Catalyst Chicago

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Independent reporting on urban education since 1990 2016-05-23T16:37:32Z
Updated: 34 min 34 sec ago

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.

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