WBEZ | education reform http://www.wbez.org/tags/education-reform Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en School protesters pray, sing at Emanuel’s home http://www.wbez.org/story/school-protesters-pray-sing-emanuel%E2%80%99s-home-96581 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-20/IMG_1837web.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-20/IMG_1837web.jpg.crop_display.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 473px;" title="(WBEZ/Linda Lutton)"></p><p>Hundreds of teachers, community activists, and parents held a demonstration outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home late Monday to protest proposals to close or completely restaff 17 schools.</p><p>A board vote on the proposals is scheduled for Wednesday.</p><p>The crowd walked silently up North Hermitage, then prayed and sang outside the mayor’s home.</p><p>“Send a message to the mayor tonight, Lord God,” intoned one woman through a microphone. “Send a message to the CEO tonight, Lord God. Send a message to every member of the board tonight, Lord God.”</p><p>Organizers of the vigil led the crowd in song as they continued up the street.</p><p>Many wore stickers over their mouths that read “silenced” or “excluded.”</p><p>“[Emanuel] made all of these decisions without coming into our neighborhoods and asking the parents, and we’re the ones that’s going to be affected more than anybody,” said parent Lisa Russell, who has a child at Crane Technical High School, which is slated to be phased out.</p><p>Some in the crowd were from Occupy Chicago; many were teachers from schools not on the closings list.</p><p>“I think that we should keep public education public, and I am concerned about handing over power over to private organizations like AUSL,” said a first-grade teacher on the North Side. She did not want to give her name for fear she could be putting her job at risk. AUSL, or the Academy for Urban School Leadership, is a private nonprofit slated to take over management of six of the schools.</p><p>A Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman said for the first time in many years, the district is putting the academic needs of students first.</p><p>“What has been tried in the past has not worked, and going back to the same failed policies is not in the best interest of our students,” said spokeswoman Becky Carroll.</p><p>If the Chicago Board of Education approves the proposals, CPS will have shut down or completely restaffed more than 100 schools in the last decade, most in African-American neighborhoods.</p></p> Tue, 21 Feb 2012 03:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/school-protesters-pray-sing-emanuel%E2%80%99s-home-96581 Politics in Ukraine over Tymoshenko trial and education reform http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-19/politics-ukraine-over-tymoshenko-trial-and-education-reform-92166 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-19/ukraine2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The political field in Ukraine just got less crowded, with the country’s main opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, recently jailed for corruption. However, the case again Tymoshenkso seems to be weakening. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych hinted Friday that he might yield to international pressure and end the trial of the former prime minister by changing Ukraine’s criminal code.</p><p>Speaking at a conference in Yalta, Yanukovych distanced himself from Tymoshanko's trial, calling it "very painful." He said he hoped that the criminal code would be "modernized" this year. Political analysts say an overhaul could decriminalize the article under which Ms. Tymoshenko is charged.</p><p>Politics have also spilled over into the education arena in Ukraine. Recent education changes appear to favor institutions loyal to current President Yanukovych. Critics say the government is engaged in political opportunism and cronyism.</p><p>We get analysis from Ukrainians in government and academia.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kmfoundation.com/p-1_1_about_the_foundation-lan--os-0.html" target="_blank">Marta Farion</a> is an attorney and president of the <a href="http://www.kmfoundation.com/">Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America</a>, an organization that works to support free and democratic higher education in Ukraine. <a href="http://www.history.northwestern.edu/people/petrovskyshtern.html" target="_blank">Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern</a>, a professor of Jewish history at Northwestern University, has spent long periods studying and living in Ukraine. <a href="http://orobets.org.ua/index.php?lang=english" target="_blank">Lesya Orobets</a>, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, leads a subcommittee within parliament’s Science and Education committee.</p></p> Mon, 19 Sep 2011 15:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-19/politics-ukraine-over-tymoshenko-trial-and-education-reform-92166 Education reform would affect teachers' right to strike http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-14/education-reform-would-affect-teachers-right-strike-87818 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-14/Strike_Getty_Tim Boyle.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>New education reform legislation signed Monday by Governor Pat Quinn has some advocates calling Illinois a leader in education.<br> <br> The new law makes a number of changes. The school year or day may get longer. In addition, teachers can now be laid off because of poor performance, regardless of seniority. And it will be harder for teachers to strike, especially in Chicago.<br> <br> To find out how significantly the new law changes how teachers negotiate with school districts, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke to <a href="http://www.ler.illinois.edu/faculty/fp_bruno.html" target="_blank">Bob Bruno</a>, a Labor and Employment Relations Professor at the University of Illinois.</p><p><em>Music Button: Dub Is A Weapon, "Turbulence", from the CD Vaporized, (Harmonized)</em></p><p><em>Correction: </em><i><em>The above audio from the 9 a.m. broadcast misstates the requirements needed to authorize a strike in Chicago. According to the Chicago Teachers Union, approval from 75 percent of eligible voters is required to authorize a strike in Chicago. </em></i></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 14 Jun 2011 14:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-14/education-reform-would-affect-teachers-right-strike-87818 Potential model for education reform hits snag in the Illinois House http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-06/potential-model-education-reform-hits-snag-illinois-house-86152 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-06/Lightford_013_Display.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/house/" target="_blank">Illinois House</a> is considering an education bill with an unusual background. The legislation involved four months of intense negotiations among parties that are often bitterly divided: Teachers unions, school administrators and business groups.</p><p>The bill sailed through the Illinois Senate; now it goes to the House.&nbsp; If it becomes law, a sea change may lay ahead for teachers in Illinois.</p><p>But after months of crafting consensus, things recently began to shift. Reporter Kristen McQueary joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to talk about whether the bill could be derailed.</p><p>Reporter Kristen McQueary covers state government for WBEZ and the <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/author/kristen-mcqueary/" target="_blank">Chicago News Cooperative</a>.</p><p><em>Adulture's Music Button: Adulture, "Gary's Theme," Pleasure and Pressure 3 (Solid Bump Records)</em></p></p> Fri, 06 May 2011 13:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-06/potential-model-education-reform-hits-snag-illinois-house-86152 Illinois lawmakers return to tackle education reform and the budget http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-26/illinois-lawmakers-return-tackle-education-reform-and-budget-85682 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-26/State house Flickr Jimmy Emerson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Heavy rain in Southern Illinois prompted Gov. Quinn to issue a disaster proclamation for the area. On Monday, he described the situation as “very difficult and potentially dangerous.”</p><p>Tuesday, lawmakers return to Springfield to work on other challenges like education and the state budget. To find out what to expect from the state legislature, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke to Sean Crawford, <a href="http://wuis.org/" target="_blank">Illinois Public Radio</a>'s news director.</p><p><em>Music Button: Tristeza, "Raise Your Gaze", from the CD Paisajes, (Sanity Muffin)</em></p></p> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 13:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-26/illinois-lawmakers-return-tackle-education-reform-and-budget-85682 Should teachers be allowed to strike? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/should-teachers-be-allowed-strike <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//student hamlet during strike.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>An Illinois House subcommittee is expected to hold public hearings this week. They&rsquo;re looking at how to limit the ability of teachers' unions to strike. Some education and labor experts worry such a change could diminish the power of teachers; people they consider vital partners in education reform. Hunter Clauss reported for WBEZ.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Many parents, teachers, and politicians in Chicago recall a time when teacher strikes seemed like a regular part of budget and contract negotiations. In 1987, Chicago teachers stopped working for four weeks, throwing the school system into chaos.<br /><br /> Parent Joy Noven begged then-Mayor Harold Washington to resolve that labor dispute. In her plea, she said: &quot;We have teachers who are dedicated to this system. Let them do their job. We have parents who want to do help their job and help the teachers. Let them do it. Get the kids in school. We've had enough of it.&quot;<br /><br /> Washington would later credit parent pressure as crucial to bringing the strike to an end. Since then, there hasn't been a teachers strike in Chicago. But, still, a national education advocacy group called Stand for Children wants to make it harder for teachers unions across Illinois to go on strike. <br /><br /> The group has been active in six other states to restructure teacher tenure laws and performance evaluations. Now Stand for Children is working with the statewide education policy group- Advance Illinois-to push a legislative wish list to Illinois lawmakers. <br /><br /> Their agenda includes tying teacher tenure to performance evaluations, scaling back seniority as a factor in teacher layoffs, and making it more difficult for unions to strike. <br /><br /> CEO and co-founder of Stand for Children Jonah Edelman said, &quot;This is a time of turbulence. There's going to be a lot of difficult decisions that need to be made on the district level. Obviously the goal is for school districts to make these difficult decisions in the most collaborative and productive possible way so everyone is really in the same direction.&quot;<br /><br /> Edelman says while he doesn't want to eliminate a union's ability to strike and that cash-strapped districts need flexibility in order to balance budgets. &quot;I think it's kind of silly,&quot; Edelman explained. &quot;You've got to call it what it is, and that is an absolute ban on the right to strike.&quot; <br /><br /> Dan Montgomery is president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, one of the state's largest teachers unions. He was among the labor experts, district officials, and teachers unions I talked with. Most agreed that even slowing down a union's ability to strike would reduce its power at the bargaining table. <br /><br /> And Montgomery asks: What's the point? &quot;If you asked anybody, any parent in Illinois, 'What are the more pressing issues in education? What do we have to change for your kid's school to get better?' I really doubt that the teacher's ability to strike would be on the radar, because the vast majority of Illinois citizens have never even experienced one.&quot;<br /><br /> Bob Bruno teaches labor studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He says teachers unions are important partners in making schools better. And anything that marginalizes teachers could be harmful to education reform. <br /><br /> Bruno says, &quot;Schools boards in Illinois and around the country are typically not made up of people who have any experience working in educational settings. In the city of Chicago, the CEO of the public school system has been now for the last couple of appointments someone with no education background. It's almost a prerequisite.&quot;<br /><br /> The idea that the Chicago Teachers Union could be mulling a strike seems to be gaining some attention. <br /><br /> Not so according to Karen Lewis, the president of that union. She says a strike is off the table as long as the Chicago Board of Education honors its contract.<br /><br />&quot;It's not worth talking about because it's not going to happen. And second of all, we have a contract,&quot; Lewis remarked. &quot;These people want to honor it or not, and if they try not to honor it, we have a lot of options available to us.&quot;<br /><br /> Some union leaders say they're watching Stand for Children closely, in part because of the hundreds of thousands of dollars the group has put into political campaigns in Illinois. For his part, Stand for Children leader Jonah Edelman says the time is ripe for Illinois lawmakers to examine strike options and other aspects of teacher employment and quality. <br /><br /> And he hopes legislation around those ideas will emerge soon.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><em>Music Button: The Mercury Program, &quot;flourescent Laces&quot;, from the CD Chez Viking, (Lovitt Records) </em></p></p> Tue, 14 Dec 2010 15:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/should-teachers-be-allowed-strike