This Week in Ed 3.23.18: State Board of Ed grills CPS head of Special Ed for 4 hours

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ISBE special ed hearings started this week

Public hearings were held on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. There is one more hearing on Tuesday 3/27 at 9am in the auditorium at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 W Adams. The public is welcome to observe the hearings but no public testimony will occur. Dozens of parents and teachers filed affidavits regarding this investigation. Thanks to everyone for their hard work!

The official ISBE Public Inquiry webpage is here. On this page you can find the thousands of pages of documents submitted as well as video from this week’s hearings: Tuesday here and Wednesday here

The head of special education was questioned by the ISBE panel and Advocates’ attorneys for over four hours. You can watch that on the Tuesday video.


Unelected Board of Ed meeting recap

You can read our statement and see our handouts (related to the ISBE Public Inquiry) here. The main themes of the public speakers were facility investments needed, more custodial staff and appropriate cleaning supplies & equipment needed, and school level bullying. You can find some live tweets from the meeting here.

Some press from the meeting:

Sun-TimesSchool custodians say they’re tired of buying own supplies, ask CPS for help

WTTW: CPS Adds STEM Magnet Programs at 3 More Elementary Schools

Chicago TribuneCPS approves additional borrowing that district says will provide more resources for classrooms


2018 Local School Council Elections

LSC elections are Wednesday, April 18th at elementary schools and the 19th at high schools. Your school should have held a candidate forum for LSC candidates this week.

If you are a candidate for LSC, you have the option of delivering additional literature to schools by April 10 at 3 pm. Literature will be sent home via backpacks April 16.

We will publish more details after Spring Break. In the meantime, please see this handout.

Useful links:

Information from CPS

Candidates at individual schools

A tool to find out where you are eligible to vote

Note: People elected to LSCs on April 18 or 19 will take office in July 2018. The current LSC is in office thru June 30, 2018. If a school did not have enough candidates running for office, then in July of 2018 the LSC will have vacancies. LSCs have a lot of discretion in how they fill vacancies - they appoint people to fill them. If you are interested in being appointed to fill a vacancy, we suggest that you start attending monthly LSC meetings and during public comment express your desire to serve and ask what procedure the LSC will use to fill any vacancies. From now until June 2018 you will be speaking to the current LSC members, who may or may not be on the new LSC in July 2018, but you will be learning about the LSC and making it public to any current members who are re-elected and to anyone else in attendance at the LSC meeting, that you are interested in serving.



Your Spring Break assignment: Ask your child about PARCC. Has the school started? If not, find out when your school will be administering the test. If your child is refusing, how is he or she being treated? If your child is testing, how is the test? How is the length of time of the test? How is the technology working? What schedules have been altered for testing (computer lab hours, specials classes, recess, special ed services)?

The PARCC testing window opened in CPS on March 5th and runs through April 20th. Check our website for updated materials explaining what the future prospects of PARCC testing are in Illinois and how to refuse this year’s PARCC testing.

Some schools have sent out a letter from central office saying that schools with low participation on PARCC “could possibly lose funding.” This is incorrect, and in fact, under the new state plan created to comply with changes in federal law (ESSA), there’s a chance that the state may direct additional resources to schools with low participation. FairTest has good resources explaining this issue in-depth:

Schools should be respecting students’ right to refuse PARCC and allowing them to work on other classwork, read, draw, etc during the test. Also, refusing students do not have to be sitting in the same room with testing students. If you have questions about refusal policies at your child’s school, email us or call 413-3OPTOUT.


What’s coming up in Springfield?

Now that the primary election is over, the legislative session will be heating up in Springfield. There are a lot of bills related to public education under consideration. Want to know which bills to keep on your radar? You can get the scoop on Raise Your Hand Action’s legislative agenda for this spring on their website.


Update on lawsuit on Elected School Board for Chicago

The federal lawsuit about an elected school board for Chicago will be heard March 28 at 9 am in the 7th Circuit of Appeals, Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S Dearborn. The public may attend; the lawyer thinks it will last approximately 45 minutes. This case focuses on discrimination and voting rights and is part of the strategy to get an elected school board for Chicago.


CPS high school notifications

As we approach Friday, March 30th, when CPS Round 1 high school offer notifications will be posted in GoCPS accounts, here's a throwback to our forum in March 2017: “Perceptions vs. Reality: What to Consider When Choosing a CPS High School”. It was really a great, informative forum with lots of thoughtful insights from parents and students who had already gone through the process. Perhaps you will find any of the below useful:

Video from CAN TV: What to Consider When Choosing a CPS High School Forum

Great recap of the event from Generation All here.

In recent news on this... Chicago TribuneCPS eighth-graders who applied for high school under new system to get offers next week


In other news

We wrote a letter to legislators in solidarity against privatization of schools in Puerto Rico: It is here.

Sun-TimesParkland shooting survivors visit CPS students to plan Chicago gun control march

Hyde Park HeraldGroups allege plan to close and sell HPAHS; CPS denies

Nadig NewspapersTaft freshman academy appears likely for Irving-Oak Park, with guaranteed enrollment for Dunning families

South Side WeeklyWhy is CPS Closing NTA?



⟹ Backpack Full of Cash Screening: Rogers Park

Mon April 9

Doors & Pizza, 6:00pm,

Screening starts at 6:30pm

Theatre 400, 6746 N Sheridan Rd

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased herePlease purchase your ticket in advance, we expect to sell out. Theater 400's Concession Stand will be open.


⟹ LSC Elections

Wed April 18: CPS Elementary Schools

Thur April 19: CPS High Schools

6am - 7pm

As a parent, you can vote at your child’s school. Any parent or resident of the school attendance area or voting district can vote. You do not have to be a citizen or registered voter to vote in a CPS LSC election. Voters need to bring 2 forms of ID. (1 form of ID if you are listed as a parent of a child at the school.)