Current Issue

Teacher turnover

CPS has never had a strong, districtwide program of teacher induction and mentoring to stem an attrition rate that is higher than the national average. Instead, efforts to retain teachers depend on smaller-scale programs and individual principals who make it a goal to empower—and keep—their teachers.

testing and accountability

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.

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 12, 2014

The Illinois State Board of Education recently signaled its intent to move toward a new generation of assessments - a move most educators would agree has been needed for years.  

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. 

February 04, 2014

A simmering battle over standardized tests heated up last week as CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett sent a letter to parents warning that they shouldn’t opt their children out of state tests and local exams required by the district.

January 29, 2014

Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett sent a letter to parents on Wednesday telling them why they should not have their child opt-out of the ISAT and the NWEA/MAP tests, the second time in less than two months she has issued such a letter.

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