Chicago Unheard tells the untold stories of struggle and success in Chicago Public Schools. We are a space for parents, students, teachers and everyone with a stake in improving public schools to share their experiences and weigh in on policy, politics and practice in Chicago’s public schools. We have a particular interest in the stories of Chicago’s neighborhood schools and how they are working to improve outcomes for all kids.
Chicago is a city that has long been divided by race, economics and politics. Chicago Unheard aspires to cross those divides and create space for people to connect, converse, contend when necessary and, most of all, collaborate. At Chicago Unheard, our goal is to spark a robust and civil conversation about educational issues while telling stories that show how to reach a common goal: excellent and equitable schooling for every child in the Windy City.
Who We Are
Chicago Unheard blog manager Maureen Kelleher also serves as a senior writer and editor at brightbeam, a nonprofit network of education activists demanding a better education and brighter future for every child. Before joining the brightbeam team, she spent a decade as a reporter, blogger and policy analyst. Her work has been published across the education world, from Education Week to the Center for American Progress. Between 1998 and 2006 she was an associate editor at Catalyst Chicago, the go-to magazine covering Chicago’s public schools. There, her reporting won awards from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the International Reading Association and the Society for Professional Journalists. A former high school English teacher, she is also the proud mom of an elementary student in the Chicago Public Schools. Find her on Twitter at @KelleherMaureen.
ShaRhonda Knott-Dawson is the mother of two free-spirited, strong-willed girls and has a husband who should be appointed a saint for co-existing in the madness that is their life. She writes on politics, education, current events and social justice.
She is also a taco enthusiast, a proud member of the Bey-hive, and truly believes that she will be receiving her letter from Hogwarts any day now. Find her on Twitter at @S_KnottDawson.
Tanesha Peeples is the Deputy Director of Outreach for Education Post. She was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, is a Chicago Public Schools alumna and proud Englewoodian.
She blogs elsewhere about Hope and Outrage.
As an undergraduate student at Northern Illinois University, Tanesha began to develop a passion for and understand the importance of public service. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration, she returned to Chicago with a new perspective on community, politics and civic engagement.
Tanesha then attended and graduated from DePaul University with a master’s degree in public service management and urban planning and development.
Throughout her professional career, Tanesha has used her education, passion and experience to navigate a number of nonprofit, political and independent ventures, advancing her mission to educate and empower marginalized populations. Prior to joining Education Post, she also managed her own consulting firm specializing in community relations.
Tanesha’s vision is one where everyone—regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender or zip code—can have access to a comfortable quality of life and enjoy the freedoms and liberties promised to all Americans. Find her on Twitter at @PeeplesChoice85.