Chicago School Drama? Two notable things happened in Chicago Public Schools land on Wednesday. First, 39 or 50 aldermen (code for city councilmen) signed a resolution that calls for a moratorium on charter schools next year. (Sort of similar, ish, to the closure and colocation moratorium several New York City mayoral candidates signed onto.)
More controversially, CPS released a list of 129 schools that could be eligible for closure, notes the Chicago Tribune.. As teacher/commentator Seth Lavin notes, the number of kids in these schools is bigger than the Newark school district, the Cleveland public school system, and double the size of Pittsburgh public schools. And parent activist Wendy Katten notes that these schools currently teach at least 5,792 special-education students.
Can Obama Make Universal Pre-K Happen? On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama made a State of the Union promise to make sure every American child has access to good pre-kindergarten. But as we report, Obama might face some hurdles in turning the rhetoric into reality.
What's In This Pre-K Plan, Anyway? Why, we're so glad you asked. Just this morning, the White House released a background document with all the relevant details. Well, not all of them. Just a few. But more than we had yesterday. As we report, the program will create a new federal pre-k program paid for by states and the federal government for four-year-olds in families that make up to 200 percent times the poverty line. It also includes an expansion of childcare home visits and Early Head Start, as well as a promise to keep investing in Head Start. But how much does that cost? So far, the administration hasn't said.
Common Core Hate In Kansas? Kansas's House education committee is now weighing a bill that would force the state to abandon the Common Core standards in English and math. Like most other states, Kansas adopted the Common Core in 2010, according to the Capital Journal. What's interesting to me is that the state education officials aren't arguing against the bill primarily on pedagogical grounds. "Deputy education commissioner Brad Neuenswander briefed the Kansas State Board of Education on the bill Wednesday, saying it would cost millions of dollars," the CJ reports.