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Current Issue

Teacher turnover

CPS has never had a strong, districtwide program of teacher induction and mentoring to stem an attrition rate that is higher than the national average. Instead, efforts to retain teachers depend on smaller-scale programs and individual principals who make it a goal to empower—and keep—their teachers.

Catalyst Notebook

Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 9:49am

Take 5: Avoiding budget reality, discipline disparities, problems with choice


1. The Chicago Tribune blasts CPS in an editorial today for the plan to spend 14 months of revenue in the next 12 months in order to balance the 2015 budget. Now that it is increasingly clear that CPS won’t get pension relief, the Tribune says CPS should just deal with reality, instead of borrowing against the future. CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has readily admitted that this was a one-time fix that does not solve structural budget problems.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 6:35am

Arts education report: More teachers and programs, but inequity remains

Tags: arts, equity, teachers

Two years ago, when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled an arts plan for schools, it was unclear how much arts instruction was already being offered to students – either by certified teachers or through partnerships with community organizations.

Now, schools and arts leaders know the answer: There are more teachers than many would have guessed, but they are inequitably distributed across the city and the total is far below the goals.

Monday, July 7, 2014 - 10:18am

Take 5: Victims of violence, “transparency” stats, Ventra misstep


Connecting CPS to violence
Apparently hoping to impress U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Mayor Rahm Emanuel last week announced that 49 fewer CPS students were shot and 12 percent fewer were victims of homicide. Up until the announcement, Chicago media had veered away from the previous common practice of identifying every young person killed by whether they went to Chicago Public Schools, a connection that led some folks to observe that the connection made it appear as though CPS were somehow responsible for the violence.

Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 12:55pm

Early childhood quality rating system comes online


Need help finding a quality early learning provider for your child? This week, a new web site based off the state’s updated quality rating system came online to do just that.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 5:44pm

Budget details still in short supply


CPS officials provided some details—though little new information--about next year’s budget on Wednesday afternoon, but have yet to release it. Sometime this evening, they say, it will be posted online.

Monday, June 30, 2014 - 2:50pm

Coming July 7: Our take on the news

Next Monday, July 7, Catalyst Chicago will debut a renamed, revamped version of our daily “In the News” roundup. We’re calling it “Take 5,” and our goal is to give you a concise recap and analysis of the five news stories, opinion writing or other media coverage we think you will find most engaging, thought-provoking and useful. Check it out next week. Over the summer, we will publish on Monday and Thursday.; as the school year gets underway, we will publish daily.

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