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  1. #106
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    Wait, i thought Chicago was broke???

    CPS $20 million no-bid contract raises questions about Supes Academy
    The size and the circumstances surrounding the contract have raised eyebrows among some outside observers. The contract with Wilmette-based Supes Academy is by far the largest no-bid contract awarded in at least the past three years, according to a Catalyst Chicago analysis of board documents. In addition, CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett worked for the company as a coach up until the time she came on board at CPS as a consultant.

    There’s also conflicting information about Byrd-Bennett’s involvement with another company owned by the same individuals who run the Supes Academy.

    Andy Shaw, president and CEO of the Better Government Association, says that a large, no-bid contract such as this one deserves scrutiny.

    "No-bid contracts should be reserved for extraordinary circumstances that demand highly specific skills in a short time frame,” Shaw says. “It's too early to say if this one qualifies. But Catalyst has raised enough other questions to merit a review by the CPS inspector general."

    Wendy Katten of the parent advocacy group Raise Your Hand, whose group has tracked school budget cuts, is critical as well.

    “A $20 million no-bid contract … is a questionable use of funds at a time when our students have 94 less art positions, 58 less [physical education] positions, and 54 less music positions for the fall, and CEO Byrd-Bennett is in the press discussing online courses for these programs,” she says. “We have to ask where the priorities of this district are right now.”

    Up until April 2012, Byrd-Bennett worked as a consultant to the Supes Academy. At that time, she was brought on at CPS as the chief education advisor to then-CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, a contract position for which she was paid $21,500 a month.
    smh...oh no FWFW, it's all on the up and up!! You just don't want change because you're a union teacher!!!
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  2. #107
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    I for one am shocked that there would be any semblance of corruption in Chicago.
    If the majority distributes among itself the things of a minority, it is evident that it will destroy the city. --Aristotle
    If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. - Thomas Edison

  3. #108
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    This then, will be no surprise to Vin...

    IIRC, i suggested in this thread that Chicago might hire TFA's to replace the laid off teachers. TFA's have just 5 weeks of training before entering the classroom, and a much hire burnout rate than traditionally trained teachers, but make a fraction of the salary. They are also essentially not subject to evaluation because by the time the consequences of their poor evaluation come to fruition, they are already gone to grad school in another field.

    TFA Chicago plans to open 52 private charter schools (remember Chicago closed 54 for whatever reason) by 2017 staffed with TFAers.

    On the bright side, it should help with overcrowding, but if history is our guide, they will be crappy schools with high turnover. the last time chicago tried to replace veteran teachers with TFAers, Chicago got sued, lost and had to rehire all the teachers.
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  4. #109
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    It's a miracle!

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/2265300...s-for-cps.html

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel unleashes rapid-fire construction plans for CPS
    Chicago Public Schools closed a record 50 schools in June, saying it couldn’t afford to keep “half-empty” buildings open.

    In July, slashed school budgets led principals and parents to beg for help, particularly for some tax increment financing money to restore arts teachers, writing programs and toilet paper.

    Then suddenly, a week ago, the same mayor who wanted schools closed and has denied declaring a TIF surplus announced the beginning of a school building boom.

    During a four-day stretch, Mayor Rahm Emanuel doled out science lab upgrades and playgrounds, a new school and annexes to lessen overcrowding for a total of more than $90 million in big capital spending.


    The announcements had much of the city wondering where in the world the money came from, and how, in a district with such need, were these particular projects chosen?

    Skeptics point to 2015, when lots of ribbons will be cut by Emanuel during a re-election year. The mayor’s office and CPS officials counter that the money set aside comes with strings that apply to specific situations and cannot be used to hire back staff.

    “Most of these projects are getting completed in 2015 when he’s running for re-election,” said Jackson Potter of the Chicago Teachers Union. “That’s not a coincidence.”
    Wither, lechrus?
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  5. #110
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    well, well and independent study of CPS found that 47% of Chicago charter schools are below enrollment (ie 1/2 empty), thats about 50 schools totaling around 11,000 empty seats. A year ago, when the city of Chicago decided their public schools were half-empty, they closed 50 of them, so naturally you'd figure they'd do the same with the charters--after all, they are also tax-payer funded and they should be "right-sized" just like the public schools.

    But you would be wrong. Rahm as decided to approve and open 31 additional charter schools--on the tax payer dime. Anyone still willing to claim this is all on the up & up?

    “I feel like I’m in the twilight zone, because last year we had a billion-dollar deficit, and the district said we must close 51 schools. This year, we have a $950 million deficit and the district wants to open 31 new charters in two years,” said Wendy Katten, of the citywide CPS parents advocacy group Raise Your Hand. “This is absurd, and fiscally irresponsible.”
    link
    link
    http://www.suntimes.com/news/educati...r-schools.html
    http://progressillinois.com/quick-hi...ommunity-forum
    Last edited by ForWhoForWhat?; 01-22-2014 at 06:51 PM.
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  6. #111
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    Charter schools show little difference in school performance
    Since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office in 2011, Chicago has ordered the closings of dozens of neighborhood public schools while approving a new wave of publicly financed, privately operated charter schools, in a much-touted effort to improve education.

    But even as many parents have embraced the new schools, there’s little evidence in standardized test results that charters are performing better than traditional schools operated by the Chicago Public Schools system, an examination by the Chicago Sun-Times and the Medill Data Project at Northwestern University has found.

    In fact, in 2013, CPS schools had a higher percentage of elementary students who exceeded the standards for state tests for reading and math than the schools that are privately run with Chicago taxpayer funds.

    That was true for all CPS-run schools and also just for traditional neighborhood schools, which don’t require admissions tests or offer specialized courses of instruction.
    Once again shows this charter push is about making money, not "better education".
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  7. #112
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    If the educational results are pretty much the same between "public' and 'charter'.... as the article suggested as a nationwide study, then the least expensive would make sense.
    I promise I won't do it again

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raid View Post
    If the educational results are pretty much the same between "public' and 'charter'.... as the article suggested as a nationwide study, then the least expensive would make sense.
    I knew you'd come around! Welcome aboard!
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForWhoForWhat? View Post
    Charter schools show little difference in school performance


    Once again shows this charter push is about making money, not "better education".
    Better standardized test scores does not equal "better education."

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglesnut View Post
    Better standardized test scores does not equal "better education."
    No argument from me. However, "better standardized test scores" are what's sold to the public to promote charters supposed superiority over traditional public schools.
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  11. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForWhoForWhat? View Post
    No argument from me. However, "better standardized test scores" are what's sold to the public to promote charters supposed superiority over traditional public schools.
    Then standardized testing needs to be better attacked. Not charter schools.

    You have your priorities and I have mine. The old and out dated public schools aren't working and are too monolithic. I'm all for innovation and creativity in developing children, and hopefully some different environments out from under the burden of public schooling can provide that.

  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglesnut View Post
    Then standardized testing needs to be better attacked. Not charter schools.
    Actually, both testing and charters need to "be attacked". There aren't many charters that are "innovating and creatively developing children". I started working at charters (tried 3 different ones in 2 states) because i initially believed they were doing that. If charters were being innovative and developing students, i wouldn't have left, and i wouldn't be warning everyone i know about them.
    "Stop doing the wrong things. Stop promoting competition and choice as answers to the very inequality that was created by competition and choice."
    ~ Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglesnut View Post
    Then standardized testing needs to be better attacked. Not charter schools.

    You have your priorities and I have mine. The old and out dated public schools aren't working and are too monolithic. I'm all for innovation and creativity in developing children, and hopefully some different environments out from under the burden of public schooling can provide that.
    Because we're too busy trying to make tests to prove the errant theory that our public education system is failing our kids because their teachers suck... The main issues are socio-economic, but since that would require REAL work to fix, we're going to convince everyone that its all the teacher's fault and build up more bureaucracy to tackle the problem of weeding out these "bad teachers". Then, OOPS!!! That didn't solve the problem? Our kids are still failing? Well then it must be the public school system!!! We need to build a system of privately operated schools (using public money mind you) because private, profit-driven education will OBVIOUSLY have the best interest of education in America as its priority!! (Because we know private industry is all about "The People")...

    What is being lost in all of this is the fuggin' kids! I am floored at the number of standardized tests they take, and the purpose isn't really about THEM. That's the main problem.

    We need to scrap this standardized testing model. Let's make sure we have administrators that will fairly judge a teacher's performance. Let teachers teach again, and if that means they do a little "hobby teaching" (That is the term for when a teacher focuses on a portion of their subject that they enjoy teaching more than other portions of the subject. ), then so be it!! Get parents and their lawyers out of the everyday operation of the schools (Its great for parents to be involved, but its time to trust that the school is NOT the enemy and that their children carry some of the burden of their own education.).

    IMO this is what needs to happen to get us back on track, though I realize the bureaucracy has likely grown too large for this to ever occur. A lot of money tied up in these tests and data-driven education.... Again, it just isn't about the kids anymore.
    Last edited by Payton34; 04-11-2014 at 12:37 PM.
    "Yeah, everything that guy just said is Bullsh!t..... Thank you.." -Vincent LaGuardia Gambini-

  14. #119
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    Let teachers teach again. Classic.
    I promise I won't do it again

  15. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Payton34 View Post
    Because we're too busy trying to make tests to prove the errant theory that our public education system is failing our kids because their teachers suck...

    What is being lost in all of this is the fuggin' kids! I am floored at the number of standardized tests they take, and the purpose isn't really about THEM. That's the main problem.
    I don't even care about bad teachers. I'm sure plenty of kids had some bad teachers and even improved anyway. The focus on teachers and tests is just so ass backwards it's hard to get the dialogue back on track.

    I look at private charters and I see how much more opportunity there is to partner with local companies and local communities for a much broader learning experience than kids get locked up in a school all day.

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