Catalyst Chicago

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Independent reporting on urban education since 1990 2016-09-28T15:57:05Z
Updated: 2 hours 52 min ago

Undocumented students benefit most from free City Colleges program

September 28, 2016 - 10:45am
In its first year, the Chicago Star Scholarship was most helpful to public school students who didn’t qualify for federal financial aid.

Racial disparities worsen as juvenile imprisonment declines in Illinois

September 21, 2016 - 4:53pm
Over the past decade, Illinois has incarcerated fewer young people as the state seeks to reform its juvenile justice system and provide youth with more options for rehabilitation instead of prison. But the decline in young inmates has not led to significant savings in incarceration costs because the state hasn’t shut down prisons at a […]

Black graduation rate rises, but funding cuts jeopardize improvements

September 19, 2016 - 11:47am
High schools that enroll black and Latino students are making progress in raising graduation rates. But the gap between black and white students, especially males, remains wide.

Interactive map: Closed schools still burden distressed Chicago neighborhoods

September 14, 2016 - 3:17pm
Black neighborhoods with a legacy of disinvestment and segregation struggle to repurpose shuttered schools.

Financial aid barriers limit college access for undocumented youth

September 12, 2016 - 6:24am
Illinois offers in-state tuition, but that’s not enough to make college affordable for most undocumented students.

Blaming teachers not the way to resolve teacher contract talks

September 6, 2016 - 10:45am
Chicago teachers, even ambivalent union members like me, are finding champions in the teachers union, not in our district leaders, who have created a threatening atmosphere amid current contract talks.

Video: One year after hunger strike, Dyett High School opens

September 1, 2016 - 9:00am
Participants reflect on the impact of their 34-day hunger strike to save a neighborhood high school in Bronzeville.

In contract negotiations, let’s bring mentor teacher program into the discussion

August 3, 2016 - 11:54am
Having a mentor can help teachers improve and students learn more. CTU and CPS should compromise so that we invest more of our resources in this support throughout a teacher’s career, instead of waiting until a teacher is on the brink of failure.

The challenge of being a black principal in today’s racial and political climate

July 27, 2016 - 10:19am
I currently serve as the leader of an integrated middle school in a diverse community. Leaders can’t be afraid to have tough conversations about race and inequality.

Ban “the box” asking college applicants about criminal, school discipline records

July 19, 2016 - 4:30pm
Black and Latino young people are more likely to face discrimination in college admissions because many institutions ask about criminal records and school discipline--neither of which are race-neutral. Students are beginning to organize to "ban the box" on college applications.

The building blocks for digital learning

July 13, 2016 - 6:00am
Schools that have embraced technology in the classroom have much in common. But the one element that’s indispensable is cash.

A $27 million market

July 13, 2016 - 6:00am
CPS schools that bought ed tech products in 2015 spent an average of $30 per student, but the impact on achievement is still in question.

The question of tech equity

July 13, 2016 - 6:00am
Technology isn’t a silver bullet for learning, but schools can’t reap any benefit if they don’t have what’s needed to make the best use of it: fast internet, enough computers and trained teachers.

Closing the digital divide for all students

July 13, 2016 - 6:00am
A teacher and former Chicago Public Schools student says technology can be a game-changer for ‘young people who need opportunity the most.’

Moving the legacy forward

July 13, 2016 - 6:00am
When Catalyst Chicago went to press with this issue, lawmakers in Springfield had finally passed a stopgap budget that will let schools open in the fall, in Chicago and in other districts that had sounded the alarm about possible shutdowns. After a year-long stalemate, the temporary budget will allow the wheels of state government to continue turning for a time. But there’s no reason to breathe a sigh of relief, at least for longer than a few seconds.

Dual language programs to expand, but fears over money linger

July 7, 2016 - 1:53pm
Five elementary schools are starting programs that will teach children in both English and Spanish, an approach that has gained traction across the country. Community groups played a role in lobbying for the programs.

How a $1 million budget cut could cost CPS millions more

June 29, 2016 - 5:14pm
District officials said they were cutting costs last year by eliminating a tiny unit that helped poor families sign up for public benefits. But now the cash-strapped CPS could lose out on millions of dollars in state poverty grants, while thousands of children go without food and health insurance.

Social-emotional learning gains traction, but leaves out the neediest schools

June 26, 2016 - 3:00pm
Fro years, schools taught social-emotional learning on a piecemeal basis, but state and district policies have slowly moved to a more systemic approach. But low-income schools, where students could use the most support, have been largely left behind. Holding schools accountable for teaching these skills is tricky.

Take 5: Taking to the streets, LSCs speak out, reform in Mexico

June 22, 2016 - 4:58pm
Educators and community activists held demonstrations across the city and inside City Hall, calling for more school funding. Meanwhile, local school councils push their ideas for raising revenue and controversy over education reform in Mexico turns deadly.

Take 5: Court sides with charters, lead in water, fewer kids in summer school, segregation in NYC, homeless students

June 16, 2016 - 11:34am
Three charter schools can stay open despite the district’s move to shut them down, lead is found in the water at more schools, better reading scores mean fewer students in summer school.

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