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.

teachers

November 14, 2014

More teachers evaluated under the district’s new rating system scored in the top two categories as “proficient” or “excellent” in the classroom, with elementary school teachers scoring higher than their counterparts in high schools.

November 06, 2014

In South Chicago, an elementary school counselor tells her neighbors that City Hall needs to begin paying attention to the working class. In Avondale, a social studies teacher says an elected school board and a higher minimum wage are essential to improving neighborhoods. In Austin, a special education teacher says she doesn’t want to work at another school that gets turned around or closed.

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 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.

September 05, 2014

For teachers, the decisions the district makes about spending priorities are front and center in their day-to-day lives. When budgets are cut, when their colleagues are laid off, when a new initiative kicks off, it is teachers who end up navigating to make up for cuts, making do because a colleague is gone and implementing the latest “new thing.”

September 04, 2014

CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has talked more passionately about reducing suspensions and expulsions than almost any other subject. And for the first time ever this year, the district is publishing school-level statistics on discipline.

September 03, 2014

For most CPS teachers, this is the year the district’s new evaluation system finally means something. And that’s a scary prospect.

When the Recognizing Educators Advancing Chicago Students (known as REACH) system went into effect last year, it only applied to non-tenured teachers and those with lower ratings (satisfactory or unsatisfactory) ratings under the prior, decades -old checklist system.

September 02, 2014

What’s on teachers’ minds as a new school year gets under way?

That question led Catalyst Chicago to invite a group of teachers to our office recently for a roundtable discussion on the issues they believe are important to improving education, but don’t always get the public attention they deserve.

August 25, 2014

Nearly five years after they started organizing to form a union, teachers at the alternative Latino Youth High School in Pilsen say they’re preparing to vote on their first labor contract.

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