Thursday, August 25, 2011

CPS Now Wants Longer School Day in January - Chicago News Cooperative

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CPS Now Wants Longer School Day in January - Chicago News Cooperative
Less than two days after negotiations between the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union stalled, a new offer is on the table presenting the possibility of a teacher raise and a longer school day as early as January.

Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard first offered to pay elementary school teachers 2 percent more to work an additional 90 minutes each day in September when he appeared on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” Tuesday night. During Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting, CPS officials said the changes could be made as soon as January, 2012.

The offer came as a surprise to CTU president Karen Lewis. “It would’ve been nice if we had that proposal while we were actually in negotiations,” Lewis said Wednesday after the board meeting. “For some reason they decided to do it on Channel 11.”

The two parties began negotiating over wages after the board voted to deny teachers their 4 percent contractual raises in June, citing a $712 million deficit.
Yeah making a proposal on TV show when it could've been made behind closed doors in labor negotiations is not exactly a good look. I'm just going to side with Karen Lewis on this one!

I do however like the fact that they're talking about a longer school day especially on the elementary school level. Let's hope that the school board and the teachers can come to terms with that.

ALSO you can watch CEO Brizard's appearance on Chicago Tonight below [VIDEO]

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Use of iPads is increasing in CPS classrooms - Chicago Sun-Times

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Use of iPads is increasing in CPS classrooms - Chicago Sun-Times
An initial federal grant last year put 750 iPads in CPS classrooms ranging from kindergarten through high school. The new grant will supply elementary classrooms with 4,500 iPads, the last of which should arrive by the end of the week.

“I like playing math baseball,” said National Teachers Elementary Academy fourth grader Mavric Johnson, as he dragged a finger across the screen of an iPad — the almighty, and only, instrument in teacher Jennie Cho Magiera’s classroom. Writing utensils and paper are out of sight.

“It’s cool, we don’t like leaving this class,” Johnson said.

It’s allure may seem gimmicky, but Cho Magiera insists substance outweighs novelty.

Data from the ninja and baseball games, as well as a math test Johnson just completed, is sent back to Cho Magiera’s iPad, where she tracks each students’ progress, enabling her to pinpoint problems and tailor the lesson plan each student will face on their iPad.

This is how Cho Magiera was able to simultaneously teach 20 students 20 different lesson plans as a violin version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody played Monday morning in the background of her classroom in the South Loop.
 Using technology to enhance the learning environment. Whatever tools can help our young people understand what they're supposed to understand. Perhaps in the future they won't need actual textbooks, just read their iPad or whatever tablet device is available to them.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bennett-Shedd is back in session Sept. 6th

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Now with a new principal in longtime faculty member and assistant principal Roberta Fields.

Bennett-Shedd is not a track E school at least and as such those schools will start instead on August 8th.

Are you - parents & students - ready for the upcoming school year?