Catalyst In Focus

At turnarounds, a revolving door for most teachers

April 17, 2014

An analysis of state and CPS records found that most turnaround schools continue to have faculty come and go, even after the first year of the turnaround. Yet most experts assert that schools do better and are more likely to make significant progress if they have a stable faculty.

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Across all races, teacher education losing students

April 15, 2014

Fewer college students are enrolling in traditional undergraduate teaching programs in Illinois, with whites accounting for the biggest drop. After years of holding steady, enrollment fell significantly in 2011 and 2012—by 23 percent overall, according to a Catalyst Chicago analysis.

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CPS fails to nurture a true vision for charters

April 01, 2014

What happened to the vision?

The original purpose of charters, as proposed by the legendary head of the American Federation of Teachers, Albert Shanker, was to be a beacon for innovation. By loosening the reins on some public schools they would be free, he argued, to innovate and experiment with new models for learning that might serve as a model for change in other public schools.

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Catalyst Notebook

Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014 5:10 PM

Three school turnarounds get final OK

Two CPS board members had serious questions—some of which went unanswered--about handing over three elementary schools to the Academy for Urban School Leadership. But in the end, the turnarounds were approved at a meeting where opponents as well as supporters of the turnaround model dominated the public participation..  

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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014 9:04 AM

In the News: CPS' air conditioning tab would be $100 million

Chicago Public Schools put a $100 million price tag Tuesday on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s sudden mandate to air-condition classrooms in 206 schools, even as CPS faces a $1 billion shortfall and many other pressing capital needs. (Sun-Times)

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Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014 12:18 PM

Teacher candidates to face new performance assessment

Some students and educators in teacher preparation programs say they were caught off-guard when the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved a single-source contract two months ago with NCS Pearson Inc. to administer a new performance assessment required for teacher certification. 

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Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 11:12 AM

Noble Street campus to offer International Baccalaureate

This fall, Noble Street’s Hansberry College Prep campus in Auburn Gresham will become the first charter school in Illinois to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma program.

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