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Drugs in schools

Most drug violations in CPS involve an ounce or less of marijuana. Schools are quick to call police, yet rarely have the resources to offer education, counseling or other non-punitive help to students.

Catalyst Notebook

Monday, July 21, 2014 - 9:17am

Take 5: Noble Charter changes, TIFs and teacher turnover

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Noble Street Charter School Network often boasts that its schools are the highest-achieving non-selective schools in the city. And, while it is true, Noble does not have students test in, critics have charged that its admissions and discipline policy keeps out unmotivated students and pushes out unruly students. But this year, under pressure, Noble has abandoned big parts of both policies.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 9:57am

Budget critics air laundry list of school cuts

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With a new mandate that students have daily gym class and a policy calling for more arts instruction, school librarians are becoming increasingly rare, speakers charged at hearings on the district’s budget. At the Kennedy-King College hearing, one of three held late Wednesday, speakers also criticized cuts to Simeon High’s career education programs, cuts to welcoming schools that took in students displaced by closings, the additional money being funneled to charters and a plan to save $6 million by reorganizing bus aides for disabled students.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 9:31am

Take 5: Academic tracking and choice, selective enrollment, Concept Schools

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WBEZ releases a big package this morning that proves what many have long charged: The opening of new charter high schools and selective enrollment schools--becoming a district focused on school choice or a “portfolio” district--has resulted in pronounced academic tracking between schools. Nearly all the high performers are in a select few schools, while charters attract average achievers and neighborhood schools now almost exclusively serve low-performers.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 12:43pm

Finding solutions to curb chronic truancy, absenteeism in earliest grades

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One of the most important factors that's keeping many of Chicago's youngest children from learning is poor attendance. On Wednesday, educators, parents and community organizers talked about how to address the problem during a special forum that's part of our Catalyst Conversations series.

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Monday, July 14, 2014 - 12:48pm

Comings and Goings: new principals

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These interim principals have become contract principals at their schools:  David Narain, King High School; Carlos Patino, New Field Elementary; Frederick Williams, Chopin Elementary.

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Monday, July 14, 2014 - 10:44am

Take 5: Budget matters, teacher licensing clout, bad help for student loans

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Budget matters. The Chicago Tribune’s school budget analysis shows that the143 charter and contract schools are getting a funding increase of $72 million---exactly the same amount as the cuts for the 504 traditional schools.

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