Thoughts on preparing for the testing legislative hearing

  What’s behind the epidemic of inappropriate testing? I once shared a very interesting bus ride to the airport with the president of Riverside Publishing, who write the Iowa Tests, back when Paul Vallas was using the test as a grade promotion barrier. Shortly after our visit, Riverside decided to stop providing CPS with grade-equivalent … Read more

Testimony to the Senate Education Committee

Presented at the Illinois Senate Education Committee Subject Matter Hearing on Student Testing April 25, 2014 SB 2156 and SB 3460 (Cunningham) Good afternoon. My name is Julie Woestehoff and I am the Executive Director of Parents United for Responsible Education, or PURE, a 26 year old parent-based public school advocacy organization. For more than … Read more

Gated communities for already advantaged students

Today’s story by Chicago Sun-Times Watchdog reporters Tim Novak and Chris Fusco exposes the imbalance of white students in Chicago’s four north side selective enrollment high schools, and the fact that the disproportionate number of white students has become even more lopsided since the courts ended the Desegregation Consent Decree in 2009. Sun-Times figures show … Read more

Stupid PARCC Tricks

Tuesday night’s More Than a Score Forum was great. CPS parents Julie Fain, Chris Ball, and Sherise McDaniel, and teachers Michelle Strater Gunderson (CPS) and Paul Horton (U of Chicago Lab School), powerfully covered topics including testing and school closings, alternative assessment, opting out, and Common Core. Thanks also to Carolyn Brown who emceed. Chris’s … Read more

Can Alexa Play Musical Chairs

Alexa, can you play musical chairs? I’m not sure if that’s possible. Let me check. According to this article, Alexa can’t play musical chairs. It says here that Amazon’s Echo devices don’t support the game. However, there are some other games that you can ask Alexa to play. Yes, Alexa can play musical chairs. This … Read more

Do You Tip Birthday Party Entertainers

It’s your child’s birthday party and you want to make sure it’s extra special. You’ve hired a clown, magician or other professional entertainer to come perform for the kids. But when the party is over, do you tip them? It’s a common question with no easy answer. Let’s look at some of the factors to … Read more

How Much Should You Spend on Goody Bags

A goody bag is a small bag or container filled with treats, given to children at birthday parties or other events. Goody bags can range in price from a few dollars to over $100. So, how much should you spend on goody bags? There are a few factors to consider when deciding how much to … Read more

Do Both Parents Go to Birthday Parties

With busy schedules and hectic lives, it’s not always possible for both parents to attend their child’s birthday party. In some cases, one parent may have to work or take care of other obligations. If you’re the parent who can’t be there, don’t worry – your child will still have a great time. Here are … Read more

Can You Face Paint on Paper

Sure, you can face paint on paper, but why would you want to? Face painting is all about the fun of getting messy and having a good time. If you’re just looking to create a pretty picture, then painting on paper is probably your best bet. But if you’re looking to have some fun and … Read more