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Current Issue

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

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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Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 9:49am

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

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Tags: Take 5

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.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 6:35am

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

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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.

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