“We Keep Moving:” How Faraday Elementary Went from Probation to Top-Rated

Principal Tawana Williams knows how people in the East Garfield Park community used to perceive Faraday Elementary School.  “They felt that Faraday was the dumping school,” she said. “They thought, for a very long time, that this was a ‘bad’ school.” For many years, Faraday was on academic probation. The school struggled to deal with student fights and gang involvement.…

Time for A Deeper Look at Personalized Learning

Chalkbeat Chicago recently published this article on personalized learning in CPS. For folks who aren’t familiar with the topic, it was a good starting point. It gave a sense of the footprint personalized learning efforts have built in Chicago–about 100 of the district’s 600 schools are experimenting with it in some way–and noted the costs, challenges to conventional teaching practice…

Thanks, Mayor Lightfoot, for the Feminist, Anti-Racist Messages Your Fashion Choices Send CPS Kids

For Chicago Public Schools students, what is appropriate clothing is a huge issue. While about 80% of CPS schools have a dress code or uniform policy, students themselves usually have very little say in decisions about what clothing is considered appropriate at school.   In CPS, school rules about clothes range from simple guidelines like white tops, navy bottoms, to…

Fernwood Elementary: A Hidden Gem in Washington Heights

We have the impression that many schools on the South Side of Chicago are trash, when in actuality, there are some amazing schools in our communities doing amazing things. Fernwood Elementary School in the Washington Heights neighborhood is one of them. I recently had the opportunity to tour the Level 1+, predominantly Black and low-income school and speak with the…