Catalyst In Focus

Tough lessons for Rahm

November 20, 2014

Education promises to be a central issue in the 2015 mayoral election, especially in black communities that have borne the brunt of school closings, teacher layoffs and charter expansion.

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From classroom to City Council?

November 06, 2014

More than a half-dozen educators are running for aldermanic seats in next year’s city elections. It’s a sign of the times: the Chicago Teachers Union now considers itself a “social movement” union concerned with equity and economic justice throughout communities, not just in schools.

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A campaign for good schools and jobs

November 20, 2014

Five months from now, Chicago voters will go to the polls to choose whether to send Mayor Rahm Emanuel back to City Hall for another term. It’s no secret that Emanuel is not popular right now among Chicagoans. But whether or not another candidate can ride the wave of discontent into the mayor’s office is still a big question mark. His highest-profile challengers are Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti, who face an uphill battle to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot, not to mention money to run a serious campaign.

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Catalyst Notebook

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 5:38 PM

Study highlights benefits of full-day preschool in Chicago

Children who attend a full day of preschool have better attendance, are less likely to be chronically absent and demonstrate more gains in social-emotional development and physical health than those who only attend part-day preschool, according to a new study on Chicago's child-parent centers.

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Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 8:34 AM

Take 5: Teacher evaluation study, pension reform ruling, foreign language high school

While most teachers still agree that the new CPS evaluation system will lead to better teaching and improved learning, there’s been an overall decrease in satisfaction with the system, a new study finds. In addition, nearly four out of five teachers say the new system has increased their stress and anxiety levels, with the majority saying the process takes more effort than it’s worth.

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Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 4:22 PM

Parents push for testing 'opt-out' bill

As they continue to push state education officials to ask the federal government for a waiver to delay a new standardized test scheduled to be given next year, parent advocates announced Friday they also want the state legislature to pass a bill allowing parents to opt their child out of the exam.

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Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 12:47 PM

Another change proposed to rating policy

In August of 2013, CPS officials announced they would make the school rating system more comprehensive, looking at multiple factors, including college enrollment and how particular groups of students were doing, and change the ratings from three "levels" to five "tiers" to make it more nuanced.

But this new rating system does not seem to be working out.

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