Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss – Week of April 8th, 2019

Lightfoot ‘impressed’ with CPS’ Jackson; at CPD, Johnson ‘encouraged’ after chat

By Fran Spielman for the Chicago Sun-Times

“Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot said Friday she “came away very impressed” after her meeting with Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson and hinted strongly that Jackson would keep her $260,000-a-year job. Lightfoot’s wide-ranging interview with the Chicago Sun-Times also touched on the Chicago Police Department and the planned Obama Presidential Center, among other issues. Jackson’s contract with CPS has a golden parachute: she’s entitled to six months of pay or $130,000 if she’s terminated without cause, plus six months of health insurance for herself and her family. But that’s not why Lightfoot is inclined to keep her. In part, it’s because Lightfoot believes stability is desperately needed at Chicago Public Schools after a revolving door of leadership under Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Lightfoot has no desire to keep it spinning.”

Charter School Backed By Rap Artist Common Finds A Home In Chicago

By Sarah Karp for WBEZ

“A Chicago charter school supported by rap artist Common and run by a South Side church headed by a powerful black pastor is set to open in the fall. A.I.M. or Arts In Motion Charter School was approved last year but didn’t open after dropping plans to open in an existing public school. It now intends to open at 7401 S. East End Ave., a building in South Shore that previously housed a charter elementary school. The school district is holding a hearing from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the CPS Loop Office, 42 W. Madison St. to consider the performing arts school. The charter is also seeking city zoning board approval on April 19. If approved, the charter school will serve seventh and eighth graders this fall, but eventually will go through 12th grade and could serve as many as 1,200 students. A.I.M. officials did not respond to phone calls but released a statement saying they were excited about the new location.”

Three things you need to know about Chicago’s new student portal, coming after spring break

By Yana Kunichoff for Chalkbeat

“When students and teachers come back from spring break this month, they will see one big change, but it won’t be visible in the classroom or in student notebooks. On April 22, Chicago schools will launch a new $8 million student information system that will centralize data on everything from attendance to grades to health. Originally intended to debut in January but delayed until the spring, the system and parent portal brings into one platform various school, network and district-based data that were housed on five different systems. District leaders have promised that the new system, Aspen, would streamline the work of educators. Aspen, in the works for three years, is tasked with “reducing administrative burden and allowing schools to spend more time preparing students for future success,” Jackson wrote in a letter to teachers.”

Lori Lightfoot names four women of color to head education transition team

By Adeshina Emmanuel for Chalkbeat

“Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot named the leaders of her education transition team Wednesday — four women of color who have influenced the conversation around Chicago schools from very different vantage points. The co-chairs include two non-profit directors with strong community ties: Sylvia Puente of the Latino Policy Forum and Niketa Brar of Chicago United for Equity. The other two co-chairs have worked closely with the school district and within academia: Aarti Dhupelia, a vice-president and dean at National Louis University and a former school district official; and Sybil Madison-Boyd, a school improvement coach and researcher who leads a coalition of youth-serving organizations.”