Tag Archive for Chicago Public Schools

A principal who ‘wanted to be where the students were’

For #NationalPrincipalsMonth, this former suburban principal offers this tribute to her role model , a former Chicago principal who is now an administrator at a small-town district in Wisconsin.  It’s 7:15 a.m. and it’s raining. The weather doesn’t matter however, because he is standing outside every day…rain, sleet, or snow, like the postman…greeting students as they walked in the building.… Read more →

Illinois now an ‘imperfect’ model for fixing unequal school funding and teacher pensions

With the recent passage of SB 1947, Illinois, so often an example of what not to do in school finance, is now poised to be something of a model for the rest of the country. SB 1947 rewrites the state’s school finance laws, which were the most inequitable in the country. Under this new system, Illinois will now fund districts… Read more →

Why I’m celebrating Illinois’ school funding fix–and ignoring the voucher kerfuffle

I’m going to take a moment to celebrate my state’s historic school funding plan–and ignore the brewing debate over a private school tax credit that opponents want to call a backdoor voucher program but isn’t a voucher program at all. Today, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to sign legislation that will close spending inequities, reduce the reliance on property… Read more →

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 →

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