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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.
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.
DeKalb Daily Chronicle: Kindergarten teachers try to key on students while adding KIDS assessment
In other news
Chicago Now: Parents of Diverse Learners - You are not Alone
Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Usable Knowledge: What 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
Crain’s Chicago Business: A degree? Easy. Getting an education? That's another story.
New York Times: DNAinfo and Gothamist Are Shutting Down. Major loss to education reporting in Chicago, especially at the school and neighborhood level
South Side Weekly: Where 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.
⟹ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.