Chicago Roundup: New Report Cards, Bad News from NAEP, and More

While the Board was trying to focus attention on its new high school report cards (Parents can get the skinny on high schools' ups, downs Chicago Tribune), another kind of report card came out -- and the news wasn't good.


The new report comparing urban district performance on the National Assessment of Education Progresss showed that CPS students don't perform nearly as well on the NAEP as they appear to do on the ISAT or ITBS, and generally lag far behind other urban districts (City students lag in reading, math Sun Times, Chicago pupils trail among big cities Tribune).

School officials tried to explain the results away, but the results certainly take the air out of the notion that Chicago is one of the top urban school systems in the nation. For more on this: What to Make of the New Urban NAEP Results?

The bad news for CPS continues today: Ren-10 Rumblings: When Only A Real Charter Will Do.

In the meantime, the USDOJ and the Federal courts took CPS to task -- again -- for failing to live up to its promises in regards to school segregation: School fight brewing Tribune.

Not to be left out of the "oops!" news, ISBE was forced to reveal that more than 4,000 5th graders who flunked the state reading test in the spring may pass after all, thanks to a fluke in scoring: Math miscue flunks 4,000 5th graders Tribune.

And Governor Rod renewed his star-crossed effort to ban junk food in schools, even though he lost badly last year on the issue and just got spanked by the courts for his efforts to ban violent video games: Blagojevich flunks junk foodSun Times, Governor again takes on school junk food Tribune, Columnist Neil Steinberg: Taking candy from babies Sun Times.

Speaking of star-crossed efforts, Teach and Learn's Michael Lach takes on one of science teachers' favorite things: on hands-on science. Hands-on hater Lach writes "hands-on does not equal inquiry, and that real cognitive engagement of all kids is what we're after." I guess that means my plans to do the seeds-on-wet-Kleenex activity is out. What's next -- no more rainforest units, or units on dinosaurs?

Lach also takes a swipe at this year's edition of Crain's 40 under 40, calling it out for lacking enough public sector types, and CPS stars in particular. "How come Janice Jackson didn't make the list? Jim O'Conner? Linda Erlinger? Beth Swanson? Angus Mairs? Amanda Knight? Hosanna Mahaley Johnson?" (Sour Grapes ).

Speaking of Hosanna,Ms. Johnson responded with good humor to my speculation about her next job (All Hail Queen Hosanna -- The Next Head of Chicago Public Schools?, and was even kind enough to send in a new picture of herself, as requested. Thanks, Hosanna!

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