Catalyst Chicago

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Independent reporting on urban education since 1990 2016-04-29T11:33:38Z
Updated: 1 hour 57 min ago

CTU, district close to a contract

January 28, 2016 - 6:37pm
The Chicago Teachers Union says it has received a "serious" contract offer from the district. The union's big bargaining team will meet on Monday to vote on the contract, which would still need to go to the House of Delegates and the entire membership for a vote.

Take 5: Borrowing delay, Little Village victory, youth unemployment

January 28, 2016 - 11:48am
Little Village activists breathed a sigh of relief after the district pulled a controversial building-sharing proposal. Meanwhile, the beleaguered Chicago Public Schools is delaying plans to issue nearly $900 million in new bonds.

Interim CPS organization chart now in place

January 26, 2016 - 1:05pm
After another round of layoffs in Central Office, district officials have released an interim organizational chart that adds and subtracts offices.

Pink slips for Central Office, reorganization on way

January 22, 2016 - 5:52pm
More than 200 Chicago Public Schools employees got the pink slip today, but no teachers. The cuts are part of a larger district reorganization that's been underway for months — and involves some politically connected consultants.

Magnet school focus shifts from diversity to choice

January 22, 2016 - 3:00pm
Since the end of court-ordered desegregation in Chicago, magnet school policy has focused more on offering quality options than on fostering diverse school environments.

Take 5: Little Village protest, trouble for state universities, closed schools

January 21, 2016 - 10:12am
Little Village activists protested a district proposal to co-locate a high school in a school building they say is already overcrowded. Meanwhile, Chicago Public Schools officials lost track of thousands of computers, books and desks after the 2013 school closures.

Finance expert says CPS history offers a solution

January 20, 2016 - 4:05pm
A longtime expert on Chicago Public Schools finances says it may be time to consider bringing back a financial authority appointed jointly by the governor and Chicago mayor to oversee the district's spending. But Republican lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner are calling for a complete state takeover — and the option to file for bankruptcy.

Take 5: Layoffs looming, school choice in spotlight, ACT decision

January 14, 2016 - 10:54am
The financial troubles at Chicago Public Schools continue to grow, and the state Legislature is unlikely to bail out the system. Meanwhile, the district has agreed to pay for all juniors to take the ACT this year, regardless of whether the state reimburses the costs.

Urban Prep settles with union to re-instate fired teachers

January 12, 2016 - 1:03pm
Urban Prep has agreed to re-instate workers it fired after last year after the charter network became unionized. Meanwhile, negotiations over the first labor contract are underway.

Report: Lowest-scoring teachers concentrated in poorest schools

January 12, 2016 - 8:09am
A new report shows that teachers who score the lowest on their evaluations are concentrated in the district's poorest schools. But it doesn't address whether the discrepancy reflects a true difference in teaching quality or that it’s harder to be effective or score well in higher-poverty schools.

How Bailey Reimer’s kindergartners came to love testing

January 11, 2016 - 6:00am
A Southwest Side kindergarten teacher calls on teachers to “build a culture around testing that allows students to understand its value and the opportunities that come with it.” She teaches testing as a game that is fun, serious and important.

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