Una fuerza detrás de la creación de la nueva Comisión de Educación Bilingüe y Lenguaje Universal fue la preocupación de que Chicago no hace un buen trabajo en la educación de los alumnos que no hablan inglés.
The district’s alternative certification initiative has changed dramatically over the last three years: Some programs that worked with CPS have ceased operating or been scrapped, and prospective teachers no longer receive tuition subsidies. But perhaps the most significant shift has been in the district’s mission for the initiative, which CEO Arne Duncan has lauded for bringing experienced career-changers into the classroom.
UPDATED JAN. 10: CPS will receive $147 million in state aid after legislators accept Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s changes to the 2008 budget implementation bill, which increases per pupil spending by $400, to $5,734. Schools throughout the state will get a total of $617million. In addition, schools will receive additional special education funding of $1,000 for each certified teacher and $700 for each non-certified staff member.
What does it take to get a college education? Six years ago, Catalyst Chicago began to examine that complex question in “The College Challenge,” a series of periodic reports on the struggles of nine black and Latino students from Chicago Public Schools who were aiming to earn a college degree. With this report, Catalyst checks in with five of them to find out what made the difference in helping them surmount the hurdles.
I am writing to provide further detail on “Building Up the Middle,” (Catalyst Chicago, November 2007). While the reporting and story were comprehensive, providing great detail about the work that is taking place in funding the Cluster 4 Middle Grades Project (C4MGP), one of our key supportive partners was not mentioned.
Chicago Public Schools is closing in on its goal of opening 100 new schools under Renaissance 2010, but almost half of the communities identified as most in need of high-performing schools have yet to get them.
After the fourth round of new schools approved recently under the district’s controversial program, 10 of the 25 “priority communities” identified in a 2004 report by the IFF (formerly the Illinois Facilities Fund) have yet to get the new schooling options they need.
Getting young children ready for school by exposing them to language, equipping them with reading readiness skills, and instilling a love of exploration and learning is the key to preparing them for school success. But that task is more difficult for youngsters whose native language is not English—because of the lack of bilingual preschool teachers.
Walk into a 5th-grade class at Whittier Elementary in Pilsen and students are reading about the U.S. Constitution and the establishment of democracy—in Spanish. Whittier and a handful of schools use dual language instruction throughout the grades. The goal: Kids who are fluent in both English and Spanish.
For decades, teachers and parents had little formal data about the English skills of bilingual students and how well they were likely to perform when they transitioned into an English-only class. Now, the state’s two-year-old English proficiency test, called ACCESS, is providing that missing piece of the puzzle. But the news is mixed. Fewer than a quarter of CPS bilingual students reached benchmark proficiency levels this year.
Five years ago, Catalyst Chicago published the last in a series of reports on the struggles and successes of nine African-American and Latino graduates working toward a college degree. This month, we revisit “The College Challenge” to find out what happened to them. Their stories provide real food for thought as the district continues to roll out its High School Transformation Project.
As advocates for early childhood education and care throughout Illinois, we were glad to see David Kirp’s interview by Cindy Richards in the November 2007 Q&A column. We agree with David Kirp that low-quality early childhood programs are not the best use of scarce resources. We wish to address the mischaracterization of Illinois’ early childhood education policies as “promoting quantity over quality.”