|Fullan’s quote gets to one of the fundamental problems behind teacher observation systems like CPS’ REACH. REACH compliance measures make teacher evaluation unnecessarily broad and time-consuming. Fullan’s work can help us reevaluate the demands of REACH and propose alternative systems that create the right balance between rating and coaching, and between one-on-one evaluations that have limited impact on one teacher at a time, vs. team-based instructional improvement that allows administrators to guide teams and build cultures that significantly improve the practice of multiple teachers at once. I hope the excerpt from The Principal is as thought provoking for you as it was for me. Another excerpt from the book will be highlighted next week. The Principal is also available in bookstores and online.
The President’s Picks: The Top Five Reads of the Week
1. CPAA News – Principal: “After these budget cuts I feel like I’m providing educational hospice.”
This week I carried CPAA’s message to three media programs, discussing the work of principals and assistant principals. Links to two of those programs are below. The quote above comes from one of our principal colleagues and is one of the many instances in which I attempted to convey their stories to the public.
2. Blaine Principal Resigns in Public Letter to Mayor Emanuel
Although my resignation from CPS was not an act done as CPAA president, I did attempt to use the resignation to highlight some of the issues our members are faced with. When I met with principals and assistant principals last spring and over the summer, some of the concerns they brought up most often were underfunding & waste, REACH, the School Quality Ratings Policy, Aramark/SodexoMAGIC, and micromanagement, among others. Our ability to impact these issues is highly dependent on our ability to influence policy making bodies like the Illinois State Legislature, Chicago City Council, and the Chicago Board of Education. These policy making bodies–in turn–are heavily influenced by strong arguments and public opinion. Accordingly, I used my resignation from CPS as an opportunity to create strong arguments that highlight some of the issues that principals have expressed to me; arguments aimed at influencing the opinions of both policy makers and the public. The response to the letter has been overwhelming. More and more Chicago residents are beginning to understand the challenges faced by CPS educators. My resignation from CPS–and some of the media coverage it garnered–is below.
- Diane Ravitch (August 30, 2016). Troy LaRaviere to Mayor Rahm Emanuel: I Quit as Principal of Chicago’s #1 Neighborhood Elementary School. Diane Ravitch’s Blog.
- Troy LaRaviere (August 31, 2016). Dear Mayor Emanuel: I Resign My Position As Principal Of The #1 Rated Neighborhood School In Chicago. The Huffington Post.
- Juan Perez Jr. (August 30, 2016). Ex-CPS principal resigns to head labor group after protesting ouster. Chicago Tribune.
- Matt Masterson (August 30, 2016). Suspended Blaine Principal Troy LaRaviere Announces Resignation. WTTW Chicago Tonight.
- WGN Web Desk (August 30, 2016). Troy LaRaviere resigns as Blaine principal, blasts Mayor Emanuel. WGN News.
- CBS Chicago (August 30, 2016). Troy LaRaviere Resigns As Blaine Principal, Slams Emanuel’s “Destructive Political Agenda.”
- Patrice Nkrumah and Chinta Strausberg (September 1, 2016). Troy LaRaviere Speaks on WVON’s “Bob Shaw” show, highlighting several successful schools in the Black community. The Chicago Crusader.
- Ariel Cheung (August 30, 2016). Troy LaRaviere Resigns As Blaine Principal, Blasts CPS Dismissal Process. DNA Info.
3. CPS Budgets and Contract Negotiation Related News
4. New School Year
DNA Info Neighborhood Based Back-to-School News
- Heather Cherone (August 30, 2016). Plan For $30M Annex At Prussing Elementary ‘A Total Shock:’ Officials. DNA Info.
- Ariel Cheung (September 2, 2016). Principal Shake-Ups Mean New Faces At Lakeview Schools. DNA Info.
- Linze Rice (September 1, 2016). Parents Warm To School Merger Plan But Want More Details, Money. DNA Info.
- Howard Ludwig (September 2, 2016). Back-To-School: What’s New at Public Schools in the 19th Ward. DNA Info.
- Andrea V. Watson (September 2, 2016). Meet Shaka Rawls, Leo High School’s New Principal. DNA Info.
- Andrea V. Watson (September 2, 2016). Here’s What’s New At Some South Side Schools This Year. DNA Info.
- David Matthews (September 2, 2016). New Payton College Prep Annex Biggest Change Coming To Downtown Schools. DNA Info.
- Linze Rice (September 2, 2016). 6 Back-To-School Changes Far North Side Parents Need To Know. DNA Info.
Other Back-to-School News
5. Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces: What are they?
President’s Honorable Mentions
The Assault on Higher Education
Other Spotlighted Reads
- Jacob Wittich (August 27, 2016). Teachers’ lounge takes center stage at CPS-themed comedy show. Chicago Sun-Times.
- Lauren FitzPatrick (August 29, 2016). Sen. Kwame Raoul: Elected school board bill needs tweaking. Chicago Sun-Times.
- Christy Gutowski (September 2, 2016). Black Chicago teen’s death fueled Cicero march during 1966 protests. Chicago Tribune.
- (August 30, 2016). Fitch Moves Chicago’s Credit Outlook From Negative To Stable. Progress Illinois.
- Camila Domonoske (September 1, 2016). Georgetown Will Offer An Edge In Admissions To Descendants Of Slaves. WBEZ 91.5 Chicago.
- Adrienne Green (September 1, 2016). Why Georgetown’s Offer Falls Short. The Atlantic.
- Cory Turner (September 1, 2016). New Federal Rules For Distributing School Money: An ‘Unfunded Mandate’? WBEZ 91.5 Chicago.
- Maya Miller (Aug. 31, 2016). Cubs’ Dexter Fowler on the importance of education. Chicago Tribune.
- (September 2, 2016). Morning Spin: Bronzeville could get National Heritage Area designation. Chicago Tribune.
- Joe Ward (August 31, 2016). CPS: Bottled Water Not Needed At Schools That Haven’t Been Tested For Lead. DNA Info.
- Dan Weissmann (August 31, 2016). Leader Of State Environmental Group Praises CPS Lead Testing Program. WBEZ 91.5 Chicago.
- (August 30, 2016). Chicago City Council To Hold Wednesday Hearing On Lead In School Water. Progress Illinois.
Holistic Educational Accountability
From lead paint exposure and access to nutritional food options, to household income and persistent segregation, the causes of low academic attainment reach far beyond schools. Educators have always been willing to do their part, but the rest of society has been slow to do theirs. This section covers the non-school factors that impact educational attainment.
Teaching and Learning
- Hayley Glatter, Emily Deruy, and Alia Wong (August 30, 2016).What Kids Should Know by the Time They’re Done With School. The Atlantic.
- Laura McKenna (September 2, 2016). When Kids Sit Alone. The Atlantic.
- Hayley Glatter, Emily Deruy, and Alia Wong (September 2, 2016).Reimagining the Modern Classroom. The Atlantic.
- Bourree Lam (September 1, 2016). Trust and Respect Are the Lifeblood of Frank Conversations’. The Atlantic.
- Timothy D. Walker (September 1, 2016). Where Sixth-Graders Run Their Own City. The Atlantic.
- Hayley Glatter, Emily Deruy, and Alia Wong (September 1, 2016).Disrupting the One-Teacher Standard. The Atlantic.
- Hayley Glatter, Emily Deruy, and Alia Wong (August 31, 2016). When Homework Is Useless. The Atlantic.
- Hayley Glatter, Emily Deruy, and Alia Wong (August 29, 2016). Fixing America’s Broken School Calendar. The Atlantic.
Policy Accountability Plan
Other State News
National Education News & Commentary
International Comparative Education
Charter School/Privatization Watchdog Report