Another frustrating example of the attack on teachers and unions as the source of the problems in public schools today. As Sabrina Stevens notes:
Students and schools cannot succeed if the adults in the community don’t work together to make a high-quality public education for all kids a reality. And while Won’t Back Down purportedly supports such a goal, the stereotypes it promotes— and the agenda it hides— could threaten that effort if people don’t understand the reality beneath the Hollywood gloss.
I’m not yet aware of the “Parent Trigger” laws that are being promoted around the country—I will definitely have to look into that.
NYC public schools will no longer suspend students for one-time minor infractions (such as tardiness, cell phones, or talking back). While I’m glad to see a move like this rather than in the “sweat the small stuff” direction taken by some large charter networks (AHEM, Noble Street), I do agree with the criticism that teachers and staff need training and support to be able to follow these new guidelines. Otherwise, this becomes just a way to lower the number of suspensions.
You know, I don’t expect every high-profile city official to send his or her children to our public schools. But what if they did? Maybe then, they’d have to pay attention to the conditions that the rest of us have to deal with. And maybe they’d start to rethink some of the policies they’ve shoved down our throats.
What really irks me about Rahm’s temper tantrum is that he is so sure about what’s right for Chicago Public Schools: standardized testing, security cutbacks, charter schools, turnaround schools, teacher evaluations based on test scores. Yet there’s not enough good in the public school system to send his kids there. He is sending them to a school that doesn’t emphasize standardized tests, that has a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, that has nearly-unlimited resources.
How is this not a public issue?
Parents at Whittier Elementary in Chicago organized a 43-day sit-in last fall to save their school’s community center/ field house, which they would like to turn into a library. At the end of that sit-in, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) agreed to stop the planned demolition, divert TIF funds to renovating the field house, and provide the school with a library.
Now that CPS has a new CEO, they broke their promise: they have started plans to demolish the field house, and they have plans to create a library inside the school (something the parents oppose, since it will not be accessible to the community, and it risks displacing special education students).
Please read the petition and consider signing it in solidarity with the parents who have fought so hard for their school and community.
My school is considering an extended school year. I’m still not decided…
Old blog post, but definitely worth a read—speaks to the “panic mode” that educational reform seems to be stuck in!