This Week in Ed 3.22.19: We’re hiring- RYH Executive Director- PLUS Chi Ed News 🏫!

Earlier in 2019 we shared the exciting news about staffing transitions in RYH and RYHA as both organizations grow. Earlier this week Raise Your Hand began the search for our next Executive Director. Now we need your help.

Do You Know Our New Executive Director?

One of our proudest accomplishments at RYH is bringing together parents and community stakeholders to increase advocacy for public education. The network of engaged families who support each other with creative ideas, thoughtful solutions, and continued research of ways in which we can protect and strengthen our public schools is invaluable to our organization.

Your action and engagement is crucial in the continuation of our mission, and we thank you for your passion and dedication to our students.

Today, we welcome your input in our search for an Executive Director.

Our new Executive Director may be just outside our circle of reach, but within the wider arc of our partners' reach. We know that as participants in our forums, workshops, campaigns, panels, and actions you have clear knowledge of our work. You have also encountered other education champions who advocate in their communities beyond RYH, lead community-driven efforts to support public education and those who further our mission in their everyday actions. Would you spread our message to these individuals?  

Here's the Executive Director posting as a hyperlink, and also as a pdf. Help us spread the word by spreading it through your networks, contacts, professional circles, and casual conversations. Thanks for all of your support!


RYH Bullying Toolkit

We have seen an uptick in parents coming to CPS BOE meetings with stories of bullying. We have been receiving phone calls, emails, and messages about bullying as well. Thanks to a staff member & an incredible parent volunteer, Ann Turner, we have started the RYH Bullying Toolkit. You can find the Toolkit web page here with a link to Section 1, The Basics: Understanding the definition of bullying, district policies, and additional resources. We have at least 2 more sections to come.

The purpose of the Toolkit is to help families navigate the CPS Anti-Bullying Policy that is found in the CPS Student Code of Conduct (SCC) and the CPS Policy Manual. Other resources are provided when appropriate.If you are a not a CPS family, much of the Toolkit also applies to you and we explain in the introduction where you can find your district’s anti-bullying policies. We welcome feedback and additional resources:  


Opt Out press conference & #ZombiePARCC🧟

We joined with the Chicago Teachers Union on March 12 for an #OptOut of IAR press conference at Hernandez Middle School: “CPS test undercuts newly arrived immigrant children, charge teachers.” You can read our statement and find more press coverage here,

WBEZ: Teachers: Children New To The U.S. Should Sit Out State Tests

Univision Chicago: Piden a CPS que no realice nuevo examen estatal en inglés a estudiantes que no dominan el idioma


The IAR (IL Assessment of Readiness) is happening now! The paper test administration window opens Monday, March 25. Use this weekend to review our 2019 Toolkit for Standardized Testing and Opt Out to learn more about this “new” assessment and how you can #ChooseToRefuse! The three main resources are now translated into Spanish and are in the Toolkit and here:

En espanol: Q & A, Notification Letter of Refusal (pagina 2), y Tarjetas de rehusar.


Special Education News: RYH speaks at the ISBE meeting

Our very own Parent Liaison for Special Education, Mary Fahey Hughes, and Chris Yun of Access Living addressed the IL State Board of Education (ISBE) during their monthly meeting. They spoke on behalf of the Advocates Group, giving an update on the ISBE inquiry into CPS special education policies and practices. Chris and Mary both shared that CPS continues to delay and deny special education services to CPS students. Thanks, RYH Action, for capturing this video of their speeches. Thanks, Chris & Mary for travelling to Springfield and advocating for so many students and families!


With CPS high school “Round 1 Offers” arriving soon (March 29), we’d like to remind you of a RYH parent research report that we submitted to the CPS BOE in January: High School Application and Placement for Chicago Public School Students with Disabilities: A Research Report from RYH. Coming soon… quick videos highlighting parts of this report!


Must read or listen: 2 WBEZ Investigations

CPS Nursing Issues

Adriana Cardona-Maguigad investigates the chaotic and dangerous CPS nursing system.

Nurse Who? The Revolving Door Of Nurses In Chicago Public Schools

¿Enfermeras? La Rotación Constante De Enfermeras En Las Escuelas Públicas De Chicago

Parents have been bringing CPS nursing issues to CPS and the BOE for months. In February, we submitted this RYH parent research report to the CPS BOE: Improving Nursing Care in Chicago Public Schools: Creative and Meaningful Solutions Left on the Table.

CPS Graduation Rates

Sarah Karp investigates the troubling trends behind the rising CPS graduation rate.

Dissecting The Soaring Graduation Rate For Black Boys In Chicago


Remember that CPS Academic Programming RFP announced in the Fall 2018? And the #CPSARA (Annual Regional Analysis)? They’re back!

Chalkbeat Chicago has two articles explaining:

32 Chicago schools to split $32 million for new STEM, arts, and International Baccalaureate programs

Good news for some schools in $32 million push, but questions surface about whether process is fair

We stand by our questions and comments about this “process” which we included in our February BOE meeting statement:

... the new Facilities Law from August 2018, requires you to support under-enrolled schools. You rolled out an RFP process for programmatic investments last fall. At the time we questioned this approach. Now we learn that many under-enrolled schools did not even apply, and we’re not surprised -- they are so under-resourced, how were they supposed to find the time to apply? And of those that did apply, most did not move on in the process. The school district is responsible for ALL the children in our schools. Why are you making children depend on school-by-school applications for the resources they desperately need? A truly equitable approach (and one that follows the law) would provide resources to those who need them most, not require individual schools to apply for them.


Generation All says farewell

We are so grateful to Generation All for their work to "...unite Chicagoans in revitalizing neighborhood public high schools." We are honored that some of their resources such as Strong Neighborhood High Schools for a Stronger Chicago will be archived on our website here.


VOTE! Mayoral Run Off Election, Tuesday, April 2

The League of Women Voters of Chicago has a great Chicago Municipal Run Off Election: April 2 web page which you should visit so you are ready to VOTE!

What’s on your ballot? Chicago Mayor and City Treasurer. Wards 5, 6, 15, 16, 20, 21, 25, 30, 31, 33, 39, 40, 43, 46, and 47 will also be voting for their alderman.

Be an informed voter! Check out #VoteEquity Candidate Snapshots!



WTTW: A New Champ is Crowned at the CPS Spelling Bee

Chalkbeat Chicago: How one cooking teacher opens up a world of opportunities for students with disabilities

ABC 7 Chicago: Golden Apple winners: Lake View, Maine East high school teachers recognized for hard work, dedication


In other news

Sun-Times: King College Prep principal ousted after complaints from parents, students

Chalkbeat Chicago: Overturning Chicago’s denial, Illinois Charter Commission offers Urban Prep West second chance  [NOTE: Intrinsic 2 HS also approved by this appointed commish.]

WBEZ: Social Media Amps Up College Decision Pressures

Chalkbeat Chicago: Five Chicago universities team up to push harder for bilingual education in public schools

NPR Illinois: Re-setting The Clock: Plan Would Put Five-Hour Instructional Time Back For Schools

Sun-Times: Private emails show a retiring Emanuel is still working - on building his legacy

Chicago Tribune: CPS failed to collect $2 million in tuition from pre-K programs because of fraud, mismanagement, IG report says


Worth a read

Chalkbeat Chicago: The real college admissions scandal? High schoolers we work with still can’t afford to go

Chicago Reader: A tale of two gardens

The Root: Separate and Unequal: The Real Education Scandal Is America’s Affirmative Action Program for White People

Sun-Times: Rahm Emanuel’s glowing narrative on Chicago schools is only half the story (3.13)

Chalkbeat Chicago: Across Illinois, littlest children face some form of ‘high risk,’ new report says

The Chicago Reporter: In final act, Emanuel cements legacy of tolerating corruption, promoting segregation


Upcoming events

⟹ Bronzeville Education Equity Forum

Mon Mar 25, 6:00pm

Rainbow PUSH headquarters, 930 E 50th St

Help build a vision for equity for Bronzeville’s schools!

Hosted by the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), the Lugenia Burns Hope Center and PUSH Excel.


Unelected CPS Board Of Education Meeting

Wed Mar 27, 10:30am

CPS, 42 W Madison

You must register online to speak. That registration begins on Mon Mar 25 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 Mar 25 at 10:30am at the same link. We will be there so please contact us if you need assistance:

Note: The agenda for the meeting is available at at 10am on Mon Mar 25.


A Conversation about student data protection

Sat Mar 30, 10:00am - 12pm

Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave

Join RYH Action for this conversation! Register here.

What are Illinois schools doing to protect student data now? What should we be doing? Join us to learn about new bills in Springfield that would better protect student data by ensuring parents' right to know and right to control what's happening to their children's sensitive personal data in schools.


Sign up to receive these emails here!