New schools in the Loop, Academy to get $2.5 million

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LOOP SCHOOLS  Plans for three new high schools in the Loop are among the 20 proposals being considered under Renaissance 2010. Noble Street Charter School, which already operates seven college prep campuses, has identified a tentative site at 1 N. State St. The Center for Polytechnical Education, which operates Austin Polytechnical Academy (a small school in the Austin campus), wants to open a contract school that will give students technical and business training. The Chicago Transit Authority plans to back a performance school that will train students to work in the transportation industry. Partnerships with local businesses would provide every student with internships and job opportunities, according to those involved in planning the high schools. Design teams for the 20 new schools gave public pitches at a dozen community forums across the city. Schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan will make final recommendations on the proposals Oct.1. For schools that make the cut, public hearings will follow Oct. 4-11. The School Board is expected to vote on the proposals Oct. 22.

TURNAROUND GRANT  The board has said that it plans to open more turnaround schools under Renaissance 2010, and some of those schools are likely to be operated by the Academy for Urban School Leadership. The NewSchools Venture Fund, a San Francisco-based venture philanthropy group, will provide up to $2.5 million to AUSL to fund turnarounds. This year, AUSL launched turnarounds at Orr and two of its feeder elementary schools, following on the heels of turnarounds at Sherman and Harvard elementary schools.

MOVING IN, ON   Sylvia Ewing is the new deputy director of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. Ewing, a former producer for WTTW-Channel 11 and a producer/reporter for WBEZ-FM, was communications director for INCS in 2006.

AT CLARK STREET    Alicia Haller is the interim chief officer at the Office of Principal Preparation and Development, replacing Gail Ward, who retired in June. Haller, a one-time principal and teacher in Milwaukee, was senior program manager for the Chicago Campaign to Expand Community Schools, a donor collaborative housed at The Chicago Community Trust.

ELSEWHERE   In Mississippi, parents and the rest of the public would be able to check details about teacher qualifications online under a proposal being considered by the state’s Department of Education, according to the Sept. 18 Hattiesburg American. The proposal would put copies of teacher’s licenses on the Web, with information including the type of degree a teacher holds and the subjects he or she is certified to teach. Personal information, such as home addresses, would not be included. …In New York City, teachers at 89 middle and elementary schools will share bonuses of $1,500 to $3,000 each under the district’s $14.2 million performance pay program, according to the Sept. 19 New York Times. The bonuses are based on the progress schools have made toward achievement targets set by the district. A dozen principals at the schools received bonuses of $25,000.