As CPS prepares to close a record number of schools, the fate of students and communities is in question.
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
So many people call the "Orginal" Tea Party as heroes...but when schools close with NO PUBLIC rights...we are getting almost a reversal...or tax dollars being used with NO REPRESENTATION...if I am...
Tell me if I am wrong. However, why hasn't our school closings been an issue on 60 minutes or Face the Nation.??? Seems like CPS (right or wrong) is getting away with this with NO NATIONAL...
Subscribe to catalyst-chicago.org by e-mail
In the News: Emanuel denies AUSL conflict of interest
Mayor Rahm Emanuel reacted angrily Tuesday to questions of whether it was a conflict of interest to award management of six new turnaround schools to the Academy for Urban School Leadership, whose former executives were handpicked by the mayor to help run Chicago Public Schools, the Tribune reported.
And, according to the Sun-Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel went on the offensive Tuesday against the Chicago Teachers Union’s claim that it’s a conflict to have the Academy of Urban School Leadership oversee six public schools targeted for sweeping “turnarounds” in which all employees are removed.
Today, the state releases test data on charter schools. The Tribune report says, new research suggests many charters in Chicago are performing no better than traditional neighborhood schools and some are actually doing much worse. More than two dozen schools in some of the city's most prominent and largest charter networks, including the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), Chicago International Charter Schools, University of Chicago and LEARN, scored well short of district averages on key standardized tests.
Catalyst reports: Illinois will release today, for the first time, report cards for charter schools, with test scores and data on student and school characteristics compiled in the same format used for traditional public schools.
And, the Sun-Times leads with: Chicago charter school franchises produced wildly uneven results — even among different campuses of the same chain — on state achievement test data released Wednesday for the first time in more than a decade.
Chicago Public Schools students can expect to sit through at least 88 sessions of standardized testing between third and eighth grade. As a result, 172,385 students in those grades were tested in reading last school year, according to the school system’s website. (Medill Reports)
IN THE NATION
The Nonprofit Quarterly questions the federal government's $50 million grant to Teach for America. "The program may have some serious drawbacks — not the least of which is the fact that the program’s recruits generally do not stay in teaching for more than five years," the Quarterly writes. "And their results do not seem to be better overall than those of other novice teaching recruits—which is to say that they do not compare with the results produced by well-seasoned teachers who have proven their mettle."
Between common standards and the No Child Left Behind law, advocates for social and behavioral sciences worry their field is getting getting short shrift in schools. (Education Week)
Congressional lawmakers put a crimp in a U.S. Department of Agriculture proposal to limit starchy foods and serve more fresh vegetables in school meals. (Education Week)
Middle school students are being asked to do much more than take pre-algebra these days; they’re being asked to start launching their future careers. (Education Week)
Indiana public school teachers will be evaluated in the coming year by a model developed at Indiana University. (Indiana Student Daily)