Teachers become researchers

As a reading specialist at Henry Elementary in Irving Park, Trish Meegan wondered if students who struggled with timed, standardized tests could read faster if they learned how to monitor their own speed. To find out, Meegan gathered a group of Henry teachers to design a research study and test her hypothesis.

Q&A with Bianca Garcia

Kelvyn Park sophomore Bianca Garcia recruited a small group of classmates to start a youth advocacy council and come up with ways to improve their school and community. The idea came via the Mikva Challenge, a non-profit organization that works with high schools to promote youth activism and civic engagement. Bianca, 16, talked to Consulting Editor Lorraine Forte about starting the council and the problems teens face in high schools today.


A collection of facts, figures, and news briefs about school reform—both in Chicago and around the country.

Renacimiento: ¿Alivio para la sobrepoblación?

Mientras las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago continúan empujando su iniciativa Renacimiento 2010, el distrito esta luchando por encontrar hogares para las nuevas escuelas. En al menos dos casos, e distrito puso las escuelas Renacimiento en facilidades construidas para aliviar la sobrepoblación.

Master challenge

Schools Chief Arne Duncan has set a lofty goal for raising teacher quality in the district: Triple the number of nationally certified teachers over the next three years and put them in classrooms where students need them most.

Millions spent, little relief

CPS has spent hundreds of millions to build new schools and additions, but almost one in three neighborhoods has a significant school overcrowding problem. Capital funds are scarce, but critics say the district could have done a better job of planning new construction and projecting enrollment shifts.

Teacher quality research pipeline

High teacher turnover undermines school improvement and student achievement, says Carroll of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a Washington, D.C.,-based think tank.

Teacher research

The Chicago Foundation for Education sponsors about 10 Chicago teachers each year with $1,000 grants to research a question in their own classrooms.

Renaissance schools for overcrowding relief?

As Chicago Public Schools continues to push its Renaissance 2010 initiative, the district is scrambling to find homes for the new schools. In at least two cases, the district placed Renaissance schools in facilities built to relieve overcrowding.


Graduation rates for African-American and Latino students dropped significantly in 2004, the first year students had to take exams in six subjects to earn a diploma, according to the April 18 Washington Post.

Comings & Goings

Curie Metro is the first high school in the state to open a bank branch. Park Federal Savings Bank opened the branch in partnership with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and private donors.

Hidden overcrowding

Overcrowding in a community can be masked if some schools are overcrowded and others are underutilized. In all, 60 out of 77 community areas have at least one overcrowded school, yet just 23 of the 60 qualify as overcrowded. These five communities have the most overcrowded schools of any under the overcrowding threshold.

More money, fewer kids

Three North Side communities experienced a decline in
elementary enrollment, but received more than the $3,300-per-pupil average
for capital spending on overcrowding relief.