Can teachers’ union improve bad schools?
Chicago Teachers Union will run reform efforts at 10 low-performing schools — with only one year to show progress, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The union had criticized District CEO Arne Duncan for closing three failing schools last year. He told teachers to put up or shut up.
For some teachers, it’s the first time they’ve had a say in deciding their school’s fate.
“We’re actually planning this and deciding how to use the money–we’ve never done that before,” said Joseph Loisi, a teacher and union delegate at Richards High School in Englewood. “Teachers have really started buying in and feeling like they have a say.”
. . . By next June, the elementary schools must show improvement on state or local tests, and the high schools must improve on state exams, graduation rates or dropout rates.
Schools will use one of four programs: Success For All, Direct Instruction, The Comer Process and High Schools That Work. My guess is that elementary schools, most of which will try Success for All and Direct Instruction, will show some improvement. Making a difference at the high school level is much, much harder and the high school reform programs are a lot fuzzier.