Current Issue

College and careers

An overhaul of the district’s career education programs seeks to make classes more challenging and put career-track students on the path to higher ed, but many schools have lost programs, and fewer students are participating overall.

In Focus

April 17, 2014

(Editor’s note: This story is an abridged version of an article from the upcoming spring issue of Catalyst In Depth, which will examine teacher retention and turnover in CPS. The issue is scheduled for publication in May. Previous issues of In Depth can be found here.)

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 of data from the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) for 2003 through 2012. White student enrollment fell at an even higher rate of 25 percent.

March 25, 2014

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten was in Chicago on March 24 to deliver the annual “Distinguished Labor Leader Lecture” at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law.

March 11, 2014

Charter school teachers and staff at United Neighborhood Organization charter schools are preparing to vote on what some say could be one of the biggest labor contracts for a charter school network in the country.

March 10, 2014

In recent years, the district has touted its growth in Advanced Placement course-taking among black and Latino students. Education experts say the introduction to tougher academic coursework in high school helps pave a smoother path to college. But there’s a significant caveat: Far fewer students achieve the ultimate goal of college credit by earning a 3 or higher on AP exams. 

February 04, 2014

A simmering battle over standardized tests heated up last week as CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett sent a letter to parents warning that they shouldn’t opt their children out of state tests and local exams required by the district.

January 28, 2014

Last year’s school closings stirred hot debate in part because closing decisions were based on claims by the district that buildings were half-empty and should be shuttered.

January 14, 2014

CPS has relied heavily on turnarounds to improve failing schools, but a Catalyst Chicago analysis shows that turnarounds face challenges in one area: Keeping top leaders in place.

Among 42 principals at the 18 schools that have been turnarounds for at least three years, about a quarter -- 10 -- have left either within a year of the turnaround itself or of taking over leadership at the school. Another quarter -- 11 -- left after two or three years.

December 05, 2013

The CPS Inspector General is investigating the district’s $20 million principal professional development contract with the SUPES Academy, Catalyst Chicago has learned.

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