Twitter Debate: CPS Data Cruncher Discusses CSJ-Area Class Sizes With Local Education Activists

By Mike Fourcher | Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jimm Dispensa, Senior Mgr of Business Optimization at CPS, who engaged in a three-hour Twitter discussion last night about CSJ-area classroom sizes. Photo from LinkedIn.

Last night, CPS’ top data cruncher, Jimm Dispensa, commented on Tuesday’s CSJ’s report on local school class sizes. Local education activists Josh Kalov, founder of Raise Your HandWendy KattenJill Wohl and Jean Marie Olson then started a discussion about neighborhood school class sizes with Dispensa that ended up lasting more than three hours.

The fascinating discussion, often in abbreviated Twitter-speak, quickly gets down to some of the realities of what drive local schools, like strong principals, school facilities and in-area vs. out-area neighborhood school populations. Dispensa, sometimes addressed specific school problems, such as Waters, Burley and Blaine Elementary Schools.

Here is that discussion.


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  • http://twitter.com/JMOChicago Jeanne Marie Olson

    I appreciated Jim Dispensa having a dialogue with us about the topic. It isn’t easy getting answers or clarity around the numbers that drive decision-making within CPS. Just the willingness to engage is commendable.

    • http://twitter.com/wjk1971 Wendy Katten

      I completely agree. Refreshing to actually engage in real dialogue with someone from CPS.

  • http://twitter.com/JMOChicago Jeanne Marie Olson

    Also, here is a guide to some of these abbreviations:

    cr = Classroom
    AP = Assistant Principal
    sf = Square feet
    rep = represent
    rec = recommended
    o/s = over-sized
    sib = sibling
    stu = student
    RGC = Regional Gifted Center
    hr = homeroom (this is the type of room used to calculate school capacity)
    tchng pstn = teaching position
    schls = schools
    b/c = because
    phys size = physical size
    out-area stu = out-of-area students are students accepted from outside of admissions area boundaries

    • miriam cohen

      awesome! thanks, jeanne.

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