Author: Maureen Kelleher

Maureen Kelleher is a senior writer and editor at Education Post, but before that 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 at Chicago’s Namaste Charter School. Find her on Twitter at @KelleherMaureen.

The Fourth Grade Backpack Challenge Paves the Way to High School

So last week I wrote about the new book The Make-or-Break Year, which details the challenges of keeping Chicago’s high school freshmen on track to graduate. While the book zooms in and out between the big-picture challenges and the teacher-student struggles to help keep kids in school, today I want to zero in on a foundational issue that starts well…

Talking Freshmen On Track and “The Make-or-Break-Year” at 57th Street Books

Healthy skepticism fuels good journalism, smart research and thoughtful education. And yet, as Emily Krone Phillips tells us in her new book, The Make-or-Break Year, “the movement that occurred in Chicago to support freshmen hinged not on skepticism, but on belief. … Belief that the dropout crisis was something that could be solved. Belief in the research that showed ninth…

Future Kindergarten Parents, Get Your Child’s CPS ID Now!

Attention next year’s kindergarten parents: if you’re applying to CPS schools beyond your neighborhood, you must request an ID for your child with this form. Forms are due December 2. If you miss the deadline, you’ll need a paper form to complete your GoCPS application. Because the wheels of central office grind slowly, they need two weeks to get you…

It’s Hard to Leave the School You Love, But Sometimes It’s Necessary

I’m a parent and a person who watches schools for a living. This guarantees I’m a fussy school-shopper.  In kindergarten, we tried three schools in five months before settling down at dual-language Namaste Charter School. I thought Antonia had found a home to last. Unfortunately, I was wrong. After starting the year at Namaste, with Halloween and Dia de los…

At Tarkington Elementary, Kids Do Science Right

At Tarkington Elementary on the Southwest Side, kids are talking science and doing science. Sadly, that’s news. As a mom, I can say my own 4th-grade daughter hasn’t done enough real science in her elementary school years. And study after study shows she’s not alone. What’s different at Tarkington? Teachers, supported by their principal, have made science a priority. They…

Christopher House Breaks Ground on Innovative Middle School

As a toddler, Camilla Ruelas had a life-saving liver transplant. She’s now a sixth-grader at Christopher House Charter School, with her sights set on college at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and later, medical school. “I hope to learn more about the human body and anatomy to become a doctor someday,” and perform those lifesaving transplants herself, she told a…