This Week in Ed 2.9.18: ❄️ ⛄️ Dig out of the snow over the next few days and attend a public ed event!

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The LSC summit at NTA is still on tomorrow!

Join organizations across the city to learn what LSCs do, why it's important to run, how to run, AND learn about the current issues facing our schools. Workshops include: Sanctuary Schools, Sustainable Community Schools, Special Ed: Parents, Know Your Rights, Progressive Revenue, and more. Doors open at 9:30am. The program runs from 10am until 1:30pm then lunch will be served. The event is at National Teachers Academy, 55 W. Cermak Rd.

Register here. Childcare and translation available. Breakfast and lunch provided.


This Monday at Kenwood HS: What Makes a School Great and do Level Ratings Measure it?

We have an awesome panel to discuss this important topic of how we know if our school is doing well and what the current level system tells us about our schools. Monday 2/12, 7-9pm at Kenwood HS, 5015 S Blackstone Ave. Register here.


Listen to the forum’s guest speaker, Jack Schneider, on The Ben Joravsky Show here. Schneider’s  interview starts at 29:30.


Are you LSC curious?

This is a two-hour workshop for folks who are considering a run for LSC and want more info on what an LSC does and what they can accomplish. Meet other parents and community members who want to make a difference in their schools and get inspired with stories from LSC veterans about what collective action within and across schools can achieve.


Mayfair Library, 4400 W Lawrence: Sat 2/24, 2pm-4pm. Register here.

PARCC update


The Chicago Tribune reported last night that IL will “ditch”—later revised to “revamp”—the PARCC for 3-8th grade after this year.


The four-year contract IL had with Pearson for PARCC tests is up after this spring’s test. In October, the state signed a three-year no-bid contract for $19.6M with New Meridian, the non-profit that took over running the PARCC test from PARCC, Inc., which has shut-down.


At the February meeting of the State Board of Ed next week, ISBE will vote to put out a RFP for a 3-8th grade assessment for 2019 and beyond. (See p. 54 here.) The contract will be for up to six years and $216 million.


The New Meridian contract approved in the fall is described as providing "Grades 3-8 Summative Assessment Development, Content Management and Technical Services to implement and manage the next phase of the high-quality PARCC assessment system” and covers this spring through 2020.


It looks like in future years, whether it’s called PARCC or has a new name, the state assessment could possibly return results more quickly—although we have our doubts given the state’s track record since 2015 with cobbling together a bespoke science test.


ISBE is also looking to make the new assessment a computer-adaptive test, like the NWEA MAP, where the questions each test-taker receives vary by difficulty depending on whether earlier questions are answered correctly.


No matter what, in a state that is not providing adequate funding for every child, every penny spent on experimental, expensive testing to be used for high-stakes decisions is a penny that’s not going to actual high-quality education.


We’ll have an updated testing toolkit with information for parents on how to refuse the 2018 PARCC available later this month.


TribunePARCC pushback prompts Illinois to remake controversial test for 3rd-8th graders

Sun-TimesChanges coming to PARCC state elementary school testing


Special ed info - ISBE investigation important dates


Many parents have been reaching out to us to share their stories of delays, denials, transportation denials and summer school denials. If you want to be part of this effort to force CPS to implement better policies and practices, fill out this Google form and we will use it only to contact you.


ISBE is holding “community input” meetings on February 16th. Parents can come in and share their information about service denials, delays, etc. on this date. For more info, email  


You do not need to pre-register for this, but the meeting times are:

8:30-10am, 12-1:30pm, 3-4:30pm at the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, Room 2-027 and 2-029.



In other news

WTTW Chicago TonightEnglewood School Closings Could Harm Homeless CPS Students, Advocates Say

Chicago TribuneChicago bobsledder Aja Evans on chasing Olympic gold: ‘I refused to let anyone tell me I couldn’t’ Evans is a Morgan Park HS alumna & #CPSuccess!

WTTW Chicago TonightTwo Principals, One School: A New Effort to Boost Learning at CPS


Other upcoming events

⟹ DePaul College Of Education Forum: Sanctuary Schools: Safety Protection, Opportunity for all students!

Mon Feb 19, 6:00 - 8:00pm

DePaul Student Center, Room 120B

Registration is required at


⟹ Better Funding, Stronger Schools

Tues Feb 27, 7:00 - 8:30pm

Sullivan High School, 6631 N Bosworth