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
How many charter schools will be opened in the next few years in Chicago? A handful, correct? Wasn't that part of the promise the Mayor had to make (a 100% concession to the CTU, having nothing...
Subscribe to catalyst-chicago.org by e-mail
In the News: CPS parents complain about robo calls
In the wake of complaints from parents who suspected that CPS gave their phone numbers to Democrats for Education Reform, Education Reform Now Advocacy Director Jake Breymaier says the phone numbers were purchased from the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association.
The group’s automated phone calls, as well as radio ads that are still on the air, encouraged parents and others to text in to sign a petition urging CTU to put the brakes on strike talk until after a fact-finding panel has recommended a settlement between the union and the district. Breymaier says that so far, about 500 people have texted in their support.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday afternoon that Back of the Yards High School, slated to open in fall 2013, will offer a “wall-to-wall” International Baccalaureate program and house a neighborhood library branch in its building. (Catalyst)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday defended his aggressive push to make changes at the Chicago Public Schools and acknowledged that the nearly 90 percent vote by the teachers to authorize a strike is "a huge number." (Tribune)
Also: Emanuel acknowledged Tuesday that 90 percent is a “huge number” for the Chicago Teachers Union to achieve in its strike authorization vote, but he’s holding out hope for a pre-strike settlement. “Let’s work together, find common ground, find partnership, reminding ourselves …. [of the need to] work together to better serve the taxpayers and our main constituents," the mayor said. (Sun-Times)
Eric Zorn of the Tribune unpacks the CTU strike authorization vote in this blog post: "Ka-boom! Teachers destroy barrier to a strike — Reformers, school officials are hoist with their own petard."
Youth Advocate Programs, the Pennsylvania-based social service agency selected by then-schools chief Ron Huberman to run the program, has seen its funding cut and could lose its contract for the coming year because of a loss of federal stimulus money, a widening deficit at CPS and a change in focus for a new administration. (Tribune)
Related: Tribune writer Barbara Brotman recalls Devonte Flennoy, who became a part of the Youth Advocate Program four years ago and was shot to death in an alley in the Marquette Park neighborhood late Monday night.
IN THE NATION
A backlash against high-stakes standardized testing is sweeping through U.S. school districts as parents, teachers, and administrators protest that the exams are unfair, unreliable and unnecessarily punitive - and even some longtime advocates of testing call for changes, according to a story by Reuters that appears in the Tribune.