We hope you enjoy this long holiday weekend and that you spend some quality time with your family outdoors! So you can get on with your weekend, here are 5 quickish things you need to know about this week in education...
1) We are in the last 24 hours of our 2 week Spring fundraising campaign, Grow With Us! We are within $1,000 of our goal of $10,000! We really, really appreciate all of you who have given so far. YOU can be the one to put us over the edge and power our great work in defending and strengthening public education! Please consider a one time donation OR become a recurring donor. THANK YOU.
2) We hosted a forum this week: “Tax Credit Scholarships: IL’s Hidden Voucher Program?” You can find all of the resources from that event here, including handouts, slide shows from 2 of our 3 speakers, and a link to a video of the entire event. CAN TV was also there so our forum should be broadcast soon and will post to their YouTube channel as well. Thank you to all who attended or tuned in to our Facebook Live or Twitter!
“Despite Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s promise that mass school closings in 2013 would lead to a ‘brighter future,’ Chicago students didn’t benefit academically and on average their performance suffered, particularly in math, according to a University of Chicago Consortium on School Research study released on Tuesday. The groundbreaking study goes on to report that for students and teachers, the transition was traumatic and chaotic.”
The Chicago Reporter: Study: After mass school closings, impacted students lagged academically
ALSO, remember that charter commission bill that has been around for years and how many calls we’ve all made to our elected officials? This charter commission bill would weaken the power of the appointed IL state charter commission which is set up to grant appeals to charters rejected by local school boards. Apparently all our phone calls and office visits and Springfield talks paid off today: HB5175 (a new version of the charter commission bill) passed in the IL Senate, 36-14-1!
5) We attended the monthly unelected CPS Board of Education meeting. Two of our board members spoke and their statements are posted here—Deb Hass spoke about the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and personalized learning in CPS and Mary Hughes spoke about CPS nurses and the lack of consistent nursing staff. You can watch Mary’s speech here. If you are having nursing issues at CPS and want to get involved in organizing for better systems around nursing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other unelected CPS BOE news…
Ken Bennett (Chance the Rapper's dad) has been attending IEP meetings with parents. He was at the BOE meeting with a parent from Bell Elementary yesterday who has been having all kinds of issues getting services and said:
“I have worked for three mayors, I have worked for President Barack Obama and Sen. Barack Obama, I’ve spent over 30 years in government and understanding processes,” Bennett said. “I have never been more confused that when I have sat in these IEP meetings and I have watched how you have these attorneys who beat down on these parents.”
The wonderful Varsity Singers from Lindblom HS performed. You can watch their very moving performance here. At the end of their performance, their Choir Director spoke and read a statement on behalf of other CPS Choir Directors regarding the vitality of Choral Music in CPS. You really should read it.
Grow With Us! Happy, Happy Weekend!