Catalyst Chicago

Subscribe to Catalyst Chicago feed
Independent reporting on urban education since 1990 2016-05-26T19:57:39Z
Updated: 2 hours 45 min ago

Take 5: More budget cuts, PARCC investigation, charter unions

March 10, 2016 - 12:21pm
In order to save up for an upcoming pension payment, the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools told principals this week to stop spending money. Meanwhile anti-testing advocates are questioning a state investigation into the huge number of opt-outs last year of the controversial PARCC test.

Mayor tries again to get more kids into preschool

March 7, 2016 - 4:14pm
The city is trying to unsnarl the tangle of rules governing preschool enrollment and funding that have long created barriers to participation, especially for low-income children.

Pension pickup remains, but union still plans ‘action’

March 4, 2016 - 5:29pm
In a major about-face, Chicago Public Schools officials announced they would delay ending the pension pickup for teachers. But union officials say an end to the payment in the future would still constitute an unfair labor practice.

City gives a little in TIF battle

March 4, 2016 - 5:18pm
Last month, City Hall gave a few inches of ground in the battle over using TIF funds to plug the Chicago Public Schools' budget hole. Though there's a long history of TIF funds coming back to CPS for school construction, it could take major governance change to see more TIF money return to the district.

Take 5: Charter challenges, MAP grants, ed tech

March 3, 2016 - 11:50am
CPS leaders say they’ll lobby to reduce the authority of the state charter commission. Meanwhile the CTU has threatened to go on strike over plans to eliminate the pension pickup.

State commission overrules CPS on charter school closures

March 1, 2016 - 10:38pm
In a series of 6-0 votes, the Illinois State Charter School Commission granted appeals on Tuesday night from three CPS charters the district had sought to close for poor performance. The schools will have to find new buildings, but will be allowed to operate for at least two more school years.

Comings & Goings: Cruzat, Washington

February 29, 2016 - 11:49am
Tasha Green Cruzat will become Voices for Illinois Children's new president, and Kelley Washington is now executive director of the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Education.

Take 5: Computer science requirement, privatized nursing, new job for LaRaviere?

February 25, 2016 - 1:36pm
Chicago high school students will now be required to take at least one computer science class in order to graduate. Not surprisingly, many high schools are not prepared. Meanwhile, Blaine Elementary Principal Troy LaRaviere, one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's most outspoken critics, is eyeing a new position as the head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association.

16 charter operators want new schools

February 24, 2016 - 1:38pm
Sixteen charter operators said they're interested in opening new schools in Chicago. The news comes amidst a district financial crisis and stagnant enrollment.

Parents see state commission as ally in keeping charters open

February 20, 2016 - 10:44am
Three charter schools that appealed the School Board's decision to close them this year will learn on March 1 whether a state commission has granted permission for them to remain open. After public hearings, parents were optimistic the commission would vote in their favor.

Citywide reading initiative: Bold start, weak finish

February 19, 2016 - 3:00pm
Most efforts to change teaching in urban schools die very young. In contrast, the Chicago Reading Initiative has been around for 15 years. Yet it doesn't seem to have produced much bang for the buck, for a variety of reasons.

Real school choice requires  strong neighborhood high schools

February 19, 2016 - 9:09am
The current climate of unbridled school competition has diverted resources and support away from neighborhood schools, putting them on an unequal playing field and exacerbating our city’s social inequality.

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. […]


Subscribe to CRS Main Feed