Sunday, June 13, 2010

CPS elem testing schedule for 2010-11

The CPS Elementary Assessment Calendar for 2010-11 is available.

A summary, for schools on the regular schedule:


DIBELS: September, January, May. (Schools not doing DIBELS must do either STEP or ISEL testing).

mClass Math (required): September, January, May.

Grades 3 - 8:

Scantron (required for all schools, grades 3 - 8): September (the first three weeks after school starts); January; late April-May.

Chicago Benchmark Assessment (Reading/Math) (optional): October, January, May. Since this one is optional, I don't know if my school will be taking it or not. Our Area Office seems to like lots of data though, so...

District Wide Writing Assessment (required): October, January, March 21-25, May. Note that the March test is used for promotion policy.

ISAT (required): 2/28 - 3/11 (note it is a bit earlier next year).

Grade 8 only:

EXPLORE: 9/27 - 10/6

Winter and Spring Benchmark and Scantron will overlap. The Winter Scantron testing is a month earlier than ISAT next year.

I left off some of the other testing that applies to small groups of students, see the link above for info on all of the planned assessments for CPS elementary schools for next year.


Interesting results from CTU member survey

If you are in the Chicago Teachers Union, you may have received an automated phone call last Wednesday inviting you to participate in a massive conference call (I confess I hung up). According to a posting on the NTN2000 Yahoo Group mailing list (that's the Chicago New Teacher Center list), some 8,000 CTU members were on the call. During the call, participants were surveyed about several topics. Some of the results (quoting from the letter re-posted on the list):

2. As a member of the Chicago Teachers Union, what do you think should be the Union's top priority?
Prevent teacher layoffs - 52%
Protecting our 4% pay raise - 18%
Smaller class sizes - 19%
Instituting a hiring freeze - 11%

3. How many students do you currently have in your classroom?
0-15 students - 21%
16-24 students - 19%
25-28 students - 26%
29-32 students - 23%
Over 33 students - 11%

4. As a CTU member would you rather have your negotiators fight harder for the 4% raise, or to preserve jobs?
Preserve jobs - 72%
Preserve the 4% raise - 28%

5. Of all the participants on the call, how many were members of the CTU when we last went on strike in 1987?
If you were a member on strike in 1987 - 15% of callers

6. How many on the line have been teaching 10 years or less?
If you have taught in CPS for less than 10 years - 38%
If you have taught in CPS for more than 11 years - 62%

One of the most surprising answers from our surveys was the overwhelming amount of members that would forego their 4% pay raise this year to protect the jobs of their fellow members.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

CORE victory

The Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) scored a decisive victory in the Chicago Teachers Union run-off yesterday (6/11). According the final vote count, CORE won almost 60 percent of the vote.

Separately, or maybe not, CPS CEO Ron Huberman has called a special Board of Education meeting for Tuesday (6/15) to give him the authority to raise class size to 35 students; to fire tenured and probationary teachers who are displaced by as a result of "cost-saving measures" (including raising the class-size limit); and borrow up to $800 million to deal with the CPS budget crisis. (See "Huberman Calls Emergency Board Meeting")

CORE has achieved what it set out what to do, and congratulations. It caught the car. Now what?


Saturday, June 5, 2010

New core standards

Some links regarding the new national "common core standards":

New York Times article: "States Receive a Reading List: New Standards for Education" (6/2/10)

The Common Core Standards

The Math Common Core Standards

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and other math teacher organizations support the math standards.

Ron Huberman signed a letter along with heads of many other school districts supporting the core standards and urging their adoption.

ISBE also supports the core standards. And since adoption of the core standards will add points to a state's Race to the Top application (see the NYT article), it is most likely just a matter of weeks before Illinois formalizes their adoption.