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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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 8:17pm

School quality ratings delayed, but no details on why


Parents picking up their children’s report card today and on Thursday were supposed to find out their school’s rating based on a new, more comprehensive accountability system, but for some reason CPS officials have not released the ratings, nor did they give out the colorful school progress report parents are accustomed to receiving.

Monday, November 10, 2014 - 11:44am

Take 5: CTU's fight against risky financial deals, ed policy under Rauner


Chicago Teachers Union leaders have repeatedly warned about the district’s high-risk financial dealings. Now, the Chicago Tribune weighs in with a story on “auction rate” swaps that will cost the district about $100 million more than it would have using traditional, fixed-rate bonds.

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 8:26am

Take 5: Preschool deal gets OK, principal training, middle school success

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The City Council voted on Wednesday to approve Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to borrow $17 million from investors to pay for a temporary expansion of a high-quality preschool program. Under the so-called “social impact bond,” the city and CPS will only repay the money if fewer children need expensive special education services and have high academic achievement. But as we reported earlier this week, banks face little risk in the complex financial agreement.

Monday, November 3, 2014 - 10:56am

Take 5: ISAT scores stagnant, college disparities, consultants with clout

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CPS did not have a major announcement about this year's state test scores--and it turns out the scores remain exactly the same as last year's, with 52.5 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards. Whatever the caveats, the figures and the lack of upward movement don't look good, especially with the district about to move to a new, more difficult exam aligned to the tougher Common Core standards.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 11:59am

Dyett supporters vow to fight for "green tech" plan


The announcement last week that CPS reversed course and now plans to reopen Dyett High, set to close at the end of the school year, was a hard-won battle for community activists. But the war is not over.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 7:58am

Take 5: Preschool enrollment falls, union election spending, asbestos concerns

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Preschool enrollment in CPS is down again this year. The district’s 20th day enrollment data show a drop of about 800 children, with 4-year-olds accounting for the entire decline.The downward trend continues  even as Mayor Rahm Emanuel has promised to expand access to high-quality preschool for all low-income 4-year-olds in the city.

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