This Week in ed 8.2.18: Student data privacy hearing scheduled for Tuesday, August 7, in Chicago

In a big win for IL students that comes as a result of many parents speaking to their legislators about student data privacy concerns and as a result of Raise Your Hand Action being present in Springfield and meeting with several IL legislators on this issue, the IL House Cybersecurity, Data Analytics and IT Committee will hold a subject-matter hearing on student data privacy on Tues August 7th, 10am, at the Bilandic Building (160 N LaSalle), C-600, 6th floor. 

Parents and the public are welcome to attend. Please note: To get into the Bilandic Building, you must show a photo ID. You will also have to go through a metal detector so plan on a few extra minutes to get up to the 6th floor.

Raise Your Hand Action requested this hearing in light of the $14 million Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) grant to CPS and LEAP Innovations announced this spring and the ongoing issues with student data security and surveillance that increased use of technology in public schools presents. CZI is an LLC owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that makes “grants” in areas including in education. It also invests venture capital in ed tech companies and is the operator/developer of the Summit personalized learning software system used in CPS since 2016. The student data improperly exposed last month by the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment was at least the fifth major breach in CPS reported in the media since Dec 2013.

You can read our background piece on why we need to better student data here.

The New York Times: For Sale: Survey Data on Millions of High School Students.

The New York Times: The Information on School Websites is Not as Safe as You Think


Chicago Tribune updated their “Betrayed” series with more stories of sex abuse at CPS

Our hearts go out to these students and their families. We will continue to fight for policies that put students first and that ensure better accountability and transparency in this district. This, of course, includes continuing to push for an elected representative school board.

In many of the cases uncovered in this updated report, the victim or the abuser was a student with special needs. The ISBE public inquiry into CPS special education that we and 13 other organizations pushed so hard for seems to come crashing into the CPS sexual abuse scandal. We are truly heartbroken.

Abused by students, failed by adults: Chicago children sexually attacked by peers at school amid lax supervision


Barbara Byrd-Bennett and her SUPES cronies strike again

The CPS Inspector General found that Camelot Education, which runs several for-profit alternative schools in Chicago, bypassed some CPS procurement rules in securing contracts for their schools. Camelot hired Byrd-Bennett’s SUPES co-defendants and former employers, Gary Solomon and Thomas Vranas, as paid lobbyists to help secure contracts for Camelot schools when Byrd-Bennett was the CPS CEO. Byrd-Bennett, Solomon, and Vranas were all convicted for their involvement in the SUPES bribery scheme. Camelot may be permanently banned from CPS or may have to pay a steep fine to CPS. Some compelling press linked below.

WBEZ: CPS Moves To Terminate For-Profit School Firm After Damning IG Report

WBEZ in February 2017: Pastors, Savvy Connections and Chicago Schools: How One Private Company Raked in $50 Million

Sun-Times: Watchdog finds Barbara Byrd-Bennett taint on Camelot’s alternative school bid


Save the Date for our annual fundraiser!

RYH’s Annual Fundraiser

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

5:30 - 8:30 pm

In “the Basement” at Lagunitas Brewery, 2607 W 17th St



Sun-Times: ‘Whose voice? Youth voice!’: Crowd gets on ‘soapbox’ to speak on social issues

Chalkbeat Chicago: This Chicago preschool teacher is touting an alternative to traditional playground

Block Club Chicago: Young Bronzeville Fashion Designer Recruiting Other Teens For Magazine

Follow our #cpsuccess Twitter account here! @CPSuccessCHI retweets #cpsuccess daily!


In other news

Sun-Times: Black, Latino students face systemic barriers despite CPS

WTTW: NTA Families Seek Injunction to Halt Controversial School Transition Plan

Sun-Times: CPS continues to turn away the public at its monthly board meetings

Chalkbeat Chicago: From one parent to another: Learning how to advocate for a child with a disability

WTTW: Cursive Writing Coming Back to CPS Elementary Schools

NPR Illinois: Discipline Data: Hard to Get, Harder to Ignore

NPR: Empowering Kids In An Anxious World

Ed Week Market Brief: DreamBox Picks Up $130 Million, and New Board Member: Arne Duncan (Note: This "digital math company" is a former unelected CPS BOE member, Deb Quazzo, investment.)


Upcoming events

⟹ Schools for Racial Equity Summit hosted by Chicago United for Equity (CUE), Generation All, and Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil RightsFlyer here.

Saturday, August 18

9:30am - 2pm

National Teachers Academy, 55 W Cermak

Register here


Public Newsroom 75: How Should We Report On Education? hosted by City Bureau and Chalkbeat Chicago.

Thursday, August 23

6 - 8pm

Mikva Challenge Offices, 200 S. Michigan, Room 1060

RSVP at the Facebook event page here


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