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.
Join the conversation
We encourage our readers to leave comments and engage in dialogue about our stories. But before you do, please check out our "rules of the road."
Recent Notebook Entries
Right Now On Notebook
Forcing out Mr Rangel took an incrediable amount of time and effort. Part of the problem is the Chicago Public Schools hands off approach to charter school governance. Part of the problem is the...
don't worry our scores will go up! when they....
enact common core fully
make being a teacher harder than a brain surgeon
make all schools charters
Subscribe to catalyst-chicago.org by e-mail
In the News: 1st public charter high school for suburbs; CPS' executive chart
Despite opposition from Rich Township High School District 227, Southland College Preparatory Charter High School, the first public charter high school in suburban Chicago, officially opened Thursday in Matteson.
Southland College Preparatory Charter High School, the first public charter high school in suburban Chicago, officially opened Thursday in Matteson. Dr. Blondean Davis, superintendent of Matteson Elementary School District 162 and a former CPS chief of schools and regions, is the volunteer CEO of the new school, which opened with 125 freshmen. The Illinois Appellate Court on Tuesday denied a petition by Rich Township High School District 227 to prevent the school from opening. District 227 had argued that it would lose more than $7 million a year in state funding as students who would normally attend the district's high school go to Southland. (Southtown Star, WBEZ and press release)
Related: ABC7 News' report on the opening of Southland.
Substance News published an organizational chart of CPS' current executive ranks, which it says illustrates that CEO Ron "Huberman has relegated those with classroom and school-based principal experience in Chicago to the sidelines." Substance culled the chart from the print edition of the Proposed Budget, 2010-2011. "The chart," George Schmidt writes, "shows that while claiming a budget 'deficit' for the past seven months, the Chief Executive Officer of Chicago's public school system has been adding to the ranks of unqualified outsiders running most key departments — and almost all of the ever-expanding 'Area Offices.' "
In the state
Illinois education officials moved closer to creating a single standard for what it means to be a junior, saying all students should take the state's high school test three years after they graduate 8th grade. (Tribune)
Three suburban school districts — Keeneyville School District 20, Carpentersville's Community Unit School District 300 and Prospect Heights School District 23 — have joined together to build a 13-turbine wind farm in that would sell energy to defray their own electrical bills. The districts have leased farmland in Stark County for the 1.5 megawatt turbines. (Tribune)
Recent high school graduates helped Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 to achieve its highest overall composite score on the ACT in the past five years. (Daily Herald)
Downers Grove High School District 99 raises athletic, parking and sporting events fees to help balance $1.8 million budget shortfall. (Trib Local)
In the nation
Detroit Public Schools rescinds hundreds of teacher layoffs that had been announced in April. (Detroit Free Press)
Oakland, Calif., schools focus on achievement gap. (Bay Citizen)