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Independent reporting on urban education since 1990 2016-02-09T22:26:59Z
Updated: 29 min 55 sec ago

Claypool proposes replacing pension ‘pickup’ with phased-in pay increases

December 15, 2015 - 4:51pm
Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool made the district’s latest contract offer public on Tuesday. CPS wants a four-year deal that phases out the so-called pension “pickup” but includes pay raises and a reduction in standardized testing, among other issues.

Chicago teachers overwhelmingly authorize a strike

December 14, 2015 - 12:45pm
The Chicago Teachers Union says 88 percent of its members voted in favor of authorizing a strike. Legally, the earliest a walkout can take place is late March.

1 in 10 CPS students a no show on PARCC

December 11, 2015 - 12:40pm
About one in 10 CPS students eligible to take the PARCC test skipped the exam this past spring. Officials say it's unclear what effect the opt-out movement had on student outcomes.

Detours on the road to a college degree

December 10, 2015 - 2:30pm
Catalyst revisits Breyana Floyd, who was profiled in our winter issue on college persistence. Like many first-generation, low-income college students of color, Breyana struggled financially and with feelings of not belonging on campus. In May she left Monmouth College and is now preparing to transfer into Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago, where she continues to have financial challenges.

Take 5: ‘Fixing’ CPS, strike vote, over-testing myth

December 10, 2015 - 12:39pm
The Chicago Teachers Union is in the midst of a three-day strike vote, while district leaders say the only ways to save CPS from financial trouble are a major funding overhaul from Springfield or a combination of layoffs and more debt.

Feds’ fix for failing schools falters

December 4, 2015 - 4:18pm
Federal School Improvement Grants sent big bucks to struggling schools in the hopes of making big improvements. For the most part, they were still too little too late.

Threatened with closure, ChicagoQuest drops “gaming” focus

December 4, 2015 - 4:17pm
The Chicago International Charter Schools board voted narrowly this week to keep its ChicagoQuest campus open, but to eliminate its seventh and eighth grades and modify its curriculum. Instead of having a focus on "game-like learning," which staff and administrators admit was never fully executed, the school will embrace a "college prep" theme.

Take 5: Strike vote set, fewer black teachers, major changes to federal law

December 3, 2015 - 1:58pm
The Chicago Teachers Union has scheduled a strike vote over three days next week. Meanwhile, some CPS charter schools slated for closure are considering appealing the district's decision to a state commission. And sweeping changes are likely on their way for No Child Left Behind, the 2002 federal law governing education.

Comings & Goings: Ostro, Hawley, Allen

December 2, 2015 - 10:58am
Chicago Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Ginger Ostro is leaving CPS to become executive director of Advance Illinois, while Theresa Hawley has stepped down from her position as executive director of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development.

A surprise co-location among proposed ‘school actions’

December 1, 2015 - 8:25pm
Chicago Public Schools officials are proposing two school closures, two consolidations, two co-locations and one attendance boundary change for next school year. Most of the proposals had already been public knowledge, although a plan to co-locate three Little Village came as a surprise to some staff.

CTU members may vote on strike next week

November 30, 2015 - 3:30pm
The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates is likely to decide on Wednesday whether to ask all members to take a strike vote, something that could happen as early as next week.

Loyola extends hand to low-income students

November 29, 2015 - 3:00pm
Loyola University Chicago is seeking to answer a key question: How can private colleges better target and serve the growing number of poor students, who typically cannot afford Loyola and other schools like it? The school's answer is Arrupe College, a highly structured two-year program that aims to provide a sturdy on-ramp for high school graduates to eventually enroll in a four-year college or university.

Citing ‘flawed formula,’ CPS backtracks on special ed cuts

November 25, 2015 - 8:00pm
Chicago Public Schools officials announced that they would restore dozens of special education positions after reviewing the appeals of 260 principals who protested previously announced cuts.

Photos: At CTU rally, talk of strike looms large

November 24, 2015 - 1:45pm
Thousands attended a rally in Grant Park Monday night where Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said members were prepared to go on strike later this school year, if necessary.

All school leaders should take an oath of office

November 23, 2015 - 6:00am
An engineer who became a school principal suggests that school leaders, like engineers, take an oath to uphold their responsibility to humanity.

Mayor moves Ruiz from School Board to Park Board

November 20, 2015 - 4:48pm
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pulling Chicago School Board Vice President Jesse Ruiz from the School Board. Ruiz is the only Latino on the seven-member body, even though nearly half of CPS students are Latinos.

Harold Washington and the push for democratic school governance

November 20, 2015 - 3:00pm
Harold Washington fanned the flames of a movement for democratic school governance in Chicago. The fire has dimmed since his days as mayor in the 1980s. But a spark has recently been struck. Will it spread?

Take 5: Closing charters, ‘escaping’ neighborhood schools, paying for cops

November 19, 2015 - 11:02am
Three South Side charter schools will close at the end of the school year, following a unanimous vote by the CPS Board of Education to shutter them for poor performance.

Student protests over budget cuts have deep roots

November 18, 2015 - 3:37pm
“You don’t realize how much you love something until it’s kind of out of our reach,” said Jones junior Darcy Palder at a recent student rally. “And when I started realizing that we might not have those special classes that we love or those teachers who have helped us so much, I realized that we needed to do something.”

Four charter schools contest proposed closure

November 14, 2015 - 2:11pm
The CPS Board of Education will vote next week and in December about whether to close four underperforming charter schools. CPS officials say quality is the issue, but some question why the district's recommendation came so quickly after a new policy was adopted, and whether the district is trying to make room for new Noble and LEARN schools likely to open with new federal funding.

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