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September 7, 2018
A new school in Bronzeville says a lot about what parents want
The first day of school, Nicole Spicer woke up at 4 a.m., put on a kelly-green blouse that matched her school colors, and…
September 4, 2018
What Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to not seek re-election means for schools
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to drop his reelection bid has serious implications for several big public education initiatives in Chicago and for…
September 3, 2018
Chicago graduation rates climb again, but district has ‘work to do’ to narrow racial gaps
The nation’s third largest district said 78.2 percent of students earned a high school diploma within five years, up from 77.5 percent in 2017.
Updated August 29, 2018
Chicago students show slight gains in math on national exam, while reading plateaus
Chicago students showed small gains in math but saw scores flatline in reading, according to new test scores released Wednesday.
August 2, 2018
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is on a high-speed timeline for his universal pre-K rollout
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has clearly articulated his vision for a free, universal prekindergarten program for 4-year-olds in Chicago, staging events throughout the…
June 18, 2018
Emanuel touts Chicago grads’ successes in defense of CPS
In three commencement speeches, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has touted post-high school success, underscoring a prime education goal that he’s prioritized for more…
September 19, 2011
Why New York City isn't joining Chicago in extended-day uproar
New Yorkers following Chicago’s snowballing union-district standoff over plans to extend the school day may not realize that similar conversations take place inside city schools every year. Chicago's new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and his schools chief, former New York City deputy Jean-Claude Brizard, are pushing schools to add 90 minutes to their 5-hour-long days, among the shortest in the nation. But they have offered teachers only 2 percent more pay, raising the ire of the teachers union, whose president, Karen Lewis, has said Emanuel is creating "a nightmare" by asking union members to override their union contract. Even though the union has filed a lawsuit over the plan, Emanuel and Brizard decided to shop the proposal school by school, and teachers at at least nine schools have voted to extend their working hours—and the instructional day. The city and the teachers union send out warring press releases each time another school takes a vote. Staff at New York City schools routinely take similar votes, but with less fanfare. There has been no system-wide push for a longer school day in years, and educators do not foresee a Chicago-style showdown repeating in New York. That’s in part because the average New York City school day is already much longer than Chicago’s, and slightly longer than other major cities’, with many students in school for 6.5 hours or more. In addition, the district already struck a flexible deal with the union five years ago to extend the school day by 37.5 minutes four days a week for at least 290,000 city students, mostly those who struggle academically. How that time is spent is, to a large degree, up to each school. Researchers say it is almost impossible to make a good estimate of the length of the New York City school day—something that one Chicago columnist found last week when he tried to tally the numbers—because instructional time requirements vary by grade-level and subject, and principals and teachers can decide together how they want to structure parts of the school day.
April 18, 2011
J.C. Brizard, a former DOE official, to head Chicago schools
Jean-Claude Brizard, the embattled superintendent of Rochester, N.Y., and a former New York City Department of Education official, will be Chicago's next schools chief. Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel announced his superintendent pick at a press conference today, billing Brizard as a leader who is "not afraid of tough choices." In three years as Rochester's superintendent, Brizard alienated local leaders and the teachers union with his support for charter schools, tying teacher evaluations to student test scores, and closing low-performing schools. Picking Brizard suggests that Emanuel could be preparing to tangle with Chicago's teachers union, whose president, Karen Lewis, took an aggressive stance in her fights with Ron Huberman, the superintendent who resigned last year. The choice also signals yet again that administrators who cut their teeth under former New York City Chancellor Joel Klein remain in demand around the country. Earlier this month, Klein told GothamSchools that Brizard was one of several New York City school officials, past and present, who were "being recruited in multiple venues right now" for big-city superintendencies. In addition to Chicago, other cities looking for leaders include Newark, Boston, Atlanta, and Providence, R.I. A current DOE deputy chancellor, John White, will become superintendent of New Orleans next month. Brizard's departure from Rochester is not surprising.
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