This Week in CPS: South Loop HS Boundaries, Age of Agility Tour, and More

New South Loop High School Boundaries Spark Public Debate

The drama continues over the proposed new neighborhood high school for the South Loop/Bronzeville area. The district has released proposed boundaries that would guarantee seats for students enrolled in the following elementary schools: Drake, Haines, Healy, National Teachers Academy (all students, whether or not they live in the designated attendance area), South Loop and James Ward. Additionally, students enrolled at Holden and Armour in Bridgeport and Pershing in Bronzeville would receive “preference” in admissions, but would not be guaranteed a seat.

At a public hearing in July, Chalkbeat Chicago reported that residents of the GAP neighborhood complained their children were being left out of the boundaries, even though TIF money from local taxes had helped fund construction of the NTA building, which the district plans to convert into the new high school. (A lawsuit was filed in June and plaintiffs are seeking a court order to halt the conversion plan.) Though Chinatown residents came out to support the plan, a study released in January by Chicago United for Equity showed that not all of Chinatown will be included, and families to the south and west of the proposed boundaries will not have access to the new high school.

A second public hearing will be held Tuesday, August 7, from 6-8 p.m. at the Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Avenue.

Illinois House Committee on Cybersecurity Takes on Student Data Privacy

Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., the Illinois General Assembly’s committee on Cybersecurity, Data Analytics and IT will hold a public hearing on student data privacy. This comes in the wake of a June data breach in the Chicago Public Schools. A mass email sent by the district linked to a spreadsheet containing private information for more than 3700 students and families. No bills dealing with the issue are currently in play, but it’s an opportunity for parents and privacy activists to speak with legislators on the topic.

Age of Agility Summit Comes to Chicago Thursday

The business-backed education reform group America Succeeds is touring the nation this summer, showcasing its new report and sparking conversations about the future of work and its implications for K-12 schooling. They’ll be hosting a half-day summit in Chicago on Thursday, in partnership with Empower Illinois, which combines policy advocacy with administering the state’s new tax-credit scholarships, as one of a small group of legislatively-mandated Scholarship Granting Organizations. Details and a link to register for the summit can be found here.

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Maureen Kelleher

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. A former high school English teacher, she is also the proud mom of a middle-schooler. Find her on Twitter at @KelleherMaureen.

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