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…

The Buzz: Charter Teachers Vote to Authorize Strikes; New Leadership at Ogden-Jenner

It’s been a big week for school news in Chicago, starting with new state report cards and new Chicago Public Schools ratings–that don’t match. A data breach that compromised 80,000 people’s personal information. But we’ll focus on two late-breaking stories: the strike authorization vote being held today by teachers at four schools within Chicago International Charter Schools, Chicago’s largest charter…

This West Suburban Black Mom Skipped “America to Me.” Here’s Why

Our community has been captivated by the Starz docu-series, “America to Me.” But I haven’t watched the show myself. Not because it isn’t interesting; rather, I didn’t watch it because racism and racial achievement gaps in Oak Park are topics I have been writing, talking, and fighting about since my husband and I decided not to place our children in…

Applying for School in Chicago? Your Odds May Have Just Changed.

Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Cassie Walker Burke on October 25, 2018. One of the key factors in Chicago public school admissions, tier numbers assigned by a student’s address serve to more equitably distribute seats in test-in and magnet programs. The numbers, on a 1 to 4 scale, reflect a neighborhood’s socioeconomic status. The school district has issued new tier…

From Chicago to Connecticut, Moms Are Fighting for Equity

From Connecticut to Chicago, moms of all backgrounds are starting a conversation about educational equity. In Connecticut, mom Gwen Samuel and parents like her are fighting to open empty seats in magnet schools to Black and Brown children. One of Connecticut’s greatest challenges in creating diverse magnet schools has been building bridges to white and affluent families who have multiple…

Let’s Ensure Trans and Gender Diverse Kids #WontBeErased at School

While political leaders score points by bullying trans and gender diverse people, schools and advocates can ensure all our kids are welcome at school. On Sunday, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration is considering ways to define a person’s sex that would eliminate Title IX protections for transgender people and others who express their gender identity in…

Black Communities Everywhere Should Be Stepping Up Like This for Our Kids and Schools

Outrage: “Whites Only” Seats The Connecticut Supreme Court made a ruling in Sheff v. O’Neill that was supposed to integrate schools. Instead, it capped the number of students of color who can enroll at magnet schools, saying that 25 percent of each school’s seats must be occupied by White students. And while some of those magnet schools are holding seats…