Tutoring, Deseg, a Sudden Resignation, and 4 Schools Targeted (Chicago IL)

First, the Board resolved its long-running dispute over tutoring with the US Department of Education and finally began allowing minority kids to transfer into once-“full” white schools. Then, Renaissance 2010 front man Greg Richmond resigned abruptly, just as 12 small new schools were approved and four existing ones came up for possible closure.

On the tutoring front, Chicago, ISBE, and the Feds finally figured out something that makes everyone look good, sort of: Deal with state keeps 40,000 kids in CPS tutoring program (Chicago Sun-Times), School tutoring standoff ends (Chicago Tribune), Tutoring deal lets everyone save face (Chicago Public Radio audio), and Deal with state saves tutoring (Chicago Daily Southtown).

The feds stuck to their guns – for once (see NCLB News above) – the state doesn’t get fined for allowing CPS to do so much tutoring, and CPS doesn’t have to pay back the Feds for the money it’s already spent on in-house tutoring this year. And the kids continue their tutoring without an interruption. Now if we only knew that the tutoring was really working.

Also as the result of external pressure, CPS finally found 300-plus slots for minority children in schools that are disproportionately white and once considered too full to accept more kids: Judge's order gives two kids 'dream school' (Chicago Sun-Times), Journey to integration (Chicago Tribune).

Then Wednesday, charter schools guru Greg Richmond announced his resignation, effective next month, leaving Renaissance 2010 without a public face or a proven manager -- and hinting at some of the conflicts and power plays going on in and around the Mayor’s big education initiative: Mid-Renaissance Move (This Week In Education), and Charter schools trailblazer resigns (Chicago Tribune). Now if only Arne had refused Richmond’s resignation (or if GWB had accepted Rumsfeld’s)…

Lost in last week’s news was an account of one Pilsen charter school that didn’t get a Ren10 recommendation it was counting on – and the neighborhood needed: Charterless school set to close doors (Chicago Tribune).

All this makes the announced school closings earlier this week seem like ancient history: Erring (Too Much?) On The Side of Caution (This Week In Education), 3 troubled schools to be shut (Chicago Tribune), and High school with 'culture of failure' to get shut (Chicago Sun-Times).

But there’s more. There are hearings for each of the schools next week, and a Board meeting just after Presidents’ Day to rubber-stamp discuss the recommended closings. Public hearings are scheduled to be held at board headquarters next week, on Feb. 8 for Bunche, Feb. 9 for Grant, and Feb. 10 for Howland and Englewood.

Count on issues such as gang territory/child safety concerns and the feasibility of CPS’s last-minute addition of an NCLB transfer option for students from these schools to be raised. For a super-bland overview, see: Chicago Board Moves to Scale Down Schools (Education Week).

Rest of the Best:

A cultural education for Marisol Luna WBEZ (audio)
A Fight Over Reading Instruction New York Times
Fewer city high school grads than claimed Chicago Sun-Times
City graduation rate disputed Chicago Tribune
How one school turned things around Chicago Sun-Times
The challenges of an overcrowded classroom Chicago Tribune
The Return Of Substance Teach and Learn
Lollipops open doors for NW Catholic school Chicago Tribune
School janitor arrest spurs debate Chicago Tribune
Naperville cops say they found school's naked man Tribune


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