Catalyst In Focus

Teachers get creative to find time for professional development

August 25, 2014

With limited time and resources, many teachers say it’s harder to get access to good PD during the school year. That's why educators have to be creative to find and take advantage of opportunities, by applying for them over the summer and sharing with colleagues who don’t get to attend.

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Keeping Simeon program only a start to improving career education

August 22, 2014

Brandon Davenport scored in the top 3.5 percent on the apprenticeship test he took this spring. Takaia Butler recently graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.A. in applied sciences. Timothy King was named valedictorian of his high school class, went on to earn a degree in electrical engineering from Southern Illinois University and has been accepted to graduate school. Malcolm Zeno and Aaron Moore have just successfully completed their first year of apprenticeship school and are well on their way to good careers as union electricians.

CPS principals: The voice you’ve been waiting for

August 12, 2014

A few months ago, a group of CPS principals began work on what would become the Administrators Alliance for Proven Policy and Legislation in Education (AAPPLE).  AAPPLE—pronounced “apple”—is a member-driven arm of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA).  Since introducing AAPPLE to school leaders two weeks ago, nearly every CPS principal we’ve talked to told us CPAA is not taking a strong enough stance on behalf of principals and their schools.

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Catalyst Notebook

Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 9:17 AM

Take 5: Graduation rate up, Urban Prep's first class, end of PURE?

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett are basking in the latest graduation and on-track rate numbers, saying the five-year cohort graduation rate is now nearly 70 percent. Instead of holding a press conference and taking questions, though, Emanuel and Byrd-Bennett announced it in an editorial in the Sun-Times.

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Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 6:14 PM

School rating system gets tweaked

Just one year after unveiling a new School Quality Rating Policy that’s based on a range of indicators from attendance to academic growth, the Board of Education voted on Wednesday to now allow schools to be ranked entirely on their test results.

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Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 12:22 PM

Latino Youth Alternative School teachers to vote on union contract

Nearly five years after they started organizing to form a union, teachers at the alternative Latino Youth High School in Pilsen say they’re preparing to vote on their first labor contract.

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Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 8:16 AM

Take 5: Dyett's future, summer of SUPES, Duncan re-thinks testing

The Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization announced today that CPS officials called some of Dyett’s remaining students last week to encourage them to transfer to another school. During a press conference this morning, KOCO leader Jitu Brown said the move indicates CPS intends to close the school one year earlier than planned and that the students, all seniors, “are now being displaced for the last year of their high school.”

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