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.
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.
On March 28, Schools Chief Arne Duncan informed all Chicago Public Schools principals that they must slash their existing budgets in the face of a $175 million shortfall in the state budget for Chicago schools.
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.
About 30 elementary schools and five high schools have a controlled enrollment policy, under which overflow students who would normally attend a severely overcrowded school are bused to other schools with space.
Almost a third of the city’s community areas—23 of 77—have school overcrowding problems. Fourteen of the 23 communities have been overcrowded for a decade, and a major capital improvement plan launched in 1996 has brought little relief.
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.
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.
A new study finds Chicago has succeeded in getting more teachers to earn National Board certification, but built-in obstacles “could derail future efforts” to hire and retain those master teachers in the neediest schools.
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.
The Chicago Foundation for Education sponsors about 10 Chicago teachers each year with $1,000 grants to research a question in their own classrooms.
At Lee Elementary in West Lawn, Principal Marjorie Joy says student retention is better, “because there is no gap over the summer. And discipline is better. Kids have year-round authority without a long break.”
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.
The Southwest and Northwest sides of town are two examples of the dilemmas the district has faced as it tried to accurately predict shifting enrollment and plan construction in the face of shrinking capital funds.
If there’s one thing most everyone in and around education can agree on, it’s this: Kids in classrooms led by good teachers can learn more and do better than kids in classrooms led by mediocre teachers. Few classrooms in the worst urban schools are led by the best the teaching profession has to offer.
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.
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.
Overcrowding is often considered to be primarily a concern in Latino schools and neighborhoods, but a small yet significant number of overcrowded elementary schools are predominantly African American.
In December, a federal judge told Chicago Public Schools to find space for minority students who wanted to transfer to largely white schools under the federal desegregation consent decree. More than half of those schools are considered overcrowded.