Rahm’s Education Town Hall 1/23 via Facebook

January 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm 21 comments

Here’s an opportunity to submit education questions to the Mayor and a potentially cool feature is that people can vote on the questions (and ostensibly the questions with the most votes will be “answered” during the meeting.)

Honestly, I get weary looking at the list submitted already — so many topics, all of which are very very important to certain people.

As a data person, I know that there is research to support basically anything you want related to education and I’m certain the mayor will have some good research-backed rationale for his decisions.

Since CPS was nice enough to send me this info, I’ll refrain from commenting on my level of enthusiasm for more “submit-your-questions” education sessions.  Maybe we’ll be surprised and hear something that gives us the big “ah-hah” moment into understanding some of the changes coming down the pike.

Oops, I think I just commented.

In any case, the site was just put up live today, so now is a good time to submit your questions.  Also, keep visiting to vote on the questions you want to hear about.

As I read through it, I realize that I can pretty much anticipate how each question is going to be answered by the mayor.   Can you?

From CPS:

Wanted to let you know about an exciting event taking place on 1/23: Mayor Emanuel will be holding a live townhall about education in Chicago. He’ll be answering questions submitted and voted by Chicagoans online – check out the AskChicago website (which just launched a few minutes ago), http://www.askchicago.org/. Anyone can add a question for the Mayor, comment on a question, or vote for a question that they think is important.

Since it just launched, the forum is empty right now… Which means the Mayor needs you and your readers to help fill it up with questions about the most important education issues facing Chicago, from parental involvement to early childhood to the longer school day. Could you let your readers know that the Mayor wants their questions? Point ‘em to http://www.askchicago.org/


CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that he will be holding a second live Facebook Town Hall meeting with Chicagoans, centered around a conversation on education, on January 23 at 6:30 PM; leading up to the event the public is encouraged to submit education-related questions and vote for questions to ask the Mayor at www.AskChicago.org. The town hall can be viewed at www.facebook.com/chicagomayorsoffice or www.livestream.com/chicagomayorsoffice. This past June, Mayor Emanuel became the first sitting mayor of a major city to hold a live online chat in which questions were submitted and ranked by the public.

“In our first live Facebook Town Hall and during the 2012 budgeting process, we saw Chicagoans come together in a conversation about issues facing residents across the city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This second Town Hall is part of my commitment to creating a more transparent and engaged government that not only listens to the voices of the people, but also responds.”

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

QuestChicago update and some other stuff… SE High School Enrollment by Elementary School *exclusive data!

21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. I'mTheOneWhoWrotetheLetter  |  January 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    What’s messed up about the questions posted so far is that they are just angry people who want to yell at the mayor and so are turning their opinions into question form. The questions are not really helpful or thought provoking as much as accusatory and inflammatory such as, “Why do you hate teachers?” and “Why don’t you listen to parents?”

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  January 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I totally agree. And I think that’s why I have a hard time listening to the monthly JCB broadcast on WBEZ. The questions are so narrow in focus. I appreciate that people care deeply about their own stuff and have no other way to get questions answered. But the CEO is on one hour a month! Let’s get to the heart of some serious issues.
    Who knows, maybe any question I have would bore other people as well, which is why I have trouble thinking of any.
    And when I met JCB, my “question” was also really a complaint in disguise “what is cps doing about the lack of acceptable high schools for kids who don’t get into SE schools!?!”
    Which of course I my own personal issue…….

    I hope this “voting for the questions” process works efficiently.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 3. anonymous  |  January 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I would still like to know where the money is going to come from to fund this longer day. Any reasonable person understands you can’t go from having 4, 40 minute “specials” each week to 5, 60 minute specials each week without hiring, at minimum one additional teacher per school. (and that’s for a school of 500 kids) So, I estimated the total cost of certified staff to be about an additional 100 million dollars (salaries and benefits). That doesn’t include the additional staff that will be required to help supervise a longer lunch and recess time, the additional playgrounds needing to be built and the additional curriculum/books/supplies that will have to be ordered to add instruction. From what revenue stream is Chicago drawing upon to pay for this?

  • 4. TwinMom  |  January 13, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    …and all the extra expense of re-doing IEPs if/when there’s a longer school day (new meetings, longer special ed teacher hours, etc.). My kids don’t have IEPs, but when I heard that the longer school day would require re-doing all the plans and increasing special ed teacher hours, it just sounded like one huge expensive headache (to add to the huge pile of huge expensive things you listed re: the “fuller day”).

    Speaking of “fuller” day: I would (jokingly, of course) love to ask JCB and/or Rahm for the name of their propaganda people, because some of the letters being sent home to CPS parents (and the press releases, and the FB posts) are downright brilliant in their ability to “spin” things and use statistics in interesting ways.

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  January 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I’m with you. As a person who makes my living doing research I can see their spin on the data so readily.
    I think part of the problem is that education is in many ways more art than science (or at least 50/50) and that means that the research isn’t cut and dried.
    Just like you can’t prove what makes a good piece of art, it’s hard to prove what makes a school, teacher, or administration successful.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 6. Anon.  |  January 14, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I heard that Resolute Consulting and Jasculca Termin do a lot of pr work for the mayor. Resolute is headed by a former chief of staff for Daley..

  • 7. Anon.  |  January 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Alexander Russo said 2 days, 10 hours ago

    “Intrepid Chicago reporter Megan Cottrell just scored a binding opinion against CPS over their FOIA refusals http://ow.ly/8quxg – can’t wait to see what they give her, finally.”

    (More transparency at work.)

  • 8. anonymous  |  January 14, 2012 at 10:53 am

    #4, that’s funny. Our school was told that IEP’s would not change. We were informed that sped teachers would be doing more RTI work and small groups. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if sped kids were to get extra minutes.(actually, then maybe they’d be getting the legal minutes they are entitled to instead of the “we say we’re giving minutes, we’re documenting those minutes, but in truth, they aren’t being delivered” nonsense that happens now) In fact, nothing would surprise me anymore. I am totally jaded.

  • 9. HS Mom (formerly cps Mom)  |  January 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    @4 – all IEP’s and 504’s are reevaluated annually and the plan may or may not change. This already exists. IEP students are integrated into the regular program and don’t always have a pull out service with a specialist.

  • 10. royce76  |  January 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    What are the metrics for closing a school and/or firing the whole staff and re-staffing them?

    How can we have more charter schools that are at least 30% white?

    What is being done to bring the SE High Schools south of 290 into the preference level of affluent, north side families?

  • 11. another cps mom  |  January 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    “IEP students are integrated into the regular program and don’t always have a pull out service with a specialist.”

    Still, students with an IEP might have sped minutes that are to be delivered in the general classroom. However, throughout CPS, this minutes are reported as delivered although they are not, in fact, delivered. It’s basically a lie. So, really, what will the longer day mean for these students?

  • 12. RL Julia  |  January 16, 2012 at 9:31 am

    In regards to the longer school day stuff – I’d love to know the timeline for approval/implementation. I think we all get that this is a much needed initiative that is going to be used as a total union busting moment. I’d prefer not to start next year in a teacher’s strike. Also, while most elementary schools seem to be cautiously enthusiastic about the longer school day, most high schools seem to be decidedly not so. Any chance of a split?

    My other questions would be about CPS’s lack of a coherent plan/strategy on a curriculum for bi-linguage/ESL students and of course the problem associated with updating all those IEPs. For kids with f/t aids and etc… rti isn’t going to be enough, the aid has to be written in for the additional minutes.

  • 13. anonymous  |  January 16, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I can’t speak to all elementary schools, but while the school I teach in (elementary) is largely in favor of a longer school day, the teachers are not in favor of a 105 minute extension. We understand that we have no choice in the matter. But when all voting members were polled, every single teacher in my building said they’d vote to strike if a pay raise wasn’t given equal to the percentage of time increase. Not saying that is right or wrong, but that was the result of one informal poll. We all know there will be no 10-15% pay increase. I am not sure a strike is as impossible as some people would like to imagine.

  • 14. RLJulia  |  January 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Anonymous – I totally agree. I think that a strike it highly likely. I am so disappointed as a parent, Chicago resident and LSC member at how the central office is trying to manipulate all the players against one another over this – as if implementing a longer school day isn’t a difficult enough task as it is!

    Because of this, I really wonder if all the planning schools are being asked to do around this longer school day won’t ultimately be in vain when the union doesn’t agree to it without the pay increase that the CPS system/State/Title 1 etc…. can’t afford to grant. There is such potential for so many different parties to feel bad about this. I know that personally, I agree with the teachers and support their desire to pursue the extra pay they are asking for – I suspect many people feel this way but I also know that if there is a strike, that the 10% unemployment rate in Chicago, the level of uncertainty that a strike creates, the disruption in the school year etc… isn’t going to make anyone thrilled with either the teacher’s union or CPS.

  • 15. anonymous  |  January 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Yes, it is going to get really ugly. I am not looking forward to it.

  • 16. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Have people had luck registering or signing in to askchicago to ask a question? I tried registering right away and didn’t get a verification email. Today I tried signing in through my email account and again nothing.

  • 17. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I am assuming other people are having the same problem with there being only 36 questions so far.

  • 18. goingtogermany0693  |  January 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    @13 Anonymous

    Maybe the parents can go on strike and refuse to send their children to school unless this is a well thought out and appropriate plan for all children.

  • 19. chicago mayor's office  |  January 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    So many thoughtful questions on this thread so far. Remember to also post them at http://askchicago.org as the Mayor will answer top questions from the website, and tune in on Monday for the Town Hall.

  • 20. IB&RGC Mom  |  January 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    @19 I am not getting an email from askchicago to validate my registration. Is there a problem? I would think there would be even more postings considering how strongly we all feel about our children’s education.

  • 21. cpsobsessed  |  January 20, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I saw people on the lincoln elem mention the sign-up problem but not sure if it was resolved. Mine took 2 tries to get the validation email.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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