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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.

Catalyst Notebook

Friday, November 21, 2014 - 4:22pm

Parents push for testing 'opt-out' bill

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As they continue to push state education officials to ask the federal government for a waiver to delay a new standardized test scheduled to be given next year, parent advocates announced Friday they also want the state legislature to pass a bill allowing parents to opt their child out of the exam.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 8:56am

Take 5: New rating system OK'd, Oppenheimer awards end, Advance Illinois report

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Tags: Take 5

Screaming from the audience, reprimands from Board President David Vitale and security guards carting people out are nothing new to CPS Board Of Education meetings. But the audience was much larger, more engaged and emotionally charged than usual at Wednesday’s meeting, which was held in the late afternoon in the auditorium of Westinghouse College Prep on the West Side. Many parents and teachers thanked board members for moving the meeting into the community, to which Vitale responded that they’re giving serious thought to holding more meetings outside of downtown headquarters.

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Monday, November 17, 2014 - 12:47pm

Another change proposed to rating policy

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In August of 2013, CPS officials announced they would make the school rating system more comprehensive, looking at multiple factors, including college enrollment and how particular groups of students were doing, and change the ratings from three "levels" to five "tiers" to make it more nuanced.

But this new rating system does not seem to be working out.

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Monday, November 17, 2014 - 11:43am

Take 5: Discipline reporting push, CPS schools in football semi-finals and Senate Bill 16

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Tags: Take 5

Young advocates will go to Springfield this week to press lawmakers to pass a bill that would make it mandatory for school districts to release information on punitive discipline practices. Jose Sanchez, coordinator for the student group VOYCE, says the group would like to see the legislation passed in the veto session. The bill calls for the reporting of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions and student retention. It also requires school districts to report law enforcement involvement, including arrests--something already required by the federal government.

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Friday, November 14, 2014 - 11:05am

Most teachers get high ratings in second year of new system

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More teachers evaluated under the district’s new rating system scored in the top two categories as “proficient” or “excellent” in the classroom, with elementary school teachers scoring higher than their counterparts in high schools.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 10:20am

Take 5: Emanuel on risky bond deals, charter closure, selective segregation, teacher ed

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Tags: Take 5

In response to the Chicago Tribune series detailing how CPS is paying millions more as a result of risky bond deals, Mayor Rahm Emanuel tells reporters it’s too late to do anything about it: “Unfortunately there’s a thing called a contract.”

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