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Rise & Shine: House speaker’s next gig is Denver’s school budget chief

EdNewsColorado - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 10:53

out of the frying pan and into the fire?

Outgoing Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino will become Denver Public School's Chief Financial Officer in July. ( Chalkbeat Colorado, Denver Post, KDVR )

know your candidates

Two very quiet primary races will begin to shape the make-up of the State Board of Education next year. ( Chalkbeat Colorado )

crowded out

Falcon School District 49 officials are considering asking voters to approve their third ballot initiative in five years designed to expand some schools and build new ones. ( Gazette )

New School on the block

The opening of Aurora's first charter school since 2008 signals a change in winds for the suburban school district, but challenges for the school remain. ( Chalkbeat Colorado )

joyful noise

Four Colorado music educators are in the running for a Grammy next year after having been nominated by their students. ( 9News )

posted question

The St. Vrain school district is seeking legal counsel on how to amend its policies around student groups after a school's gay-straight alliance learned they were violating district policy by hanging posters. ( Times-Call )

a deepening question

A new report argues that the reasons behind the gap between charter and district school enrollment are more complex than the conventional "counseling out" narrative suggests. ( Chalkbeat Colorado )

express yourself

About 15 Boulder students learned art and storytelling skills through a summer program. ( Daily Camera )

people are jerks

An apparent arson fire destroyed the preschool playground at Erie's Black Hawk Elementary School on Wednesday. ( Daily Camera )

op-ed

Colorado's former speaker of the House and a local businessman praise the recent district court dismissal of a lawsuit challenging part of the state's teacher evaluation law. ( Denver Post )

Categories: Urban School News

In the News: Alderman agrees to meet Dyett supporters

Catalyst Chicago - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 08:50

A coalition including the CTU and community members that has been fighting to keep Dyett Academic Center open ended three days and nights of camping out in front of Ald. Will Burns' 4th Ward office with a commitment from the alderman to host a meeting on the school's future. (DNAinfo)

IN THE NATION
SPECIAL ED AND MINORITY OVERREPRESENTATION: The U.S. Department of Education is considering creating a standard definition for what constitutes "significant disproportionality" in special education. The move comes in the wake of a recent Government Accountability Office report that said that even though states are required to monitor overrepresentation of minority students in special education in their districts, only a tiny fraction of school districts around the country have actually been deemed to have a problem. (Education Week)

CUTTING COMMON CORE TIES: Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana said Wednesday that he would seek to end his state’s enactment of the Common Core educational guidelines and plans to administer a test tied to them, but other officials immediately said that the governor had overstepped his authority and vowed to resist his moves. (The New York Times)

PRESCHOOL EXPANSION: California's general fund spending package that's headed to the governor includes $264 million for expanding education before kindergarten and would add 11,500 new preschool spots for low-income families. (Associated Press)

Categories: Urban School News

Colorado speaker Mark Ferrandino to join Denver Public Schools

EdNewsColorado - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 17:37

PHOTO: Courtesy Out Front

Mark Ferrandino, Colorado’s first openly gay speaker of the House, will join Denver Public Schools as its chief financial officer, Chalkbeat Colorado has confirmed.

Fox31 first reported the news that the Democrat, who is term limited, will join DPS this summer. His first day is July 21.

Ferrandino, who is widely know for his advocacy for the Colorado Civil Union Act, previously served on the state’s Joint Budget Committee, which writes the state’s finance laws, before becoming speaker in 2013.

On the budget committee he earned a reputation as a master of budget policy and details.

Ferrandino was first appointed by a vacancy committee to represent his Denver district, which includes a large portion of South Broadway, in 2007.

Before entering the legislature, Ferrandino worked as a senior budget analyst for the state Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, which administers the Medicaid program. Before coming to Colorado, Ferrandino worked as a analyst for federal agencies, including the Office of Budget and Management.

He has not been an initiator of K-12 legislation, but he’s been at the center of some those debates as speaker. During the 2014 session he initially opposed reductions in the state’s $1 billion K-12 funding shortfall, known as the negative factor, but softened his position after intense lobbying from district interests.

His signal piece of education legislation was House Bill 14-1319, which lays the foundations for a performance-based system of higher education funding. The measure easily passed the legislature – after significant changes sought by higher education lobbyists and the Department of Higher Education.

Ferrandino has been widely rumored as a candidate for director of the Office of State Planning and Budget if Gov. John Hickenlooper is re-elected and current budget chief Henry Sobanet were to step down. In that job Ferrandino would have been perfectly positioned to oversee implementation of higher education performance funding, something that won’t happen now.

Ferrandino is a member of the advisory board for Democrats for Education Reform-Colorado.

Ferrandino replaces David Hart who left the district earlier this year. According to The Denver Post, Ferrandino will make $145,000 a year with up to $15,000 in incentive pay.

Categories: Urban School News

New report raises questions about special education enrollment in Denver charter schools

EdNewsColorado - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 17:08

Update: This article has been updated for context. A smaller percentage of students with disabilities enroll in Denver charter schools than traditional public schools — and that gap grows as students age.

But, according to a new report, the reasons for that gap and why it grows over time are much more complicated than the received wisdom that charters “counsel out” challenging students.

The report, which uses school choice data and school-level enrollment data from Denver Public Schools, was compiled by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a Seattle-based research and policy analysis organization. The research was funded by the Walton Family Foundation.

In 2012, charter schools enrolled roughly 2 percent fewer students with disabilities in kindergarten, possibly because fewer of those students requested charter schools.

But the causes behind the growth in the gap — which nearly triples by eighth grade — are more complex. And researchers say that the typical narrative of “counseling out,” whereby charter schools encourage students with high needs to leave the school, may not be behind it.

At a panel announcing the release, Marcus Winters, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs professor who is behind the report, listed a few potential contributing factors, including who applies to go to charter schools, who leaves them and how schools designate students as disabled. Winters is also a member of the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank.

His findings, which show low rates of students with disabilities leaving charter schools, are “really inconsistent with counseling out as a driving factor.” That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, Winters said, but it’s not big enough to be the driving force. In fact, students with disabilities are more likely to leave traditional public schools than charters.

Instead, Winters said that students without disabilities moving to charters — which lowers the proportion of disabled students — was a bigger force, contributing to roughly half the gap. The other half came from the fact that charters were less likely to identify previously unidentified students as needing extra support.

It’s an issue charter schools are grappling with, said Bill Kurtz, the head of Denver charter network DSST. He said schools often lower expectations for students with a disabilities designation but that schools have to find a balance between raising expectations and supporting students.

“What is the right bar to set?” Kurtz said, whose schools are known for a high-structure, high expectation model. “How do we think about accommodations?”

The full report is available here.

Note: The Walton Family Foundation is a contributor to Chalkbeat.

Categories: Urban School News

In Aurora, new charter school signals change in headwinds

EdNewsColorado - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 14:11

AURORA — Nestled on the second floor of a nondescript shopping mall with tenants that include a prepaid mobile phone service provider, laundromat, and barbershop, this suburb’s newest school, Montessori del Mundo, was buzzing with the trappings of the first day of school. Except that’s still several weeks away.

Parent Jahn Castillo Sr. grilled his son’s teacher, Julio Alas, while 7-year-old Jahn Jr., played with a puzzle of the map of Australia.

“He likes puzzles,” Alas pointed out. “And this puzzle of Australia can launch into an entire lesson of the continent if that’s what your son wants to learn.”

Students at Montessori del Mundo, like most other schools that use the Montessori model, will learn at their own pace, guided by a team of teachers and a rubric that, similar to the new Common Core State Standards that Colorado has adopted, emphasizes a deeper learning of core numeracy and language.

But there is something unique about this Montessori school — besides its dual language instruction. When Montessori del Mundo opens Aug. 18 it will be the first charter school to open within the Aurora Public Schools boundaries since 2008.

“Opening up a school is like taking a leap of faith,” said the school’s founder and director Karen Farquharson. “People have to have faith you’re going to open and educate their children. You have to have faith they’re going to enroll and show up.”

While Denver Public Schools has led the way in opening and expanding charters in the metro area as part of a strategy to expand opportunities for low-income students, APS  – with similarly high levels of poverty and students of color — turned inward and allowed the nationwide movement to largely pass it over.

For years the suburban school district east of Denver was known as being “openly hostile,” toward charter schools, said Rob Miller, principal of Aurora’s Vanguard Classical Academy charter school.

His first charter application in 2006 was rejected by the school district’s Board of Education, for a laundry list of reasons — including, Miller said, that the board simply did not want the school in their backyard.

The State Board of Education overturned APS’s rejection and the school opened in 2007.

“Historically it’s been tough,” Miller said. “But more recently [APS] been much more friendly.”

PHOTO: Nicholas Garcia Montessori del Mundo teacher Julio Alas, center, meets with the Castillo family Saturday at an open house. Clockwise from center left is Jahn Sr., Jahn Jr., Yoli, and Yaretzi. Jahn Jr. will attend the school in the fall.

Not only did APS grant Miller’s school an “easy” charter renewal, a board made up of mostly new members granted an expansion and the Classical Academy will open a second campus with a high school in the fall.

Miller credits updated state laws regarding charter schools and the attitudes of  new board members in Aurora for the evolving relationship between the district and its charter schools. Further, he believes his school and the district’s five other charters schools have earned the board’s trust.

“It’s worked both ways,” he said.  “We’ve proven to them that we have a common interest in educating Aurora students. I think we’ve proven we want to be a partner on equal grounds with them.”

In an interview earlier this year, Aurora’s superintendent Rico Munn, who marks his first year leading the district in July, said he’s “indifferent” to charter schools. He said that he’s happy to consider any new school that might be able to meet a need in the district but recognized APS can’t provide the support — and maybe more importantly the space like DPS has for its growing charter networks — to new schools.

“We’re not there, yet,” Munn said.

Farquharson said that the difficulty of finding a building for a charter school in Aurora should not be underestimated. Because of the difficulty finding a building and upgrading it, Farquharson had to delay the opening of the school by a year.

“Delaying had an impact on a lot of people,” she said. Her teaching staff had to find new jobs and students needed to be enrolled in different programs.

Nevertheless, Farquharson recognizes the changing culture toward charter school and can rattle off nearly a dozen names of APS officials who have come to her aid — part voluntarily, part because she sub-contracts some of their services.

Still, because of certain district policies around funding pre-school and distributing Title I funds, Farquharson decided to charter her school through the state instead of APS.

Farquharson said during its first five years, the school is likely to receive $2.5 million more directly from the state than if she were to charter through APS.

“We really want to be a part of APS, and they’ve asked us to reauthorize with them in five years,” she said. “We’ll wait and see how the policies change.”

Until then, she said she and her school are committed to the students of Aurora Public Schools. Between spreading word of mouth, passing out flyers at local grocery stores, and exercising plain hardihood, Montessori del Mundo is set to open with nearly 150 students split between seven teachers, all bilingual and certified to teach Montessori, on their first day.

According to early data, nearly 73 percent have self-reported they either already attend or would attend an APS school.

Saturday’s meet and greet was just the first of many summer events Farquharson and her team have planned.

Parents will be invited to help build the campus’ playground. There will be practice school nights. And teachers will visit students at their homes. It’s all a plan to help create a relationship for students, teachers, and parents so the first day of school isn’t that bad, Farquharson said.

“Education is relational,” she said.

Categories: Urban School News

Two intra-party fights for state board quietly move into final stretch

EdNewsColorado - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 13:00

Two quiet primary races that will be decided next week will help shape the face of the State Board of Education.

Democrats and Republicans this year both have primary fights for seats on the board, positions that traditionally are among the state’s lower-profile elected offices.

All the candidates in the June 24 election have views on high-profile education issues such as Common Core, testing and reform, but – as usual – the campaigns are low-key and have little visibility for the average voter or even for many education professionals.

Democrats Valentina Flores and Taggart Hansen are vying to succeed Elaine Gantz Berman in the 1st District, which includes Denver and a slice of northern Arapahoe County. The race has the familiar union vs. reform flavor that has characterized recent Denver Public Schools board races.

In the sprawling 3rd District, which covers all of the Western Slope from Glenwood Springs west but also covers the San Luis Valley and Pueblo County, Republican incumbent Marcia Neal is facing a challenge from political newcomer Barbara Ann Smith. Both candidates are retired teachers and are critical of the Common Core Standards, but with individual nuances.

While the candidates have a wide variety of opinions, those finally elected to the board next November won’t necessarily have the ability to easily put those into action. In Colorado the legislature and the governor are the primary drivers of broad education policy, an unending source of frustration to some SBE members. The board has a largely regulatory role, although members undoubtedly will have a voice in continuing debates on standards and testing.

And the board that takes office in January 2015 will face significant and difficult decisions about how to handle struggling districts and schools that reach the end of the five-year accountability clock starting in July 2015.

For some voters, the election is done because they’ve already mailed their ballots. The Department of State reported Wednesday that 343,933 ballots already have been returned, 142,570 Democratic and 198,213 Republican. (See list by counties here.)

1st District

Both candidates have professional campaign managers, but Hansen has a distinct fundraising edge, supplied by many of the same contributors who ponied up to support more accountability-minded candidates in past Denver Public School board races.

The primary winner will be the district’s next board member, as there is no Republican candidate in the heavily Democratic district. Incumbent Berman chose not to run for reelection.

Valentina Flores Valentina Flores

Flores is a critic of what she calls the corporatization of public education, writing on her website, “ I oppose a ‘reform’ model that is slowly privatizing our public education system.”

She argues that the last decade of educational change in metro-area districts has “steadily undermined this beacon of equity – public schools. … While there is a place for charter and innovation schools, we must not allow these ‘reforms’ to continue to undermine our commitment to traditional public education offerings. As in all things, we need a balance that provides the best opportunities for all children in Colorado.”

In an interview with Chalkbeat Colorado, Flores also was critical of the Common Core Standards and of standardized testing.

At a glance:

  • Occupation: Retired
  • Education experience: Teacher, university instructor, administrator, researcher, member of DPS accountability committee
  • Website
  • Facebook

“I think Common Core has issues, a lot of issues,” she said. Moving onto the subject of testing, she said, “I really do think standardized tests do not really get at what kids know. Teachers know so much more about individual students. … We need to slow it down.”

If elected to the board, Flores said she will push for expanded early childhood education – “I believe in universal early childhood education” – and improved teacher preparation, especially in how to teach reading. She also wants to advocate for improved graduation rates for minority students and foster great multi-cultural understanding in schools.

She said she “possibly” could find common ground with Republican SBE members on content standards and testing.

Flores also is concerned about what she sees as attacks on teachers. “I think we’ve been killing the profession,” she said. “There is no respect for teachers.”

As for her opponent, Flores says, “I don’t think he knows education.”

Finance notes

  • Flores fundraising through June 11: $19,692 (contributions and non-monetary)
  • Interesting contributors: Public Education Committee, a CEA-related group ($2,250); DCTA Fund ($4,500); DPS board member Arturo Jimenez; former board member Jeanne Kaplan; past board candidates Emily Sirota, Jacqui Shumway, Mary Margaret Schomp and Roger Kilgore; former Democratic legislators Judy Solano and Evie Hudak. Also endorsed by American Federation of Teachers.
Taggart Hansen Taggart Hansen

Hansen likes to tell a story about his experience at Denver’s Morey Middle School, where he says black students were tracked and his parents had to pressure the principal to put him into more challenging classes.

“That’s why I’m running for this seat,” he said in an interview, saying that pushing for equal opportunities for all students and setting high expectations are his top goals. “Where we set the bar really matters.”

Hansen also says his two years with Teach for America in Pasadena, Calif., had an important effect on him. He said that while he wanted to be a lawyer since he was in high school, his TFA experience “has profoundly affected everything I do.”

He’s been active in educational issues for various non-profit groups and doesn’t see his relative lack of professional experience as a problem. “I’ve always had my pulse on education. I can learn it; I’m a quick study.”

At a glance:

  • Occupation: Lawyer for CH2M Hill
  • Education experience: Two years Teach for America in Pasadena, Calif.; finalist for DPS board appointment 2013, service on various non-profit boards including DPS Foundation
  • Website

Hansen seems to have a realistic view of the SBE’s role, noting that “the State Board does whatever the legislature tells it to.” He said he wants to use a seat on the board as bully pulpit. “It’s about having a really strong voice for equity,” he said.

While he notes the board can’t do much itself about school funding, he said, “the funding issue for our schools is the next great civil rights issue.”

Hansen said he supports the Common Core Standards because they are stronger than previous state standards and because they set the same goals for students across the nation.

He’s a bit more nuanced on standardized testing but doesn’t support Colorado pulling out of the PARCC tests. He said debate about testing “is a legitimate conversation to have” but that any changes in current state testing plans probably are a matter of “modifying, tweaking.”

Hansen and his wife have two daughters who attend the Denver School of Science and Technology.

Finance notes:

  • Hansen fundraising through June 11: $36,386 (contributions, loans, non-monetary)
  • Interesting contributors: Stand for Children Small Donor Committee ($4,500); Democrats for Education Reform Small Donor Committee ($600); Democratic SBE members Elaine Gantz Berman and Angelika Schroeder; former member Gully Stanford; current DPS board members Barbara O’Brien, Happy Haynes, Landri Taylor, Anne Rowe and Mike Johnson; former board members Nate Easley, Bruce Hoyt and Mary Seawell; former Senator President Peter Groff; lobbyist Mike Feeley; CU Regent Michael Carrigan; lots of Denver lawyers.
3rd District

State Board incumbents seldom have primary challengers (or successful general election opponents), so the district was wide open last year when Neal announced she wouldn’t run for a second term.

“I just had the feeling that six years was enough and that it was time for somebody else to take over,” she said in an interview. “I did look for another candidate but did not find one.”

Smith registered as a candidate in May 2013. Neal later changed her mind and entered the contest in March, and Smith decided to stay in the race.

Why did Neal have a change of heart? “I think it’s very important that we keep the Republican majority” on the board. “I became very concerned that we’d lose the seat in the fall.” Neal trailed Smith by 4 percentage points in voting at the GOP party assembly, and Smith has the fundraising edge in a campaign where both candidates have used their own money.

Waiting in the wings for the result of the Republican primary is Democratic candidate Henry Roman, former superintendent of the Pueblo City district.

Marcia Neal Marcia Neal

Neal has been an occasional swing vote on the board, siding with the three Democrats on a handful of issues. But she voted no in 2010 when the board voted 4-3 to adopt the Common Core Standards. (Republican Randy DeHoff, now gone from the board, provided the swing vote on that issue.)

Neal remains critical of the standards but said six years on the board have taught her the limits of SBE’s powers. “I can’t make Common Core go away.”

She argues that Smith makes sweeping statements about eliminating the standards that have attracted some Republican support, but adds, “It’s easy to say things when you don’t understand the process.”

Neal’s also concerned that Republicans who complain about the growing Department of Education budget don’t understand there’s “only a tiny part of that budget that we [the board] have any say over.”

At a glance:

  • Occupation: Retired
  • Education experience: Elected to SBE 2008, member of Mesa 51 school board, social studies teacher
  • Website
  • Facebook

During her time on the board Neal has become known for her strong sympathy for the needs and challenges of small rural districts and for her advocacy of building up the state’s permanent fund, which derives revenues from state lands. Interest from the fund can be spent only on education. She’s been critical of the Building Excellent Schools Today program because it taps revenues before they get to the permanent fund.

Asked about second-term priorities, Neal that she’ll advocate even more strongly for rural districts, work to “maintain local control for all our schools” and that “a priority would be to lessen the intrusion of the federal government.”

But, she notes, what the board does in the future may not be in members’ hands. “It depends on who ends up in the legislature,” she said.

Finance notes:

  • Neal fundraising through June 11: $5,081 (contributions, non-monetary)
  • Interesting contributors: Republican SBE chair Paul Lundeen
Barbara Ann Smith Barbara Ann Smith

Smith has had a peripatetic education career, having studied in New York and California, graduated from the University of Northern Colorado and worked in special education in several places.

She’s been involved in local Republican politics and said a friend suggested she run for the board. “I thought about it, and I do have a lot of skills. … There’s a lot I could help the state do.

“I would bring the knowledge I have. I have worked in several state; I have budgetary experience and planning experience,” she said. “I know what kids need.”

She’s all for local control and against the Common Core.

“I’m for local control; I’m not for anything from the national government.”

At a glance:

  • Occupation: Retired
  • Education experience: Teacher, member Mesa 51 budget oversight committee
  • Facebook

On standards, she said, “We can do our own,” adding, “I’m not in favor of the PARCC testing. [It’s] too many people making money.”

She said she opposes teacher tenure but that teachers need to be paid more. “It’s such an underpaid job.”

Smith, who’s been traveling the district, is confident about the outcome. “I can’t wait to win this primary.”

Finance notes:

  • Smith fundraising through June 11: $7,568 (contributions, loans, non-monetary)
  • Interesting contributors: Former congressman Scott McInnis; Bill Armstrong, president of Colorado Christian University and former U.S. senator
One more seat likely to see a new face

Board chair Paul Lundeen, a Republican who represents the Colorado Springs-based 5th District, is running for a state House seat in a safely Republican district and has no Democratic opponent. Once he’s elected to the legislature, a Republican vacancy committee will appoint a successor.

In the 7th District, which includes Denver’s western and northern suburbs, Democratic incumbent Jane Goff faces Republican Laura Boggs in the November general election. Boggs is a former member of the Jefferson County school board.

About the State Board of Education
  • Seven members
  • Members elected on a partisan basis
  • Board districts are the same as congressional districts
  • Term limits: Two six-year terms
  • Current board is four Republicans, three Democrats
  • Members are unpaid
  • Board generally meets monthly
  • Constitutional duty: “General supervision of the public schools”
  • Specific duties: Hiring education commissioner, issuing regulations to implement state education laws; revoking teacher licenses; granting waivers to education laws; approving teacher prep programs; adjudicating district-charter disputes; certifying multi-district online programs; overseeing reports, task forces and various other groups; adoption of state content standards and tests; deciding conversion plans for failed schools and districts; distribution of grants, among others

Board website

Categories: Urban School News

Comings & Goings: Carter, Knight

Catalyst Chicago - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 11:09

Terrence Carter, currently the director and chief academic officer of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, has been named superintendent of the New London CT public schools.  Before joining AUSL, he was principal of Barton Elementary, which received an Illinois Academic Improvement Award for showing upward trends in test scores for three consecutive years.  Barton also served on Mayor Emanuel’s Early Childhood Education Task Force. 

This fall, Lloyd Knight will become the director of Lloyd Bond Charter School , which is in the Chicago International Charter School Network.   Previously, Knight was a teacher and the assistant director at the school.  Before coming to Bond, he founded the Boys Sports Mentoring Group in Newport News, VA, and the Helping Hands Mentoring Program in Raleigh, N.C.

Chicago Commons has won a $1 million Early Childhood Construction Grant from the Illinois Capital Development Board.  The grant will support the organization’s child development centers in Back of the Yards, West Humboldt Park and Pilsen with the expansion and renovation of classrooms, playgrounds, improved security and technology upgrades. 

Categories: Urban School News

Comings & Goings: Carter, Knight

Catalyst Chicago - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 11:09

Terrence Carter, currently the director and chief academic officer of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, has been named superintendent of the New London CT public schools.  Before joining AUSL, he was principal of Barton Elementary, which received an Illinois Academic Improvement Award for showing upward trends in test scores for three consecutive years.  Barton also served on Mayor Emanuel’s Early Childhood Education Task Force. 

This fall, Lloyd Knight will become the director of Lloyd Bond Charter School , which is in the Chicago International Charter School Network.   Previously, Knight was a teacher and the assistant director at the school.  Before coming to Bond, he founded the Boys Sports Mentoring Group in Newport News, VA, and the Helping Hands Mentoring Program in Raleigh, N.C.

Chicago Commons has won a $1 million Early Childhood Construction Grant from the Illinois Capital Development Board.  The grant will support the organization’s child development centers in Back of the Yards, West Humboldt Park and Pilsen with the expansion and renovation of classrooms, playgrounds, improved security and technology upgrades. 

Categories: Urban School News

Comings & Goings: Carter, Bond

Catalyst Chicago - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 11:09

Terrence Carter, currently the director and chief academic officer of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, has been named superintendent of the New London CT public schools.  Before joining AUSL, he was principal of Barton Elementary, which received an Illinois Academic Improvement Award for showing upward trends in test scores for three consecutive years.  Barton also served on Mayor Emanuel’s Early Childhood Education Task Force. 

This fall, Lloyd Knight will become the director of Lloyd Bond Charter School , which is in the Chicago International Charter School Network.   Previously, Knight was a teacher and the assistant director at the school.  Before coming to Bond, he founded the Boys Sports Mentoring Group in Newport News, VA, and the Helping Hands Mentoring Program in Raleigh, N.C.

Chicago Commons has won a $1 million Early Childhood Construction Grant from the Illinois Capital Development Board.  The grant will support the organization’s child development centers in Back of the Yards, West Humboldt Park and Pilsen with the expansion and renovation of classrooms, playgrounds, improved security and technology upgrades. 

Categories: Urban School News

Rise & Shine: Boulder Valley residents to vote on $576 million construction plan in the fall

EdNewsColorado - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 09:59

Teacher Prep

A controversial report issued by the National Center for Teaching Quality showed that over half of Colorado teacher preparation programs scored below the national average. ( Chalkbeat Colorado, KUNC )

Man with a Plan

Boulder Valley Superintendent Bruce Messinger recommended a $567 million construction plan that would bring the district a new school in Erie, an expanded preschool program, and all-day kindergarten programs. ( Daily Camera )

Out of Control

Spring Creek Youth Services Center, the juvenile detention center in Colorado Springs, has been described by former employee Sonja Goldinak as a 'war zone.' ( The Gazette )

Teaching Critical Thinking and Teamwork

Denver teachers are finding creative ways to teach their kids to be critical thinkers and collaborators, while meeting new education standards. ( Chalkbeat Colorado )

Finding Their Savvy

Mayor Michael B. Hancock's Youth One Book, One Denver summer reading program will teach Denver youth how to hone their "Savvy," with the help of local author Ingrid Law. ( Chalkbeat Colorado )

Jeffco Charters

Jefferson County is taking a note from Denver Public Schools with its recent proposal to give charters $3.7 million in funding, stirring controversy. ( Denver Post )

Categories: Urban School News

In the News: Principal candidates drop out of running

Catalyst Chicago - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 09:59

An argument among LSC members over the new principal for Ray Elementary School, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave., has resulted in neither candidate being selected and Chicago Public Schools naming a new interim principal Monday. (DNAinfo)

PLAN FOR SHUTTERED BUILDING: Chicago Public Schools will consider a South Side alderman’s proposal to move a special CPS academic program into a closed school building despite promises from CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett not to put schools in buildings that have been shuttered for being underused. (Sun-Times)

CELL TOWERS PROPOSED FOR SCHOOL: AT&T has asked Naperville Unit District 203 for permission to lease space at two junior high schools to install cell towers. The company would pay $5,500 a month and could net the district up to $2.25 million over 25 years. The proposal was met with concerns about health and safety from some parents and school board members. Superintendent Dan Bridges did not make a recommendation,but said officials "do have a responsibility … to consider alternative sources of revenue." (Tribune)

IN THE NATION

LIMITING TEACHER TENURE: A lawsuit brought Tuesday by public school teachers in Missouri seeks to block a statewide vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit their tenure protections.

TEACHER DISMISSAL MEASURE: A bill to hasten the dismissal of some public school teachers appears to be speeding into law, but it won't calm the furor unleashed when a judge threw out key job protections for California instructors. (Los Angeles Times)

Categories: Urban School News

Youth One Book, One Denver teaches kids how to be ‘Savvy’

EdNewsColorado - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 18:09

“Imagine waking up on the 13th birthday knowing something extraordinary was going to happen to you, but you didn’t know what.”

This is the premise of the book chosen for this year’s Youth One Book, One Denver summer reading program.

“A savvy is a power that forces kids to make sense of themselves and make sense of growing up,” said Ingrid Law, the author of ‘Savvy,’ this year’s selection. “‘Savvy’ is a book about family, friendship and the talents inherent in us all.”

Mayor Michael B. Hancock revealed the selection of Law’s book to participants, parents and sponsors at kickoff of the Youth One Book, One Denver event on Tuesday morning.

Hancock had students raise their books in the air and recite this pledge: “I promise throughout the summer (that) I will read every day. And if I have yet to learn to read, I will ask an adult to read to me every day this summer so that I don’t have summertime learning loss. I’m ready to read.”

The selection follows votes from more than 1,800 schoolchildren. Rosen Publishing donated more than 10,000 books for the 6,000 participants in the program.

The Youth One Book, One Denver program was designed for children age 9-12 with the hopes of keeping them educationally active throughout the summer, as well as increase the number of students reading at or above grade level. The program runs through July 26.

Categories: Urban School News

Teachers find space to teach creativity, teamwork under new standards

EdNewsColorado - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 17:53

Teachers at the Odyssey School have a mandate from their school leaders, math teacher Ali Morgan said recently. Their charge is to figure out where the new Common Core academic standards intersect with the skills students will need to find jobs in an increasingly white-collar job force.

These new standards require students to learn fewer subjects in areas like math, but in deeper detail, encouraging students to think critically about the questions and collaborate with their peers to find solutions.

“In my mind, that’s asking us as teacher to prepare students to interact effectively with others, while deepening involvement in the content,” Morgan said.

That challenge — finding the balance between meeting new education standards and teaching students to be collaborative and critical thinkers — is one of the many issues Morgan and about 10 other Denver teachers touched on as part of a workshop held last week at Galvanize as part of Summer Institute, a professional development program.

Teachers at the Odyssey School find this balance in a number of ways. Students are expected to demonstrate their mastery of Common Core skills for their grade level, while also demonstrating habits the school has identified as crucial to success: responsibility, revision, inquiry, perspective taking, collaboration and leadership, and service and stewardship. Morgan’s sixth grade math class focuses on the habit of inquiry, generating and analyzing questions to better understand the content.

Morgan said the way students are taught at the Odyssey School, although not directly related, correlate with Common Core. At the end of each year students’ growth is measured in all subjects, and they are given the opportunity to discuss with their teachers how the habits taught in class influenced their success. Allowing students to reflect on their year’s work makes the chances of them retaining it higher.

Teaching Soft Skills

Panelist Brett Goldberg, an entrepreneur who works at software company FieldTek, Inc., said while tech skills are important, teaching kids good communication and collaboration are key to successful businesses and work environments.

“They may be considered soft skills, but they can make or break a company,” Goldberg said.

That is what many teachers are focusing on in their lesson plans. Patrick Seamars, a Spanish teacher at Manual High School, said his classrooms are very collaboration-heavy and project-based.

While several of the educators at the panel agreed that this model of teaching is beneficial, the problem lies in teaching students to think critically and work with one another in an environment that is extremely test-intensive and individualistic.

“(The schools) seem to know that and hear that — the importance of soft skills like communication — but with the reform movement it’s more about getting the correct answers on a test,” Allan Cutler, a librarian at Stanley British Primary School, said.

Teachers’ Concerns

Several teachers said the big challenge is time: school districts have set up a short time frame to implement the Common Core and teachers said they struggle to find the time to introduce the collaboration and critical thinking lessons.

Seamars said students need to be taught that failure is a positive thing in the learning process, but the current learning environment does not allow that. He said in high school — at a time where it is crucial to learn how to cooperate and communicate effectively — students are uncomfortable with it.

“It’s not OK in the current paradigm to fail,” he said. “My classes have always been project based and (students) feel uncomfortable, but if I give them an assignment and tell them, ‘Read this, fill in this blank, read this and tell me what you think I want to hear,’ then they thrive, and that’s unfortunate.”

Lori Nazareno, teacher leader in residence at the Center for Teaching Quality, said there is a dissonance between what educators want to teach and what they can teach.

“We want to create cooperative, collaborative, creative and entrepreneurial spirits in students, in a way that says ‘OK, you have to sit in this row and fill in this bubble’,” Nazareno said.

Coglianese said that problem is also seen in his own company. He recently made several new hires and sees how uncomfortable they are with being on their own and generating unique ideas.

“I’m teaching them on a daily basis,” he said. “That look your students have on their face when you tell them to work on a new project is the same look they have.” They look terrified and the reason they look terrified is they don’t yet have enough information to feel confident doing that.

Nazareno said it will take teachers like Morgan and Seamars to effectively integrate these changes. Gaps between what teachers currently teach and what they need to teach to meet these standards will take time, space and support from school administrations and the public as they try to align their lesson plans with the students needs and the standards.

Update: This article has been updated. It previously stated that Summer Institute was held in part by the University of Colorado Denver, when UCD only provided space for one of the program’s workshops.

Categories: Urban School News

Colorado falls short on controversial teacher prep program ranking system

EdNewsColorado - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 16:55

Over half of Colorado’s teacher preparatory programs scored below the national average on a controversial national ranking released Tuesday.

That’s the second low score for the state on the ranking system from the National Center for Teaching Quality (NCTQ), a reform-minded advocacy organization which began evaluating the nation’s teacher education programs last year. The first release sparked frustration and anger from many education schools, with critics arguing that the rankings failed to look at aspects proven to help teachers improve student learning.

This year, some teacher education programs in Colorado and elsewhere refused to participate in the ratings. University of Colorado-Denver did not submit any materials to the NCTQ. The school’s dean sent an email to colleagues and the college’s partners directing them to an alternate review of the program’s quality. CU-Denver scored the lowest of any of the CU campuses in the NCTQ rankings.

But others have touted the rankings as a much needed push to make the preparation for teaching more rigorous and more relevant. Colorado legislators and education advocates have considered changes to how teachers are licensed to teach, which would affect teacher preparation programs. But no new legislation surfaced during the 2014 legislative session.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Just three percent of Colorado programs assigned student teachers to high-performing teacher mentors and provided frequent concrete feedback.
  • Most programs failed to prepare either elementary or secondary candidates on the content they would be teaching.
  • The NCTQ rankings also dinged Colorado for the lack of selectivity in its teacher prep programs. Just six programs selected candidates in the top half of their class.

The report focussed primarily on traditional teacher prep programs, although it did include a small selection of alternative programs. In Colorado, that included Teach for America and the Teacher Institute at La Academia. Neither scored high on the NCTQ rankings.

Despite Colorado programs’ overall anemic showing on the ratings, the University of Colorado-Boulder education school ranked among the nation’s best. It scored 18th in the nation for its preparation of elementary teachers, compared with 394th for CU-Denver and 125th for CU-Colorado Springs.

The full report, including the results from other states, is available here.

Categories: Urban School News

In the News: Questioning CPS' budget manuever

Catalyst Chicago - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 10:19

CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey calls a manuever being proposed by CPS officials that will allow the district to increase school spending this year, but will lead to a major shortfall next year, "completely nuts." The budget has not yet been posted, but officials said they plan to take 14 months of revenue for the coming 12-month school fiscal year--essentially, borrowing money from the 2015-2016 school budget. Sharkey says it is election-year trick. Even Board President David Vitale admits that the manuever will lead to a serious problem next year as the district could face a $1 billion deficit. But he says it is justifiable because it allows CPS to maintain "quality" this year. (NBC-Chicago)

CAMPING OUT: Parents and activists set up a tent city outside Ald. Will Burns office, demanding that he sign onto their plan to revitalize Dyett High School, which is in the process of being phased out and scheduled to close at the end of next year. Without Dyett, there will be no open enrollment high school in Bronzeville, activists say. Burns says he supports having an open enrollment high school, but that he won't put his support behind the one being pushed by activists because he isn't convinced it has community support. (NBC-Chicago) 

IN THE NATION

CUTTING SUSPENSIONS: Amid growing calls nationwide to find more effective ways to correct student misbehavior, school districts in four of five Southern California counties outperformed the state average in reducing suspensions last year. (Los Angeles Times)

FRAUD AND CHARTERS: The recent fraud allegations against leaders at two D.C. public charter schools have illuminated what city officials are calling a gap in their ability to effectively oversee the financial dealings of the fast-growing charter school sector. (The Washington Post)

THREAT TO INNOVATION: The tentative flourishing of innovation taking place in some Philadelphia schools is at risk of being overwhelmed by a massive funding shortfall, casting doubt on the superintendent's ability to safely open schools in September, let alone spread promising new models across the 131,000-student system. (Education Week)

LITTLE FRUIT BORNE: Five years ago, the Obama administration began private-public partnerships to encourage students to pursue studies in science and technology, but that goal has proved to be an elusive one. (The New York Times)

Categories: Urban School News

Rise & Shine: Dougco sued in sexual assault case

EdNewsColorado - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 09:51

Looking to the future

A week-long conference is teaching Northeast Denver high school students about leadership, career-readiness and health-care careers. ( Chalkbeat Colorado )

Reporter's notebook

A new Denver charter school gets approved in what seems like a blink of an eye to its supporters. ( Chalkbeat Colorado )

Going to court

The parents of an eight-grader who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by her math teacher have sued the Douglas County schools. ( Denver Post, 9News )

Revitalization

A neighborhood preschool and health center is going up where a liquor store once stood in Denver's Westwood area. ( Denver Post )

Preparing for the worst

Bear Creek High School staff and faculty are learning life-saving skills in case there is ever an active-shooter situation on campus. ( 9News )

Report Card

Thompson school board members will be evaluating superintendent Stan Scheer in closed session later this week. Although the evaluation process spurred has controversy among board members, board member Pam Howard said she does not anticipate Scheer's contract to be in jeopardy. ( Loveland Reporter-Herald )

Laying down the law

For a few districts around the nation, the federal school nutrition rules set to take effect July 1 — which for the first time set nutrition guidelines for every food that participating schools offer during the day — are just too tough to swallow. ( EdWeek )

Rating teacher prep

The National Council on Teacher Quality, in its second annual evaluation of teacher preparation programs, found that only 7 percent performed well enough to achieve the group's definition of "top status." ( Huffington Post )

Categories: Urban School News

Reporter’s notebook: In the blink of an eye, a new school is given the OK

EdNewsColorado - Mon, 06/16/2014 - 17:43

The Denver Public Schools board vote to open the Banneker Jemison STEM Academy happened so fast that the school’s founding executive director Tunda Asega and his family almost missed it.

“Congratulations,” the district’s innovation officer Alyssa Whitehead-Bust told Asega’s six children, who crowded around her in the boardroom’s lobby shortly after the board voted on Thursday. “You have a new school.”

The children cheered and jumped up and down.

A few minutes later, outside the district’s headquarters, another adult in Asega’s group could hardly contain her shock.

“That’s it?” she asked. “Just like that? We really have a school?”

More nods and smiles of happy disbelief.

The Asega clan nearly missed the vote not because they were late to the meeting, but because their charter application’s approval was stacked in a lengthy consent agenda with more than a dozen items that the board approved in one fell swoop quickly after the meeting came to order.

This is how most new charter schools open in Denver: early mornings and late night nights are poured into lengthy charter school applications for months — sometime years. There are meetings and interviews with district staff; emails are fired back and forth; there are revisions to the charter, meeting with perspective families; and — maybe — an occasional public backlash.

And yet, in a mere moment, the city’s Board of Education vote decides ‘yea’ or ‘nay.’

“It’s like training for the Olympics,” Asega said. “You prepare, practice, drill, analyze, anticipate. You stay up long hours working as a team. Then, the gun goes off and you put everything out there.”

Preparing the school’s charter has been “the hardest thing we’ve ever done,” Asega said. “It’s the fulfillment of a longtime dream.”

He and many of his board members grew up in the city’s historically black northeast neighborhoods, where the school will be located at the King M. Trimble Building near Curtis Park.

The school’s model, according to district documents, will rely heavily on the Core Knowledge curriculum, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM for short.

Asega and his board believe the students of the near northeast — like many poor students of color across the nation — have been underserved by the STEM movement. And if those students do ever come across a STEM program — most likely at the middle or high school level — they’re so far behind they drop out.

“We’re going to prepare students for STEM programs so they’re ready to achieve, succeed, and thrive in high school and beyond,” Asega said.

But he still has a lot of work to do.

For the charter to go into effect, the Banneker Jemison team must prove there is enough interest to fill 80 percent of its seats by Nov. 1, revise its budget, develop an evaluation tool for Asega, and provide evidence it has resolved a conflict of interest between a board member and the school’s proposed principal.

If the charter can meet that criteria, the school will open in 2015, with another 17 schools the Denver board has approved. Banneker Jemison plans to open with 150 students its first year and grow to 300.

“We know that community well,” he said. “There’s been so many ups and downs. We’re coming back to provide our gifts to that community that supported us. There’s a spirit to right some of the challenges that exist.”

Categories: Urban School News

Northeast high schoolers learn leadership, career-readiness for healthcare jobs

EdNewsColorado - Mon, 06/16/2014 - 17:39

Renzo Laynes has a clear favorite childhood memory: when his father, who worked in healthcare, would pick him and his brother up in an ambulance after a house call and drive them around the neighborhood.

But he didn’t know that he could turn that beloved childhood memory into a career.

Growing up as a Peruvian immigrant in Denver and relying on his mother’s income as a teacher gave Laynes little access to college-readiness programs and career advice. It was through programs like Councilman Chris Herndon’s Northeast Denver Leadership Week and the community involvement of places like Kaiser Permanente that Laynes said enabled him to pursue a successful future. Now, he’s entering his third year at the University of Colorado – Boulder, studying integrative physiology.

On Monday, Laynes, a recipient of Kaiser Permanente’s Diversity Scholarship, told his story to 70 high school students, kicking off the event’s fourth year. The goal of the week is to expose Denver high school students to career paths they might not have considered and in doing so, creating a more diverse workforce down the line.

Speakers at the event ranged from doctors to radiologists. A small group led by Dr. Terri Richardson, a Denver native and doctor of internal medicine at Kaiser Permenente, touched on the different careers in healthcare — from internal medicine, her specialty, to physician assisting — as well as the need for more youth of color in these fields.

“We need to do more with our young people, especially our young people of color,” she said. “I’ve been in practice 27 years. We need some younger people that are going to be leaders in every field, certainly in medicine. There’s got to be some young people we’re bringing forth that are going to feel comfortable and empowered enough to lead in the future.”

Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis, vice president of government and external relations at Kaiser Permanente, said diversity in healthcare fields plays a crucial role not only to get more people of color working in these fields, but also to convince patients to actually come to their physicians and heed their advice. Addressing health disparities in varying ethnic groups takes personal knowledge and passion.

“Patients are far more likely to adhere to treatment and have a good relationship with their physician or care provider if they look like them,” Allen-Davis said.

For that reason, Herndon said he makes a deliberate effort to have people from all different backgrounds speak to students.

“A lot of our students aren’t originally from this country, but if they see somebody interested in a medical career and hear their story, they think ‘Wow, that’s something that I can do as well,’ so it’s very important that we have speakers that have diverse backgrounds,” he said.

Categories: Urban School News

For the Record: Steep rise in chronic absences, truancy

Catalyst Chicago - Mon, 06/16/2014 - 17:23

More children were chronically truant or absent at three of every four elementary schools in the 2012-2013 school year, compared to just two years earlier, according to district data obtained by Catalyst Chicago.

Click here to see our analysis of the data.

Overall, chronic absenteeism rose at 80 percent of elementary schools during the three-year time period.

Last month, Catalyst reported on internal Chicago Public Schools data showing that chronic absenteeism and chronic truancy were up overall in the elementary grades. But officials did not provide the data on a school-by-school level until June 3, after Catalyst asked the Office of the Illinois Attorney General to review the district’s stalled response to a Freedom of Information Act public records request first made in March. 

The increase was especially evident at nearly three dozen schools that saw chronic absences increase by 10 percentage points or more in the three-year period. These include some of the schools that closed last year, such as Paderewski (from 18 percent in 2011 to 38 percent in 2013) and Attucks (from 8 percent to 28 percent). At the same time, some of the schools that closed last year saw a decline in chronic absenteeism, including Songhai and Lawrence.

Chronic truancy, meanwhile, went up at 74 percent of elementary schools. Most of these schools saw increases of more than 10 percentage points, but several experienced increases higher than 30 percentage points. These include Woodson South, O’Keeffe, Caldwell and Paderewski.

Students are considered "chronically truant" after missing at least nine days in a school year without a valid excuse. “Chronically absent” students, meanwhile, have missed at least 18 school days, either excused or unexcused.

On the flip side, fewer high school students skipped class or were absent in the 2012-2013 school year, when compared with two years earlier.

Catalyst’s analysis did not show any clear trend or strong correlation between high truancy or absenteeism, and other factors such as the number of homeless students, suspension and expulsion rates, or school closures. Still, family problems, illness, school discipline and other circumstances may contribute to students missing school.

CPS officials said they were still trying to get a handle on why so many more children were chronically absent and truant at elementary schools.

In a statement, CPS officials said their new strategies for reducing chronic truancy and absenteeism attempt “to respond to the root causes of why students are absent (e.g., unclear school expectations, punitive school discipline practices, academic struggles, health concerns, challenges at home, etc.)”

The CPS statement also explains that the strategy “is a shift from years past when there was a heavier focus on truancy officers who could knock on doors and bring students back to school, but were unable to adequately address the root causes of students’ absences.” Coincidentally, WBEZ’s Curious City recently reported on the history of truancy officers in CPS.

CPS officials say that new data tools will help schools monitor absence trends, while the district will provide additional funding support – including mentors and after-school programing—for schools with the highest rates of chronic absenteeism and truancy.

A state-appointed task force is now looking at the problem of chronic truancy in Chicago Public Schools. The group, which was convened in response to a 2012 Chicago Tribune investigation on chronic truancy, next meets at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 19, in Room 2-025 of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street.

Categories: Urban School News

For the Record: Steep rise in chronic absences, truancy

Catalyst Chicago - Mon, 06/16/2014 - 17:23

More children were chronically truant or absent at three of every four elementary schools in the 2012-2013 school year, compared to just two years earlier, according to district data obtained by Catalyst Chicago.

Click here to see our analysis of the data.

Overall, chronic absenteeism rose at 80 percent of elementary schools during the three-year time period.

Last month, Catalyst reported on internal Chicago Public Schools data showing that chronic absenteeism and chronic truancy were up overall in the elementary grades. But officials did not provide the data on a school-by-school level until June 3, after Catalyst asked the Office of the Illinois Attorney General to review the district’s stalled response to a Freedom of Information Act public records request first made in March. 

The increase was especially evident at nearly three dozen schools that saw chronic absences increase by 10 percentage points or more in the three-year period. These include some of the schools that closed last year, such as Paderewski (from 18 percent in 2011 to 38 percent in 2013) and Attucks (from 8 percent to 28 percent). At the same time, some of the schools that closed last year saw a decline in chronic absenteeism, including Songhai and Lawrence.

Chronic truancy, meanwhile, went up at 74 percent of elementary schools. Most of these schools saw increases of more than 10 percentage points, but several experienced increases higher than 30 percentage points. These include Woodson South, O’Keeffe, Caldwell and Paderewski.

Students are considered "chronically truant" after missing at least nine days in a school year without a valid excuse. “Chronically absent” students, meanwhile, have missed at least 18 school days, either excused or unexcused.

On the flip side, fewer high school students skipped class or were absent in the 2012-2013 school year, when compared with two years earlier.

Catalyst’s analysis did not show any clear trend or strong correlation between high truancy or absenteeism, and other factors such as the number of homeless students, suspension and expulsion rates, or school closures. Still, family problems, illness, school discipline and other circumstances may contribute to students missing school.

CPS officials said they were still trying to get a handle on why so many more children were chronically absent and truant at elementary schools.

In a statement, CPS officials said their new strategies for reducing chronic truancy and absenteeism attempt “to respond to the root causes of why students are absent (e.g., unclear school expectations, punitive school discipline practices, academic struggles, health concerns, challenges at home, etc.)”

The CPS statement also explains that the strategy “is a shift from years past when there was a heavier focus on truancy officers who could knock on doors and bring students back to school, but were unable to adequately address the root causes of students’ absences.” Coincidentally, WBEZ’s Curious City recently reported on the history of truancy officers in CPS.

CPS officials say that new data tools will help schools monitor absence trends, while the district will provide additional funding support – including mentors and after-school programing—for schools with the highest rates of chronic absenteeism and truancy.

A state-appointed task force is now looking at the problem of chronic truancy in Chicago Public Schools. The group, which was convened in response to a 2012 Chicago Tribune investigation on chronic truancy, next meets at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 19, in Room 2-025 of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street.

Categories: Urban School News

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