Chicago Sun-Times Education This Week

By Nader Issa

Chicago's top education stories, features and commentary sent to you weekly.

Chicago's top education stories, features and commentary sent to you weekly.

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issues

#44・

Does Chicago’s Near South Side need a new $120 million high school?

Good morning!We’ve written a ton in this newsletter about the proposed Near South Side high school that advocates have spent years fighting for, through scrapped plans and criticism.Well, the $120 million project is coming to a vote today, with Chicago Public…

 
#43・

School's out! CPS students joyous, sad as summer kicks off

Good morning!If the scorching heat this week wasn’t enough of a hint, maybe you saw the bouncy houses or heard screaming kids running outside.It’s officially summer at Chicago Public Schools — and what a year it was.It was pegged as a pandemic recovery year a…

 
#42・

CPS sets aside $70M for long-sought Chinatown H.S.

Good morning,A few months ago we told you that yearslong fight for a Chinatown high school wasn’t over. Newly appointed Ald. Nicole Lee (11th) said she’d make it a priority to push for a Near South neighborhood school.This week, the idea got another major boo…

 
#41・

CPS accused of failing to meet students' religious, dietary needs

We've written about school food a few times here, from supply chain shortages, to a bill aimed at the procurement process, and the usual quality complaints with a creative photography twist.Often missing and overlooked from the conversation is children's reli…

 
#40・

It doesn't have to be this way

Hello readers,We had planned for this newsletter to lay out some context on last week's Chicago Teachers Union election.I was going to tell you what it means for Stacy Davis Gates and Jackson Potter, the union's new president and vice president, respectively.…

 
#39・

Student art project finds ironic beauty in unappetizing CPS school lunches

We’ve all heard the complaints: They're not fresh enough, they're unappetizing, the selection is small, they’re too hot or too cold.School lunches have been the target of complaints for a long time at Chicago Public Schools and other districts. And we’ve seen…

 
#38・

Robots, recipes and more: CPS students step up for competition season

Good morning,It’s competition season for Chicago Public Schools students, and some worthy winners have taken home big prizes in the past week.First there was the robot Lego competition, where teams of 7th graders had one hour to build a robot that could push …

 
#37・

On the mayor's curious handling of a Board of Education seat vacancy

Good morning!Whether you're an insider who follows all education-related developments or simply have a kid in the system, it's likely you've heard a lot about an elected school board over the years — from both advocates and opponents.For this exercise, though…

 
#36・

Art at theMART puts CPS students' talent in the spotlight

Good morning,A couple months back, I told you about my colleague Bob Herguth's Murals and Mosaics series and accompanying newsletter that are super fun and interesting. And if you haven't checked them out yet, well, what are you waiting for?I mentioned a few …

 
#35・

Let's talk about educator burnout

Good morning,It's been a few months since the height of the Omicron surge, when anxiety among families and educators was close to an all-time high, and COVID-19 cases were certainly past all-time highs.Around that time, Brentano Elementary Principal Seth Lavi…

 
#34・

Efforts to open Chinatown high school get boost from new alderperson

Good morning,Remember that Chinatown high school idea that caused an uproar among National Teachers Academy families a few years back?The proposal was to close NTA, a highly rated elementary school, and convert it into a high school serving the broader South …

 
#33・

Racist dating video sparks difficult conversations among CPS students

Good morning,Our high school experiences shape a lot of our early adult lives. And dating is no exception.Stereotypes and harmful habits can develop when we're teenagers and grow from there. We saw that very plainly in a racist video posted by students at Lin…

 
#32・

Lost tech another problem for CPS amid COVID-19 pandemic

Good morning,When the pandemic started just over two years ago, it soon became obvious districts nationwide would need to give students laptops and internet access for remote learning. That turned into a massive undertaking for districts like Chicago Public S…

 
#31・

2022-23 CPS calendar serves up earliest start date in recent memory

Good morning!One of the great things about reporting on education is there's never a shortage of interested readers. No matter the topic, someone will have a view. In Chicago, that's kind of a given when you have 330,000 kids, plus their parents and about 30,…

 
#30・

Ex-CPS principal sues school worker, CPD detective who charged him

Good morning,The never-ending saga that started in March 2020 and continued in the two years since has now entered new territory.No, not the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m talking about former Chicago Public Schools principal Kurt Jones. You might remember he was lea…

 
#29・

CPS drops its mask mandate, and an update on a principal-LSC dispute

Good morning!It has somehow been almost six whole months since Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez took this job, and there has been an Omicron wave and subsequent decline, a fight between CPS and CTU, more politics bleeding into the classroom, continue…

 
#28・

Local School Councils hurting for candidates ahead of spring elections

Good morning!Chicago’s Local School Councils are usually a quick way to get involved with decision-making in your community. They have the power to hire and retain principals, oversee school budgets and more recently decide whether Chicago police officers wil…

 
#27・

Where CPS mask rules stand as Chicago ends mandates on Feb. 28

Despite all the commotion throughout the state the past month, masks aren't going anywhere at Chicago Public Schools — at least for now.Mayor Lori Lightfoot and City Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady dropped the city's indoor mask and vaccine requirement…

 
#26・

How CPS' process to rename schools named for racists is going so far

Good morning,It's been over a year since my colleague Lauren FitzPatrick dug through the names of all 600-plus public schools in Chicago, finding 30 were named for former slaveholders and others for racists and various problematic folks.Chicago Public Schools…

 
#25・

CPS puts up vigorous court fight over disabled student's sexual assault claim

Good morning,Chicago Public Schools has been heavily scrutinized over the past four years for its widespread mishandling of sexual abuse complaints, perhaps more than any other failure.The Tribune’s 2018 “Betrayed” series uncovered system-wide predatory behav…