Blogs on Illinois

Blogs on IllinoisRSS
Anne OBrienDecember 16, 2011

As 2011 winds to a close, we are about to turn the page on a year that saw new evidence suggesting that the education reform policies du jour aren't really working. Most charter schools perform no better than traditional public schools (at least in Chicago); value-added modeling does not produce consistent, reliable measures of teacher effectiveness; and the school curriculum is narrowing, in part because of the pressures of state tests (according to teachers).

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Brian SimsJuly 22, 2011

Brian Sims is managing director of training academies at AUSL in Chicago. Betsy Haley Doyle co-authored this blog. She is a manager in The Bridgespan Group's education practice.

Last June, as principals and teachers from 14 Chicago public school "turnarounds," run by the nonprofit Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), gathered at the Academy's leadership summit, there was a moment when the room turned silent. A slide went up comparing the percentage of students achieving annual expected growth at each school to the average score for each school's teachers. The figures were based on a sophisticated teacher evaluation tool, the nationally recognized Danielson framework.

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Patrick DolanJune 30, 2011

Patrick Dolan has been a labor consultant for 35 years and is also the president of Dolan Group. Today, June 30, the National Education Association (NEA) is meeting in Chicago to engage in an open discussion of the policy statement presented in this post. They are scheduled to vote on it sometime between July 1 and July 3 at the convention.


It hasn't been an exactly pleasant year for the public sector unions, especially those representing public school teachers.  In Ohio, Florida, and (perhaps you've heard) Wisconsin, the attacks have been far from subtle.  But summer is in the air, so maybe it was time for Dennis Van Roekel, the president of the NEA, to take a risk and cannonball right into the deep end of his organization's policy.

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Claus von ZastrowApril 5, 2010

Editor's note: Anne O'Brien is our guest blogger today. She is a project director at the Learning First Alliance, a Teach for America alumna, and a former public school teacher in the greater New Orleans area.

Let's say a district mandates that all students take a college-preparatory curriculum in hopes of improving academic achievement and increasing college going and retention rates. The result? Not great. Why not?

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