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Current Issue

The race for City Hall

Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

In the News: Broad Fdn. to offer public charter prize

The Los Angeles-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which has sponsored a prize for the top urban public school districts for the past 10 years, is starting a similar award program for the nation's charter schools.

The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools will provide $250,000 to the charter management organization that demonstrates the best academic outcomes for traditionally disadvantaged students, including closing achievement gaps.

WBEZ's Linda Lutton talked with education researchers who say the way the state reports test scores is misleading.

Chicago Public Schools gained two high schools among the state’s 100 top-scoring ones this year, bringing the system’s total to seven, according to an analysis of the Prairie State Achievement Exam by the Sun-Times. Also, Lindblom High School Principal Alan Mather attributed his school’s jump from No. 107 last year to No. 43 this year to a series of reforms “spearheaded by an amazing faculty’’ over the last three or so years. That includes Lindblom’s decision to become the first CPS non-charter high school to switch to a year-round calendar.

Paul Goren, Director of the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, will serve as Special Advisor to the Chicago Public Schools, providing guidance on research, strategy and accountability. (press release)

A generation of students and graduates is walking off campus with a collective $1 trillion in student loan debt and troubling career prospects. (Tribune)

IN THE STATE

Ten fewer Sangamon County schools — and no county high school —surpassed federal No Child Left Behind guidelines on standardized tests taken in spring 2011, largely because of ever-tougher standards and requirements that more students take the tests. (State Journal-Register)

IN THE NATION

Pressed for dollars, a growing number of public schools are doing what many educators once considered unimaginable: eliminating an entire school day each week. At least 292 school districts nationwide have a four-day week, according to a Washington Post survey, more than double the 120 estimated two years ago.

Complaints of tampering with state Regents exams have ballooned since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took control of New York City’s schools, newly released data show, placing in stark relief the conflict between allowing teachers to grade their own students’ tests and raising the stakes on the results. (The New York Times)

In Newark, N.J. the Broader, Bolder Approach (BBA) reform plan is developing a comprehensive school reform strategy. Operating in seven schools in Newark's Central Ward, BBA has introduced school-based interventions that are responsive to the issues and challenges. Through these interventions, social services, and a concerted effort to increase civic engagement, BBA is working to ensure that environmental hardships related to poverty don't undermine efforts to transform schools. (Phi Delta Kappan)

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