WBEZ | charter schools http://www.wbez.org/tags/charter-schools Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Comparing disciplinary tactics in Chicago schools http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-14/morning-shift-comparing-disciplinary-tactics-chicago <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Classroom cover Flickr dharder9475.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look at school discipline in Chicago&#39;s charter and traditional public schools. WBEZ&#39;s bureau reporters tell us what they heard at their &quot;On the Table&quot; events. And, we&#39;ve got the ragtime sounds of pianist Reginald Robinson.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-comparing-disciplinary-tactics-in-pu/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-comparing-disciplinary-tactics-in-pu.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-comparing-disciplinary-tactics-in-pu" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Comparing disciplinary tactics in Chicago schools" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 14 May 2014 08:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-14/morning-shift-comparing-disciplinary-tactics-chicago Student suspensions, by the numbers http://www.wbez.org/news/student-suspensions-numbers-110172 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/voyce signs.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>More than 50,000 Chicago Public Schools students got out-of-school suspensions last year, according to a WBEZ analysis of state and district data. That&rsquo;s about 13 percent of the district&#39;s population.<br /><br />At about a dozen high schools, more than half of the students enrolled served at least one out-of-school suspension. All of those schools are majority African American and only a few are charter schools.<br /><br />The numbers provide one of the first looks at how charter schools compare with traditional public schools when it comes to suspension, and also reveal troubling inconsistencies with how data is reported.</p><blockquote><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/you-be-decider-what-punishments-should-students-get-110173" target="_blank"><strong>You decide: Does the punishment fit the student&#39;s offense?</strong></a></p></blockquote><p>The data, obtained through multiple Freedom of Information Act requests, show charter schools suspended a higher percentage of students than district-run schools. But in separating out high schools from grammar schools a different story emerges.</p><p>CPS-run high schools and charter high schools suspended basically the same percentage of students, with 18 percent of kids enrolled getting at least one out-of-school suspension last year.<br /><br />In fact, nine of the thirteen schools suspending more than half of their students are neighborhood high schools. Three others are run by the Academy for Urban School Leadership. &nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="761" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="http://cf.datawrapper.de/Vyrf1/4/" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="620"></iframe></p><blockquote><p><em>*CICS disputes the number reported to the state for CICS-Ralph Ellison. A spokeswoman said the number was misreported at the campus level.</em></p><p><em>**These schools closed in June 2013.</em></p><p><em>OSS stands for &ldquo;Out-of-School Suspension&rdquo;<br />ISS stands for &ldquo;In-School Suspension&rdquo;<br />Student Count is the number of students who received one or more suspension last year, meaning if a student got more than one suspension, they were only counted once.</em></p></blockquote><p>CPS tracks the number of suspensions at its schools and recently released that data to the public. But charter schools are not required to report suspension numbers to CPS. They are now, however, asked to report the number of students that got at least one suspension in a given school year on compliance forms filed with the Illinois State Board of Education.</p><p>WBEZ obtained those forms through a Freedom of Information Act request. But in order to look at suspensions across all schools, WBEZ also filed a Freedom of Information Act&nbsp; request with CPS for comparable numbers&mdash;counting students&mdash;at district-run schools. (Earlier this year CPS released data around suspensions and expulsions, but those numbers counted suspensions, not the number of students affected.)<br /><br />Here are the main findings:</p><ul><li>Of all students enrolled in CPS, including charter schools, more than 50,000 students (13%) got an out-of-school suspension last year.</li><li>On average, charter high schools and district high schools suspended 18 percent of the students enrolled.</li><li>Charter grammar schools, overall, suspended 14 percent of all students enrolled. That&rsquo;s double the percentage of students suspended from district-run grammar schools, which on the whole suspended 7 percent of the students enrolled.</li><li>Collectively, schools run by the Academy for Urban School Leadership suspended about 22 percent of their students. AUSL&rsquo;s five high schools, on average, suspended 42 percent of their students.</li><li>The district&rsquo;s therapeutic day schools, which serve students with the most severe behavior problems, gave out-of-school suspensions to large percentages of their students last year, with Montefiore suspending 100 percent of the students enrolled.</li></ul><p>Suspensions and expulsions have been in the spotlight a lot lately. CPS has revised its&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cps.edu/Documents/Resources/StudentCodeOfConduct/English_StudentCodeofConduct.pdf" target="_blank">Student Code of Conduct</a>&nbsp;more than once in recent years and is in the process of reviewing it again. In January, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/rethinking-school-discipline" target="_blank">urged schools to use suspensions and other strict discipline only as a last resort</a>.&nbsp; And in March, federal data showed what juvenile justice advocates have known for a while: that minority students, especially African Americans, are suspended at disproportionate rates.<br /><br />&ldquo;We know (the code of conduct) is not being applied the same way,&rdquo; said CPS spokesman Joel Hood.<br /><br />District officials are currently conducting community summits and focus groups, including one on the West Side this Thursday. CPS plans to do district-wide professional development over the summer.<br /><br /><strong>Charter Schools Vary Widely</strong></p><p>On the whole, charters suspended a larger percentage of their students than district-run schools did, but the numbers vary a lot from school to school.<br /><br />Generally, charter schools in Chicago have a reputation for being more strict than other CPS schools--and, at many of them, you can feel that when you walk in. The logic goes: a more orderly school, fewer disruptions, more learning.<br /><br />Bill Olsen, the principal of&nbsp;<a href="http://noblenetwork.org/" target="_blank">Noble Street College Prep</a>&rsquo;s flagship campus, said the network&rsquo;s approach to discipline is part of the draw.<br /><br />&ldquo;We just had a lottery with 840 families who want to send their student to Noble and one of the big things that families say over and over again is safety,&rdquo; Olsen said. Noble has gotten criticism for it&rsquo;s strict approach to discipline and the detention fees it would charge students. Last month, Noble&nbsp;<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-04-11/news/chi-charter-school-drops-controversial-discipline-fee-20140411_1_charter-school-noble-network-student-discipline" target="_blank">announced it would drop those fees</a>, because they were becoming a distraction.<br /><br />Overall, a quarter of the students enrolled at Noble schools got at least one out-of-school suspension last year. The flagship campus, where Olsen is principal, had the least, suspending 14 percent of its students, while the newest campus in the 2012-2013 school year, Hansberry College Prep, had the most, suspending 59 percent of its students.<br /><br />&ldquo;One of the things we do see is that some of our younger campuses tend to have higher rates, while some of our more established campuses have lower rates,&rdquo; said Noble spokeswoman Angela Montagna.&nbsp; &ldquo;If they only have freshmen, you might see that be a little higher because freshmen tend to get suspended more than seniors. But also, it&rsquo;s a school establishing itself in a community. People know what Noble&rsquo;s like in West Town.&rdquo; (Noble&rsquo;s older campuses, including its flagship, are on the city&rsquo;s west side.)<br /><br />Of all the charter school networks,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.perspectivescs.org/" target="_blank">Perspectives Charter Schools</a>&nbsp;suspended the largest percentage of its students, with 41 percent getting one or more suspensions last year.<br /><br />In a statement, Kim Day, the network&rsquo;s chief education officer, said the Perspectives schools &ldquo;sweat the small stuff&mdash;and the majority of consequences are based on principles of restorative discipline.&rdquo; The network focuses on what it calls &ldquo;26 principles of A Disciplined Life.&rdquo;<br /><br />A few single-campus charter schools suspended almost none of their students. At&nbsp;<a href="http://www.namastecharterschool.org/" target="_blank">Namaste Charter School</a>, where 6 percent of students got an out-of-school suspension last year according to CPS numbers, school officials attribute low numbers to the school&rsquo;s commitment to physical activity throughout the day.<br /><br />There are at least 90 minutes of movement worked into every school day, said Rickie Yudin, the school&rsquo;s Director of School Culture &amp; Wellness. There are 60 minutes of formal physical education, 20 or 25 minutes of recess depending on grade level, and another 10 to 15 minutes of movement within the classroom.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149388587&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>The two people speaking in this clip are Yudin and Namaste&rsquo;s Director of Development Allison Isaacson Lipsman.</em></p><p>At the&nbsp;<a href="http://agcchicago.org/" target="_blank">Academy of Global Citizenship</a>, no students got an out-of-school suspension.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.nlcphs.org/">North Lawndale College Prep</a>&rsquo;s two campuses reported low numbers of out-of-school suspensions. John Horan, the school&rsquo;s founder, said they&rsquo;re able to keep misbehavior at bay by keeping a lot of counselors on staff.</p><p>&ldquo;We have no metal detectors and we probably have three security guards,&rdquo; Horan said. &ldquo;We have nine counselors and they&rsquo;re all in on this culture of peace, doing the front end work to prevent the sort of behaviors that result in out-of-school suspensions and expulsions.&rdquo;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149488822&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://www.chicagointl.org/">Chicago International Charter Schools</a>&mdash;the largest network in CPS&mdash;suspended 19 percent of the students enrolled across its schools.&nbsp; A CICS spokeswoman said several of their campuses, including Ellison, misreported suspension numbers on the ISBE compliance form.<br /><br /><strong>Data Quality Problems</strong></p><p>CICS wasn&rsquo;t the only charter school network with mixed up, inconsistent or incomplete data.</p><p>According to the data reported to the state, NLCP-Collins had fewer than 10 suspensions. But the Collins campus Principal Tim Bouman said the school had more suspensions than what was reported. That&rsquo;s because they only reported suspensions resulting from serious infractions. He sent WBEZ numbers for all out-of-school suspensions, even for minor things, and turns out about 40 percent of the students enrolled last year got one.</p><p>LEARN Charter School Network misreported numbers for two of its five campuses. Greg White, LEARN&rsquo;s chief executive, said it&rsquo;s unclear why the numbers were misreported.&nbsp; Ten charter schools filled out compliance forms, but left the section regarding discipline blank. And a handful of charters did not file a form with ISBE.<br /><br />A lack of consistent and reliable data around suspensions and expulsions is nothing new. The student group Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, or VOYCE, found similar problems several years ago when they began researching school discipline.<br /><br />&ldquo;Either people would say they didn&rsquo;t have the data or they weren&rsquo;t going turn over the data, so we ended up having to file Freedom of Information Act requests,&rdquo; said Shawn Brown, an organizer with VOYCE.<br /><br />VOYCE is pushing&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=SB&amp;DocNum=2793&amp;GAID=12&amp;SessionID=85&amp;LegID=78681" target="_blank">a bill</a>&nbsp;in Springfield that would require all publicly funded schools to annually publish numbers of suspensions, expulsions and arrests. It passed out of the Senate last week, 55 to zero. The House Education Committee is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/hearing.asp?HearingID=12027&amp;CommitteeID=1184" target="_blank">scheduled to take it up on Wednesday morning</a>.<br /><br />CPS spokesman Joel Hood says charter schools are currently not required to report suspension numbers to the district. But, district officials are pushing charters to join a district-wide effort away from zero-tolerance policies to more restorative discipline. Hood said new charter school applicants will also get preference in the approval process if they develop holistic discipline codes.</p><p>AUSL spokeswoman Deirdre Campbell said the numbers of students getting suspended at the schools run by the non-profit group seemed off, too. She specifically took issue with the numbers at Orr Academy, which suspended the highest percentage of its students last year, according to CPS data.</p><p>Campbell said school leaders at Orr argued that using 20th day enrollment didn&rsquo;t capture the total number of students that went to Orr last year and therefore, the proportion of students getting suspended would be lower if you factored in student mobility. As a rule, however, CPS uses the 20th day count for nearly all of its data collection and school accountability metrics and there&#39;s no way to know if students who left the school or entered after the 20th day got an out-of-school suspension.<br /><br /><strong>Keeping Calm Over Time</strong></p><p>The majority of the schools suspending a large proportion of their students are on the city&rsquo;s West Side. One of them, Manley Career Academy, has been working to improve its culture and reduce suspensions for years.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149485062&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>In 2009, then-CPS CEO Ron Huberman launched a $30 million initiative to create a &ldquo;Culture of Calm&rdquo; inside the city&rsquo;s most troubled high schools.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/education/pursuing-culture-calm-8" target="_blank">Manley was one of them.</a><br /><br />School administrators and community partners, like Umoja Student Development Corporation, say it worked&mdash;out-of-school suspensions dropped 30 percent between 2010 and 2013. Principal Warren Morgan says serious infractions, like fighting, drug possession and vandalism, continue to fall.<br /><br />But last year, the total number of suspensions doubled, and more than 70 percent of the students enrolled got at least one.<br /><br />Morgan said that after the success with Culture of Calm, he wanted to focus on the school&rsquo;s academic performance. But students were still coming late to school and not getting to class on time.<br /><br />So last year, he said, he implemented a few policy changes. It was the first year students were required to wear uniforms and the first year that students would be required to serve a 9th period if they were tardy. If a student skipped out on 9th period, they would get a suspension.<br /><br />And a lot of students learned the new rules the hard way. Hence, the spike in suspensions.<br /><br />&ldquo;Whenever you start a new policy that hasn&rsquo;t been done and it&rsquo;s a culture of no expectations, you&rsquo;re going to have a lot of students that are pushing that. And we wanted to follow through on it,&rdquo; Morgan said.<br /><br />But the policies contributed to an overall increase in attendance and academic performance, Morgan said. Last year, Manley moved from a Level 3 school, the lowest rating CPS gives, to a Level 2 school. At the same time, many of the resources&mdash;and people&mdash;that came with the Culture of Calm grant left.<br /><br />Ilana Zafran works with Umoja, the group that partnered with Manley under Culture of Calm. They&#39;re still involved at the school, though not as much as when the grant was in place.<br /><br />She says Principal Morgan&rsquo;s choice to tighten up on kids coming late is not bad intentioned.<br /><br />&ldquo;Ideally, you&rsquo;d be able to assign each of those young people a case manager to figure out what&rsquo;s going on. Why aren&rsquo;t you getting to school on time? And then that person might show up at the kid&rsquo;s house every morning and escort them to school,&rdquo; Zafran said. &ldquo;Schools unfortunately don&rsquo;t have that type of man power or woman power. Non-profits don&rsquo;t have that type of funding to be able to staff that kind of thing.&rdquo;<br /><br />Principal Morgan was able to keep Brian Collier on staff as the school&rsquo;s dean of students.&nbsp; And during a&nbsp; visit to the school during dismissal, it&rsquo;s easy to see why.&nbsp; Collier stands at the entrance, wearing a bow-tie, dreadlocks and a smile as wide as his face, interacting with students as if he&rsquo;s known them since they were five.<br /><br />He still staffs the peace room, but only as needed. But he says the biggest challenge isn&rsquo;t inside of Manley.<br /><br />&ldquo;What comes into anybody&rsquo;s school building is what is happening on the streets of their cities or their townships or the homes,&rdquo; Collier said.&nbsp; &ldquo;The shift has to not only happen in here but we&rsquo;ve got to start doing things differently outside.&rdquo;<br /><br />For now, Collier says, that is a &ldquo;utopia that does not exist.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is a producer for WBEZ. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation" target="_blank">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 13 May 2014 15:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/student-suspensions-numbers-110172 Charter supporters rally against bills in Illinois legislature http://www.wbez.org/news/charter-supporters-rally-against-bills-illinois-legislature-109990 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/IMG_3555.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hundreds of Chicago charter school parents, students and alums rallied in Springfield Tuesday to oppose legislation they say will hurt charter schools.</p><p>The group started its day with a rally outside U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, with more than 20 tour buses lined up to take them to the capitol. Supporters wore yellow scarves and carried printed signs that read &ldquo;I choose charter.&rdquo;</p><p>Illinois Network of Charter Schools President Andrew Broy addressed parents and others before they departed to join up with supporters from other Illinois communities.</p><p>&ldquo;This is a statewide movement,&rdquo; Broy told the group. &ldquo;We face threats in Springfield that we&rsquo;ve never faced before. There are no fewer than twelve different bills in Springfield designed to limit your right to choose the best school for your student. And we&rsquo;re not going to let that happen.&rdquo;</p><p>Charter advocates planned to pack the capitol rotunda. They said they want state lawmakers to see the faces of charter parents and students, students they say would be hurt if those dozen pending bills are passed into law.</p><p>Some of the key bills being considered:</p><p>-SB2627/HB3754 would get rid of a charter school appeals commission that can approve charter schools even if&nbsp; the local school board denies them.</p><p>-SB3303 would prohibit charters from opening in the same zip code as a&nbsp; closed traditional school.</p><p>-HB4655/SB3004 would force charters to follow&nbsp; the same discipline policies that traditional schools follow.</p><p>-SB3030/HB6005 would forbid charter schools from marketing, prohibit charters from subcontracting with Educational Management Organizations and Charter Management Organizations to operate schools and create a compensation cap for school CEOs.</p><p>A number of the bills were introduced by suburban lawmakers. Their interest in charters was piqued last year when a for-profit company, K12, Inc., proposed opening virtual charter schools in more than a dozen suburban school districts. All the districts&nbsp; rejected the plan. As state law is currently written, the Illinois State Charter Commission could overrule those local districts.</p><p>That happened last year when the charter provider that operates Chicago Math and Science Academy tried to open up two new schools in the city. The school district denied the provider&rsquo;s request to expand, but when the organization appealed, the commission gave the go ahead.<br /><br />Charter advocates say a neutral committee needs to examine the merits of charter proposals, because school boards often have a disincentive&mdash;even if district schools are weak&mdash;to approve charters.<br /><br />Many students and parents at the morning Chicago rally said they were there to support individual schools.&nbsp;</p><p>Nahum Alcantar said he supports charter schools because he thinks his charter school has given him a better education than a public school could have. Alcantar, a senior at Chicago Math and Science Academy, went to Kilmer Elementary, a CPS neighborhood school, before enrolling at the charter.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been to a charter school and I&rsquo;ve been to a public school and based on my experience &hellip; charter schools can ... provide the same amount of education that public schools can,&rdquo; Alcantar said. &ldquo;From the schools that I went (to) and compared to the charter school that I go (to)&nbsp; now I&rsquo;ve gotten a really better education.&rdquo;</p><p>Many also said they believe their charter schools are underfunded relative to traditional Chicago Public Schools.&nbsp; But the school district says charters and other schools get exactly equal funding.<br /><br />Although it has been a complaint from charter opponents, many rallying parents said they see no connection between charter schools opening and traditional schools closing</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not making that school worse, we&rsquo;re not making it a bad school. If they can&rsquo;t get the grades or what they need then they should close,&rdquo; said charter parent Amber Mandley. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not our (fault) it&rsquo;s happening, just because we want to keep our schools running doesn&rsquo;t mean we&rsquo;re trying to close CPS schools.&rdquo;</p><p>Ebony Edwards-Carr, who like Mandley has children at the Chicago International Charter School in Bucktown, said the day &ldquo;is about uniting&rdquo; parents, charter school or otherwise.<br />&nbsp;<br />The Chicago Teachers Union supports many of the bills on the table.</p><p>Its membership is threatened by charter school expansion; as charters expand and traditional schools close, Chicago Teachers Union&rsquo;s membership is dwindling. Charter teachers are not allowed to be represented by the CTU.<br /><br />Stacy Davis Gates, CTU&rsquo;s political director, said suburban districts are looking at Chicago as&nbsp; a &ldquo;cautionary tale&rdquo; where &ldquo;neighborhood schools have been chased out by charters.&rdquo; Gates said the state needs to &ldquo;close some of these loopholes&rdquo;&nbsp; in state charter law.</p><p>She said the bills being considered will bring more transparency and accountability to charter schools.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid">@pksmid</a>. Linda Lutton is WBEZ&rsquo;s education reporter, follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 15:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/charter-supporters-rally-against-bills-illinois-legislature-109990 Morning Shift: Legislation aims to make changes at charter schools http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-08/morning-shift-legislation-aims-make-changes-charter <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Classroom Flickr cayoup.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We look at what some charter school supporters are hoping for as several bills work their way through the state legislature. Plus, how the popular business model of franchising is squeezing small business owners between corporations and workers.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-s-at-stake-for-charter-schools/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-s-at-stake-for-charter-schools.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-s-at-stake-for-charter-schools" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Legislation aims to make changes at charter schools" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 08:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-08/morning-shift-legislation-aims-make-changes-charter Morning Shift: The music of legendary jazz pianist Henry Butler http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-23/morning-shift-music-legendary-jazz-pianist-henry <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Henry Butler Flickr - Turismo Emilia Romagna.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We hear the stories and music of New Orleans pianist Henry Butler. We also delve into the slow demise of Chicago retail icon Sears after the announcement that it is closing the flagship store on State Street.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-music-of-legendary-jazz-singer-a/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-music-of-legendary-jazz-singer-a.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-music-of-legendary-jazz-singer-a" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: The music of legendary jazz pianist Henry Butler" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 08:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-23/morning-shift-music-legendary-jazz-pianist-henry CPS approves seven new charter schools http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-approves-seven-new-charter-schools-109558 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/BoardOfEd1_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s Board of Education voted Wednesday afternoon to approve seven new charter schools.</p><p>The controversial move comes less than a year after board members voted to close 50 traditional public schools for low enrollment.</p><p>Board members followed district officials&rsquo; recommendations, made public for the first time at the meeting Wednesday, and approved charters for the following schools:</p><ul><li><strong>Great Lakes Academy Charter School</strong> (location TBD in South Shore, serving grades 1-2 in 2014, eventually serving 576 students grades K-8). Approved 5-1, with board member Carlos Azcoitia voting no.</li><li><strong>Noble Street Charter School- ITW David Speer Campus</strong> (To be permanently located at 5321 W. Grand Ave. in Belmont-Cragin, serving grade 9 in 2014 and eventually serving 900 students in grades 9-12. This will be the 15th Noble Street campus in Chicago). Approved 6-0.</li></ul><p>Jack Elsey, CPS chief of innovation and incubation, said before the vote that the district wanted &nbsp;&ldquo;conditional approval&rdquo; for five of the seven campuses. The board followed those recommendations and gave &quot;conditional approval&quot; to five schools. That means, the board will vote again to determine if the conditions have been met.</p><p>For instance, Instrinsic Schools will have to post high academic marks at its first campus, which just opened in September 2013. Elsey said Intrinsic&rsquo;s first campus must obtain a Tier 1 or Tier 2 rating, the highest of five tiers, this year in order to open a second campus.&nbsp;</p><p>The idea of &quot;conditional approval&quot; is cloudy. In previous years, conditions were established in the writing of the charter&#39;s contract. In a departure from past practice, the board will vote again on these proposals and whether the conditions have been met before they are approved to open. Elsey said another vote will likely be held in May. The following schools recieved conditional approval yesterday:&nbsp;</p><ul><li><strong>Chicago Education Partnership</strong> (&ldquo;By the Hand&rdquo;) (K-6 campus to be located at 400 N. Leamington in Austin, grades 7-8 to be located at 415 N. Laramie in Austin. Opening in 2015, serving grades K-1. Eventually serving 810 students in grades K-8). Approved 5-1, with board member Carlos Azcoitia voting no.&nbsp;<em>Conditions: Chicago Education Partnership has to re-submit a portion of the initial application--dealing primarily with academics--in the next round of approvals.</em></li><li><strong>Concept Schools--Horizon Science Academy- Chatham Charter School</strong> (8522 S. Lafayette in Chatham, serving grades K-8 in 2014, eventually serving 725 students K-12. This will be Concept Schools&rsquo; third campus in Chicago). Approved 6-0.&nbsp;<em>Conditions: Concept must find principals for both campuses and submit clear facility plans.</em></li><li><strong>Concept Schools--Horizon Science Academy- Chicago Lawn Charter School </strong>(5401 S. Western in Gage Park, serving grades K-8 in 2014, eventually serving 725 students K-12. This will be Concept Schools&rsquo; fourth campus in Chicago). Approved 5-1, with board member Carlos Azcoitia voting no.&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Intrinsic Charter School 2</strong> (temporarily located at 4540 W. Belmont in the Kilbourn Park neighborhood), eventually moving to a location TBD on the Northwest Side, opening fall 2015 with grade 9, eventually serving 959 students grades 7-12. This will be Intrinsic&rsquo;s second charter school in Chicago). Approved 6-0.&nbsp;<em>Conditions: Intrinsic&#39;s first campus must post high test scores this year. The school must also find a building and outline how it will evaluate school leaders.</em></li><li><strong>Noble Street Charter School- Noble Exeter Academy Campus</strong> (To be temporarily located at 17 N. State St. in the Loop, serving grade 9 in 2014 and eventually serving 900 students in grades 9-12. This will be the 16th Noble Street campus in Chicago. The network will be authorized to educate 13,875 students). Approved 4-2, with board members Carlos Azcoitia and Andrea Zopp voting no. <em>Conditions: Noble must submit more information about parent and community engagement and its curriculum, and must find a building and a principal.</em></li></ul><p>The school board considered a total of 17 proposals for new charter school campuses Wednesday. Five of them, the Connected Futures Academies, would have exclusively served dropouts.</p><p>District officials recommended that the school board deny the following charter proposals. They were voted down unanimously:</p><ul><li><strong>Be the Change Charter School</strong> (Location TBD in McKinley Park, serving grades K-2 in 2014, eventually serving 475 students grades K-8)</li><li><strong>Connected Futures Academies Options Charter Schools</strong> (five campuses, all TBD, each serving 165 re-enrolled drop-outs ages 15-21 in 2014).</li><li><strong>Curtis Sharif STEM Academy Charter School 1</strong> (location TBD but according to founder tentatively at 7939 S. Western in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood), serving grades K-5 in 2014, eventually serving 300 students grades K-8).</li><li><strong>Curtis Sharif STEM Academy Charter School 2 </strong>(location TBD but according to founder, tentatively at 87th and Kedzie in the Ashburn neighborhood), serving grades K-5 in 2014, eventually serving 300 students grades K-8).</li><li><strong>Curtis Sharif STEM Academy Charter School 3</strong> (location TBD, serving grades K-5 in 2014, eventually serving 300 students grades K-8).</li><li><strong>Curtis Sharif STEM Academy Charter School 4 </strong>(location TBD, serving grades K-5 in 2014, eventually serving 300 students grades K-8)</li></ul><p>State law now allows any charter school denied by a local district to appeal to the Illinois State Charter School Commission. Since its creation, the commission has overturned CPS decisions on two schools run by the politically connected group called Concept Schools.</p><p><strong>State appeals process adds new twist</strong></p><p>Several aldermen spoke Wednesday and asked the board not to approve any new schools this year or delay approvals until they could analyze the potential impact on the district&rsquo;s existing schools.</p><p>&ldquo;I encourage you to delay your decision today and undertake a real study of academic performance of charters and evaluate them together with a real master facilities plan,&rdquo; said Ald. Scott Waguespack (32rd).</p><p>But delaying a vote or denying all proposals this year could backfire on CPS.</p><p>The Illinois Charter School Commission can and already has overturned CPS decisions if it deems a charter proposal high quality.</p><p>Or as Board Vice President Jesse Ruiz put it Wednesday, &ldquo;If we don&rsquo;t, Springfield will.&rdquo;</p><p>Elsey, the district official, said schools that are approved by the state commission operate &ldquo;inside CPS boundaries, but outside of our control.&rdquo;<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/130922753&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&ldquo;We lose the ability to hold these schools accountable and ensure they are delivering a high quality education to Chicago&rsquo;s children,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said the union and CPS should team up to eliminate the commission. In an uncharacteristic agreement with the union, Board President David Vitale agreed.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/130922506&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>But Greg Richmond, chair of the Illinois Charter School Commission, said the appeals process is nothing new. Charter applicants have been able to appeal local decisions to the state since the charter school law was passed in 1996. The Illinois State Board of Education used to deal with appeals, but in 2011, the commission was created to handle appeals.</p><p>Since the commission was created, Richmond says, they&#39;ve only overturned two local decisions.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Anyone looking at the numbers would say that this commission has not been overly generous,&quot; Richmond said.</p><p><strong>Will new charters help alleviate overcrowding?</strong></p><p>The most recent request for proposals for new charter schools asked that applicants look to open in areas that CPS officials deemed &ldquo;priority areas.&rdquo; These are neighborhoods where schools are overcrowded based on the district&rsquo;s utilization standards.</p><p>One board member, Carlos Azcoitia, voted down four of the seven schools that were ultimately approved for that very reason.</p><p>&ldquo;I wanted to target the schools that were overcrowded,&rdquo; Azcoitia said. &ldquo;Of course, we didn&rsquo;t want to go into areas where we had closed schools.&rdquo;<br /><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/130922299&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Andrea Zopp also said she &ldquo;struggles significantly&rdquo; with approving new schools in the wake of closing so many.</p><p>One school approved Wednesday that will be opening in a so-called &ldquo;priority area&rdquo; is the Noble Street-ITW David Speer Campus. CPS says the school will alleviate overcrowding at Taft High School.</p><p>Ald. Nick Sposato (36th), however, pointed out that Taft and the future Noble school would actually be miles apart.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re building a high school six and a half miles away from a crowded high school,&rdquo; Sposato said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t understand the thinking on that.&rdquo;<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/130922950&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Kerry Murphy, a parent of two children at Dever Elementary, said the community does not need more high schools. Its overcrowding issues are at the local grammar schools.</p><p>But CPS officials say demographic data indicate that many high school-aged students who live in the Belmont-Cragin area travel to Noble schools in other neighborhood.</p><p><strong>More new schools on the horizon&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Not all seven of the schools approved Wednesday will open in September. Two are planning to open in September 2015 and the ones with &quot;conditional approval&quot; will have to jump through a few hoops before their schools become reality.</p><p>Nine others had been approved in previous years to open this fall, but Elsey says not all are on track to do so. For example, the UNO Charter School Network, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/watchdogs/23185796-452/sec-probes-uno-financing.html">which is dealing with an SEC investigation right now</a>, &nbsp;has two campuses that were approved in previous years, but are not yet open. CPS and UNO officials say they do not plan to open any new UNO schools this fall.&nbsp;</p><p>Still, the expansion of privately run, publicly funded charter schools may not slow down anytime soon.</p><p>After the board meeting, Elsey told WBEZ the district will open its next Request for Proposals sometime this spring, likely in March or April. He said the district wants to shift the timeline so that the board will vote on new schools in the fall, rather than January. That will give schools more time to plan for a September opening.</p></p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 13:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-approves-seven-new-charter-schools-109558 Protests planned as Chicago's school board considers adding more charter schools http://www.wbez.org/news/protests-planned-chicagos-school-board-considers-adding-more-charter-schools-109552 <p><p>Charter school opponents are gearing up for multiple protests&mdash;including an overnight vigil Tuesday sponsored by the Chicago Teachers Union&mdash;as Chicago&rsquo;s school board considers adding more charter schools to its portfolio.</p><p>The board&rsquo;s scheduled vote Wednesday on whether to add up to 17 more schools to the system comes just eight months after Chicago closed a historic 50 schools. Another 10 charter campuses already have permission to open in fall of 2014.</p><p>Charter protesters cite varying reasons for their opposition: some are union supporters, and most charters aren&rsquo;t union.</p><p>Others, like Prosser Career Academy ninth-grader Lizette Lopez, think money and improvement efforts should be put into existing schools. &nbsp;She spoke Monday from the site of one of the proposed charters, which is directly across the street from her high school.</p><p>&ldquo;My school is a great school, and it would be even better if they actually started investing in it, instead of spending &hellip;on unnecessary schools in my community. &nbsp;How does even making a new school even make sense?&rdquo; she asked Monday afternoon at a protest organized by students and community groups, among them Citizens United for Quality Education.</p><p>Zerlina Smith is mad her tax dollars could go to politically connected landlords, who plan to rent space to charters.</p><p>&ldquo;You raised my tax dollars&mdash;that&rsquo;s what my property taxes are for, my neighborhood schools. Evidently they&rsquo;re not going to OUR children&rsquo;s neighborhood schools. They are going to Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s friends,&rdquo; Smith said at the protest, which featured a few dozen youth, parents and members of Action Now.</p><p>And Darryl Truss of the group Raise Your Hand questioned why a church group with no experience running a school would be tapped to open a charter in Austin, where four schools were closed in Chicago&rsquo;s massive school closure.</p><p>Behind the protesters, bulldozers rumbled through the Rubenstein Lumber site where Noble Street Charter Network is proposing to locate its 15th campus. (The board will consider a 16th Noble Street campus to be located temporarily in the Loop.) Protesters blasted the charter school network and CPS for moving ahead with demolition at the site even before the school board votes.</p><p><strong>Dispute over &ldquo;priority areas&rdquo;</strong></p><p>In May, CPS closed 50 schools on grounds of declining enrollment. But in a Request for Proposals issued in August, officials invited charter schools to submit proposals for new schools to help relieve longtime school overcrowding on the Northwest and Southwest sides. In the past, the district had prioritized charter schools locating in areas that lacked &ldquo;quality&rdquo; school options. Those were often areas where enrollment was declining as well.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/charter%20schools%20lutton%20photo%202.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="A bulldozer works to demolish the Rubenstein Lumber Yard at 5321 W. Grand, where Noble Street Charter Network is proposing to build a school. Protesters complained Monday that the demolition was taking place even before the school board vote. (WBEZ/Linda Lutton)" /></p><p>The activists protesting Monday said based on the school board agenda and the charter schools&rsquo; proposals, they could find only two schools that fell within the wide swaths the district identified as priority areas.</p><p>The Noble Street campus to be located at 5321 W. Grand Ave., for instance, is technically about a half mile outside the priority-area boundaries identified on a map in the RFP.</p><p>But Noble Street spokeswoman Angela Montagna says her organization has always considered that site part of the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood, identified as overcrowded. Montagna said about 400 students from the neighborhood are enrolled at other Noble Street schools, showing &ldquo;there&rsquo;s demand there for a Noble education,&rdquo; she said. Montagna also said construction on the site would stop if the board votes down the Noble campus, but she said in order to get a school up and running by the fall, demolition needed to begin. The school&rsquo;s construction will be privately funded.</p><p>Noble Street high schools&mdash;where students apply and are selected by lottery&mdash;post strong ACT scores in the city, though officials admit about 35 percent of Noble students don&rsquo;t make it to senior year. They transfer to other high schools or drop out before then.</p><p>Chicago Public Schools has been unclear about the actual number of charter schools the school board will consider Monday&mdash;saying as recently as last week the board would vote on 21 proposed schools. CPS spokesman Joel Hood now says the district received proposals from nine organizations hoping to open 22 campuses. He says four of the proposals were withdrawn by the operators. The district now counts 17 schools up for Wednesday&rsquo;s vote, but five of them would service dropouts, a separate type of charter school.</p><p>Hood says by CPS&rsquo;s count, five proposed campuses serve the prioritized Northwest and Southwest sides, including the Noble campus. He says ultimately it comes down to this: Who would argue with having another really high performing school in the neighborhood?</p><p>&ldquo;This was never intended to solely be about priority areas,&rdquo; says Hood. &ldquo;If a really great school comes in and wants to locate in an area we don&rsquo;t necessarily consider a priority, if it&rsquo;s a really great school, we&rsquo;re going to consider it.&rdquo;</p><p>Normally by this time, district administrators would have made public which charter schools they think should be approved by the school board. But this year, for reasons it has not explained, the district is not making public its recommendations until the morning of the vote.</p><p>School districts in Illinois are required to consider charter proposals annually. Any denied charter can appeal to a state charter commission, which can overrule the district and order the school be opened.</p><p><strong>Charter campuses to be considered by the school board Wednesday:</strong></p><ul><li><p><strong>Be the Change Charter School </strong>(Location TBD in McKinley Park, serving grades K-2 in 2014, eventually serving 475 students grades K-8)</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Chicago Education Partnership</strong> (&ldquo;By the Hand&rdquo;) (K-6 campus to be located at 400 N. Leamington in Austin, grades 7-8 to be located at 415 N. Laramie in Austin. Opening in 2015, serving grades K-1. Eventually serving 810 students in grades K-8).</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Concept Schools--Horizon Science Academy- Chatham Charter School</strong> (8522 S. Lafayette in Chatham, serving grades K-8 in 2014, eventually serving 725 students K-12. This would be Concept Schools&rsquo; third campus in Chicago).</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Concept Schools--Horizon Science Academy- Chicago Lawn Charter School</strong> (5401 S. Western in Gage Park, serving grades K-8 in 2014, eventually serving 725 students K-12. This would be Concept Schools&rsquo; fourth campus in Chicago).</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Connected Futures Academies Options Charter Schools </strong>(five campuses, all TBD, each serving 165 re-enrolled drop-outs ages 15-21 in 2014).</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Curtis Sharif STEM Academy Charter School 1</strong> (location TBD but according to founder tentatively at 7939 S. Western in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood), serving grades K-5 in 2014, eventually serving 300 students grades K-8).</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Curtis Sharif STEM Academy Charter School 2</strong> (location TBD but according to founder, tentatively at 87th and Kedzie in the Ashburn neighborhood), serving grades K-5 in 2014, eventually serving 300 students grades K-8).</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Curtis Sharif STEM Academy Charter School 3</strong> (location TBD, serving grades K-5 in 2014, eventually serving 300 students grades K-8).</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Curtis Sharif STEM Academy Charter School 4</strong> (location TBD, serving grades K-5 in 2014, eventually serving 300 students grades K-8).</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Great Lakes Academy Charter School</strong> (location TBD in South Shore (per hearings and proposal), serving grades 1-2 in 2014, eventually serving 576 students grades K-8).</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Intrinsic Charter School 2</strong> (temporarily located at 4540 W. Belmont in the Kilbourn Park neighborhood), eventually moving to a location TBD on the Northwest Side, opening fall 2015 with grade 9, eventually serving 959 students grades 7-12. This would be Intrinsic&rsquo;s second charter school in Chicago).(Intrinsic initially proposed opening four campuses under this RFP; a spokesman for CPS says the group withdrew three of those applications).</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Noble Street Charter School- ITW David Speer Campus</strong> (To be permanently located at 5321 W. Grand Ave. in Belmont-Cragin, serving grade 9 in 2014 and eventually serving 900 students in grades 9-12. This would be the 15th Noble Street campus in Chicago).</p></li></ul><ul><li><p><strong>Noble Street Charter School- Noble Harkness Academy Campus</strong> (To be temporarily located at 17 N. State St. in the Loop, serving grade 9 in 2014 and eventually serving 900 students in grades 9-12. This would be the 16th Noble Street campus in Chicago. The network would be authorized to educate 13,875 students).</p></li></ul><p><em>Linda Lutton is a WBEZ education reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 12:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/protests-planned-chicagos-school-board-considers-adding-more-charter-schools-109552 State agency overrules CPS for charter funding http://www.wbez.org/news/state-agency-overrules-cps-charter-funding-109433 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS3523_board of ed-scr_2_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A little-known state agency backed by powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has overruled Chicago public school officials, ordering them to approve and fund two new charter schools in the city.</p><p>The schools are run by Concept Schools Inc. The Des Plaines-based organization operates 30 publicly financed privately-run schools in the Midwest, a majority of them in Ohio.</p><p>The Chicago Sun-Times <a href="http://bit.ly/1a3KHZF" target="_blank">reports</a> Concept is the first and only charter to benefit from the decision of the Illinois State Charter School Commission, founded in 2011 by Madigan. The two new schools will be located in the McKinley Park and Austin neighborhoods. They are getting 33 percent more funding per student than the city school system gives other charters.</p><p>Democratic state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia wants the state agency eliminated.</p></p> Mon, 23 Dec 2013 12:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/state-agency-overrules-cps-charter-funding-109433 Cost analysis questions wisdom of opening more charter schools http://www.wbez.org/news/cost-analysis-questions-wisdom-opening-more-charter-schools-109411 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/desks .jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">A new cost analysis questions the wisdom of opening more charter schools in Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://apncorganizing.org/sites/apncorganizing.org/files/files/The%20Hundred%20Million%20Dollar%20Question-%20Final.pdf">The analysis</a>, calculated by Communities United for Quality Education (CUQE), finds that approving all <a href="http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/2013/12/17/64749/charter-schools-propose-big-expansion">21 charter schools</a> that have <a href="http://cps.edu/NewSchools/Pages/Process.aspx">applied </a>to open would cost Chicago $21 million dollars the first year and $225 million over the next decade.</p><p dir="ltr">The analysis <a href="http://apncorganizing.org/sites/apncorganizing.org/files/files/Methodology-%20The%20Hundred%20Million%20Dollar%20Question_0.pdf">factors in only basic school operating costs</a>, such as a principal and utilities costs&mdash;it doesn&rsquo;t include any of the &ldquo;per pupil&rdquo; funding schools get for enrolling students.</p><p dir="ltr">Parent Maria Elena Sifuentes, a member of the activist group that put out the study, pointed out that Chicago just closed 50 schools, and says budget cuts hit remaining schools hard. &ldquo;Now they want to turn around and hand over 250 million dollars to new charter schools in the same communities where schools were closed or had their budget cuts.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The CUQE analysis uses the same basic logic Chicago Public Schools used to close schools: it argues that the more schools there are, the more thinly the district&rsquo;s resources are spread out across them.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When a new charter is brought to a community, taxpayers are paying for two principals&rsquo; salaries, two building utilities fees, and other costs twice to serve the same number of students within a community. These increased investments could either be avoided all together, or could be invested in improving existing neighborhood schools,&rdquo; the report concludes.</p><p dir="ltr">The analysis was conducted by Demian Kogan, an organizer at the Albany Park Neighborhood Council.</p><p dir="ltr">CUQE openly opposes charter schools. But a recent <a href="https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-Charter-schools-pose-greatest-credit-challenge-to-school-districts--PR_284505">report by Moody&rsquo;s Investors Service</a> raises similar concerns. It says charter growth is putting some districts under financial stress because the districts are operating more schools than they need. It argues that labor contracts and political pressure mean school districts are not able to contract fast enough as they shift more of their students to charters.</p><p dir="ltr">Board member Mahalia Hines said at Wednesday&rsquo;s board meeting that opening charters is not meant to hurt other schools.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Constantly we hear that we are creating charter schools to destroy neighborhood schools, and I know that is definitely not the intent. &nbsp;We want good schools in all neighborhoods,&rdquo; Hines said.</p><p dir="ltr">CUQE is calling for the board of education to reject all charter proposals in January, and for <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-chicago-aldermen-financial-office-met-1212-20131212,0,5233363.story">the city&rsquo;s new Office of Financial Analysis</a> to review the financial implications of Chicago charter expansion.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Linda Luttton is a WBEZ education reporter. Follow her on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 12:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/cost-analysis-questions-wisdom-opening-more-charter-schools-109411 Morning Shift: Black vocal techniques http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-19/morning-shift-black-vocal-techniques-108712 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Microphone Flickr pictureorpictures.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We talk about non-partisan group &quot;No Labels&quot; and how they are looking to bridge the gap between democrats and republicans. Also, Richard Steele and Tony play some tunes and discuss black vocal techniques.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-68/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-68.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-68" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Black vocal techniques" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 08:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-19/morning-shift-black-vocal-techniques-108712