Tonight I’m moderating the Chicago Mayoral Forum on Education, sponsored by the Raise Your Hand Coalition, Northside Democracy for America and the Illinois Policy Institute. It starts at 7 p.m. at Walter Payton High School. The BGA gives a gold star to all the candidates who’ve agreed to debate funding, taxes, teachers and security. And we’ll give an A+ to all our readers and supporters who tune into our live stream of the debate tonight on our website. And in honor of tonight, I devote today’s What I’m Watching to education.
- Change agent. There isn’t a more important issue in the mayoral race than education, and the most comprehensive source of academic news is Catalyst Chicago. I recommend bookmarking their blog, Catalyst Notebook. Today’s post covers a just-released report that finds bad schools rarely improve or get shut down. And if you didn’t already see it, check out last month’s issue, which was devoted to the next mayor and setting an education agenda.
- “Should teachers be allowed to strike?” That’s the question WBEZ raises in a report on this week’s planned public hearing, where an Illinois House subcommittee will explore ways to limit the ability of teachers’ unions to strike.
- Refreshing reform run. Businessman Kurt Staelin tells Southtown Star columnist Phil Kadner that he’s running for a seat on the Bremen Township School Board so he can lead a campaign to abolish the board because it oversees NO schools and is useless.
- Goofy in Grayslake? Editorial in the Daily Herald takes school officials in Grayslake Elementary District 46 to task for using federal education dollars on pay raises for educators instead of school improvement programs or tax cuts for beleaguered homeowners.
- Memo to new mayor. Two hundred CPS students, all part of the Mikva Challenge, a non-profit civic leadership program that encourages underserved Chicago high schoolers to participate in the political process, said safety is the number one issue they want the new mayor to address. DearMayor.com features the students’ letters to Chicago’s next mayor.