Category: Blog

When Enrollment Is Declining, Let Communities Decide Next Steps for Schools

Urban school systems all over the Northeast and Midwest are facing declining enrollment and struggle with the challenge of downsizing without shortchanging students’ education. Unfortunately, Chicago is a leader in the problem, but new thinking on the role of neighborhoods could propel the city to become a leader in solutions. Enrollment in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has been sliding…

A Principal-Dad Makes Time for STEM With His Daughters

Over the past summer, I was fortunate to have an opportunity to spend more time than usual with my young twin daughters, who were eager to do some STEM challenges with their father. Yоung mіndѕ are naturally сurіоuѕ аbоut thе wоrld and lоvе tо lеаrn thrоugh сlаѕѕrооm activities аnd іn thе оutdооrѕ. Aсtіvіtіеѕ ѕuсh аѕ еxреrіmеntѕ, building, collecting аnd discovering…

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…

In Open Letter to CPS, Ogden Parents Call for Beyer’s Return as Principal

Editor’s Note: On Monday night, Ogden International parents met with CPS officials to discuss the removal of Principal Michael Beyer. Many declared support for his reinstatement. This open letter outlines their arguments in favor of his retention. Last Thursday, parents at Chicago’s Ogden International School received a letter informing us that Dr. Michael Beyer had been removed from his position…

Butler College Prep Cultivates Black Excellence, Prepares Grads for HBCUs

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) offer Black and first-generation college students a uniquely affordable and supportive environment. But not every high school makes deliberate efforts to ensure its students know about these college options. That’s not the case atButler College Prep, a Noble Network high school in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood. Butler takes college preparation to the next level by…

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…