Auto shop, wood shop, metal shop -- all horrors of a certain segment of the high school population. Let's face it, shop class never got much respect.
In Chicago's public schools, some students get a slap on the wrist for fighting while others get a ride to the police station.
It sounds arrogant--"I'm going to find a new way to write about politics" -- but that was my objective with Destiny Calling: How the People Elected Barack Obama. A new kind of history was being written.
Getting unions to prioritize compensation and not the strictures that constrain schools would require a tectonic shift in their priorities, but precedent for such reformed advocacy does exist.
CPS CEO Ron Huberman knows there is very little racial or economic diversity in our public schools. There is also very little Huberman and his team can do about that.
I cannot imagine the Dickensian horror city parents today go through to get their kids into decent schools. Now Chief Mathemagician Ron Huberman plans to select enrollment to these schools based on family income.
By reporting the facts, we can, as a society, stop what is really causing young inner city girls to believe that their economic worth extends no further than child assistance checks.
Between the shootings steps from school boundaries and the domestic violence, there's not a whole lot of good news on the teen front. But I have some.
The city will be abuzz with language and records of now from people who are normally never heard from, the youth. Seen and now heard. And safe.
Aggravated assault, gang activity, arson and gun possession. Why won't CPS release data on the number of such dangerous offenses at my children's schools?
It's hard to believe that the contractor who provides janitors to 600 Chicago schools does not allow any paid sick days. If this outrages you, it should.
Giving principals the authority to hand-pick even a small percentage of students is just asking for trouble. The policy reinforces the notion that who you know matters more than who you are or what you've accomplished.
The home state of the secretary of education should be leading the way in enacting reforms, especially when they are as straightforward as using data to track student growth, finding ways to recruit non-educators into the profession and closing down failing schools.
If the federal government provided a higher social security payout funded by higher payroll taxes, CPS could actually devote attention to its work rather than worrying about how to pay for its retirees' pensions.
The more ideas put forward, the more difficult practical action becomes. The more we "innovate," the more resistant and hardened the problems of removing ignorance become.
Transform every school into a charter and you'll still have to solve the equation: How to educate students, especially students who often face troubled home lives and come to school woefully unprepared to learn.