A deal on legislation to make New York more competitive for Race to the Top dollars could finally come tonight.
Quick reminder: That would mean that the state’s cap on the number of charter schools allowed to open would rise to 460 from 200, and the teacher evaluation deal worked out by state officials and the union would become law. In return, New York might rake in $700 million in federal grants.
Then again, the deal might not come today at all. When asked what he meant by a note telling us that a deal could come “tonight,” Assemblyman Sam Hoyt of Buffalo sent the following Blackberry reply:
Lol. It is conceivable that tonight could be midnight or 10 a.m. Tmrw.
Nobody’s talking about exact sticking points in negotiations, which are mainly between Mayor Bloomberg (who enjoys support in the state Senate) and the city teachers union (which enjoys support in the Assembly). But presumably they’re similar to the ones raised in the last week of back-door negotiations. For more background on what Race to the Top is, read this.
Liz Benjamin has more on the details of when the Assembly and the Senate will actually do this (late tonight and tomorrow, respectively).
meet the candidates
These candidates are running for Detroit school board. Watch them introduce themselves.
The Chicago Police Department doesn’t adequately screen and train the officers it assigns to Chicago Public Schools, and their roles in schools are poorly defined, according to a sharply critical report released today by the Office of Inspector General Joseph Ferguson.
The report lists a litany of failings, including basic administration: There is no current agreement between the police department and the district governing the deployment of school resource officers, or SROs, and neither the schools nor the police even have a current list of the officers working in schools this year.
The inspector general’s report also mentions several sets of SRO resources and best practices created and endorsed by the federal government, then notes that Chicago hasn’t adopted any of them. “CPD’s current lack of guidance and structure for SROs amplifies community concerns and underscores the high probability that students are unnecessarily becoming involved in the criminal justice system, despite the availability of alternate solutions,” says the report.
Chalkbeat reported in August about incidents in which SROs used batons and tasers on students while intervening in routine disciplinary matters.
Scrutiny of SROs is nothing new, and is part of the broader CPD consent decree brokered this week between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. That agreement calls for better training and vetting of SROs, as well as a clearer delineation of their roles on campuses—including a prohibition against participating in routine school discipline — beginning with the 2019-20 school year.
But the report from Ferguson’s office says that the consent decree doesn’t go far enough. It chastises police for not pledging to include the community in the creation of its agreement with the school district, nor in the establishment of hiring guidelines; and for not creating a plan for evaluating SROs’ performance, among other recommendations. In addition, the report criticizes the police department for delaying the reforms until the 2019-20 school year. A draft of the inspector general’s report was given to the police department in early August in hopes that some of the issues could be resolved in time for the school year that began last week. The police department asked for an extension for its reply.