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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.

testing and accountability

August 27, 2014

Just one year after unveiling a new School Quality Rating Policy that’s based on a range of indicators from attendance to academic growth, the Board of Education voted on Wednesday to now allow schools to be ranked entirely on their test results.

August 07, 2014

More students scored above national norms this past year on the new standardized tests CPS is using than in the previous school year.

About 51.5 percent of elementary school students are performing at national norms in reading and 49 percent in math, compared to around 46 percent in both categories in 2013, CPS officials announced Thursday. Scores improved in every grade, with 8th-graders scoring above national norms.

July 14, 2014

CPS students scored better than predicted this past year on the new and tougher statewide tests used to decide promotion, schools officials said.

But that news, coupled with a revised district promotion policy, means that far fewer students are in now summer school than last year.

March 20, 2014

UPDATE: Following Thursday's interviews at Drummond, CPS officials visited Saucedo on Friday to continue their investigation into "teacher misconduct" related to the recent ISAT boycott. CPS officials said that, unlike Thursday, no students were questioned on Friday.

March 03, 2014

On the day that many schools began administering the ISAT, state education officials told parents that they have no legal right to opt their children out of the mandatory test and that all students must be given the test and have the directions for taking it read to them.

March 01, 2014

In talking about her decision to refuse to administer the ISAT next week, Drummond Montessori teacher Ann Carlson said she felt little joy.

“I don’t have the hooray feeling,” she said at a press conference after school on Friday. “I feel like we are standing up, but we are fearful.”

February 28, 2014

Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett has threatened to discipline any teacher who refuses to administer an annual state achievement test next week, according to a letter obtained by local news sources. Meanwhile, Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis says the union will defend teachers "against any retaliation."

February 25, 2014

With nearly 40 percent of their students already opting out of the ISAT, teachers at Saucedo Scholastic Academy—a high-achieving magnet school—took the bold step on Tuesday of voting to refuse to administer it.

In only one other instance—at a high school in Seattle last year—have teachers in one school made a unified group decision not to give a mandated test. National opponents of standardized testing applauded the decision and said it will send a signal across the country.

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.