Mayor Rahm Emanuel

City Colleges scholarship has benefits, drawbacks

Since City Colleges began taking applications for a plan widely advertised as “free college” by a campaigning Mayor Rahm Emanuel, more than 1,000 students have applied for the offer of waived tuition, books and school fees. But research shows that City Colleges are not the best post-secondary choice for high-achieving students who will benefit from the Star Scholarship.

Urban Prep "college signing day"

Charter schools stress college-going support

At North Lawndale College Prep, there are eight counselors for roughly 820 students at two campuses — a ratio of 1 to 103. Factor in additional counselors focused on college-going or alumni support, and the ratio drops by half. That low ratio is unheard of in most traditional neighborhood high schools, which have an average of about one full-time counselor for every 303 students.

Vonzell White

More students on non-traditional path to a degree

Non-traditional students — including those who got a late start, attend on a part-time basis, have a job or are raising children while they’re going to school — are becoming more common on college campuses. Nationwide, more than one-third of undergraduate students are over the age of 24, and a majority of these only attend college part-time.

Breyana Floyd

Easing barriers to college completion

High schools are now rated on the college enrollment and persistence of their graduates. To solve the money problems, academic difficulties and social challenges that many students face, CPS is partnering with local colleges and universities.

Former Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle says he would have voted for Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis had she run for mayor, but now plans to support Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in February. Del Valle ran for mayor in 2011. [Photo by William Camargo]

Asking the hard questions

Chicago’s next leader must tackle economic inequality and ensure opportunity for all, says Miguel del Valle. The former Chicago city clerk talks about why voters need a vigorous debate before the mayoral election and what’s at stake.

Black Chicago under Rahm

Black Chicago by the numbers

When Rahm Emanuel ran for mayor four years ago, African-American voters pulled him across the finish line without a run-off. He won about six out of every 10 votes cast in predominantly black wards—largely on the say-so of his former boss, President Barack Obama. But as the February mayoral election nears, Emanuel’s approval ratings among the voters who carried him to City Hall have tumbled, according to aChicago Tribune poll. 

Students, parents and activists staged one protest after another last year against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to close 50 schools. The closings have been the most controversial item on the mayor’s education agenda, which is likely to play a significant role in next year’s mayoral election. [Photo by Jonathan Gibby]

Tough lessons for Rahm

Education promises to be a central issue in the 2015 mayoral election, especially in black communities that have borne the brunt of school closings, teacher layoffs and charter expansion.

Photo by Grace Donnelly

From classroom to City Council?

More than a half-dozen educators are running for aldermanic seats in next year’s city elections. It’s a sign of the times: the Chicago Teachers Union now considers itself a “social movement” union concerned with equity and economic justice throughout communities, not just in schools.

Kelvyn Park High School students have differing opinions on how the school should deal with drug use. One says suspension just gives students more time to get high. But another says the staff should be more strict so students will be deterred from using. [Photo by Bill Healy]

Quick to punish

Students caught with an ounce or less of marijuana are more likely to be arrested in school than a student who starts a fight or steals. Hundreds of teens are arrested each year for drug offenses involving pot—offenses that may warrant only a ticket for adult Chicagoans.

After pleading guilty to a battery charge, Anthony Martinez must report to a juvenile diversion program located in the basement of a church in Little Village. On some afternoons, the teens just play video games and shoot pool. On others, they participate in workshops. [Photo by Bill Healy]

Life after being arrested at school

Anthony Martinez was one of thousands of CPS students led away in handcuffs from school by police. He’s hoping to get a fresh start when he starts high school in the fall.