Current Issue

College and careers

An overhaul of the district’s career education programs seeks to make classes more challenging and put career-track students on the path to higher ed, but many schools have lost programs, and fewer students are participating overall.

high schools

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.  

April 24, 2014

All that attention CPS high schools have given to keeping freshmen “on track” toward graduation actually paid off.

That’s the conclusion of a new study by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, which has long said that the freshman year is the most important predictor of graduation. 

March 17, 2014

Last week’s episode of “Chicagoland”  on CNN once again featured Fenger High Principal Liz Dozier as a heroine trying to help her students get an education while coping with intense violence in the surrounding Roseland neighborhood. At the same time, Dozier has to deal with the fact that Fenger’s hefty federal grant, which paid for services to support students’ social and emotional needs,  was about to run out.

March 10, 2014

In recent years, the district has touted its growth in Advanced Placement course-taking among black and Latino students. Education experts say the introduction to tougher academic coursework in high school helps pave a smoother path to college. But there’s a significant caveat: Far fewer students achieve the ultimate goal of college credit by earning a 3 or higher on AP exams. 

February 06, 2014

Danel Hertz’s recent column about school choice in Chicago raises important questions but ultimately misses the mark. The Illinois Network of Charter Schools would like to reframe the issue to provide a more appropriate conversation about school quality and the limited options available to Chicago’s families. 

January 10, 2014

The question of whether Chicago’s market for high school choice works by weeding out low-performing schools is two-fold: It works somewhat for traditional public schools, but definitely not for charters.

October 22, 2013

Seven years ago, I became a founding teacher at a new, small CPS high school on the South Side.  We replaced a neighborhood high school and admitted 150 students from the Englewood area.  The initial year was incredibly challenging for many reasons. But a main factor in our struggles arose from the mismatch of teachers’ expectations and students’ academic skills and work habits. 

October 02, 2013

As the summer wore on and a disappointing number of students came to register, Hyde Park Career Academy Principal Antonio Ross held off on spending his entire budget, thinking that he would lose some money based on lower-than-expected enrollment projections.

So when CPS announced that they were going to hold schools harmless for this year, Ross knew just how he was going to spend his banked funds: “I am going to hire a marketing person.”

August 07, 2013

In June, as principals and parents got a look at their school budgets, the complaints began flowing. Many said they were seeing budget cuts that were substantially larger than any they had seen before, and schools began publicly releasing information about the cuts as part of their strategy to fight them.