CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Public Schools are constantly being scrutinized for improving test scores and academic standards.
But who’s watching to make sure the school’s kitchens and lunchrooms are being kept up to safety standards?
CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
By joel • Sep 12, 2012 • Print-Friendly
The seven members of Chicago’s Board of Education, along with CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, are, in theory, responsible for the governance of the city’s schools. In reality, they are only accountable to the man that appointed them—Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
As anyone who has ever witnessed a board hearing knows, members like Hyatt heiress Penny Pritzker and former Northwestern President Henry Bienen, when they bother to show up at all, nod indifferently to public testimony, toy with their smart phones, and reliably vote in the interests of their boss. This past winter, after the board voted unanimously to close or turnaround 17 schools, frustrated parents burst into tears, and community members chanted “Rubber Stamp!” until CPS security escorted them out of the room.
Unwilling to accept such belligerent disregard for community input, education organizers and activists have launched a campaign for an elected, representative school board. Communities Organized for Democracy in Education (CODE), a coalition of education groups, circulated petitions this summer to put the question to Chicagoans in an advisory referendum: should the Board of Education be elected instead of appointed by the mayor?
Melting the Rubber Stamp: Chicago’s Unelected Board of Education
Education data can be useful, but privacy experts are concerned about data misuse.
By Jason Koebler January 19, 2012
Since “No Child Left Behind” was passed 10 years ago, states have been required to ramp up the amount of data they collect about individual students, teachers, and schools. Personal information, including test scores, economic status, grades, and even disciplinary problems and student pregnancies, are tracked and stored in a kind of virtual “permanent record” for each student.
But parents and students have very little access to that data, according to a report released Wednesday by the Data Quality Campaign, an organization that advocates for expanded data use.
All 50 states and Washington, D.C. collect long term, individualized data on students performance, but just eight states allow parents to access their child’s permanent record. Forty allow principals to access the data and 28 provide student-level info to teachers.
Illinois shut out of bucks by agency run by former CPS chief
September 16, 2010BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Daley on Wednesday blasted a federal education bureaucracy run by former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan over the process that culminated in Illinois being shut out from $400 million in federal funds.
The money was available through the “Race to the Top” program, President Obama’s marquee education initiative. After cutting the ribbon at a new elementary school in West Rogers Park, Chicago’s lame-duck mayor ridiculed all of the “political slogans” that have ballyhooed federal education programs under the last two presidents.
“You leave no child left behind. You race to the top. Next year, you race to the bottom. Next year, you race to the side. Everybody’s racing to something,” Daley said.
“Why can’t you send us money to build our schools. … All the teachers know that these are just political slogans. We should end it.”
Daley said the outcome of the “Race to the Top” sweepstake might have been different for Illinois if only “those who had worked in the vineyards” in Chicago had been part of the pitch for federal funding.
Instead, the State Board of Education made the presentation. Illinois finished 15th among 19 finalists.
Posted By John Myers On Thursday, February 25, 2010
In an unusual effort to solicit public input on the budget, Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday proposed $2 billion in cuts to education along with grim revenue estimates for a state awash in $13 billion of red ink.
Notably missing from revenues are some $3 billion in federal stimulus funds sent to schools since 2009, a loss that is part of what national observers call a “stimulus funding cliff” that threatens school districts across the country. In Chicago, where Quinn’s cuts would mean perhaps a $200 million shortfall, it’s unclear how well officials have prepared.
Officials hoped the one-time infusion of federal cash would be spent on efforts that would spark lasting reforms that wouldn’t require ongoing funding. Catalyst Ohio highlighted a few examples in its latest report, including a plan in Cleveland to buyout older, higher-paid teachers and the creation of a school improvement planning team in Columbus.
Here in Chicago, details on stimulus spending are somewhat murky. Yet, district officials are able to point out only a few examples of spending that will propel reforms.
via Catalyst Notebook :: Chicago schools budget approaching the stimulus.
February 08, 2010 Posted by Monica Eng
If you follow Tribune watchdog stories, you know I’ve spent much of the last year whining about all the nachos, doughnuts and cookies kids are fed in school districts all over the state but especially in Chicago Public Schools.
This week I’m spotlighting the polystyrene trays CPS food is served on and how just one day of its discarded trays could be stacked twice as high as the Willis Tower (formerly Sears). Why are we tossing 236,000 non-biodegradeable trays in landfills every day instead of moving to reusable trays? Find out here and also learn what area activists as well as districts from New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Oak Park are doing to help while CPS doesn’t do much.
via The Stew: Chicago Public Schools pile unrecycled foam trays and toss tons of fresh fruit.