Category Archives: Schooling

Common Core Standards: To Know Them is not to Love Them

Diane Ravitch's blog

Politico reports on the opinion poll conducted by the rightwing journal Education Next:

“COMMON CORE WAR MELLOWING?: Support for the Common Core standards is dropping, but it’s not in a freefall. In fact, it might even be stabilizing. Education Next’s new annual survey [ ] released with the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard Kennedy School shows overall support slipped this year, falling four percentage points to 49 percent. A year earlier, however, support fell 12 points in one year. The survey has two more key takeaways on Common Core: Democrats over Republicans favor the standards (by a 57 percent to 37 percent margin), and the standards are becoming less popular with teachers. (Seventy-six percent of teachers in 2013 said they support the standards compared to 40 percent this year).”

To read the Education Next report, go here.

The big story here is the dramatic decline in…

View original post 91 more words

School days, school days . . .

My friend Jack Spatafora talks up the end of summer in an e-blast:

Remember when schools opened the day after Labor Day…? No longer. Another tradition iced. Instead, these once-languid days of August are now witnessing a clutter of school and college openings. And with them, the unofficial start of a new year.
You can feel it in the air as parents and children change their rhythms…faculties gear up….local retailers stock up
…and the city’s mood segues from relaxing to striving. If you look really close, Chicagoland is becoming a giant mural you can actually study in live-action.
Starting with the pre-school kids out there eyeing their siblings bus off to the grand mystery known as the classroom…then the sibs themselves, conflicted between reluctance and anticipation…along with those traffic guards grand-parenting their wards along the way….and don’t forget the faculties waiting in a local school or somewhere in a distant campus.
This is a living mural of a living population gearing up for a whoosh of events hurtling us toward that distant trio of Fall/Winter holidays now almost in sight. It’s something like waking up in a time warp, for before you and those youngsters quite realized, it has made its imperative entrance.
True, there is an entire aura of politics, terrorists, and globalists hovering over everything else. However for now, for August, for Chicago, this is the world that counts most. Kids — yours and mine — filling the mural with yet another new year’s burst of dreams and dreads.
Watching them, we have to hope [and help] those dreams beat out those dreads….
. . . Happy golden-rule days . . .

Who Is Morally Obliged to Pay to Level the Playing Field?

Asked to pony up to make things fair? Look out.

A sure sign that someone is making an argument for a policy that will unjustly pick the pockets of consumers in order to artificially and unjustly inflate the revenues of some producers is that person’s use of the term “level playing field.” This phrase is almost always a smiley-face mask for a plea for special privileges for certain producers. (I say “almost always,” although I honestly cannot recall a single instance of the phrase “level playing field” being used in any way other than the way I describe here. I could easily and truthfully drop the “almost.”)

My best example of that is, while quizzing possible school board candidates some years ago, hearing one man, a successful marketing entrepreneur with good instincts about how to deal with people, say uneven results ipso facto called for “leveling the playing field.” It had been leveled, but not enough, not until we got leveled or at least better results!

A Leo man is promoted to everlasting life

He is Robert L. Hylard, who cashed in at 86 and remained loyal to his school to the end.









Pat Hickey tells us about him.

He was

the Kid from VIZ [Visitation parish, 55th Street] who played in Leo’s Marching Band for four years, wrote for and helped edited the school news paper the Oriole, ‘trod the boards’ in every Leo Dramatic production from junior year on, and played lightweight football on the cinders and broken beer bottle glass of Shewbridge Field – the iconic home to Leo High School football, now Amos Alonzo Stagg Elementary.

He is remembered with affection.

The young African American, Mexican and Canaryville Irish kids who now attend Mr. Hylard’s Alma Mater knew him well. Bob Hylard made all of the football home games, most of the away and every Leo High School event that showcased the talents and skills of our young men a huge mark on his calendar.

Leo remains a boys’ school, vigorously supported and operated by its mostly (S. Side) Irishers, a haven of excellence in a rough neighborhood.

More about Leo here.

Ride the South Side with Leo HS pride and Clyde: a Hickey report

Leo HS Morning 2/11/2014 -I Ride With Pride and Clyde By My Side!


I am blessed with a great life and the opportunity to work for Leo High School. I get to Leo at about 4:45 most days and start the boilers, do some paper work and get the one of the vans ready to pick up between seven and nine guys participating in early morning activities.

My crew is usually Cyde, Chris, TJ, Mick, Joe, Latrell, Caleb, Gaylon, and Sydney. I begin in Englewood at 74th & Normal, go to Grand Crossing at 66th & King Drive, take that beautiful, historic and inspiring Boulevard north to 35th and Dunkin Donuts!

For more more more . . . Take it away, Hickey . . .

Union-run charter school failing

So why are those people smiling?

Gotham Schools reports:

seven years into its existence, the nation’s first union-run school is one of the lowest-performing schools in the city. Fewer than a third of students are reading on grade level, and the math proficiency rate among eighth-graders is less than half the city average….

The United Federation of Teachers, which runs the school under a charter, appears pleased, though.

“I go to that school and I’m very, very happy with what we see,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said last week. “The parents are great, the teachers are doing a good job. We are very happy.”

It’s defining success down.

%d bloggers like this: