Who We Are

Launched in 1990, Catalyst Chicago is an independent news organization that serves as a watchdog and resource for school improvement in Chicago. We publish Catalyst In Depth, our quarterly, flagship newsmagazine; Catalyst In the Know, an occasional newsletter for parents; and breaking news and analysis on our website. We invite dialog through public forums and online op-eds and comments on our stories. 

Our mission: 

To improve the education of all children through authoritative journalism and leadership of a constructive dialogue among students, parents, educators, community leaders and policy makers.

Our guiding principles:

Shared Responsibility

Recognizing the critical link between education and community vitality, Catalyst Chicago believes all of us share in the responsibility for educating our children. 


Catalyst Chicago believes all children should have high-quality learning opportunities that meet their needs.


Catalyst Chicago holds itself accountable to the highest standards of journalism while holding educators, policy makers and other decision makers accountable for the impact of their actions on children’s learning.


Catalyst Chicago provides information to parents and community leaders that will empower them to fulfill their legal rights and responsibilities and participate effectively in efforts to improve the educational experiences of their children.


Understanding the strength that comes from inclusion and collaboration, Catalyst Chicago ensures that all voices are heard in the dialog on continuous improvement in education.

Catalyst is a publication of Community Renewal Society (CRS), a faith-based, nonprofit organization that works to create racially and economically just communities. CRS also publishes The Chicago Reporter, an award-winning newsletter created in 1972 to investigate issues of race and poverty. Both publications are editorially independent of CRS.

Community Renewal Society:
One Organization, Multiple Impacts

Founded in 1882, Community Renewal Society works to achieve its vision of a just community where racism and poverty no longer limit people’s full participation in society by working with powerful faith-based organizing and policy programs and by publishing two highly regarded investigative journals on matters of social justice. CRS informs, organizes, trains, and encourages individuals and communities in sustained and strategic efforts to engender systemic change.  Through these pioneering efforts, Community Renewal Society moves civic and religious leaders to take action on issues of racism and poverty.