Become a Catalyst member

Celebrating 25 years of Catalyst


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."

Subscribe to by e-mail feeds

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.

In the News: CTU to hold summit on school closings

The Chicago Teachers Union will hold an "Education Summit On School Closings" from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Marshall High School, 3250 W. Adams St. CTU says the meeting will provide training to school leaders on how they can engage the broader community against increasing charter school initiatives and pending school closings by Chicago Public Schools.  It is open to the public and members of the media.

Chicago’s high school dropout rate – about 35 percent – is at the heart of the city’s problems with poverty, violence and unemployment, according to a special episode of "Chicago Tonight." Watch a recap of our 90-minute live online chat here.

The Illinois State Board of Education announced Thursday that it has awarded more than $14 million in 21st Century Community Learning Center grants to fund before- and after-school academic enrichment programs. These programs are expected to serve more than 13,600 students from 110 Illinois schools. The 21st CCLC grant program provides academic enrichment opportunities to help students in low-income, underperforming schools meet state and local performance standards in subjects such as reading and math. The program also offers a variety of services to students and their families, including drug and violence prevention lessons, counseling, art, music and recreation classes, technology education and character education. (ISBE press release)

Four leaders of Springfield’s black community Monday requested a meeting with the Springfield School Board to discuss what they said many blacks see as racism aimed at School Superintendent Walter Milton and other black school employees. (State Journal-Register)

A new analysis of federal data that provide a deeper and more systematic look into students’ ability to understand the meaning of words in context than was previously available from “the nation’s report card” finds stark achievement gaps in vocabulary across racial and ethnic groups, as well as income levels. (Education Week)

Hispanic students now make up nearly a quarter of the nation’s public school enrollment, according to an analysis of census data by the Pew Hispanic Center, and are the fastest-growing segment of the school population. Yet nonwhite Latino children seldom see themselves in books written for young readers. (Dora the Explorer, who began as a cartoon character, is an outlier.) (The New York Times)

A vast majority of public school teachers in Northeast Florida are rated as effective or highly effective, a statistic that one local superintendent says is “inconsistent.” (The Florida Times-Union)


Grandma wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

CTU to hold summit on school closings

It appears that since the CTU was successful in alerting parents about the impact of charters on regular neighborhood schools. The alternate strategy of CPS is to zoom in on youth in CPS who are beginning to fall behind in school, the potential alternative school youth.
One group of at risk youth:
Group A, would be prime for a certain program for students falling behind who are actually salvageable in the regular CPS school but need help thru a special program to get them back on track. These are the folks who need minimal help. This would be the cream of the crop of the at risk student population.
The other group:
Group B of at risk youth; the one’s with severe behavior problems, in and out of the juvenile justice system and with chronic truancy, would then be counseled out of the regular CPS school and sent to a Charter Alternative High School. Another way to get students removed from regular CPS schools into charters.

The new strategy seems to be to dump kids in CPS high schools that will obviously not graduate in 4 years and sent them to alternative charter high schools. So, a CPS school where 60% of the students graduate in 5 years; could actually be ripe forgetting rid of many of their students and end up underutilized and closed or consolidated , right??

Grandma wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

CPS Ugly Charter School Strategy

Oh and how much money will CPS make off of these students? Prologue intends to offer enrollment up to age 24 in one of their schools. Will this be the new cash cow for CPS?? Kick out the poor strugglying students; allow the charters to own their academic instability for about 9 years and CPS also makes money off the arrangement and where will these school be located; in industrial areas or residential areas?

Grandma wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Alternative High Schools are really for High School Recovering

If a student has not graduated in 5 years and then they attend Prologue for 4 more years, then they have been in a community as long as the K thru 8th elementary grade program.

The Prologue graduation rate is 34.5 % for their school called Prologue Joshua Johnston and a chronic truancy rate of 100%. In one of their school video's they mention that 75% to 80% go to college each year.

The cps website has Prolgue Johnson Houston at 249 students. 34.5% graduate each year (1/4 of the 249 students are probably seniors) and 80% of this 1/4 goes to college, then this is only about 17 students. Now what percent actually stay for 4 years and graduate. Well according to US News & World Report in an 8/19/2009 article called "Dropout loom larger for Schools" It stated that "Thirty percent of college and university students drop out after their first year. Half never graduate, and college completion rates in the United States have been stalled for more than three decades. "The overall record is quite bad, especially for African-Americans and other minorities,"

Ok if 17 Prologue students make it to College and 30% drop out after the first year (5), half never graduate ( 8.5 - lets round to 9). Now were at 14 of the 17 students now gone from college now. So there are 3 students left. What do you think the #of students still in college would be if I used the 75% Prologue scenario for going to college. Then their would be definitely less that 3 students left in college, maybe none at all, because the stats are even more dismal "for African American Students."

So if this is really high school credit recovery and not really college bound, why not attend a free junior college GED program?? This would be less stress on residential communities for alternative school youth.

Grandma wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Correction in my subject

Correction in my subject line:
"Alternative High School are really for High School Credit Recovery"

No Alternative High Schools for Credit Recovery wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Please Go to an Industrial Area or City Colleges for free GED

Residential communities need a break!!!

Add your comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
go here for more