Rise & Shine: Lawmakers gather and gauge new education laws
Education was on the minds of legislators at their annual Organization Day event:
- Lawmakers talked about a preschool bill, the Common Core and whether they will enter the fray in the state board battle. (Chalkbeat)
- Democrats think the GOP will move to strip Rtiz’s powers. (StateImpact)
- Lawmakers said they would seek to strengthen day care laws. (Indy Star)
In other education news:
- Meet the four Chalkbeat editors in Tennessee, Indiana, New York and Denver. (Chalkbeat)
- South Bend’s school board is aiming to equalize principal pay. (SB Tribune)
- Parents ask if Wayne Twp school smoking ban goes far enough. (RTV6)
- NPR’s Claudio Sanchez will speak at an event honoring transformational public school educators. (IUPUI)
- TNTP study says cumbersome hiring keeps good teachers out or urban classrooms. (Chalkbeat Tennessee)
- See also this story about a recent Indianapolis study with similar conclusions to the TNTP study. (Chalkbeat)
- Report: Rising poverty smothers improvements in Chicago. (Chicago Reader)
- Denver math tutor program shows gains, but can they be sustained? (EdNews Colorado)
Amid a wave of teacher activism nationwide and major threats to the influence of unions, the United Federation of Teachers is expected to spend more than $1 million on a primetime television and streaming ad featuring local educators.
The 30-second spot hit the airwaves on Jan. 23 and will run through Feb. 1, with an expected audience of 11 million television viewers and 4 million impressions online, according to the union.
Featuring a chorus of singing students, bright classrooms, and a glamour shot of the city, the ad is called “Voice.” A diverse group of teachers declares: “Having a voice makes us strong. And makes our public schools even stronger.” It ends with the message, “The United Federation of Teachers. Public school proud.”
The union, the largest local in the country, typically runs ads this time of year, as the legislative session in Albany heats up and city budget negotiations kick-off. But this time, the campaign launches against the backdrop of an emboldened teaching force across the country, with a teacher strike in Los Angeles and another potentially starting next week in Denver.
UFT is also eager to prove its worth after the recent Janus Supreme Court ruling, which could devastate membership by banning mandatory fees to help pay for collective bargaining. So far, membership has remained strong but the union could face headwinds from organized right-to-work groups and the sheer number of new hires that come into the New York City school system every year.
The ad will run locally during programs including “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “Good Morning America,” on networks such as MSNBC and CNN, and on the streaming service Hulu. You can watch the ad here.
From a principal’s first-person column on personalized learning to a profile of a teen struggling to read, these were our most-read stories of the year.
- Trauma can make it hard for kids to learn. Here’s how teachers learn to deal with that. This conversation with a child psychologist from Lurie Children’s Hospital who advises local educators on identifying and handling trauma resonated with educators and parents alike.
- Meet Javion: He’s 16 and struggling to read in Chicago schools. How did 16-year-old Javion Grayer end up in high school barely able to read? This story examines how many forces in the city and its schools can threaten learning.
- I’m a principal who thinks personalized learning shouldn’t be a debate. This first-person column from Lisa Epstein, the principal of Lee Elementary, was the most read column we published this year. “Personalized learning looks different in every classroom,” she writes, “but the common thread is that we now make decisions looking at the student.”
- Rauner and Pritzker are at odds over most education issues — but agree on this one point. Hint: It’s money. But listening back to the interviews with the candidates, which we conducted in partnership with WBEZ, helps paint a picture of the state of education in Illinois.
- How one Chicago principal is leaning on data to help black boys. The stakes are high. Black boys, especially those from low-income households, are more prone than their sisters to falling behind in school and running into the juvenile criminal justice system. Here’s how one principal is making inroads at her school.
- Secret CPS report spotlights big vacancies, lopsided options for students. The report has already been cited as reasoning in district-level decision-making.
- Is your school one of the city’s top rated? Our database of school ratings included a school’s total points scored on the Chicago rating system, known as SQRP.
- Three out of four kids aren’t ready for kindergarten. The data is the first look statewide at how many children show up to kindergarten prepared.
- Three Chicago principals and the war against Fs.“Fs and Ds are worthless,” one principal exclaimed. We looked at his case.
- Why Noble teachers say Noble CEO’s downfall could boost unionization efforts. This story is one of many we’ll continue to watch in 2019.