Tag Archives: Chicago Public Schools

Posting the 2014-2015 Chicago Public Schools Testing Calendar here

CPS SY15 Assessment calendar-district schools

Hard to access unless you’re an employee.

Includes: REACh performance tasks, NWEA, TRC+, dibels, mClass, Math, IDEL, ACCESS, PARCC, Explore, Plan, ACT (EPAs), ACCESS, NEAP, DLM + STAR, COMPASS, IB, &  AP exams.

Parents in Chicago Occupy their School and win a Stakeholder Meeting

Congratulations to the parents of students at Brian Piccolo Elementary  School in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago.  

I have a feeling we will see more #OccupyOurSchools in our city and across the nation as the fight to reclaim our public schools grows.

While you plan your occupation, please join Parents Across America in national conference call on education reform on Monday Feb 20th.  Call in is at 8pm Eastern.  

Conference Dial-in Number: (424) 203-8075 

 Participant Access Code: 1037540#


Declaration #1 from Piccolo occupation

11:49pm – February 17th, 2012

We, the Piccolo Occupation, are putting our childrens’ education

first. Piccolo has failed because CPS has refused to invest in public

education. The school has struggled for years but you have taken out

all the programs, classes and opportunities to learn. We have had 3

principals in the last five years.We have not been able to work with

anyone on a long-term basis to address the chronic disinvestment in

our school. CPS and City Hall have failed us and our children. Your

goal is to privatize the education system by giving it to corporations

that support the mayor. We have been ignored, you have ignored our

children and now you are trying to make money off of them.

The Chicago Public Schools is in violation of its own remediation and

probation policy. CPS is in violation of the Illinois School Code and

the Illinois Civil Rights Act. CPS is in violation of Illinois Senate

Bill 630. Because of this, a moratorium has been introduced in the

Illinois Legislative Assembly by the School Facilities Taskforce. We

are enacting our moratorium for ourselves with this sit-in do to the

fact that CPS not once has laid out the necessary corrective action

for Brian Piccolo or Paolo Cassals along with the Local School

Councils for getting them off of probation during the last five years.

The School Improvement Plans for Academic Achievement (SIPAA) at these

two schools have lacked the budgetary resources to bridge the

achievement gap of our student populations. Furhter, the SIPAAs along

with the budgets at the time of their signings have not had real

community input. Therefor, these actions could very well be civil

rights violations. At the recent CPS hearings, the former principle of

Cassals testified that not once in the last five years had CPS met

with her nor with the LSC about any of the necessary corrective action

for Paola Cassals to be removed off of probation.

Because CPS has been not willing to meet with or listen to us, this is

what we want:

1) A meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel

2) A meeting with at least five of the Chicago School Board members present

3) The removal of Piccolo and Cassals from the turnaround list

A Letter to Marquette Elementary School Teachers from a Former Colleague

Recently I visited a teacher friend of mine who used to work at Marquette Elementary School on the southwest side of Chicago.  Upon hearing the news that Marquette was to be turned around by AUSL, she felt compelled to write the following letter.



On Behalf of my Former Colleagues at Marquette Elementary,

            I am a 2001 graduate of CPS, and Marquette Elementary was my introduction to teaching in the Chicago Public School system. In my time there, the most inspiring and helpful people were my fellow teachers. CPS’s decision to turnaround this school belittles and dismisses the fact that the faculty there is a hardworking and dedicated group and ignores the true needs of the community.

            While there, I was surrounded by colleagues who arrived early and left late. Colleagues who used their own money to help their students be successful in class. Colleagues who visited students’ homes to help build better relationships with students, parents and the community. I was always encouraged to search for and continue my professional development.  My colleagues  taught me how to use data to plan engaging and responsive lessons, as well as how to keep working in spite of the overwhelming odds against my students and by extension, myself.

            If it hadn’t been for my colleagues, I wouldn’t have learned how to deal with an often demeaning administration or how to meet the area office requirements (which often had more to do with how my classroom looked physically, rather than how it operated as a learning environment).

            By turning around Marquette, CPS is getting rid of its most valuable assets in the community: the teachers who have built bonds and an understanding of the problems Marquette students face every day.  They do not sit in an office and make policies based solely on numbers; they see the actual students affected by those numbers and policies.

            Dismissing the faculty also validates the -politically valuable and acceptable, but completely inaccurate- idea that if a school is performing poorly, those to blame must be the teachers.  Yet, CPS has failed to acknowledge that at Marquette, poverty and violence make education secondary to survival.

            Closing this school, dismissing its teachers and making it harder for students in the community to get to their place of education will only make things more difficult for every student affected.  CPS must look beyond the numbers at the real people and children whom your policies are supposed to be helping.

-Mariana S.

Spanish teacher