Minority students rate college prep, problems

While still underrepresented on college campuses, students of color have made significant progress in gaining access to higher education. However, fewer than half of minority students who enroll in college earn a degree—compared to about 60 percent of whites. What stands in the way of success? Catalyst sponsored a survey and focus group to find out.

Bargaining rights deal key in contract talks

In early September, the board and the union announced they had reached an agreement to restore some of the power unions lost in 1995, when Republican state lawmakers gave the mayor control of the school system. But the legislature must adopt the agreement.

Neighborhood parent, gardener helps an elementary school blossom

When Leki arrived at Waters, science classes, and much of rest of the curriculum, were text-book based and uninspired, according to Principal Tomas Revollo, who was hired in 1992 by the LSC that Leki chaired. Waters had adopted the Center for City Schools’ “Parent Project,” a program that exposes parents to progressive teaching methods through activities such as writing workshops, family history projects and book groups.

Grassroots push creates new small schools

The Gates Foundation made a five-year, $15.7 million grant to underwrite 10 new small schools and to support efforts to divide Oakland’s six high schools into small, autonomous schools, some of which would be spun off into separate facilities throughout the city.

Deal would improve board, CTU relations

If the Illinois General Assembly ratifies the agreement by amending state law , it will open the door for the teachers union to negotiate the impact of layoffs, class size, staffing and other workplace issues that have been off-limits for years. It also will create a labor-management council, which gives all school unions a forum to regularly voice their concerns, and a partnership agreement, which requires the two sides to work together to plan and implement school improvement initiatives.

Finding their space

Catalyst interviewed several African-American and Latino faculty and staff at area colleges and universities. They cited the well-known problems, such as coming up with enough money and overcoming academic deficits.

Students navigate turbulent waters

In early 2001, Associate Editor Debra Williams caught up with nine students who had their sights set on a college degree. They ranged from high school juniors to college sophomores. Recruited by Future Teachers of Chicago/Illinois, they agreed to share their experiences for two years. Though uncharted, their journeys wound up illuminating many of the challenges that minority students face in getting a college education. Although keeping track of them proved to be a challenge in and of itself, Williams is happy to report that all are still in school. She believes that all of them will make it. Ditto for her own son, Derrick Jr., a sophomore at Western Illinois University.

New board rule boosts AP stability

The new rule gives additional force to an existing Human Relations Department policy that was not always followed in the field. The key provision addresses situations where the School Board temporarily assigns a contract principal to a new position, such as guiding a school placed on intervention, while an interim principal takes over the contract principal’s school.

The College Challenge

The number of black and Latino students enrolled in college has risen steadily. Among high school graduates, about 45 percent of whites, 41 percent of African Americans and 34 percent of Hispanics enroll in college, according to the most recent available data.

High costs cast shadow over college work

In Illinois this fall, the annual average cost of attending a four-year public institution is $10,709; for private schools, the cost is $22,576. Nationally, those numbers last year were $11,976 and $26,070, respectively, according to The College Board.

Catalyst Survey Group, Who they are

Catalyst Survey Group, College Preparation

"What is your race or ethnicity?"
Black 63%
Latino 25
Asian 11
"What is your gender?"  
Female 74%

Catalyst Survey Group, Picking a college

"Did you get specific instruction on study skills in high school?"  
Yes 59%
“What do you plan to do once you have completed your bachelor’s degree?”  
Work 46%
Graduate school 43
Other 9
Social s