A Career and Technical Education Program That Is Getting Kids Jobs

Across the Chicago region and the Rust Belt, thousands of small to medium-sized manufacturing firms have been soldiering on through decades of outsourcing and disinvestment. Many are led by aging owners struggling to find qualified and willing employees or successors to run their companies. Into the breach comes Manufacturing Connect, a program based in Austin College and Career Academy on…

This Week in CPS: New Budget, School Discipline Policy Changes

2019 CPS Budget Gives $60 Million More to Schools Kudos to Chalkbeat Chicago for an excellent summary of this year’s CPS budget, which is up for School Board approval on Wednesday. In case you missed it, here are the highlights: more money for schools, two new central office departments (Equity and Title IX), new school construction couples with investments in…

Bughouse Square Debates July 28 Invite Youth Voices

On July 28, Chicago’s Washington Square Park, also known as Bughouse Square, will host the annual Bughouse Square Debates, billed as the city’s favorite free-speech event. This year, a youth soapbox for speakers ages 25 and under is being hosted by the GCE Lab School. Featured speakers will address topics ranging from immigration and LGBTQ acceptance to gun violence and…

Experts Weigh in on Efforts to Protect CPS Students From Sexual Abuse

In the wake of the Chicago Tribune series, “Betrayed,” which revealed hundreds of incidents where school and district leaders failed to follow proper reporting procedures when educators sexually abuse students, Chicago Public Schools has taken steps to correct its practices. In June, CPS announced it would create an Office of Student Protections and Title IX with a budget of $3…

Your High School Freshman Can Have a Great Experience in Any School

Because of my deep experience in Chicago’s schools, friends and friends of friends sometimes call and ask me, “Is my neighborhood school a good school?” Or, “My child did not get into a selective enrollment high school. Should they go to Noble Charter?” Unfortunately, the real answer is, whether neighborhood, charter or selective enrollment, there is no perfect school. I…

This Week in CPS: Building Boom!

On Friday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that Chicago Public Schools will be spending $989 million on school construction as part of its FY 2019 budget. Though much was made of the nearly $1 billion spend as the largest in 20 years, Emanuel’s predecessor, Mayor Richard M. Daley, announced a billion-dollar school construction program in the runup to the 2006 election,…