Expanding learning time for students, especially those in low-income neighborhoods and districts, has emerged as a major strategy for school improvement in cities across the country. On this page, Catalyst Chicago will compile stories from a multi-city reporting project by Catalyst and its four sister news outlets: Chalkbeat Colorado (formerly EdNews Colorado), EdSource Today, Chalkbeat New York (formerly Gotham Schools) and the Philadelphia Public School Notebook. The collaborative effort was made possible by a grant from the Ford Foundation, which has made More and Better Learning Time a priority in its philanthropy.
Teachers say more prep for PARCC test needed
Teachers in Chicago and other cities think the PARCC is a much better assessment than previous state-mandated tests, but have mixed feelings about whether it’s age-appropriate or too challenging. They also wish they had more professional development focused on the PARCC – and specifically, the chance to see more sample questions.
Latino Studies helps make CPS a pioneer
As Hispanics continue to make up a growing share of all CPS students, district leaders say it’s necessary to make the study of Latino history and culture a core part of education with a new interdisciplinary curriculum for kindergarten through 10th grade. Just over a year ago, CPS released a curriculum focused on African and African American studies. Experts say no other district in the country has implemented this kind of interdisciplinary ethnic studies curricula on such a large scale.
Study highlights benefits of full-day preschool
A new study on Chicago’s child-parent centers found that children attending a full day of preschool do even better on a range of kindergarten readiness assessments than those who attend preschool for just part of the day.