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Performance Incentives Announced for Chicago Principals

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

On Monday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials announced the formation of the Chicago Leadership Collaborative (CLC), a principal training and support program designed to ensure that every school has a highly effective leader who can drive the change needed to improve student achievement and graduate every student college and career ready.

“Ensuring every child has a world-class education is a top priority for my administration, and making sure we have the best possible school leaders is key to our children’s success,” said Mayor Emanuel at Genevieve Melody Elementary School, in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. “The Chicago Leadership Collaborative will train effective principals who are ready to lead from day one and reward those who excel.”

The district needs to significantly increase the number of highly skilled, highly effective principals in order to transform underperforming schools effectively.

“We need to give aspiring principals the hands-on training that will accelerate their experience and prepare them to do the job well from day one. And we need to prepare them for the unique challenges of our district in order to ensure that they are ready to lead change within their schools and boost student achievement,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.

CLC will recruit, train, support and retain effective principals, creating a pipeline of highly qualified and high skilled leaders to meet the district’s growing needs. Under the new program, CPS will triple the number of residency program seats available to aspiring school leaders from 32 to 100.

Nearly 75 percent of current CPS principals come from within the CPS system and the mission of CLC is to provide them not only with real-world training, but also mentoring and development to help them be successful.

“Chicago’s investment in training and supporting outstanding school leaders is smart, timely and cost effective,” said Timothy Knowles, John Dewey Director of the Urban Education Institute at the University of Chicago. “Without an effective school leader in every Chicago Public School, children suffer. With strong leaders, parents and community are engaged, teachers get the support they need and children flourish.”

The Chicago Leadership Collaborative will be owned and operated by CPS. CLC will be led by Steven Gering, an experienced former principal and district leader, in the newly created role of Chief of Leadership Development. An advisory board of national and local experts will also provide input as the new program rolls out. CPS will fund the $10 million program through a combination of philanthropic donations, grants and operational funding. To date, commitments adding to $5 million have been secured from Chicago’s philanthropic community.

Jean-Claude Brizard

“Our principals must understand how to support and mentor their teachers in order to help them significantly improve student academic success. The best gift we can give a child is a great teacher and the best gift we can give a teacher is a great principal,” Brizard said.

In addition, Mayor Emanuel and CEO Brizard announced that beginning this year, CPS will be recognizing and rewarding high performing principals by offering incentives tied to the principal performance contract. Once implemented, it will be the most comprehensive program of its kind in the nation. As part of this initiative, CPS is drafting performance metrics in the coming weeks by which to gauge principal performance.

The principal performance contract will be based on student growth toward becoming college and career ready upon graduation. CEO Brizard has been meeting with principals over the summer as part of his listening tour to gather input and insight from them around the performance contract and other issues impacting their schools. Over the next month, a new principal performance contract will be developed in consultation with the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA).

“From training to pay, we will make today’s leaders the best so they can help our children succeed. Our end goal is to improve student achievement by giving our new principals the tools they need to succeed and supporting our existing principals in ways that help them improve student performance year after year,” Emanuel said.

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Weekend Events Around Town: 8/12 – 8/14

Need some ideas for what to do this weekend? Chicago Tonight knows what is going on!

Baby Wants Candy: The Rock Musical at Apollo Theater
Musical theater and improv combine in Baby Wants Candy: The Rock Musical. An Apollo Theater staple, Baby Wants Candy is the world’s premier musical improvisational theater company. The group began in Chicago, but now has performed over 1,700 different shows in theaters from Edinburgh to Singapore since 1997. Each performance begins with an audience suggestion for a title, after which follows an hour-long, one act original musical. Admission is $15.

Apollo Theater
2540 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Friday, August 12: 10:30 pm

Built Festival
Part festival, part art initiative—at Built Festival, artists construct a city out of shipping containers. These containers will then be given out as venues to artists and curators. Over 100 artists, projects, exhibitions and performances will be at the festival, all focusing on the theme of urban culture. Beat Kitchen and PBR + Old Style will provide food, and live bands such as The Black Tape and White Mystery will also perform. The festival is this Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $10.

1767 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Friday, August 12: 5:00 pm- 10:30 pm
Saturday, August 13: 12:00 pm- 10:30 pm

Chicago SummerDance Festival
Strap on your dancing shoes and enjoy the remaining summer nights at Chicago SummerDance Festival. A Chicago tradition for the past 15 years, SummerDance provides Chicagoans with live music and a chance to dance outdoors. Friday features “The Golden Voice of Belgium” Samba Django while Kimosha P. Murphy will provide free Senegalese Dance Lessons. On Saturday, learn the Traditional Eskista Shoulder Dance and other styles—particularly from the clubs of 1970s Ethiopia—with dance lessons by Fendika and Ethio-Funk music by Debo Band. Round off the weekend on Sunday with East Coast Swing, taught by Margot Toppen and Riley Wimes Jr. to the sounds of Vintage Ballroom music by the John Burnett Orchestra. SummerDance runs Friday through Sunday. Admission and lessons are free.

Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park
601 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
Friday, August 12 & Saturday, August 13: 6:00 pm- 9:30 pm
Sunday, August 14: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Edgar Miller at ArchiTech Gallery
Edgar Miller transformed Chicago houses with his handmade stained glass, wood carvings, paintings and more. This commercial exhibit displays and sells many of Miller’s designs created while working for Iannelli Studios. Items include Marshall Field advertisements, cosmetic packaging logos, stained glass window cartoons and Vaudeville poster ideas. Despite the range, all of these items have the signature Miller touch, and provide insight to the beginnings of Miller’s professional life. The exhibit runs Friday through Saturday.

ArchiTech Gallery
730 N. Franklin St., Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60654
Friday, August 12 & Saturday, August 13: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The Interrupters
Director Steve James and author Alex Kotlowitz release their new film, The Interrupters (2011), this weekend. The documentary details a year in the lives of three Violence Interrupters as they work to stop Chicagoans from engaging in violence as they once did themselves. Ameena Matthews, daughter of gang leader Jeff Fort, Cobe Williams, a former prisoner whose father was murdered, and Eddie Bocanegra, who committed a murder himself at 17, all work for CeaseFire. Gary Slutkin founded the organization with the belief that the only way to stop violence was to go to its source. The Interrupters program—created and run by Tio Hardiman—seeks to do just that by defusing violence on the streets. Catch the Chicago premiere Friday through Sunday for $11.

The Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Friday, August 12: 5:30 pm & 8:15 pm
Saturday, August 13: 2:30 pm, 5:15 pm, & 8:00 pm
Sunday, August 14: 2:30 pm & 5:15 pm

Uta Barth at The Art Institute of Chicago
Photographer Uta Barth looks at not the what but the how of photography, focusing on the process itself instead of the subject. Specifically, her work explores the differences between the eye and the lens and the accidental transformation of the incidental and atmospheric to the primary subject of a photo. Barth’s latest series—…and to draw a bright white line with light—is currently at The Art Institute of Chicago. In it, she zooms in on tiny details in domestic settings, creating somewhat abstract and effervescent images. The exhibit runs Friday through Sunday, and adult admission is $18.

The Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603-6404
Friday, August 12, Saturday, August 13 & Sunday, August 14: 10:30 pm – 5:00 pm

We Live Here by Theater Seven
According to Nelson Algren, loving Chicago is like “loving a woman with a broken nose.” In a new show at Theater Seven, eight local storytellers share their own take on what it means to live in and love Chicago. Each cast member tells an autobiographical story from his or her life by the lake. In between their stories, the show uses video interviews with three dozen Chicagoans and the El train itself to continue defining Chicago from different perspectives. The play is Friday through Sunday, and admission is $15 to $25.

The Greenhouse Theater Center
Upstairs Mainstage
2257 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
Friday, August 12 & Saturday, August 13: 8:00 pm
Sunday, August 14: 3:00 pm

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Ragdale

In 1976, Ragdale officially became a nonprofit artists’ community and retreat, but the site has been home to artists since it was built by Arts and Crafts architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1897. On Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm, we take a look at Ragdale under renovation to see what’s in store for its future.

Shaw originally built Ragdale as a summer home in Lake Forest, Illinois. However, the architect wasn’t the only artist in the family, and with its edenic, prairie setting Ragdale soon became a haven for all kinds of artists. In 1976, Alice Hudson Hayes—Shaw’s granddaughter—made Ragdale an official artists’ retreat by establishing the Ragdale Foundation. Ragdale is now a nonprofit artists’ community.

To view a slideshow of historic Ragdale, click on the image below.

Historic Ragdale

Click image to view photo gallery

Since 1976, Ragdale has grown into a full-fledged retreat with seven full-time staff members as well as two part-time employees, interns, volunteers and more. Over 200 artists are in residence each year, in disciplines ranging from writing and painting to music composition and dance. Ragdale’s philosophy is that time and space are necessary to create important new work. Residences can last anywhere from two to six weeks, during which artists can focus solely on their work.

“At Ragdale, I can fully enter the dream of my own work,” declared poet Robin Behn. “I don’t just write more here; I write more wildly, like the prairie itself.”

In addition to hosting artists, Ragdale also provides programs for the public, such as workshops, readings and open studios. Tours of the buildings and grounds are also available.

“Ragdale is true to the vision of Howard and Frances Shaw, which is a vital, living commitment to the creation of new artwork,” said Executive Director Susan Tillett. “I think that is extremely valuable to any community. It is certainly a source of pride and identity for Lake Forest.”

On March 16, 2010, Ragdale announced plans to renovate Ragdale House. The $3 million project—“Operation Renovation”—should take over a year, and began on March 20, 2011.

To view a slideshow of Ragdale under renovation, click on the image below.

Ragdale Under Renovation

Click image to view photo gallery

Health and safety concerns—largely due to the House’s age and original intention as only a summer residence—are among the primary motivators for the renovation. Consequently, the electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems will all be updated.

“The plan is to also include geothermal heating and to increase electrical service to the residents,” said Vice President of Ragdale’s Board of Trustees Roland Kulla.

Artists will continue to reside at Ragdale despite the construction. With five less rooms available, Ragdale will host eight artists at a time.

“The renovation will make the Ragdale House safe and comfortable for future generations of writers and artists,” said Tillett. “This building, which so many artists consider the home of their creative spirit, will be preserved in a way that we trust the muse will still be happy to live here and visit the residents working on the great American novel, screenplay and poem!”

View a timeline of Ragdale through the ages below.

To learn more about Ragdale’s residencies, click here.

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“The Interrupters”

The Interrupters is a new documentary about the fight against violence on Chicago streets. Director/producer Steve James and author-turned-producer Alex Kotlowitz, whose original article inspired the film, join us on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm, along with one of the Violence Interrupters. The film follows a year in the life of the city of Chicago as it deals with the issue of urban violence.

Watch the Trailer for The Interrupters below:

YouTube Preview Image

At the heart of the story are three Violence Interrupters who work for CeaseFire, a local organization whose guiding principle is that the spread of violence mimics the spread of infectious diseases, must be dealt using similar treatment: go after the most infected, and stop the infection at its source.

Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams and Eddie Bocanegra each have credibility on the streets because of their own personal histories.

Click on the image below to view a photo gallery.

The Interrupters

Click image to view photo gallery

The film follows these three Interrupters as they go about their work to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they themselves once employed.

In the following video clip from the film, Eddie conducts an art class in a Chicago charter school to help students deal with the violence in their community.

YouTube Preview Image

In the following video, Ameena speaks at the funeral of a young man who was shot and killed out of retaliation.

YouTube Preview Image

The Interrupters opens in Chicago on Friday, Aug. 12 at the Gene Siskel Film Center. For more information, visit the links below.

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