Progress, Problems and Politics in the Chicago Public Schools

Last weekend, I bought a subscription to the Chicago Sun-Times, which recently instituted a paywall. I love the gritty, bare-knuckles reporting and cut-through-the-noise columnists of the self-described “Hardest-Working Paper in America.” I’m even getting home delivery. Monday morning, the paper arrived with a lengthy story on “fiascoes” in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) that could become a headache for Mayor…

What’s Up in CPS the Week of June 11, 2018?

School Facilities Public Hearings Start Today For decades, Chicago Public Schools made decisions about construction and repair of school facilities with little input from the public and less transparency about the process. In 2011, thanks to pressure from community advocates, Springfield passed a law requiring CPS to create a 10-year capital spending plan, known as the Educational Facilities Master Plan.…

We Need School Discipline Reform But We Also Need to Protect Teachers

Tonight, Educators for Excellence Chicago will lead a town hall on disparities in school discipline. Illinois recently passed a low that commits the state to maintaining a focus on reducing disparities, using the federal guidance on discipline issued under the Obama administration. Tonight’s Town Hall runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at PianoForte Studios, 1335 S. Michigan. Bringing equitable discipline…

What’s Up in CPS the Week of June 4, 2018?

There’s never a dull moment in Chicago Public Schools. Sex Abuse in CPS The Chicago Tribune exposé on sex abuse in district schools prompted CPS leaders to create an action plan that features improved background checks, more employee training on reporting abuse and increased supports for victims. As the plan goes into action, it’s worth remembering inadequate protection against sexual…

Welcome to Chicago Unheard

There’s a new story emerging in Chicago—a story of academic progress in the city’s public schools. Despite the endless political drama that surrounds the Chicago Public Schools, elementary students are making academic gains that outpace their peers in Illinois and the nation. In high schools, more students are graduating and, slowly but surely, more graduates are earning college degrees. While…