WBEZ | Education http://www.wbez.org/news/education Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Latest: Chicago Public Schools mum on indictment http://www.wbez.org/news/latest-chicago-public-schools-mum-indictment-113251 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_902919343426.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The latest on the indictment of former<br />Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, following a federal investigation into a $20 million no-bid contract (all times local):</p><div><p><strong>3:55 p.m.</strong></p><p>Officials with&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools have declined to discuss the indictment of the district&#39;s former CEO, Barbara Byrd-Bennett.</p><p>A statement Thursday from CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner doesn&#39;t mention the charges against the former schools chief.</p><p>The statement says the district is focused, &quot;as always,&quot; on its roughly 400,000 students.</p><p>Byrd-Bennett, a longtime educator, was chosen by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to take over the nation&#39;s third-largest school district in 2012. She left earlier this year amid a federal investigation.</p><p>In July, Emanuel named the city&#39;s former transit chief, Forrest Claypool, as a replacement.</p><hr /><p><strong>3:40 p.m.</strong></p><p>Chicago&nbsp;Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he was &quot;saddened and disappointed&quot; to learn of the criminal activity alleged in a federal indictment charging his hand-picked former schools chief.</p><p>In a statement Thursday, Emanuel said students, parents, teachers and principals in the nation&#39;s third-largest school district &quot;deserve better.&quot;</p><p>Emanuel chose longtime educator Barbara Byrd-Bennett to lead&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools in 2012. He spent much of his hard-fought re-election bid earlier this year defending his controversial schools decisions and Bennett&#39;s hiring.</p><p>Prosecutors announced the indictment earlier Thursday. It accuses Byrd-Bennett of steering $20 million in no-bid contracts to an education company where she used to be a consultant.</p><p>Byrd-Bennett&#39;s attorney says the former schools chief plans to plead guilty.</p><hr /><p><strong>3:10 p.m.</strong></p><p>An attorney for former&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett confirms that his client will plead guilty to charges in a federal indictment alleging public corruption.</p><p>Chicago-based lawyer Michael Scudder released a statement Thursday saying Byrd-Bennett accepts &quot;full responsibility for her conduct.&quot; The statement says she plans to plead guilty to charges in the indictment.</p><p>Scudder also says Byrd-Bennett will continue to cooperate with the government, including testifying if called upon to do so.</p><hr /><p><strong>3 p.m.</strong></p><p>Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;top federal prosecutor says the former CEO ofChicago&nbsp;Public Schools plans to plead guilty in a corruption case linked to a $20 million no-bid contract.</p><p>U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said Thursday that he was authorized by an attorney for Barbara Byrd-Bennett to announce her plans to plead guilty. Fardon didn&#39;t specify what charges would be involved.</p><p>His office announced earlier Thursday that Byrd-Bennett had been indicted on several counts of mail fraud and wire fraud following an investigation into a no-bid contract with SUPES Academy, where she once worked as a consultant.</p><p>Byrd-Bennett stepped down as the city&#39;s top school official earlier this year.</p><hr /><p><strong>2:15 p.m.</strong></p><p>Chicago&nbsp;Teachers Union President Karen Lewis says the indictment on corruption charges involving&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools&#39; former CEO marks a &quot;sad day&quot; for the district&#39;s leadership.</p><p>In a statement released Thursday, Lewis says the union wishes former CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett &quot;well in her legal battles.&quot; Lewis says the union is now focused on securing a new contract.</p><p>The union and school district are locked in a tense contract negotiation. During the last round of negotiations, teachers inChicago&nbsp;went on strike for the first time in 25 years.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 16:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/latest-chicago-public-schools-mum-indictment-113251 Ex-Chicago Public Schools leader charged with corruption http://www.wbez.org/news/ex-chicago-public-schools-leader-charged-corruption-113246 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Barbara%20Byrd-Bennett%20003%20By%20Bill%20Healy.jpg" style="height: 406px; width: 610px;" title="Barbara Byrd-Bennet. (WBEZ/Bill Healy)" /></div><p>The former head of Chicago Public Schools is facing criminal charges for her connection to a $20.5 million no-bid contract awarded to her former employer.</p><p>The Department of Justice <a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndil/file/782216/download">alleges</a> Byrd-Bennett, 66, steered $23 million to the SUPES Academy and Synesi Associates, in exchange for an expectation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks that were funneled into accounts set up under the names of two of her relatives.</p><p>The no-bid contract was awarded one month after the district voted to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-board-votes-close-50-schools-107294">close 50 public schools</a>, the most ever shuttered in a single year in U.S. history.</p><p>Catalyst Chicago first raised <a href="http://catalyst-chicago.org/2013/07/20-million-no-bid-contract-raises-questions-about-supes-academy/">questions</a> about the principal training provided by SUPES, reporting that principals felt the sessions were too basic and led by people who knew little about Chicago. Six months later, the CPS Inspector General <a href="http://catalyst-chicago.org/2013/12/supes-academy-contract-under-scrutiny-inspector-general/">opened an investigation</a>.</p><p>In April, news broke that Byrd-Bennett was the subject of a federal probe. Subpoenas were sent to the school district seeking interviews with people who worked with the ex-CEO and records related to SUPES and Synesi Associates.</p><p>The indictment also charges the co-owners of those companies, Gary Solomon, 47, and Thomas Vranas, 34.</p><p>Solomon is charged with 15 counts of mail fraud, five counts of wire fraud, two counts of bribery of a government official and one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S.&nbsp;Soloman&#39;s attorney released a statement saying Soloman and his companies have cooperated with investigators. The statement said Soloman was aware that the charges would be announced Thursday and that he&#39;s disappointed with the government&#39;s decision to charge him.</p><p>Vranas is also charged with 15 counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, two counts of bribery of a government official and one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., according to a press release from the Department of Justice. &nbsp;</p><p>Byrd-Bennett <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-schools-chief-resigns-amid-federal-probe-112114">resigned from the top job</a> at CPS in June after taking a leave of absence amid the scrutiny of the investigation.</p><p>The corruption scandal comes as the district is facing a $500 million budget hole that could force more layoffs by Thanksgiving. Current CPS CEO Forrest Claypool <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-board-education-passes-budget-banks-imaginary-money-112740">wants state lawmakers to come through with a bailou</a>t. Claypool is scheduled to speak at a conference of suburban and downstate school districts this afternoon. CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner has said he will not take questions.</p><h3><strong>Read the indictment</strong></h3><p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.7729220222793488" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="800" id="doc_39642" scrolling="no" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/284088055/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-C9KRlEQTJ9HQWAEtPcxU&amp;show_recommendations=false" width="600"></iframe></p><p><em>This story is developing.</em></p><p><em>The Associated Press contributed to this story.</em></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 12:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/ex-chicago-public-schools-leader-charged-corruption-113246 Mayor to CPS on graduation rates: ‘Go back and be accurate.’ http://www.wbez.org/news/mayor-cps-graduation-rates-%E2%80%98go-back-and-be-accurate%E2%80%99-113166 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/4626481280_3e71045657_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he told Chicago school officials to go back and fix the errors in the graduation rate that were first reported in June by WBEZ and the Better Government Association.</p><p>&ldquo;Soon as there were questions raised, I said, &lsquo;Go back, and analyze what&rsquo;s going on and be accurate,&rsquo;&rdquo; Emanuel said. &ldquo;And that&rsquo;s exactly what they did.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago Public Schools officials announced late Thursday it would <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-lowers-graduation-rate-after-errors-found-113148">revise the past four years of graduation rates</a> and make sure to include students who dropped out but <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-touts-bogus-graduation-rate-112163">were misclassified as having transferred</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;There was an error pointed out,&rdquo; said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. &ldquo;We studied that information. We had to wait until the end of the summer schools to have all the data. And then we corrected it.&rdquo;</p><p>Claypool said the errors &ldquo;shouldn&rsquo;t deflect from the fact that the trendline is up.&rdquo;</p><p>The trendline is up -- officials also announced late Thursday that the new 2015 graduation rate is 69.9 percent.</p><p>But the errors raise questions about how well the district is accounting for students who are still dropping out. Under Emanuel, CPS nearly doubled the number of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/special-series/meet-companies-profit-when-cps-students-drop-out-111665">alternative schools in the city</a> and opened r<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/how-do-you-find-high-school-dropouts-110816">e-engagement centers</a> to do the work of tracking down kids who are listed as dropouts. But the students who were misclassified wouldn&rsquo;t have been officially listed as dropouts and no one would have known to track them down.</p><p>Emanuel agreed that&rsquo;s cause for concern.</p><p>&ldquo;If we missed a dropout, they&rsquo;re not only dropping out of high school, they&rsquo;re dropping out of life, and their ability to earn a (living),&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;So of course I&rsquo;m concerned. I&rsquo;m concerned (about) what it means for the rest of life, not just the system and its data gathering.&rdquo;</p><p>When the errors were <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-touts-bogus-graduation-rate-112163">first reported in June</a>, officials admitted there was a problem, but said they didn&rsquo;t plan to go back to fix the publicly-reported statistics.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is an education reporter for WBEZ. You can follow her </em><a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation"><em>@WBEZeducation</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/mayor-cps-graduation-rates-%E2%80%98go-back-and-be-accurate%E2%80%99-113166 Arne Duncan stepping down as Education Secretary http://www.wbez.org/news/arne-duncan-stepping-down-education-secretary-113150 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/arneduncan.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res445267634" previewtitle="Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a letter to his staff that he will step down to spend more time with his family, who live in Chicago."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a letter to his staff that he will step down to spend more time with his family, who live in Chicago." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/02/gettyimages-466823057_wide-d3d4d0eb6e973c429fe8f15eb6ec37e187dd645a-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 338px; width: 600px;" title="Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a letter to his staff that he will step down to spend more time with his family, who live in Chicago. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)" /></div><div><p>&nbsp;</p></div></div><p><strong>Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET.</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Arne Duncan will step down as President Obama&#39;s education secretary in December, a White House official confirms to NPR.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Obama has selected Deputy Education Secretary John B. King Jr. to replace Duncan. King is a former New York State education commissioner. (President Obama is making a personnel announcement at 3:30 p.m. ET.)</p><p style="text-align: justify;">King is 40 years old, and the White House says that would make him one of the youngest Cabinet members in American history. (Julian Castro, the current secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is 41.)</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="Before John King Jr., Duncan's expected replacement, came to the Department of Education, he was the New York state education commissioner. He was the first African-American and first Puerto Rican to serve in that post." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/02/ap_441648178176-24379611df7ad75326f4e89b2a5f54d4fe6d68f7-s300-c85.jpg" style="float: right; height: 240px; width: 320px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Before John King Jr., Duncan's expected replacement, came to the Department of Education, he was the New York state education commissioner. He was the first African-American and first Puerto Rican to serve in that post. (Mike Groll/AP)" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Duncan has been there since the beginning of Obama&#39;s tenure and is one of only a few members remaining from Obama&#39;s original Cabinet.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">He&#39;s come under fire at times from the right and left because of various initiatives, including Race to the Top, the Common Core educational standards and an embrace of charter schools &mdash; something that has rankled teachers unions.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The irony of the controversies is that education was one area in which Republicans, early on in Obama&#39;s tenure, would say they agreed with him. They liked his reform agenda and Common Core originated with Republican governors like Louisiana&#39;s Bobby Jindal who have since backed away seeing an uproar from conservatives and even some teachers.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Duncan is moving back to Chicago, where he said, in a farewell letter to colleagues, that he has been splitting time. Duncan is the former head of Chicago schools.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In the letter, Duncan called the opportunity to serve as education secretary &quot;the greatest honor of my life.&quot; He endorsed King as his successor and included&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-king/education-the-difference_b_148855.html">this reflection</a>&nbsp;King wrote about his upbringing.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/02/445266796/arne-duncan-stepping-down-as-education-secretary" target="_blank"><em>via NPR&#39;s </em></a><em><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/02/445266796/arne-duncan-stepping-down-as-education-secretary" target="_blank">It&#39;s</a></em><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/02/445266796/arne-duncan-stepping-down-as-education-secretary" target="_blank"><em> All Politics</em></a></p></p> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/arne-duncan-stepping-down-education-secretary-113150 CPS lowers graduation rate after errors found http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-lowers-graduation-rate-after-errors-found-113148 <p><p dir="ltr">The official graduation numbers that Mayor Rahm Emanuel touted throughout his first term and his re-election campaign were wrong.</p><p dir="ltr">Chicago Public Schools is revising its official graduation rate after WBEZ and the Better Government Association&nbsp;found thousands of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-touts-bogus-graduation-rate-112163">dropouts were being misclassified</a> as transfers.</p><p dir="ltr">The official graduation rate for 2014 was actually 66.3 percent, not 69.4 percent, officials said late Thursday. Every year dating back to 2011, the year Emanuel took office, was revised down two to three percentage points.</p><p dir="ltr">Earlier this year, records obtained by WBEZ and the Better Government Association under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act revealed that since 2011, at least 2,200 students across 25 district high schools were counted as having transferred out of the district, when in reality, they were dropouts.</p><p dir="ltr">At just those 25 CPS high schools, more than 1,000 of the dropouts were mislabeled as moving out of town or going to private schools, but were actually attending CPS alternative schools. More than 600 of the mislabeled dropouts were listed as getting a GED, when state law is clear that students who leave school to enroll in GED programs or attend alternative schools are dropouts.</p><p dir="ltr">One school, Curie Metropolitan High School, labeled more than 100 dropouts every year as leaving to be homeschooled. Another 1,300 of the so-called transfers had no explanation of what school they were supposedly transferring to or were vaguely listed as going to different states or countries.</p><p dir="ltr">When asked in June, district officials acknowledged problems with the system&rsquo;s accounting, but said they had no plan to go back and adjust the numbers.</p><p dir="ltr">John Barker, the district&rsquo;s chief of accountability, said all of those students, plus similar misclassifications at all of the district&rsquo;s 100-plus high schools were put back into <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/behind-cps-graduation-rates-system-musical-chairs-111786">the calculation</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;So what you&rsquo;re seeing is an adjusted rate that&rsquo;s a little bit lower because you have more students in the denominator,&rdquo; Barker said. To understand how CPS calculates its graduation rate, watch this animated video.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="465" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i0EibDr47gc" width="620"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson said the errors were concerning, but she&rsquo;s still encouraged that the number of students graduating is increasing.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The fact that more students have graduated did not change,&rdquo; said Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson. &ldquo;Even with the adjusted rate, we have more students as far as the number.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Jackson said some of recent gains are due to the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/new-alternative-schools-some-run-profit-companies-come-hefty-price-tag-110239">aggressive expansion</a> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/special-series/meet-companies-profit-when-cps-students-drop-out-111665">of for-profit alternative schools</a> in the city, many which provide half day, mostly online programs that allow students to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/same-diploma-different-school-111581">earn their high school diploma in a fraction of the time</a>. She said the district won&rsquo;t be opening any more of those schools because CPS is in a financial crunch, not because some existing operators have questionable business practices.</p><p dir="ltr">But the raw number of graduates from 2014 to 2015 increased by just 84 students, from 20,232 to 20,316, for a 2015 rate of 69.9 percent, according to district data provided late Thursday. Barker could not immediately say how many dropouts had to be reclassified in the new rate.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Capture_1.JPG" title="Source: Chicago Public Schools" /></div><p>Jackson acknowledged that principals and other staff could feel pressure to improve their school&rsquo;s public reputation. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t doubt that there are some principals who feel a great degree of pressure,&rdquo; Jackson said, adding that she wants to provide more support instead of just layer on more accountability.</p><p dir="ltr">Barker said the district is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-acknowledges-errors-takes-steps-count-dropouts-correctly-112180">still planning to train school clerks</a> and has developed an internal system to flag misclassifications sooner.</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is an education reporter for WBEZ. You can follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 22:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-lowers-graduation-rate-after-errors-found-113148 CPS: No additional for-profit alternative schools for dropouts http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-no-additional-profit-alternative-schools-dropouts-113144 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/18143111338_bb57a0915e_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Public Schools will not open any new <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/special-series/meet-companies-profit-when-cps-students-drop-out-111665">for-profit alternative schools</a> this year.</p><p>The move comes after a historic expansion of schools for dropouts, part of an aggressive push to increase <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/behind-cps-graduation-rates-system-musical-chairs-111786">graduation rates</a>. Under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the district <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/new-alternative-schools-some-run-profit-companies-come-hefty-price-tag-110239">nearly doubled the number of schools</a> for dropouts over the last three years.</p><p>A WBEZ and Catalyst Chicago/Better Government Association investigation earlier this year found many of the new for-profit alternative school providers were giving teenagers a new way to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/same-diploma-different-school-111581">earn their high school diploma in a fraction of the time</a>, by offering half-day sessions and online courses that allowed students to earn credits quickly, sometimes in a matter of weeks.</p><p>The new schools -- deemed Alternative Learning Opportunities Programs, or ALOP -- primarily serve low-income black and Latino teenagers. They also grant graduates a diploma from either the last school they attended or the neighborhood school where they live. Students could also participate in sports and attend dances at traditional schools.</p><p>Two new companies -- Acceleration Academies and Catapult Learning -- applied to run 11 new schools serving more than 2,000 students.</p><p>Former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett listed <a href="http://www.catapultlearning.com/">Catapult Learning</a> as one of her former employers on her resume. There is an ongoing investigation into Byrd-Bennett&rsquo;s connections to a no-bid contract awarded to another former employer, SUPES Academy.</p><p>It was recently announced that part of the SUPES model was acquired by the Chicago-based National Superintendents Academy, which is run by Atlantic Research Partners. <a href="http://atlanticresearchpartners.org/executive-team-1/">Atlantic</a> and <a href="http://www.accelerationacademy.org/our-executive-team/">Acceleration Academies</a> executive teams include many of the same people. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>Mark Graves, chief operating officer for Acceleration Academies, told WBEZ that CPS&rsquo;s head of alternative schools called him in mid-July to tell him CPS wouldn&rsquo;t be opening any new schools.</p><p>&ldquo;I was told that we would not be considered for ALOP funding because our program receiving ALOP funding would pull dollars from existing ALOP programs,&rdquo; Graves said. &ldquo;They thought that wouldn&rsquo;t be a smart move politically for them.&rdquo;</p><p>District spokeswoman Emily Bittner said in a statement that the move does not represent a departure away from helping dropouts.</p><p>&ldquo;Because we continue to work on our budget challenges with Springfield, we will not be funding any new Alternative Learning Opportunities Programs in 2016,&rdquo; Bittner wrote. &ldquo;We will continue to serve these students through our existing portfolio of options schools and programs.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Becky Vevea is an education reporter for WBEZ. You can follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 14:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-no-additional-profit-alternative-schools-dropouts-113144 Global Activism: Educating girls in Kenya and Sengal http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-educating-girls-kenya-and-sengal-113160 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/GA-WGEP_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-4b588d21-2976-7d00-8616-dfbc99afabe3">In Africa, the overwhelming majority of girls drop out of school after the 6th grade. Global Activist, Amy Maglio, was living in Senegal and decided she must do something to help more girls get into school and stay there. She created the Women&#39;s Global Education Project (<a href="http://www.womensglobal.org/">WGEP</a>) to support girls&rsquo; education in Senegal and Kenya. Maglio will update us on what WGEP has been doing lately to help girls in those countries escape extreme poverty, through education.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/226484831&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://womensglobal.org/events/ndajee-2015-2/"><span id="docs-internal-guid-4b588d21-29c9-bca6-697f-169383023063">EVENT: WGEP&rsquo;s Gala: &nbsp;NDAJEE 2015</span></a></strong></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-4b588d21-29c9-bca6-697f-169383023063">Monday October 5th, 2015, 6-9pm</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-4b588d21-29c9-bca6-697f-169383023063">Nellcôte Restaurant</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;">833 W Randolph Street, Chicago IL</p><p dir="ltr"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EiLEXpl44S4" width="640"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 11:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-educating-girls-kenya-and-sengal-113160 MacArthur ‘Genius’ focuses on immigrant education http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-09-30/macarthur-%E2%80%98genius%E2%80%99-focuses-immigrant-education-113119 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0929_juan-salgado-624x416.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Juan Salgado&nbsp;is president and CEO of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.idpl.org/" target="_blank">Instituto del Progreso Latino</a>&nbsp;in Chicago, and is among the 24 winners of this year&rsquo;s MacArthur Foundation &ldquo;genius grants&rdquo; who will each receive $625,000 over five years, no strings attached.&nbsp;Salgado&rsquo;s organization has become a national model for helping immigrants learn English and improve their work skills.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-size: 0.9375em; line-height: 1.4285em; font-family: 'Droid Sans', arial, sans-serif; text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RosH3OM1Qdc?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></p><p>&ldquo;What we do in Instituto is we believe that any learner can become basically a college student &ndash; that if you&rsquo;re at a fourth grade, sixth grade reading level and you&rsquo;re an immigrant mom, you can become a registered nurse, a master&rsquo;s degree nurse,&rdquo; Juan told&nbsp;<em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em> Robin Young. &ldquo;The reality is that we&rsquo;ve taken over 500 previous low-wage income earners and just changed their lives. They&rsquo;re now making $24, $27, $36 an hour where they used to make nothing or minimum wage.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/09/29/macarthur-genius-juan-salgado" target="_blank"><em>&mdash; via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 11:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-09-30/macarthur-%E2%80%98genius%E2%80%99-focuses-immigrant-education-113119 Special education cuts get focus at CPS board meeting http://www.wbez.org/news/special-education-cuts-get-focus-cps-board-meeting-113108 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/boardofed_lutton_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p></p><p>The head of special education at Chicago Public Schools said schools rely too heavily on aides and aren&rsquo;t scheduling staff who help students with special needs efficiently.</p><p>Markay Winston, the Chief of the Office of Diverse Learners and Support Services, said her office is trying to deliver special education services in a &ldquo;fiscally responsible&rdquo; manner. Since summer, the district has cut nearly 600 special education teachers and aides.</p><p>Winston said the cuts should not affect the ability to meet students&rsquo; individualized education plans, or IEPs, which are legally binding documents that outline what help an individual &nbsp;child needs in order to learn.</p><p>Principals found out over the weekend that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/principals-blindsided-more-cuts-special-needs-113096">more special needs staff would be eliminated</a>. CPS has never before cut special education staff after the first day of school. Officials said it was due to enrollment, but there was no correlation between enrollment declines and special education staffing cuts.</p><p dir="ltr">Those cuts came in addition to 500 positions that were <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-budget-cuts-hit-special-education-students-112512">eliminated over the summer</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">Presenting at the Chicago Board of Education on Tuesday, Winston said that historically, only 5 percent of students with IEPs ever transition out of special education in CPS.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Winston not satisfied only 5% of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sped?src=hash">#sped</a> students exit out, but it&#39;s higher than other urban districts. Must exit them appropriately <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cpsboard?src=hash">#cpsboard</a></p>&mdash; Catalyst Chicago Mag (@CatalystChicago) <a href="https://twitter.com/CatalystChicago/status/648895867823521793">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Board Vice President Jesse Ruiz asked Winston how many students with IEPs simply left the district.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Sharkey likens CPS deals with banks to getting ripped off with ATM fees. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cpsboard?src=hash">#cpsboard</a></p>&mdash; WBEZeducation (@WBEZeducation) <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation/status/648903726820929537">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">President of SEIU Local 73 says Winston is incorrect about what is happening in schools. More than 300 sped aides laid off. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cpsboard?src=hash">#cpsboard</a></p>&mdash; WBEZeducation (@WBEZeducation) <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation/status/648904291969843200">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Sarah Chambers, special ed teacher, says one of her students signed up online to speak &amp; was told she&#39;d be expelled if she did. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cpsboard?src=hash">#cpsboard</a></p>&mdash; WBEZeducation (@WBEZeducation) <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation/status/648912690749022208">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Crowd is upset today that <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cpsboard?src=hash">#cpsboard</a> is reducing groups of speakers down to two representatives.</p>&mdash; WBEZeducation (@WBEZeducation) <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation/status/648906858393149440">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote><p dir="ltr"><em>Becky Vevea is an education reporter for WBEZ. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 29 Sep 2015 12:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/special-education-cuts-get-focus-cps-board-meeting-113108 Pre-K study shows early gains wear off http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-09-29/pre-k-study-shows-early-gains-wear-113102 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/prek.jpg" style="height: 400px; width: 600px;" title="Pictured are children in a pre-kindergarten classroom in San Diego, California, on October 1, 2013. (Robert Benson/Getty Images for Knowledge Universe)" /></div><p>A&nbsp;<a href="https://my.vanderbilt.edu/tnprekevaluation/" target="_blank">new study</a>&nbsp;out of Vanderbilt University has some surprising findings: children from low-income families benefit significantly from Tennessee&rsquo;s pre-kindergarten programs at first, but those gains wear off by the end of third grade. Researchers also found that students who did not attend pre-K quickly caught up to the students who did attend pre-K.</p><p>The study raises questions about the efficacy of Tennessee&rsquo;s pre-K programs, which were widely expanded in 2005.&nbsp;Dale Farran, a professor at Vanderbilt and co-investigator of the study, discusses the findings with&nbsp;Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s Jeremy Hobson.</p><p>&mdash;<em><a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/09/29/pre-k-study-tennessee" target="_blank"> via Here &amp; Now</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 29 Sep 2015 12:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-09-29/pre-k-study-shows-early-gains-wear-113102