Tag Archive for Chicago Public Schools

Time to focus on principals, the linchpin of school improvement

Back in the day, when I was an education reporter and trying to figure out where to find the school stories that would illuminate something revealing or surprising, I was given a great piece of advice by a veteran principal: “Study their budgets and look at how they spending their discretionary dollars. It will tell you a lot about what… Read more →

How high schools hide dropouts-and cheat students out of a real diploma

Orlando’s Olympia High boasts a 90 percent graduation rate — not counting students who go to an alternative school where few graduate. High schools are inflating graduation rates and test scores by steering low achievers to alternative schools, reports ProPublica and USA Today. When they drop out, nobody’s accountable. Heather Vogell and Hannah Fresques focus on Orlando, Florida, where district… Read more →

Will black parents shoulder the blame for race bias in my hometown’s schools?

This is the second part of a four-part series on the writer’s experience and research on the achievement gap in her hometown of Evanston, Illinois, a diverse suburb north of Chicago and home to Northwestern University. Read Part 1 here.  Evanston formally and voluntarily desegregated its schools in 1966, but a persistent achievement gap has divided black and white students… Read more →

‘You Can’t Read.’ How I overcame my suburb’s racial achievement gap

This is the first part of a four-part series on the writer’s experience and research on the achievement gap in her hometown of Evanston, Illinois, a diverse suburb north of Chicago and home to Northwestern University. One day when I was in second grade, my mother approached me with an envelope in hand. Wordless, she glared at me, and I… Read more →

We need more high school reinvention—the quiet experiments and big-money bodacious, too

A decade ago, I reported on the first graduation ceremony at Chicago’s Spry Community Links High School, which I described at the time as a “quiet experiment to reinvent the high school experience for some of Chicago’s most vulnerable students.” Spry was, and still is, the only traditional Chicago public school that spans from preschool to high school. The high… Read more →

Why Suburban Parents Need to Care About Poverty in Schools

Let’s start with what we all agree on, reformers and anti-reformers alike. Poverty matters in education. Of course it does. Yes, high concentrations of poor students in schools make it harder for those students and their teachers to succeed. Yes, children living in poverty need more support, especially in the earliest years. Yes, teachers who work in high-poverty schools need… Read more →

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