Catalyst Chicago

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Independent reporting on urban education since 1990 2016-05-02T19:47:43Z
Updated: 45 min 26 sec ago

Labor board rules against CTU over ‘steps and lanes’

February 18, 2016 - 3:24pm
The Chicago Teachers Union wanted the Board of Education immediately restore the steps-and-lanes structure for salary increases which was frozen in September. But a state labor board ruled unanimously today against the union's request.

Take 5: State ed budget, CTU walk-ins, switch to SAT

February 18, 2016 - 12:12pm
Gov. Bruce Rauner is proposing increases to education spending, including early childhood education. Meanwhile, new discipline data from Chicago Public Schools show an overall decline in expulsions — although black boys continue to be disproportionately impacted.

Noble has raised bar for all schools

February 17, 2016 - 9:37am
Nearly 20 years of Noble education have taught us all that students will rise to meet our expectations if we build schools and supports around the certainty of their success.

Take 5: Charter news, Laquan’s schools, TIF surplus

February 11, 2016 - 11:25am
Three charter operators, including the UNO Network of Charter Schools and Intrinsic Schools, have expressed interest in applying for federal expansion money, and public hearings have been set for three charter schools appealing the CPS School Board’s decision to close them this year.

Cutting begins, principals told hands off special ed

February 9, 2016 - 8:47pm
District-run schools are being asked to cut a total of $26 million from their budgets for this school year. Principals were told to avoid cutting classroom teachers and special education staff.

‘Give Chicago teachers the facts’

February 9, 2016 - 10:17am
A democratic organization is supposed to be governed by and for its members, yet a bargaining committee of the Chicago Teachers Union flatly rejected a proposed contract offer from the Chicago Public Schools without consulting their teachers. They didn’t even publicly share the details with their members until after the bargaining committee turned it down. […]

Comings & Goings: Berry, Lyons, Giraldo

February 8, 2016 - 5:00pm
Chicago Principals & Administrators Association President Clarice Berry will be leaving her position, while Matt Lyons has joined Chicago Public Schools as chief talent officer.

Noble and other CPS salaries

February 8, 2016 - 5:01am
Download databases of salaries and bonuses for all employees at the Noble Network of Charter Schools, and a state database on certified teachers working in Chicago Public Schools.

Noble founder talks expansion, discipline, diversity

February 8, 2016 - 5:01am
Noble's founder and superintendent Michael Milkie shares his views on expansion, discipline, diversity and what it takes to improve Chicago high schools.

On a path to Noble

February 8, 2016 - 5:00am
Catholic and elementary charter schools are large sources of new students.

Autonomy at a price

February 8, 2016 - 5:00am
Teachers value freedom in the classroom but complain about pay and long hours.

Learning survival skills

February 8, 2016 - 5:00am
In some communities, parents, principals and politicians are banding together to invigorate neighborhood high schools in the face of stiff competition.

The inclusion route to special education

February 8, 2016 - 5:00am
More students with identified disabilities attend Noble than ever before, but some say the network serves few students with severe needs.

Inside Noble

February 8, 2016 - 5:00am
The Noble Network of Charter Schools has grown into a district within a district, with its own sports league, teacher-training program and a growing army of alumni spreading the brand. But its expansion comes with increased public scrutiny and internal questioning about whether its core tenets work for all students.

School portfolio needs a plan

February 8, 2016 - 5:00am
Charter schools present the most controversial and divisive issue I’ve encountered in 36 years of education reporting. Supporters passionately defend charters, and opponents fiercely attack them, leaving little room for rational consideration of their merits and shortcomings, and what role they might best play in a school district’s game plan. In this issue, we hope to bring some measure of clarity to the debate by illuminating the issues through the experiences of one charter network and school communities that have rallied to compete against charters.

Can recent arts renaissance survive budget cuts?

February 5, 2016 - 4:59pm
The last time CPS finances imploded, arts education took a devastating blow. Will three decades' worth of organizing and policy change protect the arts now?

Bargaining talks continue on heels of CTU rally

February 5, 2016 - 11:05am
Thousands of Chicago Teachers Union members and their supporters marched through downtown Chicago on Thursday, protesting $75 million in school cuts planned to take place by the end of June. CTU and Chicago Public Schools officials have a bargaining session Friday to continue working toward a contract agreement.

Take 5: High borrowing cost, lower PARCC scores, processed school lunches

February 4, 2016 - 10:31am
Chicago Public Schools will pay more for new debt, but district leaders say they needed to borrow to “mitigate our cash flow challenges” through the end of the school year. Meanwhile, students who took the controversial PARCC test on paper scored higher than those who took the computer version.

Layoffs on horizon, pension pickup on the way out

February 2, 2016 - 8:08pm
Chicago Public Schools intends to cut $75 million from school budgets before the end of June. But district and Chicago Teachers Union officials will continue to negotiate a contract deal.

Citing lack of trust, CTU rejects latest contract offer

February 1, 2016 - 6:53pm
Leaders from the Chicago Teachers Union and Board of Education say they want to return to the bargaining table.

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