This Week in Ed 11.3.17: IL school report card data trickles out; Special Ed Townhall 11/16

Stay up to date on the latest education news. Visit our homepage and sign up to receive The Weekly Ed Update delivered to your email inbox every week!

Other ways to stay in touch with us: 

Twitter... @CPSuccessCHI@ILRaiseYourHand@RYHAction

Facebook... IL Raise Your HandRaise Your Hand Action

Join us for a townhall on special education on 11/16!

Jesse White Community Center
412 W. Chicago Ave
Thursday, November 16

As you know, WBEZ recently uncovered that the district paid consultants $14M last year to create policies that work to make getting special education services even more difficult than before at CPS. This wasn’t a surprise to parents who have been going to the Board of Ed to relay experiences of service delays, denials and more.

Come to this important special education townhall to hear from experts in the field of special education and to get useful tips on what to do if you’re having trouble getting services at your school.  Please share this flyer with contacts at your school who have kids with IEPs and 504 plans.

Download a flyer here to print; and here's an image for sharing on social media.

RSVP online here or via email to

Also, if you have a child with an IEP or 504 plan, please take our short survey.  This will help us focus our efforts on the most pressing special ed areas this year.

In addition, our letter to the Mayor to fix special ed and fire Forrest Claypool now has 1,063 signatures. It appears that the city and CPS are ignoring the calls from parents, teachers and aldermen to own up to the special education crisis so we must continue to put the pressure on. Please continue to sign and share this letter.


Illinois school report cards are out

Illinois released school-level state report cards and test scores this week, including for individual charter school campuses for the first time. ISBE has set the minimum SAT score for college readiness above what the College Board itself sets it at (as the media reported previously), but has provided no specific resources to improve high school performance, and Illinois SAT score averages are at the national average. The year-to-year changes in PARCC scores are too small, less than a percentage point, to indicate any interesting change in student performance—even assuming one thinks the test is a useful measure of student performance.

Unlike the past several years, ISBE has not posted a list of district and school participation rates for 2016-2017. The overall opt out rate dropped below 5% for the first time since 2014 in Chicago, certainly due mostly to the state replacing the high school PARCC with the SAT, but some individual elementary schools had high opt out, as did some suburban elementary districts.

Also of note, the state is now requiring a kindergarten year assessment, KIDS, to be administered to all kindergartners in the first 40 days of school; see the story in the list below about how this affects the kindergarten classroom experience.

Sun-TimesISBE’s first charter campus data reports shows wide range of scores

Sun-TimesErrors in data for CPS made preliminary numbers virtually useless

WBEZ: Illinois Schools Falling Below High Bar Set By State

DeKalb Daily ChronicleKindergarten teachers try to key on students while adding KIDS assessment

In other news

Chicago NowParents of Diverse Learners - You are not Alone

Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Usable KnowledgeWhat Makes a Great School? Save the date for Jan 30th when the author of this, Jack Schneider, will be in Chicago to speak about school ratings

Sun-Times Opinion: Phil Kadner: Gov. Rauner, now ‘Mr. Public Education,’ takes kids for a ride

WTTW: South Loop Principal Told Teachers How to Answer School Survey: Email

Crain’s Chicago BusinessA degree? Easy. Getting an education? That's another story.

Common DreamsWith Kids' Screen Time Surging, New Project Aims to Challenge Corporate Profiteering

New York TimesDNAinfo and Gothamist Are Shutting Down. Major loss to education reporting in Chicago, especially at the school and neighborhood level

South Side WeeklyWhere the Pipeline Begins: A history of police in Chicago Public Schools

RYH Ed Tech Forum Video

If you missed our Ed Tech Forum, you can watch it here.

Upcoming Events

⟹ Assessing young children
Parents and Teachers Driving Testing Policy
Mon Nov 13, 6pm
CTU Center, 1901 W. Carroll
Speaker: Denisha Jones, Trinity Washington University and Defending the Early Years

You can read a recent essay from Jones about early childhood education and the global ed reform movement here.  Raise Your Hand is collaborating with FairTest and the Chicago Teachers Union on a series of community discussions on assessment policy. This session will focus on assessment in early childhood education. RSVP via email to

⟹ RYH Special Education Forum
Thurs Nov 16, 7pm
Jesse White Community Center, 410 W Chicago Ave
RSVP online here

⟹ Progressive Democrats of America Governor’s Forum
Sat Nov 18, 4pm
Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 Knox Avenue
Raise Your Hand is co-sponsoring this event. Register for this free event here.

⟹ Backpack Full of Cash screening in Hyde Park
Sat Dec 2, 9:30am
Harper Theater, 5238 S Harper Ave
Tickets are $5 for this screening. Buy them in advance online. We expect this showing to sell out.