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.
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
Nicki Bazer the ISBE General Counsel is fundamentally correct about the legal right of parents to opt their children out of standardized testing in Illinois. There is as far as I can tell no law...
Anyone have a list of tests that will be given next year, including class time needed to perform the tests? I see ISAT is being called "two weeks of testing". Using that time frame reference may...
Subscribe to catalyst-chicago.org by e-mail
In the News: Charter agency's funding questioned
A new government agency could boost the number of charter schools in Illinois. But the way the agency is financing itself raises questions, WBEZ reports.
Stories are out on how CPS plans to spend construction dollars.
Here's Chicago News Cooperative's take: Chicago Public Schools officials unveiled a $660 million capital budget plan Wednesday that allocates almost $125 million — about one-fifth of the entire budget — to schools the district has targeted for overhaul. The $125 million will be dispersed among 11 schools the district has targeted for turnaround, closure or consolidation.
And here's the Sun-Times: Nine Chicago Public Schools targeted for turnarounds or closure will reap nearly $110 million of $660 million in construction dollars — an investment district officials defended Thursday as necessary to give them a true “fresh start.’’
Catalyst: As part of preparing a new $659 school construction and capital spending plan, officials used a new formula to determine school utilization. In the process, they determined that the district has 130,000 empty seats—a quarter of the seats available in schools throughout the city. That figure, a result of the district’s declining enrollment, shows the extent of building under-utilization throughout CPS.
Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) is opposing a proposal that could slowly convert LaSalle Language Academy—one of the city’s most popular magnets—into a neighborhood school to relieve overcrowding at nearby Lincoln Elementary. (Sun-Times)
Some find public transit fares linked to school attendance. (WBEZ)
IN THE NATION
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's warning that 82 percent of schools would fail to make the grade this year under the No Child Left Behind Act is way off base, according to the latest report from the Center on Education Policy. The real number is more like 48 percent. (Education Week)
The leaders heading "turnaround" districts in Louisiana, Michigan, and Tennessee are working in new, state-created districts that pluck schools from their home districts and put them under an entirely different management structure. (Education Week)
A new charter school gets approved for an affluent enclave in Brooklyn. (The New York Times)
Teachers in Los Angeles have overwhelmingly approved an agreement that is expected to give instructors and administrators more control of their schools, while also holding them responsible for academic achievement. (Los Angeles Times)
An Atlanta-area school district is suspending all marching band activities over concerns of "inappropriate physical activity" between students. (Los Angeles Times/AP)