Catalyst Chicago

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Independent reporting on urban education since 1990 2016-08-03T16:55:36Z
Updated: 6 min 26 sec ago

Charter school shutdowns loom under planned $700 million budget cuts

May 23, 2016 - 11:37am
Up to two dozen charter schools could shut down under budget cuts CPS recently released, sending up to 15,000 students in search of new schools. Charter advocates are working on proposals to reform state education funding.

LaRaviere wins presidency of principals’ group–and a bigger platform to criticize the mayor

May 19, 2016 - 5:00pm
Troy LaRaviere will become the head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, a group that has flown under the radar until recently. LaRaviere vows to make sure that the voices of all principals are heard--even those who don't agree with his sharp public critiques of the mayor.

Take 5: Marching against gentrification, Pell grants for dual enrollment, being black at elite high schools, principals’ group election

May 19, 2016 - 11:10am
Hundreds marched against gentrification in Logan Square, a pilot program offers Pell grants for some high schoolers, black students speak up about racism at elite high schools and the election between Troy LaRaviere and Kenneth Hunter ends today.

With no budget relief from Springfield, schools face massive cuts, layoffs

May 17, 2016 - 7:50pm
District officials are now planning cuts of up to 39 percent in per-pupil money given to schools, a loss of about $700 million. A small group of principals was told to prepare for average cuts of 26 percent overall, when other funding streams like grants are taken into account.

Child-parent centers boast strong results for kids, investors

May 16, 2016 - 3:03pm
A preschool expansion program paid for with a private 'social impact bond' has already garnered good results for investors—but also for the mostly low-income children who attend the child-parent centers.

Investors earn max initial payment from Chicago’s ‘social impact bond’

May 16, 2016 - 3:02pm
Private investors will get a half-million dollar payment because of the kindergarten readiness scores from the first cohort of a preschool expansion project they funded. Evaluators won’t calculate special education ‘savings’ until next year.

Will new standards spark a renaissance in science education?

May 16, 2016 - 10:13am
CPS has new science standards, but schools need the basics: training for teachers, engaging curricula and ideally, dedicated science labs. Meanwhile, the district has until May 27 to give this year's science test--which CPS skipped last year.

Take 5: LaRaviere update, charter money questions, New York high schools, New Orleans and local control

May 12, 2016 - 12:58pm
Troy LaRaviere explains more on his dismissal, how Concept Charter got money despite a federal investigation, New Orleans gets back local control—or not, and why New York’s enrollment system hasn’t given low-income students more access to better high schools.

Illinois fiscal crisis threatens progress in college-going for students of color

May 11, 2016 - 1:45pm
A stopgap higher education funding bill will help Illinois colleges and universities stay afloat for now. But experts worry about the long-term impact on college-going rates for low-income students and students of color.

Take 5: No May strike, migrant children, achievement gap analysis, summer jobs

May 5, 2016 - 12:38pm
The Chicago Teachers Union isn’t planning to strike in May and proposes $500 million in new revenue. Plus, migrant children are often illegally denied a public education, how race overshadows income in the achievement gap, and a call for $40 million for summer jobs.


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