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Independent reporting on urban education since 1990 2016-06-23T14:24:38Z
Updated: 48 min 55 sec ago

Biggest charter networks given more flexibility to fill open seats

April 28, 2016 - 2:13pm
The city's three largest charter networks were given flexibility to move open seats among their networks, making it easier to fill slots at campuses with space. Critics say the decision will further hurt struggling neighborhood schools.

As principals association prepares to elect a new leader, LaRaviere vows to stay in the race

April 28, 2016 - 2:07pm
Embattled Blaine Elementary Principal Troy LaRaviere will face retired Prosser Career Academy Principal Kenneth Hunter in next month's elections for president of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. Ballots go out next week and will be counted on May 20.

Take 5: Contingency plans for strike, affording college, big loans, lead tests

April 28, 2016 - 12:27pm
If teachers go on strike in May, Chicago Public Schools officials say they'd cancel final exams, but still hold graduations. Union officials say it's likely teachers won't walk out until September. Meanwhile, the city announced it would begin testing for lead for the first time in a small number of schools.

Mix-up in poverty counts puts school budgets in jeopardy

April 27, 2016 - 2:09pm
Chicago Public Schools officials can’t explain a sharp drop in the number of low-income students this year. Principals got an email warning that they could lose out on money if undercounts are not corrected.

The 40-year war for fair school funding

April 24, 2016 - 6:00am
When it comes to funding schools fairly statewide, Illinois consistently ranks at or near the bottom of the barrel nationally. After more than 40 years of trying, real change remains a long shot.

Walton Foundation stops funding Chicago charters

April 22, 2016 - 6:45am
As the political climate makes charter schools a tougher sell, the Walton Family Foundation decides that Chicago is no longer one of its “priority cities” slated to get millions to help open new charters.

Take 5: Contract talks, school arrests, questions on lead in CPS water, money woes in community college

April 21, 2016 - 12:54pm
School arrests are down, a change that Chicago Public Schools attributes to a shift toward restorative practices like peace circles. Meanwhile, the district made a pitch to the Chicago Teachers Union to enter binding arbitration in lieu of a strike, a request the union quickly dismissed as a "publicity stunt."

CTU, CPS will head back to the bargaining table, but are more budget cuts coming?

April 18, 2016 - 3:21pm
Officials from the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools are heading back to the bargaining table just days after a third-party fact-finder issued a report largely siding with the district. CTU President Karen Lewis says it's not definite teachers will strike, and if they do whether they'll walk out this spring or next school year.

In teacher contract talks, fact-finder’s report due this weekend

April 15, 2016 - 2:47pm
The third-party fact-finder brought in to help settle contract negotiations between the Chicago Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union is expected to issue his recommendations on Saturday.

Take 5: LSC elections, college attainment, Rauner’s cuts, neighborhood schools coalition

April 14, 2016 - 11:08am
A handful of community groups recruited and promoted local school council candidates with a shared “education justice” platform in the run up to this week's elections. Meanwhile, Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed a budget for the coming school year that would mean $74 million less in general state aid for Chicago Public Schools.

Better support for neighborhood high schools should be part of CPS strategy, say two reports

April 13, 2016 - 4:59pm
Two reports from Generation All and a Chicago Public Schools working group are calling for more support for neighborhood high schools and better long-term planning. The district plans to release an updated high school strategy by the end of the school year.

Online learning falls short without teacher-student interaction: study

April 11, 2016 - 12:09pm
Research out of Chicago finds that fewer students passed online credit recovery courses in algebra compared to students in traditional classes.

Using ‘innovation’ to get more children into early learning programs

April 8, 2016 - 3:10pm
Eleven communities across the state are testing out strategies to enroll more high-needs children in early learning programs. Some of the best ideas will be scaled up throughout Illinois. But the state’s budget crisis could hinder progress.

Take 5: School funding, DCFS overhaul, college goals, race and school expectations

April 7, 2016 - 11:48am
State Sen. Andy Manar has proposed a new version of a bill to shift more money to lower-income school districts. Plus: how DCFS plans an overhaul, why students are shifting their college sights out of state and how white and black teachers differ on their views of black students.

With no opposition, CTU cancels election and gives Lewis an automatic third term

April 7, 2016 - 10:04am
The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted to cancel the planned May elections, granting President Karen Lewis and her slate from the Caucus of Rank-and-file Educators an automatic re-election.

The new face of voc-ed

April 4, 2016 - 1:42pm
Twenty years ago, Paul Vallas began what became a trend: to favor preparation for college over preparation for a job. For example, he scheduled career training courses outside regular school hours. Today's voc-ed reform efforts center on connecting academics and career training.

Liveblog: April 1 CTU strike

April 1, 2016 - 5:00am
The Chicago Teachers Union's one-day strike begins at 6:30 a.m. today with educators picketing schools. We'll be updating this post throughout the day with dispatches from schools, demonstrations and the union's downtown rally.

CTU contract talks timeline

March 31, 2016 - 1:46pm
A running, interactive timeline tracks the key progress — and setbacks — in contract negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Board of Education, as well provides some historical context.

Take 5: April 1 strike, UNO spending, opt-out issues

March 31, 2016 - 11:58am
The Chicago Teachers Union is billing its one-day strike on Friday as part of a broader labor push for more state revenue to fund education and social services. Meanwhile, after a three-year battle, the Sun-Times obtained financial documents that show lavish spending by the former head of the United Neighborhood Organization.

Take 5: April 1 strike, bilingual ed, REACH

March 24, 2016 - 9:45am
The Chicago Teachers Union voted in favor of a one-day strike on April 1 over unfair labor practices. Meanwhile a former high-ranking CPS official criticized cuts to bilingual education.


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