Catalyst In Focus

Summer school enrollment down under new promotion policy

July 14, 2014

A new promotion policy has led to a 29-percent drop in summer school enrollment. CPS officials say students who would have gone to summer school under the old policy will get targeted academic help next year.

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Big budget cuts hit high schools, welcoming schools

July 03, 2014

Schools that received students from closed schools are being hit with a double whammy: They no longer are getting extra money for the students who transitioned in, and they have far fewer students than originally projected. 

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Teachers need a “road test” to ensure good teaching

July 09, 2014

The preparation of new teachers is receiving a lot of attention these days. Recently, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released a review of educator preparation programs. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration recently announced its plan to renew efforts to develop a rating system for these programs.

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Catalyst Notebook

Monday, Jul. 21, 2014 10:31 AM

YMCA child care workers back at negotiating table on pay, health care

More than a year and a half after voting to unionize, YMCA child care workers in Chicago have yet to agree on a contract with the large, not-for-profit organization.

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Monday, Jul. 21, 2014 9:17 AM

Take 5: Noble Charter changes, TIFs and teacher turnover

Noble Street Charter School Network often boasts that its schools are the highest-achieving non-selective schools in the city. And, while it is true, Noble does not have students test in, critics have charged that its admissions and discipline policy keeps out unmotivated students and pushes out unruly students. But this year, under pressure, Noble has abandoned big parts of both policies.

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Thursday, Jul. 17, 2014 9:57 AM

Budget critics air laundry list of school cuts

With a new mandate that students have daily gym class and a policy calling for more arts instruction, school librarians are becoming increasingly rare, speakers charged at hearings on the district’s budget. At the Kennedy-King College hearing, one of three held late Wednesday, speakers also criticized cuts to Simeon High’s career education programs, cuts to welcoming schools that took in students displaced by closings, the additional money being funneled to charters and a plan to save $6 million by reorganizing bus aides for disabled students.

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Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2014 12:43 PM

Finding solutions to curb chronic truancy, absenteeism in earliest grades

One of the most important factors that's keeping many of Chicago's youngest children from learning is poor attendance. On Wednesday, educators, parents and community organizers talked about how to address the problem during a special forum that's part of our Catalyst Conversations series.

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