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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.

Catalyst Notebook

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 5:38pm

Study highlights benefits of full-day preschool in Chicago


Children who attend a full day of preschool have better attendance, are less likely to be chronically absent and demonstrate more gains in social-emotional development and physical health than those who only attend part-day preschool, according to a new study on Chicago's child-parent centers.

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 8:34am

Take 5: Teacher evaluation study, pension reform ruling, foreign language high school

Tags: Take 5

While most teachers still agree that the new CPS evaluation system will lead to better teaching and improved learning, there’s been an overall decrease in satisfaction with the system, a new study finds. In addition, nearly four out of five teachers say the new system has increased their stress and anxiety levels, with the majority saying the process takes more effort than it’s worth.

Friday, November 21, 2014 - 4:22pm

Parents push for testing 'opt-out' bill


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.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 8:56am

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

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.

Monday, November 17, 2014 - 12:47pm

Another change proposed to rating policy


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.

Monday, November 17, 2014 - 11:43am

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

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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