CTU to lead 3-day march against closings

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The Chicago Teachers Union and other activist groups said Monday they would hold marches over three days to protest CPS’ plan to close 54 schools. The marches will begin Saturday in the South and West side neighborhoods where many schools are slated for closing and culminate in a rally Monday afternoon outside City Hall. (Tribune)

A DEMAND FOR EMANUEL: The chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus is demanding that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his handpicked school board follow hearing officers recommendations to keep open 13 of 54 Chicago Public Schools targeted for closing. (Sun-Times)

MATH AS PROBLEM SOLVER: Researchers expect a program that combines “math tutoring on steroids” with sports-based mentoring for troubled teens in Chicago to help reduce school misconduct, absenteeism and course failures. About 50 boys at Harper High School in Englewood have taken part in the program since the school year began in fall 2012. The MacArthur Foundation has committed $1 million to expanding the combination of math tutoring and the mentoring program, which is called Becoming a Man — Sports Edition, or BAM, which is run by a Chicago nonprofit agency called Youth Guidance. A private source has pledged another $1 million and additional funding is being sought. (Sun-Times)

UNO FUNDING: As the largest charter-school operator in Illinois, the United Neighborhood Organization depends largely on City Hall and Springfield. It also borrows money — from banks and on Wall Street — to pay its bills. Private fund-raising accounts for under 2 percent of UNO’s charter-school funding. Investors, including banks and Wall Street, which together are owed about $70 million. About $37.5 million of that came through the issuance of bonds in 2011. (Sun-Times)

CHALLENGING THE TEST SYSTEM: Timothy Anderson, a student leader with Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools and Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, explains why he boycotted the Prairie State test. “When the future of a school rests on its test scores, students like me get demoted or pushed out,” he writes. (Catalyst)

IN THE NATION
ALL TEACHERS FIRED, SCHOOLS CLOSED: Summer break has started very early for students in one Michigan school district. Buena Vista schools have been closed for five days already, and on Monday, the district’s website stated that the school would be closed until further notice. Buena Vista school district, which educates approximately 450 kids, is out of money. All the teachers have been laid off and a financial emergency has been declared. The district has suffered from declining enrollment that has led to a loss of $3 million in state funding since 2010. (Take Part)

OFF THE MAP: The Seattle School District will no longer require MAP tests at city public high schools, Superintendent José Banda announced Monday. Opponents of the test argued that it detracts from valuable classroom time, has little to do with instruction subject matter and are not taken seriously because students know they don’t affect their GPAs. (Central District News)