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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.

In the News: CPS moves ahead with charter plans

Chicago Public Schools officials moved ahead Thursday with plans to open more charter schools next year. A hearing officer took public testimony from supporters and opponents of four proposed charter schools recommended by CPS officials for approval at next Wednesday's Board of Education meeting. (Tribune)

Lack of detail on school closings confuses and frustrates some parents, the Tribune reports.

CPS' utilization report continues to draw scrutiny. A WBEZ analysis found that instead of a loss of 145,000 school-age children in the last decade, the enrollment decline in CPS is only 28,289.

Continuing to point out contradictory data, Catalyst Chicago found: The population of children in the city may be down, but CPS enrollment has declined by only about 32,000 students since the 1999-2000 school year.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced Thursday that Taft High School and Lincoln Park High School will become the fifth and sixth wall-to-wall International Baccalaureate schools in Chicago. (Press release)

The city will triple in size a program under which Chicago public high school students can simultaneously earn college credits. Officials said a dual-credit program offered by Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges will be extended to 17 high schools, up from just six now, starting in the spring 2013 term. (Crain's)

Multiple sources told WBEZ this week that CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett has tapped former Chicago principal Annette Gurley to be tasked with overseeing academic-related policy decisions, supervising all aspects of curriculum and instruction, although a CPS spokeswoman denied Gurley's hiring.

An expert testifying for the state of Texas said Wednesday that increasing the amount of money spent per public-school pupil hasn't translated to higher standardized test scores or increased student performance. (ABC13/AP)

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