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.

school reform

May 21, 2014

Recently, over 400 people attended events in Chicago that were focused on the critical question of what a quality education should look like. Teachers, parents, teacher educators, students and community members came together, to discuss a bold vision for classrooms, schools and larger education systems.

The discussions yielded a wealth of ideas but one strong conclusion: A high-quality education has little resemblance to the “reforms” being carried out in Chicago and elsewhere in the U.S.

May 20, 2014

Sixty years after the landmark Brown vs Board of Education decision, proponents of the current brand of school reform often call education the “civil rights issue of our time.” But ironically, most of those championing these reforms are white and “face the complexities of using civil rights rhetoric to boost [their] agenda,” writes Joy Resmovits of the Huffington Post. 

November 13, 2013

Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday lauded his new lieutenant governor pick, Paul Vallas, a former Chicago schools chief, as a white knight — a school reform champion — who now would help focus his expertise on fixing the state’s pension crisis. However, Vallas' detractors paint a dramatically different picture of his accomplishments. (Sun-Times)

November 14, 2012

Advance Illinois, an influential education group, Tuesday gave Illinois’ effort in public education slightly improved grades — mostly Cs — despite a “disturbing” trend of mostly flat academic performance, according to the Sun-Times.

November 05, 2012

The awkward departure of Jean-Claude Brizard from Chicago Public Schools seemed to surprise no one. Many figured the deed was already done when the Chicago Tribune (on August 31) started speculating about his future. Given the ending of the teachers’ strike, given the looming fights over school actions, given new leadership untarnished by old fights, it would be wonderful if Chicagoans could take a step back and think for a moment  about the larger issues of how the education debate is being framed in our city. 

September 04, 2012

In reporting for her insightful and engaging account of the birth of local school councils, Mary O’Connell asked her interviewees whom they thought was most responsible for the historic legislation that created them. Don Moore and Designs for Change, the research and advocacy organization he founded in 1977, easily took first place.

May 10, 2012

A new report, "Community Response to School Reform in Chicago: Opportunities for Local Stakeholder Engagement," from Public Agenda collected the insights of Chicago parents, public school teachers and school reform thought leaders to track community wide response to school reform in Chicago.

April 09, 2012

A Tribune editorial says Springfield is meddling too much in CPS affairs, "with a barrage of bills that would cripple long overdue reforms."

March 09, 2012

Recent research strongly suggests that until policymakers and educators confront deepening economic and social disparities, poor children will increasingly miss out on finding a path to upward social mobility.