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Drugs in schools

Most drug violations in CPS involve an ounce or less of marijuana. Schools are quick to call police, yet rarely have the resources to offer education, counseling or other non-punitive help to students.

The Staff of Catalyst

October 20, 2014

Banned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel from work for the city, Windy City Electric Company still managed to get $3.1 million in contracts from CPS, according to a Better Government Association story in the Chicago Sun Times. Windy City was accused of falsely claiming to be owned and operated by women. According to the article, CPS can terminate a contract with any company that is banned by another city agency.

October 16, 2014

The Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois students showed improvement in math in almost every grade last year, although the passing rates for reading dropped slightly.

October 13, 2014

Education Week marks the 25th anniversary of the first LSC election with an article that looks at where they are today. One big question the article asks is why the local school council concept hasn't spread to other cities, if they are so successful (as proponents argue).

October 09, 2014

The fiscal health of the UNO Charter School Network--the third largest network in Chicago serving more than 7,500 students--is mixed, a situation "that could impair long-term fiscal viability," according to a new report from the Civic Federation. UNO recently settled a case with the Securities and Exchange Commission and acknowledged that it was being audited by the IRS, according to the Sun Times.

October 06, 2014

The Chicago Sun Times applauds Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS for not approving any new charter schools this year. The editorial says it is about time the district took a break. “Though we support quality charter options in Chicago, CPS’ breakneck pace of new charter openings at a time of tremendous financial stress has unfairly siphoned resources from traditional public schools.

October 02, 2014

So far, the reaction to the announcement on Wednesday that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS officials want to convert Hancock High School in McKinley Park into a selective enrollment  school has not been entirely positive.

September 29, 2014

As promised, many of the educators who were laid off earlier this summer as a result of drops in enrollment were rehired, but rehire rates were different for tenured versus non-tenured teachers.

September 25, 2014

Continuing a kind of dubious tradition started by former CEO Arne Duncan, officials announced Wednesday that first-day attendance was better than ever this year. Accountability Chief John Barker  told board members at their monthly meeting that 93.7 percent of enrolled students showed up on the first day of class -- which is ever so slightly higher than last year’s 93.5 percent rate. In addition, he said the attendance rates were higher on each day of the first week of school.

September 22, 2014

WBEZ’s Becky Vevea looks at the challenges of re-engaging dropouts in Chicago. One of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first goals in office was getting more of Chicago’s 60,000 school-aged dropouts back into class. Vevea reports that the district’s new Student Outreach and Re-Engagement (SOAR) has helped bring 1,700 students back into CPS since it started last year; 130 of these have since gotten their high school diplomas.

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