An Illinois House committee has passed a tax plan backed by school funding advocates, moving lawmakers closer to a standoff over how best to generate more state money for K-12 education and other priorities.
After Chicago Public Schools overhauled eligibility criteria for its coveted autonomous schools program, better known as AMPS, 18 more schools qualified.
Chicago Public Schools will be hit this year with a record number of principal vacancies. One in five school leaders—120 systemwide—have notified the district that they will step down from their jobs at the end of the year, CPS reported in mid-March.
State Senate President Emil Jones Jr. (D-Chicago) is backing away from a tax plan championed by advocates of school funding reform and now says he favors Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s proposal to boost education spending.
Schools could qualify for AMPS through two tracks. Fast progress schools made it because test scores and other performance measures are rapidly rising. High performance schools posted exceptionally high marks on state tests.
On Feb. 22, Andrew Rotherham and Joseph Palumbo kicked off the 2007 Chicago Schools Policy Luncheon Series, which is focusing on “Making School Autonomy Work for Children.” Here are some of the highlights.
This year, Chicago stands to gain from a new national initiative meant to jumpstart grassroots organizing on behalf of schools. But instead of political advocacy, the grassroots groups will be expected to focus directly on improving education for poor children and children of color.
Education funding reformers in Illinois are eternal optimists, seeing every legislative session as their big chance to dramatically increase state funding of public schools. This year, though, there is reason to believe they may actually pull it off. Activists and lawmakers say this is the year school finance reform will happen, despite Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s vow not to raise general taxes.
Ashburn Elementary has become more diverse since it began taking in students from overcrowded areas.
School closings and the demolition of public housing may well be aggravating student mobility in predominantly black communities, one researcher suggests. While other districts are beginning to tackle mobility, CPS says it’s limited in what it can do. Some educators note that the best solution is as simple as creating schools that families don’t want to leave.
How do you teach reading to a 10-year-old immigrant who may never have been inside a classroom? At Swift Elementary in Edgewater, where 41 percent of students speak little or no English, that’s a likely scenario. Nirupa Mathew, who teaches 5th grade, relies on children’s literature and constant testing.
A collection of facts, figures, and news briefs about school reform—both in Chicago and around the country.
NEW LEGISLATION Several bills introduced in the state General Assembly would directly impact CPS if they are passed.
Advocates for better health services for students are asking Gov. Rod Blagojevich to more than double funding for school-based health centers in 2008.
Dropout programs now spend nearly $7,300 less per student than regular high schools, and few students earn their GED.
As longtime watchdogs fall, community-based groups get a boost to focus on improving student performance
Gentrification doesn’t automatically bring middle-class kids into schools, but it can spur schools to improve—and keep their kids
Kids from overcrowded neighborhoods can switch schools twice or more. CPS says its plans for overcrowding relief should solve the problem, but questions remain about its strategy.
Mobility is high throughout the West Pullman neighborhood, particularly at West Pullman Elementary, where 26 percent of students enrolled at the start of school left before year’s end—the highest percentage in the district. Another 22 percent of students transferred in mid-year.
Helping students with the academic struggles that can result from mobility is one part of the mission of the Bridge Center in Baltimore County Public Schools.
Ten years ago, few school districts paid attention to the problem of mobility and how it affected students academically, says education researcher David Kerbow. But in the last few years, districts have begun to address the issue on a systemwide basis.
Last year, Sandoval Elementary in Gage Park and Pulaski Fine Arts Academy in Logan Square posted similar mobility rates on their state report cards: 26 and 21 percent, respectively. But a closer look at data for these schools from the Consortium on Chicago School Research shows how this official method for calculating mobility can mask the extent of the problem in some schools.
Map: Mobility hits hardest in black communities
West Pullman: By the numbers