Saturday, September 14, 2013

9-14-13 Fred Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher who is just looking at the data.

Fred Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher who is just looking at the data.:

Saturday coffee.
Damn, it a beautiful morning in Chicago. The sky is blue. The temperature is in the 60s. The coffee is strong and hot. Trainer Mike had me focused on lower body strength building on Thursday. My legs still feel it today. He kept adding weight to the leg press machine. “Uh, Mike?” “You can do it.” And, I could. But I’m still feeling it today. Thursday I also started getting Special Education alert

Ode to Danielson. “I was good, but now I suck.”
H/T: Jersey Jazzman.

Chicago teachers: A letter from CPS Chief Talent Officer, Alicia Winkler.
      CPS’ Chief Talent Officer, Alicia Winkler. Got talent? Imagine. If teachers had not fulfilled our job responsibilities, what would our “REACH” evaluation say? Dear CPS Teachers, One year ago, CPS launched REACH (Recognizing Educators Advancing Chicago) Students, a fair and transparent evaluation system that was developed in large part with the input of teachers from throughout the District.


Urgent. Call ISBE about special education class size. And could someone get IEA to put something on their web page? Please?
I just sent this out to my IEA Retired email list. Please post widely: FROM AN EMAIL ALERT this morning: Urgent!!! Please share and contact Gery Chico’s office at the Illinois State Board of Education today and tell him you are opposed to ISBE removing the caps on class sizes for children with special needs. Really pleasant woman on the other end of the line, and it takes only 3 minutes — less if
Rauner dresses like Floyd Turbo. Speaks like Rahm.
  Floyd Turbo or Bruce Rauner. While millionaire mayor Rahm Emanuel wears expensive suits and Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner dresses more like Johnny Carson’s old character, Floyd Turbo, you might still confuse the two of them. Aside from record violence in many south and west side communities that is 15 times that of his the area around his north side Lakeview home, Rahm spends h
Guzzardi’s kick-off and the youth movement.
  Several hundred young activists fill the room for Will Guzzardi’s kick-off.  When I moved to Logan Square in 1975, with a few exceptions, none of the several hundred activists who filled Cole’s Bar on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square last night were even born yet. To me, the most striking thing about election politics in Chicago right now is that it is a youth movement. They don’t just look you

SEP 12

Ten minute drawing. Rahm reaches out to teachers union.
  Click on image to enlarge.
I say that the NY results are making Rahm nervous and people say I’m crazy.
. It’s not the first time I’ve been told I don’t know what I’m talking about. Yesterday I posted a report about the New York mayoral primary in which a progressive Democrat soundly beat the Bloomberg mini-me, Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Quinn, we were told 18 months ago, had a lock on the election. I took encouragement from the results. Not just for my friends and family who have chosen to l

SEP 11

The in box. TRIP and Medicare info from the IEA.
The latest on the TRIP/Medicare situation from IEA’s Will Lovett, IEA lobbyist, pension specialist, and IEA’s representative on the CMS committee that hadn’t met until August.   Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) in the News Medicare Advantage Plans This document is intended to help answer questions with regard to the recent news that the State of Illinois plans to implement a Medic
Ten minute drawing. Rahm solves the school heat problem.
  Click on image to enlarge.
Looking for Mr. de Blasio.
Hey Rahm. This is the lead from this morning’s Washington Post: NEW YORK — Democratic voters here delivered a resounding rebuke to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Tuesday, choosing from a crowded primary field his sharpest and most liberal critic as their nominee for mayor. It was just eighteen months ago the pundits and prognosticators all had their money on New York City Council Speaker, Christine Q
Reign of Error. Diane Ravtich’s documentation of bad education policy.
A group of us went to hear Dr. Diane Ravitch last night. She gave a lecture to a filled Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel at Elmhurst College. Her lecture, like her latest book Reign of Error, is a dagger in the heart of current corporate reform policies. The popularity of her previous work, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, the crowds she draws and the millions of blog hits she

SEP 10

The in box. CTU on the first anniversary of the strike.
NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Stephanie Gadlin September 10, 2013 312/329-6250     CTU MARKS ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF HISTORIC STRIKE Teachers ‘changed the conversation’ about the quality of public education in Chicago CHICAGO – One year ago, nearly 30,000 public school educators took to the picket lines to fight for the neighborhood schools their students deserve. They also wanted
Nothing funny about Rahm.
Anyone looking for some laughs from Rahm Emanuel and David Letterman were disappointed by the Mayor’s late night appearance. Letterman is getting a little long in the tooth. And so are a lot of his bits. But having Rahm on was not even a stupid pet trick. “Murders in Chicago,” asked Letterman? Crime numbers are down claimed the lying Mayor. Maybe in his neighborhood in Lakeview. Greg Hinz: Citywi
The in box. TFA Chicago plans exposed by
  Josh Anderson of Teach For America Chicago tours the East Chicago Lighthouse Charter School in East Chicago, Indiana. Photo: Sun-Times Blogger broke the story of the Teach for America (TFA) plan to replace unionized professional teachers in Chicago’s rapidly expanding charter schools. The story got bigger play today when Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post reprinted the EduShy

SEP 09

Kicking corporate butt. DFER gets taken to school.
  Joe Williams of Democrats for Education Reform. The truth is that when the shill for corporate reform, Joe Williams of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), attacked my brother and me (and the Shanker Institute Director Leo Casey) with some childish macho name calling the other day, I was surprised. Neither Mike nor I have paid much attention to Joe, the PR guy for corporate reform, in years.
The main stream media: Guzzardi has gotten their attention.
When Democrats vote against the interests of their constituents, there should be no safe seats. Take the issue of teacher pensions. A majority of Illinois House Democrats voted for SB1, a horrible bill that cuts the contractual and constitutional promises to teacher retirees. When these red-dog Democrats voted to gut pensions, many teachers went looking for candidates to primary the incumbent Dem
Anniversary of the Chicago teachers strike.
  Marshall High School. Chicago west side. September, 2012. Photo: Fred Klonsky
Illinois retired teachers are in the dark about their health coverage.
TRIP is the Teacher Retirement Insurance Program. For those on Medicare, it can function as the supplemental insurance. For those teacher retirees not old enough or who do not qualify for Medicare (Yes. Many Illinois teachers do not qualify for Medicare) it is their sole health insurance. It may come as a surprise to some, it does not come free to teachers. We pay most of the premium. Active teac
Bill Daley and Bruce Rauner to run a unity ticket for Illinois Governor?
  Millionaires Bruce Rauner and Bill Daley. Somebody jokingly tweeted the other day that millionaires Bruce Rauner and Bill Daley were going to run a unity ticket for governor. Like Superman and Clark Kent, they may be the same guy. As the joke goes, have you ever seen them together at the same time in the same place? Sneed says Rahm back his best friend Bruce Rauner. But I don’t know. Even Repub
The in box. Jay Rehak on the truth about Chicago teacher pensions.
  Jay Rehak, Presiden of the board of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund. SunTimesx I want to set the record straight about the problems at the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund. CTPF is a $9.5 billion plan that serves 59,000 Chicago Public School (CPS) and charter school teachers, administrators and retirees. We do not contribute to or receive Social Security benefits, so this plan is our retirement

SEP 08

Jean Anyon. RIP
The “hidden curriculum” of schoolwork is tacit preparation for relating to the process of production in a particular way. Differing curricular, pedagogical, and pupil evaluation practices emphasize different cognitive and behavioral skills in each social setting and thus contribute to the development in the children of certain potential relationships to physical and symbolic capital,11 to authorit
Sunday reads. Don’t bomb Syria.
  Illinois State Senator Barack Obama, 2002. “War is not an option.” Call your representatives. Concerned about Syrian children? Here is an alternative to bombs. Bernie Sanders is a skeptic on Syria. Protesters for peace. Skeptical? We don’t believe a word you say. General Petreaus backs Syria war. Well, there you go. With the support of him and Rumsfeld, Obama got himself a coalition of the will

SEP 07

Anthony Cody: Our union leaders are in denial.
  The NEA Representative Assembly in Atlanta last July. Delegates tried to separate Common Core and high stakes testing. At the NEA Representative Assembly held last July in Atlanta, delegates refused to put the union on record opposing Common Core Standards (CCSS), but were willing to denounce the high stakes assessments that were driven by the standards. This was an attempt by delegates to reac
Ten minute drawing. Duncan says, “You can’t force school integration.”
  Click on image to enlarge.
Saturday coffee.
Joseph Albers’ Homage to the Square. It is hard for me to believe it will get to 90 degrees today in Chicago. It is a beautiful comfortable morning on the back porch. Our neighbor’s chickens finished making their morning noise. Yes, our neighbors have two chickens. I have heard that Logan Square has the highest per capita chicken population in the city. Chickens. Bikes. And hipster bars. Earlier