Opinions

July 24, 2014

This week, the Chicago Board of Education approved a $5.8 billion operating budget for the 2014-2015 school year. With a full year of student-based budgeting underway, this budget represents an effort to stabilize a challenged system and presents an opportunity to prioritize funding in the classroom.

October 13, 2011

Tamoura Hayes started high school with big dreams for college that she already knew would be tough to reach. “C’mon,” she said. “I go to Marshall High School.”

Obviously, Marshall’s long-standing academic failings weren’t lost on Tamoura, who went on to say that she “wasn’t even supposed to be here.” Marshall was her last option. Her family couldn’t afford the private school that was her first choice, and she wasn’t offered a slot at Raby, one of the newer high schools sprouting up on the West Side.  

December 16, 2014

In reading the recent guest essay that the Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellows wrote about the soon-to-debut PARCC test, I was flabbergasted to see their opening paragraph end with the absurd statement that by participating in the test roll-out this year, “students in Chicago will be able to do something amazing: They have the opportunity to pilot the PARCC without the fear of failure.” 

December 05, 2014

In districts across the country, the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment for Readiness for College and Careers) is the new standardized assessment that will be used to measure student learning and growth under the Common Core standards. This spring, teachers, parents and, most importantly, students in Chicago will be able to do something amazing: They have the opportunity to pilot the PARCC and, in doing so, enter unchartered territory without the fear of failure.  

November 20, 2014

Five months from now, Chicago voters will go to the polls to choose whether to send Mayor Rahm Emanuel back to City Hall for another term. It’s no secret that Emanuel is not popular right now among Chicagoans. But whether or not another candidate can ride the wave of discontent into the mayor’s office is still a question mark. His highest-profile challengers are Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti, who both garnered ample signatures to have their names placed on the ballot.

November 13, 2014

David Coleman and his team developed the Common Core State Standards in slightly less than a year between 2009 and 2010.  That quick turnaround time begs the question, “How complicated can this be?” 

September 16, 2014

With students back to school for the new academic year, the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have begun negotiations for the upcoming 2015 teacher contract.

September 09, 2014

In 2006, the Consortium for Chicago School Research issued a report that sent shock waves through the Chicago Public Schools system. The discovery that somewhere between only 6.5 and 8% of CPS students graduated from four-year colleges (and only 2% of African-American boys) was a call to action. 

September 08, 2014

The essay topic was “How to become a better man.”

B.H., my student at Consuella B. York High School, located in Cook County’s largest juvenile detention facility, wrote: “Finish school.”

My students live in Division Nine, home to the most serious juvenile offenders. Many of them are at great risk of causing harm – to themselves, their communities, and our city. I know they will be at greater risk if I fail to help them achieve the same goal B.H. set for himself.

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