their 10pm news on Monday, Dec 9, but there is no online story available. A CPS teacher who saw the news story was finally able to get the transcript from NBC of the story on Saturday, Dec 14.

We have no idea why the Aspen grade calculation issue was not communicated until last week. It seems what pushed CPS to look into this and attempt correction was observant parents who spoke up and questioned. We know there are lots of educators out there doing the same thing but it seems CPS has been telling them to figure it out (the Aspen grade calculation issues) at the school level which we understand has been very frustrating, difficult, and taking up way too much time. Please keep paying attention and speaking up, though. We don't think these issues have gone away.   


Local School Council (LSC) elections are in April 2020

The CPS LSC Elections web page has been updated to contain all the materials and the timeline for the 2020 LSC elections. We encourage you to visit the web page, consider running, and share the link with others. You’ll be hearing a lot more from us about LSC elections after the break! In the meantime:

➡️ We were at Monday night’s LSC Advisory Board meeting. Here are our live tweets.

➡️ LSC Summit: Saturday, Jan 25, 2020, 10AM – 2PM, Chicago Teachers Union, 1901 W. Carroll Ave. Register here. Facebook event page here. This will be an LSC conference that kicks off LSC election season!


LSC_Summit_12.19_Version.jpg LSC_Summit.png

Note: The Spanish language flyer will have an update soon. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram as we will share as soon as we have it. It will also be posted on our website

CPS' School Funding Working Group + upcoming meetings in Jan/Feb 2020

As we told you last week, Mayor Lightfoot and CPS announced that they will “...begin a community process to identify potential opportunities to further strengthen school funding.”  The School Funding Working Group will convene public meetings in January and February 2020Mark your calendars:

  • Wednesday, Jan 29, 6–8pm,  Amundsen High School, 5110 N. Damen Ave
  • Thursday, Jan 30, 6–8pm, Michele Clark High School, 5101 W. Harrison St
  • Saturday, Feb 1, 11am – 1pm, Corliss High School, 821 E. 103rd St
  • Wednesday, Feb 5, 6–8pm, Hammond Elementary, 2819 W. 21st Pl
  • Thursday, Feb 6, 6–8pm, Dyett High School, 555 E. 51st St
  • Saturday, Feb 8, 11am–1pm, Roberto Clemente High School, 1147 N. Western Ave


More CPS news

➡️ The CPS BOE Workforce Development & Equity Committee Meeting met on Monday. Here is some press coverage from the Sun-Times: Chicago school board talks teacher diversity, but skeptics remain. We were there for the first 30 minutes- our live tweets are here

➡️ Give CPS feedback:

➡️ Other upcoming CPS BOE Committee Meetings: Keep your eye on the CPS BOE website for upcoming committee meetings on Early Childhood Education (no info yet) and Whole Child (January 29 but no time or location yet per board member Rome at CPS BOE meeting.) 

➡️ The January CPS BOE meeting is Wednesday, Jan 22, 10:30am, CPS, 42 W, Madison. Online registration to speak or attend begins on Friday, Jan 17, 10:30am, (Note the change in registration date due to the holiday on Monday, Jan 20.)


Special education news

The CPS BOE incorporated public comments into the Education of Students with Disabilities Policy that they approved at last week’s CPS BOE meeting.  The “comments summary” posted online was particularly valuable. It would be extremely beneficial to have that kind of public “comment summary” completed for the actual IDEA Procedure Manual and Section 504 Procedure Manual referenced in the Board Policy and we would appreciate it if  CPS would provide a similar report for any new or revised ODLSS Procedure Manuals.

The  next CPS Diverse Learner Parent Advisory Council Meeting is Thursday, January 9, 6-8:00pm, CPS Garfield Park Office, 2651 W. Washington Blvd. The ODLSS PAC has a Twitter account here. Here’s a tweet with a list of upcoming meetings

Healthy Schools Campaign is collecting testimonials from advocates, service providers, school administrators and health staff, families, students, etc. on the importance of having quality school health services, as part of the effort to support free care, but also in terms of expanding school health services in general.  Please submit a testimonial and/or share with your networks across the state - it only takes two minutes to complete. Link here

Family Resource Center on Disabilities (FRCD), Chicago’s Metropolitan Area Parent Training and Information Center can provide you with no cost Special Education advocacy help. All FRCD asks of parents who want an advocate to help them navigate the special education process is that you complete one of their know-your-rights trainings so you will be empowered with knowledge that will benefit your child.  


In other news

Chalkbeat Chicago: One month after contract went into effect, Chicago teachers still haven’t gotten promised raises

NBC News, Think blog: Daniel Koretz: American students aren’t getting smarter- and test-based ‘reform’ initiatives are to blame

Chalkbeat Chicago: Agreement gives Chicago charter schools stricter guidance on reporting and investigating abuse allegations

Chicago Tribune: CPS adopts new policy on timeouts and physical restraints following Tribune, ProPublica Illinois investigation

Chalkbeat Chicago: Here’s who will try to solve the billion-dollar funding question in Illinois early education