The historic closing of 49 elementary schools in Chicago left many parents bitter and feeling left out as they try to get involved in new schools. Yet parent engagement is essential for school improvement, and principals are faced with the challenge of building trust at schools that scored poorly on surveys of parent involvement.
Catalyst Chicago is an independent newsmagazine created in 1990 to document, analyze and support school-improvement efforts in the Chicago Public Schools. It is published by the Community Renewal Society (CRS), a nonprofit organization founded in 1882 that works to create racially and economically just communities.
CRS also publishes The Chicago Reporter, an award-winning newsletter created in 1972 to investigate issues of race and poverty.
Both publications are editorially independent of CRS.
Since its creation in 1882, CRS has worked to create racially and economically just communities. In addition to publishing Catalyst and The Chicago Reporter, CRS works to provide leadership and support in several areas: public housing, education, criminal justice, anti-racism and anti-violence initiatives. Within these initiatives, CRS networks with congregations, community-based organizations, faith-based groups, civic and philanthropic institutions. Founded as an urban mission, the Community Renewal Society is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.