Politicians and advocates alike have seized on research that says early childhood education offers lasting dividends — as well as on the political expediency of promising a benefit to every voter. As they have, the meaning of “universal” preschool has become, well, not so universal.
Teachers, even the one from Noble Street, say they are still dealing with not having enough for basics, such as gym, art and needed supplies. They also say they don't blame their principals for the shortfall, but rather the way schools are funded in Illinois.
Teachers say they have gotten the message that suspension should only be used as a last resort. They say they generally agree with that, but that they also need support from social workers, counselors and deans of discipline.
Teachers are anxious about how their evaluations will go under the new CPS system based on observations and student growth. For the second part in our series, Conversations with Teachers, Catalyst asked how the new evaluation system is being rolled out.
Teachers tell Catalyst Chicago they're tired of giving out so many tests. During a recent roundtable discussion, CPS educators shared their concerns about assessments, debated the usefulness of computer-based individualized learning programs and asked what the best yardstick is for measuring student growth.
With limited time and resources, many teachers say it’s harder to get access to good PD during the school year. That's why educators have to be creative to find and take advantage of opportunities, by applying for them over the summer and sharing with colleagues who don’t get to attend.
A new promotion policy has led to a 29-percent drop in summer school enrollment. CPS officials say students who would have gone to summer school under the old policy will get targeted academic help next year.
Schools that received students from closed schools are being hit with a double whammy: They no longer are getting extra money for the students who transitioned in, and they have far fewer students than originally projected.