Members of Noble Street's Rowe-Clark Campus rugby team practice inside their gym in March. Noble founder Michael Milkie says students often asked him about playing on sports teams. Now he makes sure each campus has about $65,000 to spend on sports.

Noble takes up rugby

May 26, 2015

In an odd twist, rugby, the national sport of Ireland, has become one of the most popular sports among Noble Street campuses. All of the 16 campuses have boys’ teams and most have girls’ teams as well.

The Tilden Blue Devils handily won their late March game against DuSable. Coach Alberto Simental wants his players to have a good experience because baseball was important to him growing up.

Beyond basketball, a tough road for sports

May 26, 2015

CPS is known for a handful of powerhouse basketball teams. But most high schools, especially those in poor communities, offer few opportunities for teens to get involved in sports. To do so, schools must raise their own money for athletics.

Coonley Elementary School hosted a fundraiser at the DANK Haus in Lincoln Square  in April. The bidding for auction items started anywhere between $100 and $1,000 for items such as getaways for two in Acapulco Bay or a fitness trainer for a year.

The price of fundraising

May 26, 2015

For a select but growing group of schools in wealthier communities, parent fundraising has risen to new heights. In just a decade, the number of parent groups that raise more than $50,000 a year doubled to 41; 30 schools brought in more than $100,000 and eight raised more than $200,000. Altogether, these 41 schools raised roughly $7.6 million in one year.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

City Colleges scholarship has benefits, drawbacks

February 24, 2015

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.

Breyana Floyd

Easing barriers to college completion

February 24, 2015

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

November 20, 2014

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

November 20, 2014

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

November 20, 2014

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.