I started reading Catalyst 10 years ago. I was new to Chicago Public Schools and the education policy landscape; Catalyst helped me understand the broader system supporting and impacting my school and students, and the impetus for the policy decisions playing out for students in productive, or counterproductive, ways.
As I moved into advocacy roles, Catalyst helped me understand not just the challenges schools face but the amazing things happening in classrooms and school buildings across Chicago. Now, Catalyst is my trusted resource for timely information about opportunities and challenges facing Chicago Public Schools and its students, and for thoughtful reporting that helps me understand the issues — and the “issues behind the issues.”
Most recently, the series on options schools and high school graduation rates was eye-opening. The Catalyst in Depth “Experiencing Trauma” series provided not just a new understanding for me, but information and ideas that guided the work we do to support our members as well. I am grateful for the work that the Catalyst team has done over the past 25 years to shine a light on both the great things that are happening in education in Chicago, and the challenges that we need to work to overcome.
Melissa Mitchell is the executive director of the Federation for Community Schools.