This Week in Ed 8.30.18: We hope you & yours have the best school year ever!

With students back to CPS Tuesday, we wish you & your family a happy first day and an excellent school year where your children have the opportunity to learn and thrive. We hope you have a fun, yet relaxing, Labor Day weekend planned- enjoy!

It’s been a busy, productive summer for RYH and we are looking forward to another school year of advocating with you. There is so much to do to ensure that all students are getting what they need to be their best selves, and we hope you’ll join us this year to work on many of our campaigns! Stay in touch with us: Email sign upFacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

You’re invited! Our annual RYH fundraiser, Raise a Glass for RYH!

We would be honored if you would join us and Raise a Glass for RYH on Tuesday, October 2, 5:30-8:30 in the “basement” of Lagunitas Brewery, 2607 W. 17th St.

Buy tickets hereBuy an ad in the program book here. You can still join the host committee here.

Our Facebook event page is here: please share on your Facebook page and invite your friends!


CEO Jackson and the mayor announced the most recent NWEA MAP scores for CPS elementary schools: CBS and WBEZ attempt to cut through the spin

CBS 2 Chicago: Analyzing ‘Record High’ Math Scores And ‘Strong’ Reading Scores In CPS Schools

WBEZ: CPS Test Scores Flat After Rising For Years

The numbers that CPS reported yesterday are the percentage of children performing at or above the 50th percentile on the MAP test; this year that was 56.6% of kids for math and 61.4% on the reading test. (Note that unlike for PARCC or ISAT, the NWEA MAP is a norm-referenced test. Students are assigned a percentile, ranking them relative to all other test takers. But they don’t receive a label “meet/exceed/fail” because there's no cut scores attached to MAP scores to say that a child's performance demonstrates that they are "meeting or exceeding standards" via their performance on the MAP test.)

Currently, the NWEA MAP is (mis)used for high-stakes decisions about students, teachers and schools; and the resulting emphasis on test prep has unfortunate consequences for the quality of the educational experience for children in many CPS elementary schools---to the detriment of our school system on the whole.


Three things to read (or watch!) during the holiday weekend

Chicago TribuneDays before school starts, CPS still won’t say how many workers have been disqualified by background checks We’re not sure why these numbers are not released yet. We also wonder the status and how the process is going for CPS vendors and parents who want to volunteer in their child’s school. Note: This article also discusses an unintended consequence: negative impact on parent involvement in immigrant communities. 

WBEZ: Chicago’s Englewood Community Loses Another High School TEAM Englewood is closing now instead of “phasing out.” CPS will classify it as a “zero enrollment” school. This article explains how that decision was made. It also gives more context: how the school began (as part of Renaissance 2010 & designed by teachers) and what led to the demise of enrollment at this school (only had start up money for 3 years; student based budgeting; decline of population in neighborhood; CPS kept opening up nearby schools, etc.) Really worth a read.

WBEZ: ‘America to Me’ Dives Into Race And Equity In EducationYou can find out more and find many resources at the America to Me website.This 10-part documentary series launched on the Starz network Sunday. The filmmakers spent the 2015-16 school year at Oak Park River Forest High School.

The film offers an intimate view of what school looks like and feels like for black students. “Every activity, every assembly, everything is made for white kids,” a black Oak Park and River Forest student says in the first episode. “This school was made for white kids, because this country was made for white kids.”


In other news

Chalkbeat ChicagoWhat’s job No. 1 for a new principal? Three new Chicago chiefs say it’s building trust.

WBEZ: A Presidential Surprise: Obama Turns Up At Chicago School

WTTW: Karen Lewis Pens Letter to Teachers as She Exits Top CTU Job

Sun-TimesTwo months after ruling, unions still assessing impact of Janus case

NPR Illinois: Manar Hopes to Override Teacher Salary Veto

Infographics: School Closures from Patrick St. John

Education WeekDeVos Ponders Letting Schools Buy Guns Under ESSA In Twist on Federal Law