WebExtra: CPS losing one in five principals

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.

Which schools made it

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.

Campaign: $4 billion for schools

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.

Turnover hurts kids, schools


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.

Q&A with Nirupa Mathew

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.

Notebook

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

‘They’re in, and then they’re out’

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.

Two ways to measure student mobility

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.