Current Issue

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.

In Focus

October 08, 2014

 As one of the city's elite selective high schools, Whitney Young received more than $480,000 additional money from the district last year. But that wasn't its only financial advantage.

September 05, 2014

For teachers, the decisions the district makes about spending priorities are front and center in their day-to-day lives. When budgets are cut, when their colleagues are laid off, when a new initiative kicks off, it is teachers who end up navigating to make up for cuts, making do because a colleague is gone and implementing the latest “new thing.”

September 04, 2014

CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has talked more passionately about reducing suspensions and expulsions than almost any other subject. And for the first time ever this year, the district is publishing school-level statistics on discipline.

September 03, 2014

For most CPS teachers, this is the year the district’s new evaluation system finally means something. And that’s a scary prospect.

When the Recognizing Educators Advancing Chicago Students (known as REACH) system went into effect last year, it only applied to non-tenured teachers and those with lower ratings (satisfactory or unsatisfactory) ratings under the prior, decades -old checklist system.

September 02, 2014

What’s on teachers’ minds as a new school year gets under way?

That question led Catalyst Chicago to invite a group of teachers to our office recently for a roundtable discussion on the issues they believe are important to improving education, but don’t always get the public attention they deserve.

August 25, 2014

On a sunny August morning, several dozen teachers from a range of schools crowded into the cafeteria of Prieto Math and Science Academy in Belmont-Cragin. No children were in the room. On this day, teachers were the students, and the class was the Lesson Study Alliance’s summer institute.

July 14, 2014

CPS students scored better than predicted this past year on the new and tougher statewide tests used to decide promotion, schools officials said.

But that news, coupled with a revised district promotion policy, means that far fewer students are in now summer school than last year.

July 03, 2014

Last school year drew to a somber close as thousands of children said goodbye to familiar teachers and schools and looked toward a fall in an unfamiliar place.

June 13, 2014

CPS has yet to release its official budget for next fiscal year, but principals have been grappling with their school-level allocations since April.